Leave it to a kid to come up with a good response to a grownup concern about bodies.
The question on Tessa Embry's health quiz was a two-fer: It asked students to define body mass index (BMI) and calculate theirs. So Tessa, who is strong and athletic, gave a very thorough response to her teacher's question.
Posted by Tessa Embry on Wednesday, March 23, 2016
First, she explained WHY BMIs are flawed: They just measure your body weight in kilograms divided by your height (in meters). BMIs don't take into account the difference between muscle and fat. So, as Tessa wrote, "Say there's a fairly athletic woman, who eats a decent diet. She's 5'6" and weighs 190 pounds." Tessa goes on to explain that even though 80 percent of her body weight may be muscle, she'd be considered obese under the BMI calculations. "Does that make sense to you? Because it sure doesn't to me," she wrote her teacher.
Then she explained why she wasn't even going to open her laptop to calculate her BMI. As far as she could remember, she was always a "bigger girl." Even though she's fine with that, she was feeling self-conscious in front of others. So her mom took her to the doctor, and Tessa and the M.D. had a conversation. He explained that although she was overweight, he wasn't worried. She was active.
She finished off with a powerful plea for body confidence: BMI, she wrote, "should not be used in a school setting where students are already self conscious and lacking confidence in their unique bodies." As for her, "My body and BMI are perfect and beautiful just the way they are."
Read the mature and reasoned response below. Then click through the gallery to find tricks to burn off calories that all take 60 seconds to do.
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