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 …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did I click on...

    .. the Daily Mail by accident?

  2. Shady
    Pint

    Bring it on!

    Curry and a pint after work, me thinks!

  3. Olafthemighty
    Paris Hilton

    One word...

    WOOHOO!!

    <-- She knows big can be good.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    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 !

    1. Liam Johnson

      I CAN eat delicous pies all I want.

      Only until you are 40.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  6. Raumkraut

    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.

  7. Stef 4
    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.

  8. Ian 45

    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.

  9. Chimpofdoom!
    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!

  10. Jason Togneri
    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?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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).

    2. IntelPatriot
      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.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No really.

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Joke

        Stan

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

    4. Burch

      Yeah....

      This doesn't help me much.

    5. Stuart 22

      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 ...

      1. IntelPatriot
        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.

        1. I didn't do IT.
          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.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        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.

    6. Ken Hagan 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.

    7. Chemist

      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.

    8. Jimbo 6

      "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

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      ODFO

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

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
        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.

    10. Geoff Campbell
      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

  11. Evil Auditor Silver badge
    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

  12. Dunstan Vavasour
    IT Angle

    More women than men on medication

    Perhaps women are less scared of doctors than men?

  13. Code Monkey

    Idleness and pie-scoffing

    2 of my favourite activities!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    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....

    1. Rob
      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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      This is a female title

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        yeah, he's married

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

      2. Goat Jam
        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.

    3. Liam Johnson

      Amazing

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

    4. Stone Fox
      Unhappy

      RE: Women take loads of anti depressants

      tldr.

      :(

    5. BlueGreen

      Nice

      You need to get out less.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    7. Alice Andretti
      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.

    8. Ken Hagan 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.

    9. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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

    10. Dr. Mouse 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...

    11. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. fred #257
        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

    12. Chemist

      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.

    13. Anonymous Coward
      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....

    14. Eddy Ito Silver badge
      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.

    15. Bob666
      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!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In a similar vein

    I propose a new sport of driving cars over cliffs since it has been proven it is not at all dangerous:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/mid_wales/10144148.stm

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    Beer: One of my five a day

    "Or in other words the creeping conversion of the Western citizenry from healthy people to ill ones - and the society-crippling expense of this - might be doctors' and the healthcare industry's fault, and not caused by idleness and pie-scoffing after all."

    But if there were less "fat" people, doctors in theory wouldn't prescribe as much and therefore lower costs? Well, they might find it harder to prescribe drugs maybe...

    The implication is also that BMI doesn't matter until you hit 40 and then matters more and more as you get older - though the article only compares pre and post 40 and not later age brackets. Now, isn't it easier to maintain a lower BMI throughout life rather than hit 40 and then decide to lose it all? I'm pretty sure that would place less stress on the body.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Terminator

      Re: Less "fat" people...

      "But if there were less "fat" people, doctors in theory wouldn't prescribe as much and therefore lower costs?"

      How about

      "But if there were less people, doctors in theory wouldn't prescribe as much and therefore lower costs?"

      There - fixed that for ya.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Very old news

    According to Wikipedia, BMI was explicitly cited by Keys [in 1972] as being appropriate for population studies, and inappropriate for individual diagnosis. Nevertheless, due to its simplicity, it came to be widely used for individual diagnosis, despite its inappropriateness.

    Moreover, I keep seeing this same bit of old "news" reported in The Register again and again and again, as if the author thinks he's some kind of Messiah of truth boldly contradicting the establishment when in fact he's regurgitating a 38-year old platitude out of Wikipedia.

  19. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Flawed thinking

    So if overweight men are just as healthy as women, because they are just as likely to be on medication, how come thye don't live as long as those women? It's one of the known but unexplained problems with modern medicine that on average, women get ill more than men (more times and for longer). However they live longer.

    So the amount of medication a person takes tells us nothing about their life-expectancy. Add on to this, that studies of people under 40 are pretty much a waste of time when considering life expectancy, since most people are much older than that when they die. So to say that men under 40 can be overweight or obese with impunity is nonsense, since it's only when they're older than that, that too much fat (and the unhealthy diet that goes with it) starts to take its toll. That's when the type 2 diabetes tends to kick in, not before.

    It's a bit like saying - you can be as unhealthy as you like - it won't affect your life, at least up until the point when you die.

