Category Archives: childhood obesity

Obesity is common, serious and costly – CDC

I have written about the dangers of obesity almost more times than I can remember, yet it remains a nightmare for us. As we tell our children over and over – actions have consequences. When will we learn that everything we eat and drink becomes a part of us. We don’t just get to enjoy the taste with no physical effects afterwards.

    • More than one-third (36.5%) of U.S. adults have obesity. [Read CDC National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data brief PDF-704KB]
    • Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death. [Read guidelines]
    • The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars; the medical costs for people who have obesity were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight. [Read summary]

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Obesity affects some groups more than others Continue reading

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Filed under childhood obesity, coronary heart disease, diabetes, heart, heart disease, obesity, stroke, Type 2 diabetes

Latest update on U.S. nutrition, physical activity and obesity

Each month, the office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion releases an infographic with the latest data related to a Healthy People 2020 Leading Health Indicator (LHI) topic. These infographics show progress toward Healthy People 2020 LHI targets — and show where there’s still work to be done.  

This month’s featured LHI topic is Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. Check out the infographic below, then head over to the Healthy People 2020 LHI Infographic Gallery to see infographics for other LHI topic areas.

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Filed under childhood obesity, Exercise, exercise benefits, how much exercise, nutrition, nutrition information, nutritional deficiencies, obesity

Are sugary drink interventions cutting consumption?

I have written repeatedly about the ill effects of soft drinks, both sugary and diet, on our bodies. You can check out my Page – What’s wrong with soft drinks? for chapter and verse. So this item in Medical News Today citing efforts to curb sugary drink consumption caught my eye.

An evaluation of efforts designed to reduce how many sugary drinks we consume shows some success in changing younger people’s habits but warns they cannot be the only way to cut consumption.

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Nutritionists at the University of Leeds have carried out the first comprehensive review of interventions to reduce sugary drinks consumption. The team analyzed 40 studies with 16,500 participants across three age groups: children, teenagers and adults.

Their study, published in the Obesity Reviews journal, found that children participating in these programs reduced their sugary drink intake by around 30%, removing nearly 2.5 teaspoons of sugar from a child’s average intake of 16 teaspoons per day.

Interventions aimed at teenagers saw sugary drink consumption reduced by nearly 10%. However, there was almost no measurable change in adults participating in these programs. Continue reading

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Filed under childhood obesity, diabetes, obesity, prediabetes, sugar, sugary soda, sugary soft drinks, Type 2 diabetes

Some Facts About Weight Loss That Work

I would rather focus on eating healthy and exercising regularly than losing weight. However, since we are in the holiday season and eating temptations abound, I thought I would share these observations:

“…. There are facts about obesity of which we may be reasonably certain — facts that are useful today,” says researcher Krista Casazza, PhD, RD, from the department of nutrition sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, in a prepared statement, WebMD reported.

Here they are:

1. “Your genes are not your destiny. Moderate environmental changes can promote as much weight loss as even the best weight-loss drugs.”

I love this one. So often people use ‘bad genes’ as an excuse for their weight problems, ignoring completely their own bad eating habits.

2.”Even without weight loss, physical activity improves health.”

Another winner. I have reiterated this statement in at least 25 different posts on this blog. Eat less; move more; live longer.

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3. “Physical activity or exercise in the right amounts does help people lose weight.”

Amen. Listen to Uncle Sam.

4. “Continuation of conditions that promote weight loss helps people keep the weight off. Think of obesity as a chronic condition.”

Likewise, I think of good eating and exercise habits as chronic, too.

5. “For overweight children, involving the family and home environment in weight-loss efforts is ideal.”

6. “Providing actual meals or meal replacements works better for weight loss than does general advice about food choices.”

Both 5 and 6 sound like first rate advice.

7. “Weight-loss drugs can help some people lose weight.”

I am not going to argue with the experts here, but I doubt that the weight stays off if the person doesn’t change his/her eating and exercise habits. I repeat my recommendation to pay attention to what you eat and exercise regularly. That will melt the pounds away. You won’t need drugs.

8. “Bariatric surgery can help achieve long-term weight loss in some people.”

The study was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health. Our tax dollars at work.

Last, but not least, let me mention the Page that I have written – How to lose weight (and keep it off).

Tony

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Filed under American diet, calorie counting, childhood obesity, Exercise, exercise benefits, obesity, Weight, weight control

Fast-food Consumption in Children Linked to Poorer Academic Outcomes

Many studies have suggested that consumption of unhealthy foods is a major contributor to childhood obesity, and there has been much debate over the marketing of junk food to children, with many experts claiming it encourages unhealthy eating.

According to the Prevention Institute, almost 40% of children’s diets come from unhealthy fats and added sugars, and only 21% of youths aged 6-19 years eat the recommended five portions of fruits and vegetables a day.

