This week the news is flooded with blurbs announcing how much more obesity exists in America, than it did in 1995. To listen to the statistics, it is certainly sad and frustrating. Mitch asked a great question at VFT dinner last night, “has the definition of obesity changed since the 90s. I wasn’t sure of the answer, but I remember Dr. Oz talking about how definitions get broadened to include a greater number of people. He spoke about this with regard to numbers such as cholesterol, reminding us to be wary of broader definitions, as an effort to put more people on medication. This particular episode focused on the dirty secrets that pharmaceutical companies do not want us to know.
This morning I looked at some of my old (from the dinosaur era) health and fitness manuals and couldn’t even find much more about the body mass index (BMI) than a vague definition. While doing some research online, I found that in 1998 the U.S. government changed the standards by which BMI is measured. As a result of this change, about 30million Americans were shifted from a “government approved weight” to the obese category, without gaining a single ounce.
So when we hear that Americans are fatter than ever, are they really? I would love to think we keep tweaking the weight charts to encourage better health, but more likely it is to allow a greater number of people to 1) get weight loss medication or 2) be eligible for drastic weight loss surgery.
I believe it takes more than ONE tool to accurately assess our bodies. While I am generally great with what the tape measure says, the scale makes me cry. When I calculate my BMI, I feel that it is on the high side, but doesn’t take into consideration how much of my weight is muscle.
Of course obesity remains a huge health issue and one that none of us should take “lightly.” By the same token, our society has such a compulsion with attempting to be the “perfect” (there is NO such thing as perfect, remember?) weight, that this week’s news will just serve to make some people a little more compulsive.
I truly believe that we are getting the message. A healthy weight is an incredibly important component of our overall wellness. Bullying us into trying to make us believe things are worse than they are, should at least come with a disclosure.
Have a great Friday. As always, I apologize for any typing, spelling or grammar errors…I barely have enough time for a first draft in the morning, let alone an edited version! But I know you can all read through my errors and get the message. Thanks 🙂 Much love.