BMI & Life Expectancy

According to a meta analysis of 19 studies, researchers from the National Cancer Institute have concluded that if Caucasian Americans want to live a long healthy life, they should keep a close eye on their BMI score.

The researchers found that having a BMI of between 20.0 and 24.9 gave test subjects their best chance at living a long, healthy life.

They also found that:

  • A BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 increased death risk by 13%
  • A BMI of 30.0 to 34.9 increased death risk by 44%
  • A BMI of 35.0 to 39.9 increased death risk by 88%
  • A BMI of 40.0 to 49.9 increased death risk by 251%

And when you combine this research with the fact that 2 out of every 3 Americans are overweight or obese, you can see why obesity has become a major health concern in the USA.


Douglas Robb

Doug Robb is a personal trainer, a fitness blogger and author, a competitive athlete, and a student of nutrition and exercise science. He's also the co-founder of the Hive Health Media. Since 2008, Doug has expanded his impact by bringing his real-world experience online via the health & fitness blog – Health Habits.

7 thoughts on “BMI & Life Expectancy

  • September 5, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    The big problem is this.No matter what data you show the obese most don’t care. Over 49% BMI you have a 251% chance of dying early. Thats just insane. Thats a guarantee you will be dead by 60 maybe 65. That would scare me,but most who are in that situation just don’t pay it any mind.

  • December 3, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    The BMI has always been overrated, it doesn’t take into account the different body styles people have.

  • December 3, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Wow, this is serious stuff. We all knew that being morbidly or moderately overweight can decrease your lifespan. But now we know that even being a teeny bit overweight can do it too.

  • December 3, 2010 at 9:28 am

    BMI is such an important measurement – I wish physicians would stress it more to their patients.

  • December 3, 2010 at 12:06 am

    Hi Doug

    Thanks for this informative post. I check mine regularly and make sure I am eating healthy and exercising. Better to eat organic products where possible as no additives or chemicals present.

    Patricia Perth Australia

  • December 2, 2010 at 10:45 am

    BMI is directly related to food chemcials. It is the reason behind all weight problems and Diabetes.

    The food today has been changed and is filled with chemicals that destroy the digestive system and cause Obesity and Diabetes

    This is why you cannot lose weight!

    A filmmaker has been reversing diabetes and Obesity in now 10 countries and the drug makers do not promote the story

    just google SPIRIT HAPPY DIET


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