The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a benchmark measure of weight-for-height commonly used to estimate overweight and obesity in adults. This is the most commonly used unit of measurement for overweight and obesity because in adults the scale is the same regardless of the subject’s sex or age. Thus, the increase in BMI is a major risk factor for certain chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes. and even some cancers.
But like (WHO), “it gives however an approximate indication because it does not necessarily correspond to the same degree of adiposity from one individual to another.” by researchers at the University of Copenhagen tends to confirm this idea that a good physical condition in a person does not come down only to his body mass index but also to the circumference of his waist.
And that to stay in shape in these two areas, sport remains the best prevention reflex to adopt. Because if the risk of contracting non-communicable diseases increases with BMI, too high a waist size, synonymous excess visceral fat, promotes the risk of chronic inflammation of the body and metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
Poor physical shape is not only seen through the BMI
The authors sought to study the association between physical condition and waist circumference as well as the association between physical form and inflammation of the body, and whether there was a correlation with BMI. To do this, they analyzed data previously collected from 10,976 people during a national health survey conducted in 2007-2008. These people had an oxygen uptake test (VO2 max) to assess their physical condition.
Their waistlines, weight and height were measured and blood samples were taken to measure their levels of C-reactive protein, a low-grade biomarker of inflammation. Researchers found that higher levels of fitness were associated to a smaller waist size and to a lesser degree of inflammation of the organism, and this without direct link with BMI indications (There is overweight when the BMI is equal to or greater than 25, obesity when it is equal to or greater than 30.)
For the latter, the overall results suggest that good physical condition reduces abdominal fat mass and inflammation, which could improve metabolic health regardless of body mass index. Clearly, this unit of measurement is not sufficient to determine whether a person is healthy in its entirety.
The importance of waist circumference as a parameter of good health is also when it comes to diagnosing obesity, a fatty tissue disease. “The excess fat mass located around the belly is associated with an increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, regardless of BMI. When the waist circumference is greater than 100 cm in men and 88 cm in women, we speak of abdominal obesity, “he explains.