“BMI does not reflect the same adjustment of weight to height between the sexes or across age groups. This heterogeneity of BMI must be considered in public health research and surveillance.”

A series of cross-sectional surveys were carried in England between 1992 and 2011 to explore how Body Mass Index differs in women and older adults, read the full article in Journal of Public Health.

Image Credit: “Scale” by mojzagrebinfo. Public Domain via Pixabay.

First Long-Term Study Reveals Link Between Childhood ADHD and Obesity

A new study conducted by researchers at the Child Study Center at NYU Langone Medical Center found men diagnosed as children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were twice as likely to be obese in a 33-year follow-up study compared to men who were not diagnosed with the condition. The study appears in the May 20 online edition of Pediatrics.

“Few studies have focused on long-term outcomes for patients diagnosed with ADHD in childhood. In this study, we wanted to assess the health outcomes of children diagnosed with ADHD, focusing on obesity rates and Body Mass Index,” said lead author Francisco Xavier Castellanos, MD, Brooke and Daniel Neidich Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Child Study Center at NYU Langone. “Our results found that even when you control for other factors often associated with increased obesity rates such as socioeconomic status, men diagnosed with ADHD were at a significantly higher risk to suffer from high BMI and obesity as adults.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ADHD is one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders, often diagnosed in childhood and lasting into adulthood. People with ADHD typically have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors and tend to be overly active. ADHD has an estimated worldwide prevalence of five percent, with men more likely to be diagnosed than women.

The prospective study included 207 white men diagnosed with ADHD at an average age of 8 and a comparison group of 178 men not diagnosed with childhood ADHD, who were matched for race, age, residence and social class. The average age at follow up was 41 years old. The study was designed to compare Body Mass Index (BMI) and obesity rates in grown men with and without childhood ADHD.

Results showed that, on average, men with childhood ADHD had significantly higher BMI (30.1 vs. 27.6) and obesity rates (41.1 percent vs. 21.6 percent) than men without childhood ADHD.

“The results of the study are concerning but not surprising to those who treat patients with ADHD. Lack of impulse control and poor planning skills are symptoms often associated with the condition and can lead to poor food choices and irregular eating habits,” noted Dr. Castellanos. “This study emphasizes that children diagnosed with ADHD need to be monitored for long-term risk of obesity and taught healthy eating habits as they become teenagers and adults.”

Does being smarter and richer make you fitter? BMI by Race, Gender, & Socioecominic Status

According to this study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2009 which surveyed White, Black, Asian, and Hispanic males and females, yes. Here are the main points I gathered:

* Across all races, smarter people are fitter people. (BMI decreases with higher education)

* Across all races, richer people are fitter people. (BMI decreases with higher income)

* On average, Asians have the lowest BMI whereas Blacks have the highest.

* Rich or poor, smart or not, men look the same (male BMIs have little variation) while richer and smarter women are fitter (female BMIs decrease with higher education and salary).

Keep in mind that BMI or Body Mass Index which is weight scaled according to height is not body fat percentage which is how much fat you are made up of.

“Body fat percentage is a much more accurate measurement in determining if you are healthy. BMI doesn’t take into consideration how much of your weight is muscle and bone and how much of it is fat. So that means a person can have a healthy BMI, but still carry weight in their belly, which can increase their risk for heart disease.” - FitSugar

Healthy BMI for women is between 18.5 and 24.9. Healthy body fat percent for women is 21-24% and for female athletes 14-20%.

So what do you see here? Do you think that people with a higher education and more money are also fitter because they have the luxury of affording gym passes? Or do you think being fitter makes you more attractive, which therefore increases your chances of being well-off? Tell me what YOU gather from this study…should make for an interesting discussion.

NOTE: This survey was conducted to represent the make up of what the population of California looks like. So the randomly selected 37,150 subjects were 56% White, 6% Black, 13% Asian, and 25% Hispanic. 

Setting a Healthy Target Weight
How do you determine a healthy weight goal?  Some people rely on their memory of how they felt at a specific weight,  whereas others simply want to fit into a particular size of clothing or belt.  In addition to knowing what weight you feel best at, there are tools to help you set weight goals that are correlated with improved health.

Body mass index or BMI is your weight in kilograms divided by the square of your height in meters (kg/m2).  For example, a person 5’4” tall and weighs 140 lbs has a BMI of 24.0 kg/m2.  Is that okay?  For the general population, a BMI of 18.5 – 24.9 is correlated with lowest health risk.  Overweight is defined as 25.0 – 29.9, obese is ≥ 30.0, and underweight is < 18.5.  A BMI outside the lowest risk range typically means higher health risk.  For an online reverse BMI calculator, check out Southern Illinois University’s School of Medicine’s website.  You can enter your height and desired BMI to get a target weight.

