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Life Extension Magazine

Life Extension Magazine July 2012
Report

Life Extension® Funded Study Shows Obesity Epidemic Much Worse Than What Doctors Claim!

A study funded by the Life Extension Foundation® received near universal media acclaim beginning in April 2012.

What transformed this scientific study into headline news were results from a multi-year review of 9,088 patients showing the obesity epidemic in the United States has been grossly underestimated. The findings revealed that as many as 39% of Americans who were previously classified as being “healthy” were in reality obese—placing them at significantly higher risk of premature death.

This is not the first time Life Extension® has shown the medical establishment to be dead wrong. Back in 1983 we urged all Americans to keep their fasting glucose under 100 mg/dL. Conventional guidelines at the time identified the diabetic threshold for fasting glucose as 140 mg/dL. The number of lives lost to diabetic complications because of mainstream medicine’s ignorance on this one issue is incalculable

The establishment typically ignores Life Extension’s research, but when a peer-reviewed scientific journal reports breakthrough findings on the popular topic of obesity, the worldwide media pays attention. As you can see beginning on this page, the most respected news sources reported on a startling number of obese Americans our study uncovered. We will feature in-depth articles about this study later this year in Life Extension Magazine®.

The most exciting news today (that also received some media coverage) is a placebo-controlled human study showing that green coffee bean extract produced weight loss in 100% of overweight participants, who lost an average of 17.6 pounds.* You can read the details of this landmark finding beginning on page 28 of this month’s issue.

* Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2012;5:21-7.

Los Angeles Times

April 2, 2012

RELIANCE ON BMI UNDERSTATES THE TRUE OBESITY CRISIS, EXPERTS SAY

As if the nation’s weight problems were not daunting enough, a new study has found that the body-mass index, the 200-year-old formula used to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy weight, may be misclassifying roughly half of women and just over 20% of men as healthy when their body-fat composition suggests they are obese. According to an article published in the journal PLoS One and co-authored by New York City Commissioner of Public Health Nirav R. Shah. The study finds that for women over 50 especially, many whose BMIs suggest they are the picture of health are, in fact, dangerously fat.

CNN Health

OBESITY RATE MAY BE WORSE THAN WE THINK (Health.com) -- Doctors and health officials have relied for decades on body mass index (BMI), a ratio of height to weight, to categorize people as overweight and obese.

A new study, however, suggests the use of BMI may be leading us to underestimate the already sky-high obesity rate.

NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams

BODY MASS INDEX TOO VAGUE, RESEARCHERS SAY

The obesity epidemic could be far worse than previously thought. BMI, an estimate of body fat, often isn’t accurate enough to categorize people as being at-risk. NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman reports.

BBC World News

April 2, 2012

THE OBESITY PROBLEM IN THE US MAY BE MUCH WORSE THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT, ACCORDING TO RESEARCHERS. They said using the Body Mass Index or BMI to determine obesity was underestimating the issue.

Their study, published in the journal PLoS One, said up to 39% of people who were not currently classified as obese actually were.

myFox Phoenix

April 4, 2012

BMI MAY BE UNDERESTIMATING OBESE WOMEN A new study suggests that the way obesity is typically measured is underestimating the actual number of women in America who are obese. Researchers used data on 9,000 people that measured their ratio of fat to lean muscle mass. They found many women, particularly those over 50, whose BMI numbers suggest they are healthy, but in fact, they are dangerously overweight.

CBN

Saturday, April 7, 2012

NEW STUDY FINDS BMI FORMULA MISSES MARK ON OBESITY: The obesity crisis in America may be worse than experts thought. A new report suggests the key test used to measure obesity isn’t reliable.

USA Today®

OBESITY IS MORE COMMON THAN EVER; STRESS MAKES YOU SICK

Obesity: Americans may be more overweight than we think according to a new study that says how bad it is. Researchers say about 4 in 10 adults whose BMI places them in just the overweight category would actually be considered obese if their body fat percentage were taken into account. Currently the BMI threshold for obesity is 30 but should be lowered to 24 for women and 28 for men, the study reports.

The Baltimore Sun

RELIANCE ON BMI UNDERSTATES THE TRUE OBESITY CRISIS, EXPERTS SAY

As if the nation’s weight problems were not daunting enough, a new study has found that the body-mass index, the 200-year-old formula used to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy weight, may be misclassifying roughly half of women and just over 20% of men as healthy when their body-fat composition suggests they are obese.

