BMI = Bad Model For Increase

, , , , , | Healthy | January 7, 2019

(At the end of seventh grade, I am sent home with a letter from the school nurse stating that my BMI is too high, I’m therefore overweight, and I need to be seen by my pediatrician. My pediatrician tells my mother that since I am extremely active, my diet is healthy, and my weight gain is obviously due to an impending growth spurt, to not worry about the weight for now. Over summer break I grow five inches taller. At this point, I’m looking rather scrawny, as it happens when children have large growth spurts. When school starts back up, I get called back into the school nurse’s office. She starts questioning me as to whether everything is all right at home, how is school, am I making friends, am I getting bullied, etc. She finally gets around to the point that she believes I have an eating disorder! I start laughing.)

Me: “Are you joking? I weigh 150 pounds! You said I was fat three months ago!”

School Nurse: “There is no way you weigh 150 pounds. You’ve obviously been starving yourself to get thin. It’s not healthy to do this to yourself.”

Me: “I’m a runner and play other sports. I grew five inches taller over the summer. I haven’t lost any weight. Got a scale? I’ll prove it.”

(I got on the scale and, lo and behold, I actually weighed 155 pounds. The school nurse thought there was something wrong with it and weighed herself. She weighed me again and realized that it was correct! She couldn’t resolve in her head that at 5’4” and 155 pounds I looked underweight due to my muscle mass versus body fat percentage. She called my mother, at which point my mother yelled at her to stopped harassing me about my weight or she was going to the principal over it.)

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