Monday, May 16, 2016

Low Mortality Risk; High BMI?

            A Danish cohort study associated the lowest risk for all-cause mortality with a BMI of 27. The previous value, done in the 1970’s, regarding BMI and decreased mortality was 24. BMI is simply a value calculated from weight and height. It is a quick and easy way to assess risk for certain disease states. Note that BMI just assesses risk of disease. It does not mean with absolute certainty that a high BMI will cause a disease state.

            Now that research is coming forward about a high BMI and lower mortality, many researchers are curious how this is so. Possible explanations according to this study are improved treatment for some heart disease and other complications as the explanation for this trend. Regardless of the reason, it paints a very clear picture to me: being “healthy” and living a long life is not just about being thin.

            It is also important to remember that BMI is a measure of height and weight. Body weight may come from bones, fat mass, or muscle mass primarily. This study and many other studies fail to look at body composition. Body composition, particularly, the amount of muscle mass you own, may be more important for health than we are to think.  

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