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# Body Mass Index

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HEALTH

March 7, 2011
The body-mass index is a common measure of obesity. It's the ratio of weight in kilograms to height in meters squared. Here's how to calculate yours: (Your weight in kilograms) = (0.4535) x (your weight in pounds) (Your height in meters) = (0.0254) x (your height in inches) (Your BMI) = (your weight in kilograms) / (your height in meters, squared) For adults 20 years old or older, the National Institutes of Health have established these four categories based on BMI levels: Below 18.5underweight 18.5 to 24.9healthy 25.0 to 29.9overweight 30.0 or higherobese ?
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SCIENCE

## Bright light - early and often - linked to lower BMI, study finds

April 2, 2014 |
To maximize your chances of fighting flab, new research offers some simple advice: Wake up early and go outside. People who loaded up on light exposure at the beginning of the day were most likely to have a lower body mass index, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE. That relationship between morning light and BMI was independent of how many calories the study participants consumed. It may sound crazy, but there is sound scientific evidence to back up the link.
HEALTH

## Built for the race

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.
SCIENCE

## Firstborn? That may increase a man's risk of being overweight

February 6, 2014 |
Warning: Being a firstborn may be hazardous to your health. So suggests a small study of middle-aged men in New Zealand. Compared with  their younger brothers, the firstborns weighed more and were less sensitive to insulin. Researchers had recruited the guys to be part of clinical trials testing whether olive leaf extract or krill oil could improve their metabolic health. All of the volunteers were between the ages of 35 and 55, and all were overweight, with a body mass index between 25 and 30. To study the effects of birth order, they pulled out data from trial participants who were either the first or second child born in their family.
HEALTH

## We may be fatter than we think, researchers report

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.
NEWS

## U.S. Lowers Its Standards on Obesity

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.
NATIONAL

## Group Urges Checking Children's Body Mass

August 4, 2003 |
All children should have their body mass index measures evaluated yearly as part of efforts to identify and prevent obesity, the American Academy of Pediatrics says in its first-ever policy statement dealing solely with identifying and preventing the increasingly common problem.
NEWS

## Confusion Reduced on Obesity Remark

October 17, 1996 |
Don't add another half-hour to your Stairmaster time just yet. Health-conscious Southern Californians buzzed about Wednesday, trying to calculate their "body mass index," after a federal researcher was quoted Tuesday as reporting that overweight Americans are now in the majority. However, the researcher's colleagues at the National Center for Health Statistics sheepishly backed away from the data that jarred so many pudgy Americans out of their recliners.
NEWS

## Confusion Over Statistic on Obesity Is Reduced

October 17, 1996 |
Don't add another half-hour to your Stairmaster time just yet. Health-conscious Southern Californians buzzed about Wednesday, trying to calculate their "body mass index," after a federal researcher was quoted Tuesday as reporting that overweight Americans are now in the majority. However, the researcher's colleagues at the National Center for Health Statistics sheepishly backed away from the data that jarred so many pudgy Americans out of their recliners.
HEALTH

## Well-woman checkups

February 20, 2011
A well-woman exam should be conducted each year, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The exam includes: ?General examination (height, weight, body mass index, blood pressure) ?Breast exam ?Pelvic exam (which may include a Pap test) ?Discussion of health and lifestyle, including personal and family health history; medications and supplements used; current diet, exercise and sexual practices; use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.
SCIENCE

## Fat and healthy is a myth, new study says

December 2, 2013 |
So your body mass index says you're obese, but you don't have "pre-diabetes" - a mix of factors such as hypertension, high cholesterol and high glucose levels that indicates you're on the road to metabolic illness. And you're thinking you've beaten the odds, right? Wait 10 years, a new study says. Odds are, you'll be proven wrong. New research finds that even when a person is "metabolically healthy," being obese raises his or her risk for cardiovascular disease and premature death.
NEWS

## Calling someone fat names can make them eat more, researchers say

July 24, 2013 |
Discriminating against someone for being fat isn't real helpful. That's something scientists have already documented for issues like depression. But a new study says it also seems to make people gain weight. “Rather than motivating individuals to lose weight, weight discrimination increases risk for obesity,” the researchers wrote  in an article released Wednesday in the journal PLOS One. It seems logical that calling someone names  - or worse - for being fat would discourage them from taking part in gym class or other physical activities, and that happens, the researchers said.
NEWS

