Even More Evidence BMI Isn’t a Good Measure of Health

We already knew BMI isn’t a great measure of whether a person is fat or not, but now a study confirms that it’s not a good measure of health either.

Source: Even More Evidence BMI Isn’t a Good Measure of Health

It’s weird that BMI has stuck around so prominently. It’s a crude, blunt instrument that people think is precise. The only inputs in the equation are height and weight so it’s essentially meaningless.

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Sleeping In On Weekends Linked to Health Problems

Sleeping late on days-off—and other sleep-time adjustments—are linked to metabolic problems, including insulin resistance and a higher body mass index, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. The finding suggests that regular sleep shifts could rouse long-term health problems such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, the authors conclude.

Though other research has connected sleep disruptions to poor health, the new study is the first to specifically link shifts in dozing times to metabolic problems. Those problems were independent of other factors such as sleep disorders, smoking, and socioeconomic status.

Source: Sleeping in on weekends linked to health problems

I don’t care if it shaves 5 years off my life. You can pry me early from my bed on Saturdays and Sundays when I’m dead (which again, may come early)! For anyone looking to avoid sleeping in on weekends, I suggest having small kids.  …or you could just go back to working all day, every day.

Put Yourself In a Better Food Environment to Build Better Dietary Habits

You may jokingly tell people you’re on the “see-food diet”, where you just eat whatever you see, but perhaps there’s something to it. A study confirms a “no-duh” tip that health experts have preached all along: the foods you tend to eat and your eating behaviors can be influenced by the types of foods you keep in your immediate environment.

Source: Put Yourself In a Better Food Environment to Build Better Dietary Habits

You’re probably going to look at the bad stuff and think if you ate it all now…  Don’t do that.  Don’t eat it.  I know it seems like a waste of money to throw it out.  You could donate it to a local shelter/etc.

The article starts about what we have in our kitchen space, but devolves into layout in the local market.  The science behind why things are placed where, in which aisle…  There’s some talk about online grocery shopping changing things, but shipping and selection are still a hurdle – especially in more remote areas.

Research Says Your Body Shape Could Be Worse for You Than a High BMI

Your body mass index (BMI) is a helpful tool to measure how under- or overweight you are—but may be of little use when it comes to determining potentially serious health risks. Researchers have found that individuals with a normal weight BMI, but a higher waist-to-hip ratio, face a higher risk of death—especially death from a cardiovascular disease.

Source: Research says your body shape could be worse for you than a high BMI

I’ve never been a fan of BMI because it generalized too much to have any real value.  The waist/hip ratio is better, but I’m still concerned about false positives.  Body fat percentage is notoriously subjective, the experience for determining the percentage can be harrowing for those who are in the double digits… But I still can’t help but think it’s a personal and better assessment of health with respect to what the study provides for implications of body fat.

It’s a fine line to cross before it becomes fat shaming (which doesn’t work).  But it is about preventative measures to minimize load on the health care system.  Everybody wins when it works.

Heart Risk? Marathoners Have Increased Artery Plaque

Who do you think would have more artery clogging in the heart: (A) a group of sedentary, overweight men; or (B) a group of men who are slightly older, much leaner, and have run at least one marathon annually for 25 years?

Source: Heart Risk? Marathoners Have Increased Artery Plaque

The sample size isn’t terribly large, and while the study says they couldn’t pinpoint why the plaque was happening.  But from numerous people I’ve spoken to, there’s a percentage who run marathons/etc but eat poorly.  Those that eat poorly, due so because they are looking to consumer lots of calories, salt, or just “reward” themselves with nutritionally poor food.

Does Yoga Have Any Real Fitness Benefits?

Take one look at someone in Scorpion Pose and you’ll know: yoga can build strength and balance. But how does it stack up to traditional strength training—and what can’t yoga do for your body?

Source: Does Yoga Have Any Real Fitness Benefits?

What about hot yoga specifically?  Heat makes you feel like you’re working harder, but that’s not a benefit by itself. Compare to sitting in a hot room—you’re sweating [and miserable], but it doesn’t count as exercise.

If you do it often enough that you’re getting acclimated to the heat, that will help you exercise harder in the heat, like if you run a race on a hot day. There are some small benefits to exercising in the heat, but it doesn’t turn a non-cardio exercise into a cardio one.

Children Who Take Antibiotics Gain Weight Faster Than Kids Who Don’t

Kids who receive antibiotics throughout the course of their childhoods gain weight significantly faster than those who do not, according to new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research.

The findings, published online Oct. 21 in the International Journal of Obesity, suggest that antibiotics may have a compounding effect throughout childhood on body mass index (BMI), a measure often used to determine whether someone is at a healthy weight.

…Scientists working with penicillin learned early on that its byproducts caused weight gain in animals. This led to the modern industrial farming techniques of including small quantities of antibiotics in daily animal feed to fatten up the animals in an accelerated time frame. So a connection with weight gain does make biological sense, Schwartz says.

Source: Children Who Take Antibiotics Gain Weight Faster Than Kids Who Don’t

Cattle are given monensin sodium under the trade name Rumensin in order to prevent coccidiosis, a condition causing incomplete digestion whose source is a parasitic protozoan in the animal’s digestive tract. Antibiotic treatmment increases the animal’s muscle mass whereas this study is alleging that it simply makes humans fat.  However, rodents raised in a sterile environment and lacking in gut flora need to eat 30% more calories just to remain the same weight as their normal counterparts.

The microbiome composition is known to influence the uptake of nutrients, so it is a good hypothesis that antibiotics are influencing the composition of human gut flora, and in turn, leading to a change in nutrient absorption.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give kids antibiotics, it just means that they should prescribe probiotics for consumption after the treatment is done. If a kid has strep or an ear infection, waiting it out like you would a virus is dangerous. Pro-, and perhaps more importantly, pre-biotics should be taken during treatment.

You Can Measure Your Body Fat, but No Method Is Truly Accurate

If you say you want to lose weight, you’ll probably measure progress by stepping on a scale. But in truth, what you’re trying to lose is fat, and the number on the scale may not reflect that. There are many ways to measure your body fat percentage, but they all come with different levels of (in)accuracy.

Source: You Can Measure Your Body Fat, but No Method Is Truly Accurate

Stay away from impedance measurement – the reliability is simply too low to be valuable at any level (but specifically for the more inexpensive models found in gyms). There’s a reason we still teach skinfold measurement in university classes: while it’s not perfect, it’s accurate enough for non-elite athletes and the average person.

Yes, Men Gain Weight When They Become Dads, Study Confirms

Dad bod is real. Science says so.

Men who become fathers experience weight gain and an increase in body mass index, a measurement of body fat based on height and weight, according to a new, large-scale study that tracked more than 10,000 men over a 20-year period. Men who didn’t become dads actually lost weight over the same time period.

Source: Yes, men gain weight when they become dads, study confirms

Sleep deprivation, stress, convenience eating, feeling you don’t have to work as hard to find a mate…

Who is Healthier: ‘Foodies’ or Picky Eaters?

Food lovers may seem like the type who should watch their weight, but a new study suggests people who enjoy trying new and exciting foods may actually be healthier than those who are more picky.

Source: Who’s Healthier: ‘Foodies’ or Picky Eaters?

I think it really depends on what you eat, and volume of.  Beyond that, if we don’t enjoy it – we won’t do it.  So it makes sense why a foodie might be healthier.