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 |
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 |
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.
March 18, 2013 |
The spectacle of Charlie digging into a family-size bucket of fried chicken is one of the sadder sights in "The Whale," Samuel D. Hunter's mordantly funny, bitterly angry and ultimately deeply moving portrait of a morbidly obese man stuffing himself to death after his lover's death. As played by Matthew Arkin (with fleshy prosthetics and makeup wizardry adding elephantine girth to the actor's medium build), Charlie is willfully drowning in his own flab - nearly 600 pounds of it. But please don't get the idea that this play, having its West Coast premiere at South Coast Repertory under the direction of Martin Benson, is setting up a situation that could be resolved by the dictatorial intervention of celebrity fitness trainer Jillian Michaels.
March 17, 2013 |
The morbidly obese protagonist of "The Whale," the latest play by Samuel Hunter running at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, weighs close to 600 pounds, scarfs meatball subs and hasn't left his dingy apartment for months. Creating the character of Charlie has been a technical challenge for the play's production team, which includes several costume fitters and an Academy Award-winning makeup artist. By far the biggest challenge belongs to actor Matthew Arkin. For eight performances a week, he must wear a 30-pound costume - he refuses to call it a fat suit - that is made out of Lycra, nylon, micro foam beads and foam sculpted from king-sized pillows.
March 13, 2013 |
Getting moms to nurse their babies longer and exclusively did not mean the kids were less at risk for obesity by the time they were 11-1/2 - despite suggestions from other studies that breastfeeding can protect against obesity, researchers in a large study from Belarus said. The study, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn., included nearly 14,000 healthy babies in Belarus who were enrolled in the study in 1996 and 1997; researchers checked in over time, including when the children were an average of 11-1/2 years old. In the randomized study, the babies were split into two groups, one of which breastfed longer.
March 7, 2013 |
Scientists hoping to mimic the life-extending qualities produced by a chemical found in red wine and dark chocolate say they have solved one of the mysteries about how this compound works to combat the effects of obesity, diabetes, certain cancers and a host of other maladies. The findings, published in Friday's edition of the journal Science, could lay the foundation for a variety of drugs that act like concentrated amounts of resveratrol, the compound that has inspired a $30-million-a-year supplement business.
February 20, 2013 |
A new study suggests an intriguing explanation for the rise in obesity rates - the growing number of only children. Researchers from Denmark analyzed health records of more than 29,000 Danish schoolchildren and found that boys and girls without brothers or sisters were 44% more likely to be obese than kids with siblings. They also looked at the records of several hundred young men who had registered for the draft and calculated that those who were only children were 76% more likely to be obese than their counterparts with siblings.
January 15, 2013 |
A perennial target for critics of sugary drinks, Coca-Cola Co. took to prime-time TV broadcasts to acknowledge its role in the fattening of Americans - and to defend itself. In a two-minute advertisement that was to debut Monday night on cable news channels, the world's top beverage company addressed what it called the "complex challenge of obesity. " In a spot it called "Coming Together" - a similar phrase Starbucks Corp. used in the fall to try to get fiscal cliff negotiations moving - Coca-Cola showcased its efforts to be transparent about the nutritional content of its products and to expand its line of drinks with low or no calories.