Healthy BMI and cholesterol: facts or nonsense?

My partner and I have a different point of view on which paper to read over the weekend. I prefer the Guardian, but apparently nothing is better than Sunday Times. Oh well.

A few weekends ago the latter contained quite an interesting and factual piece of work about health guidelines (i.e. healthy cholesterol levels and BMI), and how little we know about whether they have any sense at all.

Intrigued?

Well, so was I!

I must refer you to Sunday Times publication (12.04.15) if you want to know more, but I will exploit this source to highlight a few points.

First of all, it is easy to completely drown in the facts like ‘when obesity will kill me’, or ‘dementia risks can be reduced with BMI above average levels’, etc.

GP Malcolm Kendrick started to look into the reasons of obesity, and as all of us was trying to find the grounds to a healthy weight range and, as a scientist, to find a justification for the numbers.

Body Mass Index is believed to show obesity when the number is greater than 30. Who said so? Apparently, as he argues in his book ‘Doctoring data: how to sort out medical advice from medical nonsense’, this number was arbitrarily chosen at World Health Organisation conference in 1995. Oops. On top of that the evidence suggests that people with BMI of 25 to 30, which are considered as overweight (I am in that bracket now with 26!), are thought to live longer than the ones with 19-25 range. One more oops. Good oops for me though!

Some even greater nonsense lies with the cholesterol levels – back in 1984 in America they have identified that the levels of 5.2 – 6.2 of serum cholesterol were healthy and did not show any effect on heart mortality. The reason for the cut off point at 5.2 was that the research institute wanted to have a larger sample for their own research purposes. Shocking!

EU then went further and rounded this figure down to 5.0.

I do have a private medical insurance from a provider that actually provides some additional benefits for healthy BMI and cholesterol levels. So my current 5.3 level is deemed as high and was recommended to exercise more! That is when I go to the gym every day (I do lunch time gym breaks), which include some days of weights, swimming or yoga. Do they want even more? I don’t want to live in the gym!

OK, my rant is over. After a good meditation I would be free from this medical nonsense.

 

P.S. The same author argued about safe alcohol limits as well. Yet I believe drinkaware.co.uk site a credible source of data and their guidance with regards to alcohol units consumption is based on the fact how quick your liver processes alcohol not to store the toxins. Please follow the guidelines!

About The Author

Dimitri

Dimitri is passionate about wines, food to go with it, happy & healthy lifestyle, digital marketing, start-ups and entrepreneurship. www.IBlameTheWine.com is about new organic wines in the UK, what to buy or avoid on the retailer shelves; tips on healthy and happy wine lifestyle, but also provides reviews and rankings for organic wines. Get in touch please, I am always on a lookout for new ideas and connections! Cheers.

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