The Body Mass Index (BMI) is by far the most ridiculous system for gaging a person’s level of obesity. Before I dive into the specifics of why this system is unrealistic, antiquated and most importantly, deceiving, I want to include my own experience as a means of comparison.
My current height is 5’11”. And I decided to use my starting weight of 206.2 lbs. for comparison purposes. These were my results when I plugged in the data to the BMI calculator:
According to the BMI calculator, I fall under the category of overweight. How is this classification accurate? Often the word “overweight” is synonymously associated with the real f-word, “fat”. I know I have some weight to lose, but I am definitely not fat. And anyway, why is there such a negative stigma attached to the word “overweight”?
According to this medical infographic, I would have to maintain a BMI of 18.5-24.9 to be considered “normal”. To be honest, I have never been called normal in my entire life. But for argument’s sake, let’s assume I wanted to achieve a “normal” classification on the BMI chart. Below is the result I would have to achieve in order to fall below the “overweight” category:
In order to be considered normal in the land of BMI, I would have to lose almost 30 pounds. Short of cutting off an arm or leg, I do not believe there is a healthy way for me to lose that much weight.
This is the BS of BMI, and life in general. Unrealistic expectations are placed on people to conform to an antiquated ideal of perfection, based on society’s perception of normal and beautiful. The Body Mass Index is a shining example of perceived perfection. Gross.