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BMI Is Broken: System Mislabels 54 Million as Unhealthy

You’ve probably heard of the BMI (Body Mass Index), which is a tool commonly used to determine if a person is at a healthy weight.

There’s a problem with that method – it is a simple height-to-weight ratio, and does not take into consideration one’s body composition. Athletes and bodybuilders with low body fat often are labeled as overweight or even obese on the BMI scale because they carry a lot of muscle.

Despite its flaws, the BMI has been used as a standard measure of individual health for years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a “healthy” BMI is 18.5-24.9, an overweight BMI is 25-29.9, and an obese BMI is 30 or higher.

In recent years, researchers have started to see that BMI is not such a good indicator of overall health after all.

And now, a new study led by UCLA psychologists has shown the serious implications of such policies.

The researchers found that using BMI to gauge health incorrectly labels an estimated 74,936,678 adults in the US as cardiometabolically unhealthy or cardiometabolically healthy.

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About the author

Lisa Egan

Lisa Egan has been passionate about nutrition and fitness for over 20 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences with a minor in Nutrition. Lisa has managed two medically supervised weight control centers, worked as a personal trainer and wellness educator, and is a Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certified Nutrition Coach. She is the owner of Lisa Egan Nutrition Coaching and the website All About Habits. Lisa enjoys helping people improve their health and is dedicated to keeping up with the latest research in nutrition science and behavior change psychology. You can contact Lisa via email at lmegan02@gmail.com.


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