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back to article 'Being fat is no worse for you than being a woman'

The widely-discredited Body Mass Index (BMI) method of measuring how fat a person is took another hammering today. Scientists in the USA have announced a study showing that an "overweight" BMI is not linked to poor health at all, and even an "obese" rating seems to be nothing to worry about for under-40s. “A lot of people make a …

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Paris Hilton

One word...

WOOHOO!!

<-- She knows big can be good.

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Pint

Bring it on!

Curry and a pint after work, me thinks!

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Anonymous Coward

Did I click on...

.. the Daily Mail by accident?

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Anonymous Coward

I hate Doctors - 15 years of no pies was pointless !

You mean my Doctor was lying to me and I CAN eat delicous pies all I want.

I'm off to the pie shop !

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I CAN eat delicous pies all I want.

Only until you are 40.

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Welcome

Really?

"The reasons why women use so much more medication than men are unknown, says Jarett"

Has he never met a woman?

Woman take medication whether they need to or not for the slightest ailment, real or imagined, while men just get moody instead.

I for one welcome our new high BMI overlords and all the fried goods they bring with them.

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FAIL

BMI?

Er, wasn't BMI completely and thoroughly debunked over a decade ago? In favour of more accurate and scientific testing systems (including the ultra-simple waist-to-hip ratio)? Do people actually still use this hokum?

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Gold badge

Re: BMI

Don't knock it. The use of BMI clearly flags up the surrounding "research" as a load of tosh. Medical research is complicated and as Ben Goldacre would doubtless point out it can be quite hard to design a really good test of any hypothesis. Having a clear marker on some papers that says "Ignore Me" is a great help when sifting through the latest claims.

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Silver badge

Re : BMI?

It's not hokum -it works quite well for a large population - however it's poor as an indicator for individuals.

Treat it as a heuristic - if BMI suggests you have a problem you really need to use a better method to see if you have.

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"thoroughly debunked"

I'm sure it was, but seeing as the news wasn't put in "Hello !" magazine, most of the people who actually worry about their BMI are woefully ignorant of that fact (and probably many other facts too). "It's a mathematical equation - with a square in it ! - so it MUST be scientific !"

(Ditto the 'Bradford Factor' beloved of Human Resource oxygen-stealers everywhere)

/rant

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Grenade

And yet..

And yet, smoking REALLY WILL KILL YOU DEAD. Yessirree. Even though old-timers seem to have a really good time of it, and they smoked like fiends.

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Thumb Down

Yeah but no butt

However, apart from smoking, "old timers" tend to have lead healthier lifestyles overall than "young 'uns" today on account of being more active and eating less junk-food (or at least offsetting the high-calorie intake through more activity).

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Anonymous Coward

No really.

No really. Smoking really does kill you dead. Don't be a dick.

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Joke

Stan

It's my right as a woman to be a dick.

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Flame

ODFO

I've seen what it's done to family members.

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Boffin

Smoking related disease, and others

There is probably a genetic element to most of these things - smoking-related diseases, asbestos-related problems, BSE, etc. Phenotype (what we physically are) is an interaction between genotype (what we have) and environment (everything else). It therefore makes very little sense for two people to say "Smoking never hurt my gran" and "Smoking killed my sister" in defence of either position. It is an environmental variable that affected one and not the other because of their genetic makeup.

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Stop

The biggest problem...

With BMI is the inability to factor in muscle mass.

Muscle is 18% denser than fat, so if you are one of those, loves the gym everyday guy rippling with muscle and your Ideal (BMI) weight is 12 stone something, yet you weight 14 stone.. your still classed as Obese..

They should scrap BMI.. even as a rough scale.. bring out the calipers!

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Terminator

drop dead like flies

It depends how far you go. Bodybuilding is extremely unhealthy.

It wouldn't surprise me if being 18+ stone of muscle was far worse than being a fat arse.

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Yeah....

This doesn't help me much.

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Is not reading the small print

BMI has always come with a health warning that it should not be applied to people with significantly more than average muscles. Something many BMI discreditors deliberately or conveniently ignore.

Its just a rough a ready calculator. If it indicates you are obese then you need to check out if the issue is you just exercise too much. And I think most people know the answer to that without asking ...

