This is how Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson is technically obese
What would you say if I asked you to name some overweight celebrities? Okay, fine: once you got "why?" "who are you?" and "how did you get into my house?" out of the way. Close your eyes, and think of some overweight celebrities. Who comes to mind?
For me, the obvious choices are Jonah Hill (even though he's lost a lot of weight in recent times), Jack Black or Rebel Wilson (who's made a name for herself as Pitch Perfect's Fat Amy). But I doubt many of you would have Vin Diesel anywhere near that list. Or Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson.
Both of these bald, muscular men who've become two of the biggest movie stars around at the moment (thanks in part to their success in the Fast and Furious franchise) actually have bodies completely unworthy of envy, according to conventional logic. The US government says that Diesel is overweight, while Johnson is classified as obese.
Did not see that coming.
It's part of the US government's weird fascination with the Body Mass Index (BMI), which is meant to be an official way of determining how overweight someone is, just by taking a couple of measurements and applying some good ol' math. But as my ex-girlfriend always used to say: you can't use math to justify hurting other people's feelings.
Being a bald, wisecracking man mountain with six feet four inches and 260 lbs of pure beef, the Rock is only slightly unbelievable as a tag team partner for a giant albino gorilla in a fight against a giant crocodile and another giant flying wolf (if you have no idea what I'm talking about, I feel sorry for you).
But his BMI is officially 34.3, which is in the classification for morbidly obese. It doesn't take into account muscle content or bone density, and that's only part of the problem with using BMI as a metric for weight management or health.
Out in France, the French National Assembly recently put through a ban on models with a BMI of less than 18. Sounds good, right? But in practice, this meant that a model standing at five feet, eight inches would be illegal if she weighed 118 pounds. Should she gain just one pound, however, she'd be catwalk-ready, no questions asked.
It's also pretty unfair on kids, who have enough problems with their self image as it is in this modern world. Out in Belton, Missouri back in 2015, a parent had to draw the line, after her seven-year-old daughter was sent home with a note saying that she was overweight. Seven years old.
While we should all be keeping our eyes on our weight for the simple fact of health, there are a billion ways to do so that are better than the Body Mass Index. For example, my BMI is 28.7, which means that I'm overweight, but also puts me in the weight category for Eminem, Tom Cruise, Matt Damon and... uh, Russell Crowe.
Long story short, any weight classification that says you're in better shape than Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, is quite clearly in need of some rethinking.