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18 February 2008 @ 12:14 pm
Big Stuff  
I'm currently teaching a nutrition class, and the various topics for Friday include metabolism, energy balance, weight management, and eating disorders (whew! this'll spill over into later classes, too, I'm sure).  As a contrast to all of the material that I expect the students will come up with (but they are also likely to surprise me) I'd like to have some information on being healthy while having a much larger than "acceptable" BMI. 

I know some of you out there know much more about this than I do (I know next to nothing), so I'm hoping I can get a few pointers.  Web sights?  Actual scientific studies?  Do we, for example, have actual evidence that carrying many extra pounds causes cardiac problems, or do we only have a correlation?  If only a correlation, do we have evidence that the correlation is still strong when other correlating factors (e.g., amount of trans fats in the diet) are taken out of the equation?

Thanks!
 
 
 
dr_bratdr_brat on February 18th, 2008 07:38 pm (UTC)
I'm intrigued by the fact that the Wikipedia entry on BMI is fairly sceptical. Perhaps the sources it lists at the end would be a good place to start your search: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_mass_index

This site - http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/lose_wt/risk.htm- pairs weight with two other risk factors (from a list), so apparently it's a correlation rather than a causal relationship in the absence of additional risk factors.

So far as I know, it's not the weight per se, but the things that come with additional weight (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, inflammation, impaired kidney function) that cause the risks associated with higher weights.