Monday, February 21, 2011

A weighty old matter

This photograph’s of my scale. It’s a calibrated, balance beam scale. A Mercury 211FP. Made in Adelaide. I’ve owned it since the mid-late 1980s. I used it in my Melbourne consulting room until 1998. Since then I’ve practised only in Tasmania – in rooms rented by the day. So from late 2002 when we moved into our Mole Creek house, the scale’s graced our bathroom. Because you can’t manage what you don’t measure, I weigh myself each morning. I’m keen to stay within cooee of my ideal body weight. Or rather of a Body Mass Index of 25 – the acknowledged ideal [1]. It’s currently 22.5. So I’m doing okay. Or so I thought until I read this paper [2] published in the Australasian Journal of Ageing in late December. According to this report [3] of the paper, the figures from almost 25,000 older Australians in the ongoing ‘Men, Women and Ageing’ longitudinal study [4], join an emerging body of evidence that being overweight’s less of a health hazard the older people get. Specifically, over-70s live longest if their BMI’s 26-27. In other words putting on a little weight as you get older’s no bad thing – indeed it may be the secret to longevity. In yet other words, a BMI in the overweight range appears protective for both older men and women. I’m not an over-70. Yet. So until then I’ll keep aiming for a BMI of 25. But I’ll be less upset if I go over it a bit. Ho hum.

P.S. Having written this post, I discovered I've written on these matters before [5, 6]. Sorry.

1 comment:

Chrows25 aka Leather Woman said...

WOW we have one just like that, Sel's Dad was the inspector for weights and measures , so an excellent scale was needed at home and we inherited the extremely efficent and rudely honest beast.