An Eighth Grader's Spot-On Definition of BMI Is Going Viral


An Indiana eighth grader asked to define body mass index on a take home assignment ended up schooling everyone with her answer. 

In her response, the student took issue with the outdated mode of measurement, and said that she refused to let an equation tell her she was obese when her doctor was telling her she was healthy.

How could someone who stays fit, eats healthy, and has a low metabolism be in danger of heart disease and diabetes? Oh, that's right, because she isn't in danger of obesity and heart disease. This woman is active and healthy and she is the furthest thing from obese. In conclusion, BMI is an outdated way of determining a person's body health, and it's a measurement that should not be used in a school setting where students are already self-conscious and lacking confidence in their unique bodies.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the BMI equation divides weight by square of the height to assess whether or not an individual has a healthy percentage of "body fatness." 

Much has been written in recent years on the unreliability of BMI as an indicator of things like health or level of fitness, and the eighth grader nails it in her response. 

James MacLeod, who wrote on Facebook that he is friends with the student's parents, initially tipped Upworthy off to the story. In a post about the incident, MacLeod wrote that despite being a "strong and muscled athlete," the student responsible for the viral answer has a BMI considered "obese."

In her response, the student reveals that she has struggled with her weight in the past, and claims that during a conversation about body insecurity earlier this year, her doctor had given her a clean bill of health.

Now, I'm not going to even open my laptop to calculate my BMI. And I'll tell you why. Ever since I can remember, I've been a "bigger girl" and I'm completely fine with that; I'm strong and powerful. When you put a softball or a bat in my hand, they are considered lethal weapons. But, at the beginning of the year, I started having very bad thoughts when my body was brought into a conversation. I would wear four bras to try and cover up my back fat, and I would try to wrap ace bandages around my stomach so I would look skinnier. So my lovely mother did what any parent would do when they noticed something wrong with her child, she took me to my doctor. My doctor and I talked about my diet and how active I am.

The student concluded her answer with a badass quip about self love, effectively telling everyone to mind their own business when it comes to her body.

"I am just beginning to love my body, like I should, and I'm not going to let some outdated calculator and a middle school gym teacher tell me I'm obese, because I'm not," she said. "My BMI is none of your concern because my body and BMI are perfect and beautiful just the way they are."

From the mouths of babes.