An Interesting Measurement -Of The Wrong Thing:
For quite awhile, BMI has been used as an indicator of obesity.
And for most of that time it’s been considered as good as any measure out there.
But a recent study by 2 universities in Canada is trying to put the final punctuation-mark on many people’s recent critiques of its shortcomings.
And they just might have succeeded…
You see, one of the biggest factors working in BMI’s favor was its Simplicity.
It Simply Distracts From The Real Problem:
It allowed people to stop thinking, especially since most other physical calculations could be difficult.
But the Canadian study found that you’d better go ahead and do the more difficult ones, because one key measure was more important.
-Total Percent Bodyfat.
In examinations of about 50,000 women and 5,000 men, the researchers found that it was a much better indicator of health-problems and untimely-mortality than the ole’ standby, BMI.
You Can Be Too Fat, You Can’t Be Too Rich, But You Can Be Too Thin:
Not only that, but the researchers also found people with the lowest BMI had the 2nd most-increased risk of death at 45%.
Notable among those is the group of people with Both a low BMI AND high bodyfat % who were especially unlucky.
-Which in a way proves that “Skinny Fat” is actually a real thing, and still a health risk even though that group was no greater than 2% of people tested.
The Modest Paunch Paradox: Living Well Doesn’t Always = Skinny; -Or Obese:
And yet even stranger: People who had BMIs that categorized them as Overweight, but measured about average for Bodyfat % had the best survival-rates!
The speculation there is that these people are living relatively-healthy lifestyles and might be carrying a little more muscle around with them. It also suggests that achieving any type of weight-loss through extreme dieting is probably a bad idea.
Exclamation Point! -Fat Better Predictor Than BMI:
And finally, on the other end of the scale, No Matter What Their BMI Was, people with the highest bodyfat-levels took the mortality cake.
Within 4.5 years of testing, Men had a 60% increased-risk and women had a 19% increase vs. the average.
-And that’s the data-point that basically proves the study.
The generally-dangerous zones for Body Fat % and Waist-Sizes are as follows: 32%+BF and 35 inches For Women, 25%+BF and 40 inches For Men.
Check out the Details at the Links:
Photo Credits: “All Women Lifeguard Tournament 2012”, by Shawn Perez
• More Coverage: Time | CBC-Abdominal Fat More Dangerous Than Obesity Alone
• Source Study: AIM-Relationship Among Body Fat Percentage, Body Mass Index, and All-Cause Mortality: A Cohort Study