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Category: Obesity

Obesity and a high-fat diet may accelerate brain aging, lead to cognitive decline

Obesity and a high-fat diet may accelerate brain aging, lead to cognitive decline

Globally, obesity is becoming a bigger problem for public health. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 16% of people worldwide suffered from obesity in 2022. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 41.9% of Americans were obese in 2020, indicating a significantly higher prevalence. Younger people are becoming more and more concerned about the condition; according to the WHO, 160 million children and adolescents worldwide will suffer from obesity in 2022. An individual who is overweight is more likely to experience health issues, and the risks rise with weight. Obesity raises the possibility of numerous illnesses, such as:

Obesity may also hasten brain aging and cause cognitive decline, according to a new study that will be presented at the American Physiology Summit in Long Beach, California, April 4–7. The study’s findings have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. The body, including the cerebrovasculature, is known to be affected by a variety of systemic inflammatory reactions that are triggered by diet-induced obesity. The persistent inflammatory state that obesity produces is one of the main reasons it may cause senescence in the cerebrovasculature.

Obesity damages brain blood vessels: Research indicates that obesity is linked to a decline in cognitive function. Although the precise mechanism is unknown, inflammation, a known effect of obesity, may have an impact on cognitive function because being obese in midlife is linked to a higher risk of dementia and a decline in executive function when compared to a normal weight8,35. However, other studies have found that late-life obesity is associated with a lower risk of dementia and improved cognition. Obese people’s adipose tissue secretes a variety of bioactive substances, such as pro-inflammatory cytokines, which can travel throughout the body and impact distant organs like the brain.

A high-fat diet consisting primarily of omega-6 and SFAs has been linked to poorer performance on a cognitive task in human epidemiological studies. Moreover, research indicates that a diet high in SFAs and TFAs is linked to a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Several factors can age-related brain damage that results in cognitive impairments. These variables include head trauma, toxins like alcohol, too many stress hormones, cerebral ischemia, and the onset of degenerative dementias like AD. The average age of an overweight person’s brain was eight years older than that of a normal-weight person, according to research from the University of Pittsburgh, and overweight people had 4% less brain volume.

A retrospective study conducted in China found that a high energy intake of fat and protein and a low energy intake from carbohydrates are associated with cognitive decline in later life (23). Low levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fats in the diet may also be linked to memory loss. The main factor contributing to cognitive impairment is age. A person’s family history, lack of physical activity, and illnesses like diabetes, drugs, toxins, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, stroke, brain injury, and brain cancer are additional risk factors.

According to research, maintaining brain health may be aided by combining physical exercise, mental and social stimulation, and a healthy diet. Reading books, learning an instrument, and engaging in other activities have all been linked to the preservation of brain function, according to studies. Social interaction can help maintain mental health and slow the aging process. It can also make life more fulfilling. You may be able to perform better with memory training and other cognitive training.

These inflammatory signals can accelerate the aging of vascular cells and the onset of senescence in the brain, which makes it more difficult for the vessels to control blood flow and react to brain activity, the speaker continued. Numerous research findings indicate that individuals with obesity or a high body mass index (BMI) experience decreased cerebral blood flow, a finding that may be linked to compromised cognitive function, especially in the elderly. In this most recent study, the researchers examined the impact of obesity and a high-fat diet on mice’s brain blood vessels and cognitive function. They fed a 60 percent fat or 10 percent fat diet to novel transgenic mice (p16-3MR mice, which allow for the visualization and selective elimination of senescent cells).

Researchers compared the endothelial cells in the blood vessels of the mice on the high-fat diet to those on the regular diet and found that the former were more prone to senescence a condition in which cells cease to divide but do not die, releasing chemicals that may cause inflammation. The founder of Dietitian Insights and registered dietitian nutritionist Kelsey Costa stated, “The results of this animal study suggest that obesity and poor eating patterns lead to the build-up of blood vessel damage, which reduces oxygen delivery to particular brain regions and may ultimately result in cognitive decline.

In mice fed a high-fat diet, the radial arm water maze test revealed reduced cognitive function in addition to an increase in senescent endothelial cells. Researchers used Navitoclax/ABT263, a medication that specifically destroys senescent cells, on obese older mice fed a high-fat diet to examine the importance of these cells. The mice’s cognitive function improved after treatment. Even though the study was done on mice, it provides us with helpful suggestions regarding possible human outcomes. The removal of senescent cells improved the brains of obese mice, which is exciting because it suggests a potential treatment for brain issues associated with obesity. Navitoclax-induced senescent cell elimination in the brains of obese mice appeared to enhance brain vasculature, suggesting that this approach may be useful in treating obesity-related cognitive decline.

