Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Won't Miss #276 - lowball (medical) weight estimates

Okay, this guy probably has a weight problem by any country's standards. 

In Asian countries, the "ideal weight" for people on the doctor's charts tends to be 10-20 lbs. lower than the ones you'll get in your home country. I once read about a woman who was 5' 7" (170 cm.) tall and weighed 125 lbs. (56.7 kg.) and the doctor told her she was too fat and needed to lose 10 lbs. Note that the "medically recommended range for this height is between 121-160 lbs. in the West and the "ideal weight" is 126 lbs. Doctors will recommend that you lose weight down to an incredibly scrawny level for your height and frame size based on nothing more than charts. They won't even look as musculature, and won't distinguish between people based on build or bone structure. To be fair to the doctors, the reason for this is that diabetes occurs among Asian populations at lower BMIs (body mass indexes) than those with populations composed of people of largely European descent. Nonetheless, they are doctors, and there is no excuse for ignorance of facts that are so well-known that even a lowly blogger with no medical training (i.e., me) is aware of them. 

It's as if they have no capacity to assess a healthy weight based on anything but arbitrary guidelines and do not trouble themselves to understand the needs of their foreign patients, and I won't miss that.