Health and Your Metabolic Health: Does Obesity Matter?

Should obese people who are metabolically healthy be advised to lose weight?

Risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer all increase with excess body fat. Yet research has identified two unique groups: those who are obese but metabolically healthy, and those who are a healthy weight but metabolic unhealthy. This was the topic of a sesscanstockphoto2174868ion I especially looked forward to attending at last month’s American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions.

Metabolic health matters when it comes to cancer. Inflammation and the elevated insulin levels that come with insulin resistance are believed to promote cancer development.

Metabolically healthy obesity (MHO) refers to people who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more (for someone who is 5’6” tall, weight of at least 186 pounds) yet don’t have the metabolic abnormalities that typically accompany obesity. There’s not yet a standard definition for MHO, but usually a person with MHO has no more than one of the following: diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated blood triglycerides or low HDL cholesterol. Studies generally report from 3 to 20 percent of obese people meet criteria to be classified as metabolically healthy. Continue reading


The Graying of America and Why It Matters

senior grocery shoppers NL 105 iStock_7832279Have you ever been in the midst of an experience where you could feel your eyes opening to see a wider vision?

I just got back from Chicago, where I was speaking at the American Society on Aging’s annual conference, Aging in America. While there, with thousands of professionals working in diverse fields, I saw a bigger picture of how the growing number of older adults will impact us all.

Each day, more than 10,000 American baby boomers are turning 65. By the year 2030, 1 in 5 Americans will be 65 or older. The conference gave me new vision on how wide the impact of this will be. Demand will grow for appropriate housing to suit varied needs of older adults, recreational programs as more retired people have time to pursue both new and long-time hobbies, and both preventive and therapeutic health care. Continue reading