EVANSVILLE, Indiana (WFIE) – A recent homework assignment asked Tessa Embry and other students to calculate their body mass index, which measures body fat based on height and weight.
A BMI number defines someone as underweight, thin, healthy, overweight, or obese.
There’s no way for the formula to discriminate fat over muscle.
“She had me label myself and many others in my gym class as ‘obese,'” said Tessa. “A lot of girls left there upset and I wanted to do something about it.”
Tessa wrote a two-page response to that homework assignment.
In it, she describes her physical characteristics and informs her teacher that the homework assignment doesn’t deserve a response.
She ended it with how the BMI formula is outdated and setting students up to fail.
The EVSC says that Tessa’s discomfort led to a terrific discussion.
“We have a physical education teacher which took a really proactive approach and trying to create some awareness for physical fitness and health, and we have a student, instead of doing the assignment, realized that there is a lot more to BMI than just that chart and wanted to get that message out. In doing so, she wrote very creative and well written essay to accomplish that,” said Director of School Support, Audra Offutt.
Tessa’s mom posted her response on Facebook and it went viral.