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Published: Friday, June 17 2011 2:41 p.m. MDT

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The Utah Republican
Alpine, UT

Obesity is also a statistical and cultural artifact. The formula for calculating obesity is called the body mass index. The calculation is weight divided by height squared (w/h2). The United States adopted the the international BMI threshold of 25 in 1998. A quick glance at a BMI chart shows straight lines, not the normal distribution curve that scientists usually use to show statistical realities.

BMI ignores important differences like body type and body fat percentage.

A reasonable person might ask why our government and media give so much importance to a measurement that lacks scientific rigor. I wonder about it every time I see an article like this. I still don't know the answer.

(My facts can be checked by searching for "body mass index history" on any search engine."

MenaceToSociety
Draper, UT

When I see an overweight couple with overweight kids, I'm always guessing it is probably lifestyle. Far too much food, far too much sitting, and far too little exercise - all shared as a family. Kids in that situation are really put behind the eight ball as far as leading a healthy lifestyle goes.

GaryS
Leesburg, VA

"Every hour children play video games or watch television may double their risk of obesity, a new study suggests."

That is mathematically illiterate. Think about it.

This is what you get when you ask skinny people and English teachers about obesity.

rlsintx
Plano, TX

It's too many calories, regardless of lifestyle. Cut calories, you WILL over time lose weight...

bigsoccer
Syracuse, UT

BMI is full of it anyways, myself am naturally not going to be what my BMI is, I can still look and feel good above the BMI, if I were at my BMI, I would look sickly and way toooo skinny.

Anonymous Infinity
American Fork, UT

Obesity is strictly a matter of constant grazing and overeating, plus eating foods in the wrong combinations. Proper eating according to the experts in the know consists of eating foods in the proper order. Mornings: eating fruits and fresh juices in any reasonable quantities. Lunch and dinner. Eating proteins and veggies or eating carbohydrates and veggies; not eating carbos, proteins and veggies all in the same meal. Check this out.

kerplunk
alpine, utah

It's not about eating in the right or wrong combinations...it's really just a simple math problem...calories in minus calories out.

Fitz
Murray, UT

Lancet, in 2006, reported that researchers from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine found that patients with a low BMI had a higher risk of death from heart disease than those with normal BMI. At the same time overweight patients had better survival rates and fewer heart problems than those with a normal BMI."

Maria Grazia Franzosi from the Instituto Mario Negri in Milan, writing in the same issue of the Lancet, noted "BMI can definitely be left aside as a clinical and epidemiological measure of cardiovascular risk.

BMI was developed by a mathematician somewhere between 1830 and 1850 (yes that is 1800s). The Mayo Clinic, and others, has said that BMI is not a valid indicator of heart disease. So is obesity really a problem? That is far from being definitively decided, but the media band wagon, along with activist politicians, seem to continue to trumpet a false indicator, which in turn encourages government to improperly intervene in our private lives. (San Francisco has banned happy meals, a LA school district banned chocolate milk, and Congress has required calories be posted on menus.) It is time for government to to let us live our own lives.

Penguin Inc.
Salt Lake City, Utah

It's a lifease.

Bountiful Boy
ALEXANDRIA, VA

I can't prove it, but my hunch is that people who eat enough fresh GREEN veggies every day are much less likely to be obese. For our systems to work right, we must (MUST!) eat fresh greens daily.

Ms Molli
Bountiful, Utah

I think it starts off as a lifestyle. Too many calories in and not enough energy output. Extremely unhealthy eating habits. At some point food becomes addictive and/or a source to numb whatever emotional pain someone is numbing (and oftentimes that emotional pain is due to being overweight). Maybe this is the disease part that some people are describing. Child endangerment or child neglect should include a parent feeding their child (or permitted their child to eat) too much food to the point where the child is obese.

belgie
Tualatin, OR

Just because BMI is an imperfect/incomplete measure doesn't mean that American's aren't fat. We are. Most people (not all) that have a BMI of over 25 really are overweight and are just fooling themselves by attacking the number.

But, regarding the article, I think it's pretty obvious that some people are naturally more prone to obesity than others. So, in the same sense that alcoholism is a disease, so is obesity. But, that doesn't remove personal responsibility. We all have our issues to overcome. Trying to blame genetics, society, the government, or McDonalds is a cop out.

Regina
PALMDALE, CA

According to the BMI, virtually all men playing basketball in the NBA are overweight and virtually all men playing football in the NFL are obese. But are YOU going to tell them that?

