The News For Obesity Gets Even Worse

The gold standard for classifying people as obese was using their BMIs or Body Mass Index.  Unfortunately, it seems that BMIs severely underestimate how fat we really are.   That’s bad.  When women in a recent study had a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan, which measures body fat, muscle mass and bone density, almost half of women (48 percent) were misclassified as not obese by BMI, but were found to be obese by percent body fat on DEXA.   Amazingly enough, 25 percent of men were misclassified as being obese by BMI, but were in fact not obese by percent body fat.  This study ,and article which talks about it, really point out how things are changing.   It even looks like Leptin levels will be a new marker of health.   All this shows that as we continually learn more, through better testing and technology, that we have to be able to open our minds to new paradigm shifts.  We also should NEVER use these numbers (BMIs, cholesterol, Leptin, body weight, etc.) as quality indicators because they do, in fact, change.  Makes sense?

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  2 comments for “The News For Obesity Gets Even Worse

  1. t mcglone
    April 4, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    A few years ago I hosted State Department visitors from Chad and Burkina Faso (don’t look it up they are both sub sahara Africa) they took their anti malarial meds everyday in my Rural Illinois home (zip 61081 if you doubt rural). They envied Americans who look so prosperous and healthy admiring my BMI of 25 and my wife of BMI 22. They were both @ 18 and they were the aristocracy of their country.
    NBC news last night showed a NORMAL woman with 1 chin and no evidence of obesity who had been classified obese by the DEXA scan.
    Let no insurance company pay for this idiotic test.

    Look at the patient. If they smoke tell them to QUIT. IF THEY WEIGH more than they should tell them so.
    If they weigh enough to only be able to shop at WAL MART tell them they will die in 5 years if they don’t lose weight.
    Hard Data shows that a Diabetic Foot Ulcer has a <50% five year survival.
    Breast cancer and prostate cancer have "walks" and lobbies in congress and pink and blue ribbons.
    Myocardial Infarction, Pancreatic Cancer and Lung cancer are the only common diseases with a worse long term survival than an ulcer on you bunion in a diabetic.

    Maybe it is just culling of the herd. But if that is the case, quit wasting money from the federal coffers on the non compliant.

  2. Fonda Thompson, RN
    April 4, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Do we really need another costly “test” to tell us what our eyes can see?

Comments are closed.