Obesity may accelerate the aging and senescence of brain blood vessel cells. If a connection is found between obesity and cellular senescence, this could lead to new research directions that address therapeutic approaches to stop or delay the onset of senescence and potentially improve the health problems associated with obesity, such as cognitive decline. The findings demonstrated that in comparison to normal-weight mice fed a standard diet, mice fed a high-fat diet had, after three months, increased cellular senescence and decreased density of healthy blood vessels in the brain, along with evidence of impaired learning in a maze test. Furthermore, by employing Navitoclax, an experimental cancer medication that targets and eliminates senescent cells specifically, the researchers were able to enhance the characteristics of the brain vasculature.


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Early sips to adult slips: How sweet drinks in childhood fatten future

Early sips to adult slips: How sweet drinks in childhood fatten future

A recent study evaluating the connection between childhood consumption of sweet drinks and adult obesity was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Their findings have consequences for dietary interventions for young children since they show that early consumption of sweet beverages is linked to increased adiposity and less healthful eating habits in adulthood. Consuming sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) as a child has been linked to an increased risk of obesity. Nonetheless, a lot of research treats fruit juices without added sugar, carbonated beverages, and all other sweetened beverages equally. To improve dietary interventions to lower adult obesity, it is important to look at SSBs and fruit juices separately to determine which are linked to negative outcomes. Consuming SSBs might also be a sign of a diet high in calories, in which case cutting them out of the diet wouldn’t result in a noticeable decrease in energy intake.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the hypothesis that, in terms of how they affect adiposity outcomes, sugary drinks are all in the same category. They also investigated whether gender differences exist in the way people react to different types of beverages and whether their influence should be viewed in the context of a larger dietary pattern. Children born in Bristol, United Kingdom, between April 1991 and December 1992 made up the study sample. When the kids were two, three, four, seven, eleven, and thirteen years old, their diet was graded at six points. When the children were two years old, their caregivers were questioned about whether or not they had eaten fruit juices, such as squash and apple juice, and carbonated drinks like cola between the ages of 15 months and 2 years. They characterized drinking before the age of two as early exposure to alcohol.

To provide information about dietary patterns, their carers completed a food frequency questionnaire during the subsequent dietary assessment. They noted the consumption of fatty foods, sweet-tasting foods, fruits, and vegetables, as well as other foods like pizza, meat, and fish. When the kids were four and seven years old, caregivers filled out three-day food diaries; at eleven and thirteen, the kids filled out the diaries themselves. To determine their BMI, their weight and height were recorded. The amount of abdominal fat surrounding the organs was used to calculate the Android fat mass. Their total fat mass at 24 years old was the other main result. The mother’s prenatal weight, her age at childbirth, her partner’s education and BMI, the mother’s and her partner’s occupation, and deprivation in terms of income, health deprivation, disability, employment, housing, education, training, and skills were all taken into account when analyzing the data using hierarchical regression equations. Groups of men and women were examined independently.

Cola consumption was linked to increased adiposity in men; on average, those who abstained from apple juice had a higher BMI. Female adiposity was found to be higher when fruit squash was consumed, as opposed to pure fruit juice. Next, the researchers investigated whether the relationships they observed were caused by the dietary pattern as a whole or just the sweet drinks. At three years old, children who drank cola, fruit squash, or fizzy drinks consumed less non-starch polysaccharides but more energy, protein, carbohydrates, and non-milk extrinsic sugars. Apple juice drinkers consumed less fat and more healthy sugars and proteins. These correlations suggest that since SSBs don’t contain fat or protein, overall dietary patterns must be different.

In addition to eating more pizza, French fries, sausages, burgers, chocolate, candies, and fruit, boys who drank fruit squash, carbonated drinks, and cola also ate more meat and less fruit. Apple juice drinkers consumed more salad, fish, fruits, and green veggies. For girls, comparable trends were observed. An additional intriguing discovery revealed that boys who drank cola before turning two also drank more energy between the ages of four and nine. At four years old, girls who drank apple juice had lower energy intake. According to regression analysis, a man’s diet at the age of 24 could predict his body fat; eating root vegetables, burgers, sausages, and French fries when he was three years old had a significant impact. Female participants showed similar results; additionally, their fat mass was higher in those who did not eat fresh fruit or biscuits. Children who experience greater levels of social deprivation are more likely to drink cola and less likely to drink fruit juice.

