As the enormous debate over the administration’s healthcare bill heated up over the summer in Washington, DC, we thought it would be timely to synthesize some of the main challenges we face as a nation regarding health and wellness. Mostly, we wanted to focus on the solutions—namely, the roles that fitness and wellness professionals will have in any blueprint that ultimately gets drafted.
Whether you enjoy watching The Biggest Loser or you find it offensive, you have to admit that this primetime TV program has been effective in showcasing health and fitness to millions of people around the world. Last month, IDEA published “Weighing in on The Biggest Loser,” an in-depth feature story on the topic.
Yet another complaint about widely held interpretations
of body mass index (BMI) measurements has been lodged. A study presented in June at The Endocrine Society’s 91st Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, posited that BMI testing overestimates obesity in blacks. “Compared to Caucasians, African-Americans of the same age, gender, waist circumference, weight and height may have lower total and abdominal fat mass,” stated lead study author Samuel Dagogo-Jack, MD.
I saw the [item] about United charging extra for fat people (July–August “Making News,” p. 13). I think it’s terrific. Have you ever sat between two obese people? It’s rather gross and uncomfortable. If I pay for one whole seat, I expect to have full use of the whole seat. Not a portion of it—otherwise I should get a discount. Absolutely. Fat people should pay more. I am sure they pay more when they eat more. Just like we all pay more for larger housing lots.
Many people who succeed in losing weight struggle to keep it off. Finding solutions to this challenge would help many avoid yo-yo dieting. To identify an effective and affordable method
of weight maintenance, researchers from Dunedin, New Zealand, compared the outcomes of two contrasting programs: biweekly weigh-ins with a nurse, plus a phone call on
alternating weeks; and a more intensive program that included personal training and group exercise circuit training classes.
United Airlines passengers who do not meet specific size limits may be forced to shell out a bit more cash—or remain grounded, according to information posted on the company’s website. The new requirements were implemented to enhance “the comfort and well-being of all customers aboard United flights.” The website states that passengers must be able to
Do you have clients who suffer from migraines? A recent study claims to link high body mass index (BMI) with the painful
condition. The researchers measured BMI
in 22,211 people, who were asked whether they suffered from migraines or severe headaches. According to the findings, those respondents who were aged 20–55 and had larger waistlines were more likely to develop migraines. Women had a greater likelihood
Obese women thinking of becoming pregnant may want to make body composition improvements prior to conceiving, suggests recent research. A study published in the February 11 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (2009; 301, 636–50) highlights an increased prevalence of congenital birth defects among children of obese mothers.
Michele is in her early 40s and, at 5 feet 7 inches, weighs approximately 265 pounds. She started Pilates for weight management, balance, core training and overall fitness, and became an instant fan. “I love the quiet strength it builds in my body through very subtle motions, but at the same time the workout is as tough as nails,” she says. “The more advanced I become, [the more I find] there’s another layer to address. As I lose weight, it becomes even more challenging as I continue to connect with my body.”
The work of Joseph Pilates was developed more than 80 years ago during a time when the population was made up of far fewer obese individuals. Today we have a chance to reach out to this population and apply Pilates techniques and principles to a demographic that desperately needs to be introduced to the powerhouse.