Scientists made a new discovery that could prove useful to individuals with weight problems. They claim that overweight people may not be as unhealthy as we think.
The study results suggest that people diagnosed with obesity using the Body Mass Index (BMI) are, in fact, healthy. As a result, researchers think that the BMI evaluation is wrongly indicating that millions of obese people are unhealthy.
In fact, they seem to be much fitter than slim persons. Psychologist Janet Tomiyama of the University of California, Los Angeles, stated that most people think that obesity is a death sentence. However, the new research shows there are many people who are overweight or obese and are perfectly healthy.
For their study, scientists analyzed blood samples taken from 40,420 individuals. They assessed participants’ blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol, glucose, insulin resistance and C-reactive protein level. These are known to be markers related to heart disease and inflammation.
The results showed that 47,4% of overweight people and 29% of obese people are metabolically healthy. On the contrary, more than 30% persons having a normal weight were proved to have health problems. What’s more, scientists concluded that BMI is miscategorizing millions of adults as healthy or unhealthy.
Tomiyama declared that:
“There are healthy people who could be penalized based on a faulty health measure, while the unhealthy people of normal weight will fly under the radar and will not get charged more for their health insurance”.
This can only mean that BMI is not a safe measure of overall health and that people and companies should no longer depend on it. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) suggested a rule that would allow employers to increase insurance rates for people whose BMI is 25 or higher.
It is considered that a normal BMI should be around 18.5 up to 24.99. Nonetheless, according to this study a normal BMI does not necessarily mean good health. Researchers recommend that individuals should focus more on their lifestyle. Having a healthy diet and exercising on a daily basis are key to having a healthy life.
Obsessing about weight may lead to more problems for individuals. People who are indeed diagnosed with obesity or overweight should not be disgraced. On the contrary, there should be programs or trainings which can help them maintaining a positive thinking that would eventually lead to a healthy lifestyle. Most of us consider that being slim is healthier, but as this study suggests overweight people may not be as unhealthy as we think.
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