The douchest thing I did was back in 10th grade when I told a girl she was fat. Vicky — let’s call her — was trying to lose weight although she played two sports and was at a healthy size 8. She snapped at me one day for eating in front of her. I snapped back.
“Hey, I can still fit into size 14 girl’s jeans,” I said.
All the other girls around us oohed: Vicky got pwned. It was only months later that I learned she had bulimia. Yeah, I was a real jerk.
Several Ash Wednesday confessions later, I made it my life goal to tell healthy weight people they are not fat. While 33.8 percent U.S. adults are obese according to the latest finding by the Journal of the American Medical Association, it appears the Yale student body is an exception. Looking around in my classes and the dinning halls, I doubt that one out of three Yalies is obese.
Feeling insecure still? Why not use a handy-dandy body mass index (BMI) calculator?
While BMI might not be the most accurate way to measure the level of your health, it does give a pretty good sense of where you stand. You can also try other measures such as the Waist to Hip Ratio calculator.
I like the BMI becomes it takes into account the height of each individual measured. At 5 feet and 96.6 pounds, I have a BMI at 18.9, which is within the normal weight range of 18.5-24.9. Technically I can put on 20 pounds and still be “normal weight.” In contrast, if you are 5 feet 6 and weighing 96.6 pounds, your BMI would be 15.6, in the underweight range of 18.5 and below.
Moral of the story? Not everyone can wear size 0 or fit into size 14 girls jeans. So stop buying those XS t-shirts that’s made for people like me. (It sucks when there’s only medium and large ones left over for us.) Be proud that you’re a size 6, 8, or 10! You’re not fat, you’re just normal weight.
On the other hand, if your BMI is telling you to change your lifestyle, there is plenty of good information on the Web as well. First off, ditch the old USDA food pyramid. You want a food pyramid based on scientific research rather than false information from agricultural lobbyists. Harvard School of Public Health’s Healthy Eating Pyramid is one of the best ones out there. I have been going by it since I came to Yale and haven’t gained the Freshman 15. (Note: Beer is a good group.)