Cooking with Kathy Man

Past research has linked fast-food consumption to childhood obesity and numerous health problems later in life. But eating such foods may not only affect physical health; a new study finds that the amount of fast food children eat may also influence their academic growth.

The research team – led by Katy Purtell, assistant professor of human sciences at Ohio State University – found that the higher the frequency of fast-food consumption in fifth grade, the worse children performed on math, reading and science tests in eighth grade.

They publish their findings in the journal Clinical Pediatrics.

Many studies have suggested that consumption of unhealthy foods is a major contributor to childhood obesity, and there has been much debate over the marketing of junk food to children, with many experts claiming it encourages unhealthy eating.

According to the Prevention Institute, almost 40% of children’s diets come from unhealthy fats and…

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How Does Sugar Affect My Body? CSPI

Because most nutrition labels give the sugar content in grams, here is the translation:

Grams to teaspoons: There are 4.2 grams of sugar in one teaspoon.

SUGAR

In case it isn’t obvious to you in the section – 385 Calories consumed daily from added sugars…. It is the combination of the four exercises mentioned: walking, basketball, biking and jogging to burn off those 385 calories, not any single one of them.

You can take a very cool quiz on sugar right now. I posted it earlier this week.

Tony

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February 28, 2013 · 8:24 am

Baby Boomers Aging Badly

I always thought that boomers were busy running triathlons and skiing down the slopes these days. They are reported to have the longest life expectancy of any previous generation and exploit the latest medical technology, so why wouldn’t they be? I am talking about that 78 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964.

JAMA researchers found otherwise.

Alice Park writing in Time.com reports that boomers have “higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol than members of the previous generation.

Junk foods like these are part of the reason boomers are failing the most important test of all.

Junk foods like these are part of the reason boomers are failing the most important test of all.

“The revelation comes from data in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a national snapshot of health measures and behaviors conducted by the U.S. government. Dr. Dana King, a professor in family medicine at West Virginia University School of Medicine and his colleagues compared baby boomers aged 46 years to 64 years between 2007 and 2010 to similar aged Americans in 1988 to 1994. Overall, only 13% of baby boomers rated their health as ‘excellent’ while nearly three times as many, 32%, of those in the previous generation considered themselves in excellent health.” Continue reading

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Filed under aging, arterial plaque, arteries, baby boomers, blood pressure, body fat, calories, cancer, cardiovascular risk, childhood obesity, diabetes, Exercise, fast food, health, healthy eating, healthy living, heart, heart disease, heart problems, junk food, life challenges, living longer, Weight

Southern fried foods heart-risky – Study

Reasons to think twice before you order chicken from the colonel …

Cooking with Kathy Man

Eating Southern-style foods may be linked to a higher risk of stroke, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2013.

In the first large-scale study on the relationship between Southern foods and stroke, researchers characterized a Southern diet by a high intake of foods such as fried chicken, fried fish, fried potatoes, bacon, ham, liver and gizzards, and sugary drinks such as sweet tea. In addition to being high in fat, fried foods tend to be heavily salted.

“We’ve got three major factors working together in the Southern-style diet to raise risks of cardiovascular disease: fatty foods are high in cholesterol, sugary drinks are linked to diabetes and salty foods lead to high blood pressure,” said Suzanne Judd, Ph.D., M.P.H., lead researcher and a nutritional epidemiologist at the University of Alabama Birmingham’s biostatistics department.

Previous research has shown that Southerners are about 20 percent more…

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Filed under arterial plaque, arteries, blood pressure, body fat, calories, chicken, childhood obesity, cholesterol, fast food, heart, heart disease, heart problems, southern diet, stroke, Weight

Anti-Sugary Drinks Video Winners Announced

As regular readers know, I don’t drink sugary or diet soft drinks and consider them some of the most damaging junk foods available.

A Nashville family’s rap video is the winner of a contest aimed aimed at raising awareness of the harmful health effects of overconsumption of sugary drinks.  The winning video “Just Pour One Out” features an original rap song from the Sullivan family, inspired by 41-year-old stay-at-home dad Peter Sullivan’s personal struggle with soda consumption.

“I was surprised by how much the process changed my drinking habits,” Sullivan said of making the film.

Announced by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest in October 2012, the Pour One Out video contest invited the public to produce short videos demonstrating the pouring out of sugary drinks in a creative way.  Advertising pioneer Alex Bogusky joined CSPI staff in judging contest entries based on creativity, originality, and effectiveness of the health message.  CSPI offered a $1,000 prize for the winning film, and $500 and $250 prizes for the second- and third-place films.

The runner up video


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Filed under aging, body fat, calories, childhood obesity, diet soda, healthy eating, healthy living, hydration, junk food, men's health, obesity, Oleda Baker, sugary soft drinks, Weight

How Our High Tech Gadgets May be Hurting Us – WebMD

We all love our smart phones and other labor-saving devices. I know I marvel at the stuff my iPhone does for me every day. Yet, WebMD says our high tech gadgets hurt us in various ways.

