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July 16, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
This week through July 24, about 40,000 Boy Scouts and their leaders are descending on a vast encampment in the hills of southern West Virginia to engage in traditional Boy Scout pastimes - hiking, shooting, repelling, orienteering, swimming, canoeing and fishing - and in a slate of more extreme physical activities such as mountain biking, skateboarding and rock climbing. Fat Scouts, however, need not apply. Citing the physical demands of the quadrennial Jamboree and the organization's ideals of physical fitness, the Boy Scouts this year announced that Scouts or Scout leaders with a body mass index, or BMI, above 40 - the point at which one is medically labeled “severely obese” - may not attend.
April 7, 2014 | Mary MacVean
Are the millions of dollars spent to try to reverse childhood obesity a good investment? One answer might be found in the cost if the condition goes unchecked: about $19,000 per obese child in lifetime medical costs, researchers reported Monday. That's $14 billion just for the obese 10-year-olds in the United States, according to researchers at the Duke Global Health Institute and the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore. They reported their results in the journal Pediatrics.
July 7, 2002
Re "On Some Airlines, Size Does Matter," June 21: If you've sat next to someone in an airplane whose obesity overflows onto your seat, straitjacketing you into your seat so that it is virtually impossible for you to move, then you can imagine why the people of Southwest Airlines want to have obese people pay for two seats instead of one. If these obese people can't afford a first-class seat where the seats are generally much wider than in coach,...
March 31, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
Bariatric surgery did more to improve symptoms of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol after three years than intensive treatment with drugs alone, according to new results from a closely watched clinical trial involving patients who were overweight or obese. Study participants who had gastric bypass surgery or sleeve gastrectomy also lost more weight, had better kidney function and saw greater improvements in their quality of life than their counterparts who did not go under the knife, researchers reported Monday.
January 17, 1995
Since when do those of us who are not "fat" always stop eating when we feel full? ("Heavy on the Activism," Dec. 27). Tell me about "fat acceptance" when there are food diaries or other evidence that obese people are eating reduced-fat meals, exercising and consuming fewer than 2,000 calories a day. If there is a gene that results in obesity despite taking care with one's eating habits, then I will sympathize with people who have to buy extra airline seats...
July 21, 2004
Re "Revised Policy Treats Obesity Under Medicare," July 16, and "Big Fat Mistake About Your Body," an Opinion article by Paul F. Campos on July 4: As a physician working with many overweight and obese patients, I felt compelled to offer my two cents on the oft-cited Washington, D.C.-based Cato Institute position, which suggests that Americans who make healthy lifestyle decisions will now be subsidizing those who do not. This view also reflects law...
February 1, 2010 | By Marni Jameson >>>
Slim society's tolerance is wearing thin. As more people over the last decade have tipped the scales toward obesity, normal weight folks have signed up for employee wellness programs that offer them lower premiums and other financial perks as a reward for their healthy weight -- and that indirectly penalize heavier workers. They've crafted policies, most unsuccessful, to compel individuals to lose weight. They've become vocal, sometimes vehemently so, in their support for "sin taxes" on junk food and soda.
September 26, 2013
Re "Burger King launches low-fat French fries," Sept. 25 Burger King's new Satisfries won't reduce waistlines. These lower-calorie fries are part of a marketing ploy to convince Americans that fast food can be healthy. Burger King benefits from Americans being obese. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 35% of adults and 17% of children in America are obese. As a nursing student, I see the long-term effects of obesity on a regular basis. These are serious problems that can only be helped with major lifestyle changes to lower weight and improve overall health.
July 18, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
The South tips the scales again as the nation's fattest region, according to a new survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. More than 30% of adults in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee are considered obese. In part, experts blame Southern eating habits, poverty and demographic groups that have higher obesity rates. Colorado was the least obese, with about 19%. Nationwide, about 26% of adults were obese. Obesity is based on the body mass index, a calculation using height and weight.
January 25, 2010 | By Jeannine Stein
The health benefits of breast-feeding for mothers and babies are widely known. Studies have shown it may improve cognitive development among children and could reduce a woman's risk of getting breast cancer or cardiovascular disease. But new research suggests that some very obese woman may not breast-feed as much or for as long as their normal-weight counterparts. The study, released in the January issue of the journal Obesity, looked at information about 3,517 white women and 2,846 black women from 2000 to 2005.
