Monday, 1 September 2008

Nine inches

In 1971, after the UK moved to decimal currency I was a student, and had a temporary job as an ice cream man. In 2002, when France switched to the Euro I was working in Paris. Now my job regularly involves working in a mix of pounds, dollars and euros. In other words, I am comfortable handling a change from old money to new money.

But when it comes to measuring weight, distance and volume, I still think in stones and pounds; inches, feet and miles; pints and gallons. And so, I am happy to say, does the NHS Direct Body Mass Index Calculator.

This is a web page, where you plug in your weight (in stones and pounds); and your height (in feet and inches), and it works out your BMI, then tells you what it thinks.

Until this morning it has been a bit rude, frankly. But having lost a few pounds over recent weeks, this morning it is being much more polite. To paraphrase a little, the underlying message has changed from "we are disgusted at the disgraceful state you are in", to "we are disapponted that you are not taking better care of yourself".

I count this as progress, and I'm feeling mildly pleased that there is a pay off from a combination of taking more exercise, and my wife keeping a careful eye on my diet.

However as far as I can make out, I am still about 9 inches short of the ideal height for my weight. So no slap up meal to celebrate - the programme continues....

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