BMI & White Adults
On December 2, 2010, the New England Journal of Medicine published an important study on all-cause death and BMI.  The authors reviewed data from 19 studies and found that in a population of just fewer than 1.5 million white adults, including smokers, the lowest-risk BMI range is 22.5 – 24.9.  However, for adults who do NOT smoke, the healthiest BMI range expanded to 20.0 – 24.9.  [So smokers take note – being super skinny puts you at higher risk.]

BMI & Other Groups
There is discussion that BMI risk categories need to be adjusted for specific populations.  In the future, look for more information on BMI norms for African Americans (healthy BMI range might be shifted higher) and Asian Americans and older adults (healthy range might be shifted lower).  Also keep in mind that athletes with low body fat but high muscle mass will often fall above the healthy BMI range despite not being at higher risk.

Lose 10% of Your Body Weight
If you are overweight and find that reaching a BMI of 24.9 seems too daunting a goal, consider a stepwise approach to losing weight.  The American Dietetic Association recommends a realistic, achievable, and sustainable weight loss of 10% within six months, with an average weight loss of 1-2 lbs/week.  This recommendation is part of the Evidence Analysis Library on Adult Weight Loss.  Losing 10% of your initial body weight is enough to help you improve your risk for chronic disease, as well as manage existing chronic disease (e.g. high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes).  To calculate your target weight, multiply your current weight by 0.90.  Example:  210 lb initial body weight x 0.90 = 189 lb target weight.  To lose an average of 1 lb (0.45 kg)/week, one would have to eat less than their total energy expenditure by about 500 calories per day.  One pound of body weight is about 3500 calories.  Could you do the math if you wanted to lose 0.75 lbs/week or 1.25 lbs/week?

You can use an online tracker such as MyNetDiary to discover what your personalized caloric deficit needs to be to meet your target weight by your target date.  A calories deficit can be achieved by eating fewer calories, burning more calories from exercise, or a combination of both.  MyNetDiary will also auto adjust your caloric goals based upon your current body weight, target weight, target date, food intake, and calories burned.  So, put your calculator down and just remember to log daily.

Have questions about this topic?  Let’s hear from you!  Post your questions on MyNetDiary’s Community Forum.

Kathy Isacks, MPS, RD
Consulting Dietitian for MyNetDiary

More Resources
American Dietetic Association. Evidence Analysis Library.

de Gonzalez et al. “Body-Mass Index and Mortality among 1.46 Million White Adults.” N Engl J Med 363:123;2211-2219.

National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute.  “Calculate your Body Mass Index.”  

U. S. Department of Health & Human Services.  NIH News 12/1/10:  “NIH study identifies ideal body mass index.”

Disclaimer: Please note that we cannot provide personalized advice and that the information provided does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit a medical professional.

Okay, so today I had a BMI-measurment. This is basically a way for people loosing weight to get a more calculated look on what you’re actually loosing. It’s also a way of measuring fat,muscles,water in your body and ect ect. Unfortunately it’s all in Swedish *facepalm* but it’s still quite interesting to see.

So sadly I wasn’t able to scan my first BMI in so this is my second one. It’s really good because I’ve lost 2kg since the last time, well results if you’re looking.

I will be posting more of these in the future (: 

Find Your Fit at Piedmont Healthcare’s Move ‘n Groove
Free health screenings and education available to participants.

ATLANTA, Ga. (February 1, 2011)—According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, regular physical activity can lower your risk of coronary heart disease and decrease blood pressure. Piedmont Healthcare presents Move ‘n Groove, an interactive event for the whole family designed to help individuals add physical activity to their daily lives and achieve good heart health. The day includes physical activities, education, free health screenings, discussions with physicians, dance instruction and demonstration, door prizes and more. The event takes place Saturday, February 18, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at North Atlanta High School located at 2875 Northside Drive, N.W., in Atlanta, Ga.

“Staying physically active not only helps you maintain proper body weight, but it keeps the mind and body healthy,” said Randy Martin, M.D., a cardiologist with Piedmont Heart Institute and emcee of the event. “More importantly, daily activities such as walking, running, dancing and even gardening are essential to preventing heart disease and strokes.”

Participants will enjoy special performances and learn how to increase their heart rate with line dance, cha cha, swing, belly dancing and Zumba. Move ‘n Groove also will offer mini sports camps and Tai Chi, as well as free health screenings and education, including blood pressure checks, cholesterol and glucose screenings, sleep health assessments, flu shots and much more (see full listing below). And, Piedmont physicians will be on hand to answer a variety of health questions.

