Posts Tagged ‘BMI’

Seeking Gold in the Myths of Self-Reported Weight

January 31, 2022 — Across four millenia, alchemists sought to purify common materials and transform them into gold. In a possibly similar quest, Zachary Ward and Steven Gortmaker wish to assure us they have a reliable method for correcting the errors in data on self-reported height and weight. In other words, it’s no big deal if we don’t have […]

Looking for a Good Measure of Obesity in Kids

January 20, 2022 — After four decades of agitation about childhood obesity it seems like we might safely assume that scientists can measure and track it with confidence. But it turns out that this is not exactly true. Why? Because of flaws in something called the BMI z-score. Body fat quite normally changes in children with age. What’s healthy […]

No Longer Normal: The Absurdity of “Normal” Weight

December 6, 2021 — “Normal” has a very succinct definition: usual, typical, or expected. So a recent publication in JAMA reminds us that the definition of “normal” weight is seriously broken. A weight in the range of a “normal” BMI (18.5 – 24.9) is no longer normal for young adults. The normal, typical, or average weight for an American […]

Limited Booster Approval? Not Exactly

September 24, 2021 — Limited approval . . . heated debate . . . setback for booster plans. The pathway to rolling out booster shots has been torturous, for sure. But let’s be clear. As the dust clears, the approval of booster shots for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is hardly limited. Everyone over 65 can get it. Under 65, the […]

Sorting Out the Shell Game of Healthy Obesity

June 14, 2021 — The pursuit of healthy obesity is something of a holy quest or a shell game. The game goes on with some players insisting that obesity is not real. Picking through troves of data they find exceptions to the links between a high BMI and disease risks. “Ah ha! These subjects have no health issues, just […]

Damaged: Perfect Becomes the Enemy of Good

May 23, 2021 — Only 27 percent of adults in the U.S. have a BMI in the range that CDC labels as “healthy or normal.” Most people think that diet and exercise is the best answer for obesity. They think this even though just about everyone with obesity has tried that prescription and most find that it doesn’t fix […]

Normal Weight Obesity: Unhealthy at Any Size

May 19, 2021 — It’s tough to get people to let go of weight and body size as the defining feature of obesity. But indeed, weight does not define obesity. Nor does BMI. What defines obesity is abnormal or excess fat (adipose) tissue that harms health. Most often, this occurs when someone’s weight is high. Not always, though. In […]

One Clear Value for BMI: Ticket to a Vaccine

March 19, 2021 — BMI stinks. That’s the lead on a lot of stories about how to get a COVID-19 vaccine appointment right now. This is a perfect example of mixed messaging. But it also reflects our very mixed feelings about this measure that’s now almost two centuries old. A BMI of 30 is the threshold for a population-based […]

Defining the Disease of Obesity in Europe

March 14, 2021 — Defining the disease of obesity is quite a struggle. Everybody is certain they know what it is. Thus, many people adopt definitions that suit their purposes. Feelings about obesity run so deep that facts are mere annoyances. But on World Obesity Day, the European Commission published a definition of obesity as a chronic relapsing disease. […]

Normal Is Doomed and This Might Be Good

March 10, 2021 — Normal is not what it once was. Oxford defines normal as something conforming to a standard – usual, typical, or expected. But this year has upset our collective concept of normalcy. Could it be that normal is doomed? Could that be a good thing? Of course, the answers to these questions will depend upon context. […]