Researchers at the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) have developed a biological body mass index (BMI) that is more comprehensive, informative, and actionable than the traditional BMI formula that has existed for years.
Researchers at the Institute of Health and Sciences (ISB) have developed a biological body mass index that is more reliable, informative, and actionable than the traditional BMI.
Researchers from the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) have developed biological body mass index (BMI) measures that are more versatile, informative, and actionable than the traditional, long-used BMI equation today (March 20).
Clinicians have relied on BMI as a crude way to classify individuals as underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese for decades. This approach is widely accepted in the clinic because it is a major risk factor for a number of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer.
Rappaport and colleagues studied 1,000 people who participated in a wellness program by performing multi-omic profiling, looking at more than 1,100 blood substances, genetic risk scores, and gut microbiome composition collected at various time points. The researchers then constructed machine learning models that enabled more accurate predictive variations of a biological BMI than traditional measures of BMI alone.
The team drew upon several important conclusions, including:
- Those with a high biological BMI and normal traditional BMI were less healthy, but able to lose weight easier following a lifestyle intervention.
- Those classified as obese with traditional BMI but with a normal biological BMI were more biologically healthy, and found it harder to lose weight.
- When people made positive lifestyle changes, biological BMI was more responsive and dropped earlier than traditional BMI.
According to the research, even if someone isn't losing weight, they may be becoming healthier biologically.
Rappaport Added: "We have demonstrated the value of multi-omic profiling in our research on the interdependence between obesity, metabolic health, and chronic disease, and stressed the need to consider a wide range of factors beyond traditional BMI measures in understanding and addressing these issues."
'Multiomic signatures of body mass index reveal heterogeneous health phenotypes and responses to a lifestyle intervention,' according to Nature Medicine. DOI: 10.1038/s41591-023-02248-0 20 March 2023