Obesity experts condemn Nintendo's Wii 'Fit' game

Obesity experts today slammed Nintendo after its Wii Fit game told a 10-year-old girl she was fat.

They fear the game could damage children's body image and called on the company to warn parents it is not suitable for their offspring.

The £69 game, which sold out within hours when it went on sale in Britain last month, uses an electronic "balance board" to monitor a player's weight.

Once the player has entered their height, the game uses BMI, a measure of body fat based on an adult's height and weight, to calculate their level of obesity, placing them in categories such as "underweight" and "fat".

Players can then be guided through yoga exercises or play games to improve their balance.

However, a father from the South-East spoke today of the embarrassment when his stepdaughter played the game and was labelled fat.

"She is a perfectly healthy, 4ft 9in tall 10-year-old who swims, dances and weighs only six stone," said the father, who did not want to be named for fear of embarrassing the girl further.

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Yet another person who doesn't seem capable of READING the BLEEPING MANUAL where it CLEARLY states that the BMI calculation on Wii Fit is designed for adults and children may get incorrect readings. It also says parents needs to supervise their kids so if the parents took some responsibility for themselves this never would have happened.

As a side note, show me where the Wii Fit ever once displays or says "fat".

I would hope the parents have raised their kid well enough that she won't rely on a video game to determine her health or appearance... but I doubt they have.

BMI sucks because it doesn't know how much is muscle in your body, and howm uch is fat. all it says is your weight and your height people, IF shes 84 pounds of healthy, fit muscle, she might be fat or w/e but if your fat, you'll get a good score, if you're really fit you'll get a bad score

BMI is a ridiculous wahy of measuring anything it shouldb e trashed.

I still cannot get why some people (most people IMHO) are not calling the things by they real name. Almost nobody calls fat people "fat" but average because they say its offensive!? Isn't more offensive that we have to see your fat flesh in public. And its your freaking fault your not doing anything to become more fit, you cannot be sitting all day in front of the TV watching Oprah and eating greasy fast foods in your lunch break, and if somebody calls you fat you feel offended. Bah!

Let's start calling the things by their real name:

1. "Average" body size means "fat".
2. "A few extra pounds" or "big" means "pig".
3. BBW means "monster".

Here is how the game really works: If you are getting this game because you think it's gonna help you lose weight, you already have bad workout habbits and thus, are probably overwight.

Stretch when you wake up and walk a city block or two. Doing that will do much better than a video game can do for you, and you'll have more money in your pocket.

I'm not saying what I'm saying because I think it's wrong to be overwight, I'm saying what I'm saying because I'm amazed at how stupid society has become about weight. Everyone wants results with little effort and are willing to throw away money at a moments notice just for that. Lets say your Wii and Fit game costs you $250 and you get paid $15.00 /hr, that's 16hrs of work. Imagine putting 16hrs of work into exercise could could do for that same person.

BMI does not completely suck. It's a general range, there is no perfect number. If you are so tall, you should weigh within a certain range unless you have excess body fat. BMI doesn't take into account how 'tone' you are, but it give you a general range for your fitness. Having more weight in muscle too is going to throw that off that range, but obviously if you aren't guessing how healthy you are if you can see youself in the mirror.

Let's just leave it at the fact that the BMI completely sucks.

Nintendo shouldn't be criticized for being one of the millions of people/organizations who use it. The BMI in general should be criticized. Most of these so-called "obesity experts" use it anyway, as it is often their simplest tool.

The jig is up! If you're fat, you're fat because you're

A. Lazy
B. Chronologically challenged (work day keeps you tired)
C. A+B+pornoholic
D. Don't give a rat's *** what people think
E. Genetically predispositioned (which is a total copout. You can always do SOMETHING to lose weight)

If you play video games for hours a day, there's still no excuse. If people get fat and they're addicted to video games, it's NOT VIDEO GAMES. You can get addicted to driving! Do you get fat from driving? I hope not, or I'm doomed! You get fat from eating improperly. By improperly I mean, eating more than necessary, the wrong kind of food, at the wrong times, or all the time, and not balancing your diet. Diet has a lot to do with it, but you also need proper exercise, sleep, environmental relief (sunlight and fresh air) and a regular schedule. Nintendo is NOT an excuse or a reason to get fat or obese or whatever you label it. That's a total copout; and it probably started because parents don't know how to control their children and refuse maintain their household and let the TV, internet, and games run their livelyhood, instead of treating as a recreation.

problem with BMI is that it doesn't really take into account muscle, if u work out and quite fit, it will probs say u are over weight. There are better measurments out there

What great parents you all would make. Telling any 10 year old girl that she's fat will cause issues. All they had to do is ask for age of the person and then it could have worded it better or just not displayed the BMI for anyone under 20 or better yet, ask if they want their BMI.

BTW, most parents do not believe their kids are overweight, even when clearly they are. They've done studies on it.

