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Monday, 31 March 2014

A picture of obesity: NHS tells bodybuilder she must lose weight and exercise more…

A superfit bodybuilder was branded overweight and put on a strict diet by an NHS nurse simply based on her BMI.

Anita Albrecht said she was told during a routine appointment she was ‘eating too much’ and needed to lose weight.
The 39-year-old, who works as a personal trainer, said her body mass index came out at 29 – four points over the healthy range and one short of obese.
But Ms Albrecht, who competes against some of the world’s leading bodybuilders, said the measure was distorted by her muscle-bound physique.
She said: ‘She insulted me by making assumptions about my lifestyle.
‘The information the nurse has given me is actually dangerous. A 1,000 calorie-a-day diet is only for people who are severely obese who are not active.
‘They should only be on that for a maximum of 12 weeks – generally as a precursor to surgery.’
BMI is worked out by dividing weight in kilograms by height in metres squared. But critics say it is flawed because it does not distinguish between fat and muscle, which is heavier.
Miss Albrecht, who is 1.5m (4ft 11in) tall and weighs about 66kg (10st), saw the nurse during an appointment about contraception at a family planning clinic in Harold Hill, east London.
She was told she needed to exercise more, eat less and to cut alcohol and fruit juice from her diet.
‘She put me on scales and clearly I’m a lot heavier than other women because of my height and I’m a bodybuilder,’ said Miss Albrecht.
‘For nine months of the year I don’t even drink as I am a competitive athlete. I felt insulted, was made to feel as though I was overweight, over eating and I felt a knock in my confidence.
‘When I tried to explain to her about body composition she wasn’t interested at all.’
NHS England declined to comment because of patient confidentiality. But its website concedes that athletes, such as rugby players, can be wrongly classed as overweight using BMI.


Janknitz said...

The pediatric endocrinologist was looking RIGHT AT my 13 year old daughter, who has PCOS with elevated androgens, insulin levels and blood glucose, and told her the best way to deal with all of this is to "lose weight by watching the fat in your diet and you need to exercise".

She was looking RIGHT AT my daughter who is in the FIFTH PERCENTILE for weight and height. What weight, exactly, can she afford to lose???? She participates in vigorous PE, 5 days a week, and there's no an extra ounce of weight on her small frame.

"Lose weight" is something that should NEVER be said to a 13 year old girl, especially one who does NOT need to lose any weight!!! But it is so ingrained in these doctors' psyches that the cause of our ills is too much dietary fat, obesity and lack of activity, that they can't even see what's standing right in front of them. When will they get a clue????

LeonRover said...

The Elves of 'Elf & Safety are deaf as well as dumb - it usually turns out their own BMI is 28.

The simplest response is: You can give me advice when your BMI reaches 22.

Anonymous said...

This is another example of the 'tool' being given preference over the issue it's meant to help with.

Targets and tools are all well and good but you have to apply your brain to them.

The BMI was never intended for use with individuals (because of the obvious problems with not being able to distinguish between a number of variables) but as a tool to look weight in a population; i.e. are the French heavier than the Dutch and so on.

The fact that it is now a default tool for assessing weight in an individual is nothing short of moronic.

Water aside, our weight is chiefly made of bone, muscle, subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. And guess what? You are healthier if the first three are higher rather than lower; it's only visceral fat that should be the worry.

How does the BMI help in assessing that? Well not at all.

So why not waste everyone's time by fixating on that? Then at least targets are being measured and pointless boxes are being ticked and people who don't understand it can reprimand people for not being up to scratch and that's what's important after all...



Anonymous said...

The eye does not see, the ears do not hear. When will they get a clue? We may well be waiting a long time yet.