You recently published a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial stating that around 70 percent of Americans are overweight or obese, but only a relatively small percentage consider themselves overweight (Another View, Dec. 21).

It’s quite likely, however, that the federal government is overstating the problem because of the flawed way it calculates obesity: the body mass index. To cite one of many examples, New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount, at 6 feet tall and 250 pounds, falls into BMI obesity Class 1, “a physically unhealthy condition.”

In an age when many struggle with negative self-perceptions because of their weight, it shouldn’t be too hard for health authorities to devise a better measure of obesity that accounts for mitigating factors like body type and muscle mass.

Tim Wallace


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