A Study Has Found: BMI measurements may underestimate obesity

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Everybody’s least favorite number, BMI (body mass index), may be totally off in calculating fat, according to a new study.

However, before you get too excited, the potential inaccuracy actually underestimates body fat. Womp, womp, womp….

According to a report in the Public Library of Science’s PLoS One journal, BMI calculations, which are based on height and weight, were compared to x-ray absorptiometry — or DXA — scans, which calculates obesity based on fat-composition standard.

Turns out, BMI calculations often classify people as “underweight” when the DXA scans would consider them obese, nearly four out of ten times.

“Some people call it the ‘baloney mass index,’” said Eric Braverman, a clinical assistant professor of neurosurgery at Weill Cornell Medical College, according to Health.com.

The findings of this study, of course, imply that America’s already atrocious obesity rate is actually worse than we realized. Additionally, this means some Americans may be unaware that they are obese (which is hard to imagine) and therefore not taking proper steps in healthcare.

The study authors recommend health professionals start utilizing methods like  X-ray testing, instead of BMI calculations for more accurate results. You can’t run from the cold, hard truth now.

More adventures in psuedoscience:

  • Call it the power of positive thinking — watching a dance performance could be enough to convince your body that you’re gettin’ down, too.
  • Five common cancer tests could be axed after some doctors claim they don’t do anything to help patients live longer.
  • Salmonella is sweeping the nation! Health officials are trying to hunt down the source.


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