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  1. #1
    Registered User FranktheTank37's Avatar
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    Bodybuilding and Life Expectancy

    I've read various places that extra body weight can increase your risk of many diseases. My question is this: Do many of these added risks apply to a bodybuilding enthusiast who has extra pounds of muscle? If I'm age 50, 6'0" 300lbs, 10% bodyfat and work on my cardio health often, should I still expect it to affect my mortality rate as I age?

    I'm sure there are many studies done concerning obese people, but they seem to refer to BMI often. Since the BMI doesn't account for muscles, would anyone like to chime in? - No flamers hopefully. Here's just one URL for ****s:
    http://fitnessblackbook.com/disease-...-health-risks/

    Should an average 'bodybuilder' who doesn't compete set a limit to his weight for health purposes as the aging process sets in?

    - Ok I'm not 35 but I didn't know where else to post this. And yes, I didn't do much research but I'm more likely to hear an unbiased opinion from this forum than most articles. Thanks for any thoughtful responses, and **** you to other posters.
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  2. #2
    Kilroy Was Here JC480's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by FranktheTank37 View Post
    I've read various places that extra body weight can increase your risk of many diseases. My question is this: Do many of these added risks apply to a bodybuilding enthusiast who has extra pounds of muscle? If I'm age 50, 6'0" 300lbs, 10% bodyfat and work on my cardio health often, should I still expect it to affect my mortality rate as I age?
    Extra body FAT is the risk factor. You won't be 300 pounds @ 10% BF at 50 years old...not if you got there naturally. It's basically impossible to put on that much muscle.

    Originally Posted by FranktheTank37 View Post
    I'm sure there are many studies done concerning obese people, but they seem to refer to BMI often. Since the BMI doesn't account for muscles, would anyone like to chime in? - No flamers hopefully. Here's just one URL for ****s:
    http://fitnessblackbook.com/disease-...-health-risks/
    High BMI from EXTRA FAT (not muscle) is a health risk factor.

    Originally Posted by FranktheTank37 View Post
    Should an average 'bodybuilder' who doesn't compete set a limit to his weight for health purposes as the aging process sets in?
    No. First off, it's not like it's easy to gain muscle. It's HARD ASS WORK. And it's a slow process...much slower when you are middle aged. Most guys here eat healthy, exercise and hope to add more muscle every year. After a certain age, your body works against you in this endeavor. But trying is half the fun.
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  3. #3
    Registered User x-trainer ben's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by FranktheTank37 View Post
    I've read various places that extra body weight can increase your risk of many diseases. My question is this: Do many of these added risks apply to a bodybuilding enthusiast who has extra pounds of muscle? If I'm age 50, 6'0" 300lbs, 10% bodyfat and work on my cardio health often, should I still expect it to affect my mortality rate as I age?

    I'm sure there are many studies done concerning obese people, but they seem to refer to BMI often. Since the BMI doesn't account for muscles, would anyone like to chime in? - No flamers hopefully. Here's just one URL for ****s:
    http://fitnessblackbook.com/disease-...-health-risks/

    Should an average 'bodybuilder' who doesn't compete set a limit to his weight for health purposes as the aging process sets in?

    - Ok I'm not 35 but I didn't know where else to post this. And yes, I didn't do much research but I'm more likely to hear an unbiased opinion from this forum than most articles. Thanks for any thoughtful responses, and **** you to other posters.
    think 4 cylinder engine in a ford 350 truck..... that is a lot of weight to tow around isn't it? Will the engine blow? Maybe, but why not make it a ford f 150?
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  4. #4
    "The Issue" BBLou's Avatar
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    As you age, you naturally lose muscle. Anything you can do to prevent that, or build muscle (i.e. by bodybuilding) can only be good for you. As long as you do it naturally that is...
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  5. #5
    Radioactive NuclearArms's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BBLou View Post
    As you age, you naturally lose muscle. Anything you can do to prevent that, or build muscle (i.e. by bodybuilding) can only be good for you. As long as you do it naturally that is...
    Don't know about that last point. Everything with Life Extension and "help" in betering life as one ages points towards hormone replacement therapy.
    My famous work quote:

    I can live with a little pain and 18+" arms,
    I can't live with the pain of having little 14" arms
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  6. #6
    Kilroy Was Here JC480's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by NuclearArms View Post
    Don't know about that last point. Everything with Life Extension and "help" in betering life as one ages points towards hormone replacement therapy.
    HRT has it's own set of risks. And that isn't really what this thread is about anyway.
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  7. #7
    Registered User JOHN GARGANI's Avatar
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    I have some sad and sobering news for you guys: once you pass a "certain" age ( and this varies ), the body "loses" the ability to distinguish between good mass and "bad" mass....


