I don’t know how many of you know my feelings about the Body Mass Index (BMI), but I loathe it.
According to BMI I’ve been overweight pretty much my entire life.
The one time I got to BMI’s “normal weight” category, I was eating, on average, 700 calories a day and unable to spend the afternoon anywhere but my bed. Where I got a lot of reading done. Which is probably why it took me a bit longer to realize how unhealthy I was being. What can I say? I love reading.
Now, this is nothing new. The big flaw with BMI is that it doesn’t take into consideration the makeup of your body. As many of you know, muscle is denser than fat. So if two people are the exact same measurements but one has a higher muscle content, that person will weigh more, thus having a higher BMI, potentially being labeled as overweight and more unhealthy than the one with a higher fat percentage. Backwards, eh?
In addition, it doesn’t take into account the distribution of this fat which is often a much stronger indicator of whether or not someone is at increased risk of obesity-related diseases.
The other thing BMI doesn’t take into account is diversity. No matter how much weight I lose, I am pretty much always the same size, because bitch has got some thunder thighs. Really though, I have huuuuuuge thighs. And I say this because I’m completely cool with my legs. Seriously. It’s weird. The only time I struggle with my thighs now-a-days is once in a while when I sit down in shorts. And it’s April, so I haven’t done that in forever. My legs have been thick for as long as I can remember. Part of me thinks it’s partially the result of figure skating, but who really knows, they seem to run in my family. Seriously, we’ve all been “skinny” in our lives and always always had thick legs to go with our new found waists. And I’d bet you a million dollars that if we all got weighed at our lower adult weights, we’d all still be overweight according to BMI. And the reason why this is concerning is because too many DOCTORS still use BMI as an indicator of whether or not to tell their patient to go on a diet. And I don’t know about you, but when a professional medical expert tells me I need to lose weight, I feel about a thousand times shittier than when a common person tells me to do so.
All that being said, I think no one can say it better than this amazing girl. Seriously, I think she’s kind of my hero. And so is her doctor, because he actually took into account things other than her BMI when determining her health.
PS Apparently in 1998 the threshold for being overweight in America was lowered. Read about it here.