Healthy Body Mass Index; you may still be obese

Last Updated 16 March 2013, 20:58 IST

Even if you are well within the generally accepted healthy Body Mass Index (BMI), you could still be diagnosed as obese, according to a study by VLCC, a wellness brand in South Asia and the Middle East. The pan-India study, covering a sample size of nearly 7,000 men and women, has concluded that despite people staying in the “healthy” BMI range, there is noticeable percentage of individuals diagnosed with or already suffering from associated Medical Disorders related to Obesity.

According to Vandana Luthra, VLCC Founder and Mentor, VLCC has taken active interest in propagating awareness about the dangers of Obesity and related issues. In this regard, VLCC has brought out a knowledge paper on ‘Waist-Height Ratio and Body Fat per cent Synergy’ that ascertains a linkage between Waist Circumference-to-Height Ratio (WHtR) and Obesity.

“It has been our endeavor, through constant research and study, to understand the underlying factors that cause Obesity, the effects Obesity can have on an individual’s health as well as to lay down recommendations for preventive healthcare. As it is difficult to measure Body Fat per cent on one’s own, for this measurement requires specialised equipment like a Body Composition Analyzer, WHtR is an easier to measure and more accurate screening tool for Overweight or Obesity related lifestyle diseases,” she says.

The detailed research, conducted over a period of one year, has established a correlation between Waist-Height ratio with the Body Fat per cent. The Waist-Height ratio in both the genders could be demarcated at a particular value, which highlighted the need for a “Preventive Healthcare Approach” before the Medical Condition becomes severe.  This value also flashed the corresponding Healthy Body Fat per cent limit.

The paper has also addressed the limitations faced on using other ‘obesity indicators’ like BMI, Waist-Hip ratio, and Waist Circumference. It has helped establish borderline value of WHtR >0.50 as indicative of increased obesity related health risks for men and women. The trend of body fat per cent in each WHtR range was studied.
Body fat per cent of 27 per cent in females and 17 per cent in males, at
Globally, BMI of 18.5 – 24.9 is considered as Normal. Whereas, for Asian Indians 18.5 – 22.9 is Normal Category.

VLCC’s Anti-Obesity Drive, Dr Veena Aggarwal, Head of R&D, VLCC Health Care Ltd said that the study brought out some startling findings that have been an eye opener. “Obesity is a lifestyle disease that is rapidly catching up amongst urban audiences.

This research study brings about the concept of using ‘Waist-Height ratio’ as an easy and more practical and accurate assessment tool for self analysis of one’s health status with regard to obesity at an early stage, for timely proactive measures to be taken.”

Latest study by VLCC

* Research reveals that Waist Circumference-to-Height Ratio (WHtR) is a better and more accurate screening tool as compared to Body Mass Index (BMI) for identifying the risk of Obesity related disorders at an early stage.

* With every 0.01 increase in WHtR there is a gradual increase in body fat%, leading to an increase in the number of medical cases, both in case of males and females.

(Published 16 March 2013, 20:58 IST)

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