Experts have reached a new conclusion regarding the definition of healthy. Apparently, obese people are not as unhealthy as we think, and the BMI is a tool that does not reflect reality on the matter.
Nowadays, obesity is considered a worldwide crisis that affects millions of people. The condition has always been associated with health problems, especially heart disorders, vascular diseases and type two diabetes. Many are trying to fight against obesity with proper diets and regular exercises.
As a result, health insurance agencies are planning on a change. The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) has a new proposition that will oblige persons who have a higher than normal body mass index to pay a plus of 30% on their fees for health insurance. The explanation is simple: since these people are supposed to have more health risks than the slim ones, their health insurance must cover more services.
In spite of this new proposal, experts now believe the rule will be flawed since the BMI does not show the real risks posed to obese people. As the BMI is used for measuring the ratio between the weight and the height of an individual, it cannot identify the possible health problems he or she might encounter. Some obese people might have normal blood pressure or blood sugar values and thus not be prone to the conditions caused by abnormal levels. On the other hand, people with normal BMI might be at risk from the same causes.
The study conducted by the researchers from the University of California in Los Angeles has pointed towards the fact that there are currently about 34.4. million overweight Americans who are considered unhealthy even though they have no issues. This roughly means 47.7% of the total of overweight people in the United States are healthy in spite of their extra pounds.
UCLA psychologist Janet Tomaiyama was the leader of the study. She believes that the BMI makes us overlook certain health problems in people who are considered within normal range. Apart from making some overweight people pay extra for nothing, the proposal from EEOC can also prove dangerous for people who have a normal BMI.
Obese people are not as unhealthy as we think and a way of defining the healthy status of an individual should be by doing medical tests, not by calculating the BMI. We can only hope that EEOC’s proposal will not go through and we will find a better solution for insurances.
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