Body Mass Index

The Healthiest Weight Is Not What You Think


These machines were once ubiquitous, costing only a penny, but offering mostly non-medical fates. However attempts to predict health from body weight go back at least 150 years to the Body Mass Index or BMI.

There are innumerable (and identical) BMI calculators to be found on the Internet, and by entering your height, weight and sometimes your sex and age, they will duly compute a number, your BMI, and will often sort you into a thin, normal, overweight, obese, or really obese category. Normal is 18-25, overweight is 25-30, and so on.

Annual Physical

Annual Physical is Important – What is Measured is Equally Important

From the New York Times op-ed, available here, we have a public health expert declaring that the annual physical is a waste of time. Don’t follow this advice. Instead, change what is measured and how it is interpreted.dasd

The op-ed piece develops the idea that the annual physical, as currently done, is worthless. We sort of agree. However, the correct solution is not to dispense with this rite, but to replace it with genuinely useful measurements and diagnoses.

Cholesterol Basics – Myths and Medical Facts


Cholesterol has received more negative attention in the last 30 years than it ever deserved. Let’s start by dispensing with two major medical myths:

dfgsdgMYTH 1: Eating foods high in cholesterol will raise your cholesterol. THIS IS NOT TRUE. You can have all you want. It won’t affect your cholesterol level.

MYTH 2: High cholesterol causes heart disease. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Heart disease is caused by abnormally small lipoprotein particles. These are called LDL, and are a mix of fat, cholesterol, and some proteins. It is not the content that is important, it is the size. The small sizes are problematic, and it is primarily the fat in the particles that does the damage. The size, in turn, is controlled by diet.

Nuts, Baby Aspirin, and Statins – Which is Best?


All three of these reduce cardiac events by around 35%. However the groups benefited and the side effects are vastly different.


 The nut industry is now prominently displaying a “Heart-Healthy” symbol on their products, and for good reason: Of the three ‘medicines’ mentioned above, nuts are the most effective at reducing heart attacks and have the least side effects. In fact, unless you are allergic to them, they have no side effects at all.

Saturated Fat – It’s Healthy – It’s Not Dangerous


Yes, you read that right. Saturated fat is GOOD for you. Now before you dismiss this as pure quackery, here are a couple of qualifications:sat

  • Trans-fat, often associated with saturated fat, is bad for you, quite bad for you in fact.
  • Saturated fat from animals raised in unsanitary conditions (feed lots, for instance), may be loaded with all sorts of undesirable stuff.
  • Saturated fat is a political hot potato for reasons having little to do with health or nutrition.