I have a little friend coming to stay with me today! I’m so excited.  šŸ™‚

 

Breakfast was DELISH!

CIMG7898

The star ingredient was these yummy almonds from Sahale Snacks.  They were sent to be to sample – and BOY are they delicious! I put half the 100-calorie pack in my oatmeal.

CIMG7897

My oatmeal contained:

 

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 sliced banana
  • Toppings: raspberries and almonds

CIMG7900 

No time for strength training this morning–too busy with Healthy Living Summit planning! Eck! It’s almost here!

 

Surgeon General:  Is She Too Fat?

 

I receive a great political magazine in the mail called The Week.  I really like it because it strives to present all sides of the argument, and it’s pretty good toilet material.  šŸ™‚

 

An article called Surgeon General:  Is She Too Fat? caught my attention.  Our new surgeon general pick is Dr. Regina Benjamin, a 52-year old black woman who is, by all accounts, a great doctor.  She also happens to overweight.

According to this article, Dr. Benjamin spent most of her professional life serving the people of Bayou La Batre, a poor rural Alabama coastal community. She makes house calls, pays for patients’ medicines, works for free when there is no money. She rebuilt her clinic twice, once following Hurricane Katrina and then a year later when it was destroyed by a fire.

 

In 1995, she became the first black woman and the youngest doctor elected to the board of the American Medical Association, and in 2008, she was awarded the coveted MacArthur Foundation "genius" award.

 

However, many people are making a really big deal about Dr. Benjamin’s weight.  David Frum (www.NewMajority.com) argued that the surgeon general’s role is to "prod citizens and policymakers on matters of public health… For the most visible public-health job in America, wouldn’t it make more sense to select someone who has overcome the [obesity] problem rather than failed to do so?"  Basically, can Dr. Benjamin promote healthy eating if she is obese?

 

Personally, I think that Dr. Benjamin sounds like an excellent pick for Surgeon General.  I agree with her political views, especially the fact that she thinks the current health care system needs an overhaul (due to accessibility and cost).  I’m more concerned about her views and experience than the size of her ass.  No one is perfect.

 

Also, I can’t help but wonder if this "Fat Talk" is political.  Would it be happening if Dr. Benjamin wasn’t a woman?  And a black woman to boot?  Would they be calling a stuffy old white man "fat"?  Me thinks not.

 

It would be wonderful if Dr. Benjamin can use her weight to seem approachable and relatable.  Maybe she’ll lose some weight and serve as excellent motivation to the 34% of Americans who are obese.

 

What do you think about having an overweight Surgeon General?  Is Obama sending the wrong message by selecting Dr. Benjamin?  Or are commentators focusing on the wrong issue?

{ 61 comments }

 

  • Dori August 4, 2009, 4:07 am

    I learned in Rethinking Thin that fat isn't always about how much you eat. Everyone has a weight range and for some people, their range is on the much higher side for reasons out of their control (ie, leptin production). So, to answer your question, until anyone starts reporting with their own 2 eyes that they saw her eat fast food all day long, I think she is a great choice for SG. If she were a man, no one would be talking about her weight at all.

  • Susan August 4, 2009, 4:11 am

    You mentioned it, but my first thought was that I don't think a man would be getting the same response if he was as overweight as she is. Sounds like she's doing great things for other people – so maybe she hasn't had time to concentrate on herself!

  • Rebeca @All Vegged Out August 4, 2009, 4:17 am

    You know what Caitlin, you're so right. If she wasn't a woman no one would be discussing this. As a woman, who has struggled with her weight on both ends of the spectrum having spent my early teen years battling anorexia only to replace that with binge eating a few years later I think weight is something that is irrelevant. What?

    I mean that we need to stop tying women to a number on the scale. When I weighed xxx lbs and was much too thin there were those who would say that I was healthy and no one saw any problems with my weight but there were serious problems, just as serious if not more so than when I weighed about 100 lbs more than my too low weight.

