Posts

Obesity

America’s Doctors Weigh In On The Dangers Of Obesity

The American Medical Association has taken a tough new stand on obesity.  They now classify it as a “disease” requiring medical treatment.

CBS News reporter Ryan Jaslow says the new definition is aimed at getting doctors to tackle obesity as if they were treating a disease instead of simply a “lifestyle condition” that should be changed.

The AMA issued a statement that states “Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans.”

According the latest stats, more than 35 percent of U.S. adults and 17 percent of children and teens meet the criteria for obesity.

Multiple research studies have linked obesity to a variety of medical conditions.  These include heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, liver disease, sleep apnea, breathing problems, osteoarthritis and joint pain, infertility, sexual side effects and cancers of the breast, colon, esophagus, pancreas and kidneys.

Also, this years’ “Annual Report on the Status of Cancer” found significant rises in obesity-related cancers over the past three decades.

So what does the new classification mean for obese people as patients?

Dr. Louis Arronne, obesity specialist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, says it could have a tremendous impact on health care legislation in Washington and with insurance companies.

Bariatric surgeries including lap-band procedures or gastric bypass surgeries may now be covered by more insurers based on the AMA’s new classification

There are also two recently-approved obesity drugs, Qsymia and Belviq, that can be prescribed to obese patients.

To learn more, go to the American Medical Association’s website and enter “obesity” in the search engine.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

 
Coffee

Could Too Much Coffee Cause You To Have A Mental Disorder?

Do you drink coffee?  A LOT of coffee?  Could your caffeine habit cause you to have a temporary mental disorder?

LiveScience.com reports that the DSM-5, the latest edition of the psychiatric mental health manual, lists “caffeine intoxication” among the many disorders known to psychiatry.

If you must know, DSM stands for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Check out this list of symptoms: Restlessness, nervousness, excitement, red face, gastrointestinal upset, muscle twitching, rambling speech, sleeplessness, and rapid, irregular heartbeat.

According to the DSM-5, if you experience five or more of these symptoms during or shortly after consuming caffeine, you could be diagnosed with caffeine intoxication. Oh yeah, the symptoms must also impair your ability to function in some way.

This condition appears in both the old and new editions of the DSM, but the new version adds a related diagnosis: caffeine withdrawal, which describes the effects of stopping or dramatically reducing your consumption of caffeine.

Withdrawal symptoms include headache, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, depressed mood and other issues.

Typically, caffeine is used as a performance-enhancing substance. It speeds up the central nervous system, typically making us feel awake, alert and energetic. It’s found in coffee, tea and chocolate, and some energy drinks, and is even added to some types of headache medication and bottled water.

Caffeine is the most widely used, behaviorally active drug in the world, and according to the DSM-5, some people may be unaware of their physical dependence on it.

For more on this story, go to psych.org and enter “caffeine” in the search engine.  I’m gonna go there right after I have my non-fat double mocha, no whip.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

 
One Soda

Can One Sugary Drink Per Day Increase Your Risk Of Developing Diabetes?

How much sugary soda do you drink each day?  Well according to a new study, just one can of sugary soda per day may significantly increase your risk of developing diabetes later in life.

According to a story on HealthCentral.com, Researchers at the Imperial College in London, say that drinking a single 12-ounce sugar-sweetened drink every day may increase the risk of diabetes by as much as 22 percent. .

This study followed 28,000 people using data from studies across eight European countries. When total energy intake and body mass index of the people were accounted for, the figure fell from 22 percent to 18 percent increased risk.

The results indicate that risk of type 2 diabetes goes beyond simply a sugary drink’s effect on body weight.  Similar studies conducted with North American subjects reflected a 25 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes for each daily soft drink consumed.

By the way, this study also looked at the effects of pure fruit juice and nectar consumption.  The researchers say those beverages did not appear to lead to increased risk of diabetes.

However, they say it was difficult to say for sure, given the challenge of identifying fruit juices people drink that have added sugar, as opposed to those that are 100 percent fruit juice.

Here’s one other new research finding—but this one deals with our SPIRITUAL health.  Timothy Jay, a psychology professor at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, did s study on CURSING.  Dr. Jay found that wwear words make up just shy of 1% of the words an average person says in a given day.

I suppose that’s good news, but here’s the NOT so good news.  He also says the average child learns his or her first swear word by age 2!  Ouch!

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

 
 for the audio version of this article.

When You Eat

WHEN You Eat Could Be As Important As WHAT You Eat

WHEN you eat could be as important as WHAT you eat.  According to a report from KPRC-TV in Houston, a new study suggests that timing when eating could matter when trying to lose weight.

Researchers from Harvard University said this is the first large-scale study that found that when you eat matters.  People who eat their big meal of the day early tend to lose more than those who eat late.

The study looked at Europeans whose big meal of the day is lunch.  Those who ate before 3 p.m. dropped significantly more weight, and they were also less likely to develop diabetes.  The amount eaten didn’t seem to matter.

Obesity expert, Dr. Gary Foster says that although the study is interesting, “When it comes to weight control, it’s a calorie game.”  Foster says if you eat too much and move too little, you will gain no matter what.  A calorie equals the same at 6 p.m. as it does at midnight.

Foster points out that if you change the time of day in which you eat your calories, it won’t make much difference as long as your calories are constant, it would make no difference.

He says that is likely why the late eaters in the study, who skipped breakfast, packed on the pounds.

Dr. Foster says: “It’s not that there is something magical about breakfast, it’s just that it sets you up to be more hungry when you do get to that lunch meal. It’s not about a timing effect, it’s that if you food deprive yourself for 5, 6, 7 hours, and let’s say, eat lunch at 3 instead of 1. You’re going to be a lot hungrier at 3 o’clock, so you’re much more likely to overeat.”

