Body mass index or BMI likely needs an update, Elizabeth Tracey reports


Even people with type 2 diabetes who were not obese were able to achieve resolution of their condition with weight loss, a new study concludes. Rita Kalyani, a diabetes expert at Johns Hopkins, says this finding points to the need for a better way to classify overweight and obesity than BMI.

Kalyani: This study reflects the limitations of how we classify obesity using BMI as a surrogate marker. We know that BMI has limitations especially in different ethnic populations. Body mass index is a ratio of weight to height, it doesn’t reflect the relative proportion of fat to muscle, and so if you’re an athlete you probably have higher muscle to fat. If you are a different ethnicity such as Asian we know that at the same weight they carry more body fat. And we know older adults as they age, gain more fat, they lose more muscle and their body weight may change very minimally.  :35

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.