Hands-on workshop reviews literature on body weight, oral health

A hands-on workshop titled "Documenting Obesity and Underweight in Clinical Dental Settings" will take place today at the 45th Annual Meeting & Exhibition of the American Association for Dental Research. The AADR Annual Meeting is being held in conjunction with the 40th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research.

This hands-on workshop will review the literature on body weight and oral health, and the strengths and limitations of tools for assessing a patient's degree of obesity or underweight. Two-thirds of the adult US population is overweight or obese, and obesity among children is a growing problem. Obesity has been shown to be a risk factor for periodontal diseases and dental caries. Although the precise mechanisms to explain the association have not been determined, they may include the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines from fat tissue, increased potential for insulin resistance and diabetes, and overconsumption of foods that increase the inflammatory burden. At the other end of the spectrum, underweight and unintentional weight loss may be signs of medical disease that can impact oral health.

Patient dental records are a potentially rich source of data that researchers can use to examine links between oral health and body composition. However, dental records often lack information on basic anthropometric measures such as height and weight. Systematic measurement and documentation of height, weight, and other body size indices is inexpensive, noninvasive, and quick, and can be performed in a variety of health care settings, including dental offices and clinics.

The learning objectives include: understand the strengths and limitations of studies of associations between weight and oral health; learning to measure and interpret weight, height, and arm and waist circumferences; and learning to compute and interpret body mass index, and track children's growth using growth charts. Participants will perform height and weight measurements and calculate body mass index (BMI) using online calculators. Participants also will learn to track weight and height changes of children using growth charts, measure arm and waist circumferences and compare results to obesity standards.

Source:

International & American Associations for Dental Research

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