New Research Finds Healthy BMI To Be Inaccurate

BMI calculators and charts have been used to discover a person's healthiness. A recent study find that this 'healthy bmi' is inaccurate.

BMI classified 54 million healthy-Americans as overweight and obese, says a new study. This same study found that BMI classes 21 million unhealthy-Americans in the normal category.

The study found support that BMI (body mass index) calculations are inconsistent health measuring tool. BMI has been used as the widespread health measurement tool used for calculating workers’ health care costs. The study looked at the association between BMI and cardiometabolic health data. Cardiometabolic health data gave information on blood pressure, glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol, insulin resistance and C-reactive protein (sign of inflammation).

Americans who were classified by BMI as overweight (34.4 million people) were considered healthy by their cardiometabolic measures. 19.8 million people were classified as obese but showed a healthy cardiometabolic measurement. 2 million people were classified as very obese but are also healthy. The study found 21 million Americans who have a healthy BMI class are unhealthy according to cardiometabolic measures.

“Many people see obesity as a death sentence. But the data show there are tens of millions of people who are overweight and obese and are perfectly healthy,” Professor Tomiyama, leader of the study and an assistant professor of psychology at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA)

Tomiyama says that these people aren’t likely to have higher medical expenses therefore a high health care premium based on BMI isn’t fair.

Basically, BMI has misclassified 75 million American adults when it is used as the sole health gauge. The healthy people are facing penalties and unhealthy people are not when the health insurance is based on BMI. “Employers, policy makers and insurance companies should focus on actual health markers,” said Tomiyama.

If the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) rule goes through, U.S. employers are able to charge up to 30 percent of health care costs to employees that don’t meet the health standards. Such standards as having a BMI within the normal range; indexed at 18.5 to 24.99.

Researchers says that although BMI isn’t a reliable way to determine a body’s health remember that diet and exercise are always the mainstay. Learn more.

Release ID: 104380