Soundtrack: Stacie Orrico, “Stuck”
On a blog I was reading, I found this quiz that I couldn’t resist taking. It asked me thirteen questions about diet, lifestyle and genes and then endeavored to guess my weight. And guess what? It’s as accurate as the Body Mass Index! Yes–that Body Mass Index. Invented by a Belgian astronomer and mathematician using perhaps the best statistical models that the year 1832 had to offer, and yet is still taken seriously by modern Western medicine.
I answered the questions in the quiz ACCURATELY. For the record, I said that I’m 1) a male; 2) in his 30’s; 3) I exercise (for at least a half hour) just once a week or less; 4) I eat fast food a few times a week; 5) I weigh myself several times per week; 6) I eat 1 or 2 fruits and vegetables per day; 7) everyone (well almost everyone) in my family has a weight problem; 8) when I eat at home, I cook something for myself; 9) I eat dessert only as a very special treat; 10) compared to others of my gender and weight, I gain weight very easily; 11) when it comes to protein, I get it mostly from red meat or cheese, 12) When I go out to eat at a restaurant, I usually order an entree and eat the whole thing; and 13) my beverage of choice is water.
Here’s what the answer was:
|You Should Weigh 186|
If you weigh less than this, you either have a fast metabolism or are about to gain weight.
The woman who posted this on her blog said that the quiz guessed her weight almost exactly. Me, well, those of you who know me well are probably rolling on the floor in laughing hysterics or unable to keep yourself from having the beverage you’re drinking squirt through your nose and all over your keyboard. For those of you who don’t know me well, let me just say that I weigh A LOT more than that.
My point in posting this is that the mass media and pop culture often get it really wrong as to what really causes us to gain weight. Last spring, I asked some of my housemates for accommodation of my wheat allergy, since I found that wheat makes me gain weight. A couple of them put through the wringer in a very public way by questioning my assumptions (in front of everyone in the house) that maybe I should just eat better and exercise more instead. (Is Dr. Phil skinny?) Luckily the main ringleader of this public interrogation no longer lives in my house, and I’ve reached an understanding with the other one.
So, for now, let me enjoy a little bit of fun at the mass media’s and pop culture’s expense. And yes, I’d like extra whipped cream on that Twinkie.