    meaning, whether it is solid muscle or otherwise, a certain sized heart for a certain body frame will just say: "What the F@#$ is this carrying around 40 extra pounds about? I am being overworked".....

    that is the reality of the situation.....when you look at most "ex" bodybuilders, they are all lighter.....not just because they no longer gear, or don't work out so hard, or done got old, but also because their bodies send them a distinct message about carrying extra weight in the hard facts of numbers such as BP, pulse, and many other indicators.....


    when you are young and EVERYTHING is young: the muscles, bones, circ system, heart, lungs, etc.......it all works together in tandem so that a heavily muscled man is not necessarily endangering his health....

    but as we get older, so too, does all of our ORGANIC systems, not just our muscula-skeletal systems and so, extra weight, whether it is adiposity or solid muscle, simply asks an older heart to do more work than it needs to do......


    something we all have to keep in mind, as the clock ticks past a certain point...again, that "point" varying from person to person.....
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  8. #8
    Registered User MarkG's Avatar
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    bodyweight and longevety

    If longevity is your main goal, read ?The Blue Zone? by Dan Buetner.

    He traveled all over the world, including Loma Linda, Calif (Seven Day Adventists) studying cultures with abnormally high rates of longevity.

    In a nutshell, so to speak, their diets are almost entirely vegetarian: nuts, grains, seeds, fruit and vegetables. Hard water, red wine and lots of daily activities involving moving the body (or as we call in, aerobic activities). Close family or social ties seem to be as important as all the other lifestyle choices (also pointed out by Dr. Dean Ornish).

    What none of these octogenarians do is eat meat or a high protein diet, engage in organized exercise or weight lifting, and they do not take any supplementation.

    Personally, I?m not willing to give up an occasional steak, fish or chicken to possibly add a few years at the end of my lifetime, and science has more than proven the benefits of weight training in our ?twilight? years.
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  9. #9
    Registered User theKurp's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JOHN GARGANI View Post
    I have some sad and sobering news for you guys: once you pass a "certain" age ( and this varies ), the body "loses" the ability to distinguish between good mass and "bad" mass....


    meaning, whether it is solid muscle or otherwise, a certain sized heart for a certain body frame will just say: "What the F@#$ is this carrying around 40 extra pounds about? I am being overworked".....

    that is the reality of the situation.....when you look at most "ex" bodybuilders, they are all lighter.....not just because they no longer gear, or don't work out so hard, or done got old, but also because their bodies send them a distinct message about carrying extra weight in the hard facts of numbers such as BP, pulse, and many other indicators.....
    I'm going to have to respectfully question you here. I think you're oversimplifying a very complex relationship between body composition, age, and longevity that not even the scientific community has a firm grasp on. What you're implying here is that there is a direct inverse relationship between cardiovascular health and TOTAL body mass.

    The following is one study that was conducted in an attempt to understand that complex relationship and appears to dispute your assertion: http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/69/3/373
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  10. #10
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    who has the beter chance, the 200 lb guy sitting on the couch or the 200 lb guy going to the gym? my chances go with the gym.
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    Nihilist Karl_Hungus's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by FranktheTank37 View Post
    I've read various places that extra body weight can increase your risk of many diseases. My question is this: Do many of these added risks apply to a bodybuilding enthusiast who has extra pounds of muscle? If I'm age 50, 6'0" 300lbs, 10% bodyfat and work on my cardio health often, should I still expect it to affect my mortality rate as I age?
    You will never naturally come anywhere close to 6'0", 300lbs at 10% bodyfat, so this isn't a valid concern. In order to attain that kind of mass, you will have to do things (that we can't talk about in this forum) that will have their own health consequences independent of your actual size.
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  12. #12
    Registered User FranktheTank37's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dutter View Post
    who has the beter chance, the 200 lb guy sitting on the couch or the 200 lb guy going to the gym? my chances go with the gym.
    Right, but John was answering what I was trying to ask. A guy who does his cardio exercise frequently and weighs 50 fewer lbs compared to a guy with those 50 extra lbs who also does cardio - who's heart works harder?

    Everyone is using my 300 lb example...I'm just wondering if a more experienced (OLDER - sorry over 35 ppl) guy should think about sacrificing some of his muscle mass to carry less weight and save his heart a lot of extra work. Or just set a total limit so that as you age you don't have to worry about health problems. Even If it's muscle and not fat the heart still does extra pumping, am i right?
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  13. #13
    !JustShutUp! BUDTAO's Avatar
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    They got your head mixed up with there words. Is should not have read BODY weight, it should have read extra weight from FAT.

