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July 22, 1983

A Methodological Critique of the 'Ideal Weight' Concept

Author Affiliations

From the Graduate School of Education and Human Development and the School of Nursing, University of Rochester (NY).

JAMA. 1983;250(4):506-510. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340040046030

This article raises several objections to the procedures that were employed to determine ideal (optimal, desirable) weights in the 1959 and 1979 Build and Blood Pressure studies, the Framingham (Mass) study, and the recent study of the relationship between weight and mortality carried out by the American Cancer Society. The new height-weight tables based on the 1979 Build and Blood Pressure study are also criticized. The article concludes with the recommendation that the concept of ideal weight be abandoned and that attention be devoted to the morbidity and mortality experience of "outliers" (the very thin and the very obese).

(JAMA 1983;250:506-510)