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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.


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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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