MAYHEM MIKE
Salt Lake City, UT

Obesity is a disease, alright, but a disease of the mind! To lose weight, one must be motivated because of fear of illness or a desire to look better, and must exercise, and must eat fewer calories than those expended. I know, because I hate exercise and love to eat, but still have managed to lose (so far) 50 lbs (10 more to go). I count calories, eat pretty much any kind of food within my calorie limit, and exercise aerobically for an hour every day. No fad (i.e., low-carb) diets. Simple.

bigj5661
Ogden, UT

The BMI is flawed, as Regina pointed out. I have been "obese" my whole life, yet, I was a college athlete and go to the gym daily. However, we as a nation are fat. Whether it is a genetic disease or a lifestyle is not the issue as far as I'm concerned. If it is a disease, you still shouldn't be pounding twinkies and donuts for snacks, or chocolate bars twice a day. Most obese people are that way because of their diet. If you are genetically inclined to be obese, you should eat healthier than someone who isn't, for the simple fact that you will live a longer, healthier life that way.

the truth
Holladay, UT

Obesity is NOT a disease except in rare cases,

When I was a child in elementary school, to see a fat kid was rare indeed,

nowdays you go any elemetary school you find many many chubby children,

the cause?

sedentary lifestyle, they are spending all their time in front of computers and game consoles,

and eating pre-prepared foods and having more access to soda pops and other junk food.

Heck, just being active and eating less pre-prepared foods and junk foods, smaller portions, I have lost over 20 pounds in just a couple of months.

It really mostly comes down to being active and to diet.

Only in rare circumstances do people have health-related caused obesity.

happymomto7
Saratoga Springs, UT

Forget the BMI, use percent body fat!
Our insurance reduces our premiums when our bady fat is within a healthy range. makes sense! so if you are over fat you should pay more in insurance. will solve the problem quickly!
i lost 30 pounds and it's worth $400 a month for our insurance!

Noah
So Ogden, Ut

How interesting to read these comments.... has anyone ever considered the consequences of what we are doing to our food chain???? I believe the government needs to stop regulating what we eat and focus on what they have the farmers grow, the chemicals used to grow the food and change the genetic matter of the fruits and vegetables produced that have been commonplace for several years! Not long ago I read an article about GM (genetically modified)seeds being sent to other countries. Supposedly it was to ward off insects/disease but the makeup of the seeds were altered and they would not reproduce so the buyers would have to purchase new seed every year! Then the European countries but a ban on buying our GM seeds!!! I believe we have too many chemicals in our foods, hormones in our meats, antibiotics in our dairy and meat, and who knows what else! Let's go back to true organic farming.... I believe this would solve a lot of our health problems and the obesity health concerns.

My2Cents
Kearns, UT

Obesity is not only a life style it is a result of adulteration of the foods with chemicals and drugs they are eating and the body has no defense for them.

The only reason it is classified as a disease by the medical profession is so they can charge the insurance companies a huge medical cost to profit from what others are causing. Everything has become a disease for this reason, medical exploitation of insurance companies. The medical services in the country are falsifying and creating issues that are not diseases but lifestyles or chemically caused poisoning of the humans.

Obesity is chemically induced and medically exploited as a disease. For decades the doctors and chemical companies have known how devastating chemicals have become to the health and lives of the American people and fight in court all efforts to have them exposed. The courts, FDA, and health organizations all receive reports of chemical poisoning of our lives but they don't have the power or funding to take on the chemical companies of 3M and Monsanto, the real offenders of poisoning the American population.

101Ways
Kearns, UT

The only disease about obesisty is doctors profiteering off of the adulteration of our food supply by chemical companies.

Obesity in the US is not a product of calories, or quantities, its about food adulteration, especially in the food for the masses, preservation, and genetic modification so that our body cannot cope with all the ever changing chemicals and adulterations. Meat is poisoned with growth hormones to speed up and enlarge animals like chickens, pork, and beef to the point that we too are getting enlarged by growth hormones and genetic modified meats.

Many countries, including Europe and 3rd world poor nations have banned food and grains from the US as unfit for human consumption. Yet here we are being force fed this concoction of chemicals and adulterated food genes and we wonder why water is making us fat. Doctors don't care, they are making money from abnormal obesity and confusing all americans with lies and deceptions so they can prescribe a pill, also made by 3M and Monsanto, to make you skinny(?).

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