National Institute of Health (NIH) demonstrated that for each 5-point increase in body mass index (BMI) - your risk of death increases by 31% - even if you do not smoke and your apparently healthy. It's important for you to remember that BMI (see calculator here) is not the be all end all of measurements, especially for individuals who have muscular body types. But for most of us this is very important information. Here is the breakdown of what the study showed:
A BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 increased death risk by 13%
A BMI of 30.0 to 34.9 increased death risk by 44%
A BMI of 35.0 to 39.9 increased death risk by 88%
A BMI of 40.0 to 49.9 increased death risk by 251%
If your not a smoker and your apparently healthy your next goal is to keep a healthy %body fat level which in turn will keep your BMI at safe levels. Body fat typically increases as you age. College-aged men have about 15% and college-aged females have about 23%. This NIH study appeared in the
December 2010 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.