Aha! Proof that the BMI is flawed

Those of you who are in great shape yet feel betrayed — and baffled — by your BMI, take heart. A study released earlier this month by the American College of Sports Medicine finds that you can be in great shape, yet deemed overweight by your BMI.

Seventy-one high school football players from seven schools were poked and probed in a variety of ways to determine their fitness levels. Based on their their body fat percent (or BF% in industry shorthand), 45 were declared of normal weight. But based on their BMI, only 26 fell into the normal category. Likewise, 18 were considered overweight based on their BF% and 21 using BMI as a measure, while six were considered obese under BF% guidelines, 24 when judged by their BMI. Said the ACSM: “These larger players' muscular body composition may lead to overstated body mass indexes.”

Read more here and here.

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To eat or not to eat: I wouldn’t think about heading out for an early morning bike ride without first eating a half a bagel with peanut butter and honey. Then again, says a study from the University of Birmingham, that may explain why I can’t shed that spare tire around my midsection. The study, published in the ACSM’s journal, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, found that athletes burn more existing fat when they don’t eat before a workout. This finding was based on seven cyclists who ate before a ride and seven who did not. Sounds simplistic, but the eating exercisers burned their new fuel first, the non eaters’ bodies went immediately in search of existing body fat to fuel their ride. Of course, if it’s performance you want, be advised that the non-eaters did not perform as well, either.

Read more here.

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Tarheels getting fatter: According to the just-released “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2010” report from the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, North Carolinians are continuing to grow. Nearly 30 percent (29.4 percent) of North Carolina adults are obese, ranking the state the 10th chubbiest in the country, up from the No. 12 spot it held last year. A breakdown by race shows 41.1 percent of black adults are obese, as are 27 percent of whites and 25.7 percent of Latinos. The news wasn’t much better for our kids, 18.6 percent of whom are obese, ranking North Carolina 11th nationally.

Read more here.

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