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August 4, 2003 | From Times Wire Reports
All children should have their body mass index measures evaluated yearly as part of efforts to identify and prevent obesity, the American Academy of Pediatrics says in its first-ever policy statement dealing solely with identifying and preventing the increasingly common problem.
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SCIENCE
August 15, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
The death toll of the nation's obesity epidemic may be close to four times higher than has been widely believed, and all that excess weight could reverse the steady trend of lengthening life spans for a generation of younger Americans, new research warns. Some 18.2% of premature deaths in the United States between 1986 and 2006 were associated with excess body mass, according to a team of sociologists led by a Columbia University demographer. That estimate, published online Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health, is far higher than the 5% toll widely cited by researchers.
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SCIENCE
August 15, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
The death toll of the nation's obesity epidemic may be close to four times higher than has been widely believed, and all that excess weight could reverse the steady trend of lengthening life spans for a generation of younger Americans, new research warns. Some 18.2% of premature deaths in the United States between 1986 and 2006 were associated with excess body mass, according to a team of sociologists led by a Columbia University demographer. That estimate, published online Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health, is far higher than the 5% toll widely cited by researchers.
SCIENCE
May 21, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
The march of the penguins seems to mock evolution. If Emperor penguins just got up and flew 40 miles, they could get to their mates in no time flat. Why would evolution abide a tedious waddle across the ice? It turns out there's method in the seeming madness of these blubbery short-winged pedestrian birds. Penguins long ago faced a steep trade-off between the high calorie costs of flight and low energy expenditure of using their wings to swim. They dived into an "adaptive fitness valley" of evolution that fly-and-dive ocean birds such as murres and cormorants still straddle, according to a team of Canadian and American zoologists.
HEALTH
July 25, 2005 | Jeannine Stein, Times Staff Writer
Compare athletes in a sprint event to those running a marathon and it's obvious that a runner's body doesn't take one shape -- sprinters tend to have muscular builds, and distance runners are more wiry. The key to the differences, according to a new research study, may lie in a runner's body mass index. Runners' abilities have long been measured via how much oxygen they can deliver to the muscles, but that doesn't tell the whole story of why their physiques differ so greatly.
HEALTH
April 2, 2012 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
As if the nation's weight problems were not daunting enough, a new study has found that the body mass index, the 180-year-old formula used to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy weight, may be incorrectly classifying about half of women and just over 20% of men as being the picture of health when their body-fat composition suggests they are obese. The study, published Monday in the journal PLoS One, uses a patient's ratio of fat to lean muscle mass as the "gold standard" for detecting obesity and suggests that it could be a better bellwether of an individual's risk for health problems.
NEWS
June 14, 2012 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
There has been lots of excitement this week as a horde of scientists released their first looks at the trillions of microbes that live in (or on) our bodies. As well as the two main papers published in Nature, a slate of reports was published in other journals, containing all kinds of tidbits. One week earlier, another slate of “microbiome” papers was published in the journal Science. We already covered the nuts and bolts of the Human Micriobiome Project report.
NEWS
June 4, 1998 | From Associated Press
The federal government is reducing its threshold for defining who is overweight, determining that someone who stands 5-foot-4 and weighs 145 pounds is hefty enough to harm their health. In guidelines to be formally released later this month, a panel of experts convened by the National Institutes of Health concluded that a person with a body mass index as low as 25--5-foot-4, 145 pounds or 5-foot-10, 174 pounds--should be considered overweight.
NEWS
December 19, 2012 | By Mary MacVean
People who want to lose weight are better off running than lifting weights -- or even than doing both, researchers at Duke University say. The researchers compared people who did aerobic exercise -- running, swimming, walking, for instance -- with those who did resistance training such as weightlifting and with people who did both kinds of exercise. Those who got up and moved burned the most fat, they said in the Dec. 15 Journal of Applied Physiology. “Given that approximately two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight due to excess body fat, we want to offer clear, evidence-based exercise recommendations that will truly help people lose weight and body fat,” Leslie H. Willis, an exercise physiologist at Duke Medicine and the study's lead author, said in a statement.
SCIENCE
March 26, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
The mix of microbes living in the human gut -- in particular, the presence of a particular bacterium that gobbles hydrogen and produces methane -- may be related to obesity, researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles said Tuesday. In a study led by Dr. Ruchi Mathur, head of the Diabetes Outpatient Treatment and Education Center in the hospital's endocrinology division, researchers at Cedars-Sinai recruited 792 people of varying ages, body mass index levels and body fat content and asked them to breathe into a device that analyzed the contents of their breath.