    Dr. Benjamin represents where a lot of women, and black women in general, are in their journey. She's smart, she's strong, she's inspiring. Maybe she'll lose a couple of pounds and inspire some people which would be great. Maybe she won't because she has a condition that prevents her to, or maybe this is her body shape and she's fit, active, and healthy otherwise. We don't know if that's true or not.

    The number that her scale reads back to her in the morning isn't what will make her a good surgeon general. Instead, it's her obvious passion and commitment to people that will hopefully make her one of the best surgeon generals we've had!

  • jessinnyc August 4, 2009, 4:23 am

    It would be fantastic if she lost the weight and shared her experience with America. Despite the fact that so many Americans are overweight, weight loss is all the rage.

    You nailed it by saying that if she were a male this wouldn't be a hot topic.

  • Lauren August 4, 2009, 4:45 am

    I don't think it matters at all. Her personal life is irrelevant to her job. And she is such an inspiration in so many ways. Her weight is nothing compared to all that she has accomplished.

  • Kelly August 4, 2009, 4:54 am

    I do think that if your job involves something about encouraging others to be healthy (like being a physical education teacher- or the SG) you should be healthy yourself. However, I don't think skinny = healthy and overweight = unhealthy. I have to agree with Dori, that she could be relatively healthy (and we all have bad moments/days) and still be overweight. She probably doesn't have hours to spend at the gym because she is trying to do an important job! I think she'd be a great choice for a surgeon general.

  • michelle August 4, 2009, 5:02 am

    "Would they be calling a stuffy old white man "fat"?"
    No, they would not.

  • roseyrebecca August 4, 2009, 5:08 am

    Mmmm oatmeal!

    I don't don't think it should matter what she looks like as long as she knows what she's doing! People are judged too frequently based on appearance and it's fine when your in elementary school but people really need to grow up. This absolutely would not be happening if this was a stuffy old white man.

  • Tami August 4, 2009, 5:20 am

    there is no way a man would be talked about like she is. it's such a shame really….i hope she does wonderful things when she becomes surgeon general!

  • vegetarianontherun August 4, 2009, 5:22 am

    I think she is a fine choice. First of all, the surgeon general is not supposed to be the nation's personal trainer. We don't know anything about her fitness levels as far as I can tell, but I think I am most concerned with someone who is smart, medicine and business and politically savvy, and can guide the conversation this country needs to be having about health.
    Also, my personal doctor is overweight. But that doesn't change the fact that I trust his education and his medical opinion. When he told me I needed to be taking iron supplements I didn't think "well, he is overweight, how could he know I have anemia?"
    Now, if the surgeon general was a chain smoker, I'd be concerned. That is clearly a diss to personal health, and it would send the message "I am blatantly disregarding my health." Being overweight could be based on a number of things.
    Also, I don't think that an overweight male would be getting the same reaction.

  • leslie August 4, 2009, 5:22 am

    "I'm more concerned about her views and experience than the size of her ass. No one is perfect." amen, caitlin.

    i highly doubt this would be an issue if she were a white male. there are more important things for our society to focus on. if she's promoting good health through her knowledge and initiatives, that's all i care about.

  • Carolina John August 4, 2009, 5:23 am

    Did anybody call C. Everett Coop fat? nope. he's a former surgeon general.

  • recipesforcreativity August 4, 2009, 5:23 am

    I've heard some grumblings over this, as well, and I think it's silly. I don't get why it's even a big deal and something that can be brought up!

  • nicoleishappy August 4, 2009, 5:28 am

    it seems like she is perfect for the job becuase she puts people/paitents first! maybe she is a lil overweight bc of the fact that she is helping people all the time and now giving herself all the attention she needs. just becuase she isnt a stick doesnt mean she doesnt know what she is doing to be healthy.

