Thursday, March 22, 2012

What does the phrase "Big Boned" really mean?

Big Boned: (adjective) having a bone structure that is massive in contrast with the surrounding flesh
according to

Big Boned: when someone's bones are larger than average (this can be described as "stocky") Can also be used to say someone is overweight in a polite manner
according to

So how do you use the term big boned? Which one is the correct definition or is there a stereotype associated with larger framed people and being overweight?
Overuse of this phrase has reduced the accountability of people who may be overweight and just say "I was born big boned." Intead of using this phrase lets shift toward body frame size in terms of small frame, medium frame and large frame.

To give an estimate of your body frame you can do a simple test.

Calculating Body Frame Size
Measure the circumference around your wrist. Use that measurement in relation to height to get an estimate of your body frame based on the chart below.

  • Height under 5'2"
    • Small = wrist size less than 5.5"
    • Medium = wrist size 5.5" to 5.75"
    • Large = wrist size over 5.75"
  • Height 5'2" to 5' 5"
    • Small = wrist size less than 6"
    • Medium = wrist size 6" to 6.25"
    • Large = wrist size over 6.25"
  • Height over 5' 5"
    • Small = wrist size less than 6.25"
    • Medium = wrist size 6.25" to 6.5"
    • Large = wrist size over 6.5"
  • Height over 5' 5"
    • Small = wrist size 5.5" to 6.5"
    • Medium = wrist size 6.5" to 7.5"
    • Large = wrist size over 7.5"
What does this estimate?
Again I cannot stress this enough, the calculations above are an estimate of the size of your body frame in terms of small, medium, and large.

I find it insulting for other people to call someone 'big boned' when they are smaller than that person and are unaware of what message they could be portraying. Body frame size gives us an idea but is not an exact measurement of the size of our bones. Instead of focusing on or settling with the phrase 'big boned" we should shift more towards the idea that everyone's body composition is different and we should all work together to fuel it in the healthiest way possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment