Is BMI a Good Measure of Health?

Leah Obert

Article Summary

This article focuses on a study that provides evidence that the body mass index is a flawed measure of health. BMI is commonly used as a method of determining a person’s overall health status. BMI is also used as a way that many employers calculate their worker’s health care costs. This new study shows 54 million Americans being classed as overweight when in reality they are in perfect health according to cardio metabolic measures. The study, led by A. Janet Tomiyama, an assistant professor at UCLA, is analyzing the link between cardio metabolic health and BMI from the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The cardio metabolic data that is being analyzed in the study are measures of blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol, glucose and insulin resistance. The study shows that nearly 75 million adults in the United States are wrongly classified as being either unhealthy or healthy when BMI is used as a indicator of their overall health. Professor Tomiyama states “employers and insurance complanies should focus on actual health markers.”

Article Critique

I thought the article was very informative, interesting and well written. It was very clear and easy to understand the main idea that the author was trying to get across. This article is from Medical News Today, which is a website that provides the latest news and ideas related to human health. Most of the articles written on the website are by health professionals, such as doctors. This specific article was written by Catharine Paddock PhD and according to her biography on the website, she has been a writer since the 1970s and writes many articles on health and nutrition. I believe that the author selected a reliable source to use for this article. The source that this article is based off of is a professional journal from the International Journal of Obesity, written by a University of California-Los Angeles assistant professor of psychology. A. Janet Tomiyama conducted a study analyzing BMI and cardio metabolic health. The data collected for this study is from the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The conclusions from the study are written in a very straightforward manner and succeed and proving the point and giving scientific reason that BMI should not be used as the most common indicator of good health. The author correctly cited her sources and I was able to verify the all of the information that she used in her article. Overall, I thought that this article, the author, and the source used were all very credible and reliable.

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References

Paddock, C. (2016, February 5). "'Stop using BMI as measure of health,' say researchers." Medical News Today. Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/306129.php.


Misclassification of cardiometabolic health when using body mass index categories in NHANES 2005-2012, A J Tomiyama et al., International Journal of Obesity, doi:10.1038/ijo.2016.17, published online 4 February 2016,abstract.