Monday, April 21, 2008

Truth to Fluff

So there IS some truth to my most commonly uttered phrase: I'm fluffy for me.

Study: A normal BMI doesn't mean you aren't fat
12:40 PM CDT on Monday, April 21, 2008
The Los Angeles Times / reprinted in Dallas News Health Section


Do you have a "normal" body-mass index? You still may be fat.

"The definition of obesity is having excess fat," says Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and senior author of a study on what researchers are calling "normal-weight obesity." It was presented this month at the American College of Cardiology's annual science session in Chicago. "For years, we've been using BMI to diagnose obesity, but the first question we had was, 'Is it possible to be normal weight but have excess fat?' "

Researchers examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and found that among 2,127 men and women of normal weight, with BMIs between 18.5 and 24.9, almost half had excess fat – 20 percent of total body composition for men and 30 percent for women. (Although acceptable levels of body fat vary, most experts agree that these numbers are high.) Compared with those without excess fat, they also were 21/2 times more likely to have metabolic syndrome.

"Better than trying to do just an eyeball diagnosis, we probably need to measure body fat," Dr. Lopez-Jimenez says. "If people do have high body fat, it means that they might have similar cardiovascular risks as obese patients."

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