Waist Circumference: The Optimal Measure of Health

A new study conducted by “Tor Vergata” University in Italy and published by “The Telegraph” raises questions about the accuracy of the Body Mass Index (BMI) as a measure of obesity.

The study found that the BMI failed to identify about one-third of individuals with severe obesity, as body fat levels were a more accurate indicator.

The authors suggest lowering the obesity threshold to 27, although the purpose of the BMI was never to measure individual health but to calculate the average weight of a person. While the BMI can identify individuals who are severely underweight or overweight, it does not take body composition into account. Here, body fat percentage becomes important.

High body fat percentage is closely associated with a higher prevalence of heart disease and other metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, having more muscle tissue can improve health by burning glucose and acting as a “glucose sponge.”

The “Dexa” scan is the gold standard for accurately measuring body fat percentage, but it can be expensive. Alternatives include the use of calipers or body composition scales, which also provide other measurements such as muscle mass, hydration levels, and metabolic age. These measurements allow for tracking patterns over time.

Visceral fat, which is fat concentrated around the abdomen, is particularly harmful to health, as it can lead to inflammation and increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes.

Waist-to-height ratio is considered one of the best indicators of visceral fat levels. Additionally, race plays a role in susceptibility to diseases like obesity, which prompts healthcare professionals and personal trainers to take this into account.

Along with measuring body fat percentage, common indicators like the fit of clothes, physical ability, and appearance in the mirror can also provide valuable insights into overall health. Blood tests can provide more detailed information on cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood sugar levels.

To address high body fat percentage and visceral fat levels, experts recommend a simple approach: creating a calorie deficit through a balanced diet and regular exercise. Consuming lean protein and fresh foods while avoiding processed carbohydrates. Cardiovascular exercises help reduce total body fat, while resistance exercises help build muscle mass.

In conclusion, although BMI has its uses, it does not take body composition into account. Body fat percentage and waist measurements provide better health indicators, aided by a combination of common sense, measurements, and blood tests, allowing individuals to assess their overall health and take appropriate actions.

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button
Verified by MonsterInsights