This isn’t new nor a surprise. But it does show the problem we’ve got with the BMI measure:
Dr Katherine Flegal, of the National Centre for Health Statistics in the United States, found that people who are overweight had a six per cent lower risk of death than normal weight people.
The risk for those with a BMI (body mass index) of between 30 and 35 fell by five per cent. But those grossly obese with a BMI above 35 were 29 per cent more likely to die than slim people of the same age.
Let us assume, for moment, that the aim of all of this is indeed to enable us all to live long and enjoyable lives (as opposed to the Puritans getting to impose their idea of the good life on us).
Logically we should change the advice we give people. We should be aiming for a BMI of 30-35, not the 25 we are currently told to aim for.
That this has long been known and yet the advice hasn’t been changed rather leads to the idea that it is all about the Puritans really….