Myth of BMI

Is Fat the New Thin for Women?
Standards of Weight Today Versus the 1950s
by Averyl Hill, M.S.

Back in the 1950's, the accepted standard for measuring ideal body weight was based upon the "Medico Actuarial" studies of the health and mortality rates of "hundreds of thousands" of Metropolitan Life Insurance policy holders. Unlike BMI which simply uses height and weight, the 1950s method assigned weight ranges to people based upon gender, height and three possible body frame sizes. That meant that you had less of a window for weight variations.

This article and much more appears in my book American Women Didn't Get Fat in the 1950s where you can view vintage height and weight tables to see how your weight measures up to a stricter, scientifically based standard.