and you thought bmi was just for songwriters
i use a powerpoint presentation of the cdc's trends in obesity slides in discussing bodies and moral panics. people often ask where i get such slides, and i pretty much just borrow them from the cdc website and pop them into my lecture by right-clicking, cutting, and pasting. all this is based on something called the body mass index or bmi, which, in turn, is based on very simple height/weight charts.
my personal bmi has risen rapidly in my first few months as chair, from a borderline normal score of 24.4 to an overweight score of 27.1. my points are well-earned, but athletes don't like the bmi because it doesn't adjust for muscle mass or buffitude.
for wrestlers (and runway models, i suppose), weight loss is a bigger health concern than obesity. since b.m.i. doesn't really work for athletes, each minnesota high school wrestler must be certified to wrestle at particular weights based on more sophisticated procedures. they must obtain:
a minimum wrestling weight at 7% body weight using skinfold measurements or water displacement.
The addition this year requires all student-athletes who are determined to be below 7% body fat at the time of weight certification to verify they are properly hydrated. These athletes will submit a sample of urine to the skinfold technician who will then determine the hydration via a refractometer or a dip stick. The urine specific gravity must be 1.025 or less. The hydration test must be conducted by the certified skinfold technician.
yeesh. at our local high school, a physician conducts the skin fold test to identify the lowest possible weight for each wrestler. a parent then signs a form to approve the weight as a lower-bound or choose some higher weight to be the year's absolute minimum. fortunately, this was a no-brainer for tor. based on his skinfold test, he's gotta be a heavyweight. even if he could drop down to 215 pounds for a match, he wouldn't be certified to wrestle below 285. according to the bmi, in contrast, his weight would still be in the normal range at 160 pounds at 6'6" tall. yeah, right.
i'm sure there are plenty of loopholes and workarounds, but i generally like this system. as the parent of an actor/singer/dancer, i just wish they'd adopt a similar procedure for the stage kids.