Waist circumference a better indicator of health than BMI

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A new study says that the waist circumference, and not body mass index (BMI), is a better indicator of increased risk of death from cardiovascular causes or any cause.
In the study, normal weight individuals who had central obesity i.e. higher waist-to-hip ratio were at a 22% higher risk of death from any cause and a 25% higher risk for death from cardiovascular causes compared to these who are obese according to BMI but did not have central fat accumulation. The study jointly conducted by researchers from the University of Sydney in Australia and Loughborough University in England has been published April 26, 2017 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The body mass index is the most commonly used measure of obesity, which is based on height and weight of a person. It is calculated as weight (in kg) divided by the height squared (in cm). But, it does not measure body fat. The correct method to measure obesity is to measure body fat, especially the fat around the abdomen. A high waist-to-hip ratio indicates high amounts of abdominal fat.
A person can be obese even if the body weight is within the normal range. This is called normal weight obesity, where the BMI is normal as per the age and height, but the body fat percentage is high. Typically, such individuals have a potbelly but otherwise look normal.

Abdominal obesity is more dangerous than generalized obesity. Abdominal girth or waist circumference of more than 90 cm in men and 80 cm in women indicates that the person is at a higher risk of future heart attacks, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, abnormal cholesterol (high TGs and low HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol) and metabolic syndrome. Lifestyle changes should be instituted immediately to ward off these chronic but potentially life-threatening diseases.

Any weight gain after puberty is invariably due to fat as most organs also stop growing, once the height stops increasing. One should not gain weight of more than 5 kg after the age of 20 years in males and 18 years in females. And, after the age of 50, the weight should reduce and not increase.
Potbelly obesity is linked to eating refined carbohydrates and not animal fats. General obesity is linked to eating animal fats. Refined carbohydrate includes white rice, white maida and white sugar. Brown sugar is better than white sugar.

Some tips to reduce obesity

• Skip carbohydrates once in a week.
• Combine a sweet food with bitter food.
• Include more green bitter items in foods.
• Do not eat trans fats.
• Do not consume more than 80 ml of soft drink in a day.
• Do not consume sweets with more than 30% sugar.
• Avoid maida, rice and white sugar.
• Eat in moderation.
• Walk, walk and walk…

Remember, longer the waist line… shorter the lifeline…

(Source: University of Sydney News, April 26, 2017)

Dr KK Aggarwal
National President IMA & HCFI


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From the desk of Dr KK Aggarwal, National Presidemt, IMA and Dr R N Tandon, HSG, IMA

An emergency Action group meeting of IMA followed by an emergency meeting of Indian Medical Association – Federation of Medical Associations of India were held in IMA Headquarters Delhi from 11 am to 2 pm on Wednesday 26/04/2017 to discuss the emergent situation on generic drugs.

(IMA- Federation of Medical Associations of India)

Prescription of Generic Name of the Drugs by Medical Professionals

IMA-FOMA appreciates Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s concern about the availability, accessibility and affordability of quality economical drugs to the society.

1. The judgement to choose a rational drug and its format vests only with the Registered Medical Practitioners. This right of the medical profession is sacrosanct.
2. IMA – FOMA also wants the Government to strengthen Quality control mechanisms to ensure adherence to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for patient safety.
3. For a rational prescription, doctors should choose drugs generic-generic or generic – brand based on quality, efficacy and economy and write legibly and preferably in capital letters.
4. IMA-FOMA recommends that Government should ban differential pricing of a drug under different brand names (generic-generic, generic- trade or generic- brand) by one company. (one chemical drug, one company, one prise)
5. IMA FOMA will be meeting the President of MCI, Union Health Minister and Prime Minister of India about the views of the medical fraternity on this issue. All the constituent members of IMA-FOMA shall communicate these IMA-FOMA Delhi Resolutions to its members.


MCI Ethics Regulations Clause No. 1.5 states ” All physicians SHOULD prescribe medicines with generic names, legibly and preferably in capital letters and he or she SHALL ensure rational prescription and use of drugs”

List of Associations which attended the FOMA meeting

Indian Medical Association, All India Ophthalmological Society, Urological Society of India, Geriatric Society of India, Indian Radiology & Imaging Association, Indian Academy of Echocardiography, Heart Care Foundation of India, Cardiological Society of India, Association of Surgeons of India, Indian Psychiatric Society, Delhi Psychiatrist Society, Indian Orthopaedic Association, The Federation of Obstetric & Gynaecological Societies of India, Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists, Association of Physicians of India, Indian Academy of Echocardiography, FFPAIA,

Walk up and down the stairs to boost energy

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Walking up and down the stairs is more energizing than low-dose caffeine in sleep deprived individuals.

In a new study published March 14, 2017 in the journal Physiology and Behavior, researchers from the University of Georgia compared the effects of 10 minutes of low-to-moderate intensity stair walking to low-dose caffeine (50 mg equivalent to that in one can of soda) capsules on energy and motivation to work in women with chronically inadequate sleep.

They found that compared to women who took 50 mg caffeine, those who walked up and down stairs for 10 minutes at a regular pace had greater increase in vigor or feeling of energy. They were also more motivated to complete cognitive tasks. However, no effect on attention or memory was observed.

Office workers often rely on a cup of coffee to reduce fatigue and stay alert to enhance their productivity. Instead, they can now skip their caffeine and instead walk up and down the stairs. It is also a healthier option to keep fit, particularly for the desk-bound office worker, and requires no special facilities or equipment.

Any person who can climb two flights of stairs or walk 2 km without any discomfort or breathlessness usually requires no cardiac investigations.

Dr KK Aggarwal
National President IMA & HCFI

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