However, recent Chinese research of more than 27,000 adults found that BMIs exceeding 25 may not be harmful to those who are overweight or obese.
According to a large-scale study in China, overweight people over the age of 80 had a reduced death risk. Therefore, the data imply that the weight standards should be reconsidered for this age range.
The BMI is calculated to determine whether or not a person is of a healthy weight. According to most recommendations, someone with a score above 25 is deemed overweight, while those over 30 are labeled obese. This is based on one's height and weight.
According to Xiaoming Shi, a Beijing-based epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, these instructions are mostly based on data from younger age groups. However, he points out that as the world's population becomes older, it is more necessary than ever to make sure that these suggestions apply to people of all ages.
More than 27,000 persons over the age of 80 were researched in China between 1998 and 2002 by Shi and his colleagues to determine the mortality risk. They were all 93 or older when they signed up for the research and were tracked until 2018 or until they died.
This is the first large-scale study investigating the connection between higher BMI scores in older age groups and reduced death rates.
According to this study, a BMI of 29 or below is ideal for people over 80. Non-cardiovascular causes of mortality, such as cancer and respiratory illness, were less common. Cardiovascular disease deaths were also less common in this group, but the link was weaker.
BMIs in the "obesity" range of 30 to 35 showed a reduced death risk than BMIs in the 20 to 25 degree.
Long life is best predicted by strength, balance, and mobility.
Many criteria, including socioeconomic level, educational attainment, and whether or not a person smoked, were considered by the researchers.
She speculates that a higher BMI may be connected to a lower death rate because these people eat a more balanced diet. He also points out that this population's BMI was lower than the average for the West. More than 40% of the older adults in the United States are overweight or obese. Finally, he notes that this study's findings may not apply to other demographics or ethnicities.
According to Bodyvisualizer "this study underscores the necessity of taking age into account when assessing the association between BMI and mortality or other health concerns." However, she admits that this study can't tell us exactly why being overweight may be connected to improved health outcomes in the over-80s.
University of Sydney researcher Nicholas Fuller believes that while BMI is an easy and inexpensive approach to assessing a person's health, it shouldn't be used as a sole indicator of health. A person's illness risk is connected to body fat, not weight, so the BMI is based on body weight. Waist circumference is a better indicator of health and danger since it tells us more about how much fat is in the body and where it is located.