The government has proposed rules that would allow employers to penalize employees for up to 30% of their health insurance costs if they don’t meet 24 health criteria one of which is the BMI, Body Mass Index. It turns out that the BMI is a very unreliable indicator of health.
From this LA times article, BMI mislabels 54 million Americans as 'overweight' or 'obese,' study says:
“A team of UCLA researchers analyzed data from 40,420 individuals who participated in the 2005-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and they found that nearly half (47.4%) of overweight people and 29% of obese people were, from a metabolic standpoint, quite healthy. On the flip side, more than 30% of individuals with “normal” weights were metabolically unhealthy.
“The BMI is just a really crude and terrible indicator of someone’s health.”
This regulatory gambit would saddle employees with unfairly high health insurance costs based on a deeply flawed measure of actual health.
Another study confounding the worth of the BMI statistic found that those with more muscle live longer. Those will more muscle will have higher BMIs, and if proposed regulations are put in place they would have the privilege of paying high premiums. Mike Tyson pictured here would be classified as obese. I don’t know; he looks healthy to me.
BMI be damned. With proper strength training you can increase your muscle mass – even seniors, At New Orleans Personal Training andAustin Personal Training we can help you with that.