Wednesday, June 10, 2009

BMI Doesn't Tell The Whole Story, Health Risks Begin In Overweight Range

“Being overweight is a health concern, and using only body mass index (BMI) to determine weight classification may not give an accurate picture of a person's health, according to an advisory published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. The advisory recommends doing research on overweight and health, beyond studies that focus solely on the relationship between total body mass index and risk of death. ‘Meanwhile, we cannot afford to wait for this research to begin addressing the problem of overweight in our patients and in our society,’ write the advisory authors. An increasing number of children are overweight, which puts them at risk for developing higher than normal blood pressure, blood cholesterol and blood sugar. ‘Weight gain is progressive and weight loss difficult. Although a young child is unlikely to have a heart attack, overweight children are likely to become overweight or obese adults, which puts them at risk for cardiovascular events as they mature. Achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight is of high importance for all Americans,’ said Lewis. Physical inactivity and excess weight increase risk of death and other adverse health outcomes; so overweight and obese persons in particular would benefit from adopting a physically active lifestyle and healthy eating habits.”

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