A girl in the UK who weighs around 85 pounds was told by Wii Fit that she was fat, despite being “a perfectly healthy, 4ft 9in tall 10-year old who swims [and] dances…She is solidly built but not fat. She was devastated to be called fat and we had to work hard to convince her she isn’t,” according to the girl’s stepfather, in an interview with the Daily Mail.
Part of the issue stems from the fact that Wii Fit uses the body mass index (BMI) to calculate a person’s level of fitness. It’s been argued that the BMI isn’t an accurate measure, especially for children.
“[I]t is useful as a population measure only, and is not appropriate for diagnosing individuals…BMI has become controversial because many people, including physicians, have come to rely on its apparent numerical authority for medical diagnosis, but that was never the BMI’s purpose. It is meant to be used as a simple means of classifying sedentary (physically inactive) individuals with an average body composition.”
That last part, the “average body composition” part, is where the BMI calculation starts to far apart. Indeed, my BMI says that I’m “obese” when I’m actually a big, tall, thick Midwesterner. If this is what being obese feels like, it’s honestly not that bad.