I was browsing my kick-ass fitness coach daughter, Priscilla Bell’s Survivor page on Face Book and today I am going to share a post she sent her followers. You might agree. You will certainly gain a new perspective on BMI. What BMI stands for really is the topic. Here goes.
If you don’t know what BMI means it is a simple (and inaccurate) way to assess if someone is overweight or obese by measuring height, weight and age. As some of you know any calculation that uses age as an indicator of fitness drives me crazy. So at 49 your not fat but at 50 you are? Really? When the National Institutes of Health began using the BMI formula suddenly overnight twenty-five million Americans instantly went from being at a healthy weight to being overweight.
Astonishingly the below incident happened on Friday…this past Friday, March 27th, 2015…as reported by ABC News:
A Missouri mother is livid after her daughter came home from elementary school with a note saying that her body fat index was too high despite her lean frame.
“She goes, ‘Does this mean I’m fat?’
Moss’s daughter Kylee is 7 years old, 54 pounds, 3-foot-10.
Belton School District Superintendent Andrew Underwood told ABC News. “We do the body mass index on our students for positive reasons to try to promote healthy habits as far as what the kids eat and their activity,” Underwood said.
When contacted by ABC Dr. Naveen Uli, a pediatric endocrinologist, said ‘BMI is a controversial measurement because it does not distinguish muscle mass from fat mass’. He also said “[I]t may in fact be psychological[ly punishing, since school personnel may not be familiar with details regarding that child’s health,”
Yes, that’s what we need – more kids stressed about how they look and maybe even developing an eating disorder because of it.
Belly fat is the most dangerous kind. You can be at a satisfactory weight and still carry a significant amount of weight around your middle and the BMI calculation doesn’t measure that. The trouble with belly fat is that it’s not limited to the extra layer of padding located just below the skin (subcutaneous fat). It also includes visceral fat – which lies deep inside your abdomen, surrounding your internal organs. Regardless of your overall weight, having a large amount of belly fat increases your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke and sleep apnea. And I do believe that those are the health risks that matter. When Arnold Schwarzenegger was Mr. Universe, his BMI was well into the obese range. True story. The really scary thing is that people of influence, namely doctors, are still using the BMI index to assess whether or not a person is overweight.
Here’s the formula that I am going to suggest the National Institutes of Health use: Stand like your going to ask your boss for a raise, preferrably wearing tighter clothing, which actually might be the way you ask for a raise but I’m not going to judge. Now drop your chin to your chest but do not lean forward. Look down. Can you see your feet? Both feet entirely? Just your toes? Or are you asking yourself ‘what feet’? There you have it. Belly fat is the only reason why any health organization should care about why carrying extra weight can be a problem. And it has nothing to do with a formula that calculates your height, weight and age.
She finishes the article with this:
Dear extra fat in my body.
You have two options:
make your way to my boobs,
That’s my daughter, yes siree. If you want to browse her site, take a look. I would probably die in one of her classes. Her addendum is this:
The simplest diet changes are just that, simple.
More protein and vegetables, less refined carbohydrates. That’s all you need to know, it’s not complicated.
Be well, Do well and Keep Moving,
206 933 1889
Comments: I’d love to hear them. Priscilla is 52, BTW, and has four teenagers. And a husband.