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Obesity

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 26, 2013 | By Anna Gorman
The veterinarian examined Bella, a spotted cocker spaniel, and quickly concluded she was obese and needed to lose weight. Working with a trainer, Maria Gastelum put her pooch on a nutrition and fitness plan. The regimen produced another benefit: Gastelum started to eat better and exercise more. "If I didn't have her, I wouldn't own a pair of tennis shoes," said the Ontario resident. "It's really unbelievable how she's motivated me. " Los Angeles County public health officials hope that millions of pets living in the region can provide the same sort of inspiration and results for their owners.
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NEWS
July 24, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
Discriminating against someone for being fat isn't real helpful. That's something scientists have already documented for issues like depression. But a new study says it also seems to make people gain weight. “Rather than motivating individuals to lose weight, weight discrimination increases risk for obesity,” the researchers wrote  in an article released Wednesday in the journal PLOS One. It seems logical that calling someone names  - or worse - for being fat would discourage them from taking part in gym class or other physical activities, and that happens, the researchers said.
SCIENCE
July 16, 2013 | By Melissa Pandika
Researchers have further unraveled how a version of a gene linked to obesity risk causes people to gain weight - it makes them more likely to feel hungry after a meal and to prefer high-calorie foods. Their study, published Monday in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, found that individuals who inherited the high-risk version of the FTO gene from both of their parents have higher levels of the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin in their bloodstream, which leaves them hungry even after eating.
SCIENCE
July 16, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
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.
OPINION
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.
NATIONAL
July 12, 2013 | By David Horsey
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.
NEWS
July 10, 2013 | By Karin Klein
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 10, 2013 | By Noam N. Levey and Anna Gorman
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.
NEWS
July 9, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
Agricultural subsidies are contributing to the obesity epidemic in the U.S. and should be revised to help improve public health, Canadian researchers say. Agriculture policy “remains largely uninformed by public health discourse,” they write in an article published Tuesday in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Government farm subsidies have helped create an inexpensive food supply with the sorts of foods that lead to obesity, they said. That's a position about which there is a great deal of contention, with some arguing that inexpensive commodity prices do not do much to reduce retail prices; and that other countries with high subsidies do not have high obesity rates.
SCIENCE
June 26, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
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.
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