BMI in NJEM – orly?

A new metastudy in the NJEM, which pooled data from 19 long-term studies looking at deaths from any cause found that a body mass index (BMI) between 20.0 and 24.9 is associated with the lowest risk of death in healthy non-smoking adults.

Previous studies weren’t able to predict specific health risks from being overweight/obese; this new study provides precise estimates of the increased risk of death among people who are overweight and obese, and exactly how much one’s risk appears to increase depending on BMI.

Currently, two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. 17 percent of women are severely obese.

Healthy women who had never smoked and who were overweight were 13 percent more likely to die during the study follow-up period than those with a BMI between 22.5 and 24.9. Women categorized as obese or severely obese had a dramatically higher risk of death.

One thing to note here is that one needn’t be skinny/lean/Ms Sixpack-Abs to see improved health.

You can easily and dramatically improve your health outcomes simply by getting BMI in the “normal” or even slightly overweight ballpark as a result of good nutrition and regular activity. If you’re fit and your BMI is in a decent range, you can rest easy. If you’re unfit and that BMI is creeping up… you take your chances.