BMI may not apply to older persons

Older persons may be able to ignore what one popular measuring tool might tell them about their physical health, according to a new study.

The body mass index (BMI) measures the ratio of an individual's weight and height and functions as an indicator of obesity, but Reuters says the elderly need pay it no mind.

"Changes in body size and composition that commonly occur with aging may limit the usefulness of BMI," claim researchers at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine.

The researchers examined 1,200 male and female patients, all of whom were over the age of 70.

BMI may not apply to older persons They learned that a more accurate way to identify obesity in seniors is to establish a waist to hips ratio, which takes muscle and fat levels into account.

Obesity increases a person's risk of suffering from diseases and other health problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Today, about one in three people living in the U.S. is considered obese, and the problem is gradually becoming a health concern in other parts of the world, too.

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