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Body Mass Index

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NEWS
August 2, 2010
By Patrick Basham and John Luik The fat police are coming to a doctor's office near you. Under the terms of last year's federal stimulus package, new federal regulations require that an obesity rating must be part of every American's electronic health records by 2014. The most common measure of whether a person is overweight or obese, and hence his or her obesity rating, is derived from weight and height and known as the Body Mass Index, or BMI. Because it's easy to apply, the BMI is used almost universally to define obesity - despite its manifest shortcomings.
NEWS
September 23, 2013 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
Do you know your Quetelet Index? You may, but perhaps you call it Body Mass Index. The nifty ratio - weight divided by the square of height - was invented in the mid-1800s by Belgian social scientist Adolphe Quetelet. But its use as an indicator of obesity-related health risks dates to a 1972 journal article by American scientist Ancel Keys, the man who renamed it. "Ancel Keys' emphasis was on cardiovascular disease," said physician Rexford Ahima of the University of Pennsylvania's Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.
BUSINESS
July 8, 2011 | By Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Rural Mississippi is the country's fattest state for the seventh year in a row, according to an annual obesity report issued Thursday. Colorado, a playground for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, is the nation's thinnest. The report by two public-health groups has again delivered bad news: The nation is getting bigger every year. And looking at state-by-state statistics over the last 15 years, the groups found exponential waistline growth - Colorado, with 19.8 percent of adults considered obese according to 2010 data, would have been the nation's fattest state in 1995.
NEWS
July 3, 2016
A structured walking program that offered encouragement and support improved participants' mood and energy levels and even led to the shedding of a few pounds, a study by Independence Blue Cross found. The research, which was published June 27 in the American Journal of Health Promotion, involved about 460 randomly chosen employees. Half the participants worked for companies insured by IBC with managers who typically put up posters or offered other passive walking encouragement.
NEWS
August 13, 2004 | By Marie McCullough INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Pennsylvanians are getting fatter, and more of them are resorting to the drastic weight-loss option of gastric bypass surgery, according to a report released yesterday by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council. Between 1999 and 2003, the number of gastric bypass surgeries in the state soared from 674 to about 6,800. During approximately the same period, the percentage of Pennsylvania adults who were obese increased from 19 percent to 24 percent - still better than the national figure of 30 percent.
NEWS
January 19, 2014 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
A number of credible but controversial studies in recent years have found that people with certain chronic illnesses live longer if they're carrying too many pounds than if they're of "normal" weight. Now, Harvard University researchers have weighed in on the "obesity paradox" with a study that concludes diabetics who are too heavy get no survival benefit. On the contrary, the heavier the diabetic, the likelier an early death. "These data dispel the notion that being overweight or obese confers a survival advantage among diabetics," said Frank B. Hu, a Harvard professor of nutrition and epidemiology.
NEWS
November 23, 2004
Students' obesity a product of Doughboy nation I spent Nov. 2 in a workshop with the Neshaminy School District's nurses. We were developing an implementation plan to assess the Body Mass Index of our school-age children, a state-mandated requirement that must start next fall. The state Department of Health, in its infinite wisdom, seems to think that parents are not aware when their children become overweight. (We're not sure who the state thinks is buying these children clothes.
NEWS
March 28, 2002
Health screenings this year in the East Penn School District are going beyond the usual hearing, vision and scoliosis tests. They are also targeting bulging waistlines. The Lehigh County district has courageously waded into touchy territory by measuring students' Body Mass Index to determine whether they are underweight, overweight or in danger of becoming overweight. Nurses notify parents of potential problems. More school districts should join this overdue public-health campaign because obesity is reaching epidemic proportions in the United States.
NEWS
April 23, 2004
Loosen that belt and start buying pants with elastic waist bands. Plunk your size 16 behind on a comfy couch and exercise your fingers on the remote. Convince yourself a Body Mass Index of 30 can't be such a bad thing. Forgive us Father Atkins, but we're losing the war on fat. So suggest increasingly dire government obesity reports. Now two new studies show how desperate the blubber battle has become. The first, done by scientists at the Brookhaven National Laboratory and published this week in the no- nonsense journal NeuroImage, declared: "The marked activation of brain metabolism by the presentation of food provides evidence of the high sensitivity of the human brain to the presence of food stimuli.
NEWS
October 31, 2011
Why do Americans die younger, on average, than people in most other industrialized nations? One reason, say University of Pennsylvania researchers, is that we're fatter. Much fatter. And fatter younger . Average life expectancy at age 50 in the United States was reduced in 2006 by 1.54 years for women and 1.85 years for men by unhealthy weight, they calculated. And while just about all developed countries have a fat problem, ours is so much more severe that solving it would wipe out between one-fifth and more than half of the relative shortfall in U.S. longevity.
