Anti-obesity campaigns have enlightened many of us to the health risks of being overweight, but what most people don’t realize is that having a body mass index in the underweight range can carry an even higher rate of fatality than being obese. A new study reveals the serious health risks of having an “underweight” score on the BMI that may make some people want to readjust their ideal weight goals.
Medical News Today reports about the study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health that uncovers some serious health risks for those who score under 18.50 on the BMI. Researchers found that people in the underweight range were 1.8 times more likely to die from any cause than those who scored within a normal range while participants involved in the study that were in the obese range were 1.3 times more likely to suffer fatalities than those in the normal range. The study took precautions to exclude those who were underweight due to illnesses like cancer.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Joel Ray warns that when thinking about a patient’s ideal weight, BMI isn’t always the best indicator. We must consider both body fat and muscle mass to determine if a person is within the healthy range. He says, “BMI reflects not only body fat, but also muscle mass. If we want to continue to use BMI in health care and public health initiatives, we must realize that a robust and healthy individual is someone who has a reasonable amount of body fat and also sufficient bone and muscle."
What do you think of the new study that reveals the fatality risks of being underweight?
Do you or your doctor rely on BMI to measure your healthy weight range?