BMI reporting has bad press. Is this justified?

BMI reporting is very common in US schools but this practice is under fire. Scientists are questioning its usefulness, and reporting errors, such as this widely publicized one (where a slim girl was classified as ‘overweight’). This leads parents and educators to increasingly question the value of BMI reports. Are they right ? Is BMI reporting really effective in increasing parental awareness, healthier behavior, physical activity and slowing down the rate of youth obesity? Is it worth the time spent to produce such reports and the stress caused to many children and parents? The most recent research suggests that the answer is NO. Here is a short summary of the latest studies : While BMI can be a good tool to identify trends on large populations, it is a quite inaccurate method to evaluate body composition in individuals(1). Therefore the risk of sending out reports that erroneously categorize BMI results is quite large. Parental awareness of their child’s weight status is not enhanced by BMI reporting (5, 6) and ‘potential for harm may outweigh possible benefits’ (6). When reports are sent home, they must offer individual advice and actionable recommendations(5), so parents know precisely what to do when their child is identified as ‘at-risk’. Generic advice such as ‘Be active for at least 60 minutes every day’ is not enough. Until effective methods of notification are identified, schools should consider directing resources to policies and programs proven to improve student health(6), and be very cautious about what BMI reports are telling parents. Why does current BMI reporting has bad press ? Here is the quick answer: it’s inaccurate, too...

Improving aerobic fitness in obese children: which program works best?

This meta-analyse of 9 studies has evaluated the effectiveness of various programs targeting the improvement of aerobic fitness in obese children. Take home message Programs based on aerobic exercise lasting more than 12 weeks (3000 minutes total exercise time) in three sessions per week (more than 60 min per session) obtain better results than any other program. Reference Saavedra JM et al.: Improvement of aerobic fitness in obese children: a meta-analysis, Int J Pediatr Obes., 6(3-4):169-77,...

Maximize Student Safety during Aerobic Capacity Assessment

by Francois Gazzano, B.Sc. Maximal cardiovascular tests (1-mile run, Pacer, bleep test, etc.) are widely used in U.S. schools to assess students’ aerobic fitness. These tests requires participants to run to run as fast as possible to cover a specific distance (1-Mile), to cover the maximum distance during a specific period of time, or to run at a continuously increasing speed until exhaustion (FITNESSGRAM (r) Pacer). All these tests require a maximal effort from the participant, which could be contraindicated4 for many students with existing cardiovascular risk factors or a low tolerance to vigorous exercise due to their sedentary lifestyles and/or excess of body mass11. The Bogalusa Heart Study1, one of the longest and most detailed studies of children health in the world, has reported that approximately 60% of overweight children 5-10 years of age have at least one cardiovascular disease risk factor (hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc.). Twenty-five percent of them have two or more risk factors. In 2008, the Center for Disease Control found that 14% of all U.S. adolescents7 had prehypertension or hypertension; 22% had borderline-high/high cholesterol; and 15% had pre-diabetes/diabetes. The prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors is also higher for the 9 million children and adolescents who are obese (18 %9 of ALL U.S. 6-17 year olds according to the CDC). To complicate things further, while some risk factors are relatively easy to identify (obesity can usually be identified through a simple BMI calculation), others, such as hypertension, are frequently undiagnosed2 in children and adolescents, making the identification of ‘at-risk’ students very difficult. Requiring all students, including those with?multiple cardiovascular risks factors and/or an impaired...

Calcul du VO2max

Formule avec IMC VO2max =41.77+(paliers pacer*0.49)-0.0029*(paliers pacer^2)-(0.62*IMC)+0.35*(age*sexe) Formule sans IMC VO2max =32.57+(paliers pacer*0.27)+3.25*(sexe)+0.03*(sexe) Source: Boiarskaia et al.: Cross-Validation of an Equating Method Linking Aerobic...

Equations used to calculate VO2max from total PACER laps

To calculates VO2max from total PACER laps, use the following equation: Formula with BMI VO2max =41.77+(pacerlaps*0.49)-0.0029*(pacerlaps^2)-(0.62*bmi)+0.35*(age*gender) Formula without BMI VO2max =32.57+(pacerlaps*0.27)+3.25*(gender)+0.03*(gender) Source: Boiarskaia et al.: Cross-Validation of an Equating Method Linking Aerobic...