STATES CHRONICLE – Obesity rates are on the rise all over the world, causing around 4 million deaths. This condition is closely associated with cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, which are the leading causes of mortality. One way to prevent them is to know who is exposed to a higher risk, and measuring the BMI of a person might not be the best indicator.
People don’t need a high BMI to suffer from metabolic problems
You might notice that a layer of fat has accumulated around your waist, but your BMI is still among normal lines. However, this doesn’t mean you are perfectly healthy, or you are free from all risks. Keep in mind that a normal body mass index does not account for all problems you might experience, so a more effective method of monitoring should be found.
So far, people see obesity in terms of a high BMI, and it’s hard to think otherwise, since most studies rely on it to characterize obese people. However, this indicator is related only to weight, and does not account for other possible health problems. Indeed, they can arise from being overweight, but certain issues can appear even when the indicator is lower.
BMI does not account for the distribution of body fat
What is at fault about BMI is that it correlates weight and height, and doesn’t take into account body fat in general. Therefore, it would be more advisable to look at waist size when determining possible future problems. This is important, since a person with a normal index but more fat concentrated in the abdominal area has twice the risk of an obese person.
Moreover, many obese people are metabolically healthy, while others are not, even though they have a normal weight. Therefore, instead of using BMI as a shortcut to identify risk factors, we should divert our attention to other indicators.
May Clinic proposed a new indicator, BVI (body volume indicator). This should be more effective, since it uses a software which scans your body and determines the fat distribution across your body. However, it is quite difficult to implement, but at least some medical experts have realized BMI is not enough to account for all health risks.
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