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(CNN)   Chunky writer pens angry column over school sending "your kid's fat" letters home to parents. Fark: Because the school is using BMI as its measure, which as every Farker knows fails to account for their 6'8 frames of solid muscle   (cnn.com) divider line 41
    More: Amusing, language education, exact science, morally superior, Washington Post Writers Group, BMI, elementary schools, dyslexia, syndicated columnist  
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5745 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Sep 2013 at 1:11 PM (41 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2013-09-24 11:06:12 AM
6 votes:
His whole argument is a strawman, not all States are using BMI and BMI is a pretty good measure for most people, especially small children who are usually not hardcore athletes.

/If your two-year-old has an "obese" BMI then they're fat and you should probably be getting a visit from social services instead of a letter from the school.
2013-09-24 01:29:15 PM
4 votes:
The parents of elementary school students in 19 states -- including Arkansas, Illinois, California and Massachusetts -- are receiving letters regarding something that really isn't a school's business: their children's weight.

Stopped reading right there.  Yes, physical education is the school's business.
2013-09-24 01:20:10 PM
4 votes:
Earlier in the summer, the high rise I work in had a power failure. Back up generators did not kick on so they building was emptied.
We all had to head down the stairs to exit. No big rush.
However, on the way down we came upon the cows. Sorry if that sounds cruel, but they were.
These people were in the late 20's,30's, 40's and were out of breath walking down the stairs. None elderly and none handicapped. Just Fat.
Basically we were all trapped behind them. But given that it was a non emergency situation, it was just something to deal with on the way down.
But it makes me wonder if this had been a 9-11 situation and we were trying to get out of the building how things would have been?
Should we all have perished because this people have decided to live like they do?
Ones lifestyle choices can effect everyone.
2013-09-24 01:19:42 PM
3 votes:
I'm obese. I admit it. Wish I wasn't but I also prefer beer and wine and reefer and pizza and fine French cooking over whatever other options might be out there.

Anyhow, my son is 9 and rail thin. All his friends are pushing obesity already. You can see the little kids plumping up like Ballpark hot dogs day after day. While I don't love that schools have to be involved, anyone with kids knows that schools play a role in helping shape their children. This means they sometimes have to point out things that affect a child's health that the parents may not want to hear.

Bottom line - when the weather gets cold here, parents are reminded to dress kids appropriately so they don't freeze their plump little butts off during recess. Though you would think it's intensely obvious to any halfway sentient person that a kid needs to wear a coat when it's 25 degrees out, not all parents get it. I don't see how this is any different.
2013-09-24 12:47:52 PM
3 votes:
I get that BMI isn't a great measure for obesity, but "something that really isn't a school's business: their children's weight" is flat out wrong.  Personal healthcare is just as important to teach as academics.
2013-09-24 02:01:54 PM
2 votes:
Some parents need it. My sister was gripping the other day she got a letter about my niece being overweight. I said she could stand to lose a few pounds and my sister went on a tirade how she has asthma and can't exercise. I said she could do yoga, pilates, swimming, or any number of low impact exercising WHILE watching what she eats. My sister screamed back at me how she only lets her kids eat healthy things.

Then not four hours later she posts on Facebook how they made edible cookie-dough, monkey bread, pudding, and were having chocolate pancakes for dinner. "Just another Friday movie night!" Yup...so healthy and nutritious. Gee I just can't fathom why my niece has weight issues.

/My BIL has also been chubby his whole life, so genetics work against her.
//He also works PT a McD's which is dinner most nights when my sister is too lazy to cook
///Sister hasn't cooked dinner in two weeks that I know about.
2013-09-24 01:18:53 PM
2 votes:
Break out the calipers and start pinching the porkers. BMI isn't a good measure at all.


www.builtlean.com

/Sits between 9% and 13% depending on what phase of lifting I'm in.
2013-09-24 08:08:52 PM
1 votes:

Magorn: BMI of 31.5 and therefore "morbidly obese"