    I dont think your stats are too far out of line.

    Your profile says age 18, but you say your 50. Whatever. Thing is, you didnt post any pix so we cant see/visualize your build/body to get a feel for what you have.


    Take it easy,
    Andrew
    (Im surrounded by Enternet Ediots)
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    Originally Posted by FranktheTank37 View Post
    Right, but John was answering what I was trying to ask. A guy who does his cardio exercise frequently and weighs 50 fewer lbs compared to a guy with those 50 extra lbs who also does cardio - who's heart works harder?

    Everyone is using my 300 lb example...I'm just wondering if a more experienced (OLDER - sorry over 35 ppl) guy should think about sacrificing some of his muscle mass to carry less weight and save his heart a lot of extra work. Or just set a total limit so that as you age you don't have to worry about health problems. Even If it's muscle and not fat the heart still does extra pumping, am i right?
    I wonder the same thing????
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    Originally Posted by FranktheTank37 View Post
    Right, but John was answering what I was trying to ask. A guy who does his cardio exercise frequently and weighs 50 fewer lbs compared to a guy with those 50 extra lbs who also does cardio - who's heart works harder?
    Probably the guy that weighs 50 pounds more. There is a reason why strength athletes look the way they do, and marathon runners look the way they do. If you train for size and strength, your body will make the appropriate adaptations....which won't necessarily be optimal for heavy endurance activities. All of that muscle requires a lot of energy to power.

    But, it does not follow from the above that the heart of a the heavier guy is any less healthy than the skinny guy who goes around running marathons. Further, additional lean mass has been associated with all sorts of health benefits, including greater bone density, greater joint stability, prevention of sarcopenia, and even resistance to disease. I've seen no study that links muscle mass to reduced heart function.

    You are worrying over nothing.
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  16. #16
    Registered User theKurp's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by FranktheTank37 View Post
    Right, but John was answering what I was trying to ask. A guy who does his cardio exercise frequently and weighs 50 fewer lbs compared to a guy with those 50 extra lbs who also does cardio - who's heart works harder?
    Depends on where the guy carries his extra 50 lbs. If both are of the same height and both have the same waist circumference, statistically speaking they carry the same risk for cardiovascular disease - all else being equal. However, if one carries more weight in his mid-section, regardless of the 50 lbs difference in weight, that one will stand a higher risk of heart disease - all else being equal. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1107082011.htm
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  17. #17
    Registered User thebigguy1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BUDTAO View Post
    They got your head mixed up with there words. Is should not have read BODY weight, it should have read extra weight from FAT.

    I dont think your stats are too far out of line.

    Your profile says age 18, but you say your 50. Whatever. Thing is, you didnt post any pix so we cant see/visualize your build/body to get a feel for what you have.


    Take it easy,
    Andrew
    Good answer..pretty much says it all!

    I just turned 50, hit the scale today at 262, had my doctor's visit last week and I got a clean bill of health.

    So, for me, it is all a crap shoot, but you takes the steps you can to take care of yourself and simply enjoy your workouts and your life! Life is too short for a lot of worry..that alone will shorten your lifespan...

    Ron III---III
    My favorite part of Bodybuilding is the sleeping because then I don't have to worry about eating all day!! :)
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  18. #18
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    Thumbs up

    meh...

    die huge and young, leave a good looking corpse.
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    Originally Posted by theKurp View Post
    The following is one study that was conducted in an attempt to understand that complex relationship and appears to dispute your assertion: http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/69/3/373
    This is somewhat interesting to me, and it's actually been discussed in at least one very old thread here that started for a different subject/reason (imagine that! ). I have always believed the basics of what John posted.

    Good find on the study, Kurp, and it's interesting. But keeping it scientific and apples to apples, that linked study does not correlate or directly address overall weight with taking its toll on the human body in older age. It discusses and compares weight in terms of "leanness", but only as it really applies to CV health across age. In other words, it's not precisely addressing what was asked here. Or another way of looking at it; OK, a leaner guy with a less CV fit heart will likely die before a heavier guy with a better CV fitness. But..... it doesn't speak directly to cause and effect of "mass" itself as compared with age.

    And I just saw this before submitting:

    Originally Posted by theKurp View Post
    Depends on where the guy carries his extra 50 lbs. If both are of the same height and both have the same waist circumference, statistically speaking they carry the same risk for cardiovascular disease - all else being equal. However, if one carries more weight in his mid-section, regardless of the 50 lbs difference in weight, that one will stand a higher risk of heart disease - all else being equal. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1107082011.htm
    I see Frank is saying what I was just trying to point out. Even in the link above (your 2nd post/link) it addresses obesity, and once again fails to directly address the subject of carrying weight (of any type, and especially including LBM) as we age.