March 28, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
Scientists and physicians who study the treatment of obesity have been puzzled for some years over bariatric surgery and its benefits.”Stomach stapling” surgery was long seen as a “plumbing adjustment” that prompts weight loss by restricting the stomach's capacity. But mounting evidence demonstrates that it does much more than that. Bariatric surgery appears to set in motion a host of physiological and psychological changes beyond weight loss, in many cases resolving type 2 diabetes, righting problematic cholesterol readings, and not just curbing, but changing, appetites.
March 17, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
At the tender age of 2 months old, many American babies appear to be taking their first steps on the road to obesity, helped along by parents who may be preoccupied, pushy or uninformed about the care and feeding of babies for optimal health, a new study says. The latest research found that in a population of predominantly low-income mothers and infants, 2-month-old babies routinely spent long hours either in front of a television or being fed or cared for by a parent watching TV, were frequently put to bed or left to feed themselves with a propped bottle, and rarely got the recommended amount of daily "tummy time" that challenges a baby's physical development.
March 11, 2014 | Melissa Healy
Obesity is probably a factor in some of the almost 22,000 new diagnoses of ovarian cancer that will be handed out this year to American women, a new study says. The finding adds ovarian cancer, the deadliest of the gynecological malignancies, to a growing list of diseases linked to carrying far too much weight. Research has found obesity to contribute to a person's risk for a wide range of illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancers of the breast, colon, pancreas and esophagus.
March 5, 2014 | By Monte Morin
Apparently casinos are good for losing more than just cash. A study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. found that adding slot machines to California casinos was linked to a modest reduction in obesity rates for Native American children. Specifically, researchers found that for every one-armed bandit added per child, there was a corresponding 0.19% reduction in obesity risk. Study authors based their conclusions on an examination of 117 California school districts that encompass tribal lands.
February 25, 2014 | By Melissa Healy, This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details.
Americans are still carrying too much weight, but a new federal study offers a glimmer of hope amongst the nation's smallest eaters: Between 2003 and 2012, obesity among children between 2 and 5 years of age has declined from 14% to 8% -- a 43% decrease in just under a decade. And much of that reduction has come in the past three to four years, as efforts to address a burgeoning child obesity crisis have escalated. The new figures came as First Lady Michelle Obama and her "Let's Move" campaign against childhood obesity launched new initiatives designed to reduce marketing for unhealthy foods and beverages seen by children in schools.
February 3, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
The logic seems simple enough: the consumption of healthy foods is low, and obesity is high, in neighborhoods where supermarkets are notably absent; so, opening supermarkets in those neighborhoods should boost consumption of healthier foods and drive down obesity. Right? Not so fast, says the first American study gauging the success of a popular initiative aimed at combatting obesity: improving access to fresh produce and healthy food in the nation's "food deserts. " Six months after the grand opening of a new supermarket in Philadelphia, the study found, residents of the surrounding low-income neighborhood were not eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, nor were they less likely to be obese than were low-income Philadelphians across town whose neighborhood continued to be a food desert.
March 15, 1986
As long as Peter Ueberroth is trying to clean up baseball's image, I suggest he fine the gross (pun intended) number of overweight umpires for "unsportsmanlike appearance." The thought of facing another season with those fat derrieres blocking my view makes me cringe. Where do they find these guys? Have you ever seen an obese referee in football, basketball, soccer? The commissioner should dock these guys $10 for every pound they're overweight and donate the money to the poor. BERYL WINN North Hollywood
October 13, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
A Colorado insurance company is changing its attitude about fat babies. Rocky Mountain Health Plans said it would no longer consider obesity a "preexisting condition" barring coverage for hefty infants. The change comes after the insurer turned down a Grand Junction 4-month-old who weighs about 17 pounds. The insurer deemed Alex Lange -- whom his parents called a "happy little chunky monkey" -- obese and said the infant didn't qualify for coverage. The infant's father works at a local NBC affiliate, and news accounts about the boy's rejection made national headlines.
January 29, 2014 | By Mary MacVean
Children who are overweight in kindergarten have four times the risk of becoming obese by eighth grade, researchers reported Wednesday - in just one of the ways they said that the risk of becoming overweight or obese could start even before birth. Put another way: “Half of childhood obesity occurred among children who had become overweight during the preschool years,” the scientists wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine. And as kids got older, their chances of becoming obese fell.
January 15, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
For people with Type 2 diabetes who had hoped that their love handles might serve some purpose by reducing their risk of premature death, Harvard researchers have some bad news: The “obesity paradox” does not exist. “We found no evidence of lower mortality among patients with diabetes who were overweight or obese at diagnosis, as compared with their normal-weight counterparts, or of an obesity paradox,” the research team reported in a study that appears in Thursday's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.
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