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Does BMI Still Matter?

BMIJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Surprisingly, the BMI, or body mass index, was created back in the 1830’s by Adolphe Quetelet, a Belgian mathematician, astronomer and statistician, who developed a passionate interest in probability calculus that he applied to study human physical characteristics and social aptitudes. Disregarding growth spurts after birth and during puberty, Quetelet concluded that “weight increases as the square of height.” Known as the Quetelet Index until 1972, when it was termed Body Mass Index by Ansel Keys, BMI is the standard metric used to determine whether a person is under weight, normal weight, overweight or obese. The measure is revealed by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. As well, BMI calculators can be easily found online.

BMI Measurements:

  • Underweight: Below 18.5
  • Proper weight: Between 18.5 and 25
  • Overweight: Between 25 and 30
  • Obese: Above 30

Well over a century later, BMI is still utilized as a measure of health, although it expresses the relationship between height and weight as a single number regardless of frame size and musculature. Proponents of the use of the BMI say that it remains relevant to an individual’s disease and mortality risk. Generally, those with excess weight are at a higher risk of developing a range of chronic conditions, including diabetes, arthritis, liver disease, sleep apnea, hypertension and high cholesterol, as well as breast, colon and prostate cancers. Independent of disease risk, those with high BMIs often report feeling better physically and psychologically with weight reduction.

Although it’s a useful starting point for the realization that disease risk rises along with weight, BMI, as a single measure, has its limitations. A recent study published in the International Journal of Obesity, examined cardiometabolic health misclassifications given standard BMI categories. Utilizing data such as blood pressure, triglyceride, cholesterol, glucose, insulin resistance and C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation, the researchers found that nearly half of those considered overweight by BMI had a healthy cardiometabolic profile, including normal blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. They also found that 30 percent of individuals with normal BMI measures had an unhealthy cardiometabolic profile.

While it remains a good idea to know your BMI number, it’s also important to recognize that it is simply a measure of size, and not a measure of health that indicates the absence or presence of disease. Indeed, there are those who have a high or low BMI who are healthy, as well as those with a normal BMI who are unhealthy. When relying solely on the one size fits all BMI measurement as the main indicator of health, more than 75 million adults may be mislabeled as cardiometabolically healthy or unhealthy. In fact, a person with a normal BMI who smokes and has a family history of cardiovascular disease is likely to have a higher risk of early cardiovascular death than someone who has a high BMI but is physically fit and a non-smoker.

BMI is widely used because it’s an easy and simple way to provide a reasonable measure of body fat. It does not consider the location of fat within the body and fails to account for differences in race, gender, age, height loss in older persons, or muscle weight in athletic individuals. While groups of researchers continue to debate the science of weight and poor health, some studies suggest that carrying a small amount of extra weight can improve survival of chronic disease. Just as a low BMI can indicate an illness, a recent UCLA study concluded that tens of millions of people who had overweight and obese BMI scores were in fact perfectly healthy. For those who follow a wholesome lifestyle and consume a nourishing diet, exercise, prioritize sleep and maintain healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, an extra few pounds may not be so unhealthy after all.

Adolphe Quetelet (179-1874)—the average man and indices of obesity. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17890752
Misclassification of cardiometabolic health when using body mass index categories in NHANES 2005-2012. https://www.nature.com/articles/ijo201617
How useful is the body mass index (BMI)? https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-useful-is-the-body-mass-index-bmi-201603309339
BMI Not a Good Measure of Healthy Body Weight, Researchers Argue. https://www.livescience.com/39097-bmi-not-accurate-health-measure.html

YouVeda™ – Featured Brand

YouvedaSusan Brown Health and Wellness EditorProfessional Supplement Center now offers family owned YouVeda™, a line of products that takes a holistic approach to mind-body balance for overall wellness. Utilizing a fusion of Ayurvedic principles, herbal extracts, modern science and technology, YouVeda’s innovative, complete support supplements are designed to empower physical, mental and emotional health in a modern easy way. YouVeda™, meaning knowledge of yourself, is based on the belief that similar to nature, people thrive when they are in balance. Based on 5,000 year old Ayurvedic principles that rely on the intelligence of nature and the body’s ability to heal itself, YouVeda™ offers products to improve mood, strengthen the immune system and enhance overall wellbeing.

Their doctor formulated products are backed by thirty years of clinical experience. Supplements are manufactured, tested and packaged in FDA approved American facilities in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs). All products utilize synergistic, 100% organic, wild harvested, DNA tested and dosha balancing ingredients sourced from native regions and picked in-season to ensure the highest quality. All herbal ingredients are tested in the USA for purity, efficacy and safety. Finished products undergo additional testing to assure the absence of heavy metals and microbials. YouVeda™ supports fair wages and sustainable farming practices and works with local forestry departments to ensure a healthy economic ecosystem.

