BMI

jacomstephens via Getty Images

Can Weight Loss Make You Smarter?

Being overweight is associated with multiple negative health effects, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Conversely, weight loss can lower the risk of developing such illnesses, or lighten their burden. Now, a new study from Brazil found that besides physical improvements, slimming down can also produce positive outcomes for the mind.
Getty Images/Blend Images

Why Body Mass Index Doesn't Measure Up

BMI is a ratio of weight to height (weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters). The BMI was devised in the nineteenth century as a statistical tool and meant to be a way to assess weight in the population generally. However, over time, it became an easy and inexpensive way to target individuals as being too large.

Obesity and Health Just Don't Go Together

For quite a while some experts believed that a little extra body fat would not necessarily trigger health problems like metabolic syndrome, a cluster of diseases that often accompanies weight gain. But all that may just be fantasy, according to a recent study from Canada.
Getty

Why Public Health Activists Want to Hide Inconvenient Truths

After studying about three million cases, the authors of a new study found that for people who are older than 60, having a body-mass index (BMI) that ranks you as overweight may reduce your mortality risk. And while obese people had a greater mortality risk over all, those at the lowest level of obesity were not more likely to die during a given period than people of normal weight. The reception to this data has not been kind.
Elle Serbia

Why I'm Against Israel's "Too Skinny" Ban on Models

Israel's has recently banned "too-skinny" models requiring they must have a BMI of at least 18.5 in order to work. There are very strict rules about using models who fall below the magic number. However, this ruling is unfair. BMI is, after all, not always an indicator of health -- there have been many publications that have proven that. For example, people with very light bones and athletes are more likely to fall out of said number, and still be relatively healthy. In addition, one can meet these minimum requirements, yet still look extremely thin -- muscle, after all, weighs more than fat.