carnival of eating disorders #7 (part 2)

welcome to part 2 of the 7th carnival of eating disorders! i’m trying something new this round. i’ll discuss the articles in a little more detail and breaking them up over two days.

yesterday we had the people from the fit shack, addiction recovery blog, phil for humanity and eating disorders talk discuss the topic of addictions and habits, or lack of habits. it was the – let’s say, more introverted part of the carnival, concentrating on the inner lives of people with eating disorders.

this is the more extroverted part. we’ll have posts that take into consideration what people think and do who are not necessarily dealing with eating disorders themselves – from scientists to marketers.

the last contribution to yesterday’s post suggested we spend more time reflecting on the usefulness of web sites that are tolerant or even encouraging of anorexic and bulimic lifestyles.

an engineer looks at BMI
let’s follow this with a post from sizenet, a fat acceptance site, which looks at BMI (body mass index) as a measure of fat distribution across the body. it does this from an engineer’s point of view. a great fan of interdisciplinary research, i’m happy to post this here.

BMI is weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. a person five feet tall and weighing 128 pounds is 1.52 meters tall and masses 58 kilograms, yielding a BMI of 25. according to the BMI charts, this person just misses being “normal” and is at the bottom end of the “overweight” range.

if we scale that same person up to six feet tall and keep all proportions the same, then height increases by a factor of 1.2 (20% higher), and so does waist, arm length, inseam, and every other linear measure. so volume and mass increase by 1.2 cubed, or 1.728. the six-foot tall (1.83 m tall) person of the same proportions weighs 221 pounds (masses 100 kg), and so has a BMI of 30. so, this person just misses being “overweight” and is at the bottom end of the “obese” range.

something’s not right; the taller person comes out “fatter” even though he/she has the same proportions as the shorter one.

for the rest of the article, go here.

large women aren’t sexy???
acceptance is also the topic of one of the internet’s best psychology bloggers, dr. deb. in brazil yogurt shames large women, she blasts an ad campaign that shows shapely large women in famous cinematic poses, suggesting that men wouldn’t find them sexy:

the psychological message in this advertising campaign is that men are only attracted to a glamorous, thin, young female … and if you are not thin or hollywood-glam, you should go out, buy this yogurt and make that transformation happen.

well, i ain’t buying it – the message or the yogurt!

holy bioelectrical impedance analysis, batman!
if you do feel you need to watch your weight and agree with the engineer from sizenet that BMI is a bit questionable, the fit buff’s total mind and body fitness blog suggests you get a body fat scale.

holy bioelectrical impedance analysis, batman! body fat scales use BIA to estimate your body composition (ratio of fat to muscle). when you step on the scale, it sends a 500-microampere current up your leg. don’t worry, humans can’t even sense any current less than 1000 microamperes, much less be harmed by one.

the current travels through your body, navigating through your muscle and fat tissue. muscle provides an easier path for the current, because it’s made up of 73% water, which, of course, is a great conductor. fat, on the other hand, offers more resistance and slows the current down. so, obviously, the less fat and more muscle you have, the faster the current will travel.

once the current completes its path, the scale calculates the time it took to do so. it uses this information, along with your height and weight, to give you a rough estimate of your body fat percentage.

molecular research on obesity
and lastly, one more scientific post, from GNIF brain blogger. in the Bsx of obesity, sudip ghosh presents some research that could be a crucial step closer to our understanding of the basics of obesity.

with the discovery of a molecule that makes mice lazier, and reduces all spontaneous physical activity, even looking for food. it’s a molecule called Bsx, which has been isolated from the hypothalamus of mice, and is found across all species including humans.

the researchers believe that individual differences in Bsx levels could explain why some of us are innately more physically active that others, and less prone to putting on body weight as a result of eating. it provides a possible explanation for the first time why the same diet makes one person fat and the other one thin.

well, i wouldn’t say it’s the first time. i’ve reported on a number of research findings here on this blog, for example the post on nutrigenomics, that might eventually also explain that. however, this type of research still seems to be very much in its infancy, and every contribution to this puzzle is extremely important. thanks for telling us about it, sudip.

so – that’s it for this edition. a big thanks to all the contributors!

if you’re a blogger and have an article that talks about pertinent topics – anything from anorexia to bulimia, orthorexia, anorexia athletica, obesity and body image – please submit it to the next edition of carnival of eating disorders using our carnival submission form.

past posts and plans for future editions can be found on our blog carnival index page. the next one will be on july 31.

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

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