Friday, February 13, 2004
What do baseball slugger Mark McGwire and actors Mel Gibson and Tom Cruise have in common?
They're all fat.
They may be hunky in the eyes of fans but according to the federal government's body mass index (BMI), that hunk is chunk. In other words, they have too much body fat for their height and weight.
The Department of Health and Human Services came up with the standard 10 years ago. The BMI classifies people as obese, overweight or government-approved fit, depending on a person's height and weight.
A BMI of 30 or more means you are obese. At five feet seven inches and 201 pounds, Tom Cruise scores a BMI of 31.
President Bush and basketball legend Michael Jordan are only slightly better off. According to the BMI scale they are just overweight.
Susan Bowerman, a registered dietitian at the University of California, Los Angeles, said she thinks the government has good intentions with the BMI index, and is trying to heighten awareness about proper weight for different heights.
But Angelica Jordan, a fitness trainer, said BMI is misleading.
"I don't think it shows a really accurate picture of what's going on," she said. "There are other things to consider: Your lifestyle, how much you work out, how you eat, your cardiovascular health. So, simply comparing you to other people based on your height and weight is just not accurate."
A few other BMI's: Sylvester Stallone (5-9, 228 pounds, BMI of 34) and Mel Gibson (5-9, 214 pounds, BMI of 32) are also "obese." So was Mark McGwire (6-5, 250 pounds, BMI of 30) the year he hit 70 home runs.
I laughed when I read this. There is NO WAY Tom Cruise is 5'7" and 201 lbs. unless he has gotten fat.
If Tom Cruise weighs 201 then I weigh 230.