Too often, an above “normal” BMI carries a stigma with healthcare providers, Stanford says. “Most doctors, they’re going to assume when they look at this measure, when it comes through your electronic health record, that you must be doing something wrong, like this is a personal failure on your part. Interestingly enough, we don’t apply the same judgment if someone comes in with elevated blood pressure or elevated blood sugar.” A past study found that patients’ weights “significantly” affect how physicians perceive and treat them.
The problem is worse when you overlay race bias, she adds. “So if you have a Black woman with obesity, you know we have a lot of different potential things that are negative that are coming at you.”
Yet don’t expect the healthcare industry’s reliance on BMI to wane anytime soon. “It is challenging to kind of get away from it,” Gonsahn-Bollie says, because a lot of research is tied to using BMI as a predictor of health outcomes. “And then, a lot of our health economics are tied in to BMI, because it’s just an easy tool to use,” she says. 2022’s Best Fat Burning Supplements For Men
For instance, failure to report patients’ BMIs can affect the Medicare payment adjustments that a physician’s practice receives.