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Weight Reduction

November 26, 2005 | From Associated Press
The government is proposing to expand Medicare coverage of weight-loss surgery for the disabled, but eliminate coverage of such surgery for the elderly. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said that gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgeries might help people with extreme obesity. That is why the agency is proposing to make it easier for the disabled to get the surgery. Medicare now covers the cost if the surgery is recommended to treat other health problems.
November 21, 2005 | Rosie Mestel, Times Staff Writer
Losing weight is hard -- and you might say hardly studied. Only recently have scientists clinically shown that the widely used Atkins diet actually works, and they've yet to definitively weigh in on another diet-related question: Does regularly stepping on the scales help a dieter lose weight? Sure it does, say many weight loss experts. Weighing yourself is a clear way to monitor progress or catch (and nip in the bud) a slow, steady uptick in lardage. Not so fast, say others.
October 24, 2005 | Shari Roan, Times Staff Writer
Drugstore shelves are brimming with shakes, herbs and other products to facilitate weight loss -- but the vast majority of them have not been shown to work. It's possible that a proven medication that helps modestly with weight loss may join their ranks next year. The pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline has asked the Food and Drug Administration for permission to sell a low-dose version of its diet drug Xenical over the counter.
September 19, 2005 | Emily Singer, Special to The Times
DIETERS looking for a safer alternative to ephedra-based diet pills might be out of luck. New research shows that two popular supplements promoted as safe and ephedra-free can also raise heart rate and blood pressure in healthy people. "One [formula] increased blood pressure as much as ephedra-containing supplements ... so they may carry similar health risks," says Neal Benowitz, a clinical pharmacologist at UC San Francisco who participated in the study.
August 29, 2005 | Sally Squires, Special to The Times
One of the newest additions to the breakfast table lets you indulge in your favorite cereal without lifting a spoon, using a bowl or pouring a drop of milk. Breakfast bars made by Kellogg's, Post, General Mills, Quaker, Kraft and other companies offer a fast-food option to those eating on the run in the morning. Found just down the grocery aisle from their culinary cousins -- breakfast cereals -- many of the bars are fortified with enough vitamins to rival a multivitamin.
August 8, 2005 | Emily Singer, Special to The Times
PEOPLE plagued by middle-age spread may now have a gentle way to halt the scale's uptick. New research shows that regular yoga practice can lessen weight gain in middle age and can help overweight people shed pounds. The weight loss boost may come more from the mental benefits of yoga than the exercise itself. "When you practice yoga, you become more aware of the sensations in your body," says lead researcher Alan R.
July 4, 2005 | From Washington Post
Overweight people who are otherwise healthy might increase their risk of dying by intentionally losing weight. A study of 2,957 twins in Finland found that those who were overweight and who lost weight on purpose were about 86% more likely to die for any reason over the next 18 years compared with those whose weight remained stable.
June 27, 2005 | Sally Squires, Special to The Times
To reach a healthier weight this summer, consider throwing some Portobello mushrooms, veggie burgers and fish on the grill in place of the usual steak, hot dogs and chicken. A new study of about 55,000 healthy, middle-aged Swedish women finds that vegetarians of all types weighed significantly less than their meat-eating counterparts. The findings are some of the first to show a direct link between a plant-based diet and a lower body mass index.
June 27, 2005 | Lisa Girion, Times Staff Writer
It's not unusual for doctors and insurance companies to clash over coverage. But when it comes to obesity surgery, insurance companies disagree even among themselves. Worried about the safety and costs of stomach stapling and similar weight-loss operations, many insurers have tightened eligibility rules, and a few have stopped covering the procedures altogether. These insurers say the risks of complications and death are too high.
June 13, 2005 | Emily Singer, Special to The Times
Even as a new wave of dairy commercials touts eating yogurt and other dairy products as a way to shed unwanted pounds, new research shows that drinking excess milk can cause weight gain in older children. "We're concerned that adolescents will see the ads and conclude that drinking large amounts of milk will be an easy way to lose weight," says lead researcher Catherine Berkey, a biostatistician at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
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