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How accurate is body mass index (BMI) as a measure of health risk?

Dr. Vonda Wright, MD
Orthopedic Surgery

Physicians traditionally used body mass index (BMI) as a way to assess a person's risk for disease. The problem with this measurement alone is that it does not account for the very lean person who weighs more per inch than a fat person since muscle weighs more than fat. A more accurate way to determine health risk is to combine your BMI measurement with your waist circumference measurement (remember, it matters where the fat is stored). Ideally, men's waists should be less than 40 inches and women's less than 35.

Fitness After 40: How to Stay Strong at Any Age

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Fitness After 40: How to Stay Strong at Any Age

It's one of the undeniable facts of life. After we reach a certain age, our bodies change. No matter how fit we may have been at 20, we're very different people after 40. But growing older doesn't...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.