BMI or Body Mass Index is widely used to determine if someone is underweight, normal, obese, etc. Basically, BMI takes your weight and your height and nothing else and uses that to determine how fat you are as a basis of how “healthy” you are. The thing is, it doesn’t take into consideration muscle mass (which weighs much more than fat), or the plethora of other risk factors that have to do with health issues like heart problems or high cholesterol.*
When I was a kid, BMI was always the first order of business in school. Throughout junior high and high school, I was always stuck in the “obese” category, despite being on the volleyball team and walking home from school every day. As a pseudo-shy kid who already had to endure endless jokes about being short, I definitely didn’t need another reason to be dissatisfied with my body. I don’t care what all those scary news items say about how “morbid obesity is rampant among today’s youth” no kid should have to feel like their “too fat” to do what they want to do or be what they want to be. If you’re oh-so-concerned about your kid being unhealthy or lazy, take them to the park, get involved with them, make a vegetarian quesadilla or something, but don’t you dare call your kid fat as some twisted incentive to get them to go on a diet. Change your family’s diet, sure, include a couple more veggies in tonights soup. Make sure your family is healthy by all means, but if your kid is healthy and still fat, it’s not the end of the world.
Don’t try to guilt-trip them into thinking they are somehow lesser than the “thinner” kid down the street.
Tell your girls that they are beautiful, tell your boys that they are quite handsome young lads, and really mean it. Then go and look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are beautiful or quite handsome and really mean it, because the way that you look at yourself is going to be reflected in the way that your kids look at themselves as they grow.
*Go here to see an interesting slideshow about BMI.
Ps: I just found this link.