Is the Obesity Rate Under Diagnosed in U.S.? [Study]
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention obesity statistics, 1 out of every 3 adults in the US is obese, with another 1 of every 3 adults considered overweight. These figures though, are based on using a patient's body mass index or BMI, which indicates the amount of fat on a person based upon a calculation of their height and weight. A score of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight, while a BMI of 30 or above is considered obese. In a recent New York University School of Medicine study though, it was identified that using the BMI calculator alone, may miss a significant number of obesity cases in the U.S.
The study used BMI with an X-Ray technology and a hormone measurement to test 1,400 patients across the U.S. The results indicated that the BMI of those patients underestimated their body fat by an average of 4 percent. This means that 39 percent of patients in the study were misclassified as being overweight when using the BMI calculations. When adding the additional testing, these individuals were more accurately classified as being obese, for the amount of body fat they carried. In older female participants, the number of misdiagnosis jumped to nearly 50 percent.
Not having the correct information about personal physical health and fitness can easily mean that younger patients are not well informed. Obesity greatly increases the chance for heart attacks, high-blood pressure and diabetes later in life. Getting accurate information early in life, may mean healthy changes can be made sooner to avoid making them as an individual ages, when making changes becomes much more challenging. This is especially true for women.
Certainly using a BMI calculator is relatively easy and free, and it should be used to generally guarge ones body fat. However if an individual is at risk, and possibly is already close to being obese, the study indicates that measuring hormones, specifically leptin, during routine bloodwork may add further insite into a true measurement of the amount of body fat an individual carries. The study also indicates that it might be beneficial for women who are undergoing a routine bone density scan to add a DXA test, for a minimal cost.
Having completly accurate test results when looking at the overall health and well-being may be the best defense in fighting obesity and the additional health concerns that often snowball from being obese.