New study says it's not just obesity raising red flags

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) "It's all based on the BMI.   The BMI is the body mass index which is the weight divided by the height," said AHEC Assistant Professor of Medicine, Dr. Shane Speights.

It's a number you need to know....

"That BMI number really tells you your risk of death. The higher the number, the higher the risk," said Dr. Speights.

In fact, a new study says it's not just obesity that could  increase your risk of premature death, there's a risk just by being overweight.

"For women, the study showed a 13 percent increased risk of death just by being overweight," said Dr. Speights.

Dr. Speights says when they disect data and determine what overweight, obese, or morbidly obese people are dying of--they often find it's heart attacks, strokes, cancers, complications from diabetes, even different respiratory illnesses.

"The more overweight, the more obese, the more morbidly obese you are, the higher your risk of getting those diseases and dying from them.   You still have a risk of getting those diseases by being overweight," said Dr. Speights.

Dr. Speights says you can find these BMI charts at your doctors office, but you can even go online.

Using your height and weight, it will show you what your body mass index is and where it needs to be.

"If your BMI was even higher in the obese or extremely obese, some of those were up to 88 percent increased risk of death," said Dr. Speights.

While this study focused on being overweight, Dr. Speights says it's called an "ideal weight" for a reason and being underweight can certainly become risky too.

"If you find that you look on this chart and you're severely underweight, that's probably going to deserve a trip to the doctor," said Dr. Speights.

Dr.  Speights says the best way and most healthy way to lose weight really has to be a lifestyle change.

He says look at your diet and make sure it's balanced.  He adds cut back on sugary drinks, get smaller portions, start exercising.

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