Obesity problem may be bigger than thought

April 4, 2012 5:03:07 AM PDT
The obesity problem in the United States may be much worse than we have been hearing.

For decades, physicians have relied on body mass index, or BMI, to figure out who is overweight or obese.

BMI uses a ratio of height to weight. But a new report claims it's an overly simplistic measure that can misrepresent physical fitness and overall health.

The journal study in PLoS ONE says up to 39 percent of people who were not currently classified as obese actually are.

Based on the findings, researchers say the BMI threshold for obesity, which stands at 30, should be lowered to 24 for women and 28 for men.

This is not the first time BMI has been questioned. Experts have been looking for better ways to measure weight and overall health for years.