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Even 'normal' BMI may be unhealthy

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct 04, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Boston researchers say that U.S. residents who have a normal body weight may be at a significant health risk.

The study, summarized in the October issue for the journal Harvard Men's Health Watch, found that even having a body mass index within the normal range exposed people to several serious illnesses.

The new U.S. Dietary Guidelines say that men with BMIs below 18.5 are underweight; 18.5-24.9 is considered healthy or normal; 25-29.9 is moderately overweight; and 30 or above indicates obesity.

The Harvard study determined that men with BMIs between 22.0 and 24.4, the upper range of "normal," were significantly more likely to develop at least one of the weight-related illnesses than their leaner peers with BMIs between 18.5 and 21.9. Although BMIs below 25 are healthy, BMIs below 22 are healthier.

Thirty-five percent of U.S. residents have a normal BMI.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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