Being Fat Shamed and the Junk Science of BMI
I make it no secret that I am single. No super big deal. But I was extremely insulted by an individual on a dating app who said I was fat and not stocky.
This person does not know me, has never seen me, and knows nothing about me at all, other than what is in my profile, which is limited.
Then, this person began citing the BMI, or Body Mass Index, to me stating I was morbidly obese, which is not true on any scale.
For starters, body shaming someone you don't know and have never seen in person is a real Dave move. (Brownie points if you get that reference!) Don't be a jackass like that.
Now, onto the junk-science of the BMI.
The origins of the BMI go back to the 1800s and have been poorly reformulated to allow insurance companies, doctors, and other health professionals to determine if you are obese or not.
The BMI has been known to be flat-out wrong in numerous studies. One example: a bodybuilder who has very little body fat, but is heavier than most due to muscle mass. The BMI of a man who is 6 foot and 250 pounds, but is a bodybuilder as described above would be a 33.9 or obese. Ummm, that makes NO SENSE!
Taken alone as an indicator of health, the BMI is misleading. A study by researchers at UCLA published this month in the International Journal of Obesity looked at 40,420 adults in the most recent U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and assessed their health as measured by six accepted metrics, including blood pressure, cholesterol and C-reactive protein (a gauge of inflammation). It found that 47 percent of people classified as overweight by BMI and 29 percent of those who qualified as obese were healthy as measured by at least five of those other metrics. Meanwhile, 31 percent of normal-weight people were unhealthy by two or more of the same measures.2 Using BMI alone as a measure of health would misclassify almost 75 million adults in the U.S., the authors concluded.
So why do we still use this as a guide for obesity and overall health? It is a flawed system that makes many of us feel inadequate.
Time for a change, but good luck -- too many "other" health "professionals" swear by this junk.
Do I carry a few extra pounds? Yes. Does my doctor get on me for it? Yes. But my BP is normal, my blood sugar is normal and, overall, I am in a healthy state according to my doctor.
So, to the idiot who tried to body shame me and quote junk science, go get a degree before you ever try that again!