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Obesity

SCIENCE
January 15, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
For people with Type 2 diabetes who had hoped that their love handles might serve some purpose by reducing their risk of premature death, Harvard researchers have some bad news: The “obesity paradox” does not exist. “We found no evidence of lower mortality among patients with diabetes who were overweight or obese at diagnosis, as compared with their normal-weight counterparts, or of an obesity paradox,” the research team reported in a study that appears in Thursday's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 24, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
Guillermina Villa is famous for the seafood she prepares at El Pescadito Tacos y Mariscos, a lunch truck that has been serving customers for more than 25 years near the intersection of Compton Avenue and 62nd Street in South L.A.'s Florence-Firestone neighborhood. Customers who grew up in the largely industrial area travel great distances - from as far as North Hollywood, Rancho Cucamonga and Oxnard - to treat themselves to favorites like shrimp tacos and empanadas. But these days a new sign on Villa's truck advertises a smattering of new menu items such as quesadillas made with whole wheat tortillas and ceviche served with a side of plain yogurt and fruit.
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.
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.
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