Your BMI determines your risk.
Frightening statistics concerning obesity are displayed on headlines, and discussed on almost every news program. Body mass index (BMI) charts are obsessed over by doctors, patients, and insurance companies alike. Your BMI classifies you as either underweight, healthy, overweight, or obese.
Most health professionals agree that evidence overwhelmingly proves that being obese is very unhealthy and places a person at high risk for developing such diseases as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. But, what if you are not obese, but merely overweight? Health researchers are now trying to separate the “overweight” from the “obese” which have until this point, often been lumped together into one group. Many researchers are now wondering, “Can a person be overweight and still be healthy?”
Study suggests many overweight people are healthier than expected.
A recent study done by The American Centers For Disease Control, and published in the “Journal of the American Medical Association” proves that a person who is classified as overweight can be healthier than was previously assumed. In fact, the study suggested that overweight individuals may be healthier than normal or underweight people. “Being overweight may not be associated with any risk of heart disease,” says Robert Eckel, MD, a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado and past president of the American Heart Association.
The results of the study showed that those who were overweight had no greater health risk than normal weight people. In fact, the findings suggested that being overweight may actually protect against death from a multitude of diseases.
There are better ways to determine health risk.
As of recently, it has been suggested that Body Mass Index (BMI) may not necessarily be the best way to determine overall health. After all, there are many people who have a high ratio of muscle to fat, making them heavier and giving them a higher BMI. Many health professionals are now in agreement that waist size, as opposed to BMI, is a better determiner of health. For women, keeping a waist measurement under 31.5 inches decreases the risk of cancer and heart disease, along with many others. Waist size by itself seems to be a determiner of health, while arm and leg size, and weight appear to make no difference.
As more research is done, a clearer picture of what is overweight versus healthy weight may be painted. It has been suggested that an overweight individual’s struggle with body image in a thin-is-in world may result in health issues far worse than those resulting from their extra weight. Doesn’t it seem that just about everybody knows somebody on a diet?
“Overweight people may live longer,” BBC News
Sarah Mahoney, “The overweight debate: Healthy and heavy?,” MSNBC