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The BMI Is Outdated, but It Still Works

How much can one simple number tell you about your health? A growing body of research over the past few years has highlighted the shortcomings of the body mass index (BMI), a basic measure of rotundity, as a predictor of well-being. The latest—and in some ways most comprehensive—of these reports appeared in August in the journal Science.

The BMI formula, developed in the 1800s by a Belgian statistician and sociologist, divides a person's weight, in kilograms, by the square of his or her height, in meters. As the new study points out, a normal BMI can mask metabolic abnormalities; even people with a normal weight-to-height ratio can harbor disorders in the way the body handles nutrients.…

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Last Updated : Saturday, February 15, 2020