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Why the BMI is harmful BS

March 21st, 2013

Panic! Last March, the McAllen-Edinburg metro area was deemed the most obese, comprised of almost 40 percent fatties, apparently, according to the Gallup-Healthways poll. That same poll is referenced in Jose S. De Leon III’s article on Valley food.

Problem is, the buzzword of the decade, obesity, is not just bad science, it’s not medical science at all.

A person is classified as obese based off the Body Mass Index; that slanty rainbow chart in the doctor’s office that compares a person’s height and weight.

And that formula, the BMI, was carefully calculated and tested on several different body types by scientists and dieticians with many titles following their names, right? No.

BMI’s maiden name is the Quetelet Index, after Belgian mathematician and sociologist Adolphe Quetelet. Right,  mathematician, not physician. What’s more, it dates to 1835, and accompanied Quetelet’s theory on the “average man”, which obviously is very useful for speculating on general populations. Not so much for the lone patient in a doctor’s office, though.

In fact, Quetelet did leave the world a bit of guidance on how to use his formula. Specifically, he mentioned a small caveat – don’t use it to assess individual health. And…
the United States uses BMI to assess health, and even worse, an individual’s health.

The BMI chart breaks people down into four basic groups: underweight, normal, overweight and obese. And to Quetelet’s credit, his wonky formula comparing two picked-at-random human traights actually does work, most of the time. That is, square a person’s height and compare it to weight and you will, in most cases, be able to tell how much adipose tissue they’re carrying around.

But not always. Classified as overweight by the BMI are both basketballer Yao Ming and soccer player Abby Wambach. And that’s the problem, the BMI’s logic is faulty. See, a person with a high percentage of fat will have a high BMI, but a person with a high BMI does not necessarily have a high percentage of fat. It’s the old square and rectangle riddle.

So, yeah it’s misleading, but how is it harmful? For starters, in the 1970’s, health insurance companies cast about for a way to determine health and longetivity using easy to gather data about people. They landed on the 100-year-old, bumbling BMI as the standard. As a result, a higher BMI will now net a higher premium, at least 25 percent more expensive, generally. Remember when the BMI was never supposed to be used for individuals? Yeah.

Even worse, much of the country thinks that makes sense, because using the BMI to calculate general health leads to an even more dangerous assumption: that health is totally dependent on weight. It isn’t and it never has been. Sure, the amount of fat in a body definitely has some relation to overall health, but it is far from the only factor. Additionally, Quetelet’s notion of the “average man” is useful in his fields of mathematics and sociology, but very harmful in medicine. There is no magic ratio of height and weight that makes a body healthy. Saying that there is and that healthy and unhealthy can be separated for everyone by decimal points on a multi-colored chart is beyond ridiculous.

As long as the Valley and the country as a whole continue to be distracted by its “obesity epidemic,” the real issue of health will get lost in the mess. It’s time to start thinking of medical health as involving the whole person, and not just their waists.

Categories: Editorial

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It’s over…officially.

December 20th, 2012

¡Estamos oficialmente libres!

Este semestre ha llegado a su conclusión, y créeme que estoy realmente agradecía. ¡Gracia Dios, eres maravilloso! No se tu,  pero para mí este semestre estuvo muy pesado. Pase por muchas experiencias nuevas en lo académico, mi carrera, personal y hasta emocional.

Sin embargo, me halago en contarte que gracias a Dios terminé el semestre con honores. ¡Vaya que valió la pena el esfuerzo! Ahora me toca recuperar las miles de horas que me faltan por dormir (y algunas otras cositas más).

Y aun si este semestre no fue tu mejor, ¡ya termino! ¡Así que a celebrar sea dicho!

¿Y tú, Cómo te premiarás?

Si te faltan ideítas, déjame te regalo algunas de las mías.


(*Ojo, estas fotitos son de cómo YO me premié por mi gran esfuerzo y mis buenas calificaciónes. Todas los fotos son de mi Instagram: @sairatrev./ Note, these pics are how I rewarded myself for my great effort and my good grades. All of the pictures are from my Instagram: @sairatrev.)

2012 12 18 01 11 59 11 300x300 It’s over…officially.

