What terrors, eh?

Europe’s growing obesity crisis will see almost three-quarters of men and two-thirds of women in the UK being overweight in 15 years, health experts have said.

Yes, that is just “overweight” there. BMI of more than 25.

28 comments on “What terrors, eh?

  1. I don’t think they’ve realised hardly anyone’s listening (outside of fakecharities & rentseeking quangos) anymore…

  2. I have a BMI of over 25. Because I have vast, wide shoulders that make buying shirts and jackets difficult.

    Someone my height and weight but with not such abnormal proportions would indeed be a bit on the chunky side.

  3. Because I have vast, wide shoulders that make buying shirts and jackets difficult.

    Also, infiltrating buildings via the air conditioning ducts.

  4. Public health attracts a number if people:
    Sociopaths who don’t like patients and human contact; thickoes who can’t master clinical medicine; statists who think a stroke of a ministerial pen (and more money) will cure all human ills.

  5. JuliaM
    May 6, 2015 at 7:29 am

    I don’t think they’ve realised hardly anyone’s listening (outside of fakecharities & rentseeking quangos) anymore…

    The problem is that we are just about to elect 635 people to positions where the have power and influence over the way we are allowed to lead our lives. Sadly the vast majority of them will be falling over themselves to ingratiate themselves with the fake charities and rent seeking quangos and will want to “do something”.

    As we all know in these parts this doing something will involve severely restricting our freedom of choice, or as our host would say, choosing our own path from majority to grave.

  6. “Also, infiltrating buildings via the air conditioning ducts.”

    Yes, it did somewhat exclude certain career choices.

  7. I can’t help noticing that, as average BMI has been rising, so has life expectancy. I also often note, when reading popular health stories, that many of our leading public health experts consider correlation = causation, so I suggest you all get on the pies now.

  8. ”Europe’s growing obesity crisis will see almost three-quarters of men and two-thirds of women in the UK being overweight in 15 years, health experts have said.”

    Not surprising really with 50 million people reliant on two pounds of lard a day from UK foodbanks.

  9. I’ve been obese (BMI > 30) for years, hasn’t stopped me doing the London Triathlon, the Rome marathon and assorted half marathons and 10ks over the years.

    I’ ve a resting heart rate of 45.

    I’ve got big bones, a big hands, big feet and depleted uranium testicles, and those statist controlling cunts can fuck right off.

  10. If 75% are overweight, what will that do for child poverty? Does it mean that starving waifs will have a BMI above “normal”?

  11. Chris Snowden has already debunked this, several times over. As others have said it is no more than a naked power grab by those who would rule over every aspect of our lives.

  12. By the present criteria I am obese. But the last time I flew I had no trouble fitting my arse into the seat, or buckling my seatbelt: the problem was lack of room at shoulder height. Usually I also have serious problems with leg room.

    My chest is big too. In other words, though I am undoubtedly a fatty, the BMI measure is ill suited to my shape. Perhaps it is suitable for more (how shall I put this?) gracile men.

    Anyway, if your aim is to live long and proposer, the BMI classifications are rubbish: the “overweight” do better than the “normal”.

  13. Indeed, Chris Snowden has pointed out he debunked this story about a year ago when it was published in the same paper under the same byline in all but the same words…

  14. Dieticians and nutritionists struggling for relevance and money. Mostly money.

    Gamecock’s cure for obesity: Don’t eat so damn much.™

  15. “I’ve got big bones, a big hands, big feet and depleted uranium testicles”

    Applauds!

    Incidently, that resting heart rate: The last time I was in hospital, they wired me up to a heart monitor overnight. As I dozed off, my heart rate went below sixty and the alarm went off waking me and all the other sick people in the ward. (And of course, sending my heart rate through the roof.)

    Eventually, one of the nurses would stop gossiping and wander over to reset the alarm, thus starting the whole process again.

    I did point out that my resting heart rate was below the machine’s limit and that it might help all the other patients if she adjusted the setting, but she didn’t seem to have the knowledge or authority to do this.

    Eventually she switched off the monitor and we all managed to get a bit of kip – until the demented old guy in the corner began ranting in a very loud voice.

    Ah, the envy of the world.

  16. BMI may be a useful measure at population level, for comparison purposes, but it’s really rather a stupid metric for individuals and only a chuff-wit would be directed it. I have short legs. If my legs were in better proportion to my torso I would be in a different BMI category. My gut would be just as bulging but I would somehow be in a healthier state. This is the sort of garbage you get when humanities graduates try to do science.

    If they want to accelerate the process of ‘obesitisation’ (neologism ahoy !) the health nazis will simply revise the ‘healthy’ BMI limit downwards. That’s what they did the last time anti-obesity funding looked like it might start to dry up.

