Birth control comes with a weight limit

The average American woman weighs 166 pounds. New data suggests that the Plan B morning-after pill is less effective if you weigh more that 165 pounds, and won't work at all for women who weigh more than 175. What's more, writes Kate Clancy (an anthropologist who studies women's reproductive issues), the dosages for regular old daily birth control are set for average-to-low-weight women. If your BMI is over 25, the pill won't work as well for you.

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  1. That's always confused me with drugs. Over the counter stuff never mentions dosage per kg of mass, it's always a set amount. People can be easily two or three times the mass of other adults, but the recommended dose is the same for everyone?

  2. "If your BMI is over 25, the pill won't work as well for you."

    Does BMI actually enter into it? If a little person standing 4 feet tall and weighing 87 pounds has to be worried about getting an underdose because they are too heavy?

  3. Apparently 27 BMI is maximum life expectency and that is 27 BMI for 5'6". So the fat shaming might be based on unrealistic ideas of what a human is supposed to be.

  4. Elusis says:

    You are aware, I hope, that in 1998, the definitions of "overweight" and "obese" were changed to correspond to lower BMIs, with absolutely zero medical evidence for doing so.

  5. Children look a lot thinner than adults. Adults trying to look like young children are not being realistic.

    But seriously, you've made a lot of comments here that suggest you don't have realistic expectations of weight and you think people of normal healthy weights are fat. Statistically speaking (and obviously this can't be used to speak of any particular individual) people who are considerably heavier than we we currently call "normal" are healthier people (as in they get sick less and they live longer).

    Now a 5'6" woman who weights 166 lbs may be very unhealthy for a number of reasons, and may have much more fat and much less muscle than is healthy, who knows, individuals may vary. But suggesting that healthy such a weight means it's time to "put down the ham sandwich" shows a damaging bias towards less-healthy weights.

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