The Patient Information Forum (PIF) has published a new one-page guide to Body Mass Index (BMI).

The poster was developed following user engagement sessions with patients and healthcare professionals which highlighted the amount of misinformation surrounding BMI.

It is free to download and share.

PIF Director Sophie Randall, said: “We are all aware of ‘fake news’ on headline health topics like COVID-19 and vaccination, but the scourge of misinformation goes wider and makes it harder for people to make sense of their health. 

"BMI is a case in point. Misinformation means many people view it as entirely discredited yet it is an evidenced-based tool used widely in clinical practice.”

Clear, non-judgemental BMI information

The poster acknowledges conversations about BMI can be difficult to navigate for doctors and emotional for patients.  

It gives a clear explanation of what BMI is, why doctors use it and the support on offer to get fitter.

Dr Juhi Tandon, a GP and co-founder of Cognitant, said: “As a GP for more than a decade, I still struggle to have the BMI conversation with patients. 

"Discussing someone’s BMI can easily make them feel uncomfortable as they feel like they are being judged. 

"It will be very helpful to share a clear fact sheet to help patients understand more about BMI in a non-judgemental way.”

‘BMI – What you need to know’ is free to download and view via the PIF TICK website:  

It can be accessed directly by patients or used as a resource by healthcare professionals.