liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

Skewing the Definition of "Fat"

Cocaine use is way up in Europe, from 3.5 million users last year to 4.5 this year.
The wall between Arizona and Mexico is under construction.

But also in the news: a recent JAMA study found that "overweight" people live longer on average than either "healthy weight" or very skinny people. The "anti-fat" doctors were apparently outraged. Then everyone suddenly realized that the BMI index is inadquate for evaluating people's level of obesity--because it does not, cannot take into account differing weights of muscle, bone and fat.

I know that the scale is off because my whole life I've been "overweight" according to the BMI scale, while I was a lot fitter than some of the people around me who were not "overweight". Even when I'm very lean, I'm at the heavy end of the scale.

I guess the first time I realized this was in college when we measured body fat on everyone in my health class. I was in with the guys with a % fat in the low teens. The girls in the class were coming out 25% fat or more. One particularly willowy thin girl was 28% fat. We had to talk about that. How could she be such a high percentage? She would be "healthy weight" according to the BMI index, or maybe underweight. But in fact she was quite sedentary and ate like a bird. She didn't have much appetite.

There's no moral to the story.
Tags: diet, drugs, health, medicine, muscle, obesity, weight loss

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