A new study out of the CDC finds that 82.5% of firefighters in the U.S. are overweight or obese, a figure alarmingly higher than the rest of the general population, which hovers around 67%. The study found that, of 1,002 firefighters who participated, 854 had a BMI over 25%. A BMI under 25% is considered to be “normal.”
The main purpose of the Centers for Disease Control’s study was to determine whether firefighters were receiving recommendations from their health care providers regarding their weight and whether they needed to gain weight, lose weight, or simply maintain their current weight. The study found that 69% of them, despite having visited their physician in the last 12 months, received no recommendations or advice.
This is especially problematic, considering that data from earlier this year by Johns Hopkins University found that cardiovascular problems are the leading cause of death (45%) for active duty firefighters. They attribute that staggering statistic to the high stress factor of the job and poor lifestyle habits surrounding it.
What can be done to reduce obesity in our first responders? (more…)
Honesty is always the best policy, but when it comes to our weight, many of us may fudge the facts a bit. A new survey indicates that less than 40 percent of Americans report being overweight, though research shows the actual statistic is much higher.
We first heard of this news from our friends at Shape Magazine, and then checked out the survey results ourselves. Not only do just 36 percent of Americans see themselves as overweight, of those people, less than 20 percent are actively trying to lose weight.
Should body weight be considered a protected class under Civil Rights laws? According to 3 out of 4 people asked in a new study, the answer is yes.
New research from the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity shows most Americans support policies addressing weight discrimination. In fact, at least 60 percent of Americans are supportive of policy efforts to address weight discrimination across the country.
According to Rebecca Puhl, PhD, study author and deputy director of the Rudd Center, “More than two-thirds of adults in the United States are affected by overweight or obesity, meaning they are also vulnerable to the stigma and discrimination that these proposed policies and laws would help prevent.”
In her new book, Yoga XXL: A Journey to Health for Bigger People, author Ingrid Kollak asserts “Yoga is for everybody.” In this thoughtful illustrated guide for beginners and beyond, Ingrid, a registered nurse and yoga teacher, focuses on the benefits of yoga for the mind and body, regardless of the body’s size.
At the DietsInReview compound, we’re routinely bombarded with books and DVDs about weight loss and exercise. Many titles in our library contain the same healthy buzz words over and over including, “Diet this” and “Walk off that,” so we were intrigued when “Yoga XXL” arrived in the mail.
The in-your-face title not only got our attention, it left us a bit stunned. Was it politically correct? Was it unkind? After interviewing the German-born author, I’m convinced that regardless of the title, her motivation was completely sincere.
Before she became a teacher, Ingrid remembers attending yoga classes where students with larger bodies were treated with either indifference or outright cruelty. “In classes I saw yoga teachers who plagued their students physically and mentally,” she recalls. “Many yoga teachers had an outdated view that all yoga students should look a certain way: lean and limber. I noticed that these teachers did not encourage or help students who did not fit that strict model.”
The validity of the BMI measurement tool has long been a point of contention among health professionals and consumers alike. A new report will not only cast further doubt, but actually go one step further: overweight people may live longer than their “normal” weight counterparts.
According to the report involving nearly three million people from nearly 100 studies, those who were overweight had a lower risk of death than people who were normal weight, defined as a BMI range of 18.5 – 25.
“Fat per se is not as bad as we thought,” said Dr. Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh, professor of medicine and public health at the University of California, Irvine, in a story at New York Times.
While that may sound controversial, the fact of the matter is that health is often so much more complex than we’d like. Weight is but one factor in our health. You may be heavy with normal blood pressure, or thin with dangerously high cholesterol or blood sugar levels. (more…)
A nationwide survey reveals the truth about women’s self-esteem in relation to their body size.
Heavier set African American women are found to be happier with their bodies than thinner and average sized Caucasian women. The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted the survey. They interviewed 800 women from all across the country in order to get a well rounded survey group. The results showed that 66% of overweight or even obese black women had high self-esteem. In contrast, only 41% of thin or skinny white women were found to have high self esteem.
Some of the other details of the survey included the fact that 90% of African American women think living a healthy lifestyle is more important than religion, career, or marriage. However, two-thirds of these same women reported eating fast food at least once a week and only half reported eating dinner at home on a regular basis.
It’s certainly not fair, but growing evidence is backing the notion that women who weigh more earn less at work, while men in the same situation may even earn more.
The study was conducted in Iceland because the country is known for it. Iceland has the best gender equality among 134 countries, as determined by a world economic forum. It found there was a correlation between weight and the employment rate of women, with heavier weight being a slightly negative indicator. With men, there was a slightly positive correlation in employment and excess weight.
A 2020 study on the same subject in the U.S. showed similar results – the U.S. is ranked 31st in gender equality in the workplace. Overweight women “seem to be paid less,” says the study’s author professor Edward Norton of the University of Michigan.
The same held true in the U.S. study for men.
“The general finding is that there is not much effect for men,” said Norton. “If anything, larger men were paid more.”
“There is something in western society that seems to penalize women for being overweight,” he said. (more…)
Domonique Ramirez, the 17-year-old beauty queen Domonique Ramirez from Bexar County, Texas, is suing Miss Bexar County pageant officials for revoking her crown for gaining too much weight.
The organization claims that it wasn’t her weight that cost her the crown, but Ramirez “didn’t take her responsibilities seriously,” and would arrive to events late, “with no makeup, a dirty sash and a broken crown.”
Ramirez claims this isn’t true, and pageant officials stripped her of her crown for gaining weight. The pageant board’s spokeswoman, Linda Woods, admitted to telling Ramirez to “get off the tacos, get off the chips and the soda,” but Ramirez claims that Woods told her she was “just way too big,” and that “this is not going to work” during a photo shoot.
We all know how startling the latest obesity trend numbers are. It’s estimated that 38 states in the United States have an obesity rate of 25 percent in its population. It turns out, this increase in obesity is having a negative impact on societal norms. In fact, being overweight may be the new norm for women!
According to new research from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston, more overweight women inaccurately perceive their body weight — but instead of these girls thinking of themselves as being heavier than they actually are (what you normally think of women doing), they are actually doing the opposite and categorizing themselves as at a “normal” or “healthy” weight, when in fact, they are not. The research will be published in the December issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and scientists say that this self-perception switch may make many women vulnerable to cardiovascular and other obesity-related diseases.
Trying to conceive? New research shows that couples using reproductive technology may have more difficulty in achieving a pregnancy if the father is overweight.
After allowing for several factors, such as the mother’s body mass index, every 5-unit increase in the father’s BMI was associated with a 28 percent decrease in successful pregnancy. This information was released in a study done by Dr. Zaher Merhi of Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. The study saw no difference in either sperm concentration or quality, and 3 day embryo quality was identical. There are plans to investigate the quality of 5 day embryos with further research. (more…)
This September, we’ve seen a lot of initiatives to improve school lunches as back-to-school coincides with National Childhood Obesity Awareness month. Jillian Michaels urged Congress to pass a bill to improve school lunches, The Great American Salad Bar Project was launched by Ann Cooper and Michelle Obama continues to promote her Let’s Move! campaign.
While all these initiatives are exciting, they are also a reminder of how far America has to go before it can consider its population healthy and fit. As the chart by Paul Kendrosky below illustrates, the U.S. is the most overweight nation in the world. Just under 70 percent of our population is overweight. We’re followed by England and Spain. If this trend prediction is correct, 75 percent of Americans will be overweight within ten years.