BMI – Not the best indicator …

Your Body Mass Index (BMI) can be useful in widely spread studies, but you need to be careful about relying too much on it personally. I posted on it previously and you can read Don’t get hung up on your BMI – Body Mass Index for more info.

conan-the-barbarian-arnold-schwarzenegger-movie-image.jpg

Young Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan the Barbarian. Six foot two inches tall, 257 pounds, BMI 33. Not what most of us would call obese.

 

The following is from the Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter:

Having obesity increases risk for cardiovascular disease and other metabolic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, but a normal BMI also does not guarantee good heart health. Here are tips based on what we know to date about metabolic health and weight:

-Don’t judge health by BMI alone. Metabolic parameters (such as blood pressure, blood sugar control, and HDL cholesterol levels) are more important to heart health than weight. Even if you have a normal-weight BMI, check your waist circumference. A measurement of more than 35 inches for women or 40 inches for men is associated with higher cardiovascular disease risk.

-Make healthy dietary choices. Aim for a dietary pattern rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, whole grains, seafood, yogurt, and plant-oils and low in refined grains and sweets. Dietary patterns that emphasize these foods are associated with cardiovascular health, and the fiber and other compounds they contain nourish your gut microbiota, which may also support cardiometabolic health.

-Get moving. There is strong evidence that being physically active has many health benefits, including reducing risk of excessive weight gain, and helping to avoid or manage high blood pressure and elevated blood glucose levels. Any activity helps, including gardening and walking.

-Avoid smoking. If you smoke, get help stopping.

-Watch alcohol intake. Cut back if you drink more than the recommended one drink per day for women and two for men.

-Work with your doctor. Medications can help to control metabolic problems when lifestyle changes are not enough.

 

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Filed under BMI, body mass index, cardiovascular health, cardiovascular risk, Exercise, exercise benefits, obesity

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