Life Insurers Use The Body Mass Index To Tighten The Belt On Fat People


 Life Insurers Use The Body Mass Index To Tighten The Belt On Fat People

Insurers use the body mass index to tighten the belt on fat people.

The insurance sector's new guidelines will be released soon, but all we have to go on right now is a survey of 500 healthcare professionals who are given and paid for opinions. This study shows that 37% of insurers are using BMI as a criteria for determining premiums, which would make it mandatory. They are also suggesting that if you're obese, healthy lifestyle information must be provided to your health plan. The ACA has led some insurance companies to provide incentives or discounts to Americans seeking weight loss surgery along with other diet programs - all based on BMI levels and weight loss success rates.

What the hell is BMI? Fraction of body fat. It's totally meaningless for the majority of people, it doesn't take into account other factors that would affect body composition such as muscle mass or bone density, but it's a great indicator for fat people because their fat-to-muscle ratio is higher than most.

via #comment #healthinsurance #dietinfo #obesity #healthyliving [ARTICLE END]
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Posted by Ziggy Stardust at 9:31 AM
I thought it was interesting that the article did not mention whether or not the insurance companies were using the BMI criteria as a basis for determining premiums. Did they use it as a basis or not? Reply Delete
I'd rather pay more for lower rates than pay less for higher rates. It's not worth the premium if I want higher coverage. Reply Delete
The BMI system is bound to fail - with respect to obesity issues, and physical health in general. It's a flawed mathematical model (BMI doesn't take into account differences in body size, and weight itself varies between individuals). Furthermore, it does not take into account the correlation between body fat percentage and health issues such as high blood pressure or cholesterol levels. The BMI isn't even standardized - while there is a standard for adult height measurement, there's no standard for adult weight measurement. In the end, it's a simple, easy to use indicator for an insurance company, but a terrible measurement tool. Reply Delete
Totally flawed and means nothing. If I were to lose 5 lbs of muscle mass and replace it with 5 lbs of fat now my BMI would be higher even though I am in better shape. If anything it should be calculated based on the percentage of fat in relation to total weight. Reply Delete
The BMI system is a joke - and not just because they decided that "normal fit" for their purposes was a man with a waist size of 34 inches (which is itself really quite thin). I've used BMI for years - which is how you calculate it - and it's basically pointless. It doesn't take into account body size at all. It also includes things like bone density, muscle mass, and body fat percentage, none of which are useful factors in measuring health risk. The only remotely sensible thing about it is that if you're both underweight and under age 35, you get the "healthy" category - but even so I'd question its wisdom. My father was a thin kid who had an excellent level of physical fitness as a teenager and young adult, but also weighed less than 100 lbs when he got to be nearly 40 - because he was quite small as a child his BMI should have been pretty high. But it wasn't. The system is essentially useless, and not worth having around. Reply Delete
At my job I have to use the BMI system as we apply parity for our insurance. It doesn't matter how healthy you are on a day to day basis or how fit you are, if your BMI is over 30 you will not get a policy. You have to choose between being able to afford your medical care or being covered for bodily injury liability. A lot of people leave the program because of this but they find out after they have an accident that they can't get their medical expenses paid for by this program because their BMI is above 30. Reply Delete
I agree with your assessment of BMI. I am 6'3 and 220 lbs, and am considered obese. However, I passed the test for the fire department (1 minute 12 seconds on my pushups and 1 minute 20 seconds on my sit ups - they're only allowed to use a 45 second time limit). I'm in decent shape. Also, man boobs are pretty common on older overweight men who have lost muscle mass due to age or inactivity and gained fat mass instead. Reply Delete
I agree, BMI is bogus. I am 5'4" and 110 pounds, but the doctor said I have a high risk of heart disease. WHAT? Reply Delete
BMI is actually used for a lot of things where it actually works quite well, it's most useful application is as a predictor for how much body fat someone has. It's pretty accurate at that and people who are over their healthy weight threshold are usually completely unaware of how much body fat they are carrying around (I'm currently 14-15% bf at 163lb - my health care provider says I'm fit, but by BMI I'm obese). Reply Delete
BMI has never been intended to be used to determine body fat percentage; check out . It's intended to be used as a health indicator, not a means of measuring health. Your weight and height are both important measurements, but they're only used by BMI to determine the ratio. The actual calculation is irrelevant. Reply Delete
BMI has never been intended to be used to determine body fat percentage; check out Reply Delete
LOL. The health care reform bill proposed today would make it illegal for us to do this. I think American's are so stupid they will either do what they are told or go broke because of the crappy insurance system. A system that is designed to cover the majority of people in a very limited number of areas can not work in any but those same limited areas, all of it needs to change. Reply Delete
Lol - No, you won't be able to use it as an indicator for body fat percentage. That's what I'm saying about them not using BMI as a standard for health care regulation (like deciding on how much insurance you have).

Conclusion: you're missing the point. Reply Delete
BMI is a piece of garbage! I am 5'5", 112 lbs and a size 2, but am considered morbidly obese because I have a very high fat percentage (not good fat). My friend is 5'10", 210 lbs and fairly ripped, but isn't considered obese or even overweight. If you want a real BMI calculator, go to . I'm not positing that there shouldn't be any standards for health, just that this isn't the right one to use.

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