These results suggest a significant relationship between early consumption of sweet beverages and health outcomes well into adulthood. Children’s beverage choices are influenced by the socioeconomic and demographic makeup of their family; children from more disadvantaged homes are more likely to be given unhealthy drinks like cola and less likely to be given relatively healthier drinks like pure fruit juice. The study adds to the increasing amount of evidence showing early childhood dietary habits have a major impact on adult obesity risk. Controlling energy intake during infancy and early childhood through nutritional interventions may help reduce adult obesity.


Mounjaro, Zepbound can help with weight loss in people with long-term obesity

Mounjaro, Zepbound can help with weight loss in people with long-term obesity

No matter how long a person has struggled with obesity or weight issues, weight loss medications like Mounjaro and Zepbound, which contain the ingredient trizepatide, can help them lose weight and decrease their waist circumference. Research on this topic will be presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Venice, Italy, in May of this year. The results have not yet been released in a peer-reviewed publication. The U.S.A. The FDA approved Mounjaro in 2022 to treat type 2 diabetes, and Zepbound in 2023 to help adults who have a body mass index (BMI) of over 30 or over 27 and at least one weight-related comorbidity manage their weight.

A bariatric surgeon and the medical director of the MemorialCare Surgical Weight Loss Center at Orange Coast Medical Center in California, who was not involved in the study, stated that the results are not shocking. These drugs are made to help you lose weight by interacting with your hormones. Throughout the study, they performed as intended. Although providing patients with a non-surgical option is a good idea, tirzepatide has certain drawbacks. According to Ali, Medical News Today, people need to take the medication consistently for it to be effective. If they haven’t taken the time to examine and alter their eating and lifestyle habits while taking the medication, the weight may return when they stop taking it. According to a 2023 study, after taking medication for 36 weeks, those who were switched to a placebo gained 14% of their original weight back. Five percent more of their body weight was lost by those who continued taking the medication.

In addition, insurance frequently does not cover the medication. The medication does have some side effects, but they are limited to mild nausea, vomiting, and constipation. To minimize side effects, we start patients on a low dose and work our way up. The figures show comparable rates of weight loss, regardless of the patient’s length of obesity. Regardless of their starting BMI, the second abstract shows comparable weight loss of 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25% of initial baseline weight, according to Lofton, who spoke with Medical News Today. Regardless of the patient’s starting BMI or length of obesity, I think this information can help prescribers decide that it’s never too late to treat an obese patient and that we have scientific proof to extrapolate the significant weight loss shown in the trials to our patients in a reasonable manner. Nevertheless, since each patient is unique, we must utilize our clinical judgment to identify the most appropriate course of treatment.

The companies that make Zepbound and Mounjaro, Eli Lilly and Company, provided funding for both the 2023 study and this new investigation. There’s always a chance of biases in studies that are sponsored by manufacturers, according to Ali. Still, I believe the results are reliable because multiple other studies have reached the same conclusion. As these studies are being reviewed by the FDA, I do not think that funding from Lilly has influenced these results because this subset analysis of a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial,” Lofton stated. “Data safety monitoring boards are also tasked with reviewing the studies, which were conducted by medical peers who are independent of the company.


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How much fat and carbs do you need to consume?

How much fat and carbs do you need to consume?

New publications from the World Health Organisation give the most recent scientific theories on how important lipids and carbs are to a balanced diet.

The WHO continues to advise adults to consume no more than 30% of their daily calories from fat. The new recommendations emphasize the source of carbs rather than their quantity.

For parents looking to start their kids off on a good connection with food and nutrition for the rest of their lives, the new recommendations offer new knowledge.

In general, the WHO is putting greater emphasis on quality and paying less attention to the quantity of fat and carbohydrates.

Not all of what the WHO has to say is brand-new. For instance, the group still advises adults to keep their daily fat intake to 30% or less of their total calorie intake. Calories from foods like carbs, proteins, fats, and alcohol are used to calculate a person’s daily energy consumption.

