It’s been shown again, and this time fairly conclusively, as far as I can tell, that it’s better to be overweight than being of normal weight, as described by BMI.
Now, this makes me think that the labels are being used wrongly, and that they should be changed, so that overweight becomes normal weight, normal weight underweight, etc.
This also makes sense from the point of view that the BMI definitions look weird to me. According to the traditional labels, at 1.80m (5’11”) I’m supposed to weigh between 60kg and 81kg. Now, during high school I was quite skinny, and my weight fluctuated between 68kg and 72kg. However, as I got older, I put on more weight (and not just fat), and I’d say my ideal weight now is around 85kg – at 81kg I’d look very skinny. If I pass 95kg, however, I would describe myself as fat.
I’ve modified the graph found in the Wikipedia article cited above to show how I think the new labels could be applied.
Of course, BMI is a very crude measure. I definitely think my ideal weight is different now from when I was 18, and I now many people of the same height and age that have very different ideal weights. This is of course why the BMI shows a range, but I think some people might forget that they cannot just pick their own place in the permitted range – they should find it based on their build and muscles.