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Weight loss advice isn’t based on good evidence

The orthodoxy in most high-income countries is that anyone with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more is overweight, but evidence suggests the cut-off point should be a lot higher, writes. Clare Wilson


| columnist

September 7, 2022

Shutterstock/Elena Abrazhevich

IF, like me, you gain a few pounds during the pandemic lockdowns, you may not be looking forward to your next doctor’s visit in case they ask you to step on the scale.

Healthcare personnel assess whether people are overweight by calculating their body mass index (BMI), a measure of weight that takes height into account. Those whose BMI is rated too high can get diet advice sheets or recommend a website, app, or weight-loss clubs.

The link with lockdown is particularly cruel if health authorities also tell us that overweight people in a greater …