Body Mass Index Predicts Health
Dr Michael Colgan 23 September 2011
My book Nutrition for Champions, gives a chart from which you can read your Body Mass Index (BMI), an accurate indicator of your level of bodyfat.(1) You can also work out BMI by arithmetic. Divide your weight in kilos by your height in metres squared, or your weight in pounds multiplied by 703 divided by your height in inches squared.
BMI, costs nothing, and is more accurate than many expensive medical tests in predicting your risk of all sorts of diseases. The range of BMI found in the longest-lived people on Earth, the Okinawan Japanese, and citizens of tiny European nation of San Marino is 21 to 25
The link between BMI and health has now been assessed by prospective, long-term follow-up of large numbers of people who were not overweight or sick when first recruited for the studies. The Prospective Studies Collaboration published the definitive report in the Lancet. It analysed 57 studies, covering 894,576 subjects, in Western Europe, North America, Australia, and Japan (541,452 men, 353,124 women).(2)
Mean BMI on recruitment was 25. The analyses were adjusted for age, sex, smoking, and other variables that might affect results. The first five years of follow-up were excluded, so as to avoid reverse causality, that is folk who were slim only because they had dieted hard to lose weight before joining the studies. Most folk who do weight loss diets regain all of it within five years.
The next six years of follow-up after that, produced a huge amount of weight gain, a mass of disease, and a massive 66,552 deaths. Mean age at death was only 67. Some 30,416 subjects died from cardiovascular disease, 22,592 of cancer, 3,770 of respiratory diseases, 2,070 of diabetes, and 7,704 of other causes.
For both men and women, subjects with a BMI of 22•5 to 25 had by far the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and other diseases, and had the lowest mortality. Above BMI 25, each increase in BMI by 5.0 points increased cardiovascular mortality by 40%. That’s huge ! Each increase in BMI by 5.0 points increased diabetic, kidney, and liver mortality by 60 to 120%. Overall, each increase in BMI by 5.0 points increased mortality by 30%. Excess bodyfat is deadly.
For a long and healthy life, keep your BMI below 25. You know the health system that can get you there, Isagenix, the system that also has the best support team on Earth to keep you there for life.