Un manicure siempre es necesario/ A manicure is always necessary
(A mi gusta ir a un salón que se llama “D Nails & Spa” porque aparte de hacer un muy buen trabajo, tienen buen servicio./I like to go to a salon named “D Nails & Spa” because aside from doing a really good job, they also provide a great service.)


IMG 20121201 154515 300x300 It’s over…officially.IMG 20121012 004258 300x300 It’s over…officially.

Un Cafecito-date (una cita de café ) o una visitadita para un tapioca/ A coffee-date or a visit for a tapioca
(¡Uff! Si no has probado el “Caramel Macchiato” no sabes de lo que te pierdes. Lo tienes que comprar YA./ Uff! If you haven’t tried the “Caramel Macchiato” you have no idea what you’re missing on! You have to buy one NOW.)


IMG 20121217 171530 300x300 It’s over…officially.

Cómprate tus bebidas favoritas/ Buy yourself your favorite beverage
(Soy una abuelita total y el café me hace feliz.  ¡Si soy adicta a la cafeína y que!/ I am a total grandma and coffee makes me happy. Yes I’m a caffeine addict, so what!)


IMG 20121217 171353 300x300 It’s over…officially.IMG 20121214 155713 300x300 It’s over…officially.

Y lo más importante: ¡ZAPATOS NUEVOS!/ And the most important: NEW SHOES!
(Y obviamente que esto no faltaría, déjame  recordarte que no hay tal cosa como “ya tienes muchos zapatos.”/And obviously these couldn’t  be forgotten, and let me remind you that there’s no such thing as “you have too many shoes.”)

We are officially free!

This semester has come to a conclusion, and believe me I am truly thankful for it. Thank you Lord, you are marvelous! I don’t know about you, but this semester was very challenging for me. I went through many new experiences in my academics, career, personal and even emotional.

However, it makes me proud to share with you that I was able to end the semester with honors, thank God. All of my effort paid off! Now, it is time to recover the millions of hours I lack of sleep (and a few other things).

And even if this semester was not your best, it’s over! So it’s time to celebrate!

How will you reward yourself?

If you need ideas, let me give you some of mine.


Galatians/Gálatas 5: 22- 23

Categories: Blogs

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A final advice

December 6th, 2012

Han llegados los famosos días de las rectas finales. Mientras morimos lentamente entre libros, ensayos, guías de estudio y sobredosis de cafeína, pensé que sería una buena idea que algunos de los fashionistas de UTPA nos dieran unos consejitos de cómo pasar y sobrevivir los exámenes finales.

Espero que sean de gran ayuda.

Recuerda, lo que vale la pena en la vida nunca llegará fácilmente.

¡A estudiarle cariño!


The famous finals days are here. And while we slowly die between books, essays, study guides and caffeine overdoses, I thought it would be a good idea to ask some of the UTPA’s fashionistas to gives us some tips on how to survive and pass our final exams.

I hope they are of great help.

Remember, what is worth it in life never comes easy.

Get studying darling!

IMAG2611 146x300 A final adviceIMAG2612 140x300 A final advice

Daniella Diaz/Senior/Major: Print Journalism, Minor: Graphic Design
“Finals are just finals. They’re a step that takes us towards graduation, and yes they’re important. But if we worked hard all the semester and made sure to keep our grades up all semester, you shouldn’t really worry about it. There are so many services UTPA offers to help you get caught up. The tutoring services here are great. And when it’s all over, you’ll feel happy with yourself.”

(*Collar de Peter Pan= ¡compratelo YA!/ Peter Pan collar= buy it NOW!)



IMAG2902 154x300 A final adviceIMAG2904 300x160 A final advice

Valerie Garate /Senior/Major: Public Relations (PanAmerican’s Greek Life Blogger)
“Time management, honestly you just have to prioritize. Manage the most important things first and so on. Keeping track of your time is most important.”

(*Bolsos de colores vivos ayudan a darle un toque alegre y especial a cualquier conjunto, usalo con colores oscuros (a mí me gusta cuando el color de la bolsa no tiene nada que ver con lo que traes pues, se ve retro)/Bright colored purses helps give a vivid and special touch to any outfit, use it with dark colors (I like it when the color of the purse has nothing to do with what you have on, it looks retro))


IMAG2281 146x300 A final adviceIMAG2282 146x300 A final advice

Jose Patino/Junior/ Major: Mechanical Engineering, Minor: Spanish
“I study a lot, a lot. Literally we make study groups with friends. We just stay there studying, sometimes all the way to midnight or later. Practice makes perfect.”

