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June 19, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
Ninety percent of Americans said schools should take a role in combating obesity -- a surprising cut away from the idea that being overweight is a personal choice. That doesn't meant people don't see that they need to take action as well for themselves and their families, according to the results of a Field Research poll released Wednesday. “It really indicates a sea change in how people view the problem,” Loel Solomon, vice president for community health at Kaiser Permanente, said in an interview.
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.
June 7, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
If a doctor is going to tell a patient he's obese and needs to lose weight, that patient seems more likely to trust the advice if the doctor is overweight too, scientists say. It might seem that patients want role models in their primary care doctors, but in matters of weight, that doesn't seem to be the case. Researchers from John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health set out to see what effect a doctor's weight might have on patients; they published their findings in the June issue of Preventive Medicine.
May 21, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
More physical education in kindergarten through fifth grade means less chance of obesity, especially for boys, researchers say. The study provides some of the first evidence of a causal effect between gym and childhood obesity. It is to be published in the Journal of Health Economics. A number of health organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have advocated for increased gym class time as one response to the dramatic rise in childhood overweight and obesity.
May 20, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
Having childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder could lead to a life of obesity, even if ADHD symptoms disappear in adulthood, a new study shows. The study, which followed up on 207 middle-class men who had been diagnosed with ADHD as children, found that some 33 years after their diagnosis, their body mass index was significantly higher than those without ADHD. Their propensity to become obese was twice that of adults who were never diagnosed with ADHD, according to the study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
May 8, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Coca-Cola is making major promises to fight obesity - ceasing advertisements directed at kids, slapping calorie counts on all its packaging - as the soda giant stares down a rising tide of concern over sugar-stuffed beverages. On Wednesday, as part of an initiative it's calling Coming Together, the Atlanta company made a series of pledges that also involved offering low- or no-calorie drinks globally and backing of physical activity programs. Coca-Cola said its new rules, announced in part to commemorate the brand's 127 th anniversary, will apply in more than 200 countries where it does business.
April 28, 2013
Re "What we should learn from the 1-800-GET-THIN saga," Column, April 21 Readers should not be left with the impression that patients who underwent weight-loss surgery after seeing an advertisement on a billboard were unaware of the risks. Those billboard advertisements stated that they accepted most PPO insurance. All PPOs have criteria for approving weight loss. At a minimum, they include: - A body mass index greater than 40, or a BMI of 35 in conjunction with severe co-morbidities.
April 23, 2013 | By Karen Kaplan
Way back in 2002, Dr. Judah Folkman hit upon a tantalizing weight-loss strategy for obese mice. When given daily injections of a drug designed to fight cancer, their fat melted away. The higer the dose they got, the more fat they lost. Some of the obese mice shed so much weight that they wound up at “near normal body weights,” Folkman and his colleagues reported in this article in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Whatever happened to this promising fat-busting drug?
March 26, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
The mix of microbes living in the human gut -- in particular, the presence of a particular bacterium that gobbles hydrogen and produces methane -- may be related to obesity, researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles said Tuesday. In a study led by Dr. Ruchi Mathur, head of the Diabetes Outpatient Treatment and Education Center in the hospital's endocrinology division, researchers at Cedars-Sinai recruited 792 people of varying ages, body mass index levels and body fat content and asked them to breathe into a device that analyzed the contents of their breath.
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