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.
June 22, 1998 |
You may remember the media excitement that followed the federal government's announcement a few weeks ago that it planned to lower the threshold defining who's overweight and obese. Newspapers, television and talk radio ran with the story, spurred by the revelation that the National Institutes of Health now considers 55% of the population--97 million American adults!--to be overweight or worse. As mad as a killer bee, my friend Robert called me the morning the story broke.
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.
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.
September 6, 2011 |
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.
April 17, 2011 |
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.
April 11, 2011
If an individual's body mass index isn't a purely personal matter, what is? We have the right to choose between healthy food or junk food, even if the latter is more likely to result in obesity and related health problems. But once our choices affect others, there's a natural conflict between individual freedom and social responsibility. In a nation where rising healthcare costs and diminished access to medical care are issues of grave concern, personal decisions are no longer strictly private.
May 3, 2011 |
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.
November 9, 2011 |
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.
May 9, 2011 |
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%.