, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 69-70,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 23 Feb 2012

Not being able to see the muscle for the fat

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At its simplest, we can express body weight or body composition as comprising of adipose tissue, muscle tissue and skeletal tissue. Body weight and body mass index (BMI) of populations of all ages have been increasing for close to half a century, leading to the present obesity epidemic. The causal pathways linking excessive body fat to serious chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart diseases is now well established.

A recent editorial citing body composition data from Li et al. [1] asked the question “Are Normal-Weight Americans Over-Fat?” [2]. This interpretation of the data from Li et al. reinforces an adipocentric view giving adipose tissue primacy; perhaps there is a different view, a sarcocentric view that proposes that people are perhaps becoming under-muscled rather than just over-fat. Data from Canada [3] and Germany [4] indicate that children and adults are getting fatter at the same body weight or BMI. If we are fatter at the same body weight and BMI then the other two

This comment refers to the article available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13539-010-0014-2.