YouVeda™ is now available at professionalsupplementcenter.com

My Healthy BodyMy Healthy Body: This all-inclusive kit provides a unique, highly bioavailable complex of Ayurvedic herbs, EPA and DHA omega-3 essential fatty acids and naturally-sourced multivitamins, as well as proprietary probiotic and digestive enzyme blends for nutritional support of overall health and wellbeing. Kit provides 30 easy-to-tote packets containing 7 capsules each. Gluten, wheat, dairy, soy and egg free. Non-GMO formulation.

My Healthy DigestionMy Healthy Digestion: This kit provides support for proper gut and healthy liver function, as well as bowel movement regulation. This unique blend of Ayurvedic herbs, multivitamins, probiotics, digestive enzymes and a beta glucan complex works synergistically to provide complete digestive support for immune and overall wellness. Kit provides 30 easy-to-tote packets containing 7 capsules each. Dairy and egg free, Non-GMO formulation.

My Healthy ImmunityMy Healthy Immunity: This unique kit features proprietary blends of synergistic Ayurvedic herbs and probiotics that work with the body to enhance and strengthen the immune system during environmental and seasonal changes. Kit provides 30 easy-to-tote packets containing 5 capsules each. Gluten, soy, dairy and egg free. Non-GMO formulation.

My Healthy JointsMy Healthy Joints: This kit contains specific nutrients to help maintain healthy metabolic function and a proper inflammatory response. Ingredients include a proprietary Ayurvedic muscle and joint blend, as well as high potency omega-3 fish oil concentrate in support of muscle and joint health, mobility and overall wellness. Kit provides 30 easy-to-tote packets containing 7 capsules each. Gluten, soy, dairy and egg free, Non-GMO formulation.

My Healthy MoodMy Healthy Mood: This unique complex includes a proprietary Ayurvedic blend, multivitamins and high potency fish oil for healthy brain and adrenal function and a proper stress response, as well as improved mood and neurotransmitter support. These ingredients work synergistically to promote restful sleep and a state of calm leading to balanced health and overall wellness. Kit provides 30 easy-to-tote packets containing 6 capsules each. Gluten, wheat, dairy, soy and egg free, Non-GMO formulation.

Professional Supplement Center® – New Formulations

PSCSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

Professional Supplement Center® is pleased to announce the addition of 28 new formulations to our own line of professional grade supplements. Designed to support optimal health, as well as address specific wellness needs, these scientifically researched products are manufactured to the highest standards utilizing evidence-based efficacious superior raw materials. Products are manufactured in a strictly controlled cGMP, FDA audited facility. To noticeably enhance wellbeing, as well as ensure the best possible outcomes, therapeutic dosing is based on established research. Extensive inhouse testing assures consistency, purity, strength, identity and composition of every product, as well as truth in labeling.

To see the full line of Professional Supplement Center® brand products, please visit professionalsupplementcenter.com

Here’s just a sampling of the high quality supplements we now offer:

Adrenal Pro...Adrenal Pro Reactivate: Formulated to support normal adrenal function during occasional stress and fatigue, Adrenal Pro Reactivate contains specific vitamins, adaptogenic herbs and adrenal concentrate. Ingredients include B vitamins and eleuthero, rhodiola rosea and schisandra berry extracts. Free of gluten, yeast and artificial colors and flavorings.

Bergamot LDLBergamot LDL: Derived from bergamot orange extract, Bergamot LDL provides a powerful and unique array of cholesterol-balancing and cardioprotective polyphenolic flavonoids offering multidimensional support for cardiovascular and arterial health. Free of gluten, corn, yeast and artificial colors and flavorings.

Methyl B12Methyl B12: Methyl B12 provides a highly concentrated, bioavailable blend of two key B vitamins, B12 and folate. Quickly absorbed, these efficiently utilized bioactive vitamins boost energy levels and support numerous bodily systems, including cardiovascular and cognitive health, red blood cell production and homocysteine balance, as well as nerve cell function, positive mood and healthy sleep cycle regulation. Free of gluten, yeast and artificial colors and flavorings.

Probiotic...Probiotic Professional Complete: This unique probiotic blend delivers carefully assembled active probiotic organisms designed to promote healthy microflora balance, protect intestinal integrity and boost immune function. Each capsule provides seven proven strains chosen for their ability to withstand the harsh gastrointestinal environment, allowing for effective colonization within the intestinal tract. Free of gluten, corn and artificial colors and flavorings.

Reacted CalciumReacted Calcium: To ensure maximum absorption of this important macromineral, Reacted Calcium provide three unique forms of highly bioavailable calcium. The formula also includes vitamin D3 and phosphorus, nutrients critical for bone mineralization and remodeling. Free of gluten, yeast and artificial colors and flavorings.

Reacted MagnesiumReacted Magnesium: Reacted Magnesium provides highly absorbable magnesium in forms that restore healthy magnesium levels in the body, while preserving gastrointestinal comfort. Necessary for numerous bodily processes, this highly concentrated formula is designed to support cardiovascular health, energy production and muscle relaxation, as well as the maintenance of healthy blood pressure and glucose levels. Free of gluten, corn and artificial colors and flavorings.