The Gist

Why Do We Use BMI to Measure Health?

October 05, 2016, 10:40 pm • 20m

On The Gist, dig into body mass index with our resident bulls--t debunker Maria Konnikova. Does a healthy BMI actually mean anything? The question came up after Donald Trump’s recent appearance onThe Dr. Oz Show, in which his weight and height were revealed—if his numbers are to be believed, his BMI is 30.3, which qualifies as obese. But does BMI actually tell us anything meaningful about health? Or is it an arcane measurement that needs to be phased out?Also, more on Tuesday’s testy vice presidential debate.Panoply surveyWe want you to tell us about the podcasts you enjoy and how often you listen to them. So we created a survey that takes just a couple of minutes to complete. If you fill it out, you’ll help Panoply to make great podcasts about the things you love—and things you didn’t even know you loved.To fill out the survey, just go to’s sponsors:Get quality shaving products delivered right to your door withHarry’s. Sign up for a shave plan atHarrys.comand use promo codegistat checkout to claim your Free Trial Set and post-shave balm.iBooksis the place to find the books that people are talking about right now, includingBorn to Run, Bruce Springsteen’s memoir. It's a mix of beautiful nostalgia and straight talk about family, fame, and music. Get it, where you’ll find all his music too.JoinSlate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at more about your ad choices. Visit

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