July 25, 2005 |
Compare athletes in a sprint event to those running a marathon and it's obvious that a runner's body doesn't take one shape -- sprinters tend to have muscular builds, and distance runners are more wiry. The key to the differences, according to a new research study, may lie in a runner's body mass index. Runners' abilities have long been measured via how much oxygen they can deliver to the muscles, but that doesn't tell the whole story of why their physiques differ so greatly.
April 2, 2012 |
As if the nation's weight problems were not daunting enough, a new study has found that the body mass index, the 180-year-old formula used to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy weight, may be incorrectly classifying about half of women and just over 20% of men as being the picture of health when their body-fat composition suggests they are obese. The study, published Monday in the journal PLoS One, uses a patient's ratio of fat to lean muscle mass as the "gold standard" for detecting obesity and suggests that it could be a better bellwether of an individual's risk for health problems.
June 14, 2012 |
There has been lots of excitement this week as a horde of scientists released their first looks at the trillions of microbes that live in (or on) our bodies. As well as the two main papers published in Nature, a slate of reports was published in other journals, containing all kinds of tidbits. One week earlier, another slate of “microbiome” papers was published in the journal Science. We already covered the nuts and bolts of the Human Micriobiome Project report.
June 4, 1998 |
The federal government is reducing its threshold for defining who is overweight, determining that someone who stands 5-foot-4 and weighs 145 pounds is hefty enough to harm their health. In guidelines to be formally released later this month, a panel of experts convened by the National Institutes of Health concluded that a person with a body mass index as low as 25--5-foot-4, 145 pounds or 5-foot-10, 174 pounds--should be considered overweight.
December 19, 2012 |
People who want to lose weight are better off running than lifting weights -- or even than doing both, researchers at Duke University say. The researchers compared people who did aerobic exercise -- running, swimming, walking, for instance -- with those who did resistance training such as weightlifting and with people who did both kinds of exercise. Those who got up and moved burned the most fat, they said in the Dec. 15 Journal of Applied Physiology. “Given that approximately two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight due to excess body fat, we want to offer clear, evidence-based exercise recommendations that will truly help people lose weight and body fat,” Leslie H. Willis, an exercise physiologist at Duke Medicine and the study's lead author, said in a statement.
March 26, 2013 |
The mix of microbes living in the human gut -- in particular, the presence of a particular bacterium that gobbles hydrogen and produces methane -- may be related to obesity, researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles said Tuesday. In a study led by Dr. Ruchi Mathur, head of the Diabetes Outpatient Treatment and Education Center in the hospital's endocrinology division, researchers at Cedars-Sinai recruited 792 people of varying ages, body mass index levels and body fat content and asked them to breathe into a device that analyzed the contents of their breath.