Belly Fat More Important Than BMI

Earlier this year I blogged about my frustration at insurance companies and others using the Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine the health of individual people.  Basically, if you don’t meet the BMI for your height, then you are automatically considered overweight and a health risk. This was NEVER the intended use for BMI and is incredibly inaccurate.

I blogged at the time about how a study found that BMI was wrong 50% of the time as an indicator of obesity in women.  For more information on how bad BMI is, please read that blog.

How is it that companies still continue to use this measure?  I believe that insurance companies are able to sting a lot of customers for increased insurance premiums using “failing to meet BMI” as an excuse for the extra “loading”.  They don’t take into account body fat or more importantly – waist size!!!!!!

In my previous blog I explained how study after study has determined that waist size is a far better indicator of predisposition to future health problems, than BMI.  How simple would it be for a doctor to throw a measuring tape around someone’s waist at a health checkup?  Yes – incredibly simple isn’t it.

So this last week I read yet another study related to this.  The study by the Mayo Clinic showed that the amount of Belly Fat is a far better indicator of health risk than obesity according to BMI.

“A new study suggests that adults who aren’t technically overweight but have a lot of fat around their guts run a higher death risk than people who are obese”

And for the lovers of BMI they spelt out the conclusion that numerous other studies have found:

”   the body mass index — a ratio of weight to height that’s commonly abbreviated as BMI — is not always the best indicator of health risks caused by excess weight”

To be clear (in case you don’t read the link article as something is wrong with your Internet connection – it just couldn’t be because you are too lazy!) those people who had a normal BMI but central belly fat had a higher death risk.

One easy step to get rid of that fat?  Cut out the sugar!  Lovely to read that the US, and particularly NYC are the pioneers in leading the correct way to look after your health “NYC Bans BIg, Sugary Drinks at Restaurants“.

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