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Obesity rates in America are rapidly climbing. As of 2014, more than 37% of adults are categorized as obese– an increase of nearly 3% since 2006.

To determine obesity rates, the CDC continues to utilize an unreliable, 200-year-old method called the Body Mass Index, or BMI. The value relies strictly upon height and weight to measure the amount of body fat a person has. This number is then used to determine which of the following categories an individual falls into: underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.

This is problematic because it fails to take into account the ratio of fat to muscle, as well as the bone structure of an individual. For example, calculating body mass this way means that professional basketball player, LeBron James, who is 6'8", 249 lbs. would have a BMI of 27.4, thus classifying him as overweight.

Relying solely upon this method for determining obesity means that people are being misdiagnosed, and vital medical statistics are rendered inaccurate. In fact, according to FiveThirtyEight, 47% of people were classified as overweight when relying upon BMI. However, 29% of those who qualified as obese were actually considered healthy when using other metrics.

The true injustice of continuing to use BMI as an indicator of obesity is that, under the Affordable Care Act, employers medically screening their workforce are able to penalize their employees for being obese, as insurance premiums are actually allowed to increase.

Despite glaring problems with this method, the CDC continues to rely upon the BMI. We must urge them to do away with this outdated tool, and call for physical fitness to be measured by something much more accurate and reflective of the medical progress that has been made in the last 200 years.

Sign the petition below to urge the CDC to stop using the Body Mass Index as a measure of physical fitness.

Sign Here






To Thomas R. Frieden, Director of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

I am writing to urge you to develop and implement a better method for measuring physical fitness than the Body Mass Indicator (BMI).

Obesity rates appear to be climbing, and as of 2014, nearly 38% of American adults fell into this category. These statistics are based on values yielded by the BMI. Because the BMI does not account for the dimensionality of the human body it is an unreliable indicator of body fat.

This means that individuals are being falsely categorized as obese.

Relying solely upon this method for determining obesity means that people are being misdiagnosed, and vital medical statistics are rendered inaccurate. In fact, according to FiveThirtyEight, 47% of people were classified as overweight when relying upon BMI. However, 29% of those who qualified as obese were actually considered healthy when using other metrics.

This is unacceptable. And it's not without severe consequences.

The true injustice of continuing to use BMI as an indicator of obesity is that, under the Affordable Care Act, employers medically screening their workforce are able to penalize their employees for being obese, as insurance premiums are actually allowed to increase.

Director, I urge you to stop utilizing the Body Mass Index to determine obesity rates, as it is inaccurate and outdated. Further, please develop and implement a method that accurately accounts for the many factors that contribute to physical fitness. We deserve to have an informed picture of our health, both as individuals and a nation.

Sincerely,

Petition Signatures


Dec 3, 2017 Amber Lopez
Dec 2, 2017 robin karlsson
Dec 1, 2017 katherine burt
Nov 20, 2017 Cate Lemieux
Nov 20, 2017 Sandra Wilson
Nov 20, 2017 Michi Vojta That's me, too. (Okay, I'm no LeBron, but...)
Nov 20, 2017 Christine LaPorta I agree, they definitely need to take another look at the BMI and revise it with an updated tool!
Nov 20, 2017 Sarah Goecke Using BMI allows far too many people to be classified as obese and penalized unnecessarily. Update to a better system that takes bone structure and muscle mass into account.
Nov 20, 2017 Carol Bradstreet
Nov 20, 2017 lilith akasha
Nov 20, 2017 Sharyn Canady
Nov 20, 2017 Mandy Keane
Nov 9, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 9, 2017 Patricia Gillespie
Nov 9, 2017 debbie owen
Nov 9, 2017 christie karicofe
Nov 9, 2017 Lynne Wortman
Nov 9, 2017 Susan Whitsell
Nov 9, 2017 Vii Wee Just give us the TRUTH,
Nov 9, 2017 Bob Shanahan
Nov 9, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 9, 2017 Cheryl Logan
Nov 9, 2017 (Name not displayed) I have NEVER believed that these numbers are one size fits all!
Nov 9, 2017 kathy deleon
Nov 9, 2017 Joni Mueller
Nov 9, 2017 Pamela Hunt
Nov 9, 2017 Sue andTim Scholl
Nov 9, 2017 Deborah Barber
Nov 9, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 9, 2017 Bonnie Gallik
Nov 9, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 9, 2017 (Name not displayed) BMI calculations desperately need to be revamped, just as calculating someone's ideal weight needs to be changed and not just go by height. There are many different bone sizes and this needs to be taken into account!!
Nov 9, 2017 Pat Nordby
Nov 9, 2017 Christina Amato
Nov 9, 2017 Nancy Liebner
Nov 9, 2017 Sandra Carp
Nov 9, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 9, 2017 Kim Anthony
Nov 9, 2017 Linda Kehew
Nov 9, 2017 Jennie deBeausset
Nov 9, 2017 Linda Stipsky We need better tools to help people know their true risk picture.
Nov 9, 2017 Sandy Amador
Nov 9, 2017 Alex Vollmer
Nov 9, 2017 Esmè Evans
Nov 9, 2017 (Name not displayed) when I was at the "correct" BMI you could count my ribs!
Nov 9, 2017 Niki Bretthauer
Nov 9, 2017 Monique Lowther
Nov 9, 2017 Michael Zimmer
Nov 9, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 9, 2017 Christine Damm

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