April 17, 2007

Brad Pitt is Overweight and George Clooney is Obese

The past few months I’ve been trying to shed a few pounds, and I was browsing various dietary websites for information when I ran across the government’s BMI calculator. BMI stands for Body Mass Index, and the U.S. government uses BMI calculations to determine if a person is underweight, ok, overweight, obese, or clinically obese.

I am 6ft. tall and according to the BMI calculator my “normal” weight range begins at 138 lbs. Huh? I was 5 ft. 6 in. tall, eleven years old, and skinny as a pole when I last weighed 138. I would look like a holocaust refugee at 138 lbs. I knew the BMI calculations were ridiculous, but I didn’t realize how ridiculous.

BMI calculations do not take individual traits like bone structure or muscle mass into account. The World Health Organization has suggested using waist, height, and shoulder measurements, but the U.S. government says “No.” I suppose it wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but there are lunatics in our country that want to start putting a “fat” tax on foods like ice cream and food purchased at fast food restaurants based on the fact that 60 percent of Americans are overweight or obese according to the BMI charts. Are that many people overweight?

When the BMI charts were revised in 1998, 39 million Americans instantly jumped from the “normal” category into the “overweight” or “obese” category. It makes me wonder if all of the talk about how Americans are so much fatter these days is totally true. I realize Americans are fat compared to people in other countries, but I doubt there are as many fat Americans as our government is saying.

Did you know these celebrities are fat?

Overweight according to BMI

Brad Pitt
Keanu Reeves
Matt Damon
Tom Cruise
Tom Brady
Michael Jordan
Yao Ming

Obese according to BMI

George Clooney
Matt LeBlanc
Mike Tyson

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