New Way to Weigh

December 19, 2005New Way to Weigh Competency #1RISK Reference:  The Lancet, Volume 366, Issue 9497, 5 November 2005-11 November 2005, Pages 1640-1649 This is a simple little message but the evidence is now pretty conclusive.  We sometimes use BMI to measure ourselves.  The article in Lancet just a month ago referenced below shows some very interesting data.  It suggests that the Body Mass Index is not as accurate as we would like in predicting risk for coronary artery disease.  The formula for BMI is BMI =  (weight in pounds)/(height in inches)2   * 703 Under 25 is a great BMI.  Over 30 is obese. This method has faults.  Superbly conditioned athletes have BMIs in the 30s, but lots of muscle.  The Lancet study confirms the inability for the BMI to actually predict what risk you have. Instead, it suggests that we use the WAIST/HIP ratio.  Simple.  Measure your waist in inches.  Divide by your hips (in inches).  A ratio under .9 for men and .85 for women is predictive of least risk.  This accounts for the risk associated with abdominal fat or the "apple" shape of being overweight.  Fat on hips and thighs is not near as problematic. In fact, this is not the first article to address this issue.  If you start following the literature, this idea has been around for a couple of years.  This appears to be a nail in the coffin on the evidence.  We can now say confidently, this is the better way to measure and talk about obesity. WWW: What works for me.  I find it a "bummer".  My ratio is .96.  I was 26 on the BMI, much closer to a good ratio.  I've got more work to do today. So, starting in January I'm joining a Weight Loss program.  More to follow on that.  

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