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Apples and Pears: Nobody Cares.

March 18, 2011
Apple and pear diversity... (la diversité des ...

Image : Alexandre Dulaunoy

Son of a…

I have this giant list of stuff that I want to blog about. Stuff I learn in school, stuff I read online, stuff I think up in the shower.

So I finally get around to posting one of them and it’s debunked a day later.

A new study was publicized this week which calls into question the significance of body shapes to health concerns.

From the New York Times:

The new report, published online on Friday in The Lancet, pooled data from 58 studies about more than 220,000 people, with a mean age of 58. During the time they were followed, more than 14,000 suffered a heart attack or stroke.

Conventional risk factors like blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and smoking were accurate predictors of a heart attack or stroke, but additional information about weight or body shape (ascertained by measuring waist circumference or waist-to-hip ratio) did not improve the ability to predict risk.

Although mildly annoying in timing, I love how this shows that we don’t really know much about health (or a lot of things for that matter).

Research continues to prove wrong long-held beliefs and practices.

It can be frustrating for those trying to make the best decisions for personal health, but I think it’s also a good argument for sticking with the basics.

A moderate, well-balanced diet and regular physical activity are pretty consistently supported by data.

Take most other health advice with a grain of salt (or don’t, now that we’re supposed to be reducing our sodium intakes. Or do, if you don’t trust the sodium studies).

Sigh.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 21, 2011 5:00 pm

    Hmm, interesting, and like all studies the interesting bits lie in exacting detail. For instance, the quote says that body shape is not an accurate predictor of risk. It does not say the risk does not exist or is not in- or decreased by body shape, just the prediction is in question. Fascinating stuff, eh? Thanks for sharing and keeping us aware! And our industry is more fun given the constant updates and discoveries.

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