USA Obesity Rates Most Likely Underestimated
A simple miscalculation could be the difference in classifying a truly obese person as overweight. This is not to be taken lightly when being obese significantly increases your chances of developing life-threatening cholesterol, blood pressure and heart issues. Researchers suggest about 39 percent of Americans who are currently classed as slightly overweight are, in fact, obese.
Researchers report measuring how fat or lean a person is just based on body mass index or BMI is only an approximation. These approximate calculations are underestimating the number of obese people in the United States.
There are alternative ways of assessing a person’s body weight status that could potentially save them from unknowing health issues concerning being obese. A blood test measuring leptin levels to BMI would more precisely identify obesity. Mistakenly classifying people who are truly obese greatly increases their chances of developing obesity related diseases because no intervention is made.
Researchers examined DXA or dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scans of nearly 1,000 adults in a study. These scans are yet another way to more accurately identify obesity over BMI. DXA measures muscle mass, bone density and body fat. The study revealed 64 percent of the patients were classified as obese according to the DXA results while only 26 percent of patients were obese according to current BMI only methods.
Although more accurate, DXA scans are costly. However, measuring blood levels of leptin is a less expensive way to better assess a patient’s body weight status. Body Composition Analysis is an inexpensive and fairly accurate means of accomplishing the same task. Being obese is a serious issue and people shouldn’t have to second guess their BMI when their lives are at stake.
This new research reveals the importance of consulting with a medical weight loss specialist about your struggle to lose weight. A weight loss doctor can accurately assess what types of medical weight loss programs are right for you by evaluating your medical history and health in addition to your BMI.