  • Whitney@whitsgettingfit August 4, 2009, 5:29 am

    Hello, look at what the woman has accomplished! I agree, she is a bit overweight, but she could use that to her advantage to seem more relatable, and like you said to be an example for the American public.

  • Paige@ Running Around Normal August 4, 2009, 5:29 am

    This made me think back to a class I used to take at my gym. The fitness instructor was overweight, and people made comments about it, but it was an awesome heart-pumping class. She was a great instructor, and I was
    always beat at the end of her class, so if she's doing her job well, what's the big deal? I feel the same way about the surgeon general.

  • seesaraheat August 4, 2009, 5:33 am

    I think her work in the community speaks volumes and I'm with you, that it probably wouldn't be an issue if she was a white man. I think she is an excellent choice and so many of us know how hard it is to keep our weight under control, so the fact that she is overweight does make her relatable to many Americans I am sure.

    p.s. Bayou Le Batre always makes me think of Forrest Gump — that's where Bubba was from, lol.

  • NYgirl@heart August 4, 2009, 5:33 am

    I had this entire page written out and then I read Rebecca's post. Amen sister. Dori as well.
    I take pretty darned good care of myself and I will never be as thin as my doctors say I should be. I will never weigh 120 pounds–my body just wasn't built that way. Let's just Dr. Benjamin do her job!

  • HangryPants August 4, 2009, 5:37 am

    (1) Me thinks you are right re: white man. I don't think skinny is a job qualification here, but maybe healthy should be. Even then, I do not think it would be an issue in another situation. Totally unrelated, but it reminds me of when Jordan Sparks won American Idol and some group said she was too fat. No one said that when Ruben Studdard won.

    (2) I agree with Dori about whether she is actually "fat." She's not skinny, but is she healthy for her?

  • EatRunLitigate August 4, 2009, 5:39 am

    I don't think we know anything about her health until we know what her vital signs are — blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. I think fat is just the easiest way for people to think that someone is not healthy but I don't think that's necessarily true for everyone. You can carry excess weight and be perfectly healthy. Personally because I regularly run, even though I carry some extra pounds, the doctor tells me I'm in great health because I have a great heart rate and my other vital stuff is fine.

  • Island Girl Eats August 4, 2009, 5:42 am

    I love those nuts. We used to be able to buy them where we live. But for ages I have not been to find them. I have tried them all and they are amazing!

  • Jenn Eats Nutritiously Now August 4, 2009, 5:49 am

    I completely agree. If she was an overweight white man, no one would care one bit about the weight. It's because she's a black woman, they had to find something to criticize. I think it's sad that they're going after her weight.

  • Kristie Lynn August 4, 2009, 5:50 am

    It sucks for her that because she isn't what is promoted as an ideal weight in our society, we automatically assume that she lives an unhealthy life. I know a few people who really do eat healthily and exercise regularly and don't fit into the ideal weight categories. And I don't think her weight should matter anyway. It also sounds like she has chosen to do pretty important and valuable things with her time – that have taken away from *her* time.

  • kirsten August 4, 2009, 5:52 am

    I think she is a great pick. She may just be a bigger woman, naturally heavier than what is considered "healthy range." I think I would be more upset if the new surgeon general was a smoker rather than overweight.

  • greenbean August 4, 2009, 5:54 am

    muah! love ya for sticking up for the new SG. OB in full effect!

  • Pam (Highway to Health) August 4, 2009, 6:06 am

    She is absolutely the right pick for the job. If she were a man there would be no discussion about her weight.

    Her weight has nothing to do with how well she does her job.

  • Mara @ What's for Dinner? August 4, 2009, 6:10 am

    I have such a hard time with the fact that this amazing woman's weight is even an issue. Who said that a person has to be thin in order to be a role model, or "tell us what to eat"? I "know" what to eat and I choose not to a lot…and I know thin people who subsist on potato chips and burritos. Sorry…this is a hot subject for me
    Have fun with little friend!! (I think her name should be Daisy!)

