Excess Body Fat More Harmful Than High BMI
Written by Editor   
Thursday, April 14, 2016 01:00 PM

Low body mass index (BMI) and high body fat percentage, not just high BMI, are independently associated with increased mortality in both men and women, a new study suggests.

"The major finding was that when BMI and body fat percentage were included in the same fully adjusted models, low BMI and high body fat percentage were both associated with increased all-cause mortality. Mortality increased as BMI decreased and body fat percentage increased," the authors write. "This suggests that after adjustment for BMI, higher adiposity may have a detrimental effect on survival and that after adjustment for body fat percentage, a lower BMI may likewise be associated with decreased survival."

Overall, the results of the study showed that having a higher body fat percentage was independently associated with reduced survival, as was having a low BMI.

"[O]ur findings underscore that the risk for all-cause mortality increases with both increasing adiposity and decreasing BMI in a general population of middle-aged and older adults," the authors write.

They also emphasized that BMI may be an inappropriate surrogate for adiposity, and that this limitation may help explain the presence of the obesity paradox in many studies. "These findings also suggest the importance of using direct measures of adiposity when building prognostic or even exploratory models," the authors conclude.

Source: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/859990