August 22, 2013 |
Obese is bad and lean is good. End of story, right? Wrong, say a pair of University of Pennsylvania physicians and obesity researchers who are calling for better ways to assess individual health prospects than the body mass index, or BMI. The BMI--a simple calculation that can be done with a scale and a ruler--is cheap, simple and allows comparisons of broad populations across years, cultures and continents. Since it was invented by Belgian mathematician Adolphe Quetelet in 1832, it has been the basis for research that has pointed overwhelmingly in one direction: When the formula for BMI (weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared)
February 21, 2005 |
Obesity's physical toll also exacts a high economic price. Researchers have found that people who are morbidly obese -- and their insurers -- pay almost twice as much for healthcare as people of normal weight. Morbid obesity is defined as weighing at least 100 pounds more than the ideal weight for a specific height, or having a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40.
March 21, 2009 |
Gross obesity can take 10 years off your life, as much as heavy smoking, according to a study published Tuesday by the medical journal Lancet. An Oxford University team analyzed 57 studies conducted in the United States and Europe involving 894,576 people. The team correlated deaths to body mass index, or BMI, a commonly used measure of obesity that relates a person's weight and height. They found that people with a BMI over 30 -- which is considered moderately obese -- are likely to have their lives shortened by two to three years.
November 15, 2008 |
A large European study has confirmed that simple measurements of the waist and hips may offer a better way of predicting obesity-related death than a standard, but more complicated, system of relating weight to height. The standard body mass index, or BMI, method does not work very well for some people, such as the elderly or bodybuilders, and researchers have begun building a case that it is better to look at waist circumference or the ratio of waist size to hip size. Among people with comparable BMIs, having an extra 2 inches around the waist increased the annual risk of death 17% for men and 13% for women, German researchers reported Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
March 15, 2011 |
An estimated 5.4 million people in the U.S. have Alzheimer's disease. That leads to … 14.9 million unpaid caregivers, $183 billion in annual costs. So begins the latest report from the Alzheimer's Assn. The report, 2011 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures , sheds more light on the toll the disease takes on not just patients but caregivers. "Unpaid caregivers are primarily family members, but they also include other relatives and friends," the report says.
July 28, 2011 |
Famously overweight New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was hospitalized Thursday morning after having trouble breathing. When his EKG, blood work and chest X-ray came back normal, doctors at the Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, N.J., diagnosed an asthma attack. The rising Republican star has spoken often about his struggles with his weight, even telling CNN talk show host Piers Morgan that he felt "guilty" about it, the Los Angeles Times reported. He has also talked publicly about living with asthma. The subject comes up often when he's stumping about healthcare. According to the Wall Street Journal, the fiscal conservative cites the cost of his asthma medication when expounding on the "generosity of the state health care plan.