You're telling us you're built like that? Because it sounds like you're saying you're really a prize fighter and not a fatty fat fat posting on the Internet.
2013-09-24 04:46:51 PM
1 votes:
The point of BMI isn't that its a perfect measure of health.  The point is that there is a strong negative correlation between BMI and life expentancy but its inputs can be measured at home, so you can easily and accurately track it without seeing a specialist every week.  It's a 'good enough' metric for 95% of people out there.  If you really get into fitness after that, then you should be investing in a professional body fat % calculation every 3-4 months.
 And yes, my BMI is above 25.
2013-09-24 04:34:24 PM
1 votes:

TV's Vinnie: The guy is certainly a Chunk, but he's got a point. The whole BMI index racket pretty much is a distorted standard of "perfection".  It's like the way Barbie dolls make some girls feel inadequate because their body shapes don't conform to the freakishly unhealthy proportions of Barbie & Ken.


Not everyone can be a Greek marble statue with ZERO % body fat, and I sure hope not! How did they ever reproduce with tiny little peckers like that?


If you think the bolded portion is what is required to maintain a non-obese BMI, I bet you can't see your genitals if you look down.
2013-09-24 03:12:03 PM
1 votes:

Rurouni: If the human body was designed to get fat, then please explain the multitude of health issues associated with being fat.


That's just silly.

If the human body were designed to get old, then please explain the multitude of health issues associated with being old.

/not saying fat is good, just that your logic is bad
2013-09-24 03:08:37 PM
1 votes:

mike_d85: BMI also fails to account for varying sizes of genetalia. While I don't mind showing up two or three pounds overweight, some of the ladies with the boobies might have some bigger problems.


Boobs aren't "genetalia" [sic].
2013-09-24 03:02:23 PM
1 votes:

Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Rurouni: Daemonik: Personally I love the asshats who pop off with "just eat HEALTHY", as if there aren't about a billion different voices all telling you conflicting shiat about what is or isn't  healthy.

Everything that I grew up with as a kid has been declared unhealthy, then healthy again at least twice in my lifetime.  You can eat a diet that's perfectly "healthy", but completely wrong for your system and never farking know except all your life you'll blame yourself for never losing weight.  Even back in the days when food was all natural straight from the farm and every daily task involved incredible amounts of physical labor, people still managed to get fat.

Then there's going to be all the people who are shocked SHOCKED when the kids getting these fat shame letters grow up with some seriously farked up eating disorders.  Then there's going to be the developmental problems caused by some well meaning mom who cuts fat out of her preschooler's diet because of one of these fat letters, because guess what your body requires fat to function and for brain development.  We've already seen some vegan families that have done this exact thing!

Here's a truth people don't mention too often, the human body is designed to get fat.  The human body WANTS to be fat, because it's a farking survival mechanism we've relied on for the last million years or so to get through famines.

Determining what's healthy or unhealthy isn't rocket science. Anyone who buys into the hype of new fad diets is just stupid. The simplest bottom line is eat everything in moderation. Is that single piece of fried chicken going to make you fat? Probably not. Is that entire bucket of fried chicken going to make you fat? Definitely yes. It's mindbogglingly simple.

Btw your last paragraph contains the most bullshiat in your bullshiat post. If the human body was designed to get fat, then please explain the multitude of health issues associated with being fat.

The human body evolved to gain fat quickl ...


You're right: eating healthy isn't rocket science. If it's processed, it isn't healthy.

It really, truly is that simple.

Even the GMO shiat is healthier than a Hot Pocket.

Even farm-raised meat you cook at home is healthier than Whataburger.

Personally, I don't eat GMO fruit or vegetables if I can avoid it and I don't eat anything other than grass-fed beef if I can help it, but even if I do, I still feel a hundred times better physically eating fresh meals cooked at home than processed foods. Processed foods literally make me feel physically unwell and fast food (McDonalds, Wendys, Taco Bell, KFC--any and all) make me physically ill. As in nauseated and feel like I have food poisoning any time I eat them, no matter where I get them from. I guarantee that if you stop eating fast food for a couple of years and then suddenly reintroduce it to your body, it will make you sick. Because your body isn't supposed to be eating farking sawdust!! And whatever the hell else they put in that garbage. It's not hard to figure out what's healthy and it's not hard to eat healthy--it's hard to commit to spending the time to cook for yourself rather than take the quick and easy way.

