In Brief

Learn about a recent study that proposes separate BMI categories for overweight young adults and athletic groups are needed. Online, you can access ACSM’s Health and Physical Activity Reference Database. Get ready for the 54th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in New Orleans.

ACSM BMI Chart For Men and Women


Body Mass Index Classifications May Need More Specific Cutoffs

According to a recent study published in the March 2007 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise®, the official scientific journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, there is a need for distinct body mass index (BMI) classifications of overweight in the young adult and athlete populations.

The purpose of this study was to describe the association between BMI and percent fat in college players and nonathletes and to determine the accuracy of BMI as a measure of percent fat. 439 college-aged persons were split into three male categories-athletes, football lineman, and nonathletes-and two female categories-athletes and nonathletes. Overweight is characterized as a BMI of 25 or above. Overfatness was defined as a percentage of fat greater than 20% for male athletes and 33% for female athletes.

The findings indicated that a BMI of 25 or above is not a reliable predictor of obesity in collegiate players and nonathletes. Due to the fact that male and female athletes have a greater muscular mass, BMI incorrectly labels normal fat athletes as overweight. Additionally, current BMI classifications are inadequate for diagnosing obesity in the nonathlete population. A BMI of 25 may be too low for male athletes; however, it may be too high for female athletes.

The outcomes of this study support the use of population-specific BMI cutpoints for appropriately assessing obesity in various populations.

ACSM’s Health and Physical Activity Reference Database Now Online

The ACSM Office of Museum, History, and Archives is pleased to offer the Health and Physical Activity Reference Database, which contains articles and books published over the last 200 years or more about the relationship between health and physical activity, as well as the early history of exercise physiology. The majority of the products were written in English and distributed throughout North America. Certain materials, however, were published in France, Germany, and England, among other countries. Two independent reference databases are used to organize the listings. One, headed “Health and Physical Activity,” contains 3,131 references to published works. The second section, titled “Exercise Physiology,” contains 223 bibliographic references. The members of the Office of Museum, History, and Archives hope that these two searchable reference databases will prove beneficial to field researchers, but caution that they are not exhaustive collections of all published material on these subjects. Rather than that, they are “chosen” lists that should be complemented with searches of other publicly accessible datasets.

Get Jazzed for ACSM’s Annual Meeting in New Orleans

Make your plans today to attend the 54th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana, from May 30 to June 2, 2007. The symposium will feature an unprecedented amount of cutting-edge research in the fields of sports medicine and exercise science. By attending, you will gain knowledge from top specialists who will discuss cutting-edge research, receive continuing education and continuing medical education credits, network with notable peers, and contribute to ACSM’s economic impact in New Orleans.

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