French medical authorities made headlines recently over Mediator, a diabetes drug widely prescribed by doctors as an appetite suppressant, which is believed to have killed at least 500 people. The head of the French pharmaceutical firm Servier, maker of Mediator, is under formal investigation for manslaughter, and the head of France’s public health agency has resigned. The row has highlighted the links between drug regulators and lobbying drug companies in France, which has one of the world’s highest levels of consumption of prescription drugs.
We have previously identified in a study of both self-reported body mass index (BMI) and clinically measured BMI that the sensitivity score in the obese category has declined over a 10-year period. It is known that self-reported weight is significantly lower that measured weight and that self-reported height is significantly higher than measured height. The purpose of this study is to establish if self-reported height bias or weight bias, or both, is responsible for the declining sensitivity in the obese category between self-reported and clinically measured BMI.
We report on self-reported and clinically measured height and weight from three waves of the Surveys of Lifestyle Attitudes and Nutrition (SLÁN) involving a nationally representative sample of Irish adults. Data were available from 66 men and 142 women in 1998, 147 men and 184 women in 2002 and 909 men and 1128 women in 2007. Respondents were classified into BMI categories normal (<25 kg/m2), overweight (25–<30 kg/m2) and obese (≥30 kg/m2).
Self-reported height bias has remained stable over time regardless of gender, age or clinical BMI category. Self-reported weight bias increases over time for both genders and in all age groups. The increased weight bias is most notable in the obese category.
BMI underestimation is increasing across time. Knowledge that the widening gap between self-reported BMI and measured BMI is attributable to an increased weight bias brings us one step closer to accurately estimating true obesity levels in the population using self-reported data.
Citation: Shiely F, Hayes K, Perry IJ, Kelleher CC (2013) Height and Weight Bias: The Influence of Time. PLoS ONE 8(1): e54386. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0054386
Editor: Manlio Vinciguerra, Foundation for Liver Research, United Kingdom
Received: September 17, 2012; Accepted: December 11, 2012; Published: January 23, 2013
Copyright: © 2013 Shiely et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Funding: This work was not funded but was conducted under the auspices of the HRB Centre for Diet and Health Research. The HRB had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
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The life underwriting implications should be obvious. Increased weight bias is most notable in the obese. When in doubt, weigh ’em.
Patients with vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency, defined by levels of 25(OH)D, had significantly higher 90-day mortality after CABG than those who had sufficient levels of the vitamin (OR 5.24 and OR 4.61, respectively), Takuhiro Moromizato, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues reported during an oral session at the Society of Critical Care Medicine meeting.
The study was limited by its observational design, which can’t prove causality, and by the potential for selection bias and unmeasured confounders.
After housing expenses—81% of those below the official poverty level and 62% of low-income working families spent over 33% of their income on housing—and after day-to-day essentials, such as food and energy, little if any money remains for medical expenses.But there is a parallel phenomenon: high-deductible health insurance plans linked to tax-advantaged IRA-like Health Savings Accounts. While deductibles range from $1,000 to $4,000 or more, the much lower premiums and tax savings can turn this into a bonanza for healthy people—if they keep their medical expenses down. The plans have taken off, much to the lament of healthcare providers. In 2006, only 10% of those with health insurance opted for a high-deductible plan; by 2012, their ranks had swollen to 34%!
You may agree or disagree with the opinion in this article but nonetheless, the perspective is fascinating. Read it.
The report can be either read online or downloaded.