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Chapter 1.2. A Model for Strategic Planning, Analyzing Cases and Decison Making

Chapter 1.3 Forest & Forest Case

Chapter 2. Influencing / Persuading

Chapter 3. Negotiating / Conflict Resolution

Chapter 4. Networking / Self Marketing

Chapter 5. Entrepreneuring / Venturing

Chapter 6. Business Plan Outline

Chapter 7. HBS Case Method Deprives Students of An Authentic Learning Experience

Chapter 8. Improving Your Ability to Recognize Business Opportunities

Chapter 9. Why Business Schools Need to Know What MBAs Want to Learn and How to Find Out

Chapter 10. What do MBAs Want and What Do They Get?

Chapter 11. Applying Services Marketing Concepts to the Administration of A Business School

Chapter 12. A Model of the Business School as A Developer of Achievers

Chapter 13. Obtaining More Options in Your 401(k) or 403 (b) Retirement Plan

Chapter 14. Breathe Slowly - Reduce Your Blood Pressure

Chapter 15. The Body Mass Index (BMI) Is Wrong



Chapter 15. The Body Mass Index (BMI) Is Wrong

1. The Body Mass Index (BMI) Is wrong because the "weight" is expressed as a function of the square of the height.  That might be ok if we had two dimensional bodies, height and depth or height and width.  In fact, we have three dimensional bodies: height, width and depth.  Therefore "weight" must be expressed as a function of the cube of the height.  This problem is the biggie.  Fortunately, it can easily be dealt with by changing the mathematical formula.

2.  Another problem is that even if the problem defined above is solved the density of the body is simply not considered.  Even the cube formula does not deal with weight.  It deals with volume.  That would be ok if all of us had equal density.  Maybe we do.  I just don't know.

I recognized the first problem about 8 years ago and derived an appropriate cube formula.  I did not attempt to publish it because I have no credentials in the health field and because I fully expected that a mathematically literate MD would promptly shoot down the BMI humbug.  As far as I know, this never happened.

Eight years have passed and it seems that BMI is well established. Recently, I observed a BMI chart in the examination room of my primary care physician. I asked him, "Doctor, does it not seem to you that the BMI weights recommended for short people are excessive?" The good doctor looked at the chart, thought about it and said, "Yes, they are a bit on the heavy side."

See for yourself.  Google BMI and click on any of the listed items. Health Monitor table is easier to read than the others.

Three exhibits will help to demonstrate the square based BMI fallacy:
15.1  displays BMI data under the old square formula
15.2  displays BMI data under the correct cube formula
15.3  presents the difference between the two tables.


This Page was last update: Friday, February 3, 2006 at 6:43:52 PM
This page was originally posted: 1/20/2006; 8:49:04 PM.
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