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SCIENCE
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.
ARTICLES BY DATE
SCIENCE
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.
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OPINION
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,...
SCIENCE
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.
NEWS
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...
OPINION
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...
HEALTH
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.
HEALTH
December 28, 2009 | By Jeannine Stein
Poverty appears to trump smoking, obesity and education as a health burden, potentially causing a loss of 8.2 years of perfect health. In a new study, researchers looked at health and life expectancy data from the National Health Interview Surveys and the Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys and came up with various behavioral and social risk factors that affect quality of life, then used a formula to estimate the quality-adjusted years of life that...
OPINION
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.
NATIONAL
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.
SCIENCE
March 11, 2014 | By 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.
SCIENCE
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.
SCIENCE
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.
SCIENCE
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.
SCIENCE
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.
SCIENCE
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.
HEALTH
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.
SPORTS
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
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 24, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
Guillermina Villa is famous for the seafood she prepares at El Pescadito Tacos y Mariscos, a lunch truck that has been serving customers for more than 25 years near the intersection of Compton Avenue and 62nd Street in South L.A.'s Florence-Firestone neighborhood. Customers who grew up in the largely industrial area travel great distances - from as far as North Hollywood, Rancho Cucamonga and Oxnard - to treat themselves to favorites like shrimp tacos and empanadas. But these days a new sign on Villa's truck advertises a smattering of new menu items such as quesadillas made with whole wheat tortillas and ceviche served with a side of plain yogurt and fruit.
SCIENCE
November 25, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
A medical procedure that treats bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract has an unexpected - and, for some patients, quite welcome - side effect: It makes them lose weight. That procedure, called left gastric artery embolization, may just be the next big thing in the fight against obesity. And as a new study demonstrates, it does seem to work. In gastric artery embolization, an interventional radiologist threads a catheter up (or down, depending on his or her entry point) to the left gastric artery and deposits a slew of tiny beads to reduce the flow of blood to the gastric fundus, the upper part of the stomach.
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