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Obesity

SCIENCE
December 2, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
So your body mass index says you're obese, but you don't have "pre-diabetes" - a mix of factors such as hypertension, high cholesterol and high glucose levels that indicates you're on the road to metabolic illness. And you're thinking you've beaten the odds, right? Wait 10 years, a new study says. Odds are, you'll be proven wrong. New research finds that even when a person is "metabolically healthy," being obese raises his or her risk for cardiovascular disease and premature death.
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SCIENCE
November 25, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
A medical procedure that treats bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract has an unexpected - and, for some patients, quite welcome - side effect: It makes them lose weight. That procedure, called left gastric artery embolization, may just be the next big thing in the fight against obesity. And as a new study demonstrates, it does seem to work. In gastric artery embolization, an interventional radiologist threads a catheter up (or down, depending on his or her entry point) to the left gastric artery and deposits a slew of tiny beads to reduce the flow of blood to the gastric fundus, the upper part of the stomach.
SCIENCE
November 21, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
A study that culls health data for 1.8 million people over more than 57 years of research finds that controlling high blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose could halve the number of heart attacks attributable to being overweight or obese and pare the number of strokes linked to excess weight by 75%. In populations in which being overweight or obese are widespread, the new research offers a guide to which public health policies most effectively drive...
SCIENCE
November 20, 2013 | By Karen Kaplan
Could PTSD be partly responsible for the nation's obesity crisis? It's an intriguing question, considering that one out of every nine women will meet the diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder at some point in their lives. People with PTSD are known to eat and drink things that aren't good for them and to blow off chances to exercise.  PTSD and depression are often fellow travelers, and depression can lead to weight gain. PTSD is also thought to be a risk factor for cardiometabolic diseases.
SCIENCE
November 4, 2013 | By Monte Morin
Epidemic obesity rates are the "prime driver" in a nationwide trend toward earlier and earlier breast development in young girls according to new research. In a paper published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, researchers found that the average age of thelarche, or onset of breast development, was earlier than previously recorded for white girls, and that a high body mass index, or BMI, was a strong indicator of early puberty. While the study's authors said it remained unclear whether early breast development led to early onset of menstruation, they said the trend toward earlier sexual development raised numerous clinical issues.
NEWS
October 30, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
It's not just what you eat but where and how you eat that seems to affect obesity, say researchers who looked at the effects of family dinner rituals. Families who frequently ate dinner in the kitchen or dining room had significantly lower body mass indices for adults and children, compared with families who ate elsewhere, including in front of the television, the researchers wrote. “Family meals and their rituals might be an underappreciated battleground to fight obesity,” the researchers wrote in the journal Obesity, published Wednesday.
SCIENCE
October 23, 2013 | By Tony Barboza
Exposure to the pesticide DDT could be playing a role in high rates of obesity three generations later, a new study says. Scientists injected pregnant rats with DDT and found no change in their levels of obesity or their offspring. But by the third generation, more than half of the rats (think of them as the great-grandchildren) showed dramatically higher levels of fat and weight gain, even though they were never exposed to the pesticide themselves. "Here is an ancestral exposure in your great-grandmother, which is passed on to you and you're going to pass on to your grandchildren," said Michael Skinner, a professor of biological sciences at Washington State University who led the research published in the journal BMC Medicine.
SCIENCE
October 22, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
While diet and exercise are available to all, bariatric surgery is likely to remain a solution available to just a small fraction of the 90 million Americans who are obese. But when it comes to inducing weight loss and improving obesity-related health conditions, a new study has found that there really is no contest between the two: Procedures such as gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy and gastric banding beat diet and exercise. By a long shot. A new study published Tuesday in the British Medical Journal finds that among subjects followed for at least six months and as long as two years, those who got weight-loss surgery lost on average 57 more pounds than those in nonsurgical weight programs.
WORLD
October 18, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson
MEXICO CITY - It may soon cost more to get fat in Mexico. New taxes on high-calorie foods and sugary drinks were approved by Mexico's lower house of Congress in a marathon 18-hour session that ended Friday, and are likely to become law. They are part of a broader package of taxes and other fiscal changes proposed by President Enrique Peña Nieto aimed at generating nearly $20 billion for the national treasury. Mexico has one of the world's highest rates of obesity, recently surpassing the United States, and health experts applauded higher prices for chips, candy and other chatarra , or junk food.
SCIENCE
September 16, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
It's little more than a glimmer of hope, but a comprehensive new report suggests that a trend toward healthier habits may have halted the rise of obesity among the nation's teens. In 2009 and 2010, American adolescents exercised more, watched less TV, ate more fruits and vegetables and drank fewer sugar-sweetened beverages than did children of the same age in 2001 and 2002, the national study found. The research was published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics. Despite steady improvements in behaviors linked to excess weight, rates of overweight and obesity among children in grades six through 10 continued to rise until 2005.
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