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.
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.
March 22, 2010 |
Packing on the pounds gets a well-deserved bad rap. Most Americans understand that excess weight contributes to heart disease and diabetes, not to mention the urge to hide behind the kids in family photos. But obesity as a risk factor for cancer? That seems to be the case. An increasing number of studies are finding that overweight and obese people are more likely to develop cancer of various kinds. At least half a dozen types of cancer are believed to be directly affected by weight.
May 28, 1992 |
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."
August 1, 2005 |
It's familiar news by now that America's obesity epidemic is both dangerous and costly. Obesity significantly increases the risk of many diseases, including heart disease and diabetes, and is associated with at least 112,000 deaths a year. The economic impact is equally startling: Obese patients add an estimated $75 billion a year to the nation's medical bill.
October 25, 2011 |
Here's another health risk associated with carrying extra pounds: People who are obese get less protection from the annual flu shot, according to a study released Tuesday. But the authors said that people who are overweight or obese should get a seasonal flu shot anyway. The study involved 461 patients who were vaccinated in 2009 at a clinic in Chapel Hill, N.C. By several measures, the vaccine appeared to wear off faster in people who were overweight or obese than it did in people of healthy weight. For instance, 11 months after getting a flu shot, the level of flu antibodies in the blood had dropped by a factor of four in 25% of the healthy-weight subjects.
June 16, 2011 |
Weight-loss surgery has been reserved for people who are morbidly obese, with a body mass index of 40 or greater. However, both gastric bypass surgery and adjustable gastric banding surgery is increasingly performed on less-obese people. That may be a good thing, according to a new study. Researchers at Stanford University looked at the outcomes of 981 people who had gastric bypass surgery. The patient's BMIs ranged from below 35 to greater than 50. The lower-BMI patients had better outcomes than the higher-BMI patients.
June 7, 2011 |
Overweight and obese young adults may be known by the company they keep--other overweight and obese people. But if those friends and family members are trying to lose weight, they could be a good influence. How social groups influence our health was the subject of a 2007 New England Journal of Medicine study that found that people who had close friends who were fat might triple their risk of becoming obese as well. A similar connection was found in a study from the June issue of the journal Obesity . But researchers found that connection may also help people lose weight.
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.
September 27, 2011 |
Exercise relieved symptoms of arthritis in obese mice, even though they lost no weight from their efforts, a study finds. Excessive weight has long been considered one of the culprits of osteoarthritis, since it puts additional strain on joints. While exercise has been shown in some studies to ease arthritis symptoms, others have found that for overweight and obese people, a fitness regimen can exacerbate the condition. This study, published online Tuesday in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism , found that although weight may heighten the risk of osteoarthritis, regular exercise could diminish joint problems by slowing its progression.