Jan 02 2016

You Need More Brown Fat!

A report from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Scientists have uncovered a pathway in mice that allows white fat — a contributor to obesity and type 2 diabetes — to burn calories as if it were brown fat or muscle. The body uses white fat to store extra energy. Too much white fat (obesity) increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and other diseases. Brown fat, in contrast, generates heat to maintain body temperature and, like muscle, has lots of calorie-burning mitochondria. Brown fat is found in small mammals like rodents throughout their lives. Humans have it at birth, but we lose it as we age. Researchers once thought that our brown fat was essentially nonexistent by adulthood. Recent studies found that not only do adults have brown fat but it also may play an important role in weight control. Boosting the activity of brown fat, or converting white fat to brown fat, could be potential strategies for fighting obesity. A team of NIH researchers led by Dr. Sushil G. Rane of NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) were studying a protein called TGF-beta. TGF-beta and its related factors are known to control the development, growth and function of many different cell types. Blood levels of TGF-beta have been linked to obesity in both mice and humans. In previous work, the team found that the TGF-beta pathway plays ...

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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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Feb 28 2014

New CDC Data Shows Decline In Childhood Obesity Rates

The latest CDC obesity data, published in the February 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, show a significant decline in obesity among children aged 2 to 5 years. Though overall obesity rates remain unchanged, rates in young children improve. Obesity prevalence for this age group went from nearly 14 percent in 2003-2004 to just over 8 percent in 2011-2012 – a decline of 43 percent – based on CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data. Although the JAMA study does not specifically compare 2009-2010 with 2011-2012, NHANES data does show a decline in the 2 to 5 year old age group during that time period – from just over 12 percent in 2009-2010 to just over 8 percent in 2011-2012. “We continue to see signs that, for some children in this country, the scales are tipping. This report comes on the heels of previous CDC data that found a significant decline in obesity prevalence among low-income children aged 2 to 4 years participating in federal nutrition programs,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “We’ve also seen signs from communities around the country with obesity prevention programs including Anchorage, Alaska, Philadelphia, New York City and King County, Washington. This confirms that at least for kids, we can turn the tide and begin to reverse the obesity epidemic.” While the precise reasons for the ...

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Jun 10 2012

NEW YORK CITY MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG PROPOSES TO LIMIT THE SIZE OF SUGARY DRINKS SOLD

   Obesity is the Second Leading Cause of Preventable Premature Death, Killing 5,800 New Yorkers Annually, and is the Only Major Public Health Issue in America that is Getting Worse!       The Mayor’s Task Force on Obesity has proposed initiatives – including limiting the size of sugary drinks, significant contributors to the epidemic – with the goal of reducing the percent of obese adults by 10 percent and children by 15 percent over the next five years. Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx is at the center of the obesity epidemic, where obesity and diabetes rates are the highest in the city. The Mayor was joined by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, Montefiore Medical Center President and CEO Dr. Steve Safyer, Montefiore Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer and Pediatrics Chair Dr. Philip Ozuah, Director of Montefiore School Health Program Dr. David Appel, Director of Montefiore B'N Fit Program Jessica Rieder, Chairman of the Montefiore Department of Family and Social Medicine and Director of Community Health and Wellness Doctor Peter Selwyn, President of the New York Health and Hospitals Corporation Alan Aviles, HealthFirst President and CEO Pat Wang, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Carter Strickland, Food Policy Coordinator Kim Kessler and Department of Education Deputy Chancellor for Operations Kathleen Grimm. One in Three Adult New Yorkers Has Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes “In New York City nearly 60 percent of ...

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Jan 13 2012

The “You’re Fat” Tax Is Coming!

Okay my friends, I don’t want to be the “I told you” type but I did! The “you’re fat” tax is coming soon. So you ask, what in the world is a “fat tax”? I am glad you asked. As we all are aware, obesity is growing at an alarming rate. Most of us are already overweight and some of us are way overweight-yes face it we are obese. Come on, take a look at your waist line. Look down there now. You can see it as plain as day. Yes, say it with me, I am overweight. Good-that’s a start. You have tried dieting, exercising and nothing seems to work.  Well, our government seems to think that it is now up to our elected public officials to help correct an epidemic. How, you may ask? How does the government respond to issues that threaten public safety-by making new laws and regulations and yes, you know it, it’s on the tip of your tongue-yes, taxes! Of course, taxes-a penalty for this indiscretion. Only this time, the indiscretion is being overweight. As many friends of mine point out, when injuries and fatal accidents as a result of car crashes became major issues, wearing seatbelts was advised. However this advisory didn’t help. So the next step was a law and regulation that made it mandatory for everyone to buckle-up. And it’s working. ...

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Feb 11 2011

500 Million People In The World Are Obese! Cutting Portion Sizes In Restaurants. Restricting Food Purchases Based On BMI! Views On The News: Graehm Gray

Well, there it is my friends. The reports are finally out-over a half billion of us-that’s right us-the people and residents of planet Earth, are obese. And this represents a doubling since 1980. These studies, led by researcher Majid Ezzati of the Imperial College of London and Harvard University, were published recently in the Lancet journal. And you know what happens with 500 million people with obesity? You are right again-a rise in the secondary medical problems that result from the obesity like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Can you imagine a rising population of people with heart problems and diabetes? Our medical system will be overloaded with new patients. Not to mention-seeing many young obese individuals that develop secondary problems earlier and prior to adulthood. It’s catastrophic.   What can be done? Cutting portion sizes and increasing exercise will help. Our medical treatment for elevated blood pressure and high cholesterol is getting better. But that won’t stop the tidal wave of kids and adults that will develop these problems. Maybe we should all feel better that we can treat these secondary problems effectively. But we really need to focus on primary prevention. We need to start the nutrition and fitness education at an early- preschool age and continue this until adult hood. We need to teach our young generation of kids how to eat, what to eat that ...

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May 19 2010

Graehm Gray: The White House To Reduce 1.5 Trillion Calories From Food and Beverage by 2015! Yes We Can!

First Lady Michelle Obama, in a press conference with members of the Food and Beverage Industry,   announced that the Partnership for a Healthier America has signed an agreement with The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) whose members are pledging to take actions aimed at reducing 1.5 trillion product calories by the end of 2015.  As an interim step to this goal, HWCF will seek to reduce calories by 1 trillion in 2012.  “Solving the obesity epidemic requires far more than anything government can do alone and today’s announcement represents an important step forward to providing Americans with healthier choices so that they can choose to lead healthier lives,” said Mrs. Obama, who also serves as honorary chair of the Partnership.  “This is precisely the kind of private sector commitment we need.  I want to thank the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation for stepping up to the plate and I hope this encourages others to do the same.”  “On behalf of the Partnership, I am pleased to acknowledge this major first step by the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation.  Pledges like this one – with targeted and achievable results that are meaningful and measurable – will help us reach our goal of curbing childhood obesity within a generation,” said Dr. James R. Gavin III, chairman of the Partnership’s board of directors. So how will these companies do it? Here is their plan: growing and introducing lower-calorie options changing ...

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May 15 2010

Graehm Gray: Government Intervention To Solve Childhood Obesity: Part Three

Here we are, my friends, the Fat Police are ready to deliver governmental penalties for our body weight being out of proportion to societies specifications. Have we reached that point where we need new laws telling us that we are “fat”, “overweight,” “obese?” I guess we have. At least our congressional leaders feel that way. It’s not new. As pointed out in my last article, governments all over the world are proposing similar new laws and restrictions. Obesity is an epidemic and getting worse globally. According to recent statistics, 17 percent of 6 to 11 year olds and 17.6 percent of 12 to 19 year olds are obese. 33 percent of 6 to 11 year olds and 34 percent of 12 to 19 year olds are overweight. Obesity medical costs are estimated to have totaled $147 billion in 2008. Can you imagine what the costs will be in 2010? Several new bills have been proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives and you should all be aware of them: A.     H.R. 1585-The FIT kids ACT: passed the House of Representatives April 21, 2010, renews the emphasis on physical education in schools.  The Act would work to ensure kids are active during the school day and are taught to be personally responsible for their health.  The legislation would engage parents and the public by requiring all school districts and states to report on ...

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