  20. Neil 13

    Women deserve respect

    Anything that can bleed for five days every month and not die has to be tough.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I

    ... positively encourage all Americans to eat themselves to death.

    1. IntelPatriot
      Headmaster

      most likely explanation

      The most likely explanation is that they are completely unrelated.

      Women probably take more medication because 1) they have more concern for their own body 2) medical practitioners show more concern for women's health (at least in western countries)

      As for obese men taking more medication. The causation could be the opposite way around, there are plenty of medications that have weight gain as a side effect.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Alien

      Science experiment gone bad

      > Anything that can bleed for five days every month and not die has to be tough.

      This is why I think there are some flaws in the concept of evolution. Surely evolution would have done away with such a ridiculous idea as the monthly-visitor thing? It serves no purpose other than to make the visitee anemic, aside from perhaps the invention of cloth to deal with the situation.

      Of course that doesn't say much about the _other_ option as to how we got here, the creationist theory, unless the creator was an evil sadistic bastard who designed his/her creatures to be miserable and unhappy.

      This planet is someone's failed science experiment.

      Wipe the petri dish and start over.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Grenade

      Some nerve you have....

      ....your companies (BP) come over here and ruin our oceans, now you want us to die. Your true colors showing. At least we have more here than just musty old museums. I think you're just jealous. Britain would have failed long ago if it weren't for American tourist dollars propping up your economy.

      1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
        Pint

        The point is...

        The point is, evolution doesn't care about how ridiculous, or dangerous, or wasteful the process is, so long as there are enough surviving offspring. This is hardly the biggest "ugh" factor in biology - there are mites that eat their mother from inside before birth! Or the most ridiculous - all the insects have their skeleton on the outside, so, in order to grow larger, they have to shed their skin/skeleton/armour.

        Ever wondered why, in low-oxygen conditions, animals produce lactic acid (causes muscle cramps), but plants produce alcohol?

      2. Stacy
        Thumb Down

        Some nerver you have Mr Anonymous!

        Try looking into the issue just a little more before going off on one.

        To drill you need to follow local laws. Due to the oil company lobbyists is the US these are not as stringent in the US as in the EU in order to maximise profits.

        On top of that BP hired a US contractor to do their drilling for them. Oil companies do not drill themselves, they hire locals to do it. Who follow local laws and HSE requirements. As I understand it BP is paying for the cleanup (not the local contractor)...

        Try looking in your own back garden for reasons why this happened.

        Just what does your rant have to do with the article anyway? Or do you just like bashing foreigners?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          FAIL

          Reg readership is seriously going downhill.

          > Just what does your rant have to do with the article anyway? Or do you just like bashing foreigners?

          Apparently you didn't notice the little arrow icon in that post, which indicates what that post was replying to. The reply was obviously to someone else who said:

          "I positively encourage all Americans to eat themselves to death."

          Now THERE is what started this, typical moronic anti-American crap.

          Happy now?

          Sheesh. Like trying to communicate with retarded grade-schoolers.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        Ideot

        1) BP is no longer a british company

        2) Where the fuck do you think we are? Needing American tourists? Perhaps a few small tourist places find it helpfull, but need?

        Tippical yank attitude, and you wonder why we hate you.

      4. Geoff Campbell
        Grenade

        BP ownership

        Last time I looked, just a few weeks ago, BP was 39% owned by American share-holders, 40% by UK shareholders, 21% by other nations. Your point is....

        GJC

        1. Geoff Campbell

          BP Ownership

          Err, those percentages were aimed at the original yank AC, not the later AC also pointing out that BP is not really a British company, as such.

          GJC

  22. Alice Andretti
    Flame

    Doctors suck

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

    Oh boy. Sorry, but I have to go on a...

    <rant!>

    Women[*] have been programmed by society to "go to the doctor" if they feel something's wrong, whereas men[*] tend to tough it out and take their lumps. Unfortunately, doctors sometimes do more harm than good.

    What happens when a person goes to the doctor, at least in the U.S., is that the doctor doesn't even bother to listen to the patient but instead immediately gives the patient a PRESCRIPTION to MASK THE SYMPTOMS.