(*Chavos con pantalones de color= ¡Uff! ¡Me matan!/ Guys in colored denim= Uff! Kills me!)


IMAG2059 146x300 A final advice

Violeta Alejandra Garza/Junior/Major: Public Relations, Minor: Spanish
“Well, before I start I review little by little. For certain classes I make note cards and that’s how I study definitions. The day before the exam is the heaviest; go to a place where you can study. I go to Moonbeans to study and take breaks. I try not to stay up late.”

(*Pantalones de Harem=!necesarios! / Harem Pants= must haves!)


IMAG2907 146x300 A final adviceIMAG2906 191x300 A final advice

Monica Carranco/Junior/ Major: Public Relations, Minor: Spanish
“Staying up late and reading. Just study a lot.”

(*Entre más simple mejor/ Simple is always better)


IMAG2613 146x300 A final adviceIMAG2615 300x220 A final advice

Sara Castillo/Senior/ Major: Public Relations, Minor: Art
“I try to study days in advanced so I don’t overwhelm myself and learn everything fully. I like to write my guides by hand and from there I continue to review them. The day before the exam I sleep early and have a light breakfast the next day so I can have energy but no feel bad during the test.”

(*Blusas con holanes= muy de moda horita/ Peplum shirts= very in right now)


IMAG2283 146x300 A final advice

Mario Antonio Lopez/Senior/Major: Graphic Design, Minor: Advertising
“I don’t have finals just projects. And well I do them and then I go to parties. But for finals you should study a bunch the day before and don’t sleep until after the test then go home and nap. And then you go out and party until you forget whatever you learned all semester.”


IMAG2303 146x300 A final adviceIMAG2302 146x300 A final advice

Estefania Nina Franklin/ Senior/ Major: Public Relations, Minor: Graphic Design
“With six classes it might be insane to think that I might survive. I think it really is all about giving that extra push to see the great results of my effort. In the end it makes it all worth it.”
Mateo/Matthew 11:28-30

Categories: Blogs

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Scarf it up!

November 24th, 2012

¡Feliz día de acción de gracias (pasadas)!

¡Espero que hayas comido mucho, mucho y que hayas dado gracias por todas tus bendiciones!

2012 11 22 18 39 11 298x300 Scarf it up!

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!

I hope you ate tons and that you gave thanks for all your blessings!


Tal parece que la Madre Naturaleza y el frio están jugando a las escondidas con nosotros. Lo siento  por  las personas, como yo, que todos los días oran por frio y no logramos encontrar su escondite.


Pero bueno, mientras el clima del Valle se trata de actualizar con el resto de Estados Unidos y decide regalarnos un poco de descanso del calor, yo te daré unas cuantas ideas para estar a doc a este clima bipolar.

También tuve la oportunidad de participar en un video de cómo hacer tu propia bufanda—¡y debo admitir que ha quedado muy padre! Muchas gracias a Elizabeth Marie Espinosa y a Dimitra Hernandez.

Recuerda, !al mal tiempo buena cara (y ropa jeje)!

P.D. Durante estos tiempos nunca te equivocarás con una bufando o pañoleta.

Do It Yourself: Scarf Edition


IMAG2650 146x300 Scarf it up!IMAG2651 146x300 Scarf it up!IMAG2652 149x300 Scarf it up!

Bridget Osuna

“I felt a little sick today and wanted to be warm and cozy. And the scarf, well, I wanted my dreadlocks out of my face. I like it because it’s a different style.”

IMAG2571 146x300 Scarf it up!IMAG2572 146x300 Scarf it up!

Mandy De la Fuente

“I am actually the model for my painting class right now and I really put thought into this. I wanted something different, so I pinned my skirt. The scarf, well, I just thought it was interesting to wear it that way.”

IMAG2568 140x300 Scarf it up!IMAG2569 1 245x300 Scarf it up!

