Number 7 on The Top 10 Ways to Avoid the ER

Welcome to another installment of the Top 10 Ways to Avoid the ER.

Don’t get overweight

Have you ever seen a little sign on a step ladder that tells you how many pounds it can support? Typically it will say that it is rated for no more than 250 pounds, for example. Unfortunately, our bodies do not come with a weight limit rating printed on our foreheads, but they should. Once you have exceeded your own personal limit, you cannot expect your body to function normally, but you can expect to come visit me in the ER. You will be more likely to have strokes, heart attacks, problems with your joints, injuries, etc. Take a moment to calculate your body mass index (BMI), and if you are higher than 25, you’ve got some work to do.
By the way, this is a good site to calculate your BMI.
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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

tb 01.15.09 at 6:06 am

Great site, Dr. and so easy to use., thanks! Maybe i should aim for “underweight”…that would be cool”…or not. Whateva’ ;)

Suzanne 01.15.09 at 12:34 pm

Is the BMI always considered an accurate determination of health?

For example, what if a 5’0″ woman weighs 160 pounds, but she does cardio everyday and resistance training 2x a week and eats mostly healthfully; she can do an hour of intense spinning and shovel snow afterward? Her weight is largely muscle mass, her cholesterol and blood pressure are good, no diabetes. Is that scenario ever considered preferable to a thin woman of same height who does not exercise?

I understand that the BMI figure that you’ve used is generally considered indicative of health but it doesn’t take lifestyle into consideration. Is fit and fat better than thin and unfit?

I realize that many woman of the first scenario would not actually expected to be exercising regularly at first glance.

(Btw, I mean no disrespect. I thoroughly enjoy your blog and read every post.)

Your ER Doc 01.16.09 at 8:53 am

Great points. BMI is acknowledged to have some limitations, especially for athletes who have generally higher muscle mass. Some argue that a body fat percentage is a more useful measure in these individuals.

tb 01.16.09 at 9:19 am

i do cardio regularly, but my only weight bearing exercise consists of lifting heavy boxes at work…heh. Better “work” on that one. Eating habits…ugh. Don’t eat during the day, then too much junk at night…guess who needs an overhaul…?

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