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.

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.

Everyone Panic: Married Couples Are Fatter Than Single People

A sweeping study of 10,226 people from nine countries found that married people have a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) than their single counterparts. Oh no, better go get a divorce before it’s too late!

Source: Everyone Panic: Married Couples Are Fatter Than Single People

IN YOUR FACE, MARRIEDS! Oh wait, you already have a turkey leg in there…

Walking or Biking to Work May Make You Happier With Your Commute

You might assume that the length of your commute is the main thing that affects how pleasant or nightmarish it is. But a number of studies show that the mode of transportation you take is also really important — both in terms of how happy (or unhappy) you are with your commute, and your overall chance of obesity.

Source: Biking or walking to work will make you happier and healthier

It depends on how far you have to commute.  I don’t think a 3-4 hour bike commute will cheer anyone up.  Like others I’ve spoken with, activity helps wake me up.  But don’t forget that studies show how inhaling exhaust fumes changes the expression of our genes.

I commute by bike to work.  It takes me as long to do by bike as it does to commute by car – that’s in the morning, when there’s no traffic.  In the evening, I pass lots of cars stuck in traffic.  A co-worker who lives in the area told me that the commute by car took them over an hour one day.

New Study Says There’s No Such Thing As Healthy Obesity

There’s a persistent and controversial question dividing researchers: Can you be very overweight and also very healthy? The research suggesting people can be healthy at any size was intriguing. But the tide (and the research that supports it) is turning, with many researchers saying it’s simply not possible to be fit and obese.

A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that looked at 14,828 metabolically healthy Korean adults with no known heart disease found obese people had a higher prevalence of early plaque buildup in the arteries compared to normal weight people. The researchers defined obesity in the study as a BMI over 25; in the U.S. obesity is defined as a BMI over 35. The researchers conclude that even though these people may not have heart-related disease yet, their weight is still taking its toll on their health.

Source: New Study Says There’s No Such Thing As Healthy Obesity

I think the issue comes to what the definition of “obese” is.  Being “fat” amounts to anything other than an extremely low body fat percentage.  The news of “healthy fat” might have enabled some to overestimate their relative health, fooling themselves into thinking they don’t need to make more effort.  Those people are out there, but I truly believe they are a corner case – an extreme end of the spectrum, an outlier.

The best thing you can do right now is to treat people who are obese with kindness, and do healthy actions yourself for personal preventable measures and to increase a more healthy public perception towards nutrition and fitness.  Fat shaming does not work.

Why a Piece of String Could Be Better than BMI

For years, body mass index (BMI) has been a controversial method of determining whether a person has an unhealthy amount of body fat. And now, new research has found that it’s even less accurate than measuring with a piece of string.

Yup, string.

Source: Why a Piece of String Could Be Better than BMI

According to the BMI, Dwayne the Rock Johnson is morbidly obese.