I just read an article that makes me feel justified in hating the BMI scale.
Here are my favorite snippets:
The more muscle older adults have, the lower their risk of death, according to a new study.
Researchers analyzed data from more than 3,600 older adults who took part in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1988 and 1994. The participants included men 55 and older and women 65 and older.
As part of the survey, the participants underwent tests to determine their muscle mass index, which is the amount of muscle relative to height.
The investigators used a follow-up survey done in 2004 to determine how many of the participants had died of natural causes and how muscle mass was related to death risk. People with the highest levels of muscle mass were significantly less likely to have died than those with the lowest levels of muscle mass.
"In other words, the greater your muscle mass, the lower your risk of death. Thus, rather than worrying about weight or body mass index, we should be trying to maximize and maintain muscle mass."
The findings add to growing evidence that overall body composition is a better predictor of all-cause death than body mass index (BMI), according to the researchers. BMI is an estimate of body fat based on weight and height.
"Our study indicates that clinicians need to be focusing on ways to improve body composition, rather than on BMI alone, when counseling older adults on preventative health behaviors."
My take away? Stop obsessing about the number on the scale, and worry more about being an active, healthy adult.
Amazing new theory, eh?