Send me Your FREE
Health & Nutrition Updates

Tips on ways to live longer, healthier and happier.
Enter your email below.

Special Reports August 2014 Issue

Rethinking BMI for Older Adults

The weight-height equation may be different as you age. Here’s what really matters instead.

If you’re over 65 or approaching that age and still watching your weight, new findings suggest you may be worrying about the wrong thing. It’s true that the obesity epidemic has exacted a serious toll on America’s health. But for older adults, maintaining muscle mass to ward off frailty—a condition called sarcopenia—is more important both to the length and quality of life than counting pounds. The popular Body Mass Index (BMI—see box), a calculation that combines weight and height, turns out not to be a very good predictor of health for older adults—for whom the “rules” about overweight may simply be different than for younger people.

To continue reading this article you must be a paid subscriber.

Subscribe to Tufts Health & Nutrition

Subscribe and receive the next full year of Tufts Health & Nutrition for just $24. And access all of our online content - including years of back issues - free of charge. That's a savings of $12 off the regular rate. It's like getting 4 issues free!

Or subscribe for two years for $40 and save even more!

Get Tufts Health & Nutrition Digital

With 12 months of Tufts Health & Nutrition DIGITAL and get instant access to digital editions of current and past issues that you can download and save in PDF format to your PC, Mac or mobile device. You will also get unlimited access to everything on the site.

Subscriber Log In

Forgot your password? Click Here.

Already subscribe but haven't registered for all the benefits of the website? Click here.