Cindy Gomez

“I actually saw a girl here at the Annex wearing a scarf around her head and I thought it looked interesting. I tried it, but I didn’t dare to wear it like that, so I tried different ways and like how it looked around my shoulders, so I wore it that way.”


It seems like Mother Nature and the cold weather are playing hide-and-seek with us. I really am sorry for all the individuals, like myself, who pray every day for cold days and can never seem to find its hiding place.


And while the Valley weather tries to actualize itself with the rest of the US and gifts us with a break from hot temperatures, I will give you a few ideas on how to be ready for this bipolar climate.

I also had the opportunity to participate in a do-it-yourself video on how to make your own scarf. And if I must admit it, it came out really cool! I’d like to thank to Elizabeth Marie Espinosa and Dimitra Hernandez.

Remember, at bad times put your best face forward (and outfits hehe)!

P.S. During these times you can never go wrong with a scarf.


Salmos/Psalms 100: 4-5


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November 15th, 2012

Oh cuan hermoso es el mundo de la moda.

Oh cuan hermoso y repentino es el mundo de la moda—nunca es suficiente.

No fue hasta este hermoso mes de septiembre que cambio, nuevamente.

Hace seis meses nos moríamos por paletas neutrales de simpleza y nos apartábamos de los estampados, que eran amor por favor, no líneas o figuras.

Sin embargo, seis meses después estamos adictos a los estallos de colores y diseños.

Así que si te preguntas, que usaremos este invierno ’13?


Geeo-geoo-geometría amor.

Sip, piensa en David Hicks (decorador de interiores), arte pop y en los 1960.

Divierte con patrones descabellados  y colores voltéame-a-ver.

Se atrevido o vete a casa.

Aquí te va algo similar, disfrútalo.

IMAG2063 11 144x300 Gee gee geometrics IMAG2064 11 226x300 Gee gee geometrics
Estefanía Franklin
“Como jamás te metes a Facebook por eso te dije, verías la invitación muy tarde.”
Vestido/Dress: Material Girl (viejo/old)


IMAG2164 11 149x300 Gee gee geometrics IMAG2164 1 11 253x300 Gee gee geometrics
Claudia Rivas
“Here, put your e-mail and I’ll send you an invitation”
Mayones/Leggings: A’gaci

(*P.D. Si es que has quedado completa/o y totalmente enamorada/o de la geometría y buscas mas, haz clic aquí./P.S. If you were left totally and completely in love with geometrics and are searching for more, then click here.)


Oh beautiful world of fashion world.

Oh beautiful ever-changing world of fashion—I can never get enough.

It was until this wonderful month of September that it changed, once again.

Six months ago we were dying for neutral palettes of simplicity and straying away from print, which was please honey, no lines or shapes.

Six months later, however, we are now addicted to pops of colors and patterns.

What to expect for winter ’13?


Gee-gee-geometrics baby.

Yeah that’s right, think David Hicks (an interior designer), pop art and the 1960’s.

Have fun with trippy patterns and head-turning colors.

Go wild or home.

Here is something like it, enjoy.

2012 09 11 14 32 40 1 300x294 Gee gee geometrics
Via Instagram: jeffreycampbell

(Por cierto, si tienes una cuenta de Instagram asegúrate de seguir a “thepanamerican” porfis y gracias./By the way, if you have an Instagram  account be sure to follow “thepanamerican”please and thank you.)

Neo geos copy 2 300x212 Gee gee geometrics
Cape Town Fashion Council 


Romanos/Romans 12:19

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¡Felices fiestas patrias!

September 16th, 2012

¡Muchas, muchas, pero muchas felicidades a mi hermoso México por haber cumplido 202 años de independencia!

Este famoso 16 de septiembre me toco pasármela en Reynosa y con mi familia. ¿Y tú, como celebraste el día de independencia?

Espero que te la hayas pasado de lo mejor y que te hayas portado bien, ¡ehh!

Bueno, aquí te va mi conjuntito patrio, espero que te guste y ¡que viva México señores!


IMAG1675 300x169 ¡Felices fiestas patrias! IMAG1634 300x169 ¡Felices fiestas patrias!
(En mi visita a la ciudad de México./ When I visited Mexico city.)

