Scouts BMI Controversy: Fat Shame

Hello my darling fudgies!

(New article for drop of pink out this week! confidence without makeup: http://www.dropofpink.com/2013/07/24/confident-without-makeup/)

I know I have not been incredibly present on the blog or on twitter, but I am working on a little project, and I am also writing some blog posts for next fall!

Today I want to explore the recent controversy surrounding the Boy Scouts Jamboree BMI controversy http://mobile.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2013/07/boy_scout_jamboree_new_rules_based_on_body_mass_index.html). But the basic gist of their new rule is that as of this year, scouts and adult leaders with body mass indexes of 32 or higher could attend the Jamboree only after consultation with camp medical staff, and those with BMIs over 40 were banned from coming altogether.
(here is an explaining in further detail for all of you who may not know what is going on:

Now let's explore this rule from 3 perspectives: rationally, statistically, and emotionally.


 I suspect the Boy Scouts of America made this decision on with a purely rational logic. They must have assumed that by presenting a goal for the weight loss, this new rule would incite both overweight children and adults to lose weight and become healthier, which leads us to a rather substantial problem: statistics.


Time and time again, research has proven that the BMI is an inadequate measure of someone's healthy weight, and most of all their health (I will let you conduct your own research but beware: it is shocking and slightly depressing). Among these limitations, it doesn't take into consideration a person's body frame or their lean body mass (muscle). Many body builders are, by the BMI's standards, obese, and therefor in the world of Boy Scouts are not fit enough to participate in activities.

But what I find most frustrating about this new regulation are the emotional consequences.


 If all our decisions in life were taken rationally, the expected aforementioned consequences of this new rule would be 100% effective.

But we know that is not the case.
For most of the overweight population, food is a coping mechanism, much like drugs, alcohol or self harm. Their emotional reaction to struggle leads them to eat excessively.

Therefor: Will shaming and excluding members of the Boy Scouts community make them lose weight?

No; if anything, it will most likely make them eat.
If long term health is the goal, that is certainly not the way to go.

I also want to include a video by boogie2988 that really explains the vicious cycle of fat shaming

I will be writing a new article about the more general topic of childhood obesity soon.

Have an amazing Monday my loves<3


No comments:

Post a Comment