An Investigation into Body Mass Index and Lifestyle Characteristics within an Elderly Population

Claire Mills* and Jessica Hayward

An Investigation into Body Mass Index and Lifestyle Characteristics within an Elderly Population.

Considering the current increasing aging population, understanding of elderly individual’s
body composition, well-being and health promoting and damaging behaviors are important.
After retirement people are generally more sedentary, resulting excess calories intake, making them prone to degenerative diseases and obesity. As a consequence of aging populations, countries need to define policies to reduce their burden on society. Promotion of research providing policymakers with data on the needs of their aging population is the main objective of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) International Aging Programme.
Body mass index (BMI) is an index of body mass-for-height, commonly used to classify obesity and under nutrition in various populations. Tables of normative values give little credibility to the widespread variation between individuals. However, comparisons are often made between the individual and a population.

Despite disadvantages of undertaking BMI, such as measure error and the little credibility it gives to the variation between individuals, BMI methodology remains well established universal practice that provides simple, low cost and easily comparable data. When taking elderly body composition
measures, BMI the practicality of measures is less invasive and more feasible than alternative option, such as hydrostatic weighing. Until more advanced, yet still feasible protocol to easily
measure participants body composition at low cost arises, gathering stretched stature and body mass measures to calculate an elderly individual’s BMI seems appropriate. In conclusion, it is evident that particular lifestyle habits show positive correlations (of differing strengths) with BMI measures in both males and females.

Obes Res Open J
. 2016; 3(2): 18-23. doi: 10.17140/OROJ-3-123