    I'd really be interested to see a study on this...may have to go look, lol.
    Last edited by dbx; 10-06-2009 at 04:01 PM.
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  20. #20
    Has new batteries! DuracellBunny's Avatar
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    I have had lots of LONG conversations with cardiologists re exercise in general and weight training in particular and they couldn't care less about my bodyweight in regards to how it affects my heart; it is a none issue for them. Their only gripe is that more muscle around the chest area makes surgery more difficult for them to perform.

    Out of all the things they may not be keen on, bodyweight isn't one of them.
    Screw nature; my body will do what I DAMN WELL tell it to do!

    The only dangerous thing about an exercise is the person doing it.

    They had the technology to rebuild me. They made me better, stronger, faster......
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  21. #21
    1st Dan Chito-Ryu tonester's Avatar
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    I think that we all know that the bigger you are (lean or fat) the harder your body has to work to keep it banging on all cylinders. The metabolic cost is high.

    That being said, that's what huge, strong men signed up for. Also some of us on these boards have professions and/or passtimes that have a certain risk to them. We can't let the fear of death stop us from living our lives the way we want.

    You just have to decide on how far you will go, or how badly you want something.

    Anyways, here is a quote from Dave Tate on being huge and healthy. It seems that for him good nutrition and being lean really helped his health. To me that means that just getting big on Burger King isn't the way to go.

    http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_a...from_dave_tate

    Right now I'm at 12 percent body-fat at 287 pounds. Last week I had my blood work done and my doctor pulled out the first blood report he took before I contacted Berardi back in '06. He put them together and showed me the results. "Here you were 295 pounds and 20 percent body-fat, and there's not a single variable on this chart that's not ****ed up," he said. "This one here, you're at 12 percent and only eight pounds off from where you were three years ago and there's not one variable that is screwed up." My nutrition is night and day. I've never been this lean while being this heavy.
    Last edited by tonester; 10-06-2009 at 04:41 PM.
    "Adapt and overcome."

    "Everything you need is inside you."
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  22. #22
    Registered User theKurp's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dbx View Post
    I see Frank is saying what I was just trying to point out. Even in the link above (your 2nd post/link) it addresses obesity, and once again fails to directly address the subject of carrying weight (of any type, and especially including LBM) as we age.
    I'm not following. If I understand the 2nd link I posted, BMI is not an accurate predictor of cardiovascular health. So two guys of the same height with different BMIs (one being 50 lbs heavier in the example given in this thread) doesn't correlate, in and of itself, to an increased risk for heart attack.

    From the article:
    The authors' state that compared with BMI, waist-to-hip ratio is three times stronger than BMI in predicting the risk of a heart attack. Larger waist size (which reflects the amount of abdominal fat) was harmful, whereas larger hip size (which may indicate the amount of lower body muscle) was protective.

    The waist-to-hip ratio is calculated by dividing the waist measure by the hip measure. The cut off point for cardiovascular risk factors is less than 0.85 for women and 0.90 for men. A higher number denotes more risk

    Dr. Yusuf concludes: "Our findings suggest that substantial reassessment is needed of the importance of obesity for cardiovascular disease in most regions of the world."
    It was mentioned earlier in this thread that as we age, it doesn't matter where we carry the weight, only that we carry weight that is more than what is typical for a person's height in terms of CVD; aka BMI. I'm pointing out studies that do not bear this out.
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  23. #23
    Registered User theKurp's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tonester View Post
    I think that we all know that the bigger you are (lean or fat) the harder your body has to work to keep it banging on all cylinders. The metabolic cost is high.
    From the book: "The Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity", page 82,
    Central adiposity, as reflected in the waist circumference, is a strong predictor of the risk for CVD. When increased central adiposity is added to other components of the metabolic syndrome, the prediction is even higher. Using the National Health and Examination Survey Data, Janssen et. al. (2004) showed that body mass predicted the risk of the metabolic syndrome in men, but when BMI is adjusted for waist circumference as a continuous variable, waist circumference accounts for essentially all of the risk for the metabolic syndrome.
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  24. #24
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    Originally Posted by theKurp View Post
    I'm not following. If I understand the 2nd link I posted, BMI is not an accurate predictor of cardiovascular health. So two guys of the same height with different BMIs (one being 50 lbs heavier in the example given in this thread) doesn't correlate, in and of itself, to an increased risk for heart attack.
    What I'm saying is that that link specifically addresses "obesity vs hip-to-waist ratio" and not either and/or both of those topics as they relate specifically to age. How can I put this............ OK, it's not necessarily saying, "A guy who weighs 250lbs now at age 30 won't be effected in any adverse way if he maintains that same amount of weight on his 6' frame when he reaches age 55." That link/article was intended to dispel BMI as being optimal to predict long term health, but not to specifically address overall weight and its effect on a person in advanced years. IOW, you can't extrapolate what that article says to being a definitive answer to the OP's question and John's earlier post. Truly, I'm not trying to be argumentative here, Kurp. I just see the issues being presented as not being apples to apples.

