My research assistant job can be unpredictable, but in a good way! Today, two brothers came in to the office, but just one is in our study. "Mum" explained that the family goes for Highland dancing practice each weekend. What on earth is that? I thought to myself.
So, rather than wait until I could Google it, I asked about the dancing. Instead of an explanation, the boys took turns showing me some moves. It was awesome! Here's a link to some girls Highland dancing, but the boys were doing it a little differently. They both skipped around in a circle alternating hitting one heel with the other foot. I was pretty impressed.
The other thing I found interesting is that the boy in our study had a BMI that put him in the "orange" zone (overweight), but his waist:height ratio was perfectly "green" (average/"normal"). I plotted the results and went over them with his mom. She stated that he's "dense" because he's muscular from exercise. I thought the same thing, but kept it to myself - I try to be matter of fact when I go over the results and refer families to their primary care physician ("GP" here) if they have questions. When parents start speculating about why the results are the way they are, I just smile and nod.
I've long been suspicious of using body mass index to predict health risks. In this study though, for the most part, kids are usually the same color zone for both comparisons (age/BMI and height/waist circumference). When I plot results for families and those points on both graphs fall in the same colored zone, I don't think much about it... it seems straight forward... if families keep following their current lifestyle, I'd guess that those zones will both stay green, orange, or red down the road.
But, what will be down the road for a child whose BMI/age is "orange" and his waist:height is "green"? I'm not sure... I'd usually be happy to speculate, but I'm still recovering from a head cold. Anything I come up with risks being gobble-di-gook (a.k.a. nonsense).
What do you think?