BMI Incorrectly Labels 54 Million Obese Americans As Unhealthy: Study

Posted: Feb 6 2016, 5:19am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

BMI Incorrectly Labels 54 Million Obese Americans as Unhealthy: Study
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  • BMI is an Unreliable Method of gauging Optimal Health

A study has found BMI to be an unreliable method of gauging optimal health. There is much more to glowing health than just a simple body mass index calculation.

It has become somewhat of a trend that BMI or body mass index is seen to be the sine qua non of a person’s health. This is basically the ratio of one’s height and weight.

So much so that many insurance companies are using BMI in the equations to determine the health risks for various employees. Those with higher BMIs would have to shell out more on their health insurance premiums.

But there is a slight hitch. Using BMI is not a surefire method of calculating the health barometer reading of a person. If BMI is anything to go by, over 54 million Americans would be considered unhealthy or overweight.

However, the fact of the matter is that they are not. A new study by UCLA psychologists, published in the journal Nature, has found the case to be a little different from what the previous received wisdom would have us believe.

The findings were published in a journal. Obesity is not necessarily an obituary of sorts for the afflicted person. According to several observations there are millions of people who are obese and yet they lead healthy lives.

The connection between BMI and hypertension, blood glucose levels, cholesterol readings and triglycerides was analyzed. The results were surprising to say the least.

Over half of all Americans who were thought to be on the hefty side were in fact healthy. And paradoxically a significant percentage of the obese were fit as a fiddle too.

Thus it seems that those who are overweight or even obese tend not to incur more charges as regards health care. Therefore, they ought not to be charged more for their insurance.

UCLA’s DISH (Dieting, Stress and Health Lab) found the very proposal of obesity and bulkiness being linked with other ailments to be nothing but an old wive’s tale.

The higher insurance rates that the overweight and obese were being charged simply did not tally with the reality of the situation. One of the researchers has declared this study to be one of the last funeral rites for the BMI myth.

The hunger impulse is a sign from nature that one ought to seek nutritious nourishment. One ought not to obsess over one’s weight and get stuck in a cycle of yoyo dieting which is basically very harmful.

With this study, the stigma attached with obesity has been at least partially obliterated. And that is good news indeed.

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