Also available are free COPD education and screenings, featuring lung health testing and the COPD Foundation’s COPD Shuttle: Journey to the Center of the Lung. The shuttle is a 20-seat, mobile motion simulator that immerses riders on a journey through the lungs to see the harmful effects of smoking. High-definition imagery, surround-sound audio and computer-driven motion control make the shuttle a fun and memorable experience. During the multimedia ride, viewers traverse the globe in rapid sequence, learning of the toxic smoke, dust particles and chemical fumes that enter the lungs and cause progressive and often debilitating deterioration of lung function.

Participating vendors include AHA (with Wii Sports), Arthur Murray, Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Falcons, Awalim Belly Dance, Junior League (presenting Kids in the Kitchen), Piedmont Hospital Health & Fitness Club, Queen of Hearts and Soweta Jive.

Admission is free. However, registration is suggested. To register or for more information, visit All screenings are available on a first-come, first-served basis.


“Ask the Pro” – physicians and other experts in the field of health and nutrition

Blood pressure checks

Body Mass Index (BMI) and Waist to Hip Ratio (or waist circumference)

COPD Shuttle – a 20-seat, state-of-the-art mobile motion simulator which is designed to make viewers feel as if they are inside the human body, offering a rare glimpse into the lungs, heightening their understanding of COPD, and providing a catalyst for thousands to seek assessment and treatment.

Diabetes education

Glucose screening (blood sugar for diabetes)

HeartAware – a seven-minute survey to assess your risk for heart disease

Lipid profile (total cholesterol, HDL and triglycerides)

Nutrition education

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) – prescreening required at or the event before an appointment can be made

Pulmonary function testing

Sixty Plus Senior Services and Senior Wellness

Sleep assessments

Smoking cessation

Stroke risk assessment


About Piedmont Healthcare

Piedmont Healthcare (PHC), a not-for-profit organization, is the parent company of Piedmont Hospital, a 529-bed acute tertiary care facility in the north Atlanta community of Buckhead and the top acute-care community hospital in metro  Atlanta in the 2011-12 U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hospitals list; Piedmont Fayette Hospital, a 157-bed, acute-care community hospital in Fayetteville; Piedmont Mountainside Hospital, a 42-bed community hospital in Jasper; Piedmont Newnan Hospital, a 143-bed, acute-care community hospital in Newnan; and Piedmont Henry Hospital, a 215-bed acute-care community hospital in Stockbridge. PHC also is the parent company of  Piedmont Heart Institute (PHI), comprised of nearly 100 affiliated cardiovascular specialists in Piedmont Heart Institute Physicians with over 25 locations across north Georgia; the Piedmont Physicians Group, a multi-specialty group with more than 150 primary care physicians in over 50 offices, in addition to more than 20 specialists in over 15 locations across greater Atlanta; Piedmont Clinic, an 800-member physician network; and Piedmont Healthcare Foundation, the philanthropic entity for private fundraising initiatives.  Three Piedmont Healthcare hospitals—Piedmont Hospital, Piedmont Fayette Hospital and Piedmont Mountainside Hospital—have received top ratings from patients among metro Atlanta hospitals according to the HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey results for the past three years.  For more information about Piedmont Healthcare, visit

CONTACT: Diana Lewis, 404-605-3372
Do You Believe in Fairies, Unicorns, or the BMI?

In which a mathematician lays out why the BMI is bullshit, using both super mathy/sciencey language but also layperson’s terms.

A quote for the tl;dr crowd:

The BMI was formulated, by a mathematician, not a medical physician, to provide a simple, easy-to-apply mathematical formula to give a broad, society-level measure of weight issues. It has absolutely no scientific or medical basis. It is based purely on a crude statistical analysis. It measures a general society trend, it does not predict. Since the majority of people today (and in Quetelet’s time) lead fairly sedentary lives, and are not particularly active, the formula tacitly assumes low muscle mass and high relative fat content. It applies moderately well when applied to such people because it was formulated by focusing on them! Duh!

But this is not science - it’s not even good statistics - and as a result it should not be accepted medical practice, to be regularly flouted as some magical mumbo jumbo and used as a basis for giving advice to patients. (For heavens sake, even seven times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong’s own Livestrong website provides a BMI calculator, despite the fact that the boss himself, when he first became a world champion cyclist - before chemotherapy for cancer took 20lbs off him - found himself classified as “overweight” by the wretched formula.)