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…)
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 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.
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.
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.
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…)