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The other day, Clare Rager texted five of her girlfriends. 

“I’m going to be eligible for the vaccine purely because of my body weight, and no other reason,” she wrote. “Do you think it’s a terrible thing for me to do, to get in there and get a vaccine?” 

Rager is a lawyer who works entirely from home, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She’s 33, and has no obesity-related conditions like diabetes or hypertension. 

If you saw her walking down the street, she says, “you might think, ‘That woman’s chubby, but you certainly wouldn’t think, ‘Oh, she has a scary medical condition. So to some degree, I can pass as not eligible to be in this group.” 

“This group,” in her case, means people with obesity — a body mass index (BMI) over 30. In her state and several others, the condition makes you eligible for an early coronavirus vaccine, just like cancer or Alzheimer’s. 

Unlike those conditions, the BMI-based definition of obesity is faulty. The term is stigmatizing. There’s debate as to whether being in a larger body really does increase your risk of complications from COVID-19, or if the real risk is medical bias towards fat people. 

Sometimes, people who technically have obesity don’t know they fit the BMI criteria. 

But health experts agree: If your BMI makes you eligible for the vaccine, don’t hold back. Yes, the rollout is imperfect, and BMI is a poor indicator of health. But you didn’t make the rules. 

To conquer this pandemic, we need shots in arms. Not getting the vaccine can hurt us all. 

Some people with high BMIs are reluctant because the metric is a poor indicator of health 

According to the CDC, 42% of American adults have obesity. All that means is they have a certain height-to-weight ratio. It doesn’t tell us about how …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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