MSN®

U.S. WOMEN COULD BE MORE OBESE THAN BELIEVED A NEW MEASUREMENT OF BODY FAT COULD BETTER IDENTIFY OBESITY, STUDY SUGGESTS

MONDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- The way that obesity is currently measured greatly underestimates the actual number of women who are obese, a new study suggests.

Almost half of women currently labeled as not obese by virtue of their body mass index (BMI) turned out to be obese when measured by a newer method focusing on their percentage of body fat by weight, the research found.

Chicago Tribune

April 3, 2012

The traditional measures of obesity are inadequate, according to a new report. The American obesity epidemic might be much worse than many experts believe because of the limitations of the obesity which is the most popular number used to diagnose the condition.

WebMD®

OBESITY RATE IN U.S. HIGHER THAN THOUGHT?

STUDY: BMI + HORMONE TEST MAY BE MORE ACCURATE MEASURE OF OBESITY

April 2, 2012 -- More than 1 in 3 Americans who are classified as slightly overweight based on their body mass index (BMI) scores may actually be obese, a new study suggests.

FoxNews.com

STUDY FINDS BMI MAY BE MISLEADING

A worldwide “gold standard” formula used to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy weight may be misclassifying dangerously fat people as the perfect body shape.

CBS NEWS

U.S. OBESITY RATES MAY BE UNDERESTIMATED, STUDY FINDS: BLAME BMI TEST?

(CBS News) America may have a worse weight problem than anyone thought. Current estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show roughly one-third of Americans are obese. But the authors behind a new study that questions the test commonly used to measure obesity think that rate might be underestimated.

ABC 7 Chicago

OBESITY PROBLEM MAY BE BIGGER THAN THOUGHT April 3, 2012 (WLS) -- The obesity problem in the United States may be much worse than we have been hearing. For decades, physicians have relied on Body mass index, or BMI, to figure out who is overweight or obese.

MedPage Today®

April 5, 2012

NEW OBESITY STANDARDS NEEDED, STUDY SUGGESTS The conventional standard for diagnosing obesity -- body mass index (BMI) -- needs modification, according to a study that supports adding direct measurement of percent body fat as the best alternative.

The following abstract of the Life Extension-Funded study that received widespread media attention is reprinted below: Measuring Adiposity in Patients: The Utility of Body Mass Index (BMI), Percent Body Fat, and Leptin Nirav R. Shah, Eric R. Braverman

Background: Obesity is a serious disease that is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and cancer, among other diseases. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates a 20% obesity rate in the 50 states, with 12 states having rates of over 30%. Currently, the body mass index (BMI) is most commonly used to determine adiposity. However, BMI presents as an inaccurate obesity classification method that underestimates the epidemic and contributes to failed treatment. In this study, we examine the effectiveness of precise biomarkers and duel-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) to help diagnose and treat obesity. Methodology/Principal Findings: A cross-sectional study of adults with BMI, DXA, fasting leptin and insulin results were measured from 1998–2009. Of the participants, 63% were females, 37% were males, 75% white, with a mean age = 51.4 (SD = 14.2). Mean BMI was 27.3 (SD = 5.9) and mean percent body fat was 31.3% (SD = 9.3). BMI characterized 26% of the subjects as obese, while DXA indicated that 64% of them were obese. 39% of the subjects were classified as non-obese by BMI, but were found to be obese by DXA. BMI misclassified 25% men and 48% women.Meanwhile, a strong relationship was demonstrated between increased leptin and increased body fat. Conclusions/Significance: Our results demonstrate the prevalence of false-negative BMIs, increased misclassifications in women of advancing age, and the reliability of gender-specific revised BMI cutoffs. BMI underestimates obesity prevalence, especially in women with high leptin levels (.30 ng/mL). Clinicians can use leptin-revised levels to enhance the accuracy of BMI estimates of percentage body fat when DXA is unavailable.

Funding: The authors are grateful to the Life Extension Foundation® for their generous financial support to PATH Foundation NY. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Citation: Shah NR, Braverman ER (2012) Measuring Adiposity in Patients: The Utility of Body Mass Index (BMI), Percent Body Fat, and Leptin. PLoS ONE 7(4): e33308. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033308

Copyright: © 2012 Shah, Braverman. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.