June 18, 2013 |
Is smoking a disease? Few of us would think so. It's a terribly unhealthful habit that can cause various fatal and chronic diseases, but it is not an illness unto itself. There are smokers who remain disease-free. So it's hard for me to jump on board with the American Medical Assn.'s decision Tuesday to recognize obesity as a disease. That recognition has no official meaning; it is relevant only to the AMA. But as problematic as obesity is for our society, and as closely linked as it is to serious illnesses, there are obese people who have no apparent health problems.
March 17, 2013 |
The morbidly obese protagonist of "The Whale," the latest play by Samuel Hunter running at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, weighs close to 600 pounds, scarfs meatball subs and hasn't left his dingy apartment for months. Creating the character of Charlie has been a technical challenge for the play's production team, which includes several costume fitters and an Academy Award-winning makeup artist. By far the biggest challenge belongs to actor Matthew Arkin. For eight performances a week, he must wear a 30-pound costume - he refuses to call it a fat suit - that is made out of Lycra, nylon, micro foam beads and foam sculpted from king-sized pillows.
January 12, 2013
Re "Diabetes a stubborn foe," Jan. 6 Though the article successfully portrayed indifferent diabetics, it neglected to mention the uncommon diabetics who work out and eat right. I am an 18-year-old diabetic, and while I can attest that diabetes is a terrible illness, most of its consequences can be avoided by putting down the potato chips and picking up a dumbbell. Unfortunately, in this day and age, something so simple is controversial. Eric Herschler Garden Grove Diabetes patients who store candy next to their insulin should be starkly confronted with the very real possibility of death from the disease.
January 8, 2013
Re "Why we diet," Opinion, Jan. 4 Abigail Saguy intermingles the social and medical aspects of obesity. Certainly, discriminating against someone because of body habitus is inexcusable. However, ignoring the adverse health consequences of obesity is also indefensible. It is the second leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. because of an increased incidence of heart attacks, strokes, 12 types of cancer, liver disease, diabetes, sleep apnea and more. Obese people should obviously be treated with respect and dignity, but that does not mean we should ignore the benefits of healthful eating and regular exercise.
October 3, 2012 |
Moderately obese people who ate the Mediterranean diet lost more weight than groups of people who followed either a low-fat or a low-carbohydrate diet, researchers reported. The Mediterranean group weighed almost seven pounds less than they weighed six years earlier. In the low-carb group, the total was 3.7 pounds, and the low-fat group was 1.3 pounds. The Mediterranean diet is one based on the eating habits of people who live in that part of the world -- high in produce, and including olive oil and fish.
September 18, 2012 |
Bariatric surgery works, if measured in hospital days and medicine costs 20 years after the operation, according to one of the new studies on obesity published in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. Gastric bypass surgery was shown to help severely obese patients, most of whom after six years had sustained an average weight loss of nearly 28% of their weight. For six years after their surgery, the patients in a Swedish study used more hospital days after bariatric surgery than obese people who didn't have the surgery, but in years 7 to 20 did not. The Swedish study, to be published Wednesday, included 1,010 adults who had surgery and 2,037 who did not. The study looked at long-term healthcare use. Of the surgery patients, 13% had gastric bypass, 19% gastric banding and the rest vertical-banded gastroplasty, a procedure no longer commonly performed.