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Troll

significantly more than average?

There's a reason you don't see animals with huge slabs of muscle except as a result of genetic disease or if they've been bred for meat.

Being fit is a good thing for your long term health, body-building is not.

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Boffin

Re: No bodybuilding animals

"There's a reason you don't see animals with huge slabs of muscle except as a result of genetic disease or if they've been bred for meat."

So, no strong rhinos, horses, gorillas, polar bears, etc. Note that they all *do* have fat as well, just as any bodybuilder does. I understand what you mean, just showing the point.

Any bodybuilder with 0.00% fat couldn't compete or show off... they would already be dead. The human body is an amazing biomechanical machine that requires balance. If you want more muscle to do more "work", then you have to support it and maintain your body's balance.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Small print

"BMI has always come with a health warning that it should not be applied to people with significantly more than average muscles. Something many BMI discreditors deliberately or conveniently ignore."

The problem is Dr's don't read that. They have a go at me every time I go to them because my BMI is 26... Dispite the fact that I am very well built (I used to play alot of rugby) and of ok fitness. That is were we have a problem.

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Stop

Muscle mass

However, just about every official definition of BMI that I have seen states clearly that those with above-average muscle mass, notably athletes of most kinds, will fall outside of the scope of BMI measurements, for just this reason.

C'mon, people, it's just an estimate. And for a large chunk of the population, it works well as a good way to relate weights to the expected mean. Why get hung up about the exceptions?

GJC

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Later life?

If you are overweight by the time you reach college there is a good chance you will remain a porkster after the age of 40 and then suffer from health problems. Is this not just obvious?

No wonder scientists get paid so little since they just spout rubbish.

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Delayed reaction

Surely this just means that the health consequences of obesity only become apparent after 40, not that there are no consequences until then. I suspect that many of the problems are caused by long-term, gradual effects.

Sure, being a lard-arse may not be so bad *now*, but in 40 years you'll be on the horse tranquilizers, to cope with your chronic back pain. Unless you die of a coronary before then.

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IT Angle

More women than men on medication

Perhaps women are less scared of doctors than men?

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Pint

Just some uneducated guesswork

Women are more algesic* than men? Or in general, they are understandably less satisfied with their current state hence take more medication - as seems to be confirmed somehow by the gender of clients and money spent at aesthetic surgery.

*This, at least, has been confirmed by another study despite converse statements by feminists.

Beer icon - for similar effects as plastic surgery

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Idleness and pie-scoffing

2 of my favourite activities!

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Anonymous Coward

Women take loads of anti depressants.

Before I start, men are just as bad from a woman's perspective, but since we're talking about women, it's because the government wants them to work rather than live off benefits, but evolutionarily speaking they sat around talking and playing with children while men went off and died hunting animals, and looked entertaining to get the returning men to provide them with food, so consequently that's the kind of work they're suited to.

Unfortunately, outside the press and entertainment, most other companies that have to make a profit, require something more tangible for their money, than putting out and raising their own children.

Men have evolved to deal with this, they know that noone would even notice, let alone care if they got depressed, and so they just get on with it, but women didn't evolve for this role** and so they get depressed about it, just like men would if the world suddenly changed so they only got paid for looking after children and sharing their feelings with everyone.

The government knows this, so it creates the post of women's minister. The woman's minister's job is to trick women into working while making them think it's caring about them, but obviously women aren't told this. If they were it wouldn't work, would it?

On the whole, women's job in the cave was to find an emotionally crippled generous man, and drive him to death to feed her children, which weren't necessarily his, cry for a few months (until the tribe stopped giving her free food to shut her up,) then find another one. Men just want an easy life, therefore it's an evolutionary advantage to be a good nagger of one's husband. Nags' husbands provide more food.

Evolutionary advantages become ingrained in the nature of beings over time, and the best way to make a man provide for children, is to pump the mother full of greed and depressedness so she nags the husband to death for not doing enough for her. Thus lots women are always miserable by nature once they're convinced you won't leave. There's one other facet. It's advantageous to nag to get the husband to do things for you, but also advantageous to not tell him what exactly. This allows the possibility that the husband will provide things in addition to what the woman's after. An occasional bonus.