Web MD cited computer vision syndrome as a biggie, citing eyestrain, tired eyes, irritation, redness, blurred vision, double vision as examples. They suggest making sure our glasses or lenses are up to date on their prescriptions. Sometimes occupational glasses are needed.

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Other problems included insomnia as the illuminated monitor throws off our internal clock.

Repetitive stress injuries result from mousing or typing on a keyboard. “But repetitive stress injury, or RSI, can affect your whole body, not just the part you’ve overused, says Mary Barbe, PhD, a professor in the department of anatomy and cell biology at Temple University. Injured cells release substances called cytokines that travel through the bloodstream.

“If you have enough of these circulating in your bloodstream, they can be toxic to nerve cells and other cells,” Barbe tells WebMD.

Obesity is a favorite of mine. The amount of hours we spend in front of the tube or playing on the computer has been rising for years. Eat less; move more.

One shocker for me was office-related asthma. “Your sleek, high-tech office may be a source of indoor air pollution. Some models of laser printers shoot out invisible particles into the air as they chug away. These ultra-fine particles can lodge deep in your lungs. Not every printer is a health hazard. In one study of 62 printers, 40% tested emitted particles. But only 17 printers were high-particle emitters.”
Go figure!

Barry Katz, professor in the industrial design and graduate program in design at Stanford University, told WebMD, “It may have taken 10,000 years to evolve the form of a sewing needle, or 2,500 to evolve the form of the safety pin,” he says. “That gives a lot of time to work out the kinks in the system.”

But modern devices, from the mouse to the ear bud, were invented from scratch. “You know about the electronics inside, but you don’t know how people are going to use it,” Katz says. He promises that designers are continually fine-tuning our gadgets to make them more helpful and less harmful.

Until they’re perfected, though, take a moment to consider the ramifications of your high tech gadgets in light of the above.

Tony

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Filed under aging, arthritis, calories, childhood obesity, circadian cycles, Exercise, fat, general well-being, health, high tech gadgets, life challenges, obesity, Weight

Public Largely Ignorant About Obesity Risks

It shouldn’t be surprising that since 60 percent of us are overweight and 30 percent obese that many people don’t understand the risks of obesity. Duh. This is twice as many as 20 years ago. Even our children are getting fatter. Among young people, 15 percent of those ages 6 to 19 are seriously overweight. That’s nearly 9 million, triple the number in 1980.

Maybe if people had a better idea about how damaging obesity is, there wouldn’t be so many overweight.

About one out of four people think it’s possible for someone to be very overweight and still be healthy, according to a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

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Only seven percent of people in the survey mentioned cancer. Yet doctors have known for years that fat increases the risk of a number of cancers. It was recently reported that cancers of the esophagus, uterus, pancreas and kidney have risen despite declines in cancer rates. Experts said that excess weight triggers production of insulin and hormones that play a role in cancer growth.

Also, with overweight people excess fat makes it difficult to spot some tumors.

John Seffrin, the American Cancer Society’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.”For people who do not smoke, excess weight and lack of sufficient physical activity may be among the most important risk factors for cancer.”

As an arthritis sufferer, I was not surprised to learn that excess weight takes a toll on one’s joints, especially the knees. Only about fifteen percent of people were aware that obesity can contribute to arthritis, which then aggravates joint pain and makes it harder to exercise creating a vicious downward spiral in health.

The study also found that half of the people think their weight is just about right and only 12 percent of parents think their child is overweight. Nevertheless, about 60 percent of adults and 30 percent of children and teens are either overweight or obese.

If you want to know how much you should weight, please check out What is My Ideal Weight?

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research study took place between late November and mid-December, by phone interviews with just over 1,000 adults.

For significantly more detail on obesity, you can read How Does Obesity Affect You posted here in May. Or you can click on the obesity tag at the right for a number of similar items.

Tony

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Filed under arthritis, body fat, childhood obesity, fat, fat kids, general well-being, health, healthy eating, heart problems, men and healthy eating, men's health, obesity, Weight

Some Declines Seen in Childhood Obesity

Several cities and states throughout the country have recently reported declines in their childhood obesity rates, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Declines occurred in locales where comprehensive action took place to address the problem. Nonetheless, obesity rates persist in various socionomic and geographic areas. Racial and ethnic disparities also persist.

FatKids

The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 20% in 2008. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the same period, according to The Centers for Disease Control.

The long term health risks are ominous. The New York Times reports that “Obese children are more likely to be obese as adults, creating a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. The American Cancer Society says that being overweight or obese is the culprit in one of seven cancer deaths. Diabetes in children is up by a fifth since 2000, according to federal data.”

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