Nov 29 2015

Remember The Obesity Epidemic? Still Here!

Overweight and obesity: the basics, just the facts..... Worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980. In 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 600 million were obese. 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2014, and 13% were obese. More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese. Most of the world's population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight. 42 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2013. Obesity is preventable. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.   Overweight and obesity: definitions Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. Body mass index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults. It is defined as a person's weight in kilograms divided by the square of his height in meters (kg/m2). The WHO definition is: a BMI greater than or equal to 25 is overweight a BMI greater than or equal to 30 is obesity. BMI provides the most useful population-level measure of overweight ...

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Dec 13 2014

US Children Have Easy Access To e-Cigarettes

More than 300 million Americans live in states without protection against indoor e-cigarette aerosol exposure Forty states have enacted laws prohibiting the sale of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), including e-cigarettes, to minors, but 10 states and the District of Columbia still permit such sales, according to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). More than 16 million children aged 17 and under reside in states not covered by these laws. The latest data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey showed 4.5 percent of all high school students and 1.1 percent of all middle school students had used e-cigarettes within the past 30 days in 2013. “We know e-cigarettes are not safe for youth,” said Tim McAfee, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “While ENDS may have the potential to benefit established adult smokers if used as a complete substitute for all smoked tobacco products, ENDS should not be used by youth and adult non-tobacco users because of the harmful effects of nicotine and other risk exposures, as well as the risk for progression to other forms of tobacco use.” While 26 states and the District of Columbia have comprehensive smoke-free laws that prevent smoking in restaurants, worksites, and bars, only three of those states also prohibit ENDS use indoors: New Jersey, North Dakota, and Utah. Therefore ...

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Nov 15 2014

Youth tobacco smoking rates putting millions at risk of premature death

  An important message from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   More than 1 in 5 high school students use a tobacco product; 90 percent are tobacco smokers     Almost 23 percent of high school students currently use a tobacco product, according to new data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Of particular concern, more than 90 percent of those using a tobacco product are using combustible tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, hookahs, and pipes. Extensive use of combustible products is of special concern because tobacco smoking causes most of the tobacco-related disease and death in the United States. The 50thAnniversary Surgeon General’s Report released last January concluded that unless youth smoking rates drop rapidly, 5.6 million youth currently aged 0 to 17 will die early from a cigarette smoking-related illness. “Nine out of ten smokers tried their first cigarette by age 18,” said Tim McAfee, M.D., M.P.H., Director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “We must do more to prevent our youth from using tobacco products, or we will see millions of them suffer and die prematurely as adults. Fully implementing proven tobacco control programs would help keep our youth from falling victim to tobacco.” CDC’s National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) found that in 2013, 22.9 percent of high school students and 6.5 percent of middle school students reported using a ...

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Sep 01 2014

World Health Organization Issues Report on E-Cigarettes

E-cigarettes and similar devices are frequently marketed by manufacturers as aids to quit smoking, or as healthier alternatives to tobacco, and require global regulation in the interest of public health, this new World Health Organization (WHO) report states. The report states that while e-cigarettes represent an “evolving frontier filled with promise and threat for tobacco control,” regulations are needed to: Impede e-cigarette promotion to non-smokers and young people; Minimize potential health risks to e-cigarette users and nonusers; Prohibit unproven health claims about e-cigarettes; and Protect existing tobacco control efforts from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry. It explains that while additional research is needed on multiple areas of e-cigarette use, regulations are required now to address health concerns, in particular for: Advertising: An appropriate government body must restrict e-cigarette advertising, promotion and sponsorship, to ensure that it does not target youth and non-smokers or people who do not currently use nicotine. Indoor use: legal steps should be taken to end use of e-cigarettes indoors in public and work places. Evidence suggests that exhaled e-cigarette aerosol increases the background air level of some toxicants, nicotine and particles. Since 2005, the e-cigarette industry has grown from one manufacturer in China to an estimated US$3 billion global business with 466 brands, a market in which the tobacco industry is taking a greater stake. The report highlights WHO’s concern about the role of the tobacco industry in this market.   The regulations ...

