Woman soldier calls on military to double standards

A TikTok user who uses the username @ baleficent1 on the platform recently posted a video calling for US Army health standards. The current system of measuring weight and height, called body composition standards, frequently considers women to be overweight when they have a significant amount of muscle on their body. Because muscle weighs more than fat in the body, many strong women have been considered overweight by today’s standards.

In the TikTok video, which currently has over two million views, several fit women who were tested were found to be overweight, including a woman who weighed around 160 pounds. Although the same woman was able to lift 300 pounds, as shown in another TikTok video, current standards measurements considered her unhealthy and overweight. The video also showed a man who appeared to be significantly less fit than the women in the video, and noted that he had exceeded standards for height and weight.

TikTok / baleficent1

Because female standards don’t consider muscle mass in the same way that the same test does for men, some commentators in the video pointed out what to do while in the military. A TikTok user named Heather wrote: “[We] sitting in a sauna wearing sweats for four hours’ to lose weight before the test.

Other branches of the U.S. military have different standards for body composition standards, including the Air Force and Navy, which have different weight and height charts for males and females. Military.com says the current standards date back to 2002, but those still subject to them frequently report that they are significantly exceeded.

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