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A Better Way to Understand Obesity’s Impact

A Better Way to Understand Obesity’s Impact
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My mother always fussed at her oldest sister. Aunt Grace was big-boned, with the kind of padding that made her lap a safe haven for a child. Mother worried she would die early if she did not slim down. Aunt Grace died at 84, Mother at 75.

Though both women inherited the same genes, they did not lead the same lives. Aunt Grace was more physically active, ate more fruits and vegetables and experienced far less stress than her slim younger sister. New studies shed some light on why one lived so much longer than the other.

The research challenges conventional wisdom that obese automatically equals unhealthy. Both studies used the Edmonton Obesity Staging System (EOSS) to rank obesity as a series of stages rather than one number. Higher stages mean higher risks.

CBC News reports “The new scale includes five stages of obesity based on traditional measurements such as body mass index and waist-to-hip ratios, as well as clinical measurements of medical conditions tied to obesity, such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.”

What scientists discovered, in studies published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal and in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, was a more nuanced picture of the consequences of obesity. Physicians using the scoring system will find it easier to prescribe appropriate treatments. Patients with higher EOSS scores, for example, are more likely candidates for bariatric surgery. Those with low scores are unlikely to need it.

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Photo from SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget via Flickr Creative Commons

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13 comments

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7:12AM PDT on Apr 3, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

4:46AM PST on Jan 28, 2013

I am so sick in tried of being and seeing other people be ragged on about their weight. As if all of this negative reinforcement is going to help anyone lose weight. Nobody ever looks at the metabolic diseases that are often the root of the problem. Oh, and lets not forget the toxic chemicals that are also responsible for altering people's body's to store and gain more fat. Babies never exercised before and now babies are starting to gain weight in record numbers, because of BPA. Of course, you never going to see a story about that on the front page because that's not in the best interests of the corporations who are spreading chemicals like BPA. All you people want to do is lean over the dinner table and tell other people how they should eat, when really you should be paying attention to how your eating. All this negative media attention is only going to force people to feel ashamed or bullied and what will happen then is that they will withdraw from society and eat more while their hiding in their apartments. I may of voted for Obama, but that doesn't mean I agree with his public campaign to force so-called healthy eating on people just to eat more like a few health thinks they should eat. I've never seen a petition for scientists to explore the metabolic diseases like insulin resistance and hypothyroidism that creates these extreme conditions in the first place, not to mention the toxic chemicals causing problems in our bodies. You know the reason why because tha

1:27AM PST on Jan 8, 2013

Thanks for sharing some important information!

3:26PM PDT on Oct 7, 2012

noted

4:41AM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

Interesting article. Thanks!

10:36AM PDT on Aug 21, 2011

Interesting! Thanks

4:24PM PDT on Aug 20, 2011

Food for Thought---and Action

www.brook.com/food

1:47PM PDT on Aug 20, 2011

I guess it's like the guy that smokes no filter Pall Malls for 50 years and dies of natural causes, when most people would have some kind of negative impact. It's a crap shoot, and one not worth taking !

8:04AM PDT on Aug 20, 2011

moderation is the key....lets eat better to add the necessary value to our lives

2:20AM PDT on Aug 20, 2011

Thanks for the article.

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