the weight of the world

clock, thermometer, tape measure, kitchen scale...

I suspect I’m one of the few women of my age group who has never been on a diet; I was a skinny child and my mother used to tell me I wouldn’t put on weight until I got “a contented mind”.

I’m not sure that’s what happened, but it’s becoming more and more difficult to ignore all the media hype about obesity and health: what used to be reserved for the pages of women’s magazines seems to have spilled over into the general press, and I’ve been aware for a while that my BMI is up at the top end of the acceptable range.

The latest article to catch my eye is on the BBC Health page, entitled “Where are you on the global fat scale?”.

Filling in the numbers, I find that in fact my BMI is lower than 71% of females in my age range in Spain, which doesn’t sound so bad after all.

What is worrying, though, is the little “did you know?” that pops up along with the results. Apparently:

If everyone in the world had the same BMI as [me], it would add 10,667,626 tonnes to the total weight of the world’s population

I suddenly feel as if I had the weight of the world on my shoulders.

I’ve been playing around with the figures to see how things change. It turns out that by dropping my weight just five kilos, I can change that to:

If everyone in the world had the same BMI as you, it would remove 13,339,230 tonnes from the total weight of the world’s population

So, where I was just casually thinking of losing a few pounds, I find that my target weight loss has become something over 13 million tonnes (or around 24 million, depending on how you look at it.)

There has to be some poetry in the world of weight loss and keep fit, but whether I can find it is a different matter. At least I’ve found a blog post, though.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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