Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Try out this calculator: www-ce.ccny.cuny.edu/nir/sw/a
New Study Supports Body Shape Index as Predictor of Mortality
In 2012, Dr. Nir Krakauer, an assistant professor of civil engineering in CCNY’s Grove School of Engineering, and his father, Dr. Jesse Krakauer, MD, developed a new method to quantify the risk specifically associated with abdominal obesity.
A follow-up study, published February 20 by the online journal PLoS ONE, supports their contention that the technique, known as A Body Shape Index (ABSI), is a more effective predictor of mortality than Body Mass Index (BMI), the most common measure used to define obesity.
The team analyzed data for 7,011 adults, 18+, who participated in the first Health and Lifestyle Survey (HALS1), conducted in Great Britain in the mid 1980s, and a follow-up survey seven years later (HALS2). The sample was broadly representative of the British population in terms of region, employment status, national origin, and age. They used National Health Service records through 2009 to identify deaths and cancer cases: 2,203 deaths were recorded among the sample population.
Then, they compared all-cause mortality from the HALS sample with ABSI and other variables, including BMI, waist circumference, waist – hip ratio and waist – height ratio.
The analysis found ABSI to be a strong indicator of mortality hazard among the HALS population. Death rates increased by a factor of 1.13 (95% confidence interval, 1.09–1.16) for each standard deviation increase in ABSI. Persons with ABSI in the top 20 percent were found to have death rates 61 percent than those with ABSI in the bottom 20 percent.
The results tracked closely with the earlier study, which used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), conducted in the United States between 1999 and 2004. This provides stronger evidence that ABSI is a valid indicator of the risk of premature death across different populations. Further, they showed that ABSI outperformed commonly used measures of abdominal obesity, including waist circumference, waist – hip ratio and waist – height ratio.
Also, because the data came from two surveys seven years apart, the researchers were able to assess the effect of change in ABSI on mortality. The found an increase in ABSI correlated with increased risk of death, and that the more recent ABSI measurement was a more reliable predictor. Noting this, the researchers contend that further investigation is warranted into whether lifestyle or other interventions could reduce ABSI and help people live longer.
Persons curious about their ABSI and how it compares with the general population can try the online calculator at http://www-ce.ccny.cuny.edu/nir/sw/absi-ca
About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture; the School of Education; the Grove School of Engineering; the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, and the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. U.S. News, Princeton Review and Forbes all rank City College among the best colleges and universities in the United States.
Wednesday, February 05, 2014
I haven't been on in awhile. So two blogs in one day to make up!
The other was focused on the Biggest Loser. Holy crap! Read that if you want.
This one is about other stuff. I have slowly been losing the weight. My fat pants are still my pants. My skinny clothes are taunting me in my closet. I WILL get my a$$ back in those pants!
I know I fail on food most of all -- so in order to get my head right, I am doing less working out (also super busy!) and more focusing on what I put into my body. I know no matter how much I work out, it won't help me if I eat five candy bars a week… which I was doing.
Food is my weakness, so food is my focus. Until I can get that in check, I'm not stressing about not getting in my cardio. Not that I'm not moving. I've been walking more, and working more. Both schools are back in session. Now on Mondays and Wednesdays I work from 8am to 10pm. It sucks! I teach two lectures in the morning, lunch, then teach a biology lab, then go to the other school and teach a chemistry lab. I'm standing more. I'm walking more. I burned over 3000 calories just teaching and walking on those 14 hour days. That's nuts! The other days I'm working on trying to catch up on grading and assignments and papers and blackboard and homework and prepping. I really did take on A LOT this semester. Three classes and four labs is a lot. Hopefully it will equal a good paycheck, but again, I won't know until the end of February how much I'm being paid.
Lindenwood has been good. I need to get my job application in. They've had me start picking out all of my supplies ;-) So either I'm going to have an awesome lab set up, or the newbie is. The faculty keep talking like I've got the job, but I don't want to sound too confident.
So that's it - I did my quick update. Now back to creating Blackboard quizzes!
Wednesday, February 05, 2014
SPOILERS – My thoughts on the BL Finale
I love the Biggest Loser. It was a great motivating tool for me. Season 11 made me get my butt off the couch. Season 12 kept me moving. Season 14 was an inspiration... Season 15 was kind of annoying.
Now for the spoilers:
I was pulling for Rachel. She did so well throughout the season and basically hit her goal weight by the last week of the show. She looked strong, she looked confident, she looked fantastic at 160.
Now we know it’s a competition. Putting women vs men in any competition makes it hard. Instead of making it about % body fat or some other thing, and allowing for the fact that women need to have a higher % fat to be healthy... it is about a scale. Having a woman who started at 260 compete against two men who were close to 400# is not really fair, but as you’ve seen in the past, women are dedicated and can win.
When Bobby came out, he looked super skinny and you could see the skin hanging off of his frame. He radiated confidence and happiness. I thought for sure he would win. Then they brought out the other guy. Again! Shocking, skinny, confident! And I thought – okay this could be close. Then they brought out Rachel. Holy S**t. I couldn’t believe that the skeleton walking out was the same vibrant healthy woman. Her arms and legs looked like toothpicks. Her skin was stretched over her skull. The trainers even looked horrified. The poor girl is getting a ton of backlash, and I feel bad for her, but she went beyond the scope of the competition. She had the highest percentage of weightloss ever seen on the biggest loser at almost 60%.
I knew it was going to be low. I thought – dang, maybe she pushed herself to 120ish to make sure she would win... But when the scale flashed an “87” for a second, I knew it was worse than I thought. When “105” popped up, you could hear everyone gasping. For a 5’4” (or 5’5” depending on the website) woman, that put her at a BMI of a little below 18. 18.5 BMI is the minimum for healthy. The healthy weight range is 117-146. She was 12# below that.
I don’t even have words. Some people are saying “well she can buy a lot of food with $250k!” But what about the lasting health damage to her body and mind? For a second I thought she looked as bad as Matthew McCouneghey in Dallas Buyers Club and he was mimicking someone DYING from a terrible disease. Other people have commented “well real women have curves!” This also pisses me off. We shouldn’t be bashing any women. Ever. We don’t know the circumstances behind every person. They could have a major illness, they could be depressed, they could have anorexia. All of those conditions aren’t going to be cured by an a$$hat on the internet telling Rachel to “go eat a bagel.” Seriously, #RachelEatABagel was a trending hashtag last night on Twitter.
All of it disgusts me, and Biggest Loser needs to address the issues of this season before allowing future contestants to go through what Rachel did in order to win.
Also – Tumi! She was super skinny. When they said Tumi who started at 340 lost 175# I was aghast! She also looked like she was frail and about to break. Her weight was actually in the borderline healthy range for her height, but again, she looked like she went through hell. The other woman who almost won the at home prize looked like a healthy, strong woman. And she lost to a woman who honestly looked like she had gone through an illness. I just pray that these contestants continue to get some professional help to make sure they haven’t turned an overeating disorder into another type of eating disorder.
So what are your thoughts on this?
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