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Body Mass Index

NEWS
November 16, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Fat kids often turn into fat adults with a host of related health problems: diabetes, high blood pressure, clogged arteries. But a study finds that if those heavy kids lose weight they may be on a par with people who were never overweight. A meta-analysis released today in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at weight status and health among 6,328 people who were followed from childhood for an average of 23 years. The study subjects were divided into four categories: those who were normal weight as kids and not obese as adults; those who were overweight or obese as kids but not obese as adults; those who were overweight or obese as kids and obese as adults, and those who were normal weight as kids but obese as adults.
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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.
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.
NEWS
August 26, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Weight loss is a complex thing. In fact, the old rule that cutting out or burning 500 calories a day will result in a steady, 1-pound-per-week weight loss doesn't reflect real people, researchers say. A new mathematical model from researchers at the National Institutes of Health instead shows that for the typical overweight adult, every 10-calorie-per-day reduction will result in the loss of about 1 pound over three years. Half that loss will occur in the first year. For example, cutting 250 calories a day from one's diet will lead to a 25-pound weight loss over three years.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
July 28, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
Famously overweight New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was hospitalized Thursday morning after having trouble breathing.  When his EKG, blood work and chest X-ray came back normal, doctors at the Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, N.J., diagnosed an asthma attack. The rising Republican star has spoken often about his struggles with his weight, even telling CNN talk show host Piers Morgan that he felt "guilty" about it, the Los Angeles Times reported.  He has also talked publicly about living with asthma.  The subject comes up often when he's stumping about healthcare.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the fiscal conservative cites the cost of his asthma medication when expounding on the "generosity of the state health care plan.
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%.
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.
HEALTH
April 17, 2011 | Melissa Healy
Sometime later this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will release its latest accounting of the nation's weight problem, as measured by the body mass index, or BMI. This much we know already: It won't be a pretty picture. The last census reckoned that a third of American adults were overweight, meaning their BMIs (calculated by dividing a person's weight by his height, squared) lay between 25 and 30. About another third weighed in with BMIs over 30 -- the demarcation line that brands them as obese.
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.
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