USA Today reports that he runs five miles every morning, lifts weights daily, plays tennis every afternoon, and watches what he eats. But at 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, TV pop psychologist Dr. Phil is still considered overweight — and on the edge of the dreaded “obese” label — according to skewed government fat standards.
Dr. Phil is in good company. Bad Boys II star Will Smith and Keanu Reaves of The Matrix Reloaded both join him in the “overweight” bunch, while Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe qualify for Uncle Sam’s “obese” label. And if Dr. Phil were to gain just three pounds, he would be considered “obese” too.
In 1998, the U.S. government changed the standards by which Body Mass Index (BMI) is measured. As a result, more than 30 million Americans were shifted from a government-approved “healthy” weight to the overweight category — without gaining an ounce. And as Dr. Phil’s case illustrates, the government standards may have little to do with overall health.
These rigged government scales tip the balance in favor of trial lawyers who are filing lawsuits against restaurants and food producers, and food cops who want to slap “fat taxes” on our favorite foods.
The Center for Consumer Freedom has posted the “Does the Government Think You’re Fat?” test at www.BMIscale.com. Users can plug in their height and weight and get an instant verdict on how their government BMI stacks up against celebrities and athletes.