A father was shocked yesterday when he received a letter from his son’s school stating that the NHS says he’s overweight – when he clearly isn’t.
As someone who spent a long time learning about Nutrition due to being health-conscious and overweight, I can tell you why they believe he’s overweight and why they’re wrong. But first, watch Aaron’s TikTok.
I’ve got three certifications in Nutrition and one of the things I learned about Nutrition and how we calculate someone’s health is that the BMI equation is not only extremely outdated, but it’s also sexist and racist.
Anyhow, Aaron’s son was weighed and measured at school, which is common in the UK as they do this to check how populations grow and eat, etc.
His son is 119.8cms, and he’s 26.2kg – so he probably weighs less than one of my legs… But he’s been listed as overweight because the BMI states he’s overweight.
And here is the problem – the BMI equation does not accommodate children, it is designed for grown white men. It’s inherently racist as it completely dismisses other body structures commonly found in the Black community. And it’s a sexist system, too, considering it doesn’t accommodate wider body proportions for women.
It also doesn’t calculate how much fat, bone, and muscle a person has in their body. Therefore, even the slimmest and fittest of people are labelled as “fat” by the NHS computer systems.
The BMI was not supposed to be used to track whether someone is healthy or not. That’s not what it was created for. Because if it was designed for that, I’d like to think it would’ve been designed by someone with some medical knowledge rather than Adolphe Quetelet, who was a mathematician and a sociologist.
So, if you ever get a letter like this about your fit, young child – ignore it. Don’t get a letter like this and talk to your kid about how they’re “unhealthy”. Because they’re not unhealthy based on their BMI.
Don’t restrict their foods, don’t talk to your child about it, because all that’s going to do is install bad food habits in them. And that’s usually how eating disorders begin.
If you’re worried, look at what your child is eating and what activities they do. Look at how they appear. But don’t take any notice of a piece of paper with a BMI figure on it.
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