And by the way, I spend about 30 minutes preparing dinner and I make enough for lunch the next day. If you want breakfast burritos or something, take an hour on a weekend, prepare them at home with free range unbleached eggs and fresh meats and vegetables, freeze them, grab one on Monday, nuke it, and eat it on the way to work. Costs less than a trip to McDonald's every day and in a week or two, you will notice that you feel physically better.
2013-09-24 02:40:36 PM
1 votes:
So it's OK that the schools
- Pick up kids on the bus
- Provide them meals at a reduced rate
- Provide counseling as needed
- Are legally required to call authorities is they suspect abuse
- Provide before school care in many cases
- Provide after school care in many cases
- Provide contraceptive awareness and in many cases devices
- Test children for a variety of issues (ADD / Speech / Learning disabilities)
- Mainstream handicapped youths

YET

They mention anything about weight and they are over reaching.  Got it
2013-09-24 02:22:19 PM
1 votes:
From his look, the photographer was probably dangling a piece of delicious bacon next to the camera when he snapped the picture:
i2.cdn.turner.com

Hopefully he was able to escape with all fingers intact.
2013-09-24 02:19:15 PM
1 votes:

rikkitikkitavi: Aigoo: Because it's freakin normal and natural for a large portion of children to carry that 'baby fat' for years. My cousins, nieces and nephews did until they were about 10-12.

Have you ever been around a child? Good God, I hope you were trolling with that, because I refuse to believe anyone could be that f*cking stupid.

"Baby fat" is usually gone in active children by 3-4 years of age.  I have three kids, and all were lean and athletic by 3. Of the 17 children that live on our street all under the age of 12, there is one age 8 that is still fat.  And he will always be fat. Because his father is fat.  And they eat like shiat.  It's not "babyfat."


You can tell the difference between an active kid still carrying fat stores that'll be gone in puberty and a fat kid who eats shiat.

Give me a farking break.

And I was referring to calling CPS on a TWO YEAR OLD.

Because that is the height of idiocy right there. But hey, you don't mind having CPS called on you for your two year old having baby fat rolls? Fine by me. Not my problem.
2013-09-24 02:08:17 PM
1 votes:
I think the problem in America is the fear of calling fat people fat.

We can call diabetics diabetic. Blind people blind.

Fat is becoming a taboo word.

Why? If someone is fat we should label them so. It is a medical condition such as diabetes.

It is perhaps the most easy disease to cure.

Stop being so sensitive fatsos. Lose weight.


/ formerly overweight... close to obese.
2013-09-24 02:06:17 PM
1 votes:
This is just like the thyroid thing... sure a couple percent of obese people have medical disorders causing it... and sure, a couple percent of people with a BMI of over 30 are actually healthy.... but the other 95+ percent are not, and as a parent raising a kid, you need to be aware of the fact that your child's weight could put them at risk for a litany of terribly problems both early on and later in life. Instead of being angry that someone told you your kid is fat, you should feel guilty that you let it get to that point in the first place. Killing your kids with McDonalds is no better than killing them with any other poison.
2013-09-24 01:58:58 PM
1 votes:

Voiceofreason01: His whole argument is a strawman, not all States are using BMI and BMI is a pretty good measure for most people, especially small children who are usually not hardcore athletes.

/If your two-year-old has an "obese" BMI then they're fat and you should probably be getting a visit from social services instead of a letter from the school.


Are you nuts? A two year old? Really?

"Baby fat" does exist. In fact, all babies are little roly-polies. Chunker dunks. Porkers. Most toddlers are too. Because that fat protects them when they fall. Not if. When.

