A New Look at BMI


Carrying around excess pounds is a problem of epidemic proportions in the U.S. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 1/3 of U.S. adults (36.5%) are so overweight they are classified as obese. Because it raises the risk of many health problems – from type 2 diabetes and heart disease to sleep apnea and several cancers – being significantly overweight not only causes suffering on an individual basis but it also takes a significant economic toll, contributing to higher medical and insurance costs, more disability, lost work days and premature death. But defining who is truly overweight and who isn’t is coming under scrutiny thanks to a reassessment of BMI (body mass index), a mathematical tool long used by physicians to quickly and inexpensively determine whether a person’s weight ranks as normal. Unlike reading pounds on a scale, BMI is calculated by a formula that takes into account a person’s weight in relation to his or …