    Unfortunately, masking the symptoms is about as effective as sticking a piece of tape on your car's "Check engine" light so that you don't have to be bothered with that annoying light on the dashboard. The fact that your car engine will cease to function and become damaged after it runs out of oil/overheats/whatever after you've masked the warning light, isn't important. What *is* important is that our lovely U.S. doctors and pharmaceutical companies continue to make as much $$$$ from sick people, as possible. If doctors encouraged people to live healthy lifestyles, fewer people would be sick, and that would be the end of the medical system's cash-cow. Sick patients = cash-cow.

    This is relevant here, because for instance, pain (in some cases) is the body's way of telling a person to *stop* doing whatever it is that causes the pain or damage will ensue. But when doctors instantly prescribe painkillers, that encourages/enables the person to CONTINUE doing whatever it is that previously caused pain, thus contributing to the deterioriation of the body. This is seen with arthritis and some of the arthritis drugs, which enable the person to go on blithely destroying their body's joints with no regard to the future. And yet these kinds of drugs are regularly prescribed (for those who *go* to doctors).

    Why do you think there isn't a cure for cancer yet? Because the medical INDUSTRY makes far more money peddling cancer-TREATMENT drugs, than it would if they had an effective-against-all-types cancer *vaccine*.

    It's all about the money and making the fat cats on Wall Street (the pharmaceutical companies) even fatter than they already are.

    Such a system absolutely LOVES the fact that a sizable number of women[*] tend to run to the doctor for little things (assuming they have a job and insurance to pay for it, that is, for US residents anyway), because it keeps the fat cats happy and makes the doctors and big pharma rich.

    It's not a sustainable system, but then neither was the US housing market. We saw how that turned out. There *NEEDS* to be an emphasis on *prevention* (keeping people well) instead of triaging things after they break. I suppose this is U.S.-centric - one would hope that other more-advanced countries have figured this out by now.)

    Not all the blame can be placed on the doctors etc., though, because it's a sad fact that our modern society expects instant gratification; hard for people like me to believe but there are actually millions of lazy people who PREFER to pop pills (prescription meds) instead of having to actually *do* something or expend any effort on their own part (such as lifestyle changes - oh the unimagineable horror) to improve their condition. Not everything can be purchased; some things have to be worked for and require effort - a shocking/unacceptable concept to many :(

    Back to the topic, to summarize my point: women[*] are more inclined to go to doctors, for reasons already mentioned. Doctors prescribe pills to hide the symptoms, instead of digging deeper to find the underlying causes, which allows the condition to worsen and the pills themselves often have side effects, all of which requires even more pills, and so on in a downwards spiral effect.

    If these women[*] would take the men's[*] approach and just wait-and-see for a little bit (within reason), and do research on finding lifestyle changes that might improve whatever's ailing them, chances are the body would heal itself on its own, without getting messed up by shitloads of prescription drugs to make things even worse.

    It's my hypothesis that men[*] stalling and *not* going to the doctor as soon or as often, allows the men[*] to heal on their own without harmful prescriptions that often cause undesirable side-effects that cause even more problems than the person originally had. Also, women[*] tend to have crappier lives and more stress, lower-paid jobs, more stress about personal physical safety, etc., which probably contributes to women's[*] health issues.

    (I've purposefully avoided the often-cited stuff about reproductive functions running up medical bills, because there are lots of people nowadays who don't have/want kids; pregnancy and its complications used to be a major contributor to women's medical bills. But, it's not the 1950s anymore - fewer and fewer people are having kids.)

    Fuck, all this serious talk is giving me a headache - I better dial up my doctor (hahahaha) and get a prescription ASAP ;)

    P.S.: For the record, I'm female but I haven't set foot in a doctor's office, or an E.R. or any other medical facility for that matter, in 14 years, and I like it that way. I'm not fat either, just in case you wondered :)

    ____

    [1] Obviously, there are exceptions. Depends on how the person was raised.

    </rant!>

  23. VampyreWolf
    Pint

    Pill or Pilsner...

    The reason men aren't on medication to the extent women are, is that we hit the bar. Nothing like a few beer to just not care for a while.

  24. YumDogfood

    @General Monkey

    Jeez, would have to be a fracking BMW driver that survived.

  25. TRT Silver badge
    FAIL

    And this is useful information how, exactly?

    Hm, well I know how to get fat, but how do I become a woman???

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      eh?

      Did any other bloke read this as...