## Smoke? Fat? Sedentary? Watch out for heart disease, study says

June 4, 2013 |
It's no surprise that someone who has never smoked, who eats a Mediterranean diet and keeps a normal weight and who exercises regularly is healthy. How healthy? Chances of death from all causes is reduced by 80% over eight years. Pretty healthy. Those four healthy behaviors also protected against heart disease and the buildup of calcium deposits in the arteries, the researchers said. Those are the results of a multiyear study of more than 6,000 people led by Johns Hopkins University researchers and published online Monday in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
SCIENCE

May 20, 2013 |
Having childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder could lead to a life of obesity, even if ADHD symptoms disappear in adulthood, a new study shows. The study, which followed up on 207 middle-class men who had been diagnosed with ADHD as children, found that some 33 years after their diagnosis, their body mass index was significantly higher than those without ADHD. Their propensity to become obese was twice that of adults who were never diagnosed with ADHD, according to the study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
NEWS

## Mazel tov to Israel on its new modeling laws

January 7, 2013 |
To combat a growing problem with anorexia and bulimia, a new law in Israel bans fashion models who are considered unhealthily thin and requires the labeling of photos that are digitally altered to make the models look thinner. Unhealthily thin is defined as a body-mass index lower than 18.5. An example being tossed around is that a woman 5 feet 8 inches tall who weighs 120 pounds would be considered, well, not quite kosher for the cameras. That's a long way from zaftig, but certainly an improvement over the bony waifs that have too long been held up as icons of beauty.

## CES 2013: 'Smart' forks and spoons aimed at curbing weight gain

January 7, 2013 |
That's not Mom nagging you to quit scarfing your meal so fast. It's your fork. Specifically, a “smart electronic” Hapifork, designed to vibrate in diners' hands when they chow too quickly. Florida-based creator Hapilabs has also made a similar spoon. Revealed at the CES showcase event “Unveiled” on Sunday, the tech-filled set of utensils are fitted with sensors that track how often they're placed inside someone's mouth. Too many lip trips in too short a time span -- say, three in a single minute -- causes the handle of the fork or spoon to gently pulsate.
NATIONAL

## South is fattest, CDC says

July 18, 2008 |
The South tips the scales again as the nation's fattest region, according to a new survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. More than 30% of adults in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee are considered obese. In part, experts blame Southern eating habits, poverty and demographic groups that have higher obesity rates. Colorado was the least obese, with about 19%. Nationwide, about 26% of adults were obese. Obesity is based on the body mass index, a calculation using height and weight.
NEWS

## The American Dietetic Assn. gets a new name

January 4, 2012 |
Heads up, those of you looking for the American Dietetic Assn. The organization, made up of food and nutrition professionals, has a new name: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The name change officially happened on Jan. 1, and the decision wasn't made lightly. In a news release academy President Sylvia Escott-Stump explained the thoughts behind changing the original name, which has been in place since the group was founded in 1917. "Protecting the public's health is the highest priority of the Academy and our members, and our new name complements our focus: the nutritional well-being of the American public.
NEWS

## 'Girls'' Lena Dunham featured in V magazine

January 3, 2013 |
Lena Dunham of "Girls" TV show fame will appear in the next issue of V magazine, due out Jan. 10. She was shot by photographer Terry Richardson. [The Cut] Target's holiday collaboration with Neiman Marcus seemed to leave shoppers cold, and Time magazine reports that critics blame prices that were too high for budget-minded Target customers -- consider a Marc Jacobs scarf that started at \$69 (it's now slashed to \$20) and a Prabul Gurung cape (\$79.99, now \$23.99) -- along with merchandise that was deemed to be unexciting.
NEWS

## Apple-shaped but not obese? Don't be smug!

August 28, 2012 |
People whose body mass index is considered normal and healthy may want to think twice about that designation if their waist-to-hip ratio is more suggestive of an apple than a pear, a new study from the Mayo Clinic finds. Normal-weight Americans with an accumulation of fat around the middle were more likely to die of heart disease, and of any other cause, during a 14-year study period than were people whose BMI categorized them as obese but who were more pear-shaped. In fact, they had the highest risk of cardiovascular death of all the categories, including people whose BMIs identified them as overweight or obese.
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