BMI may not be the best way to determine whether an elderly person is obese. According to a new UCLA study it may be more accurate to measure an elderly person's waist-to-hip ratio, not their BMI.
Researchers from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA found that the waist-to-hip circumference ratio was a better yardstick for assessing obesity in adults between the ages of 70 and 80, presumably because the physical changes that are part of the aging process alter the body proportions on which BMI is based.
"Basically, it isn't BMI that matters in older adults — it's waist size," said Dr. Preethi Srikanthan, UCLA assistant professor of endocrinology and the study's lead investigator.
According to a previous study at the University of Cincinnati, obesity among elderly was expected to rise by nearly 50 percent between 2004 and 2010.
For more info: See an article about how obesity impacts the elderly and other stages of life at the American Physiological Society.