  17. The BMI is complete junk because it divides weight, proportional to the volume of the guy/gal by the square of the height as a proxy for the area of a life-sized photograph.
    So, as the population gets taller, more people will be categorised as overweight/obese regardless of what happens in reality.
    I must add my congratuilations to BiI – when I was a lot younger I ran some marathons but with a BMI under 18, sometimes raised to 18.9 at the start (back under 18 at the end) by carbo-loading, it was a lot easier on my feet than on his. [I’ve put on over 30% of my fit bodyweight and had to buy new trousers and suits to cope with my “spare tyre” since I gave up marathons and I am still categorised as “normal”, which shows that the BMI categories are junk.]
    The BMI nonsense works at the other end too but less so as people get taller. I really resented being sent for a medical in the early 1980s when I wanted to top up my life assurance cover (after Wilson/Healey had worse than halved the value of my existing policies) because some box-ticker, whom I outranked, in my own firm deemed me to be a high-risk individual because I was “underweight” despite my coming second (to a young actuary) in the firm’s half-marathon team. Trivial, I know, but really really annoying.

  18. Yes, kg/m^2 is a useful metric for things like floor loading but it’s bugger-all good as a measure of fitness. I suppose its merit lies in the fact that even innumerate medicos can derive it after a few goes with a pocket calculator.

  19. BMI was actually invented by Adolphe Quetelet, who originally was an astronomer but became fascinated by the normal distribution and developed a somewhat obsessive philosophy that the ideal man is the statistically average man. He organised the first ever international statisticians conference, very much with the intention that statistics would be the means of State control of the newly emerging modern, “scientific” societies of the West. Hmmm.

  20. “I have short legs. If my legs were in better proportion to my torso I would be in a different BMI category.”

    BMI discriminates aganist ducks!

    But seriously, if you’re a shortarse you can be quite chunky before hitting 25BMI, but if you’re 6’4 and anything but a waif you’re over it in a heartbeat.

    Apologies for being all Eurotrash and metric, but I’m 180cm (a nice round 5’11” in old money) and 85-88kg depending on beer consumption. My ideal self-image has me at the 78kg I was 15+ years ago, but a) you could see my ribs, and b) I tried to get back down that far a few years back but I just felt so rotten trying to shed that I couldn’t function properly at my job. So f*ck it.

  21. @ Ian B
    Quetelet invented an index but he proposed height to the power of 2.5 not 2, so he does not deserve the blame for the misuse of kg/square metre as a measure.

  22. @abacab
    “if you’re a shortarse you can be quite chunky before hitting 25BMI, but if you’re 6’4 and anything but a waif you’re over it in a heartbeat”
    Surely you’ve got that arse about face ? At any given weight the taller you are the lower your BMI. The effect of a beer gut (of any given size) on BMI would therefore be larger on a shortarse than a lankster. Or a meringue ?

  23. If someone 6′ is just a 1.2× scale model of someone 5′ then their BMI will be 1.2× as well (mass goes like the cube of the scale factor). Someone 5′ (152.4cm) and 58kg has a BMI of 25. Someone 6′ (182.9cm) and 83.6kg has a BMI of 25. That’s 9 stone 2 for the 5′ guy and 13 stone 2 for the six footer. If you’re six foot three and 14 stone 4 BMI says you’re a fatty. Upshot: tall, lanky people will have sub-25 BMIs but tall, robust people, even fit and healthy ones, will not. It’s a rubbish metric.

  24. “At any given weight the taller you are the lower your BMI.”

    At any given weight, indeed. At 6’6″ you’re definitely not a fatty at 80kg, but at 4’11” you definitely are.

    The problem is that typically weight scales with height – weight of bones, muscles to support them and so on. And the BMI formula doesn’t account for this well at all, meaning that for a given degree of fattitude, a shorter person has a lower BMI than a taller person.

    And it doesn’t account for people (like me) with broad frames (who get disadvantaged), or people like my mate who has slender girlish shoulders (who get privileged).

  25. I’ve just used the BBC BMI calculator on the fittest guy I ever knew (and I have competed with a remarkable lack of success against more than a dozen Olympians, not all of them ex-) who was Captain of Boxing at Oxford, having previously been Californian Wrestling Champion: it says
    “Your BMI is 25.0, this is in the Overweight range. With a BMI of 25 to 29.9 many people may only notice they are overweight when their clothes get tighter – by then the excess weight you’re carrying will already have silently started to damage your blood vessels, hormone system and joints, raising your risk of diseases such as:
    Heart disease
    High blood pressure
    Diabetes
    Arthritis
    Infertility
    Asthma
    Cancer”
    BMI became fashionable as means of estimating the amount of excess body fat: Bill wasn’t carrying an ounce of fat on him during the boxing season.

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