BMI Report Cards: A Path to Weight Stigma
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a mathematical formula based off the height and weight of a person, and allows for comparison of one person or population against what is considered normal body weight composition, and can be useful for tracking trends. BMI is often used to classify a person into weight categories such as underweight, normal, overweight, obese and morbidly obese. In children, BMI takes into consideration age and uses percentiles, but still yields numbers which can be categorized on the same scale (Ikeda, 2006).
Risk Factors for Body Dissatisfaction
Different people have bodies of different shapes and sizes. Despite the diversity of body shapes, many men and women wish that their body looked different. This phenomenon is known as body dissatisfaction or negative body image and is all too common. The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) defines negative body image as “A distorted perception of your shape—you perceive parts of your body unlike they really are” and also adds that those with negative body image see themselves as unattractive and feel self-conscious and awkward in their own bodies (NEDA, 2013). In contrast, those with positive body image see a true representation of themselves, and are also able to disconnect their self-worth from their body shape, accept their body as unique and feel comfortable and confident in their own bodies (NEDA, 2013).