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BMI

We've always suspected it, but now scientists have confirmed that dog owners are more likely to have better cardiovascular health.

The research was published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings and involved 1,769 people between 25 to 64-years-old, living in Brno in the Czech Republic.

Each participant had to provide information on their BMI, diet, physical activity levels, cholesterol, blood pressure, if they smoked or not and their fasting blood sugar levels.

42 percent of the candidates owned a pet of some sort, with 24 percent of people owning a dog and 17.9 percent owning another animal.

The American Heart Association heart score system test was used, looking at seven changeable risk factors of heart health.

Dog owners were more likely to exercise, have an ideal diet and blood glucose level than those who didn't, but they were more likely to smoke for some reason. They still scored better overall for cardiovascular health, however.

The study authors cautioned: "The higher smoking rates among dog ownership attenuates the association between dog ownership and cardiovascular health."

Existing evidence links dog ownership to better mental and physical health, so it makes total sense.

Study co-author Andrea Maugeri commented in a statement: "In general, people who owned any pet were more likely to report more physical activity, better diet and blood sugar at ideal level.

"The greatest benefits from having a pet were for those who owned a dog, independent of their age, sex and education level."

Research claims that getting a pooch could be a useful way to boost heart health, and an important way to tackle the prevalence of heart disease.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the US alone, causing one-in-four deaths each year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Senior investigator Francisco Lopez-Jimenez stated that owning dogs has previously been linked to better mental health and feeling less lonely, both of which are assumed to decrease the risk of heart attacks.

One study published last year in the journal BMC Psychiatry, which examined 17 existing papers concluded having a pet could help the symptoms of mental illness.

Philippa Hobson, senior cardiac nurse for the British Heart Foundation, told Newsweek: "Whether you're a pet-owner or not, physical activity can benefit your heart in lots of different ways.

"Just spending 10 minutes a day walking around the block is good for your heart health."

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By now, it's been drilled into us that the number on our weighing scales is not important.

And while

Body mass index (BMI) is the most commonly used measure of body fat, there's another number that we should be keeping our eyes on.

A recent study, from researchers in the UK and Australia, analysed data on body composition and mortality on more than 42,000 women and men over the course of 10 years.

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They found that people with a normal BMI (between 18.5 and 25) but with a high waist-to-hip ratio (above 0.85 for women or 0.9 for men) were 22 per cent more likely to die from any and all causes.

People who were found to be obese (BMI above 30) and have a high waist-to-hip ratio also had a greater chance of dying than normal-waisted people.

But, here is the intriguing part. People who were obese, but had a normal waist-to-hip ratio did not have an increased risk of death, despite being overweight.

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This could mean that we need to focus more on our waist-to-hip ratio rather than our BMI.

The study backs up previous findings that found a link between excess belly fat and mortality rate.

We may start to pay more attention to our mid-sections than anything else now.

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OK, say what? 

The internet went into a flurry earlier this week, when it was widely reported that Katy Perry was quietly planning to get her own back on former BFF, Taylor Swift.

Her means of revenge? A song aptly entitled 1984 – something which could only be, it was construed, a reference to Tay-Tay's hit 2014 album, 1989

But this morning, Ms Perry’s managers have thrown us a curve-ball; namely that there is NO 1984 song in the pipeline. 

Talking to E! her people say that the story is totally fake and that Katy had no involvement in writing, recording or registering the song.

That's told us, so.

In the aftermath of the mix-up, we're wondering if a reconciliation could now be on the cards for the former besties? If nothing else, surely by now the row has run its course.

To recap: the feud between the superstars has been going on for close-to two years and in that time they've both strongly alluded to (albeit without explicitly stating anything), the falling-out in interviews and on Twitter.

Though Katy might be feeling a little raw still. After all, it's not all that long ago that Ms Swift was gathering up some Hollywood heavyweights to help her make a point via her scathing Bad Blood video.

As we previously reported, a source close to 30-year-old Ms Perry said she felt the video "was a little desperate”.

Apparently the one-time wife of Russell Brand also thought that TayTay “tried too hard". 

Let’s just hope for Katy’s sake that she didn’t take the celeb appearances in the video too personally. Otherwise her Hollywood friends list is going to become a whole lot shorter.  

 

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BMI – or Body Mass Index – has been the go-to method of measuring what kind of shape we’re in for years now

It works by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in metres squared – simples.

But now, many scientists are calling for another means of testing because BMI doesn’t take body fat into account.

Muscle is heavier than fat, and so the index has come under fire recently, because some athletes might be considered ‘obese’ when their BMI is taken.

And then there’s the ‘skinny fat’ person, who has little muscle mass but might have a layer of fat around their middle – which is thought to contribute to heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Doctors are said to be adopting a new system called the ‘Body Shape Index’ – which takes in your waist measurements too.

The BSI is more about your body’s fat content than your weight.

Another method being tested out is the Body Adiposity Index (BAI), which divides your height by your hip circumference to calculate body fat percentage.

Can we not just judge it by what jeans still fit us?

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It looks like checking your BMI and blood pressure isn’t the only thing that determines your health because according to American researchers, personality is as important as family history.

They think that personality determines how well someone looks after themselves and that conscientious people are much less likely to develop a health problem than those who are careless.

Dr Norman Anderson of Duke University in North Carolina said:

“The best health care is one that treats the whole person including how their personality traits impact their attitudes and behaviours vis-à-vis their health.”

He said that his research showed that people who are more sensible at the age of 26 are in much better health  at 38 than those who aren’t sensible in their 20s.

Looks like we’ll be passing on the booze this weekend!

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If indulging in a Big Mac didn’t make you feel guilty before, it probably will now.

A new study has found that every fast food meal a person eats increases their BMI by 0.03 points.

Now that may not seem like a lot, but if you’re a regular at the local chipper, you can just imagine how terribly your BMI increases after only a week.

Generally, a person with a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered to be a healthy weight, those between 25 to 29.9 are considered to be overweight and a BMI of more than 30 is classed as obese.

The researchers involved in the study think that the government can help reverse the obesity epidemic by regulating how fast food is being advertised as well as giving people economic incentives to encourage companies to sell healthier foods.

But for the meantime, it looks like you’ll just have to think twice before ordering another take away because those 0.03 points will eventually add up…

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