Why BMI is a Big Fat Scam

Mercola.com—September 12, 2014

Initially, BMI was primarily a tool used by insurance companies to set premiums (people with BMIs in the "obese" category may pay 22 percent more for their insurance compared to those in the "normal" category).

Today, however, BMI is an accepted tool used in medical research and in clinical practice. When you have your height and weight recorded at your doctor's office, it will give him or her an automatic calculation of your BMI, classifying you as underweight if your BMI is below 18.5, normal if it's 18.5-24.9, overweight if it's 25-29.9, and obese if it's 30 or over.

Your doctor may use this number to advise you on your weight, as well as your risk of related conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, BMI is an incredibly flawed tool, and a high BMI doesn't automatically mean you're unhealthy, the way many physicians and health insurance companies imply that it does.

In fact, according to research published in the American Journal of Physiology, the best way to stay young is to simply start exercising, as it triggers mitochondrial biogenesis, a decline of which is common in aging. Researchers have also suggested that exercise is "the best preventive drug" for many common ailments, from psychiatric disorders to heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. According to Jordan Metzl, a sports-medicine physician at New York City's Hospital for Special Surgery and author of The Exercise Cure: "Exercise is the best preventive drug we have, and everybody needs to take that medicine."

Read the full article on mercola.com.


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