Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

High Body Mass Index Doesn't Always Spell Obesity, Researchers Show

Date:
July 22, 2006
Source:
Jackson Laboratory
Summary:
A study in mice by scientists at The Jackson Laboratory suggests that the body mass index or BMI is not always a good indicator of how much body fat an individual has.

For years doctors have used the body mass index (BMI), a ratio of height and weight, to characterize the clinical weight status of their patients. The lower the number, the presumption goes, the leaner the person, and anyone with a BMI above 30 is characterized as obese and at high risk for the associated complications.

But the BMI has come under scrutiny lately, and other techniques that measure how the weight is distributed on the body are thought to provide a better way to assess risk. Now a study in mice by scientists at The Jackson Laboratory indicates that the usefulness of the BMI is suspect even at the genetic level.

In research published in PLoS Genetics, the investigators from Jackson and the J.L. Pettis VA Medical Center and led by Dr. Gary Churchill of Jackson used a combination of computational, molecular and genetic tools to identify locations on the mouse genome that influence adiposity (amount of body fat), overall body size and bone structure. Applying an analytical technique called "structural equation modeling" to the genetic and physical characteristics of mouse inbred crosses, the scientists went beyond the one-gene, one-trait approach to reveal the networks of effects created by the influence of multiple genes.

"We found that the genetic network affecting adiposity is separate from that affecting overall body size," Churchill says, "providing strong evidence that a high weight is not necessarily directly associated with a high percentage of fat."

At the clinical level, the research suggests that more refined measurements are needed to distinguish individuals with a large body mass from those who are truly obese and consequently at high risk for diabetes, heart disease and other disorders.

Churchill and colleagues at Jackson recently received a 5-year, $15.1 million National Institute of General Medical Sciences grant to form an interdisciplinary Center for Genome Dynamics to study complex biomedical problems. "The most common diseases and health disorders, including obesity as well as heart disease, diabetes and cancer, result from an interaction of multiple genes and environmental factors that add up to a dauntingly complex mix of variables," Churchill says. "We're working to unravel those factors to lay the groundwork for improved treatments."

The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit research institution based in Bar Harbor, Maine, with facilities in West Sacramento, Calif. Its research staff of more than 450 investigates the genetic basis of cancers, heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease, glaucoma, diabetes, and many other human diseases and disorders, as well as normal mammalian development and bioinformatics. The Laboratory is also the world's source for nearly 3,000 strains of genetically defined mice, home of the Mouse Genome Database and many other publicly available information resources, and an international hub for scientific courses, conferences, training and education.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Jackson Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Jackson Laboratory. "High Body Mass Index Doesn't Always Spell Obesity, Researchers Show." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 July 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060721195503.htm>.
Jackson Laboratory. (2006, July 22). High Body Mass Index Doesn't Always Spell Obesity, Researchers Show. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060721195503.htm
Jackson Laboratory. "High Body Mass Index Doesn't Always Spell Obesity, Researchers Show." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060721195503.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) As a third American missionary is confirmed to have contracted Ebola in Liberia, doctors on the ground in West Africa fear they're losing the battle against the outbreak. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) When Facebook acquired the virtual reality hardware developer Oculus VR in March for $2 billion, CEO Mark Zuckerberg hailed the firm's technology as "a new communication platform." Duration: 02:24 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins