FYI on BMI: Panel wants obesity screening for all adults


It's been a transformative two years for Belinda Osborn.

Not that long ago she was gaining too much weight and she knew it.

"The places I carry my weight is more around my middle which is where it is more dangerous on the heart," Belinda recalled.

She knew it and her doctor Bradley Jones knew it as well and told her so even though her BMI--the measure of her height compared to weight--hadn't reached 30.

"Dr. Jones has been consistent on going, um, your BMI is too high and it's not healthy for you."

Jones, a doctor at Baylor-Irving is doing exactly what the U.S. Preventive Task Force is recommending--that doctors intervene when a patient’s Body Mass Index reaches 30 which is considered obese. A normal BMI is less than 25 with anything in the middle considered overweight.

The task force urges doctors to prescribe more than just a diet--a BMI of 30 is time for full-blown fitness and nutrition intervention.

Dr. Jones likes to draw the line below 30--which he did with Belinda.

"As a physician I like to intervene even before the BMI of 30,” Dr, Jones said. “When you've hit that 30 studies have shown that extra attention really helps those patients.”

And prevent obesity related health problems like strokes, heart attacks, diabetes and even some cancers.

Dr. Jones said some doctors don't like to bring up weight because people are so sensitive but he believes patients appreciate the honesty.

"I think some doctors are almost afraid to hurt patient’s feelings and really, we've got to be polite about it but we need to be straight forward, hey, you're overweight," Dr. Jones said.

Belinda showed signs of fatty liver disease and her blood sugar level was high.

Since the BMI chat with Dr. Jones she's lost more than 50 pounds by eating better and exercising.

"You know that extra step of hearing someone say this is your reality,” Belinda said. “I think it helps."


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