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Apr 03 2014

Isn’t It About Time to Switch To A Plant Based Diet ? What Are You Waiting For?

A report from NIH News In Health Vegetarians miss out on lots of foods. No grilled burgers or franks at picnics. No holiday turkey or fries cooked in animal fat. Strict vegetarians may even forego honey made by bees. But vegetarians also tend to miss out on major health problems that plague many Americans. They generally live longer than the rest of us, and they’re more likely to bypass heart-related and other ailments. The fact is, eating a more plant-based diet can boost your health, whether you’re a vegetarian or not. What is it about the vegetarian lifestyle that can protect your health? And are there risks to being vegetarian? NIH-funded researchers are looking for answers. They’re exploring the many ways that diet and other factors affect our health. Vegetarian meals focus on fruits and vegetables, dried beans, whole grains, seeds and nuts. By some estimates, about 2% of the U.S. adult population follows this type of diet. People have many reasons for becoming vegetarians. Some want to eat more healthy foods. Others have religious or economic reasons or are concerned about animal welfare. “Vegetarian diets are also more sustainable and environmentally sound than diets that rely heavily on meat, poultry and fish,” says NIH nutritionist Dr. Susan Krebs-Smith, who monitors trends in cancer risk factors. Most people think of vegetarian diets as simply eating plant foods and not eating meat, poultry and fish. “But ...

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Feb 14 2014

Cancer In Children-What Do You Need To Know!

A report from the National Institutes of Health (NIH): Just the thought of a child getting cancer can be frightening and overwhelming. But while cancer can be life threatening, there’s encouraging news. Over the last few decades, improved therapies have helped childhood cancer survival rise to more than 80%. Many kinds of cancer can now be cured or controlled to help give children a better quality of life into adulthood. The most common type of childhood cancer is leukemia, a cancer of the blood. Leukemia begins in the bone marrow, the spongy substance inside our bones where blood cells are made. Other childhood cancers include lymphoma (blood cancer that begins in the lymph glands) and solid tumors (abnormal clumps of tissue). Solid tumors may occur throughout the body, such as in the brain, kidney, muscle or bone. The causes of childhood cancer are largely unknown. Childhood cancer can occur suddenly, with no early symptoms, and might get detected during a physical exam. “If you notice something unusual in your child—unexplained symptoms, not growing properly, belly distended, blood in urine—take your child to the doctor,” says Dr. Nita Seibel, a pediatric oncologist at NIH. If the doctor suspects cancer, a series of tests will help identify the type of cancer, where it’s located and whether it has spread to other parts of the body. Cancers in children can be different from adult cancers. When you’re researching the ...

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Jun 09 2010

Graehm Gray: Your Child Needs 60 Minutes of Exercise Everyday!

Did you know that in the latest guidelines (Dietary Guidelines for Americans), all children (from preschool through age 18) should be physically active and get 60 (sixty) minutes of exercise/physical activity each and every day? Well it’s true. This exercise or activity does not have to be only from sports, but also can come from walking and playing (a.k.a. recess). And the exercise does not have to be done all at once. You can break it up into several periods throughout the day- for example: 6-ten minute episodes or 4- fifteen minute episodes. Parenting tip#1: according to many studies, kids (and adults too) that are physically active have a lower risk of developing chronic diseases like obesity, type-2 diabetes, elevated BMI, stroke, coronary artery disease, colon cancer, osteoporosis elevated blood fats, elevated blood pressure and elevated insulin levels. On the other end of the spectrum, kids that are not active and are sedentary (e.g. sit in front of the TV or computer) have a much higher risk of developing chronic  diseases like overweight, obesity, coronary artery disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer. Parenting tip #2: If you eat 100 more food calories a day than you burn, you'll gain about 1 pound in a month. That's about 12 pounds in a year.  Here is a chart that shows the calories (units of energy) ...

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