BMI index is not the best measure of overall health

BMI Is Not The Best Indicator Of Health

I wasn't aware of debate in the health community about measuring body mass (BMI) and how it is being used as a reliable indicator of a person's health. While it has been used that way for over a hundred years, it seems to miss much, such as frame size or other issues.

Biggest problems using BMI as a health indicator

As Vance Voetberg said in an article at the Epoch times,

The BMI assessment was initially developed to evaluate the health of large populations, offering a broad perspective on the overall fitness of society. In this context, the BMI assessment generally provides accurate results. However, when applied to assess individuals, as is now the standard practice, it falls short of providing a comprehensive picture of an individual’s health status.

BMI is measured by taking a person’s weight and dividing it by the square of his or her height. The final number is categorized into five groups: underweight, normal, overweight, obese, and severely obese.

The conventional understanding defines the “normal” range as indicative of metabolic health, representing a balance between being too skinny or too fat. While this reasoning is seemingly logical, it is an imperfect and imprecise method for measuring individuals’ health and fitness.
BMI chart
Since BMI is solely based on a person’s height and weight, it provides an incomplete fitness assessment. It fails to consider crucial factors such as muscle mass, bone density, overall body composition, and racial and sex differences.

That makes sense to me. I have a couple boys who are very lean bodybuilders who show up as "obese" on the BMI scale. They're not. And they find that annoying when applying for things like life insurance.

“...a bodybuilder may have a very high BMI but be very lean because their muscle is increasing their weight, which increases their BMI,” said Chris Masterjohn, who has a doctorate in nutritional science. Therefore, BMI “is not a measurement of health at all—it is a measurement of your weight and height.”
Research shows that higher muscle mass serves as a crucial indicator of improved health and longevity, positively correlating with an increased lifespan. On the other hand, excess fat is strongly associated with a significant reduction in life expectancy.

The BMI test was initially developed for population-level assessments, not individual evaluations

“One of the key flaws is that it is not great at taking into account variability in body composition,” said Dr. Tracy Richmond, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School with more than 10 years of experience conducting weight-related research.

“Individuals with higher BMIs can be healthy,” she noted, adding that using BMI alone to determine health risks can lead to overlooking individuals who may require further assessment, potentially misleading healthy individuals into believing they are overweight and misinforming others who may face serious health challenges.
“Individuals with low or normal BMIs are often given a ‘pass’ and assumed to be healthy,” Richmond noted. But people with “normal” BMI scores may have disordered eating and be at risk of anemia and micronutrient deficiencies, she added.

What is better than BMI for assessing fitness?

Margaret Ashwell... says that the waist-to-height ratio offers a valuable alternative to the BMI assessment in analyzing body composition and health. WHtR compares waist circumference to height, with the ideal ratio being less than half of a person’s height.
“WHtR is a better indicator of early health risk than BMI because it is a proxy for central adiposity,” Ashwell told The Epoch Times. “Fat stored in central depots is a risk factor for major metabolic diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease,” she added.
This simple method, Ashwell noted, accurately identifies the problem doctors should be looking for: the accumulation of fat. And given that increased exercise and muscle are associated with a smaller waist circumference, the WHtR assessment can distinguish between fat and muscle—unlike the BMI test.

There are a couple studies that have demonstrated that weight-to-height-ratio is a much better at assessing overall health. This 2021 study in "Frontiers in Public Health" showed WHtR more accuracy for predicting high blood pressure in people with Type 2 diabetes. And this study published at the NIH showed it is a better predictor of metabolic issues than the BMI.

“The simple message of ‘keep your waist to less than half your height’ can be applied to men and women and children of all ages in all ethnic groups,” Ashwell said.

The Best Ways to Measure Health

From the article:

While the WHtR test may offer advantages over BMI, it alone does not entirely assess an individual’s health and fitness.
Although a good WHtR score can be handy, it does not delve into other important aspects, such as potential nutrient deficiencies or elevated inflammation levels.
Therefore, Masterjohn suggests additional evaluations such as body fat analysis, fasting glucose measurement, lipid profile testing, inflammation markers like C-reactive protein, and a complete metabolic panel, blood count, and urinalysis to obtain a comprehensive understanding of one’s health.
Furthermore, he recommends a functional movement screen by a physical therapist or personal trainer to preserve optimal body functionality as people age.
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Rotisserie Chicken

Why Costco (And Other) Rotisserie Chicken Might Not Be Good For You

This is another example of the high price of "low-cost" commercial farming.

