Report: BMI Surveillance De-Implementation

September 25, 2023

Public health interventions often catalyze positive changes for population health, but sometimes interventions can cause undue harm. Mounting evidence suggests that population health may be improved by dismantling the widespread use of body mass index (BMI) across medical organizations and in wider society. In our report, Advancing De-implementation of Universal BMI Surveillance, we discuss our efforts to catalyze critical thinking toward de-implementation of universal BMI surveillance by organizing a transdisciplinary, exploratory two-day seminar, Re-envisioning the Future of BMI Surveillance: Critical Reflection on a Contested Tactic of the “War on Obesity.” The central focus of the exploratory seminar was to bring together great thinkers from across disciplines, sectors, and perspectives to collaboratively sketch out generative and ethical ways to dismantle universal BMI surveillance and act upon the unjust stigmatization of children and people of all ages in a society where shame about weight is ever present and can undermine the delivery of care and life opportunities for people of all sizes. Over 20 experts from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines attended our two-day interactive seminar, which was made possible by a grant to STRIPED from the Harvard Radcliffe Institute. The exploratory seminar organizers were S. Bryn Austin, Nat Egan, Allegra Gordon, Jill R. Kavanaugh, Amanda Raffoul, and Tracy Richmond.

Read the Report