      "Oh boy. Sorry, but I have to go on a...

      blah, blah, blah, shoes, blah, blah, handbags, blah, blah make-up, blah, blah, blah, hair, blah, blah, blah, Rhona is such a bitch, blah, blah...

      I'm not fat either, just in case you wondered :)"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        One shouldn't argue with fools, but -

        > blah, blah, blah, shoes, blah, blah, handbags, blah, blah make-up, blah, blah, blah, hair, blah, blah, blah, Rhona is such a bitch, blah, blah...

        All beyond your level of comprehension, evidently.

    2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Ehm

      Are you fit then?

      </sexism>

    3. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      @TRT

      Surgical and legal it's a pretty standard procedure: eat some hormones, get a cut here and there, etc. Now if you want to become a biological woman with womb and all and erm incubating children that's another problem. But, why on earth would you want to do that???

      If you believe in reincarnation you may try to suicide you dead and hope for the best. There is, however, a less than 50 percent chance of becoming a girl.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Boffin

      Moron

      "Why do you think there isn't a cure for cancer yet? "

      Because it is so FUCKING difficult to treat, and it's not cancer but cancerS.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Your bum looks enormous in that.

      Just saying.

  26. 100113.1537
    Thumb Up

    If BMI was discredited years ago - why are people still using it?

    To all of those posters criticizing the article for pointing out what the original paper said...

    Yes, BMI is crap, but it is still used by health authorities the world over. Consider the latest NICE recommendations about using BMI to determine treatment options - a simple way to ration health-care, but which does nothing except entrench the pressure on people to conform to an ideal body image.

    If having a BMI greater than 25 did actually cause any health impacts, why does the 25-30 group have the highest life expectancy in the US? Followed by 30-35, which is statistically the same as the "normal" 20-25 group. These are US-CDC figures from actual data, not extrapolations from extreme cases (which is where all of the obesity-related health predictions come from).

    BMI was even re-classified in 1999 to make "normal" 20-25 instead of 22-27 and so on up the scale. At a stroke, this increased the percentage of overweight and obese people in the population and I have yet to find any discussion of re-calculating obesity rates in the historical data - itis simply give an evidence the "obesity epidemic". Furthermore, average heights are still increasing, even in western populations, and the BMI calculation cannot hold up for the extra bone mass needed to support taller people.

    Papers like the one referred to here deserve a wide reading - and if a great headline such as provided by El Reg helps, good on yer!

  27. Nick Davey
    Joke

    So surely...

    ... in order to maintain a fully healthy population and keep medication costs down, get rid of all the fat birds?

    1. Bucky 2
      Pint

      Surely so.

      Makes sense to me.

      I have a vasty trove of scientific knowledge about women's health after spending some time watching commercials on daytime TV.

      My thoughtful conclusion: Women's bodies pretty much don't work right at ALL, whereas most male health problems are limited to sexual functioning (which is apparently iffy at best).

    2. Charles Manning

      Eat shit...

      500,000,000,000 flies can't be wrong.

      Read some Thomas Kuhn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Samuel_Kuhn)

      The reason why BMI does not die is the same as why all sorts of theories take so long to die. The theories become part of the establishment. Too many research papers refer to BMI and use it as a metric. To dispense with BMI would mean scrapping a whole lot of PhD theses etc and no researcher wants to do that.

  28. atalkingchimp
    Paris Hilton

    I'm not fat, I'm big boned!

    <--- she knows about big bones

  29. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
    Pint

    How I learned to stop worrying and love my belly

    Always suspected that becoming a woman could harm a bloke's health.

    So, a bit of obesity won't harm you, but turning over fourty turns out to be the real killer. Have boffins found a cure for old age yet?

  30. Steven Knox
    FAIL

    I'm sorry, but...

    shurely using medication rates as an indication of illness is like using hospitalization rates as an indication of deaths?

    Yes, you can say that if the overweight/obese are not receiving treatment, they're not contributing to health care costs, but you can't say they're not ill. More likely, they're just not visiting their doctor because the doctor keeps telling them to lose weight. So not only are they not well, they're also not getting preventative care, leading them to increased rates of illnesses that take time to show up, and so arise, oh I don't know, say, after they're 40?

    The information in the article shows no accounting for such confounding variables, no weighting of treatments for severity, no regression of treatments for long-term illnesses back to their likely inception times.

