That would be the World Health Organization, and by extension, its International Obesity Task Force, headed up by one Professor Philip James. In 1997, following two years of study, the IOTF lowered the "overweight" cutoff to 25 from its previous value of 27. And do you know who financially backed the IOTF's study? Pharmaceutical companies Hoffmann-La Roche and Abbott Laboratories, producers of the weight loss drugs Xenical and Meridia, respectively. Now, for his part, James maintains that the drug companies didn't push any sort of agenda on him (they merely pushed him lots of checks for $200,000 apiece). Still, there's no denying that by shifting an arbitrary dot on an arbitrary scale, James expanded said companies' markets by millions of instantly overweight people.
Of course, none of this is saying that it's cool to burst right through the top of the body mass index like some sort of French-fry-powered rocket-person. We're simply saying that as a general rule, anyone attempting to define a human being in two digits or fewer probably has some ill intentions.
Dr. Claudio Buttice, Pharm.D., is a former hospital pharmacist who eventually grew bored being just a doctor and became a freelance medical writer. He's also a screenwriter and journalist who contributed to several magazines, such as The Ring of Fire, Digital Journal, Techopedia, and Business Insider -- and he managed to look cool every time. If you want to offer Dr. Buttice a writing gig or just want to throw money in his general direction, feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on LinkedIn.
The Overworked Person's Guide to Better Nutrition can help you by starting to sort all this craziness out.
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