This past week the Journal of the American Medical Association published a research paper titled Does Body Mass Index Adequately Convey a Patient’s Mortality Risk? BMI, a ratio of height to weight, is currently used to categorize people as underweight (<18.5), normal weight (18.5-24.9), overweight (25-39.9) and obese (30-34.9). The report found that those whose BMI labelled them as overweight had less risk of dying than people of normal weight; And while obese people had a greater mortality risk over all, those at a BMI between 30 and34.9 were not more likely to die than people with normal BMIs. To see the full report click here
This article has been both criticized and praised. Those critical question why BMIs below 18.5 were not examined. Others praise the authors for questing the obesity guidelines and what society views as healthy. I hope this study will continue to stir discussion and debate.