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SCIENCE
February 10, 2010 | By Jeannine Stein
Gastric banding surgery appears to be significantly more effective than lifestyle interventions in helping severely obese teenagers lose a significant amount of weight and keep it off, a new study suggests. In the U.S., the banding procedure is available to adolescents only through research studies. It involves placing an adjustable device on the upper part of the stomach to make a pouch that allows only small amounts of food, creating feelings of fullness sooner. With more evidence of the health benefits of gastric bypass surgery, some doctors hope the Food and Drug Administration will approve the band for adolescents.
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NEWS
March 27, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
In the latest of a slew of studies examining the role of the so-called microbiome -- the mix of microscopic critters that colonize our bodies and our environment -- in human health, Harvard researchers said Wednesday that part of the reason that Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery works so well in helping people lose weight is because it causes changes in the mix of bacteria in our bellies. The discovery suggests that doctors might someday be able to mimic the microbial effects of weight-loss surgery without putting patients under the knife, said Dr. Lee Kaplan, director of the Obesity, Metabolism and Nutrition Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital and co-senior author of a report detailing the research in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
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ENTERTAINMENT
November 18, 2009 | JAMES RAINEY
Poking around Google a few weeks back to see how various television reporters were playing the healthcare debate, I searched for "Candy Crowley." Back came the expected raft of citations: government stories, pieces from Election 2008, a link to Crowley's award-studded bio. There was a mention of her elegant obituary of Ted Kennedy. And this: "Candy Crowley Has Lost A Lot Of Weight." The blogosphere has been awash for months, I discovered, in other incisive speculation about CNN's senior political correspondent: She must have had a face-lift.
NEWS
May 9, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II / For the Booster Shots blog
A reusable grocery bag left in a hotel bathroom caused an outbreak of norovirus-induced diarrhea and nausea that struck nine of 13 members of a girls' soccer team in October, Oregon researchers reported Wednesday. The outbreak also affected many family members after the team returned home. Norovirus is a common, easily spread virus that causes various forms of gastric distress. It is "the perfect human pathogen" because it is highly contagious, rapidly and prolifically spread, produces limited immunity and is only moderately virulent, which allows it to continue spreading, said Dr. Aron J. Hall of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in an editorial accompanying the report in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
HEALTH
September 20, 2004 | Valerie Reitman, Times Staff Writer
Heartburn, indigestion, ulcers and other gastric disorders affect 1 in every 20 people, and U.S. patients fork over more money for treatment -- about $13 billion every year for prescription drugs -- than for almost any other type of medication. But easing the symptoms can take time. The pills' thick coatings -- necessary so the medication isn't destroyed by the stomach's powerful acids -- delay the drugs' absorption until they get to the intestine. Now a low-tech discovery happened upon by a university pharmacologist has led to the reformulation of some of the gastric reflux drugs with baking soda.
OPINION
November 21, 2005
Re "Sasha Is Dead, but Why?" Column One, Nov. 18 I had to laugh -- although bitterly -- when I read how shocked parents were that their upper-middle-class, private-school, nanny-raised kids were huffing, choking themselves, smoking salvia (an Internet-traded drug not mentioned by your article) and a myriad of other activities aimed at getting high. Why? Because no one wants to see the big picture. How dare we adults chastise kids for wanting a quick fix to feeling good, when our whole lives revolve around making ourselves feel better?
WORLD
September 8, 2008 | Tina Susman, Times Staff Writer
In a land where just staying alive is a challenge, Haider Kareem Said's problem might seem trivial. He's overweight. But that isn't a mere annoyance or something Said can fix with diet and exercise -- he's 5-foot-4 and weighs 495 pounds. So last month, Said had a band surgically strapped around his stomach, an operation relatively new to Iraq that is proving to be a godsend for people facing an unusual consequence of the war: obesity. For most of the last five years, sectarian violence has drastically altered Iraqis' lifestyles.
NEWS
January 20, 2008 | Judith Graham, Chicago Tribune
Five months before dying of a rare form of stomach cancer, Sandra McNamara uncovered a devastating family legacy. Her illness was closely linked to a genetic mutation. She had it, and that meant her three sisters and their children might have it too. McNamara picked up the phone and started calling relatives in Chicago, Boston and Denver. You need to know: This cancer is hereditary, she said. Get tested. The disclosure threw the family into turmoil as relatives evaluated their choices, including whether to have their stomachs surgically removed as a preventive measure.
FOOD
October 19, 1995 | JOSEPH HANANIA
Alongside the half-dozen national kosher certifying organizations are a number of local ones, which certify primarily local food shops, restaurants and hotels. Kosher Supervision of America, founded six years ago by Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon, certifies foods in Southern California, including many items found at the Southland's many Jewish supermarkets and traditional Jewish restaurants. Kosher establishments are not necessarily obvious.
SCIENCE
June 19, 2008 | Thomas H. Maugh II and Denise Gellene, Times Staff Writers
Gastric bypass surgery -- a treatment for obesity that is already known to reduce heart disease and diabetes -- decreases the incidence of cancer by 80% over the five years following the procedure, Canadian researchers reported Wednesday. The incidence of two of the most common tumors, breast and colon, was reduced by 85% and 70%, respectively, Dr. Nicolas Christou of McGill University in Montreal said.