    Originally Posted by theKurp View Post
    It was mentioned earlier in this thread that as we age, it doesn't matter where we carry the weight, only that we carry weight that is more than what is typical for a person's height in terms of CVD; aka BMI. I'm pointing out studies that do not bear this out.
    I don't disagree with this at all. But again, it doesn't hone in on any relationship with age, so I cannot assume that this premise spans the entire life cycle, so to speak...with any type of BM.
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  25. #25
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    Good discussion. Interesting points.
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  26. #26
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    Meh I don't think anyone can say with certainty either way. Medicine is NOT an exact science. Most of us have been around long enough to notice that one day they say it's all about BMI, the next they say waist circumference is it. One day it's all about cholesterol, the next it's inflammation. The truth is they are guessing and learning new things all of the time, and what everyone takes as medical "gospel" today may tomorrow be revealed to be total B.S. I take a lot of medical advice with a heavy dose of skepticism.

    Knowing where I am going when it's all over with, I'm not as obsessive about extending my life by any means necessary as some. To me, it's the quality of the life I have remaining that's also important. I like being big and muscular, strong as well as physically fit. Not so interested in looking like the average guy. So that is what I strive to achieve and maintain.
    Overweight and arrogant
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  27. #27
    Registered User theKurp's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dbx View Post
    What I'm saying is that that link specifically addresses "obesity vs hip-to-waist ratio" and not either and/or both of those topics as they relate specifically to age. How can I put this............ OK, it's not necessarily saying, "A guy who weighs 250lbs now at age 30 won't be effected in any adverse way if he maintains that same amount of weight on his 6' frame when he reaches age 55."
    Given that both studies combined included over 50,000 participants whose ages were 30 - 80+, and given that both studies matched the ages of participants (+/- 5 years) when analyzing results, I don't know how you can say that the conclusions reached don't relate specifically to age.

    In other words, whether the subjects were 30 years old or 80 years old, BMI (and that's what's being questioned by the OP) is not an accurate predictor of cardiovascular health. Read the studies carefully. It is statistically insignificant what weight a person is regardless of total weight (BMI), only that their weight not reside primarily in their abdominal section. Now, that said, an old person (use your own definition) would have to be in abnormally good shape to maintain his/her weight throughout their lifespan without having it settle in their abdomin. On the other hand, we have such examples among us here on BB of men and women well past their 50's who are in exceptional shape and have waist to hip ratios that preclude them from a high risk of cardiovascular disease - assuming they don't possess some or all of the other risk factors.

    The OP's question has been asked and answered by studies that have been conducted on a sizeable population.

    However, just to muddy the waters just a little, here's another study that says waist-to-height ratio is a better predictor of cardiovascular health than waist-to-hip ratio. http://www.metabolicsyndromeinstitut...c0e41cadedc2b7
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    Originally Posted by theKurp View Post
    Given that both studies combined included over 50,000 participants whose ages were 30 - 80+, and given that both studies matched the ages of participants (+/- 5 years) when analyzing results, I don't know how you can say that the conclusions reached don't relate specifically to age.

    In other words, whether the subjects were 30 years old or 80 years old, BMI (and that's what's being questioned by the OP) is not an accurate predictor of cardiovascular health.
    The OP's question has been asked and answered by studies that have been conducted on a sizeable population.
    But again, while the studies do cover an age range as stated, I see it as being more of a representative sample, not an actual comparison of the stages of an individual's life. But I may be splitting hairs...and will leave it here.

    And to be clear, while I stated previously that I've always believed along the lines of what John posted earlier, I don't have anything to offer in the way of research to substantiate that belief. I simply just...always believed that, and it may very well be bro-science. . Your links are informative and have made a great contribution to the thread.

    Originally Posted by theKurp
    However, just to muddy the waters just a little, here's another study that says waist-to-height ratio is a better predictor of cardiovascular health than waist-to-hip ratio. http://www.metabolicsyndromeinstitut...c0e41cadedc2b7
    Yep. It's interesting to some of us, but most of us won't alter our way of life no matter what any definitive research (if there is such a thing on this subject) ever shows
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