Fat or fit?

This nine-year-old — 4-foot-1 and 66 pounds — is overweight, according to a “Fitnessgram” sent home by her Staten Island school. “I was like, ‘Oh, my God! Why did I get this?’” Gwendolyn Williams said.

Photo: New York Post, Stephen Yang.

Photo: New York Post, Stephen Yang.

 Nearly a third of the world’s population is overweight or obese, according to a new report. The rate for children is up by 47 percent from 1980 to 2013.  About 23 percent of children in developed countries were found to be overweight or obese. Even in poor countries, there are more overweight kids.

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  1. Elizabeth says:

    Good grief! Kids do grow/develop at different rates – I was chubby especially through puberty- so was my brother. My sister was very thin – funny, as adults, my brother has been thin, my sister and myself slender to average.

    These idiots will span a generation of kids with eating disorders – just cut out the junk food for these kids- especially sodas and fried chips. Make them walk/bike, etc.

  2. Nicole Gothgen says:

    The best part of this is – if you look at BMI tables (which are lousy to begin with), this child’s BMI is 19. Which is in the normal range of 18.5-24.9.

    Looking at the report on the article in the Post – they listed her as overweight based on the fact she is in the 88th percentile for her age for weight. It doesn’t use any other criteria, just percentile for weight.


  3. The school is definitely using the word “overweight” incorrectly. The “overweight/obese/morbidly obese” terms were created by plotting heart disease, strokes, etc on a grid of height vs weight. The researchers found that the prevalence of medical issues tended to correlate with how far above average the patient’s weight was. A certain range that showed many deaths was called the “morbidly obese” region. Regions with many medical problems but fewer deaths was called “obese”. And so on.

    8-year-old 66-pound girls were not included in the statistical study because they don’t have heart disease, strokes, etc. The charts cannot be magically extrapolated to cover this girl. Any claim of “overweight” for an 8-year-old is pure BS.

  4. Tar and feathers. Any program automated enough to evaluate a whole school full of kids is automated enough to make plenty of mistakes. Any fool should realize by now that BMI is too imprecise a tool to be used in an automated evaluation.

    These school administrators not only seem to have no shame, but no smarts either. These are the exact same people who will later wail and moan about the inappropriate body image messages society sends to girls.

    • Mark Roulo says:

      Actually, the 1972 paper that introduced the term ‘body mass index’ (the concept was quite a bit older) makes it clear that it is only applicable to populations. Which it probably is. Using it to evaluate individuals is a mistake. That folks keep making again and again and …

  5. Hey, aren’t we suppose to not make young girls self conscious about their weight? It that “thing” over and now it’s open season?

  6. Ann in L.A. says:

    As a parent of an *underweight* kid, these things drive us crazy. Everything is geared towards keeping kids weight down. He goes to camp and isn’t allowed to drink a glass of milk until he’s drunk a glass of water, because that’s what the heavier kids need.

  7. The BMI is of no use in children, a better measurement would be a body fat analysis done in a professional setting (hydrostatic weighing), etc.

    They wonder why young girls and women have such issues with body image anymore?