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.
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)
April 29, 2011 |
The one-two punch of high-intensity exercise and healthful eating was helpful in getting overweight and obese people to slim down, a study finds. The study, presented this week at the National Obesity Summit in Montreal, Canada, focused on data on 62 overweight and obese men and women involved in a nine-month program at the Montreal Heart Institute . The participants engaged in two to three weekly one-hour supervised exercise sessions and...
January 5, 2011 |
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.
January 13, 2012 |
"The Biggest Loser" is an extremely popular show that's spawned a mini weight-loss industry and inspired a slew of loyal followers. But does watching the show foster more positive or negative attitudes about overweight people? That's what researchers set out to find in a study, published online recently in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise . Participants included 59 people, mostly white women whose average age was 20. About half were randomly assigned to view an episode of "The Biggest Loser," while the others, acting as a control group, watched an episode of "Meerkat Manor," chosen because it featured no people who could have influenced the viewers' feelings about 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.
November 4, 2010 |
Obesity rates in the United States, which some health experts have suggested may be stabilizing at about 34%, will continue to rise until at least 42% of American adults are obese, according to a new model that projects the increase based on "social contagion. " The social contagion hypothesis garnered widespread attention in 2007 when researchers from UC San Diego, documented that obesity can spread through a social network -- just like viruses spread -- because people "infect" each other with their perceptions of weight.
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.
August 26, 2011 |
Weight loss is a complex thing. In fact, the old rule that cutting out or burning 500 calories a day will result in a steady, 1-pound-per-week weight loss doesn't reflect real people, researchers say. A new mathematical model from researchers at the National Institutes of Health instead shows that for the typical overweight adult, every 10-calorie-per-day reduction will result in the loss of about 1 pound over three years. Half that loss will occur in the first year. For example, cutting 250 calories a day from one's diet will lead to a 25-pound weight loss over three years.