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BMI may be an inaccurate indicator of health

As claimed by a new study, the body mass index, or BMI, may not be an valid predictor of an individual’s likelihood of getting a metabolic disorder or heart disease.

Obsessed with your BMI and stepping on the scale? BMI may not be as effective at weighing your health. Image from militaryspot.com

The outcome of the study proposes that around 75 million adults in the United States might be misdiagnosed. The researchers suggested that adults might have a genuine likelihood of diabetes or heart disease that is either lower or higher than advised by their BMIs.

Jeffrey M. Hunger, co-author of the study, said to maintain their health, individuals should “prioritize eating well, staying active and getting enough sleep,” instead of focusing on their weight. Hunger is a doctoral candidate, meaning he has completed all of the requirements for his degree, except his dissertation, at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The researchers focused on the BMIs of around 40,000 adults in the United States. Additionally, they looked at information on the individual’s “cardiometabolic health,” which is their likelihood for diabetes and heart disease.

When looking at the relationship between the individual’s cardiometabolic health and their BMIs, the researchers discovered that almost 50 percent of the individuals with a BMI in the overweight section, 29 percent of individuals with a BMI in the obese section and 16 percent of very obese individuals were cardiometabolically healthy.

A. Janet Tomiyama, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles and lead study author, said ”many people see obesity as a death sentence, but the data show there are tens of millions of people who are overweight and obese and are perfectly healthy.”

Additionally, over 30 percent of the individuals whose BMIs were considered to be a normal weight were discovered to be cardiometabolically unhealthy.

Preceding research on the topic of BMI has likewise proposed that using BMI as a measure of health may an issue. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity in 2010 concluded that waist size was a better indicator of children’s future likelihood of heart disease than BMI. A separate study, distributed in the journal Pediatric Obesity in 2014, discovered that one fourth of children who were not labeled as obese based on their BMI were obese based on their body fat content.

The study’s findings were published in the International Journal of Obesity on February 4.