IS FAT THAT BAD?
by Michael Tereo, D.C.
http://shapeup.org is the web site for the former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop’s study on body fat and
health. His program is called Shape Up America. He feels that many Americans are being bamboozled by
weight charts and bathroom scales. For years, doctors have used the Metropolitan Life insurance company’s
height-weight tables as a way to determine over all health but the Koop feels that these tables should be thrown out
with the window! His research group has developed what is called the Body Mass Index or BMI for short which he
feels is a more accurate assessment in predicting illness in an individual. The Body Mass Index is a ratio between weight and height. It is a mathematical formula that correlates with body fat. According to Dr. Koop, if your BMI is high, you may have an increased risk of developing certain diseases, including:
• Cardiovascular Disease
• Adult-Onset Diabetes (Type II)
• Sleep Apnea
• Female Infertility
• Other conditions, including:
⇒ idiopathic intercranial hypertension
⇒ lower extremity venous stasis disease
⇒ gastroesophageal reflux
⇒ urinary stress incontinence
⇒ lower back pain
Now that one sees the importance of lowering a high BMI; how does one obtain their’s? There are three ways; # 1. If you have a computer, log onto the internet and go to the Koop’s web site at http://shape.org; # 2. If
you do not have a computer, you can calculate your own by:
An example: for a person who is 5’5″ tall weighing 149 pounds.
∗ step 1) Multiply weight (in pounds) by 703
149 X 703 = 104747
∗ step 2) Multiply height (in inches) by height (in inches)
65 X 65 = 4225
∗ step 3) Divide the answer in step 1 by the answer in
step 2 to get your BMI 1 0 4 7 4 7
divided by 4225 = 24.8 (rounded off) BMI = 25
Or, # 3. If you don’t have a computer or calculator, you can Google BMI.
What is a good BMI? Well Koop places anyone with a BMI of < 25 in a minimal category for obesity related disease; 25 to 27 is concidered a low category; 27 to 30 moderate; 30 to 35 at a high risk; 35 to 40 very high
risk; and + 40 extremely high. The only exceptions to using the BMI as the basis for determining relative disease risk are for competitive athletes and body builders, whose BMI is high due to a relatively larger amount of muscle, and women who are lactating or pregnant. BMI measurement is not intended for growing children or in frail and sedentary elderly adults.
If your BMI is high, weight reduction is an important way to improve your overall health. Even a slight decrease in body weight can help off-set the chance for illness. There are no short cuts, magic pills or potions for weight loss. Consistently consuming more calories than you can burn will cause weight gain and burning more calories than you consume will cause weight reduction. A simple formula.
If you have any questions about this article or any
other health issue, please feel free to contact Dr. Tereo at
6287 Jarvis Avenue, Newark, CA 94560, by phone at
510-795-2700, by FAX at 795-2845 or by e-mail at