  • Hi! I'm Erin August 4, 2009, 6:20 am

    I agree that weight does not equal health. I know several people who would be considered overweight but who have perfect cholesterol, blood pressure, etc.

    Additionally, and something I haven't seen brought up yet, is that she comes from working in a rural, poor area. In rural and poor areas it can be difficult to get healthy food. It can be difficult to find places to exercise (do you want to run on sidewalk-less roads? I've done it. I don't like it.) I hope that she could parlay this criticism into dialogue about how difficult it can be to fit into the "healthy" category when you live in a rural and/or poor area.

  • Eliza August 4, 2009, 6:33 am

    Well said Caitlin. And I have to echo other folks- if the goal is health, well, then we have no way of knowing how healthy someone is. Only their doctor does. If the goal is skinny, well, she doesn't meet that goal. But that is a stupid goal.

    Wow. not very articulate this morning. time for more coffee… šŸ˜‰

    (by the way, I'm doing a half marathon on Sunday…thanks for the encouragement!)

  • brandi August 4, 2009, 6:40 am

    those almonds look great!

    I agree with you – I think it should definitely be based on her accomplishments and whether she is qualified for the job and she can do it.

  • theangrydieter August 4, 2009, 6:49 am

    I think as long as she is qualified and does good at her job, no one should have the right to judge her based on her size! Maybe she has a medical condition that makes it harder for her to loose weight…we don't know, therefore we should not judge!!

  • Deva August 4, 2009, 6:50 am

    I do agree that this would be a non-issue were she, well, not a she. I agree with the commenter who said that the surgeon general is not to be our personal trainer, and weight should be a non-issue here. I look at her accomplishments and how much love she has for her community and what she does and I think that she will do her best.

  • Kimberly August 4, 2009, 6:53 am

    Well, David Frum has a history of making a mountain out of any molehill that gives him a chance to criticize Democrats. This sounds like a very petty example. For all we know, Dr. Benjamin could have tried to lose weight in the past, could have a body that naturally settles at her current weight, OR just hasn't prioritized her weight above the demands of her career. Demanding a certain physical appearance from professionals in certain fields sets a dangerous precedent, and what's more, it's well-known that an overweight person can actually be MORE fit than a thin person. I think a more productive way of treating her weight would be recognizing her as an example of an entire demographic of Americans (minority women from the South) dying of obesity-related diseases, in order to examine and raise awareness of the risk factors involved.

  • ChickPea August 4, 2009, 7:13 am

    Perhaps I am biased because Dr. Benjamin is from my home state (yeah, bama!), but I think that her other qualifications far "outweigh" her physical fitness. Given her extensive background in medicine and admirable devotion to the provision of healthcare to all, I think that her weight should be a secondary consideration at best.

  • Emily August 4, 2009, 7:31 am

    Dr. Benjamin may be overweight, but her qualifications certainly speak for themselves. There are many great doctors/nurses/dietitians who are overweight. I think it just shows they are still human and struggle with the same things that everyone else does. On the other hand, as a future dietitian, being healthy is important to me. Building credibility is hard when it looks like you can't follow your own guidelines.

  • Stephanie August 4, 2009, 7:38 am

    I hate to be the only one who doesn't agree but I think it does matter…to a degree. I agree that she is a wonderful doctor and has alot of accomplishments that make her qualified. But, I think that for someone to advise the entire country on health issues, she would need to be healthy herself. I am not saying this because she is a woman or she is black…it is because she is overweight. Now, do I know every ounce of information about this woman and what has led her to be overweight? No, I do not and I do think that needs to be considered.

    But, I do remember the hooplah over John McCain's age during the past election and how it might affect his ability to do the job…how is this any different?

  • mrsrazon August 4, 2009, 7:46 am

    I can pretty much guarantee you that no one would be saying anything about weight if it were a man. You're right on the money there.

