Obesity: BMI Not Always the Best Measurement

Obesity is generally measured by body mass index, or BMI. But, a new study indicates that BMI may not provide an accurate assessment for the elderly.

BMI not accurate measure of obesity for elderlyA new study shows that the elderly are better off measuring obesity by looking in the mirror, rather than figuring out their body mass index.

Researchers at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA studied data from more than 1,100 men and women over age 70. Their findings suggested that using body mass index – a ratio of height to weight – may not be the best way to determine obesity in older people.

Instead, the ratio of waist size to hip size can better indicate an elderly person’s obesity level, as well as possible health problems that can result from excess weight.

Researchers noted that, as we get older, body size and composition can change. And so, using body mass index as a measure of health isn’t as reliable as it might be at a younger age.

According to the findings, a waist-to-hip ratio of less than one is desirable. Wide hips and a muscular lower body are good signs. But once the waistline outgrows the hip size, there’s a higher chance of being classified as obese. And according to the study, death rates were higher among the elderly people who fit that category.

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One Response

  1. Dr. L.K. Shankhdhar, M.D.

    Body fat percentage is more reliable than anything else. Bioelectrical Impedence method is an easy and affordable way to measure body fat percentage. In men percentage above 25 and women above 33% is taken as obesity.


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