It’s true! I have been told that I am underweight… Many times, in fact. The ones that upset me most were friends, they would never accept me calling them ‘fat’ so why is ‘skinny’ any different? I’m planning on going into my opinions on that in a future post but for now I’m sticking to the times being told I was underweight made me less upset, more concerned.
That would be when a doctor told me. I have been sent to a dietician so of course this is serious, I must have some kind of eating disorder. But no. There are charts that work ‘percentile’ (I think) for judging the how healthy the weight of a child/teen is. This chart considers me (with 2 ‘centile’ gap between height and weight) to be underweight.
So today I’m going to explain why I disagree:
Among other things, I have hypermobility. My joints have more movement than they should and as a result, I have to constantly work harder than anyone else simply to keep them in the right place, burning more calories. This, for a start, can account for why it is extremely hard for me to put on weight- there’s not enough room in my stomach for all those extra calories!
On top of this, how can a simple chart take not only height weight and age, but genes, bone structure and muscles into consideration? I took the ‘featured’ photo of me wearing my trainers when I was on a short walk, I want to build up more strength and stamina. ‘Muscle weighs more than fat’ apparently, so if mine aren’t very strong… Another reason I might not weigh as much as they would like?
On top of this I am petite. My family members are mostly small-medium build and I am only just over 5 foot tall.
Plus I believe the original chart was made in the 1950s but was altered relatively recently to represent the current population more accurately. I know that things have changed in the last 65 years but where do you stop altering the charts? When ‘representing the current population’ would mean normalizing obesity? Maybe I should’ve been born in the 1950s… Or maybe not!
I promise you I have no eating disorders.
A chart is not adequate when judging a ‘healthy’ weight. I understand that it is only part of a testing process, but if professionals overreact when there is a possibility of a child being over/underweight, that can cause so many different problems, even, ironically, eating disorders. How do I know this? Once again, experience.
Now… Where did I put that chocolate…?
P.S. If I have got all of this terribly wrong, please let me know! I tried to do some research before typing, but couldn’t find much that was relevant. Thank you for reading!