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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.


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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.


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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).
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The More Moms Work the Fatter Kids Get

Working mothers take note: According to a study in the journal Child Development, the longer a mother is employed is associated with an increase in her child’s body mass index (BMI).

The study’s co-authors analyzed 900 children and found the increase in children’s BMI which continued to grow as children got older. The study found that at a third grade level there was approximately a 1-pound gain for every six months the child’s mother worked. The weight gain was cumulative and the link became more obvious as the children matured into fifth- and sixth-grade.


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50 Things You Can do Today to Improve Your Health

Most health and fitness advice is full of don’ts: Don’t eat after 7, don’t eat fast food, don’t enjoy anything you eat, ever again. That negative connotation is why people view fitness and weight loss as a punishment, or something to be white-knuckled through.

Lasting change is made when you build a habit- and habits are made by systematically DOING something repeatedly until it becomes ingrained. Depriving yourself will not build habits, being proactive will.

So instead of pummeling you with more “don’ts” to make you feel like a failure, here are 50 things you can DO, today, that will improve your health. Pick one a day to try out, or choose one and repeat it everyday until it becomes a habit, but either way, these little “dos” will boost your health the second you do them.


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