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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
December 29, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Older, obese people may be more prone to falls than their thinner peers, a study finds, and some may also be more prone to disability. The study, published recently in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society , followed 10,755 people age 65 and older for eight years. In that time there were 9,621 falls, and 3,130 of them required medical attention for injuries. Researchers also measured how much the fall affected activities of daily living, such as eating, getting dressed and walking across a room.
NEWS
July 24, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
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
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
June 4, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
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.
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.
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.
SCIENCE
April 2, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
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.
NEWS
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)
NEWS
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%.
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