So lots of women are mostly miserable by nature, and also unable to be explicit about their requirements too. They're just evolved to do things that aren't real work as is wanted by business.

As such, women in the workplace is always going to end up with women being mentally tortured into chemical relief. My wife was saying the other day that all of her female colleagues had resorted to crying in the toilets as a result of workplace arguments. If that isn't a sign you're not designed for something, I don't know what is.

Society should just bite the bullet and let women who want to stay at home, and ignore their moaning. It's not like 3 men digging trenches are more efficient because they've a dozen female administrators sitting in an office somewhere scheduling them anyway.

** There are obviously lots of women who don't want children and want to work, but they're selecting themselves out of the gene pool by doing so. There are also lots of women who are really good at this too, but there's no evolutionary advantage to doing it. They have less children than those who use their body parts for a living.

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FAIL

This is a female title

Misogyny much, AC? And you're married????

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Amazing

but I still don't see how 42 is the answer.

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Unhappy

RE: Women take loads of anti depressants

tldr.

:(

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Bronze badge

Nice

You need to get out less.

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Happy

"Real work"

"They're just evolved to do things that aren't real work as is wanted by business"

Some would argue that sitting around at a desk all day, in the "business" world that you mention, could hardly be considered "real work" ;) in the traditional sense.

Perhaps this is why men (who are supposedly biologically evolved to be out hunting dinner and stuff) tend to have drinking problems, because they're unfulfilled with their roles and indoor jobs in modern society? Hardly a very evolutionarily-proper use of all those big male muscles, is it. No wonder some men get frustrated and take it out on their families (or whatever). Doesn't help that society tells men to not be expressive, not talk, etc.

Of course, going back only a hundred or so years, men were out working hard in their fields (farms) all day, before everyone got all urbanized living in cities with away-from-home "jobs" - the concept of a "job" is rather new, historically speaking. Eaking out a living via subsistence farming or whatever, isn't exactly an ideal lifestyle either though. So I dunno.

Nevertheless, you do make some good points. I obviously don't agree with all of it, but some of what you say is plausible - even though I suspect you were trying for a bit of a troll/flame-bait effect ;) there.

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FAIL

Women's caloric contribution

"but evolutionarily speaking they sat around talking and playing with children while men went off and died hunting animals, "

You don't keep up with the literature much, do you. While men were out trying to prove their masculinity to their buddies by trying to kill large animals, women were providing 70% of the family's calories (http://discovermagazine.com/1998/apr/newwomenoftheice1430) through gathering nuts, berries, eggs, shellfish, edible insects and small animals such as rodents and lizards.

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Gold badge

Re: Misogynist twat-o-tron

"My wife was saying the other day that all of her female colleagues had resorted to crying in the toilets as a result of workplace arguments. If that isn't a sign you're not designed for something, I don't know what is."

Um... is it that they are not designed for the workplace, or is it the other way around? Sounds like an employer that needs a really good lawyer for the forthcoming shitstorm when these women find their own lawyer.

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Anonymous Coward

You need to change your job

I happen to work in a large organisation which by its nature, is made up of 90% female employees whose top layer of management is 99% female. It is globally-known and by all recognised accounts, a very successful operation with all sorts of awards behind it.

I have found none of the stereotyped behaviour depicted here or elsewhere and if anything, a fellow male colleague appears to be constantly immersed in "chemical relief" for all sorts of problems. I have also found that working with female colleagues and having female bosses is far less stressful than in my previous jobs where a male-dominated, testosterone-filled environment equated to constant dick size competitions. The female environment is one of cooperation, tolerance and understanding, leading to a far more productive output - and yes, my manager is an outed lesbian but not a man-hater.

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Silver badge

LOL

I love the rationale. Perhaps a little misguided, but it all fits logically, explains much, and would be worth further study. Also, it's hillarious and I'd love to argue this point with an ultra-feminist-bra-burner just for the fun of it :D

Unfortunately if I tried to explain this to the missus, I'd get one or more of the following (probably all of them):

a) a slap/kick/general harm done to body parts

b) an earache (and likely with the volume of her voice, a headache)

c) a nookie ban (although this is probably the most unlikely, if you know what I mean)

d) she'd quit her job saying "I didn't evolve for this, so YOU can provide for me", and start nagging me more, all the while leaving us both in a worse position. AND I'd still have to do the cooking if I wanted anything decent.

