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Showing posts from December, 2014

BMI, Obesity & mortality: three grand challenges

BMI, Obesity & mortality: three grand challenges
BMI (kg/m2) is one of the most widely used anthropometric measures and is virtually the sole criterion for judging obesity, its extent and its links to disease and mortality. When something is that widely used, there is a tendency to forget about any shortcomings in its use. In this blog I look at three aspects of BMI to remind one and all that in the BMI-obesity-mortality triangle, all is not rosy.
Challenge 1. How good is obesity at predicting body fatness.
It is important to recognise that the definition of obesity is based on a correlate of body fatness but is itself not a direct measure of human fatness. One study[1]has examined the relationship between % body fat measured using the technique of bioelectrical impedance and BMI in a large (13,601) sample of US adults. Using a statistical method of evaluating true and false positives, BMI was classed as “good” for men aged less than 60 years and as “excellent” for women of that ag…