A pre-emptive tease: no newsletters are yet touting this company, but like many stocks that they do tease, it is small, cheap, almost unknown, and even has the exotic appeal of being Australian. Sort of. At Stock Gumshoe we not only deconstruct pitched stocks, we find teasable stocks before the newsletters do!
Let’s return to that company soon, but first cover some important considerations about obesity. No North American Gumshoe reader would seriously dispute that obesity is a serious problem on this continent. The prevalence of the problem depends on what definition one uses and what is being studied. Being overweight is generally defined as having a body mass index (BMI, which is kg divided by body surface area in square meters) of 25 or more. Body surface area (BSA), by the way, is a quite relevant anthropometric measure, one that acknowledges that creatures that have high ratio of body surface area to body mass are often metabolically quite active compared with their mass (the shrew, for example). Chemotherapy drugs are dosed based on body surface area because dosing them based on mass frequently leads to underdosing in those with low body mass (such as children) and overdosing of those with high mass. BSA can be inferred from nomographic relationships between mass and height. Being obese is having a BMI of 30 or more. And by either of these definitions, Mexico’s weight problem recently surpassed that of the US. Keep in mind that the BMI definition of obesity is not based on theory or science. It is a level at which committees have drawn a line.
Why mull this in terms of BMI and not just body mass? Why the ratio, the comparison, to surface area?
Much of our understanding of this subject owes to an extraordinary lifetime body of work by a Norwegian, Knut Schmidt-Nielsen (under whom I studied). Schmidt-Nielsen was famous for his physiologic studies of camels (see photo below), but spent his career expounding on the fact that if you compare the metabolic activity and demands of a small creature with those of a large creature, on a gram per gram basis, the small creature has monumentally higher energy needs. With exhaustive work, he showed that what made the distinction was not body mass, and not volume of the animal, but the animal’s surface area and the relationship of that surface area to the animal’s ...