The racist and problematic history of the body mass index
- February 23, 2021
- Sabrina Strings, sociology, Good Housekeeping, Yahoo Style, Feb. 23, 2021
As author Sabrina Strings, Ph.D., an associate professor of sociology at UC Irvine,
documents in her book, Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia, health
insurance companies in the early 1900s linked "excessive" body fat with an increased
risk of heart disease (and still do, even though current science says it's not that
simple). This was significant because insurers could use this information to determine
a person’s coverage. Insurers could then refuse to cover the “overweight” while many
doctors saw these “medico-actuarial tables” as a quick tool to decide who they’d take
on as a patient, according to Strings.
For the full story, please visit https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-nutrition/a35047103/bmi-racist-history/.
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