Social media challenges seem to be all the rage. The latest one sprung up on the Chinese version of Twitter, Weibo, and it’s known as the Belly Button Challenge. Thousands of people are posting pictures of themselves reaching one arm behind their back, trying to touch their belly button. Basically, if you can touch your navel then you’re in good shape and if you cant, well then you need to lose weight.
According to the Daily Mail, there was a “scientific study” conducted in the U.S. that implies those who pass have good bodies and those who don’t should lose weight. Please note there’s no research to back this study up.
Dr. Charlie Seltzer, a weight-loss specialist from Philadelphia, says, “If you can touch your belly button from behind your back, you could be in better shape than someone who can’t — but you shouldn’t have a false sense of security about your health. You might have a small waist and look healthy, but your blood work could show that you’re just as unhealthy as someone who weighs 400 pounds.”
Other things come into factor, too. For instance, you may have shorter arms and poor shoulder flexibility, but are in perfectly good shape. “If you can’t do it, don’t be completely freaked out,” Dr. Seltzer urges. The Daily Mail reports that even a fitness instructor couldn’t pass the challenge.
This challenge sends a negative message to those who can and can’t pass the test. For those who can, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re healthy. It’s important to consult your doctor and have blood work done to truly see if you are at risk for metabolic disease. If you can’t pass the test, but you’re actually in good health, this challenge can encourage body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) because it’s telling your mind you are “fat.”
Bottom line: these social media challenges are just that…challenges. Please don’t take any of this seriously and love yourself for who you are, not if you can pass a test telling you to lose weight.
Have you tried the Belly Button Challenge?