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NEWS
September 11, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
Not that anyone needs one, but here's another problem for obese people, especially women: They are much more likely to get even occasional migraine headaches. A study published in Wednesday's issue of the journal Neurology found that obese people were 81% more likely to have episodic migraines - those with 14 or fewer headache days a month - than people of normal weight. The research adds to a known connection between obesity and migraines. “Previous studies have shown a link between people with chronic migraine and obesity, but the research has been conflicting on whether that link existed for those with less frequent attacks,” the study's author, B. Lee Peterlin of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, said in a statement.
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SCIENCE
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.
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NEWS
November 14, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Forget about self-motivation -- people who want to lose weight might do better with more help, not less. A study finds that obese people lose more weight when they're part of a primary care-based program that incorporates lifestyle coaching, plus weight loss medication or meal replacement, compared with doctor visits alone. Researchers randomly placed 390 obese men and women into three groups that had the same goal of losing weight via diet and exercise. A "usual care" group took part in quarterly visits to their primary care provider during which they talked about any weight changes as well as weight loss information contained in a handout.
NEWS
September 11, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
Not that anyone needs one, but here's another problem for obese people, especially women: They are much more likely to get even occasional migraine headaches. A study published in Wednesday's issue of the journal Neurology found that obese people were 81% more likely to have episodic migraines - those with 14 or fewer headache days a month - than people of normal weight. The research adds to a known connection between obesity and migraines. “Previous studies have shown a link between people with chronic migraine and obesity, but the research has been conflicting on whether that link existed for those with less frequent attacks,” the study's author, B. Lee Peterlin of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, said in a statement.
NEWS
August 15, 2011
Can a fat body be a healthy body? Using a new grading tool that takes health issues into account in addition to body mass index, it may be possible for healthy obese people to have the same lifespan as normal-weight people. The findings were released Monday in a study in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism . Researchers looked at data on 6,224 obese men and women who were followed on average for about 16 years. The participants were part of the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study who attended the Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas.
NEWS
July 8, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Having bariatric surgery doesn't mean you have to take it easy on exercise. A study finds that after surgery, exercising regularly at a moderate to vigorous pace may be perfectly fine -- and might improve one's quality of life. The study, published online recently in the journal Obesity , assigned 33 people with an average BMI of 41 (considered class III obesity, or morbidly obese) to either a 12-week exercise program or to a control group. The exercise group started out expending 500 calories a week, gradually increasing that to reach a goal of burning 2,000 calories a week.
BUSINESS
February 1, 1996 | BARRY STAVRO, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine casts doubt on the value of an antiobesity drug that Amgen Inc. is developing. The Thomas Jefferson University study found that as many of 95% of obese people already have plenty of leptin--the protein Amgen researchers believe is an important regulator of body fat and that might hold the key to solving obesity problems.
HEALTH
April 11, 2011 | Roy Wallack, Gear
I'd never seen anyone this big move this fast. Shay Sorrells, all 350 pounds of her, was up ahead on the bike path, absolutely flying. Furiously pumping arms and legs, the former "Biggest Loser" contestant was riding a Street Strider, a newfangled rolling elliptical machine. Once 476 pounds, she'd taken the Strider home after leaving the show and was riding it an hour a day around Newport Bay, hammering the flats at 13 miles per hour and soaring down hills at 30 — no different than me, about half her size.
SCIENCE
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 30, 2001
Regarding the commentary by Carla Kucinski lamenting the increased use of "fat suits" by actors and comedians ("Hollywood Beefs Up for a Good Laugh," June 27): If any obese people are upset by the humor generated by actors in fat costumes, they should either develop thicker skins or eat less and exercise more. Forgive my callous attitude, but as a short man (5-feet-4), I have always had to put up with Hollywood's endless stereotyping of short men as either buffoons or psychos. From the torrent of short jokes in movies like "Shrek" to a TV show like "ER," in which each male character's level of decency and competency corresponds directly to how tall he is (if you've never noticed this, pay attention the next time you watch)
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.
NEWS
June 18, 2013 | By Karin Klein
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 17, 2013 | By David Ng, Los Angeles Times
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.
OPINION
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.
OPINION
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.
NEWS
October 3, 2012 | By Mary MacVean
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.
NEWS
January 5, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times
Discrimination happens every day, but obese people have little recourse when it happens to them, since there is no federal law protecting this population. But a survey reveals that public opinion may be in favor of anti-discrimination laws--to a point. Researchers from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University surveyed 1,001 adults about their opinions on legal and legislative matters relating to obesity discrimination. They were asked how strongly they agreed or disagreed with statements such as "Obesity should be considered a disability under the Americans with Disability Act so that obese people will be protected from discrimination in the workplace," "The government should play a more active role in protecting overweight people from discrimination," "Overweight people should be subject to the same protections and benefits offered to people with physical disabilities," and "The government should play a more active role in protecting overweight people from discrimination.
BUSINESS
May 28, 1992 | James M. Gomez / Times staff writer
Dick Gregory's well-publicized obesity program notwithstanding, Frank Lee, co-founder of Comprehensive Weight Management Inc. in Irvine, said there are too few organized programs dealing with the severely obese. "These people are really in need of help," said Lee, the new firm's chief executive. "We treat people who have tried other programs and failed."
NEWS
September 18, 2012 | By Mary MacVean
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.
HEALTH
May 23, 2012 | By Mary MacVean
Half of Americans say it's easier to do their taxes than it is to figure out how to eat healthfully - and 23% described their diets as extremely or very unhealthful, according to an annual survey conducted by an industry-supported nonprofit group and released on Wednesday. Taste trumps all, with 87% of people calling that the No. 1 factor in their decisions about buying food and beverages. Price (73%), healthfulness (61%) and convenience (53%) followed. (Price was more important for consumers younger than 50, healthfulness for those who are older.)
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