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NEWS
July 3, 2016
A structured walking program that offered encouragement and support improved participants' mood and energy levels and even led to the shedding of a few pounds, a study by Independence Blue Cross found. The research, which was published June 27 in the American Journal of Health Promotion, involved about 460 randomly chosen employees. Half the participants worked for companies insured by IBC with managers who typically put up posters or offered other passive walking encouragement.
NEWS
January 3, 2016 | By Diane R. Girardot, For The Inquirer
I was a fat shamer. But not anymore. The start of a recent conversation with a 13-year-old client - considered obese by body mass index (BMI) standards - illustrated my change of heart. "People aren't meant to be this large," she said of herself in a matter-of-fact tone. It sounded like she was imprisoned in shame and saw no way out. As a therapist specializing in helping people with eating disorders, I had begun her treatment plan with the usual focus on weight loss. But it was her feelings of shame, and mine for maybe contributing to them each time I coaxed her to set diet and exercise goals she wouldn't meet, that made me rethink the purpose of her therapy.
NEWS
August 23, 2015 | By Sandy Bauers, For The Inquirer
Kids have tried. Parents have tried. Health professionals have tried. But according to the American Academy of Pediatrics Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight, obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the last 30 years. These children are at increased risk for adult diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. The annual hospital costs related to childhood obesity and its attendant problems - comorbidities - is roughly $127 million, according to the institute.
NEWS
April 24, 2014 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Drexel University study suggests that obesity is the single most important characteristic that increases a pregnant woman's chance of having a rare and heartbreaking occurrence - stillbirth. Maternal obesity is a known risk factor for fetal death, as well as for pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes. But the current obesity epidemic is intensifying concern, and prompting updated analyses of the stillbirth risk. "Stillbirths, while rare, do routinely occur in all institutions serving the Philadelphia area," said study leader Ruofan Yao, an obstetrics-gynecology resident at Hahnemann University Hospital.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 6, 2014
WE'RE ALL the same on the inside, right? Well, sort of. As human beings, we certainly have more in common than not, but when it comes to genetics and our bodies there's a wide range of differences. For years, I have debated with readers, friends and family members about the onerous body mass index, and specifically as it relates to African-Americans. When it comes to blacks, is the BMI accurate? After all, the established standards for the BMI are based on whites, and this bias, more often than not, places many African-Americans in the overweight or obese category (even when we're not)
NEWS
January 19, 2014 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
A number of credible but controversial studies in recent years have found that people with certain chronic illnesses live longer if they're carrying too many pounds than if they're of "normal" weight. Now, Harvard University researchers have weighed in on the "obesity paradox" with a study that concludes diabetics who are too heavy get no survival benefit. On the contrary, the heavier the diabetic, the likelier an early death. "These data dispel the notion that being overweight or obese confers a survival advantage among diabetics," said Frank B. Hu, a Harvard professor of nutrition and epidemiology.
NEWS
September 23, 2013 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
Do you know your Quetelet Index? You may, but perhaps you call it Body Mass Index. The nifty ratio - weight divided by the square of height - was invented in the mid-1800s by Belgian social scientist Adolphe Quetelet. But its use as an indicator of obesity-related health risks dates to a 1972 journal article by American scientist Ancel Keys, the man who renamed it. "Ancel Keys' emphasis was on cardiovascular disease," said physician Rexford Ahima of the University of Pennsylvania's Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 3, 2012 | By Frank Kummer, Breaking News Desk
The percentage of Americans more than 100 pounds overweight, classified as severely obese, jumped by 70 percent almost doubled from 2000 to 2010, according to a new study. The RAND Corp., a nonprofit focused on policy research, said in a study released Monday it found the proportion of Americans who were severely obese rose from 3.9 percent to 6.6 percent over the decade. As an example, a man who stands 5'11" would have to weigh 300 pounds to be classified as severely obese. A 5'4" woman would be 250 pounds.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 21, 2012 | By Diaa Hadid, Associated Press
JERUSALEM - A new Israeli law bans showing overly thin models in local advertising in an attempt to fight the spread of eating disorders. It also requires publications to disclose when they use altered images of models to make the women and men appear even thinner than they are. The law, passed late Monday, appears to be the first attempt by a government to use legislation to take on a fashion industry accused of abetting eating disorders...
NEWS
October 31, 2011
Why do Americans die younger, on average, than people in most other industrialized nations? One reason, say University of Pennsylvania researchers, is that we're fatter. Much fatter. And fatter younger . Average life expectancy at age 50 in the United States was reduced in 2006 by 1.54 years for women and 1.85 years for men by unhealthy weight, they calculated. And while just about all developed countries have a fat problem, ours is so much more severe that solving it would wipe out between one-fifth and more than half of the relative shortfall in U.S. longevity.
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