We may be fatter than we think, researchers report
Melissa HealyAs if the nation's weight problems were not daunting enough, a new study has found that the body mass index, the 180-year-old formula used to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy weight, may be incorrectly classifying about half of women and just over 20% of men as being the picture of health when their body-fat composition suggests they are obese.
The study, published Monday in the journal PLoS One, uses a patient's ratio of fat to lean muscle mass as the "gold standard" for detecting obesity and suggests that it could be a better bellwether of an individual's risk for health problems.
The researchers suggested that body fat would predict individuals' health risks better than the BMI. To measure fatness, they used a costly diagnostic test called dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, or DXA, and calculated subjects' level of obesity based on fat-composition standards used by the American Society of Bariatric Physicians.
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"We may be fatter than we think, researchers report", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), mars 2012. Consulté le 07/12/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/archives/archives-revue-de-presse/we-may-be-fatter-than-we-think-researchers-report