Tag Archives: BMI

Half a Billion Extra People on the Planet: The Result of Global Obesity

This week’s study from the BMC Health Journal found that of the 6 percent world population North America holds, 34 percent of the world’s biomass is found here due to obesity rates. In other words, the United States is number one on the list for heaviest country even though the country’s population makes up a very small percentage of the worlds population. In comparison, Asia holds an impressive 61 percent of the worlds population but only 13 percent of biomass caused by obesity. These differences are not only unbelievable,  but incredible as well and not in a good way).

What all of these complicated numbers and percentages come down to is if every other country had the same percentage of overweight people that America does, it’d be like adding and extra one billion to the worldwide population due to the excess body mass. (more…)

Texas Hospital Restricts Hiring Based on BMI

A hospital in Victoria, Texas is catching some heat for their new hiring policy. The medical center recently announced that they’ll be limiting employment to people with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 35.

Citizens Medical Center will be turning overweight people away if they apply for work in their facilities. The Citizens Medical Center Chief, Dan Brown, explained this controversial decision in a statement.

“The majority of our patients are over 65 and they have expectations that cannot be ignored in terms of personal appearance.” Many argue the validity of Brown’s statement, including attorney John Griffin.

“Patients want people who help them who know what they are doing. They really care very little about their size, their national origin.” (more…)

The American Obesity Rate May be Higher Than we Thought

Could the obesity rate in America be higher than we think it is? If so, we could be in serious trouble when it comes to our nation’s health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese (35.7%). And approximately 12.5 million or 17% of children and adolescents aged 2-19 are obese.

But how do we measure the obesity rate anyways? Through survey? Observance? Up to this point we’ve relied mainly on body mass index (BMI) – which is a ratio of height to weight – to measure if someone is overweight or not.

However, a new study shows that we may have to question the accuracy of the BMI measurement, especially among older females. Recent studies have shown that women tend to lose muscle mass faster as they age and may be getting inaccurate BMI readings as a result. In addition, 40% of adults today whose BMI categorizes them as overweight would actually be considered obese if their body fat percentage were also taken into account.

One solution the study proposes is lowering BMI standards, or raising them, depending on how you look at it. Currently a person with a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese. But researchers suggest that number should be lowered to 24 for women and 28 for men, because they’re currently inaccurate. (more…)

New Study Reconfirms Links Between Diet and Childhood Obesity

Reports from a study conducted at the University of Granada in Spain revealed two important correlations pertaining to childhood obesity: Children who eat meals at home prepared by their mother have a better nutritional outlook. And children with sedentary lifestyles are much likelier to have an unhealthy BMI.

Using standard measurement methods, researchers assessed the BMI of 718 children between the ages of 9 and 17 from various schools in Granada, and also determined the consumption frequency of specific foods and daily exercise habits. Their research showed that there is a noticeable relationship between sedentary leisure habits and high BMIs. And that it is “extremely important” for healthy habits to be promoted and encouraged within the family.

This only further confirms what experts have taught us all along: Daily exercise is crucial to overall health. Meals prepared at home are are likelier to be made with healthier, fresher ingredients and served in the proper portions. And it’s crucial that healthy habits be modeled in the home.

So how do we apply this research if we struggle in this area? Consider the following problem areas and tackle them head on. (more…)

Short Exercise Lowers Blood Sugar

Good news for people who don’t naturally gravitate to doing exercise: less can sometimes mean more in the way of health benefits. A new study has found that just 30 minutes of weekly high-intensity exercise is enough to lower blood sugar levels for 24 hours and help prevent post-meal blood sugar spikes in people with type 2 diabetes.

“If people are pressed for time – and a lot of people say they don’t have enough time to exercise – our study shows that they can get away with a lower volume of exercise that includes short, intense bursts of activity,” said the study’s senior author, Martin Gibala, professor and chair of the department of kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, in Canada.

The current recommendations by the American Diabetes Association are in line with most fitness experts – people with diabetes should get a minimum of 150 minutes of at least moderate exercise each week or about 30 minutes most days of the week. Since people often complain of not having time, the researchers wanted to see if shorter more intense exercise would also do the trick of controlling blood sugar levels. (more…)

Underweight People at Greatest Risk for Post-Surgery Death

When we talk about healthy eating and dieting, our focuses is almost entirely on people who are overweight. Obesity-related diseases account for just about 10 percent of medical costs in the United States, which comes to an estimated $147 billion each year.

