A new study that sheds light on the accuracy of the BMI says that skinny does not necessarily mean healthy and that more than half of the Americans that are considered to be overweight are actually fit as a fiddle.
Researcher and psychologist, Janet Tomiyama, has conducted a study in order to determine whether or not the BMI (the index of body mass) is an accurate measuring unit for a person’s health. The index of body mass is calculated by dividing the individual’s mass (measured in either kilograms or pounds) to the square root of the person’s height (measured in either meters or inches). When using the imperial system, the result is then multiplied by 703.
According to the BMI results, there are four types of people: the underweight (those who score less than 18.5), normal weight (those who are between the levels of 18.5 and 24.9), overweight (the people that have a BMI in between 25 and 29.9) and the obese (the BMI levels are above 30).
What Tomiyama and her team tried to do was to demonstrate the fact that the formula is a faulty health measuring unit and while it is appropriate to measure somebody’s weight with it, it is not a good indicator of a person’s overall health.
The researcher and phycologist analyzed a sample of the three types of BMI (normal, overweight and obese) during a period of a few years. The volunteers were regularly submitted to check ups and blood tests in order for the team to have an idea of their general health status. Things like insulin levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels were monitored.
After the study was over, the team of researchers analyzed the gathered data and concluded that 47.4 percent of the people that were labeled as overweight by the index of body mass and 29 percent of those considered to be obese were, in fact, healthy from a metabolically point of view.
On the other hand, skinny does not necessarily mean healthy as 30 percent of those that had a normal BMI were found to have several health issues.
Tomiyama wanted to point out the fact that the BMI is not an accurate health measuring unit because more and more insurance companies are using it in order to determine the cost of an individual’s insurance. Also, the Federal Government proposed that the employees that have a BMI higher that 24 should be penalized.
The conclusions of the study’s authors were that people do not need a normal height and weight ratio in order to be healthy. The researchers do recommend the people to eat fruits and vegetables, drink lots of liquids and exercise regularly in order to keep fit. Skinny does not necessarily mean healthy.
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