Friday, June 23, 2006

Bicycling Magazine and the BMI

Last year Bicycling magazine dedicated one of it's issues to weight loss. In one short article, they discussed and "dissed" the BMI (body mass index). The author's take was that it wasn't realistic and he even quoted a physical therapist (if memory serves me) as saying that we all have "pre-programmed" weights.

This article was the perfect embodiment of how I use to think of the BMI - utter denial. For those of you who don't know, the BMI is a number that you can calculate from your height and weight to determine if your weight is normal for your height or not. I go into more detail on how I came to believe in the BMI in my book. Suffice it to say now, I think the BMI is a great tool for identifying your target weight.

I was digging through my files and I found the letter that I wrote to Bicycling's editor, Steve Madden. Unfortunately, it didn't get printed and I didn't get a response. That's too bad, because I expected a magazine that I've been reading off and on for over 20 years to be more responsible in its reporting.

I was hoping that even if my letter didn't get printed, that the argument I made for the BMI in it would at least prompt the editors to dig deeper on the BMI and retract the rubbish they printed. Unfortunately, I haven't seen anything of sort since.

But, that's not surprising. Now that I think of it, I got much of my diet advice from Bicycling as a teenage bike racer. Carbs, carbs & more carbs - which isn't very good advice for the waistline, unless you're a Tour de France rider.

In Steve Madden's letter from the editor column, he has complained about the few extra pounds that he carries around his waist and his desire to shed those. Perhaps he's just at his genetic preprogrammed weight.

In my next post, I'll recount the letter I wrote.

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