Body fat, not BMI, higher death %

Alfred Wong

Article Summary

This article, from CNN, was written by Carina Storrs on March 14, 2016. The text claims that being skinny, doesn't necessarily make you healthy. Researchers conducted a study of 50,000 women and 5,000 men of Manitoba, which is a province of Canada. The twist of the study is that they did not base their study on BMI, they based their study on total body fat. They found, through a follow up, that skinnier women had a higher mortality rate than those who had a higher body fat. This lead to their conclusion that, although patients with high BMI should be encouraged to lose weight and adapt a healthier life style, it's also very important for extremely low or high fat individuals to maintain weight, have a healthy diet, and maintain a level of fitness.

Article Critique

Carina Storrs is a freelance health and science journalist that is based in New York City. She graduated from New York University with a Masters in Arts, Journalism, Science, and health reporting program. She also has education from Columbia University and University of Florida. She has articles published on The Scientist, Discover, CNN Health, and Health.com. Carina's credentials validate her reliability in regards to the article. She has background in research in the science field in regards to Human papillomavirus and HIV drug resistance from Columbia University. The source of the article, CNN.com, is not reliable. News media outlets chose what they want to publish article wise. Often times they are biased with their opinions but with a topic on health, it has a lesser chance to be unreliable and biased information. The information covered in the article was reliable. They interviewed Dr. Carl Lavie from John Ochsner Heart & Vascular Institute, and interviewed Dr. William D. Leslie, a professor of medicine and radiology from the University of Manitoba, both with reliable credentials. Their study however was skewed. They only sampled the group of people from Manitoba. It's very possible that other populations and people of other ethnicities have different information. The researchers also didn't look at the cause of death and only looked at whether the individual had died during the follow up, which discredits the study. A variety of different things could have caused a individual to die. However, I do think that the study came to the right conclusion that extremely low or high body fat has a higher percentage of death than BMI.