In echoing the federal government on the “obesity epidemic,” syndicated columnist George Will bites off more than he can chew (“Take heed of surgeon general’s parting words,” Other Views, Feb 27). Relying on a government standard, Will writes that anyone with a body-mass index above 30 is obese. Does he know that Russell Crowe is obese by this standard?

That’s not all. According to the government standard, sports stars Michael Jordan and Cal Ripken Jr. are officially “overweight,” as is actor Brad Pitt. That’s because the BMI scale does not distinguish between fat and muscle.

In 1998, the government changed its measurement standards, and 30 million Americans became “overweight” without gaining an ounce. Now that obesity is a government-certified “epidemic,” it could happen again.

Just wait and see what your government thinks of you.