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Obese People

May 8, 2012 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
The ranks of obese Americans are expected to swell even further in the coming years, rising from 36% of the adult population today to 42% by 2030, experts said Monday. Kicking off a government-led conference on the public health ramifications of all those expanding waistlines, the authors of a new report estimated that the cost of treating those additional obese people for diabetes, heart disease and other medical conditions would add up to nearly $550 billion over the next two decades.
January 13, 2012 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
"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.
December 29, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Older, obese people may be more prone to falls than their thinner peers, a study finds, and some may also be more prone to disability. The study, published recently in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society , followed 10,755 people age 65 and older for eight years. In that time there were 9,621 falls, and 3,130 of them required medical attention for injuries. Researchers also measured how much the fall affected activities of daily living, such as eating, getting dressed and walking across a room.
December 19, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
You have only days until you start your New Year's resolutions, and we're going to bet a lot of you have resolved to slim down in 2012. Speaking of betting...that's become a popular way to diet, with diet betting sites popping up on the Internet promising to help you lose a reasonable amount of weight by betting among your friends who will get there first in a set amount of time, and the winner gets the pot. Some sites allow you to bet against yourself....
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.
November 10, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Obese people using behavior therapy to lose weight might notice something as they trim their waistlines -- their family members may be slimming down as well. A recent study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Assn. found there could be a ripple effect when an obese family member uses cognitive behavioral therapy to lose weight, sometimes causing others in the family to drop some pounds at the same time. This type of psychotherapy used for weight loss focuses on changing lifestyle habits and becoming more mindful of thoughts and feelings about food.
October 25, 2011 | By David Zucchino and Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
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.
September 27, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
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.
August 26, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
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.
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.
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