Because the little ankle-biters don't gain coordination until, oh, about 5 or so. If they're lucky. My landlord's kid is 6 and he still has his baby fat. I didn't gain that coordination until about 12--which, incidentally, is when I lost--naturally--that fat I carried since I was a little baby. Literally, over the summer, grew out of it and gained about 4 inches of height. Ate my poor grandfather out of house and home, poor guy had to buy me an entire new wardrobe, and my mother and father barely recognized me when they came to see me.

Because it's freakin normal and natural for a large portion of children to carry that 'baby fat' for years. My cousins, nieces and nephews did until they were about 10-12.

Have you ever been around a child? Good God, I hope you were trolling with that, because I refuse to believe anyone could be that f*cking stupid.
2013-09-24 01:58:16 PM
1 votes:

Willas Tyrell: TechnoHead: Funny like it never is a thin person saying "BMI is bullshiat, I am NOT TOO THIN".

I got one of these letters for my son, putting his BMI at under 1% (too thin) and suggesting that I take him to his pediatrician. We freaked out for a bit, set up the appointment, and then watched his doctor roll her eyes and ask if we'd gotten a letter from the school. He's fine, and I'm annoyed enough to say that BMI is BS, and my son is not too thin.

Magorn: ...frankly the BMI was invented by a group of UN scientists who were pushing a "sustainability" agenda which posits that smaller humans use less resources.

Whatever you think about BMI it was invented about 100 years before the UN came into existence. That's part of the problem - it was a back of the envelope calculation from before the US civil war, and ignores everything we've learned since.


I'll agree that it's inaccurate on an individual basis, but think of it as a cheap, easy first screener. The doctor did exactly what he/she should have, but out of every N kids they roll their eyes for, they might catch one kid who needs help (e.g. A serious food intolerance, neglect, kidney failure, etc.).

A more exact test would lower the N, but would cost more.
2013-09-24 01:51:56 PM
1 votes:
We have better methods, and we should be using them. We did use some of them, once upon a time, and seem to have switched only to save a couple of cents and a tiny bit of time. A better solution would be to use BMI as an initial screen, and then run real tests on the people whose BMI shows a red flag.

But it is true that most of the BMI-detractors are in denial about their own weight. I'm not: my BMI is out of whack, but I am in fact overweight (previously athletic, now out of shape). At the same time, this is a reflection of a society enamored with easy numbers, accuracy be damned, over the performing the work required to actually test people. Which may be part of what got us here in the first place.
2013-09-24 01:48:06 PM
1 votes:

mediablitz: Schools can't afford foreign language courses, sports programs or music classes. But they found funds for dieticians?

Yes, they did. Sorry your kid isn't "big boned".


My kids elementary school teaches Spanish and Mandarin. My Jr. High daughter just started band class. He should move to a better neighborhood.
2013-09-24 01:46:43 PM
1 votes:

you have pee hands: It's just going to confuse people when it turns out a BMI of 22 is actually fat as hell when you're three and a half feet tall.

/bmi = (height^2) / weight
//turns out humans aren't really two dimensional


You've inverted the BMI formula.

Also, your horizontal cross-section _is_ two dimensional. Think about how the square-cube law works, and you'll see why it's height squared.
2013-09-24 01:40:36 PM
1 votes:

TV's Vinnie: The guy is certainly a Chunk, but he's got a point. The whole BMI index racket pretty much is a distorted standard of "perfection".  It's like the way Barbie dolls make some girls feel inadequate because their body shapes don't conform to the freakishly unhealthy proportions of Barbie & Ken.


Not everyone can be a Greek marble statue with ZERO % body fat, and I sure hope not! How did they ever reproduce with tiny little peckers like that?


America: where no kids are fat anymore. Where there are no stupid or dumb kids. Where there are no losers. Everyone is "differently-abled!"
2013-09-24 01:39:00 PM
1 votes:
Funny like it never is a thin person saying "BMI is bullshiat, I am NOT TOO THIN".