  • Mrs. Myers @ Eat Move Write August 4, 2009, 8:15 am

    You are completely right. No one would say a word if she were a slightly tubby white man.

    This society is so focused on "thin." There really are some body types that simply are not meant to be thin. Get over it people.

  • Hannah Ruth August 4, 2009, 8:19 am

    Are they really going to push all of her experiences, education, knowledge, compassion, heart, integrity, and perseverance aside because she is overweight?
    That thought upsets me a great deal! Especially since if it was so stodgy pudgy old man, they wouldn't be thinking those thoughts, and would be praising him for all he did.

  • jesstyler August 4, 2009, 8:26 am

    I completely agree with you. First off, 'healthy' is different for EVERYONE! Maybe this will help the govt. rethink the horrible BMI calculations.

    Second, the media is horrible. And, I have no problem saying that because i currently work for the media (in a lowly copy editor position). They are all about sensationalizing things and selling papers/gaining viewers, etc. They make stuff up in order to get a rise out of people. I avoid the news at all costs because of this particular problem – they don't actually report news and are unbiased. It's sickening.

    I think she'll be a great SG. Look at some of the past surgeon generals … were they all at the peak of healthy? I doubt it. Let's focus on the REAL issues and give her a freakin' chance to do something good before we berate her for something as silly as her weight.

  • Jenna August 4, 2009, 8:36 am

    very interesting post!
    jenna
    http://jennaelise.blogspot.com/

  • Kimberly August 4, 2009, 8:38 am

    "But, I do remember the hooplah over John McCain's age during the past election and how it might affect his ability to do the job…how is this any different?"

    I'd respectfully like to disagree with this statement by suggesting that the two issues aren't equal… physical effects of aging include loss of memory, slowing of mental agility, macular degeneration, increased tiredness, and increased risk of death. These are all issues that would significantly impair a person's ability to perform the duties of the Presidency (especially since the risks only get higher as the term years pass), and should be taken into consideration when evaluating a candidate's viability. On the other hand, a person's weight doesn't impair his or her mental faculties or professional qualifications, but rather the public's perception of these.

  • Jules August 4, 2009, 8:40 am

    I could go on a total soap box here. But i won't. šŸ™‚ It boils down to this… if fat white man can do his job, why can't she? I dont' think she's fat, just for the record. She isn't being hired for her looks, she's being hired for the job she can do and complete.
    Besides, why is it so bad to have an "average" sized person for us all to be looking up to? Isn't it what her actions and beliefs are. She may be eating healthy and getting in what exercise her life allows (can you guess how busy she just probably is). This may only allow her to maintain. Wow! Talk about being an average Joe. I would vote for her if they'd allow us to.
    Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if the country were ruled by woman and a minority of men. šŸ™‚ Some day, I bet it'll happen. Too bad, I'll be dead. :):):)

  • M August 4, 2009, 8:42 am

    I've learned that there are many reasons people can be overweight – most of them have nothing to do with the stereotypical perception of overweight people. It also doesn't necessarily have ANYTHING at all to do with knowledge on health-related matters.

    It's all about NOT judging based on appearances. Her experience speaks volumes, and I think she's a great choice for Surgeon General.

  • Shelly August 4, 2009, 8:49 am

    Kimberly, I agree with you and would like to add that a big issue with McCain's age was whether or not he would live to complete a full term given his age. Surgeon General is an important office, but I think in general people would be more concerned about a president dying in office than a surgeon general…especially given that McCain chose a VP candidate who was somewhat controversial.
    Stephanie, I think in this case it is important not to equate being overweight with being unhealthy. Recent studies have shown that being slightly overweight actually increases your life expectancy. (http://health.msn.com/health-topics/aging/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100240886)

  • Tamara August 4, 2009, 8:52 am

    As an black female and a registered dietitian, I am looking at this issue from both sides. I understand that people need to have someone to look up to, but too often people equate the outer appearance of someone to their health status. I have worked with many clients who are "doing everything right" and are still struggling to fit into society's mold of what is the "right" weight. I have also worked with clients who were thin, and ate horriblly, weren't physically active, who drink too much and don't get enough sleep.

