Friday, July 16, 2010

Coming to Your Neighborhood: 'Obesity Rating for Every American'

According to CNSNews, every American is to have electronic medical records by 2014 and new regulations mandate that those records must include BMI (body mass index).  BMI is a comparison of height to weight and will be used to rate whether a person is obese. 

Having worked in the health/fitness field for 16 years, I feel qualified to comment on this.  First, BMI is absolutely useless for certain categories of people, e.g., athletes and those who are muscular.  Body composition (the percentage of a person's weight that is fat) is a much more meaningful tool.  I've performed fitness testing on people whose BMI indicates they're obese, even though they're lean and fit.  Similarly, I've seen people whose BMI falls within the normal range, yet their body composition indicates they're too fat simply because they don't have much muscle in comparison to their body fat.  My colleagues and I called them "skinny fat people". 

This leads me to wonder:  will the current surgeon general be classified as 'obese'?  Will the "leaders" in Washington point to Barney Frank's magnificent body as one to emulate?   Will Michelle Obama's sizable buttocks and hips push her into the dreaded 'obese' category?  Will I lose sleep at night worrying about this (NO!)? 

The biggest problem here is that the government is intruding more and more into our personal lives.  With the advent of Obamacare, is it any wonder that the government feels it has a right to do so?  Will they next be telling us what we must eat, what we cannot eat, and how much we have to exercise? 

We're reaching a tipping point where the American people simply won't tolerate any more governmental regulation and intrusion.  Where will we draw the line?

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