That said, according to recently released research, people who are underweight are 40 percent more likely to die in the first month after surgery than those who are overweight.

The researchers believe that a patient’s body mass index (BMI) can be used as a predictor for risk in recovery time after surgery. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines those who have a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 as normal weight, so anything below that range fits in the underweight category.

Previous studies showed mixed results, but since the new study examined nearly 190,000 patients undergoing various surgical procedures at 183 hospitals, it’s expansive enough to be taken seriously. (more…)

Childhood BMI Tracking May be Required in Michigan

When you’re the eighth fattest state, when over 800,000, or 12 percent, of your children are obese or overweight, and when 30 percent of your adults are obese, something has to change. That’s exactly why the state of Michigan could begin requiring to screen and report children’s BMI statistics in the near future.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder tackles the state's growing obesity problem

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder will announce his proposal on Wednesday, September 21. Synder has made plans to have doctors begin providing body weight data to a new state registry. This move is viewed as one of the most extensive government efforts to confront the overwhelming problem of pediatric obesity.

Similar to how immunization records are reported, children’s BMI stats will be reported to the Michigan Care Improvement Registry, however their identity will be anonymous. These facts will allow the state to track the growing obesity problem.

Another benefit from this process is that the children will be in the private care of a doctor when these numbers are obtained. They will be with their parents and the doctor is available to offer more advice. Other states have attempted to track these issues at school and send the information home with very little advice or tools to handle the problem. Supporters of the proposal believe this is the best way to insure parents understand and receive help.


Being Skinny Fat Can be Just as Dangerous as Obesity

By Jenilee Matz

We all know it’s risky for your health to be overweight. Does that mean you’re in the clear for dangerous medical problems if you’re thin? Not so, say experts.

The Skinny on Fat

Dr. Jimmy Bell, a professor of molecular imaging at Imperial College in London, says, “being thin doesn’t automatically mean you’re not fat.”

Doctors say internal fat that surrounds vital organs – such as the heart, liver and pancreas – may be just as risky to your health as visible body fat.

Experts aren’t quite sure why internal fat happens without the presence of external fat. They believe people accumulate fat around the stomach area first, but sometimes the body may store it in other places. The amount of internal fat you have also seems to increase with age.


New Obesity Scale Predicts Risk of Death

Although there are many ways to determine an individual’s weight status and its effect on overall mortality, no one measure has proven to be 100% accurate. Instead, most health care professionals use a combination of tools, like BMI and body fat percentage, to determine an individual’s weight status in an effort to better treat and prevent many of the conditions associated with overweight and obesity.

Recently, doctors have announced a new system they say can more accurately predict your mortality risk based on your body composition. Say hello to the Edmonton Obesity staging system!

Like BMI, the obesity staging system is designed to help health care professionals identify the level of risk an individual is at for further weight-related health conditions. What makes this predictor different is that it identifies a person’s risk by taking into account functional status and comorbid health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, that are already present.

One of the most widely used determinants of weight status is the Body Mass Index, or BMI, for short. Throughout the years, BMI status has allowed health professionals to quickly categorize individuals as either underweight, healthy weight, overweight and obese. Which category an individual best fits into is determined by their height and weight. This category then helps gauge an individual’s risk for certain diseases. The higher the BMI, the higher the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, breathing problems, and certain cancers. Although BMI is one of the most reliable tools currently available to help individuals identify their risk, it isn’t a perfect tool.


Candy Eaters Have Smaller Waistlines, BMI and Weigh Less

Once in a while, a study comes around that just has to make health professionals a little squeamish. You know the kind – the ones that seem to not only contradict common sense, but also ends up as fuel for unhealthy people to justify bad eating habits.

This time around, a study is giving people who love their sweets a sweet surprise. Apparently candy and chocolate eaters tend to beat out those who don’t in the categories of waistline, weight, and body mass index (BMI).

But wait, there’s more.

Those in the study who ate candy and chocolate had a 14 percent lower risk of elevated blood pressure and a 15 percent decreased risk of metabolic syndrome (risk factors for heart disease and stroke). (more…)