With the New Year fast approaching many of us will be going through the motions of pledging with all of our heart and soul that we’re going to get in shape and lose weight, starting as soon as our January 1st hangover wears off. Of course wanting to live a healthier lifestyle is never a bad thing, but new research is showing that some of what we base our weight on may not really be necessary.

Since being developed by a Belgian statistician 150 years ago, doctors have been using Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine whether or not a person is overweight, with BMIs between 20 and 25 as optimal, but anything over 25 as overweight, and over 30 as clinically obese. However recent research is showing that BMI calculations might not accurate anymore.

According to an article in The Week:

Recent research has cast doubt over BMI as a measure of health. In 2006, a study of more than 33,000 American adults revealed that life expectancy is actually highest for men with BMIs of 26 – well into what was regarded as the overweight category, and equivalent to a whopping 24lb extra for the typical man. For women, optimal BMI proved to be around 23.5, almost half a stone heavier than the supposed optimum. Such findings are leading scientists to abandon BMI in favour of a simpler yet more reliable measure of waist measurement.

But if the old BMI scale is now off …

(Read the Rest at Frugivore)

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  • I’ve never been skeptical of my weight or size according to BMIs or other weight factors. For instance, when I joined the military, they said I had to drop 2 pounds prior to joining because 160 for a 5’7″ female was overweight. I’m looking like “WTF!” I’m considered small in the black women’s world; so in my opinion, all these weight factors are based upon what others consider the “norm.” It’s not normal to be 5’7″, black, and only weigh 130. That’s near too dang on skinny. So my point is, the BMI will make you anorexic LOL

    • damidwif

      “It’s not normal to be 5’7″, black, and only weigh 130. ”

      its not? i have a lot of people to give the news to….

    • whilome

      I’m 5’7″ and, in the military, I was told that a normal BMI for me would be 130. I was 156 and was considered overweight.

      I had a six-pack at the time.

      Well, I went down to 130 and I looked absolutely CRACKISH. I was a size 4 pant and size 2 skirt. If I could upload a pic (with my face blurred) I would. It was NOT cute.

      Many black women’s phenotype would not work with the current BMI scale. Muscle weighs more than fat and we will always be on the losing end of that measurement.

      I swear to you that unless a person is willowy and fine-boned, 130 is underweight on a tall black woman.

  • Vee!

    Ohhhh, so this is why my doc measured my waist for the first time the other day o_0

    And there I was, just going with the flow.
    ‘Preciate the info! :-)

  • Dwindyes

    I was always skeptical of the BMI. It only measures height and weight, it doesn’t take into account muscle or bone density. Two people with the same height and weight, one is athletic and works out on a regular the other doesn’t, but according to the BMI they are in the same category in terms of health. That’s BS.