    And as a black female, I feel a personal frustration of what I feel is a standard that was not established with all races in mind. We don't know what Dr. Benjamin's habits are like, but that isn't the point- she is hired to do a job. It's one thing to know what to do; we all know to eat our fruits and veggies, to exercise, drink in moderation, etc. But not everyone does it. I feel they should let her do her job, and leave it at that.

  • Katherine August 4, 2009, 9:06 am

    I think that given a large majority of americans are overweight she might be the best person to listen to. Many wouldn't look up to her if she was skinny…they would instead possibly resent her.

  • Kristen August 4, 2009, 9:32 am

    I wouldn't even call her fat. And healthy people come in all shapes and sizes. We should be focusing on who she is as a medical professional, not what she looks like.

  • Bevin August 4, 2009, 9:38 am

    commentators are focusing on the WRONG ISSUE. I have an overweight family member, and he is completely on the ball and is an amazing person. I think to think someone unable to do their job based on their weight is a form of discrimination, WHATEVER that job is. Dr. B is going to kick some ass! (No matter how large that is)

  • Deirdre August 4, 2009, 9:39 am

    I think the people that criticize her size are subscribing to the myth that thin = healthy and anything bigger than thin means you are unhealthy. All of us know someone who lives on fast food and never excercise and who wear size
    4. Also, do preachers not swear? Do personal trainers not skip working out every now and then? Do professional chefs not order takeout? People can be great at their jobs without always being perfect in their personal lives.

  • She-Fit August 4, 2009, 9:49 am

    WOW! Great post. I wonder too if this wouldn't be a big deal is she wasn't a woman and african american. Hmm. Some people in this world can be so rude!

  • Jewels August 4, 2009, 9:51 am

    Great discussion. I commented before but I don't think it showed up. I would like to respectfully disagree and say her weight does matter and as the advocate to the people, I think her weight should be in a healthier range so she can be a model of personal health in addition to her outstanding qualities. I also think the McCain was an apt comparison-yes, age can be UNFAIRLY equated with mental detoriation as weight can be UNFAIRLY equated with lack of health.

  • Erin August 4, 2009, 10:06 am

    Ditto to what most posters have said!

    For me, I srsly only care what her brain can do in terms of setting the dialog and course of healthcare policy discussions in this country.

  • Hallie (Healthy Twists) August 4, 2009, 10:26 am

    First off, I agree that if she's a good doctor and is bright and well-educated, then that's all that matters. I can't tell you how many times I drive past hospitals and see staff members in scrubs outside, smoking. Or nurses/doctors that are very obese, not like a little heavy. I don't think she's that overweight, and I'd bet she exercises because she knows it's good for her health, not just her jeans size.

    (not even to mention the clear double standard…)

    That said, I know plenty of people (I'm dating one of them) who would disagree and say that she should lose weight if she's going to try to talk to others about health. I totally disagree, but I think it's important to recognize that those opinions are out there too (and more people have that frame of mind then you'd think).

  • Lisa August 4, 2009, 10:39 am

    People would always make comments about Bill Clinton's weight when he was president. Remember that SNL skit, when he was running and stopped at McDonald's? I disagree with those who believe that she's only being picked on because her race and/or sex. While I don't think she's "too fat," I do think this largely symbolic position of surgeon general does need to set an example of healthful living. I'm looking forward to hearing from Dr. Benjamin herself on these issues.

  • Beth @ CrossBorderCravings August 4, 2009, 1:06 pm

    This is such an interesting topic. While I think that Dr. Benjamin is very well-qualified for the job, it does always concern me to see a health care provider – black/white/male/female – who is overweight. I like your comment that perhaps she will loose some weight and inspire others to adopt healthier habits along the way. That would be great!

