A huge weight was lifted off a woman’s shoulders after she made a surprising discovery about the popular game console Wii Fit. The console features a balancing board that allows users to perform a variety of exercises, such as yoga, strength training, and aerobics.
“Was looking at my old Wii stuff,” wrote TikToker Morgan (@morgantuck11). “Discovered some info that would’ve saved 8 year old me a lot of trauma.”
The next image shows her holding up the instruction manual, to highlight one specific section. “A note for players under 20 and their parents:” the note begins.
“The Body Mass Index (BMI) categories (underweight, normal, overweight, and obese) displayed by Wii Fit do not apply to people under 20 years of age,” the note continues.
The BMI scale is a measure of body fat based on a person’s height and weight. The rules differ for children and teens, according to the CDC. Age is factored in after measuring a child or teen’s height and weight. From there, their BMI is expressed as a percentile. For example, 5th percentile to less than 85th percentile is calculated as a “Healthy weight.”
In recent years, the BMI scale has come under fire from healthcare professionals for being misleading and harmful. In a statement from June, the American Medical Association referred to the BMI scale’s “historical harm” and its use for “racist exclusion.” Additionally, they wrote that the BMI scale is “an imperfect measure because it does not directly assess body fat.”
Morgan alluded to the faulty BMI affecting her self-esteem at a young age and likely causing her to engage in dieting behaviors. The text “if only she read the instruction manual,” was displayed on a picture of her younger self.
“Was addicted to that silly scale,” she captioned the video.
Morgan’s PSA reached over 281,300 views by Thursday. Commenters were also surprised to learn that the BMI on the Wii Fit wasn’t accurate.
“BRO I THOUGHT I WAS OBESEEEEEE IN 2ND GRADE BYE,” one user wrote.
The revelation caused odd memories to resurface.
“I remember when I was 10 and got my 3y/o brother to stand on it for my Mii so she wasn’t so big,” one woman wrote with a crying emoji. “it said I was in a healthy range.”
The video was also healing for many people who were affected by the number on the scale at a young age.
“Why am I sobbing at work?” this user commented.
This isn’t the first time the Wii Fit has come under scrutiny for mislabeling kids as obese. A 2008 article from the Daily Mail published reports from angry parents who criticized the game for labeling their athletic children as obese.
In response, Nintendo issued an apology and reminded users that the instruction manual does state that the BMI doesn’t apply to children.
“As stated in the Wii Fit manual, BMI is essentially a measure of body fat, based on an adult height and weight,” they wrote in their statement. “Wii Fit is still capable of measuring the BMI for people aged between 2 and 20 but the resulting figures may not be entirely accurate for younger age groups due to varying levels of development.”
Nintendo also specified that BMI does not account for different bodily makeup, such as muscle mass. “People with more muscle mass than normal will also have a higher BMI rating due to the heavy weight of muscle tissue, so the resulting figures should be used for reference purposes only,” they added.
The Daily Dot reached out to Morgan via TikTok comment and Nintendo via response form.