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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 We must urge them to do away with this outdated tool, and call for physical fitness to be measured by something much more accurate and reflective of the medical progress that has been made in the last 200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


Jun 24, 2017 Miriam Feehily
Jun 13, 2017 Linda Butler
Jun 9, 2017 Beth Smith
Jun 7, 2017 James Deschene
May 28, 2017 John Chambers
May 20, 2017 Shirley Troia
May 19, 2017 Linda Haines
May 17, 2017 jane cook
May 17, 2017 natalie hughes
May 15, 2017 Martha Williams
May 14, 2017 (Name not displayed)
May 14, 2017 (Name not displayed)
May 14, 2017 (Name not displayed)
May 9, 2017 jeff hopkins
Apr 20, 2017 Melora Jackson
Apr 12, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Apr 11, 2017 Laura Vanesa García
Apr 2, 2017 Michalla Sutton
Apr 1, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 31, 2017 Tim Young
Mar 26, 2017 Richard Bosboom
Mar 26, 2017 Richard Bosboom
Mar 26, 2017 Marsha Croner
Mar 21, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 16, 2017 Richard Bosboom
Mar 10, 2017 Corey Williams
Mar 10, 2017 Heather Zito
Mar 10, 2017 Mary Sullins
Mar 9, 2017 Deborah Lombardi
Mar 5, 2017 Otto Salm
Mar 2, 2017 Jason Borda
Mar 1, 2017 Doug Johnston
Feb 26, 2017 Cristina da Cruz
Feb 25, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Feb 24, 2017 Bradley McCabe
Feb 20, 2017 Ertie Evangelista
Feb 20, 2017 louis Saltzman
Feb 20, 2017 Beth Colvin
Feb 19, 2017 Ellen Albrecht
Feb 19, 2017 Harold Gehrer
Feb 18, 2017 Haley Mary
Feb 18, 2017 Londa Fowler
Feb 18, 2017 Jenny Jarrell
Feb 17, 2017 Kaitlyn Kittell
Feb 17, 2017 Glenda Lovell
Feb 16, 2017 Elizabeth McAbee
Feb 14, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Feb 8, 2017 Rozanna Ramirez
Feb 7, 2017 Donna Graves
Feb 7, 2017 Rozanna Ramirez

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