The average BMI for an adult woman in the U.S. is 26.5, while a “healthy BMI” is considered 18.5-24.9. But think a “healthy BMI” means you’re in good-health standing? That may not be the case if you tend to carry the extra weight mostly around your middle.
A recent study in Annals of Internal Medicine found that belly fat can put you at a higher risk of death than when weight is carried elsewhere. British researchers gathered data from 42,702 participants from 10 different years of surveys.
They examined BMI and waist-to-hip ratio, and found that people who were normal weight but had central obesity (belly fat) or were obese with belly fat were at increased risk for all-cause mortality and cardiovascular deaths.