Who Do You Love?

18 04 2011

Here’s more evidence that we ride the wave of information, not doggie paddle behind it. This is what you’ve read here off and on for 2 years, now the experts are catching up. Here are the highlights from an article in today’s LA Times:

  • A number of experts caution that the tool is fairly imprecise and often wrong for helping individual patients appraise their health prospects.
  • The BMI is easy to measure, cheap to compile and track, and simple … but it was never meant to be a predictor of an individual’s health risks.
  • It was intended as a useful metric to track changes in the health and nutrition of large populations.
  • For patients who are very muscular, and for African Americans, body mass index is often a poor (and unflattering) gauge of body composition.
  • For Asians and people who are sedentary but slim, a reliance on BMI can lead a physician to overlook signs of elevated disease risk.
  • A child’s BMI, which is calculated differently than that of an adult, is also an imperfect predictor of illness or early death.
  • One of the most serious blows to the authority of BMI as an omen of premature death has come with a string of studies showing that among patients with established heart disease, those who are overweight or obese by BMI standards fare better and survive longer than heart patients of normal, “healthy” weight. (This has been) (d)ubbed the “obesity paradox.”
  • One of the easiest alternatives to the BMI is waist measurement; the circumference of a patient’s midsection has been shown to be a better predictor of Type 2 diabetes risk than the BMI. Several large studies have linked a waist circumference greater than 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes, as well as earlier mortality.

So keep tuning in for pertinent health and food info from the cutting edge-Who do you love?

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