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Body Mass Index

HEALTH
January 17, 2012 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
After a 30-year, record-shattering rise, U.S. obesity rates appear to be stabilizing. New statistics cited in two papers report only a slight uptick since 2005 - leaving public health experts tentatively optimistic that they may be gaining some ground in their efforts to slim down the nation. Many obesity specialists say the new data, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are a sign that efforts to address the obesity problem - such as placing nutritional information on food packaging and revising school lunch menus - are beginning to have an effect in a country where two-thirds of adults and one-third of children and teens are overweight or obese.
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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
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
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.
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
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.
HEALTH
August 25, 2012 | By Chris Woolston
Belly fat seems so simple. Eat too many deep-fried mozzarella sticks while thinking about maybe possibly going to the gym someday, and your belly will eventually start growing. Nothing complicated about that. But there's a lot going on beneath our over-stretched shirts. Scientists say that belly fat is strangely complex and widely misunderstood. If you want to do something about the bulge, you should know that slimming down can be complicated too. "How you lose fat may be just as important as how much fat you lose," says Dr. Samuel Klein, professor of medicine and nutritional science at Washington University School of Medicine.
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.
NEWS
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)
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)
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