Do you see yourself as fat and fit and fine? It may be preferable to than fat and unfit, but definitely not fine if you want to live long.

A higher than normal body mass index (BMI) has irrefutably been linked to premature death, in a large international study that conducted 239 prospective studies amongst more than 10 million people in 32 countries. People who smoked, had a chronic condition or died within 5 years were excluded from the findings of the study. Although the Global BMI Mortality Collaboration studies were conducted in Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Europe and North America, you can bet your bottom dollar (or rock-bottom Rand!) that the findings apply to South Africa as well. To quote from the report:

“We conclude that wherever overweight and obesity are common, their associations with higher all-cause mortality are broadly similar in different populations, supporting strategies to combat the entire spectrum of excessive adiposity worldwide.”

How is your BMI calculated? The BMI formula is your weight divided by your height squared.  For example, if you weigh 100 kg and is 1,8 m tall, the calculation is as follows:

  • Multiply the height by itself (1,8 m x 1,8 m = 3,24.)
  • Divide the weight with the result of this calculation (100 kg divided by 3,24 = 30,8.)

The BMI weight categories:

BMI:Below 18,4

18,5 – 24,9

25 – 29,9

30 +

Weight status:Underweight

Normal or healthy weight




Body-mass index and all-cause mortality: individual-participant-data meta-analysis of 239 prospective studies in four continents. Report published online in The Lancet on 13 July 2016.
Higher BMI linked to early death. Health Letter by Harvard Medical School, November 2016.
Obesity causes premature death, concludes study of studies. Published online in The Guardian, 13 July 2016.
As overweight and obesity increase, so does risk of dying prematurely: Major study. Published online in ScienceDaily on 13 July 2016.

MARCH 2017

error: Content is protected !!