November 9, 2011 |
The death of rapper Heavy D on Tuesday still has fans in shock as they wonder what felled the 44-year-old star. Though the cause of death may not be known for weeks, L.A. Now reports that an L.A. County coroner's office spokesman said a doctor had prescribed the rapper a drug due to a cough. Heavy D was also having breathing problems at his home before collapsing, and there is speculation that the rapper was experiencing flu-like symptoms or pneumonia. Some studies have shown a link between obesity and a higher risk of pneumonia.
September 6, 2011 |
Being obese might up the chance of developing Type 2 diabetes, but the true risk factors may lie in how much overweight someone is and how long they've been that way. Much like figuring how numbers of cigarettes smoked and years of smoking relate to lung cancer risk, researchers set out to see how degree and length of obesity factored into the risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. They looked at data on 8,157 teens and young adults who were 14 to 21 years old at the start of a national study.
August 26, 2011 |
Weight loss is a complex thing. In fact, the old rule that cutting out or burning 500 calories a day will result in a steady, 1-pound-per-week weight loss doesn't reflect real people, researchers say. A new mathematical model from researchers at the National Institutes of Health instead shows that for the typical overweight adult, every 10-calorie-per-day reduction will result in the loss of about 1 pound over three years. Half that loss will occur in the first year. For example, cutting 250 calories a day from one's diet will lead to a 25-pound weight loss over three years.
August 26, 2011 |
If obesity rates continue to climb in the U.S. as they've done in the past, about half of all men and women could be obese in 20 years, adding an extra 65 million obese adults to the country's population. The figures are from a study released Thursday in the journal the Lancet (part of a four-part obesity series) that used past trends to predict what the future might look like in the U.S. and the U.K. if people keep gaining weight at that rate. It's not a pretty picture--along with expanding waistlines may come higher disease rates and, in turn, greater healthcare costs.
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 |
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 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 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.