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Body Mass Index

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.
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.
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.
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.
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%.
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)
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)
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...
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.
September 13, 2004 | Shari Roan, Times Staff Writer
Physical education class has long suffered from an image problem. Children often deem jumping jacks and chin-ups boring or goofy; parents wonder if the time would be better spent on reading skills. But a new study makes a strong case that physical education may be the single best strategy for curbing the nation's growing child obesity problem -- at least among girls. In the first study to evaluate the effect of P.E.
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