Weight, height and body mass index distributions in geographically and ethnically diverse samples of older persons.
An incredibly useful article. They showed that BMI and body measures decline (get smaller) in older adults from age 60, to 70, to age 80. Height declines, weight declines, and body mass index declines. This happens worldwide.
But most importantly, they grouped the "self-reported health" of the subjects, and compared "excellent health" versus "fairly good health" versus "poor health". They found the averaged BMI of these groups was 24.4, 24.7 and 24.7 respectively, in other words, no difference in BMI between Excellent health to Poor health, in elderly adults.
It is known that the majority of older adults in the USA have excess body fat percentages, which makes their BMI values seem overweight. But what is the point of implying that these BMI values are abnormal and unhealthy when evidence suggests it is not associated with poor health. In fact, in older adults (like those in this study), having a lower body mass index is associated with increased mortality rates.
As an example, here is data from the article, of USA white men and women age 60 through 89. Most values are higher than the standard definition of overweight at 25.0 kg/m2.
|Age||Men’s BMI||Women’s BMI|
|60 to 69||26.4||26.5|
|70 to 79||25.6||25.7|
|80 to 89||24.6||24.4|
There’s more published evidence as well, on my other pages, saying the same thing, that it’s healthiest to gain weight gradually during adult life, and it’s normal.
If someone deliberately wanted to create a phony Global Epidemic of Obesity, they’d say thank goodness we can count all these healthy older people and count them as obese. I hate that.
You really should see this page, showing that when you are over age 50, having an overweight BMI is actually the most healthy.