Primary author Dr. Eric Braverman compared the BMI data -- a calculation that uses height and weight to determine amount of body fat -- to results on the study participants using Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry scans -- a direct measure of percentage body fat.
Our clients know that we consider the BMI charts useless--and here's more evidence that this is so. Using Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry scans to provide a direct measurement of body fat percentage, Dr. Eric Braverman tested the current criteria for diagnosing obesity used in American medicine and the World Health Organization for gathering obesity statistics.
We weren't surprised to discover that not only is the BMI chart (using height and weight to determine body fat) inaccurate, it is leading to massive under-diagnosis of obesity.
This is why we rely on our own formula for determining your body fat percentage, using abdominal circumference (your waist measurement) as our primary data point in determining the health of our patients.
The fact is, as with many things in the body, it's about ratios and relationships. It's about a ratio of fat to lean tissue, and it is very much about where your fat is concentrated. The key point here being, not that gaining abdominal fat makes you unhealthy but: when you are unhealthy you will have excess abdominal fat.
Here's where it gets to be a cycle: that fat layer, caused by disturbances in the health of the body, creates further disturbances in the body which lead to more fat storage. It's a feed back loop between the fat layer (I call it "the fat parasite") and the body that our protocol is designed to disrupt, to make returning to a state of health--and staying there--more likely than with other approaches.
This is one of the key points in our protocol. A loss on the scale isn't necessarily a good measure of your increased health and fitness. In fact, it is quite possible to lose weight on the scale and be worse off, if that loss is lean tissue loss, while your adipose tissue stays the same or even increases.
Our protocol is designed to preserve lean mass and to target adipose tissue (fat) and this is why it stands out from other weight-loss methods.
It's interesting to note that the inaccuracy of BMI also works in reverse. It doesn't distinguish between healthy, lean tissue and body fat. So a healthy athletic individual (say a professional athlete) often qualifies as obese, when their abdominal circumference tells us otherwise.
So Braverman's ultimate conclusion--that the global obesity epidemic might be much bigger than the 300 million obese reported by the WHO--doesn't necessarily follow, though he may be correct. But the central point remains: BMI is a useless measure of health and fitness and should be placed in the round file of medical history once and for all.