However, the prevalence of obesity has nearly tripled globally since 1975, and in 2020, 39 million children under the age of 5 will be overweight or obese, affecting approximately 340 million children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 19. The WHO records show a new focus on the optimal diet for life.

For instance, according to WHO recommendations, children under the age of two should consume primarily unsaturated fats. WHO highly advises that people take no more than 10% of their total calories from saturated fats, with trans fatty acids making up no more than 1% of those calories.

Which fats are bad for you?

Michelle Routhenstein, a nutritionist who was uninvolved in the WHO publications, said that “in the past, it was just generally ‘limit fat to 30% of energy intake.'”

“And now, we’re really looking at saturated fat being a culprit in cardiovascular disease development because it’s directly correlated with an increase in LDL and an increase in insulin resistance, which are cardiometabolic risk factors,” said she.

The WHO warns against consuming saturated fatty acids, which are found in fatty meat and dairy products. Saturated fats are also present in coconut oil, palm oil, lard, butter, ghee, and palm oil.

Animals including cows, sheep, and goats as well as sources generated industrially are the main sources of trans-fatty acids. Deer, moose, camels, giraffes, and buffalo are further examples of ruminant mammals.

In the new papers, suggestions are provided for substituting polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids from plant sources for harmful saturated fats and trans-fatty acids.

Carbs, fruits, and vegetables

The latest WHO recommendations show a similar shift in thinking regarding carbs.

We are more specific about the sources of the [nutrients]. More precisely, fibers with more complex carbohydrates are of interest to us. We’re especially focusing on dietary fiber from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables since we know it has a cardiovascular protective effect,” said Routhenstein.

The use of natural fiber-rich foods such whole grains, legumes, and vegetables is currently encouraged by the WHO.

Updated recommendations for kids

While the WHO has traditionally advised adults to consume 400 grams of fruits and vegetables each day, the publications now include recommendations for kids as well.

  • Children aged 2 to 5 should consume 250 grammes or more of fruits and vegetables each day.
  • Aged 6 to 9 children should consume 350 grammes or more of fruits and vegetables each day.
  • Children aged 10 and older should consume 400 grammes or more of fruits and vegetables each day.

In a similar vein, the WHO now addresses children’s fibre requirements. Adults were formerly advised to ingest 25 grammes per day. Now:

  • At least 15 grammes of fibre per day should be consumed by children aged 2 to 5.
  • Children aged 6 to 9 should get at least 21 grammes of fibre per day.
  • At least 25 grammes of fibre per day should be consumed by children 10 and older.

Various foods, including broccoli, bananas, apples, and banana bread, contain fibre.

Healthy living starts in childhood.

The childhood obesity epidemic, which is also the reason behind [the WHO’s new emphasis], according to paediatrician Dr. Daniel Ganjian, who is also not connected to the WHO.

Dr. Ganjian added that “more and more research shows that the earlier you start teaching children about healthy nutrition and eating, the more likely it is that they will remain healthy throughout their lives.”

He especially mentioned preventing the onset of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even some types of cancer.

According to Routhenstein, a dietitian who specializes in cardiovascular health, “There’s this new focus that we realize to prevent cardiovascular disease, we need to be focusing on the earlier generation because that’s where it starts.”

The focus should be on prevention rather than treatment, according to Routhenstein.

Attitudes towards food that are healthy

The primary food producers in the household are the parents. Therefore, once the parents and the child are aware of it and [the child] begins consuming it, the body forms a habit and starts to crave healthy meals rather than salty, crunchy foods, according to Dr. Ganjian.

He also emphasized the significance of teaching kids about healthy eating in the right way and claimed that instructing kids to “start watching what you eat” and use the words “overweight” or “obese” was not the ideal strategy.

It is now known that, in the long run, such strategy leads to greater anxiety—and eating disorders—than a positive eating philosophy.

We need to change the topic of conversation from weight or body image to good nutrition. You always promote eating well,” said Dr. Ganjian.

The Summary

Try keeping track of how many carbs you consume on a daily basis and whether they are healthy or unhealthy before beginning the low-carb diet. There are helpful, unpaid apps available.

Fibre grammes don’t actually count as carbohydrates, so you can take them out of the total. As an alternative, use the formula: net carbohydrates = total carbs fibre.

Check out these potential causes if you’re not losing weight or your weight loss is sluggish when on a low-carb diet.


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Is BMI not accurate to predict obesity in many people?

Is BMI not accurate to predict obesity in many people?

