Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Being Overweight Is A Health Concern, BMI Is Only Part Of The Story

“Being overweight is a health concern, but Body Mass Index doesn't tell the whole story because it is part of a larger picture, says a new advisory by the American Heart Association published this month. Lead author Dr Cora E. Lewis, professor of medicine and public health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said that: ‘This larger picture includes important relationships between BMI and other health outcomes, such as cardiovascular disease and its risk factors.’ ‘Arguably, the most important relationship among the cardiovascular disease risk factors is diabetes, which is significantly more common in overweight than in normal-weight people,’ she added. Lewis and colleagues concluded that:

· Being overweight increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and other health conditions.

· Being overweight usually precedes being obese, so everyone who is overweight, adults and children alike, should reduce weight by changing to a healthy diet and doing more exercise.

· More research is needed on the links between overweight and health and this should go beyond looking only at BMI and risk of death.

But the authors also warned that: ‘Meanwhile, we cannot afford to wait for this research to begin addressing the problem of overweight in our patients and in our society.’ ‘Both healthy eating patterns and physical activity have roles in managing weight and CVD risk and should be encouraged in all,’ they wrote, explaining that gaining weight is progressive while losing weight is very hard to manage.”

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