SCIENCE
March 26, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
The mix of microbes living in the human gut -- in particular, the presence of a particular bacterium that gobbles hydrogen and produces methane -- may be related to obesity, researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles said Tuesday. In a study led by Dr. Ruchi Mathur, head of the Diabetes Outpatient Treatment and Education Center in the hospital's endocrinology division, researchers at Cedars-Sinai recruited 792 people of varying ages, body mass index levels and body fat content and asked them to breathe into a device that analyzed the contents of their breath.
NEWS
December 19, 2012 | By Mary MacVean
People who want to lose weight are better off running than lifting weights -- or even than doing both, researchers at Duke University say. The researchers compared people who did aerobic exercise -- running, swimming, walking, for instance -- with those who did resistance training such as weightlifting and with people who did both kinds of exercise. Those who got up and moved burned the most fat, they said in the Dec. 15 Journal of Applied Physiology. “Given that approximately two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight due to excess body fat, we want to offer clear, evidence-based exercise recommendations that will truly help people lose weight and body fat,” Leslie H. Willis, an exercise physiologist at Duke Medicine and the study's lead author, said in a statement.
SCIENCE
October 23, 2012 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Here's something for raw-food aficionados to chew on: Cooked food might be a big reason humans were able to grow such large brains compared to their body size, scientists say. If modern human ancestors had eaten only raw food, they'd have to regularly feed more than nine hours a day, according to a study published online Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A pair of researchers from the Instituto Nacional de Neurociéncia Translacional in São Paulo, Brazil, decided to try and help explain why modern humans' brains were able to grow so large compared to their body size and why other primates' brains did not. They looked at the relative brain-to-neuron-counts of a host of primates, from owl monkeys to baboons.
NEWS
September 17, 2012 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
Experts have some new weight-loss advice that's sure to be welcome news: Sleep can be just as important to a successful diet as healthful eating and exercise. “Chronic sleep restriction is pervasive in modern societies, and there is robust evidence supporting the role of reduced sleep as contributing to the current obesity epidemic,” write a pair of obesity experts in the new edition of the Canadian Medical Assn. Journal . That evidence includes findings that overtired brains prompt people to eat more, and that some hormones that regulate appetite and metabolism don't work properly in people who don't get enough sleep.
NEWS
June 14, 2012 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
There has been lots of excitement this week as a horde of scientists released their first looks at the trillions of microbes that live in (or on) our bodies. As well as the two main papers published in Nature, a slate of reports was published in other journals, containing all kinds of tidbits. One week earlier, another slate of “microbiome” papers was published in the journal Science. We already covered the nuts and bolts of the Human Micriobiome Project report.
SCIENCE
May 7, 2012 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Dinosaurs' gassy guts may have contributed to global warming tens of millions of years ago, according to a new study that finds a group of plant-eating dinosaurs could have produced about as much methane as all of today's natural and man-made sources of the greenhouse gas. British researchers reported in Tuesday's edition of the journal Current Biology that the methane emissions from sauropods far outstripped those of today's cattle, goats and...
NEWS
October 14, 2010
People with kidney disease may become healthier and live longer if they pump iron. A new study suggests that increasing one's lean body mass -- that means muscles -- is important.   Recent research revealed the puzzling discovery that kidney dialysis patients live longer if they have a high body mass index. But it has been unclear what accounts for this link and which was more important: a high proportion of lean mass or fat mass. Researchers at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center examined that question in a study of 792 dialysis patients.
NEWS
November 19, 2010 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
Waist size may communicate more about a child's cardiovascular health than measuring height, weight and body mass index, according to new research. With the number of children who are overweight and obese on the rise, it's not too early to begin identifying children at higher risk for heart disease and looking for ways to intervene and prevent disease, according to pediatricians. Researchers at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute examined data from 4,667 children ages 6 to 17. They found that the child's waist circumference correlated with higher pulse pressure (the difference between the systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings, and an indication of an increased risk of heart-related diseases)
HEALTH
April 2, 2012 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
As if the nation's weight problems were not daunting enough, a new study has found that the body mass index, the 180-year-old formula used to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy weight, may be incorrectly classifying about half of women and just over 20% of men as being the picture of health when their body-fat composition suggests they are obese. The study, published Monday in the journal PLoS One, uses a patient's ratio of fat to lean muscle mass as the "gold standard" for detecting obesity and suggests that it could be a better bellwether of an individual's risk for health problems.
WORLD
April 7, 2011 | By Ken Ellingwood, Los Angeles Times
More than 50 bodies were found in mass graves Wednesday in the same area of northern Mexico where 72 migrants were massacred last year, authorities said. Officials in the state of Tamaulipas said they found 59 bodies in eight graves during an investigation of the March 25 abduction of a busload of passengers. One of the graves had 43 corpses. A statement from the Tamaulipas prosecutor's office said a joint state and federal investigation led to the arrests of 11 suspects and the rescue of five captives.
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