Obesity Body Measures for Predicting Chronic Disease
sak2 at cdc.gov
Fri Jan 26 06:33:52 PST 2001
Please pardon the cross-posting.
Below is a CDC press release earlier this month regarding
a report from a CDC-sponsored workshop on the use of
obesity measures for predicting chronic disease.
Public Health Nutritionist
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
sak2 at cdc.gov
January 9, 2001
Contact: Mary Kay Sones
Obesity Experts Recommend Body Measurements To Predict Chronic Disease
As part of a nationwide effort to address obesity, experts from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and their counterparts in 10
countries are recommending the use of body measurements, such as body mass
index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC), to predict mortality and the
development of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes.
This recommendation, published in a report in the January issue of the
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is the result of a CDC-sponsored
workshop on the use of adult anthropometry (body measurement) for public
health and primary health care.
"The data presented by the panel of international experts showed that
cut-off points for body mass index and waist circumference consistently
identify the health risks of excess weight.," said Dr. Frank Vinicor,
director of CDC's diabetes program. "These are simple, inexpensive and
reliable tools for primary care doctors to assess the state of their
patients' health," Vinicor said.
BMI is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters
squared. WC adds more health risk information by pointing at body fat
distribution around the abdominal area.
According to the report, researchers suspect that, even though BMI and WC
are scientifically sound predictors of common adult chronic conditions,
primary care physicians have not utilized the guidelines issued by the
National Institutes of Health and World Health Organization to assess and
treat overweight and obesity in adults. In fact, the report points out,
there are no data on how doctors currently assess obesity in their patients.
Because a large proportion of the adult population sees a primary care
provider annually, routine monitoring of BMI and WC may provide
opportunities to incorporate prevention into clinical management. Changes in
weight or other body measurements could signal a potential health hazard,
such as type 2 diabetes, and would assist the primary care provider to
target interventions that could reduce the risks.
A recent study by CDC found a 33 percent increase in diabetes in the United
States and the increase was strongly correlated with nationwide increases in
In addition to diabetes, the report suggests that BMI and WC measurements
may also be beneficial in predicting other related health conditions such as
coronary heart disease, arthritis and respiratory problems.
Copies of the meeting report can be obtained by calling the press contact
above. For more information on diabetes and nutrition and physical activity,
visit the following Web sites:
<www.cdc.gov/diabetes/> or <www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/>.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protects people's
health and safety by preventing and controlling diseases and injuries;
enhances health decisions by providing credible information on critical
health issues; and promotes healthy living through strong partnerships with
local, national and international organizations.
More information about the PHNUTR-L