NEWS
May 9, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Gastric bypass surgery for weight loss doubles the risk of developing alcoholism compared with Lap-Band surgery, Swedish researchers reported Monday. Researchers already knew that bypass surgery allows the body to absorb alcohol quicker, but the new findings, reported at the Digestive Diseases Week meeting in Chicago, are the first to suggest an increased risk of problems associated with the effect. Dr. Magdalena Plecka Ostlund of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and her colleagues examined medical records for 12,277 patients who underwent bariatric surgery in Sweden between 1980 and 2006.
NEWS
May 9, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
Gastric bypass surgery has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in adults, but it may be even more effective at reducing risk in teens, researchers said Monday. Although the weight loss in both groups was about the same, the surgery, formally known as Roux-en-Y surgery, gave teens a greater improvement in a variety of biochemical markers that are normally thought to be predictive of heart problems, researchers from the Stanford College of Medicine reported at a Digestive Diseases Week meeting in Chicago.
NEWS
March 10, 2011 | Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
Alcohol can be a minefield for anyone trying to lose weight. But for bariatric surgery patients, drinking can become increasingly problematic, a new  study has found. Changes in the way the body absorbs and metabolizes alcohol after gastric bypass mean these patients need less alcohol to register intoxication on a breathalyzer, says a study published recently in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons . After drinking a single 5-ounce glass of red wine before their surgery, the study's 19 subjects had an average  breath alcohol content of .024% -- well below the level at which most states consider a driver intoxicated.
HEALTH
February 26, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
With record U.S. obesity rates and newly expanded Food and Drug Administration eligibility criteria for Lap-Band surgery, more and more Americans may be mulling the possibility of going beyond diet and exercise to tackle their weight and the medical problems that come with it. Those deciding on the surgical route face the often-baffling choice of which procedure is for them. Although there are some broad guidelines, experts say, the final choice comes down to what both patient and doctor are comfortable with.
HEALTH
February 22, 2011 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
Less than a week after the Food and Drug Administration approved the marketing of Lap-Band weight-loss surgery to 11 million new patients, a pair of studies has found that a different, older procedure is more effective and no riskier than either the Lap-Band or another less-drastic surgery, sleeve gastrectomy. In the first head-to-head comparison of weight-loss surgeries widely used in the United States, UC San Francisco researchers found that those who had their stomach capacity reduced by a Roux-en-Y bypass, which reduces the stomach's capacity and bypasses a part of the intestine, lost more weight, required less diabetes medication and were less likely to need further surgery than those who received the Lap-Band.
SPORTS
November 20, 2010 | Bill Plaschke
He was the biggest man in town. Joe McDonnell always got the scoop, whether it was Pat Riley being fired or Wayne Gretzky being traded, Magic Johnson's comeback or Mike Scioscia's contract, no secret too deep, no detail too obscure. Athletes loved him. Sources trusted him. Fans followed him. Nobody beat him. He was the biggest man in town. Joe McDonnell weighed 740 pounds. That is not a misprint. Visiting players would gasp. Insensitive fans would jeer. Everywhere he lumbered, somebody would stare.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 1, 2007
Star Jones Reynolds skirted questions about her dramatic weight loss for years, saying only that she had undergone a medical intervention. That intervention, it turns out, was gastric bypass surgery. Reynolds, 45, says she was "intentionally evasive" when people asked how she'd dropped 160 pounds in three years. She writes about her weight loss in a first-person essay in the September issue of Glamour magazine, on newsstands Aug. 7.
HEALTH
September 7, 2009 | Shari Roan
An overweight woman who has weight-loss surgery before becoming pregnant may help break the cycle of obesity in her family, according to a new study. Researchers found that children born to women who had weight-loss surgery before pregnancy have improved heart health and a lower risk of obesity compared with their siblings who were born before the mother had surgery. The study was published last week in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Previous research shows a woman's weight and her tendency to develop diabetes and heart disease can influence the long-term health of her fetus, predisposing the child to metabolic problems related to obesity.
NEWS
August 6, 2010
Scientists are finding that gastric bypass surgery may change more than a person's weight -- hormones secreted in the gut could affect some eating habits. A new study finds that the surgery may tamp down the desire to eat when not hungry. The study, published in the Aug. 1 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , focused on hedonic hunger, or the urge to eat highly palatable foods when not hungry. Among the study participants were 123 obese patients, 136 people who had gastric bypass surgery and a control group made up of 110 people who were not obese.
SCIENCE
February 10, 2010 | By Jeannine Stein
Gastric banding surgery appears to be significantly more effective than lifestyle interventions in helping severely obese teenagers lose a significant amount of weight and keep it off, a new study suggests. In the U.S., the banding procedure is available to adolescents only through research studies. It involves placing an adjustable device on the upper part of the stomach to make a pouch that allows only small amounts of food, creating feelings of fullness sooner. With more evidence of the health benefits of gastric bypass surgery, some doctors hope the Food and Drug Administration will approve the band for adolescents.
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