December 26, 2011
Shari Roan's profile of Louisiana State University fitness and nutrition expert Melinda Sothern was excellent ["The Birth of Obesity," Dec. 19]. Sothern postulates that the obesity epidemic may have roots in the 1950s because "a generation of young women … smoked, spurned breast-feeding, and restricted their weight during numerous, closely spaced pregnancies. " We know that there is great work being done around the nation to combat this "obesity trinity. " Sothern believes we can reverse the epidemic and so do I. As a breast-feeding advocate, I support the surgeon general's call to reduce the barriers to breast-feeding.
December 19, 2011 |
After long days discussing America's obesity problem, Melinda Sothern has had enough of windowless conference rooms. "I need to exercise," she says, pausing to review her plans in the San Diego Convention Center lobby. She plans to rent a bicycle in Coronado and ride, fast and far. Sothern, 55, is a woman who practices what she preaches. And one of her messages about obesity is aimed at women like herself: mothers. Fat mothers. Thin mothers. And especially mothers-to-be.
October 14, 2011 |
For this sequel to 2007's far-roaming critique of the beauty industry, "America the Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments" filmmaker Darryl Roberts narrowed his focus — a bit. The result is a mixed bag of a film that scores not when rehashing our national obsession with dieting but when it challenges the underpinnings of a national obesity epidemic. Loosely structured around Roberts' quest to get healthier through diet and exercise instead of prescription drugs, the film raises serious questions about undue influence — Big Pharma and medical professionals, the dieting industry and government health standards.
September 23, 2011 |
The film "Contagion" may have been fiction, but the 1918-19 influenza epidemic was horrifyingly real. The "Spanish flu" epidemic tore a path of destruction across the globe, killing an estimated 50-100 million people within months before disappearing into history. Now, evidence from U.S. soldiers felled by the virus reveals that it circulated in the country for four months before the pandemic was even identified. The findings, published online Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offer a picture of a virus as it turned from common pathogen to killer bug, said senior author Jeffery Taubenberger, a pathologist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Md. "This was one of the worst infectious disease outbreaks that ever occurred," Taubenberger said.
September 16, 2011 |
"We Were Here" shows that a situation you think you know can be something you haven't known at all. That is the surprise, and the power, of this unexpected film. An extraordinarily moving examination of how the AIDS epidemic both devastated and transformed San Francisco's gay community, this clear-eyed and soulful documentary brings us inside the contagion in a way that is so intimate, so personal, you feel like you're hearing about these catastrophic events for the first time. It's not surprising that "We Were Here" comes from producer-director David Weissman and editor/co-director Bill Weber, the team responsible for 2002's "The Cockettes," one of the few documentaries about San Francisco in the deliriously countercultural 1960s that allows you to experience what it felt like to be there.
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.
May 16, 2011 |
Leaning against a wall in the busy Akihabara electronics district here, Tomomitsu Funayama was enjoying a do-nothing day off from his architectural job. Yet he looked less like a slacker than a surgeon late for a big operation. For years, the 26-year-old Tokyo native had resisted the urge to follow the millions in this city who don face masks during the "wheeze and sneeze" hay fever and flu seasons to protect against allergens and help stop the spread of germs. This year, Funayama joined the pack.
May 14, 2011
Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions around the world. In the United States, about 26 million people have it — and 7 million of those don't know they have it. In addition, there are an estimated 79 million adults with pre-diabetes — and many of them don't know either. The most common form of diabetes by far is Type 2, which does not require insulin shots for treatment; its rise is closely linked to the rise in obesity. And here's some more troubling news: A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine says a 50-year-old with Type 2 diabetes will lose an average of six years of life as a result of the disease.
February 25, 2011 |
Let's call it what it is: a sin tax. A California lawmaker is targeting the obesity epidemic with a tax that would slap a penny-an-ounce levy on drinks sweetened with sugar or corn syrup. The food industry, not surprisingly, has squared off against the idea, arguing that the tax bill is a punitive assault on personal choice. "The government doesn't have the right to social engineer," said J. Justin Wilson, senior research analyst at the industry-backed Center for Consumer Freedom.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 26, 2010 |
For the first time in more than four decades, Los Angeles is on track to end the year with fewer than 300 killings, a milestone in a steady decline of homicides that has changed the quality of life in many neighborhoods and defied predictions that a bad economy would inexorably lead to higher crime. As of mid-afternoon on Sunday, the Los Angeles Police Department had tallied 291 homicides in 2010. The city is likely to record the fewest number of killings since 1967, when its population was almost 30% smaller.