Rebecca O’Neill didn’t believe it Eligible for Kovid-19 vaccineI. He did not realize that his turn had come. Last week, when she scrolled Eligibility requirements She saw the body mass index on the list for New York State.
Body mass index or BMI is technically a measure of obesity. The quantifier for risk assessment was designed by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in the 1930s. Since BMI is a formula that does not consider a number of important factors such as where is body fat or if a vital organ is surrounded by fat, experts ask for an indicator to be taken with a grain of salt. But still, a BMI that indicates obesity has been a source of agitation for those who believe that their doctors have used it to discriminate against them because of their weight.
Ms. O’Neill, a 34-year-old comedian and writer in Brooklyn, did not worry about that moment. that Calculation Her BMI (it’s essentially your weight compared to your height), she found that she met this technical limit for obesity, and booked a vaccine appointment for the same day. She received her first dose later that afternoon.
“I didn’t know my BMI was 30 years old,” Ms. O’Neill said in a phone interview. “I heard a lot of jokes about it on Twitter, but it was a relief that I deserved it.”
It is complicated to rely on BMI for the risk of serious health conditions. Many healthy people still fall into the “overweight” category based on their body proportions, with no difference between bone density, muscle, and body fat.
This is Particular case For women, black adults, and low-income people, who make up the majority of obese Americans by such standards. It has a lot to do with the fact that the original calculus was developed by white men.
For many, using their deceptively high BMI is a frightening decision.
As Emma Spector Put it in vogue, Writing about her decision to receive a vaccine based on BMI eligibility: “a metric of health that has long been in question Fat workers and medical experts alike The first may stand to actively benefit obese people. “
Many others are making the same decision – and posting about it online.
Some wrestled over whether it was ethical to get a vaccine based on a metric that could reduce the risk of serious illness.
“Taking care of the sick and the elderly and the health care workers, I understand it all – but at some point they should open it up to whoever they can catch,” Raffaele Rispo, a barber from Saratoga Springs, 38, received me . The vaccine recently stated in an interview, due to his BMI. “I used to understand that older, more sick people should get it first – but when they changed it, I was happy.”
Mr. Rispo has not seen his parents, who live two-and-a-half hours away from him, or his 15-year-old son, who is also a few hours away in a year. He said he was ready to return to “some normalcy”, even though he deemed BMI unreliable, he said.
While unreliable, BMI can serve a purpose; According to the CDC, it can be used to screen for weight categories, which can lead to health problems, but is not a diagnosis of a person’s body fat or health.
At Harvard Medical School, an expert on obesity medicine and nutrition, Drs. Fatima Cody Stanford said, “BMI is not a big measure in itself.” “It doesn’t tell me if it’s the fat mass that’s causing the swelling. It doesn’t tell me if it’s the weight of the water, it doesn’t tell me about those specific details.”
For those who meet the BMI requirement for a vaccine, this measurement presents a rare opportunity. William Antonelli said that once his sister felt he was eligible for the vaccine due to his BMI, he made an appointment for her as well. A few days later, Mr. Antonelli, the editor of Insiders, received his first commentary jab.
“When it comes to this type of disease, there’s really no wrong person to vaccinate,” he said. “The problem is not that I am applying for something that I am eligible for, it is a rollout. This issue is with the government system that has brought us to this point. “