New York: Reuters: Joene Hendry writes that measuring body fat, rather than body mass index, appears to more accurately people who need lifestyle interventions to lose weight.

Excess body fat is a risk factor for many major health problems such as heart disease and diabetes, researchers note in the Nutrition Journal.

When evaluating individuals for lifestyle recommendations to minimize such health risks, body mass index (BMI) under identifies risk, said Dr. Ottavia Colombo of the Univsersity of Pavia in Italy.

“The use of BMI alone does not discriminate between fat mass and fat-free mass, nor reflect the fat mass distribution,” Colombo told Reuters Health.

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