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Body Mass Index

NEWS
November 9, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
The death of rapper Heavy D on Tuesday still has fans in shock as they wonder what felled the 44-year-old star. Though the cause of death may not be known for weeks, L.A. Now reports that an L.A. County coroner's office spokesman said a doctor had prescribed the rapper a drug due to a cough. Heavy D was also having breathing problems at his home before collapsing, and there is speculation that the rapper was experiencing flu-like symptoms or pneumonia. Some studies have shown a link between obesity and a higher risk of pneumonia.
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NEWS
January 7, 2013 | By Karin Klein
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.
NEWS
August 28, 2012 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, For the Booster Shots Blog
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.
NEWS
June 14, 2012 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
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.
NEWS
November 16, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Fat kids often turn into fat adults with a host of related health problems: diabetes, high blood pressure, clogged arteries. But a study finds that if those heavy kids lose weight they may be on a par with people who were never overweight. A meta-analysis released today in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at weight status and health among 6,328 people who were followed from childhood for an average of 23 years. The study subjects were divided into four categories: those who were normal weight as kids and not obese as adults; those who were overweight or obese as kids but not obese as adults; those who were overweight or obese as kids and obese as adults, and those who were normal weight as kids but obese as adults.
HEALTH
April 17, 2011 | Melissa Healy
Sometime later this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will release its latest accounting of the nation's weight problem, as measured by the body mass index, or BMI. This much we know already: It won't be a pretty picture. The last census reckoned that a third of American adults were overweight, meaning their BMIs (calculated by dividing a person's weight by his height, squared) lay between 25 and 30. About another third weighed in with BMIs over 30 -- the demarcation line that brands them as obese.
NEWS
September 6, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Being obese might up the chance of developing Type 2 diabetes, but the true risk factors may lie in how much overweight someone is and how long they've been that way. Much like figuring how numbers of cigarettes smoked and years of smoking relate to lung cancer risk, researchers set out to see how degree and length of obesity factored into the risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. They looked at data on 8,157 teens and young adults who were 14 to 21 years old at the start of a national study.
NEWS
May 3, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
Packing on even a few extra pounds in midlife can increase the risk of developing dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease, by 70% or more, Swedish researchers reported Monday. Earlier studies had shown an increased risk from being obese, but the new research reported in the journal Neurology is the first to show that simply being overweight is enough to increase the risk. "Our results contribute to the growing evidence that controlling body weight or losing weight in middle age could reduce your risk of dementia," co-author Dr. Weili Xu of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm said in a statement.
SCIENCE
May 20, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
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
April 17, 2011 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
Hey, what is your BMI? If that's a number you'd rather not share -- if, in fact, you can't help thinking there must be something wrong with the BMI calculator -- I feel your pain. And although I can't fix the calculator, I can tell you there's a growing debate over how good the body-mass index is as a predictor of an individual patient's health prospects. You can read about that whole debate: " BMI may not be telling the whole truth . " There's an inside joke often told at conferences convened to discuss the nation's epidemic of obesity: If the 72 million American adults with a body-mass index above 30 -- the demarcation line for obesity -- want to improve their health and avert a plague of weight-related diseases, they have two options: They can lose weight.
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