    If the study didn't include all this and more, it's more bunk than BMI is. And if it did, than this article is shoddy under-reporting.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    "mental conditions"

    So that doesn't include fat between the ears?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    My God!

    Was that a piece of common sense from the States?! Too much stress from constant dieting can be worse than a few extra pounds?!

    The US elect a sensible person to lead them, now this! Ooh I feel quite giddy, I think I need a lie down, the world has gone crazy.

  33. Steven Hunter
    Megaphone

    Well shit...

    I'm skipping the gym tonight to smoke pot and eat Twinkies!

  34. Eddy Ito Silver badge
    FAIL

    Hello, may I speak with Bovine Excrement?

    Sorry, just calling bullshit. "Among the over-forties obese people were significantly more likely to be taking medication for a health problem related to physical factors". So is this to mean that a major factor is taking medication? Any medication? Like birth control pills, hormone supplements, pain killers, etc. Do vitamins count also?

    Please at least tell me they have causality figured out? You know, a person who has a condition for which being overweight is a symptom and is therefore on meds compared to the one taking meds, such as corticosteroids, and one of the side effects is weight gain.

    Does the study take into account the financial resources and acumen of individuals? Starving people aren't likely to be able to pay for meds. Folks who can navigate the government systems are probably more likely to be well fed and have better access to health care. The wealthy fat cats aren't called fat cats for nothing and might have a personal doctor on call.

    Finally, does the study investigate if people who are older with medical problems might be less active and therefore tend to be heavier than their healthier and more active counterparts?

    Oh, I can't help but wonder the collective BMI of elected officials since the Task Force on Childhood Obesity has recommended BMI tracking, which has been included in proposed legislation. Food desert my arse.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Yes.

      Odly enough the avrage medical resercher or staistiton is not stupid. Go find the full paper and it should have the full metodology. Either that or stop ranting.

      1. Eddy Ito Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Yes

        I don't mean to imply they are stupid, as true as that might be; I'm implying they tend to find the correlations they are looking for at the expense of other things... see the difference? It happens all the time because many researchers are looking for a link from A to B. They weren't looking for causality only a cum hoc ergo propter hoc connection. Why should they exclude people with a BMI under 19.5 even though the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute define "normal" as between 18.5 and 24.9? Could it be because it might skew the numbers? If the whole point is to indicate that BMI was rubbish, why use it to exclude anyone? The baseline was simple, prescribed meds for a physical illness vs obesity. If they want to make fuzzy grand claims, I'm going to question it. Keeping researchers honest isn't ranting, it's just looking for where they got their hockey stick. Why, I'm even glad there are ACs like you to keep me honest. ;)

        Oh, in case you were wondering the paper is here, but it will cost you; http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v34/n3/full/ijo2009258a.html

        For free, another article is here; http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/bmiillness.htm

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @YumDogfood

    Yeah, but he won't be tailgating any more helicopters.

  36. Jerome 0
    Boffin

    Simple solution

    Be as fat as you like, just make sure you never get older than 40.

  37. Simpson

    A better index

    wii - Waist to inseam index.

    If the number on the waist of your pants is bigger than the number for the inseam, you're fat.

  38. skeptical i

    I've had male bosses, female bosses, and genderqueer bosses.

    Some were amazing leaders who tried to grow and develop their subordinates' talents and skills, and some were useless bags of fat content to take credit for what went well and blame staff for what didn't. There's more to it than genitals.

  39. Veldan
    Stop

    ah, BMI... again...

    Can we kill this thing already?

    It is so off the mark it isn't funny. even if your thesis papers all refer to it, that probably means they're mostly wrong too.

    I'm 6'4" (194cm or so for the metric) 110Kg and 12% body fat (below average) and i rank in with a BMI of 29.9 or there abouts.

    Something just doesn't add up here...

    How do we know that all the men in this study weren't just tall?

  40. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Picture

    I bet he's enormous.

    And single too. Because are we counting the contraceptive pill as medication? I'd be taking it if it was what I had to do to get my leg over without having more children than I want at the moment. Then again, it doesn't feature in some people's lives at all. Sad, fat, lonely single men, notably. And also American religious nuts, which is a very large proportion of them, who have funny ideas about God and contraception. Apparently they picket pharmacies annually on "Protest the Pill Day".

    I'd put it in the water and in a generation be rid of the lot of them.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019