Think I'll keep this argument to myself just in case...

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FAIL

Women's caloric contribution

"but evolutionarily speaking they sat around talking and playing with children while men went off and died hunting animals, "

You don't keep up with the literature much, do you. While men were out trying to prove their masculinity to their buddies by trying to kill large animals, women were providing 70% of the family's calories (http://discovermagazine.com/1998/apr/newwomenoftheice1430) through gathering nuts, berries, roots, eggs, shellfish, edible insects and small animals such as rodents and lizards.

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Silver badge

Re : evolutionarily speaking they sat around talking and playing with children

I've never heard such an ill-informed rant

We have the physiology of hunter-gathers from thousands of years ago. They all had hard lives with low calorie intakes and considerable daily exercise.

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Anonymous Coward

Women are better

Sorry mate, but as a bloke of the last 8 jobs I have had, 5 had female bosses and they were easily the better of the 3 male bosses. The male boses were a bunch of gutless turds, while every single one of the ladies were born fighters, suppose they had to fight for a manager's job and so they keep fighting!

Then again maybe I have a thing for dominant women....hmmm where's my Russ Meyer films....

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FAIL

yeah, he's married

To his hand. nobody else will get near him with that attitude.

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Pint

Re: Women take loads of anti depressants

By your definition, what with all that depressive whinging, you must be female or you're an "emotionally crippled generous man" who's late getting back to your cave. Now run along AC, you've no time for a pint as you wouldn't want the one who wears the pants to really start nagging.

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IT Angle

sounds delicious?

If my wife tried feeding me berries roots insects rodents and lizards I'd go out and kill something large and juicy, too

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Flame

@Female Title

Why is it that, whenever a man dares to speak the truth about things instead of pandering to the PC notions of the ruling elite, the ruling elite (ie Feminists) respond with name calling and accusations of mysogony?

Don't worry answering, 'twas a rhetorical question.

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Thumb Up

I can't agree more...

I've never seen such a perfect description of my relationship with my (soon to be ex) wife than this:

"On the whole, women's job in the cave was to find an emotionally crippled generous man, and drive him to death to feed her children, which weren't necessarily his, cry for a few months (until the tribe stopped giving her free food to shut her up,) then find another one. Men just want an easy life, therefore it's an evolutionary advantage to be a good nagger of one's husband. Nags' husbands provide more food."

As for the "emotionally crippled" part, I'd have to say most of my "emotionally crippling" problems stem from my bat crazy mother. ;)

And yes, we have kids... I have two stepdaughters, so it even fits the "not necessarily his" bit. As I said, perfect!

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 26th May 2010 15:54 GMT

Your example isn't the norm, it's probably just because of the team fit and nature of the work that's produced that working environment, so I don't think whether they are male or female really counts.

I work in an office of 9 females and I'm the only male, it would be nice to get through a week without at least 2 of them bursting into tears about a work related issue. Any type of productivity is nigh on impossible and they are all so disorganised including my manager.

I agree I think the original poster is out on a limb with his post as I have worked in predominately female teams before and they did kick arse in terms of workload and success, I think my point is the whole male/female divide thing doesn't really have any legs in this arguement.

/male chauvinism

Why do I not find another job? I am, but in the meantime I console myself with the fact that they are all good looking, so it's not all bad ;)

/end male chauvinism

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Anonymous Coward

Uterus ??

"The reasons why women use so much more medication than men are unknown, says Jarett."

Maybe because the system that is there to make a new human being is a little bit more complicated than the male part of the human reproductive system ?

I have heard women normally bleed every 28 days or so. Considering the marks on a bed I recently slept in, this seems to be true. I guess this is a pretty good reason for being sick more often than men. But I am not a medical man, so maybe I am wrong....

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Rob
Bronze badge
Boffin

Makes sense...

... your comments make a lot of sense, but whether those in research and scientific circles can come to this very logical reason that women have bodies that are essentially bio-chemical-mechanical engineering facilities and probably are prone to a few more ailments is a research experiment all by itself.

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