July 16, 2013 |
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.
July 14, 2013
Re "Fitness is on rise - but so is obesity," July 11 When will we ever figure out that a direct cause of our nation's obesity crisis is that we no longer require students to learn food preparation and nutrition or to take a full program of physical education in our schools? Academics without real-world applications only prepare students to take standardized tests. The "new" Common Core curriculum standards do not include food preparation and nutrition, child development and physical education.
July 12, 2013 |
Here is the so-called mystery: Americans are exercising more, but the national obesity rate keeps rising. How can that be? The answer is pretty obvious. As my personal trainer (the only person standing between me and a gut hanging over my belt) has told me many times, “It's all math -- the number of calories burned and the number of calories consumed.” According to data just published in the online journal Population Health Metrics, during the last 10 years Americans have gotten more active in two-thirds of the nation's counties.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 10, 2013 |
Americans are exercising more, but that has not done much to slim their waistlines, underscoring the immense challenge confronting doctors and health advocates fighting the nation's obesity crisis. In more than two-thirds of the nation's counties - including some of the unhealthiest - men and women became more physically active over the last decade, according to data published Wednesday in the online journal Population Health Metrics. Three-quarters of California's counties saw gains in physical fitness for both men and women.
July 10, 2013 |
Who in our society - aside from the folks who believe that man walked with the dinosaurs back when Earth was created a few thousand years ago - can resist science? We eat up, sometimes in a literal sense, every new study that finds that one substance or another might be good for us, might reduce our chances of heart disease or curb hair loss. Still, every once in awhile, the latest findings leave us scratching our heads. And so it was for me when researchers concluded, with apparent dismay, that although some Americans were exercising more, there didn't seem to be much of an effect on the obesity rate.
June 26, 2013 |
It's well known that obesity is linked to diabetes, heart troubles and other health woes, but studies have also linked carrying too much weight to an increased risk of some kinds of cancer, including esophageal, colorectal, pancreatic and other cancers. Now researchers may have figured out why being overweight is linked to a person's chances of developing liver cancer: obesity seems to cause key changes in microbes that live in the gut, stimulating bacteria there to secrete chemicals that damage DNA and lead to the development of tumors.
June 23, 2013
Re "A problem with obesity advice," Letters, June 21 This letter perpetuates the stereotype that overweight people are just gluttons with no self-control. In reality, obesity is a complex issue, involving biological, physiological and psychological factors. That is why it deserves the American Medical Assn.'s classification as a disease. If it were as simple as following "common-sense medical advice" (which amounts to "eat less, exercise more"), there would be no obesity epidemic.
June 21, 2013
Re "Obesity to be viewed as a disease," June 19 The American Medical Assn.'s decision to classify obesity as a disease, obliging doctors to address their overweight patients' condition, may result in lightened patient loads - but at a high price. It's axiomatic in the healthcare industry that the quickest way for a doctor to lose a patient is to say, "You need to see a psychiatrist" or "You need to lose weight. " With patient loads likely to increase with the implementation of Obamacare, the best way to reduce those loads would seem to be pushing that hottest of all patient hot buttons and talking honestly about the risks of obesity.
June 21, 2013 |
The time in the operating room is perhaps the simplest part of weight loss surgery. That's one message of a new documentary called “All of Me” that explores the complexity of what it's like to be morbidly obese in America. “The girls,” a group of women in Texas who meet and bond through the Austin, Texas, chapter of the National Assn. to Advance Fat Acceptance, let filmmaker Alexandra Lescaze into their hearts and their homes, into the operating room and into their dreams as they consider drastic measures to lose weight.
June 19, 2013 |
Does it really matter if the medical establishment calls obesity a “disease” instead of a chronic health condition or a disorder? It's a question doctors and public health experts are considering in the wake of Tuesday's vote by members of the American Medical Assn. to upgrade obesity to “disease” status . They believe that the answer is yes. “This will make a difference” in the treatment that obese patients get, said Dr. Rexford Ahima of University of Pennsylvania's Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.