Body mass index (BMI) is a common metric used in healthcare facilities to determine patient health.

It has been frequently criticized for its simplicity of what being healthy actually entails while being used for decades as the standard measurement for health based on body size.

In fact, many people argue that BMI should not be utilized in medical or fitness settings since it is antiquated and inaccurate.

What is BMI?

“BMI” is an acronym for “body mass index.” A Belgian mathematician by the name of Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet created the BMI in 1832.

He created the BMI scale to help governments allocate health and financial resources by swiftly estimating the level of overweight and obesity in a specific community.

Interestingly, Quetelet claimed that BMI was better at capturing the general health of a group than using it to investigate a single individual. Even so, it’s frequently used to gauge people’s health.

The BMI scale is based on a mathematical formula that compares a person’s height in meters squared to their weight in kilograms to determine whether they are a “healthy” weight:

Height (m2) / weight (kg) equals BMI.

Alternately, you can determine BMI by multiplying 703 by the product of your weight in pounds and your height in square inches:

Weight (lbs) x Height (in2) x 703 equals BMI.

A BMI calculator online, like the one offered by the National Institutes of Health, is another option. If you fall within the “normal” weight range, your BMI is calculated and then compared to the BMI scale.

If you don’t fit the definition of “normal” weight, a healthcare practitioner might recommend health and lifestyle adjustments to you.

To more accurately reflect the size and stature of their inhabitants, some nations have adopted the BMI scale. For instance, Asian men and women have been found to have a higher risk of heart disease than non-Asians at lower BMIs.

Even though this can give a healthcare practitioner a quick overview of a person’s health based on weight, it ignores other aspects of a person’s health, including age, sex, race, genetics, fat mass, muscle mass, and bone density.

Is it a reliable sign of health?

The majority of research demonstrates that a person’s risk of chronic disease and early mortality does increase with a BMI lower than 18.5 (“underweight”) or 30.0 or above (“obese”), despite concerns that BMI doesn’t precisely indicate if they are in good health.

A 2017 retrospective research of 103,218 fatalities, for instance, discovered that those with a BMI of 30.0 or higher (referred to as “obese”) had a 1.5–2.7-fold higher chance of dying following a 30-year follow-up.

Another study with 16,868 persons found that those with an “obese” BMI had a 20% higher chance of dying from any cause and heart disease than those with a “normal” BMI.

Additionally, the researchers discovered that people with “underweight” BMIs and “severely obese” or “extremely obese” BMIs died on average 6.7 years and 3.7 years earlier than people with “normal” BMIs.

According to other research, a BMI over 30.0 considerably raises the chance of developing chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, breathing problems, renal illness, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and mobility problems.

A person’s risk of developing metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes has also been shown to drop by 5–10% with a BMI reduction.

Many health practitioners can use BMI as a broad indicator of a person’s risk because the majority of studies indicate that obese persons have an elevated chance of developing chronic diseases. But it shouldn’t be the only diagnostic instrument employed.

The BMI as a measure of obesity

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which was conducted from 2011 to 2018, had data on 9,784 participants with an average age of 39.

BMI and body fat % were determined using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) in the data. BMIs were divided into categories according to ethnicity.

In the end, 36% of individuals were obese, defined as having a BMI of 30 or more. However, 74% of participants were rated as obese based on their body fat percentage.

When body fat % was taken into account, many persons with BMIs between 18.5 and 24.9, which are considered healthy weights, were labelled as obese, including:

  • 27% of Black non-Hispanics
  • 44% of white non-Hispanics
  • 49 percent of Hispanics
  • In Asia, 49%

The finding that non-Hispanic Black people with overweight had 58% lower risk of obesity than non-Hispanic White people struck me as particularly fascinating. Dr. Erkeda de Rouen, a board-certified specialist in family, diversity, and lifestyle medicine who was not involved in the study, said that this might be caused by the regular genetic weight distribution.

A person’s mental health and complex sociological issues like money, access to affordable and nutritious food, food skills and knowledge, and housing conditions are all ignored when a person’s health is solely determined by their BMI.

Drawbacks of BMI

There are many problems with the use of BMI, despite data linking low (below 18.5) and high (30 or above) BMI with elevated health risks.

Disregards other potential health factors

Without taking into account a person’s age, sex, genetics, lifestyle, medical history, or other considerations, BMI just provides a “yes” or “no” answer as to whether they are of “normal” weight.

