July 28, 2011 |
Famously overweight New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was hospitalized Thursday morning after having trouble breathing. When his EKG, blood work and chest X-ray came back normal, doctors at the Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, N.J., diagnosed an asthma attack. The rising Republican star has spoken often about his struggles with his weight, even telling CNN talk show host Piers Morgan that he felt "guilty" about it, the Los Angeles Times reported. He has also talked publicly about living with asthma. The subject comes up often when he's stumping about healthcare. According to the Wall Street Journal, the fiscal conservative cites the cost of his asthma medication when expounding on the "generosity of the state health care plan.
May 9, 2011 |
As little as one hour of low-intensity exercise a week could reduce the risk of colon polyps among people of various racial and ethnic groups, a study finds. The study, presented recently at the Digestive Disease Week meeting in Chicago, analyzed data on 982 patients who underwent colonoscopies. Polyps were found in 29.5% of the study subjects. Patients who hadn't exercised at least one hour a week had a polyp prevalence of 33.2%, while the prevalence rate among those who did exercise one hour or more was 25.3%.
May 3, 2011 |
Packing on even a few extra pounds in midlife can increase the risk of developing dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease, by 70% or more, Swedish researchers reported Monday. Earlier studies had shown an increased risk from being obese, but the new research reported in the journal Neurology is the first to show that simply being overweight is enough to increase the risk. "Our results contribute to the growing evidence that controlling body weight or losing weight in middle age could reduce your risk of dementia," co-author Dr. Weili Xu of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm said in a statement.
April 17, 2011 |
Sometime later this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will release its latest accounting of the nation's weight problem, as measured by the body mass index, or BMI. This much we know already: It won't be a pretty picture. The last census reckoned that a third of American adults were overweight, meaning their BMIs (calculated by dividing a person's weight by his height, squared) lay between 25 and 30. About another third weighed in with BMIs over 30 -- the demarcation line that brands them as obese.
April 17, 2011 |
Hey, what is your BMI? If that's a number you'd rather not share -- if, in fact, you can't help thinking there must be something wrong with the BMI calculator -- I feel your pain. And although I can't fix the calculator, I can tell you there's a growing debate over how good the body-mass index is as a predictor of an individual patient's health prospects. You can read about that whole debate: " BMI may not be telling the whole truth . " There's an inside joke often told at conferences convened to discuss the nation's epidemic of obesity: If the 72 million American adults with a body-mass index above 30 -- the demarcation line for obesity -- want to improve their health and avert a plague of weight-related diseases, they have two options: They can lose weight.
April 11, 2011
If an individual's body mass index isn't a purely personal matter, what is? We have the right to choose between healthy food or junk food, even if the latter is more likely to result in obesity and related health problems. But once our choices affect others, there's a natural conflict between individual freedom and social responsibility. In a nation where rising healthcare costs and diminished access to medical care are issues of grave concern, personal decisions are no longer strictly private.
April 6, 2011 |
When the National School Lunch Program began in 1946, the idea was to get nutritious food into the stomachs of malnourished children from low-income families. Ironic, then, that these days the school lunch program is being scrutinized for its role in contributing to the growing problem of childhood obesity in America. The latest report was published online this week by the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. It concludes that girls who participate in the National School Lunch Program gain weight at a faster clip than other girls from low-income families who do not get the subsidized lunches (and sometimes breakfasts)
March 7, 2011
The body-mass index is a common measure of obesity. It's the ratio of weight in kilograms to height in meters squared. Here's how to calculate yours: (Your weight in kilograms) = (0.4535) x (your weight in pounds) (Your height in meters) = (0.0254) x (your height in inches) (Your BMI) = (your weight in kilograms) / (your height in meters, squared) For adults 20 years old or older, the National Institutes of Health have established these four categories based on BMI levels: Below 18.5underweight 18.5 to 24.9healthy 25.0 to 29.9overweight 30.0 or higherobese ?
March 4, 2011 |
When a nearly 600-pound man who boldly promoted food at a restaurant called the Heart Attack Grill dies, one of the first reactions is likely to be ... , well, not one of surprise. But then comes the news that Blair River might have died of pneumonia. Hold on. Don't order up that 8,000-calorie burger just yet. Note that there is a potential link between obesity and pneumonia. "After accounting for factors such as lifestyle and education, moderately obese men -- those with a body mass index between 30 and 34.9 -- had a 40% greater risk of pneumonia compared with those of normal weight (BMI of less than 24.9)
March 3, 2011 |
Move over, BMI. Researchers led by a University of Southern California physician have proposed "a better index of adiposity. " This one would require a tape measure and a calculator, but none of the stepping-up-on-the-scale drama featured on NBC's The Biggest Loser and replayed so often in the privacy of our own bathrooms. The new fat metric is called the Body Adiposity Index, and it's introduced in a study released Thursday in the journal Obesity . It uses a person's height and hip circumference to give a accurate reading of how much of a person's body is made up of fat. That's a measure that physical trainers and some physicians can get by ordering a dual-energy X-ray absorption test (also used to detect osteoporosis)