Friday, February 25
While studying about Theoretical Definitions I came across this:
A recent effect of differing theoretical definitions occurred when millions of Americans went from normal to overweight in a day's time. The change in the theoretical definition of "overweight" was based on new theories put forth by the National Institutes of Health suggesting greater risks than originally believed. The government then changed the operational definition of "overweight" to "having a BMI over 25" (rather than 27 for women and 28 for men). Changing our understanding of when someone is "overweight" put several million more in that category, even though they had not actually gained or lost any weight.
- from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theoretical_definition
I knew it! I knew something was up about this 'we are all now obese' thing. After teaching school for 7 years I tried to find these obese children everyone was talking about and I did NOT see them. There were a great many normal sized children (several post-puberty children who were larger because of puberty!), but mostly they were inactive and sedentary children, not obese. This change is the reason we all became obese over night.
Don't even get me started on the outrageousness of measuring the health of a person based on a chart created in the 1830's. Has anyone taken into account that we are taller, broader, and have more muscle mass? A National Health group changed this but did they take any modern genetic changes in human structure into consideration? I do agree that as a more sedentary people, we will see the consequences of no longer threshing wheat in a field as we age with potentially increased health problems, but even when I was playing college basketball, working out 2.5 hours a day, I was still at the highest number allowable in the 'average' category for my height and size. No matter what I do as a woman in her 30's (creeping towards 40's) I cannot be as small as I was post-puberty and in my early 20's. People gain weight as they age, deal. (This BMI crap, lost me several athletic awards in junior high and high school as I was considered 'unhealthy' by my teachers.) BMI scale (and those damn callipers) drive me mental!!!!!
These health professionals need to do more studies to take into consideration modern day changes on the human form. My ancestors were pioneers remember! If they did not get bigger, stronger and more muscular they would have died along with the other skinny, little Europeans who did not make it through their first, second or third Canadian winter. I noticed the size difference between me, a Canadian woman, and the majority of European people in the countries I visited. The only country where people were even near my size was The Netherlands. In this country I felt normal rather than the like a big, friendly Canadian giant.
BMI a limited and out-dated measure of health.
Who wants to do their PhD and change the system that has suddenly labelled so many of us obese?
Sadly, those who are truly obese are caught in a society in which prejudice is encouraged as we laugh at the fat loser in movies, allow 'professionals' to yell and scream at people trying to lose weight on 'reality' shows, and reinforce the belief that nothing is worse than being fat as these people are lazy, stupid and out of control. Those are however social stereotypes and issues I shall discuss another time.