Relying just on BMI could lead to an overestimation or underestimation of a person’s genuine state of health by excluding other crucial health indicators including cholesterol, blood sugar, heart rate, blood pressure, and inflammation levels.

In addition, BMI employs the same formula for both sexes even though men and women have different body compositions, with males having more muscle mass and less fat mass than women.

Additionally, a person’s body fat mass naturally rises and their muscle mass naturally reduces as they age. Numerous studies have demonstrated that an older adult’s BMI of 23.0-29.9 can be protective against disease and early death.

The premise that all weight is equal

Muscle is denser and takes up less space even though 1 pound or kilogram of muscle weighs the same as 1 pound or kilogram of fat. As a result, someone who is extremely slim but has a lot of muscle may weigh more than average.

For instance, a person with a BMI of 29.5 who weighs 200 pounds (97 kilograms) and is 5 feet 9 inches (175 cm) tall is considered to be “overweight.”

The appearance of two people who are the same height and weight might vary greatly. One can be a bodybuilder with a lot of muscle, whilst the other might have more fat.

If BMI is the only factor taken into account, it is quite easy to mistakenly label someone as “overweight” or “obese” despite their low-fat mass. Therefore, in addition to a person’s weight, it’s necessary to take their bone, muscle, and fat mass into account.

Overlooks the distribution of fat

Even while a higher BMI is associated with worse health outcomes, the distribution of body fat may be more important.

People with a gynoid or pear-shaped body type, also known as those who have fat accumulated in their hips, buttocks, and thighs, are less likely to develop chronic disease than people with an android or apple-shaped body type.

For instance, researchers discovered that those with an apple-shaped fat distribution had a substantially higher risk of all-cause mortality than those with a pear-shaped distribution in a study of 72 studies that included data from more than 2.5 million people.

The authors really emphasized that BMI does not take into account where fat is stored in the body, which might cause a person to be incorrectly classified as being sick or at risk for disease.

Possible weight bias

The medical professional is expected to apply their best judgment, which means that they will take the BMI result and treat each patient as an individual.

However, some medical practitioners simply utilize BMI to assess a patient’s health before making recommendations, which can result in weight prejudice and subpar medical care.

Higher BMI patients more frequently claim that their doctors only address their BMI during appointments for unrelated issues. Serious medical conditions frequently go undiagnosed or are misdiagnosed as weight-related disorders.

In reality, research has shown that those with higher BMIs are less likely to get frequent health checks because of anxiety about being assessed, mistrust of the medical staff, or a bad experience in the past. This can result in delayed diagnoses, care, and treatment.

It might not apply to all populations

Even though BMI is widely used among all adults, it could not adequately reflect the health of some racial and cultural groups.

For instance, multiple studies have demonstrated that, compared to white individuals, people of Asian descent have a higher risk of chronic disease at lower BMI cut-off points.

In truth, the Asian-Pacific BMI recommendations, which offer different BMI cut-off points, were created by the World Health Organisation.

Numerous research has demonstrated that these alternate cut-off points are more effective at identifying Asian populations’ health risks. However, further research is required to compare these cut-off points with Asian Americans who are multigenerational.

Additionally, despite having higher muscle mass and lower fat mass, Black persons may be mistakenly labeled as overweight. This may imply that Black women, in particular, have a greater BMI cutoff criterion for chronic illness risk than those of other races.

Indeed, a 2011 study indicated that Black women were deemed metabolically healthy at cut-off points 3.0 kg/m2 higher than non-Black individuals, which further calls into doubt the applicability of BMI to all racial and ethnic groups.

Last but not least, depending solely on BMI disregards the cultural significance of body size to various communities. Higher fat mass is regarded as desirable and healthier in some cultures. Healthcare practitioners should take into account what each person’s definition of “health” is.

The conclusion

Body mass index (BMI) is a highly debatable health assessment technique used to determine a person’s risk for poor health and body fat.

According to most studies, as BMI rises above the “normal” level, there is an increased risk of developing a chronic illness. Additionally, a low BMI (below 18.5) has been associated with negative health effects.

However, BMI does not take into account other factors that may affect health, including age, sex, fat mass, muscle mass, race, genetics, and medical history. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that using it as the only predictor of health increases weight bias and health disparities.

BMI is a good place to start, but it shouldn’t be the primary indicator of your health.


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