In a recent article, Dr. Mercola discussed the problems with rotisserie chicken from Costco.

Although he discusses Costco's rotisserie chicken specifically, I would not be surprised if the problem may be common to many, if not most of similar products from other large commercial chains.

The reason is that much of the farming techniques used to grow these chickens for Costco are part and parcel of big commercial farming (CAFO farming).

First, understand the term CAFO farming

When you see him reference the term "poultry CAFO," the term "CAFO" means "concentrated animal farming operation."

Like this:

Concentrated Animal Farming Operation

Keep THIS picture in mind as you read on.

The main points, from Dr. Mercola's article summary:

Costco sells rotisserie chicken for $4.99 and will go to great lengths to maintain this ultralow price. The company opened its own poultry CAFO in Fremont, Nebraska, to have better control over the size of the broilers
There are steep, hidden costs to CAFO chicken, including environmental costs, human health costs and ethical considerations
Current-day CAFO chickens contain more fat than protein and have lower amounts of omega-3 fats and higher omega-6 than they used to. Previous research has linked diets high in omega-6 to a rise in obesity
Another significant hazard linked to CAFO chicken is the spread of antibiotic-resistant disease, specifically urinary tract infections (UTIs), including drug-resistant UTIs, which are on the rise
Studies have conclusively demonstrated that a majority of UTIs are caused by exposure to contaminated chicken; American, Canadian and European studies have all confirmed close genetic matches between drug-resistant E. coli collected from human patients and those found on poultry

The high cost of eating low-priced foods.

As the article points out, CAFOs are a main contributor to many problems, including environmental pollution and antibiotic-resistant disease.

Also, according to a 2018 article in The Atlantic, entitled "who's farm is it, anyway?," Sally Lee (from The Rural Advancement Foundation) says

“A farmer has to invest over $1 million just to get set up—a lot of debt to carry when you’re paid on average between 5 cents and 6 cents per pound of chicken produced,”

Studies show CAFO chicken is a major source of urinary tract infections

According to Dr. Mercola,

Drug-resistant E. coli strains from supermarket meat were matched to strains found in human E. coli infections as early as 2005{1} Research{2} published in 2006 confirmed that humans could develop antibiotic resistance by eating poultry treated with antibiotics.
Bacteria from conventional chicken, and those who ate such chicken, were found to be more prone to developing resistance against Synercid (generic names: quinupristin and dalfopristin3), a strong antibiotic used to treat vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium.4
In short, handling and/or eating antibiotic-treated chicken can cause you to develop resistance to the last lines of defense currently available in the modern medicine cabinet — a steep price for inexpensive meat.

Life in the foodchain

You can read all about the details of this problem in Dr. Mercola's in-depth article about it here.

But in summary, this is what he says about it:

Unfortunately, chicken production in the U.S. has become an industry that places profits over just about everything else, including animal welfare and farmers' rights.
Overall, the evidence is clear: CAFO chicken is best avoided if you're concerned about your health, the environment and/or animal welfare. If you do want chicken now and then, I recommend making sure it's organically raised and pastured.
Organic, free-range chickens are allowed to engage in their natural behavior in a natural environment (outdoors), and can serve an important role in regenerative agriculture and holistic land management. The lack of stress and access to a natural diet, fresh air and sunshine make for healthier birds that don't need antibiotics.
Another option is to forgo the chicken meat and just eat the eggs — again making sure they're from hens raised organically on pasture. Keep in mind that when it comes to labels such as "free-range" and "natural," there are loopholes that allow the commercial egg industry to call eggs from their industrial egg laying facilities "free-range," so don't be fooled.

Thoughts from Cogny here

God built this world, with rules in place. Every action has a consequence.

I was listening to a conversation with Dr. Peter McCollough yesterday (it was a private conversation, to be released soon in a podcast) where he was talking about how it seems the best treatments for recovering from the vaccine spike proteins and their effects are coming from natural treatments.

Surprise, surprise.

If you can, eat free-range chickens. Or avoid the chicken and eat the eggs.

Free-range chickens and eggs come from hens that roam freely outdoors on farmlands and pastures. They do what God made chickens to do: forage for their natural food like seeds, insects and worms.

Visit a local farmers market if you can. Local is best, and probably the easiest route to finding high-quality chicken and eggs that will do you more harm than good.


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