Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

BMI not accurate enough: Obesity/mortality paradox demonstrates urgent need for more refined metabolic measures

Date:
August 22, 2013
Source:
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Summary:
Researchers point out that the body mass index (BMI), based on the weight and height, is not an accurate measure of body fat content and does not account for critical factors that contribute to health or mortality, such as fat distribution, proportion of muscle to fat, and the sex and racial differences in body composition.

Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine point out that the body mass index (BMI), based on the weight and height, is not an accurate measure of body fat content and does not account for critical factors that contribute to health or mortality, such as fat distribution, proportion of muscle to fat, and the sex and racial differences in body composition.

Related Articles


Obesity predisposes to diabetes, heart diseases, sleep apnea, cancer and other diseases. Although several studies have shown an increase in mortality in obese people, recent studies have suggested that obesity protects against death from all causes as well as death due to chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart failure, and stroke. This so-called "obesity-mortality" paradox suggesting a beneficial influence of obesity has generated a lot of controversy.

In a new perspective article in the journal Science, Rexford Ahima, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Obesity Unit in the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, and Mitchell Lazar, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Genetics and Director of the Institute of Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism, discuss the challenges of studying the health and mortality risks of obesity.

"There is an urgent need for accurate, practical and affordable tools to measure fat and skeletal muscle, and biomarkers that can better predict the risks of diseases and mortality," said Dr. Ahima. "Advances to improve the measurement of obesity and related factors will help determine the optimal weight for an individual, taking into account factors such as age, sex, genetics, fitness, pre-existing diseases, as well novel blood markers and metabolic parameters altered by obesity."

Obese BMI is strongly associated with substantial increases in the risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and other chronic diseases, leading to higher mortality, However, studies have shown that some people with obese BMI have improved metabolic profile and reduced cardiovascular risk, whereas a subset of people with normal BMI are metabolically unhealthy and have increased mortality risk. The researchers note that the true impact of obesity may not be appreciated because population studies often describe associations of BMI and health and mortality risks without assessing how intentional or unintentional weight loss or weight gain affect these outcomes.

"Future research should be focused more on molecular pathways, especially how metabolic factors altered by obesity change the development of diabetes, heart diseases, cancer and other ailments, and influence the health status and mortality," noted Dr. Lazar.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R. S. Ahima, M. A. Lazar. The Health Risk of Obesity--Better Metrics Imperative. Science, 2013; 341 (6148): 856 DOI: 10.1126/science.1241244

Cite This Page:

Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. "BMI not accurate enough: Obesity/mortality paradox demonstrates urgent need for more refined metabolic measures." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130822141948.htm>.
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. (2013, August 22). BMI not accurate enough: Obesity/mortality paradox demonstrates urgent need for more refined metabolic measures. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130822141948.htm
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. "BMI not accurate enough: Obesity/mortality paradox demonstrates urgent need for more refined metabolic measures." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130822141948.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins