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All of these issues are discussed in this brief review. Nuttall, MD, Ph D, is a full professor at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and chief of the Endocrine, Metabolic and Nutrition Section at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center, Minnesota. He has more than 250 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals, and he is the winner of numerous prestigious academic and scientific awards, including the 2014 Physician/Clinician Award of the American Diabetes Association.
Before the 1920s, “full figured” women were considered to be desirable as long as the distribution was hourglass in type.
However, the 1920s Flapper era introduced abbreviated and revealing dresses.
Body fatness has been an important psychosocial issue among humans for millennia.
It is clearly manifested by paleolithic statuettes of exceedingly plump women.
This also is the case in artifacts from other cultures in the Middle East in that era.
Why the degree of fatness has varied in different cultures is not clear.However, it is increasingly clear that BMI is a rather poor indicator of percent of body fat.Importantly, the BMI also does not capture information on the mass of fat in different body sites.The latter is related not only to untoward health issues but to social issues as well.Lastly, current evidence indicates there is a wide range of BMIs over which mortality risk is modest, and this is age related.For example, currently in Western societies, young women are often concerned about their body image, and most consider themselves to be too fat, even though they are well within population-based references.This is not only due to societal concepts of an ideal degree of fatness, but also due to thinness being a goal promulgated by the fashion industry and reinforced by commercial advertising.For example, truncal (belly fat) accumulation would be considered to be less acceptable than the accumulation of fat in the peripelvic and thigh areas as well as in the breast area; that is, one may be statistically “fat” but with an appropriate figure be merely referred to “as amply endowed” or “pleasingly plump.” The social consequences of being “too fat” are severe.Discrimination begins in childhood and results in serious emotional scars.Contact us if you experience any difficulty logging in.The body mass index (BMI) is the metric currently in use for defining anthropometric height/weight characteristics in adults and for classifying (categorizing) them into groups.