Posted by rhondascooking on February 6, 2011
Even though the BMI (Body Mass Index) chart is starting to take center stage these days with the current American obesity epidemic, this chart is not new and has been around for centuries. In fact, the BMI was developed in the late 1800’s by a mathematician, Aldophe Quetelet; who originally named BMI the Quetelet index. Without giving a mathematics lesson, the BMI, simply stated is a function of weight and height. Many times in the past friends and family have said, you’re not overweight you look good; that BMI calculator is not for “us”. So for years, I ignored the BMI (Body Mass Index) until a couple of years ago when I started studying to become certified to Provide Dietary Guidance. The more I studied the chart, I learned that there were a few missing things not compensated in the BMI calculation, such as bone mass, sex, age, ethnicity or even body fatness, so I guess that’s why my family was against it. Instead BMI only includes weight (both fat and muscle) and height. However, despite what many people feel, studies have shown over the years that there is definitely a correlation between the BMI number and body fatness, which makes it important to consider. What do you think?
Throughout the years, there has been controversy by physicians and other health care providers who question whether or not this number is a good indicator. But even with this controversy, majority of the health care professionals, feel that this number is a good indicator when determining a person’s body weight status. The following indicates the body weight categories for a specific BMI.*
||Adults (BMI) kg/m2
||less than 18.5
||18.5 – 24.9
||25 – 29.9
||greater than 30
*BMI Chart (2010 US Dietary Guidelines)
The traditional way of calculating one’s BMI is to use the BMI chart. However, calculating one’s BMI has gotten easier. There are a number of calculators available on the internet through sites like the Center for Disease Control, as well as available on mobile applications such as the “BMI Calculator” app available for the iPhone.
So, don’t ignore BMI, use it as one more tool in your healthy living tool box! Determine what your BMI status is and make adjustments if needed. But remember, only you and your health care provider can determine what’s best for you!
To learn more about BMI and specific details about the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, download this full report.
Posted in Diet, Health | Tagged: BMI, BMI calculator, BMI Chart, body mass index, let's move, Michelle Obama, obesity, overweight | 1 Comment »
Posted by rhondascooking on January 22, 2011
First, I’ll start by saying that I am excited that Americans are finally taking an interest in becoming healthier by eating whole foods and increasing physical activity. Second, thanks to First Lady Michelle and the Let’s Move Initiative, for continuing to raise awareness about the obesity epidemic and working to help promote a movement of change in the public health policies. This week First Lady Michelle announced a new health program in conjunction with Walmart to offer more healthy food options in its stores. According to Just-Food.com, Walmart plans to reduce sodium by 25% in a broad range of grocery items, including grain products, luncheon meats, salad dressings and frozen entrees; lower added sugars by 10% in dairy items, sauces and fruit drinks; and remove all remaining industrially-produced trans fats (partially hydrogenated fats and oils) in all packaged food products. It was also reported that Walmart is committed to lowering the costs of fruits and vegetables through a variety of tweaks throughout its supply chain, which will reduce the overall product costs.
photo credit: just-food.com
How do I feel about this new initiative? In all honesty, I wish there were a ban on “meal in a box” food options that contained over 10 ingredients, preservatives, artificial flavorings and food engineered items that consumers cannot pronounce! Though I know that this may not hold up in court, overall, I think that Walmart’s new health initiative is a good first step–but not the final solution– for many people who plan their family meals based on these packaged meals (likely due to time and costs). The down side to this new program is that this “reformulation” will likely replace some ingredients with more that may not be healthy for the body! As for reducing the cost of fresh fruit and vegetables, I’m on the fence with this one because if the company lowers the price of fruit, then this will likely impact small farm suppliers. Instead, I think that the reverse should happen; I think that Walmart should raise the prices of the unhealthy foods or stop offering sales such as burritos 5 for $1 or R amen Noodles 10 for $1!
Many times in rural areas, there aren’t any options for grocery shopping besides Walmart, so I plan to keep watching this health initiative to see how things will progress and I encourage you to do the same!
For more information, visit the following sites:
Posted in Diet, Food | Tagged: First Lady Michelle, Health, health initiative, healthy, healthy eating, let's move, Michelle Obama, nutrition | Leave a Comment »