/stop stuffing your face, asshat
//stop stuffin your kids' faces
2013-09-24 01:38:17 PM
1 votes:
Because internet.

img545.imageshack.us
2013-09-24 01:35:17 PM
1 votes:

TV's Vinnie: The guy is certainly a Chunk, but he's got a point. The whole BMI index racket pretty much is a distorted standard of "perfection".  It's like the way Barbie dolls make some girls feel inadequate because their body shapes don't conform to the freakishly unhealthy proportions of Barbie & Ken.


Not everyone can be a Greek marble statue with ZERO % body fat, and I sure hope not! How did they ever reproduce with tiny little peckers like that?


We're not talking about achieving perfection, we're talking about a nation where 30% of kids are obese, not just overweight, obese, many of them morbidly so. We need to get off of operation snowflake and pretending everything our kids do is great, and start doing some frickin parenting. A few well built kids might have their parents get letters, and if I had a kid and got that letter, I'd do some evaluating of my own, but I'd certainly be able to take a realistic look at whether or not my kid was a football player or a Dungeons and Dragons player with some Mountain Dew in one hand and Doritos in the other.
2013-09-24 01:33:18 PM
1 votes:

Girl Sailor: I'm obese. I admit it. Wish I wasn't but I also prefer beer and wine and reefer and pizza and fine French cooking over whatever other options might be out there.

Anyhow, my son is 9 and rail thin. All his friends are pushing obesity already. You can see the little kids plumping up like Ballpark hot dogs day after day. While I don't love that schools have to be involved, anyone with kids knows that schools play a role in helping shape their children. This means they sometimes have to point out things that affect a child's health that the parents may not want to hear.

Bottom line - when the weather gets cold here, parents are reminded to dress kids appropriately so they don't freeze their plump little butts off during recess. Though you would think it's intensely obvious to any halfway sentient person that a kid needs to wear a coat when it's 25 degrees out, not all parents get it. I don't see how this is any different.


Problem is nobody who calls themselves a "dietician" or "Nutritionist" honestly has the first freaking clue about wy kids are getting fat or how to help them lose weight.

I used to be gigantically fat, and I'm not now, and to get from there to here I basically had to ignore every bit of conventional wisdom on how to lose weight to do it.   Years of hard-core calroie restriction and daily exercise was getting me fatter.  Stopping counting anything but carbs, and eating as much fat and protien as I wanted made me lose 100 lbs in 3 months.

Not only are humans getting fatter, but so are domestic animals AND Laboratory animals.   That's not a lack of willpower, that's clearly something enviromental.  My money is on either evironmental estrogens, or Hgh Fructose corn Syrup.   HFCS defenders claim it is identical calorically to sugar but lab experiement after lab experiment  show mice getting fatter with it than fed an indentical diet of sugar.   And this makes sense, because Calories do not determine weight gain (especially fat gain) your INSULIN RESPONSE to the calories consumed does.  and it is entirely possible that the tace chemical structures in NCFS allow them to be asorbed from gut to bloodstream faster than regularl sugar (celiac's disease does the same thing for wheat gluten) causing greater insulin reactions and higher weight gain.
2013-09-24 01:33:01 PM
1 votes:
Holy- that guy is a nationally syndicated columnist?? That thing read like the whiny "why we shouldn't have a dress code" papers everyone seemed to churn when we were being taught persuasive writing in 7th grade!
2013-09-24 01:31:38 PM
1 votes:
So, he didn't complain about the eye exams, the scoliosis checks, the hearing checks...but as soon as somebody points out that yes, his chubbo is obese from daily McDonald's and KFC? I WILL KILL YOU ALL!!!

And I'm sorry, I'm one of those examples of somebody who's simply not able to use BMI (I'm 6'1", 280, and optimal weight is about 250 for me), but I'll be the first to say that BMI is perfectly acceptable for an 8-year-old...hell, until WELL into adolescence, when some rare boys will start to become ridiculously athletic, it's a perfectly fine measurement.

//Why yes, I do look like a brick with arms, why do you ask?
2013-09-24 01:29:46 PM
1 votes:

TV's Vinnie: The guy is certainly a Chunk, but he's got a point. The whole BMI index racket pretty much is a distorted standard of "perfection".  It's like the way Barbie dolls make some girls feel inadequate because their body shapes don't conform to the freakishly unhealthy proportions of Barbie & Ken.


