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Body Mass Index

October 7, 2010
About 18% of youths 12 to 19 are obese, as well as 20% of children 6 to 11 and 10% of those 2 to 5 years old. These Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures date to 2008, but all indications are that those numbers are on the rise. How do you know whether your child is obese? You can't tell just by looking. One of the tools a doctor will use is a BMI growth chart that compares your child's body mass index, or BMI, calculated from his or her weight and height, with others of the same sex and age. Children who fall in the 85th to 95th BMI percentiles (meaning 85% to 95% of children have a lower BMI)
May 9, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
As little as one hour of low-intensity exercise a week could reduce the risk of colon polyps among people of various racial and ethnic groups, a study finds. The study, presented recently at the Digestive Disease Week meeting in Chicago, analyzed data on 982 patients who underwent colonoscopies. Polyps were found in 29.5% of the study subjects. Patients who hadn't exercised at least one hour a week had a polyp prevalence of 33.2%, while the prevalence rate among those who did exercise one hour or more was 25.3%.
March 4, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Tribune Health
When a nearly 600-pound man who boldly promoted food at a restaurant called the Heart Attack Grill dies, one of the first reactions is likely to be ... , well, not one of surprise. But then comes the news that Blair River might have died of pneumonia. Hold on. Don't order up that 8,000-calorie burger just yet. Note that there is a potential link between obesity and pneumonia. "After accounting for factors such as lifestyle and education, moderately obese men -- those with a body mass index between 30 and 34.9 -- had a 40% greater risk of pneumonia compared with those of normal weight (BMI of less than 24.9)
January 4, 2012 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
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.
July 5, 2010 | By Jessie Schiewe, Los Angeles Times
The body mass index (BMI) isn't a perfect measure for obesity. Convenience and routine are on its side -- so health experts aren't likely to stop using it any time soon -- but its limitations have got some doctors thinking … . In a study published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics, researchers at the University of Michigan's Mott Children's Hospital found measurements of neck circumference to be a reliable technique...
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.
Don't add another half-hour to your Stairmaster time just yet. As health-conscious Southern Californians sweated out trying to calculate their "body mass index" Wednesday after a report was released the day before claiming to show that overweight Americans are now in the majority, the National Center for Health Statistics sheepishly backed away from the data that jolted so many Americans out of their recliners.
March 27, 2012 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
When roasted at 475 degrees, coffee beans are sometimes described as rich and full-bodied. But for the full-bodied person who is not so rich, unroasted coffee beans - green as the day they were picked - may hold the key to cheap and effective weight loss, new research suggests. In a study presented Tuesday at the American Chemical Society's spring national meeting in San Diego, 16 overweight young adults took, by turns, a low dose of green coffee bean extract, a high dose of the supplement, and a placebo.
August 26, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
If obesity rates continue to climb in the U.S. as they've done in the past, about half of all men and women could be obese in 20 years, adding an extra 65 million obese adults to the country's population. The figures are from a study released Thursday in the journal the Lancet (part of a four-part obesity series) that used past trends to predict what the future might look like in the U.S. and the U.K. if people keep gaining weight at that rate. It's not a pretty picture--along with expanding waistlines may come higher disease rates and, in turn, greater healthcare costs.
December 3, 2009 | By Jeannine Stein
Americans have increased their life expectancy by cutting back on cigarettes, but the pounds they're packing on mean that, ultimately, they could lose ground. A New England Journal of Medicine study published Wednesday looked at previous national health surveys to forecast life expectancy and quality of life for a typical 18-year-old from 2005 through 2020. Declines in smoking over the last 15 years would give that 18-year-old an increased life expectancy of 0.31 years. However, growing body mass index rates would also mean that that teen would have a reduced life expectancy of 1.02 years, giving a net life expectancy reduction of 0.71 years.
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