The new guideline, funded by Obesity Canada, acknowledges their clinical limitations. Obesity is a complex, chronic condition that needs lifelong management.
There is a dominant cultural narrative regarding obesity that adds to the assumption about personal irresponsibility and lack of willpower. Research shows many doctors discriminate against obese patients, and that can lead to worse health outcomes.
From the 16th century to the 19th, scurvy killed around 2 million sailors, more than warfare, shipwrecks and syphilis combined. It was an ugly, smelly death, too, beginning with rattling teeth and ending with a body so rotted out from the inside that its victims could literally be startled to death by a loud noise.
BMI doesn't distinguish between body fat and muscle mass. Muscle weighs about 18 percent more than the same amount of fat. So, according to BMI, the muscled person is more overweight than a sedentary person.
BMI is also not reliable to use on elderly adults, who continue to lose muscle and bone mass with age. An overweight older adult may appear to be within a normal BMI range.
The BMI calculation is based on Caucasian body types and may not be appropriate for people of other ethnicities.
A person whose BMI indicates they are overweight or obese is generally considered unhealthy. But 2016 research suggested that this was incorrect for 75 million Americans.
Researchers found that 54 million Americans that were classed as overweight or obese were perfectly healthy when they considered the cardiometabolic measures (blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, etc.)
21 Million people were classed normal in terms of BMI, but other cardiometabolic tests indicated they were unhealthy.
If you gave a test to a million people and three-quarters of them flunked, would you attribute their failure to a lack of willpower or laziness? Or would you wonder if the test was flawed? If the test measured the ability to lose weight, the results would parallel the failure rates for Americans who are trying to reduce their girth.
Losing weight through changing what and how much you eat doesn't happen because you rationally decide to lose weight. You have to have a change of heart.
To get in touch with your motivation, think about the negative consequences of not changing as well as the positive ones. Successful individuals keep their motivation in the forefront of their minds all the time.