Not everyone can be a Greek marble statue with ZERO % body fat, and I sure hope not! How did they ever reproduce with tiny little peckers like that?


I can believe it's not a great measure of overall health, but a "distorted standard of perfection"?

A few years back I had a BMI of 30.5, which is borderline obese.  I was fat.

I'm now at a BMI of 23.6.  This is technically normal (18.5-25)  I'm *still* a bit overweight- my body fat % according to my scale is about 18.5 which is right in the correct range for my age (47), but I could easily lose another 5 pounds.  BMI certainly doesn't force you to be a skeleton
2013-09-24 01:28:50 PM
1 votes:

InfrasonicTom: the_end_is_rear: Earlier in the summer, the high rise I work in had a power failure. Back up generators did not kick on so they building was emptied.
We all had to head down the stairs to exit. No big rush.
However, on the way down we came upon the cows. Sorry if that sounds cruel, but they were.
These people were in the late 20's,30's, 40's and were out of breath walking down the stairs. None elderly and none handicapped. Just Fat.
Basically we were all trapped behind them. But given that it was a non emergency situation, it was just something to deal with on the way down.
But it makes me wonder if this had been a 9-11 situation and we were trying to get out of the building how things would have been?
Should we all have perished because this people have decided to live like they do?
Ones lifestyle choices can effect everyone.


Butbutbut that's so anti-body acceptance.


I have friends here that are big. They are never going to be skinny.
With that being said. In my mind, they are still fitter that a lot of people.
And they are out doing what they can.
Any they were not the ones blocking the stairwell.
2013-09-24 01:23:03 PM
1 votes:
Bmi for the average adult is a great tool, but it's really touchy with children, as the ideal changes constantly with age. Kids born premature may be small for their age until after puberty. You also have kids who chub up a little right before a growth spurt and then become beanpoles. That being said, the school has every obligation to let you know your kid is too fat. Bmi is just kinder than "Timmy has love handles and waddles during dodgeball."
2013-09-24 01:22:51 PM
1 votes:

the_end_is_rear: Earlier in the summer, the high rise I work in had a power failure. Back up generators did not kick on so they building was emptied.
We all had to head down the stairs to exit. No big rush.
However, on the way down we came upon the cows. Sorry if that sounds cruel, but they were.
These people were in the late 20's,30's, 40's and were out of breath walking down the stairs. None elderly and none handicapped. Just Fat.
Basically we were all trapped behind them. But given that it was a non emergency situation, it was just something to deal with on the way down.
But it makes me wonder if this had been a 9-11 situation and we were trying to get out of the building how things would have been?
Should we all have perished because this people have decided to live like they do?
Ones lifestyle choices can effect everyone.


Hmm, sounds like they would be soft to land on.
2013-09-24 01:14:53 PM
1 votes:
Schools can't afford foreign language courses, sports programs or music classes. But they found funds for dieticians?

They've even started wasting our tax dollars on head lice inspections.  Last I checked, head lice inspections aren't in the Constitution.
2013-09-24 01:14:14 PM
1 votes:
Ruben Navarrette

farm4.staticflickr.com

This guy has written so many (terribly-written) articles trying to defend illegal immigrants.
2013-09-24 01:08:29 PM
1 votes:
"He's not fat, he's just big boned!"

/hated hearing that as a kid
2013-09-24 12:49:30 PM
1 votes:
Yea, like I'm going to take health advice from a man named after a corned beef sandwich
2013-09-24 11:29:09 AM
1 votes:
So, your principal says you're fat. Well, I ain't down with that.
2013-09-24 11:10:14 AM
1 votes:
i2.cdn.turner.com
So goddamn fat that even his head wouldn't fit into frame!
Geesh!
2013-09-24 11:08:20 AM
1 votes:
Schools can't afford foreign language courses, sports programs or music classes. But they found funds for dieticians?

Yes, they did. Sorry your kid isn't "big boned".
 
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