Title

Whose Voice Counts? A Critical Examination of Discourses Surrounding the Body Mass Index

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2012

Keywords

body mass index, health communication, fat studies, weight discourse, weight stigma

Abstract

The Body Mass Index (BMI) is almost universally used by health practitioners and the general public to determine how to classify a person's body in terms of relative weight. The author traces the story of the vocal actors who developed and championed the BMI as it moved from obscurity to occupy a central position in dominant discourse about body size and its relationship to health. She also highlights the voice of a fat advocate who is challenging not only the BMI, but the general dominant discourse concerning the relationship between body size, health, and personal value. The article serves as a call to all communication researchers working in health contexts to carefully consider how their work might reinforce or challenge this dominant discourse.

Publication Title

Fat Studies

Volume

1

Issue

2

First Page

195

Last Page

207

DOI of Published Version

10.1080/21604851.2012.656500

Language

en

Publisher

Taylor & Francis