September 1, 2010….BMI is truly a Useless Measure!
Please take a few minutes and read the article linked below regarding a woman who lost 118# (with the help of Weight Watchers), is healthy, looks great, feels great, is a teacher by profession, was having a wonderful interview, but was not considered for a “teaching the trainer” job because of her current BMI. She gave the telephone interviewer (after asking if that question was even legal) her height and weight and the interviewer promptly ended the interview. The kicker? This woman was now a healthy, happy size 12! http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2010/08/31/weight-watchers-biased/?ncid=webmail
The purpose of this blog entry is to expose the reality of BMI. Years ago, physicians used the Metropolitan Life Insurance Weight Charts to determine if you were at a healthy weight. These charts were based on the weight range in which a person was least likely to have a weight- related health claim. There were separate charts for men and women. You remember them…If you were 5’5” and a female…you should weigh 125#. If you were 5’5” and a male, you should weigh 136#. It didn’t matter that the 5’5” tall person was out of shape, never exercised, and his weight was mainly made up of fat tissue, or that he ate eat horrifically, had high cholesterol, triglycerides, hypertension, diabetes and very regularly drank alcohol and smoked cigarettes. He was a medical mess. But, his gravitational pull on a scale (his weight) pronounced him at a healthy weight.
Time passed. Not so long ago, weight charts quietly disappeared. The replacement? The more scientific -sounding BMI (body mass index). Body mass index plots height against weight. Period. Most people do not realize there are no separate BMI charts for men and women, for young and old, for frame size, for body composition….it’s just height and weight.
Example: 2 people using the same BMI formula:
Person 1 is a 21 year old male college athlete who trains year round, has very low body fat percentage, medium frame and is 5’7”, 165#. He has a clean bill of health and takes no medications. His BMI is: 25.9. He is OVERWEIGHT based on his BMI.
Person 2 is a 64 year old female retired teacher who is sedentary, has a high body fat percentage, small frame and is 5’7”, 165#. She has a history of arthritis, hypertension, high cholesterol, chronic fatigue and takes medications to keep her labwork in normal limits. She is a smoker. Her BMI is: 25.9. She is equally OVERWEIGHT based on her BMI.
Can you believe this? Well, believe it….this is all BMI is based on….height and weight…..nothing else. Please don’t get sucked into the dark hole of believing that youare healthy or not, overweight or not based on BMI.
What is your ideal body weight? The weight at which you feel great, all of your labwork is normal on as little medication as possible, and you love the way you look. This covers it all…..you have energy to enjoy your life, YOU love the way you look, and you are healthy.
Linae, you deserve much better and I congratulate you on taking charge of your health and life and getting into such wonderful condition! All the best in searching for the company that will appreciate a person with your focus, drive, and determination!