If she was of normal weight and the thing told her she was obese then there's a problem.

Hovever, if she was overweight and it told her so then so what?! She needs to stop dodging the salads!

(Ollie64 said @ #26)
If she was of normal weight and the thing told her she was obese then there's a problem.

Hovever, if she was overweight and it told her so then so what?! She needs to stop dodging the salads!

Not when the instructions say the BMI calculation is inaccurate for people under 20 there is not a problem.

Only problem is peoples inablity to RTFM

The original article says "obesity experts." Who? I see only one name in the entire article, and if he is is more than one expert on his own then he is fat, too. Heck, the article doesn't even have an author. Some source.

People do realise that kid's BMI's are calculated differently to adults and the Wii Fit game doesn't appear to take this into account?

You known that you are really fat when:

-wii fit will broke when your step over.
-wii fit say "one person at once".
-wii fit start crying when you stood on it.
-you will need a widescreen for fit your mii on screen.
-wii fit will connect with Guiness Record.
-Wii fit warranty will not cover you.


(Magallanes said @ #23)
You known that you are really fat when:

-
-you will need a widescreen for fit your mii on screen.
-.


make that 2 wide screens in dual extended mode..... :-P


I stood on the wi fit and the bmi maxxed out at 9999999999999999999999999999999.999

The Kid probably was fat, thats why the game said so.

They got wii fit for a reason, it called the kid fat based on the BMI calculation made, it doesn't lie. While fitness is an objective thing you can't go crying about it if a game says your overweight.

This is pathetic.

Tell that fatty to get off the board and start jogging! :cheeky:
Seriously though, self-image problems are real and can be damaging for a lifetime sometimes. However, the suggestion that a game could have such an effect is certainly dubious. I don't think machines hurt many people's feelings. Usually it's other people that do that.

I hate the BMI... In college we had to take a semester of health class... the professor in it labeled me "obese" because of my BMI... when um I am very skinny... and tall... I just looked at him and said you keep thinking that... I weighed 135 lbs at the time... and was 6'2... but somehow I had a BMI that was "above average"....

I had a nurse somewhere test my body fat and I was called Obese by its scale. I was shocked but I didn't care I know I'm not Obese. I am a little overweight.

Even though this was a child, you still gotta take it with a grain of salt. Its a game. But girls are so fragile.

if it says your fat then your fat, do something about it geeezz, if you don't wanna do something about it then thats your bad luck really, isn't it?

BMI is a useful measure. Why not enable fat people to target a more healthy weight? Why not be candid about it? I also think its great that the machine tells you if you're underweight and should be eating more - that's got to be positive.

Her BMI was 18.2 so the machine got it wrong anyway. Children have different proportions and special charts are used to find their healthy weight.

Does WiiFit even use the term 'fat'?

The instruction book cleary says that the BMI doesn't work for anyone under 20, is it Nintendo's fault they can't read.

> Obesity experts today slammed Nintendo after its Wii Fit game told a 10-year-old girl she was fat.

What are they upset about? Inaccuracy, or wording?

How would a doctor describe this 10-year old girl?

Before attacking A or B... at 4 feet 9 inches and 84 pounds, her BMI is 18.2. Which is limit UNDER weight but normal for a growing kid. So kid is fine, BMI index is accurate... the device is just bugged IMHO.

Non-story.

Edit: was not meant as a response to dandy.. neowin system is "not practical".. (the word I used before was not allowed)

BTW

6 stone = 84 pounds

Based solely on BMI being 84 pounds at 4'9" and female. That is heavy.

But as most have already said.... BMI is ****.

Sorry but no game gets you fit, you need to exercise outside, like running or indoors.. swimming and eat healthy.

£70 for a computer game to tell her she's fat? I'll tell her she's fat for free.

Besides, it's a Daily Mail reader. They'll complain if they find one flake less in their cornflakes. Daily Mail is a hating paper, full of bitter, vile writers, read by bitter, vile people, and full of bitter, vile stories.

BMI is the most worthless fitness "statistic" in history. Every single institution in the world should stop using this pointless measurement and stop mentioning it in scientific studies.

I laugh whenever I see BMI stats, cuz I have a BMI of 31.6 but I'm not even fat.

If you use the BMI as the be all and end all of health/fitness, you are nothing more than a pure moron/(deluded)fool.

And FFS, it is only a game.

For my height/weight, I fit perfectly in the "normal" range, yet I eat lots of seriously unhealthy food, and I no longer exercise like I used to. I am very unfit.

(YaZoR said @ #2)
If you use the BMI as the be all and end all of health/fitness, you are nothing more than a pure moron/(deluded)fool.

And FFS, it is only a game.

For my height/weight, I fit perfectly in the "normal" range, yet I eat lots of seriously unhealthy food, and I no longer exercise like I used to. I am very unfit.

Haha same here.