IMAG2141 176x300 ¡Felices fiestas patrias! IMAG2136 1 1 168x300 ¡Felices fiestas patrias! IMAG2122 164x300 ¡Felices fiestas patrias!
(En lugar de partir mi cabeza y mi bolsillo en dos, puedo decir que ¡ahora sí que fue un recobro de prendas!/Instead of cracking my head and my purse in two, I can say that this time it truly was an inexpensive outfit recovery!)

(Mas fotos/More pics)


Congratulations to my beautiful Mexico for its 202 years of independence!

On this famous 16 of September I had the opportunity to spend it at Reynosa and with my family. And how did you celebrate this Independence Day?

I hope you had a good time and that you behaved!

Well, enough talk, here’s my patriotic outfit, I hope you like it and viva Mexico!


IMG 20120916 210943 300x300 ¡Felices fiestas patrias!
Via Instagram: sairatrev

IMG 20120824 000444 300x300 ¡Felices fiestas patrias! IMG 20120820 080700 300x300 ¡Felices fiestas patrias!
(Por cierto, si te gustaría ver fotos de mi viaje misionero al DF y de mi fiesta de 21 las puedes ver aquí./By the way, if you would like to see pictures of my missionary trip to Mexico City and my 21st birthday party, you could see them here.)

Gálatas /Galatians 5:1

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Artist Twin Shadow to perform at Cine El Rey

September 15th, 2012

Light drum beats and synthesized keyboard sounds will penetrate the walls of the McAllen Cine El Rey Theatre, for the first-time Valley performance of pop artist Twin Shadow. Singer and songwriter George Lewis, Jr., who goes by the nom de plume Twin Shadow, is set to take the stage from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m.

Twin Shadow’s Ton Up tour began July 27, hitting places all over Canada and the U.S., and now Lewis along with his performing band are finally making their way to South Texas.

“We like playing places that we’ve never played before. I think it’s important to get to places where people don’t have access to good music and try to play for them,” Lewis said. “We just try to put on an energetic show. (We) try to take people away from their lives a little bit.”

Local talent buying company Tiger’s Blood is behind the show’s booking. Tiger’s Blood was created in 2010 by McAllen native Patrick Garcia, who is also the man behind the personality Galax Z Bear. The Bear was a false persona created by Garcia when he first began promoting shows. He wanted to see if audiences would still support a show if they didn’t know who the promoter was.

“Eventually people found out right away that it was me,” Garcia said. “But I feel like I kind of did prove that there are some people who will attend a show regardless of who the promoter is just to go check out a band.”

Garcia explained that Twin Shadow played a part in his wanting to promote artists and their music. He admitted he booked the band for “totally selfish reasons.”

“His first record came out and impacted me pretty hard,” the 27 year old said. “That was right around the time in November of 2010 when I decided I was going to start focusing on promoting a little more and promoting specifically touring sort of slightly underground, but still on the cuff of becoming wildly popular artists. I had just made it a point to try and get this guy down.”

Described by Garcia as a having a “psychedelic” sound, he explained that the artist is still in somewhat of an unknown stage.

“Twin shadow is a relatively young artist. He writes a lot of very well structured, intelligent music and songs that kind of embrace this sort of lothario, 80s aesthetic,” Garcia explained. “He’s evolving and I’ve seen him evolve career-wise and artistry-wise.”

Garcia mentioned that there was a booking problem with the tour schedule and the artist almost didn’t make it down to the Rio Grande Valley. Twin Shadow is set to perform in Alabama the day after his McAllen performance and will have to make a 17 hour drive in a van in order to play both shows. When the artist found out that the agency was looking to cancel the McAllen show to try and save time, he insisted the schedule stay the same.

“I think that says a lot about Twin Shadow and how he has a driven appreciation for his fan base,” Garcia said.

Although the artist will have limited time with his Valley audience, Garcia believes they are in for rare treat.

“I feel like a lot of people who do go to my shows, go for the artist, but there’s a lot of people who are curious, who are used to going to shows that are maybe screamo shows or metal shows. So I feel like they’re going to get something different,” Garcia said. “It’s going to be an interesting show regardless, but I can promise you that it’s going to be a pretty strong live show.”

Categories: Arts & Life

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Does your college make the grade?

March 8th, 2012

Open publication – Free publishingMore panamerican

Categories: News

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