Researchers suggest whole-person perspective is needed to assess obesity

May 31, 2016, American Osteopathic Association

Authors from the Cleveland Clinic's Bariatric and Metabolic Institute recommend physicians use obesity staging models to recognize and manage weight-related health issues that may not be captured by traditional diagnosis criteria. The review article was published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

The authors urge physicians to take a broader view of what constitutes , which is traditionally defined as a (BMI) of 30 or greater.

"BMI doesn't differentiate between lean muscle mass and fat mass, which can skew perceptions of weight in different patients," said lead author Derrick Cetin, DO. "For example, a younger athlete may have high muscle mass and lower body fat at a BMI of 27, while an older person with a BMI of 25 may have lost muscle due to aging and have higher body fat."

Ethnic differences were also noted, including studies that found Asians had more than the double the risk of Type 2 diabetes than Caucasians with the same BMI and were at risk when BMI measured 22 to 25. The findings increase the potential usefulness of measurements to identify metabolically obese and overweight patients whose BMI is normal.

"Waist circumference is a surrogate marker for intra-abdominal fat and can indicate , which affects about one of three adults in the United States. But you can't properly diagnose metabolic syndrome without considering the ethnicity of the patient. Even with a condition as seemingly straightforward as obesity, physicians need to take a whole-person approach to understand the patient," said Dr.Cetin, DO.

The staged approach to obesity treatment allows for intensive lifestyle modification and weight management at Obesity Stage 0, when patients are metabolically normal, to prevent disease progression which can lead to increased risk for negative physical and psychological health effects as well as limitation in daily activities.

A five percent to 10 percent weight loss through diet and increased physical activities is shown to result in a 30 percent greater loss of fat around internal organs, which substantially reduces the risk of adverse consequences, researchers noted.

Explore further: Call them spare tires or love handles—belly fat is bad

More information: Derrick Cetin et al, Comprehensive Evaluation for Obesity: Beyond Body Mass Index, The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (2016). DOI: 10.7556/jaoa.2016.078

Related Stories

Call them spare tires or love handles—belly fat is bad

April 1, 2016
Researchers believe that the obesity wave, combined with an ageing population, will lead to a significant increase in heart failure in the future. A review of all available research in this area shows a clear correlation ...

Standard BMI inadequate for tracking obesity during leukemia therapy

January 28, 2016
An interdisciplinary research team at The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles has found that body mass index (BMI) is an inadequate method for estimating changes in body fat and obesity in children ...

Higher survival rate for overweight colorectal cancer patients than normal-weight patients

May 19, 2016
Overweight colorectal cancer patients were 55 percent less likely to die from their cancer than normal-weight patients who have the disease, according to a new Kaiser Permanente study published today in JAMA Oncology.

Higher muscle mass associated with lower mortality risk in people with heart disease

April 19, 2016
Researchers from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA found that cardiovascular disease patients who have high muscle mass and low fat mass have a lower mortality risk than those with other body compositions. The findings ...

Building muscle could boost the body's most important muscle

April 28, 2016
(HealthDay)—Having more muscle and less fat reduces the risk of early death in people with heart disease, a new study suggests.

Large waistlines can double the risk of death in kidney disease patients

July 12, 2011
For kidney disease patients, a large belt size can double the risk of dying.

Recommended for you

PFASs, chemicals commonly found in environment, may interfere with body weight regulation

February 13, 2018
A class of chemicals used in many industrial and consumer products was linked with greater weight gain after dieting, particularly among women, according to a study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The chemicals—perfluoroalkyl ...

Study shows benefits of exercise can outweigh health effects of severe obesity

February 12, 2018
Can you be fit and healthy even if you're overweight? That's the question researchers at York University's Faculty of Health set out to answer in a new study that shows physical activity may be equally and perhaps even more ...

Obesity drives US health care costs up by 29 percent, varies by state

February 7, 2018
The prevalence of obesity has risen dramatically in the U.S., but there has been little information about the economic impact of this trend for individual states.

Why diets backfire: A year or more after weight loss, the desire to eat grows stronger

February 2, 2018
Losing weight is, for most people, the easy part. The bigger challenge is trying to keep it off for more than a year.

Scientists identify weight loss ripple effect

February 1, 2018
People who make an effort to lose weight aren't just helping themselves, they may be helping others too.

To improve self-control, call weight loss what it is: Difficult

January 29, 2018
To reach your New Year's fitness goals, a bit of reverse psychology might be in order. Telling people that weight loss is extremely challenging—rather than imparting a "You can do it!" mantra—motivated them to shed more ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.