Isn’t body mass index an accurate measure of healthy weight?

The waist-hip ratio measurement is considered better than the body mass index.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA — The body mass index (BMI) calculation method is often used to categorize healthy and unhealthy weight. However, some experts have now started to abandon the count BMI and switch to a more accurate measurement method.

A recent study by the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) found that a better method of measuring BMI is the waist-to-hip ratio or waist to hip ratio (WHR). Through this study, a team of researchers from Ireland and Canada found that WHR have better accuracy in predicting disease progression and premature death.

WHR is considered better than BMI because it can provide information about the amount of fat in the stomach. As known, excess fat in the abdomen or visceral fat can increase the risk of several health problems including heart disease and diabetes.

Similar information cannot be provided by IMT. The reason for this is that BMI only takes into account overall body weight and does not take into account the areas of the body where excess fat is stored.

“A person who has excess fat around the belly may have the same BMI as other people of the same age and height who store their excess fat around the hips,” said researcher Irfan Khan of the University College Cork, as reported by Reuters. The sunThursday (22/9/2022).

Although the two people have the same BMI, they actually pose different health risks. The first person who has excess fat around the abdomen tends to be more at risk than the second person who tends to store excess fat around the hips.

“As a result, BMI cannot accurately predict the risk of disease or death,” says Khan.

In light of this latest finding, Khan calculates that a healthy weight will be more accurate when done using the WHR method. Based on this, Khan believes that health agencies should prioritize the calculation of WHR over BMI.

“For a long time, waist-to-hip ratio was more closely associated with mortality than body mass index,” said UCL Professor Nik Finer.

Polly Ferguson

"Freelance communicator. Hardcore web practitioner. Entrepreneur. Total student. Beer ninja."

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