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The Weight to Height Myth

by Tony Bowling on October 22, 2011

Are you a short fatty or a tall skinny or are you built like a brick shit house? Do you have thick bones? Are you muscular? Is everyone short and broad in your family? Are you a Zulu or a pigmy or a Russian shot putter?

Some “experts” have put together charts of people’s height showing what their weight should be:

If you are 5 foot 7 inches you should weight 30 pounds or something or you are considered unhealthy.

They even sometimes try to scare you with “risk of heart attack from overweight”.  I’ll probably address the whole subject of health scare tactics later in its own article.

This you-should-weigh-what-I-say is the action of a person trying to tell other people what they need and/or should do without having meet them, talk to them, examined or asked what they might need and want. “You should conform to my expert advice” is their desire.

This size versus weight thing also ties in with the idea of what is fashionable. A “normal healthy” person is supposed to be a certain weight for their height.  It is mostly nonsense!

Even body builders and fitness focused people do not conform to what they’re “supposed to” by these charts.

How do I know? Because I see it in life. I see people who are not this perfect size/weight per the charts. I see them happy and surviving and living long lives. Think about it yourself. Have you notice the “perfect build” people looking happier and living longer? They are not less happier either. There just isn’t a discernible difference in health.

Now obviously some poor unfortunate dude who, for wherever reason, has gone up significantly in weight may have some problems but again these are individual cases that need to be addressed individually.

You have heard of the super fit cyclist, with close to zero fat, collapsing and sadly dying. From that we do not deduce that cycling is dangerous or that lack of fat is fatal. People are different. Races are difference and people within races are different. Activities such as sports often sculpture a body a certain way with the resultant differences in weight to height.

If you want to again get into a pair of size 8 jeans, we are then talking about fashion, personal likes, even someone’s idea of (right or wrong) of aesthetics. We are not taking about health.

So don’t let anyone with a size/weight chart ever influence your decisions in life or what you think about yourself or others. If you want to work out 3 hours a day, have 5% body fat and maybe have a gaunt face then that is up to you but there is no evidence, I could find, that you will live longer.  And all that working out may leave you less time to smell the roses and smile!

Tony

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