  • beeseats August 4, 2009, 1:55 pm

    I totally agree – this wouldn't be an issue with a male. Just because she's not a size 6 doesn't mean that she is necessarily unhealthy. People should be worrying about her competence, not her appearance.

  • Jose August 4, 2009, 2:21 pm

    Her race, sex, etc have NOTHING to do with her criticism.

    Look, it's unfair to attack women for their looks. Society as a whole and hollywood in particular paints unrealistic images of what women should look like. That being said… what is so wrong about someone practicing what they preach?

    Let's look at the covers of workout videos, do you really think that this woman can sell 30 day shred DVDs the same as that girl from the biggest loser?
    I know I know, the Pres thinks she's qualified to do this mostly ceremonial job. That's fine. I think she's qualified as well! BUT

    We are moving towards a slippery slope where overweight people are immune from criticism.

    eat well, run lots, life is short.

  • Heather August 4, 2009, 4:17 pm

    (I read this post this morning on my phone and have been waiting all day to comment, so apologies if this is really jumbled!)

    Caitlin, I was really happy to see that you posted about this issue because it's one that has really been irking me that her weight has been such a platform for criticism. I agree with all of it, except for the part where you mention if she were to lose a few pounds, then maybe she would inspire people to do the same. I get your overall point, but I don't think a number on a scale has anything to do with health. If she eats a well-balanced diet, exercises, and takes care of herself, then that's good enough. I think as a surgeon general she should be a health advocate and promoting healthy living, and her body size/shape should have nothing to do with it. Every person's body has a weight set point. I know it's hard for some people to believe that people can still be overweight and healthy. In fact, I'm overweight and I eat healthier than almost all the thin people I know, and have no health problems, yet because I'm overweight I'm told that I am not healthy. There's so many comments here stating that while they agree with what you say, they also think she needs to be a role model for healthy living. Okay then, let's have her post some entries from a food journal and tell us how often she squeezes in physical activity, plus how many cigarettes she smokes per day and how many drinks she has. Then we can talk about health, since weight often has nothing to do with it.

    I do like that you brought up the point that a man would not be receiving this same criticism, because it's absolutely true.

    I want to point out an awesome Flickr set called the BMI project: http://www.flickr.com/photos/77367764@N00/sets/72157602199008819/ — While we each have an idea of what is considered "healthy", this goes on to show you that BMI is total BS. I know BMI wasn't mentioned here, but just wanted to point it out.

    Have a good night!

  • Andrea August 5, 2009, 6:25 am

    Sure, she's overweight. But let's face it, she represents our population. It seems Americans don't like their public representatives to be overweight, but the fact is, 2 out of 3 people in this country are overweight and 1 out of 3 are obese. I think this whole country needs a wake-up call!

    http://fithealthyfun.blogspot.com

  • Natalie M. August 5, 2009, 10:13 am

    I wish I had responded to this sooner but darnit without consistent comp access its hard to get to my Google Reader. Grrrarrrggh!

    This topic was actually discussed on jezebel.com last month. I wholeheartedly agree with your perspective Caitlin. Because the woman is carrying a bit of extra junk in the trunk does that mean she is unhealthy? I think its kind of sad that people look at the package as opposed to her comprehensive metabolic panel results. This woman could very well have normal metabolic ranges but instead of focusing on that to determine what is healthy others choose to look at Dr. Benjamin as not fitting the "ideal size". Anywho, the BMI measurement system has been proven ineffective for any real determination of unhealthy weight. It's disproportionately ineffective for African American women in particular. People rely too heavily on "charts" to determine what's healthy. Besides not too long ago there was some study saying that overweight people live longer http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20090625/study-overweight-people-live-longer

    I just want a surgeon general who is about leading a healthy lifestyle… even if she's carrying a little extra junk in the trunk.

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