A research study conducted by the Mayo Clinic found that half of the people considered to be of 'normal weight' according to BMI tables (BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 ), were found to have excessive amounts of body fat which is called Normal Weight Obesity.
Those with “normal weight obesity” are at risk for many of the same medical conditions in people ranking higher on the BMI tables (overweight BMI of 25 to 29.9, obese is a BMI of 30 or higher).
People with a normal BMI but with a higher body fat percentage (body fat percentage of over 32 % in women and over 25% in men) were found to be at risk for: high cholesterol, high levels of leptin which is responsible for appetite regulation, increased risk for metabolic syndrome leading to diabetes and heart disease, arthritis, gallstones, hypertension, and stroke.
The study shows that having a “normal BMI” does not automatically guards you against metabolic disorders. Instead using a combination of waist circumference (determine body fat distribution) and body composition testing to track weight is far more reliable.
Body fat ranges:
Acceptable body fat ranges for women: 25-31%, for men 18-24%
Fitness body fat ranges: women is 21-24%, for men 14-17%
Obesity: women > 32 %, men > 25%
Anyone trying to lose weight needs to understand that you really are trying to lose body fat. A healthy diet and daily exercise are the two most important habits affecting the ability to reach and sustain and ideal body weight and body fat percentage levels throughout the life span.