By the way, for some great guidelines on diet and exercise check out the American Heart Association’s website at heart.org and click on “Getting Healthy”

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM

 
 for the audio version of this article.

Boomer Exercise

The Health of Baby Boomers Is Going Bust!

Were you born between 1946 and 1964?  If so, how are you feeling?  According to a story on HealthDay.com, the baby boom is turning out to be a health bust.

Medical advances have led to the longest life expectancy ever, but baby boomers have higher rates of chronic disease, more disability and lower self-rated health than their parents did at a comparable age.

Baby boomers, have embraced activities such as running, fitness classes and backpacking in unprecedented numbers.

In spite of that, they have increasing rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.

Dr. Dana King at West Virginia University School of Medicine says “There seems to be somewhat of a disconnect between the reputation of baby boomers for being healthy and what we see.  It’s really discouraging that they’re not the healthiest generation.”

Dr. King compared the health of men and women between the ages of 46 to 64 to the health of people in their parents’ generation.   While 32 percent of their parents’ generation described their health as “excellent” during middle age, only about 13 percent of baby boomers felt that way.

Obesity was more common among baby boomers than their parents.  In addition, 52 percent of boomers said they had no regular physical activity, while only 17 percent in their parents’ generation reported being couch potatoes.

Dr. King said it’s still not too late for baby boomers to get healthier. He said his previous research showed that it is possible to “turn back the clock” even if you’re in your 50s or 60s.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

 
 for the audio version of this article.

Berries

The 6 Healthiest Berries for Women’s Hearts

Berries are bright, flavorful and sweet super fruits that have a long list of health benefits. These colorful fruits are high in antioxidants and polyphenols, which help fight chronic disease and cancer. And their health benefits just keep getting sweeter!

A recent study in the journal Circulation suggests that sprinkling just a few more blueberries in your yogurt or blending strawberries into your morning smoothie may help reduce heart attack risk.

Here are the top six berries for women’s health.

Blackberries

These tasty berries are rich in polyphenols, which may help prevent cardiovascular disease and even cancer. They contain high amounts of fiber compared to other types of fruit: One cup has about 7 grams of fiber. (The recommended daily intake of fiber is 25 to 35 grams.) What’s more, they’re rich in vitamin C and contain a bit of iron, calcium and vitamin A, too. Bake them in a pie, spread them in a jam on whole-grain toast, or just eat them by the handful!

Blueberries

Eating blueberries may help your memory, and they have high levels of compounds that help widen arteries, which helps blood to flow smoothly. Rich in antioxidants, blueberries are also low fat, free of saturated fat, and a good source of fiber and vitamin C. No wonder they’re linked to a lower risk of heart attack!

Strawberries

Strawberries are heart-healthy and packed with vitamin C. They are also an excellent source of folate, which is a nutrient that’s suspected (but not proven) to help protect your heart. Like blueberries, they contain compounds that help widen the arteries, which may prevent plaque buildup. Another benefit? They whiten your teeth naturally!

Raspberries

These sweet berries are rich in heart healthy fiber; just half a cup delivers 4 grams. You also get 25% of your recommended intake for vitamin C and manganese too. Raspberries are low in fat and have high levels of polyphenols, which help reduce heart disease risk. Try to sneak these into your diet whenever you can.

Acai Berries

When it comes to antioxidants, this Brazilian fruit smashes rivals like blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries. The berries are a good source of fiber, but are tart. Mixing them in smoothies, oatmeal, and yogurt helps temper the bitterness.

Cranberries

These tart little berries are popular around the holidays, but given the health benefits (especially for women), you should try to eat them year-round. Among other benefits, cranberries may increase HDL, or good cholesterol, and may also help prevent urinary tract infections, so they are a win-win!

This article originally appeared on Health.com

Energy Drinks

Energy Drinks & The E.R.

A troubling new report has come out on energy drinks.

A new government survey suggests the number of people seeking emergency treatment after consuming energy drinks has doubled nationwide during the past four years.  Interestingly, during that the same period, the supercharged drink industry has surged in popularity in convenience stores, bars and on college campuses.

According to a story from ABC News, from 2007 to 2011, the government estimates the number of emergency room visits involving the beverages shot up from about 10,000 to more than 20,000. Most of those cases involved teens or young adults.

The report doesn’t specify which symptoms brought people to the emergency room but calls energy drink consumption a “rising public health problem” that can cause insomnia, nervousness, headache, fast heartbeat and seizures that are severe enough to require emergency care.

Several emergency physicians said they had seen a clear increase in the number of patients who consumed energy drinks and experienced irregular heartbeats, anxiety and even heart attacks.

More than half of the patients who wound up in the emergency room told doctors they had downed only energy drinks.  About 42 percent of the cases involved energy drinks in combination with alcohol or drugs, such as the stimulants Adderall or Ritalin.

Howard Mell, an emergency physician in Cleveland, says “A lot of people don’t realize the strength of these things. I had someone come in recently who had drunk three energy drinks in an hour, which is the equivalent of 15 cups of coffee,” said

“If he had a weak heart or suffered from coronary disease and didn’t know it, this could have precipitated very bad things.”

By the way, the energy drink industry says its drinks are safe and there is no proof linking its products to the adverse reactions.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

 
 for the audio version of this article.

Running Woman

What’s One Thing You Do To Get/Stay In Shape?

It’s Garrett from Shine Afternoons and if you are like me, you’re working on making 2013 a healthier year than 2012 (remember…my one word is “transform”).  I want to run a couple of 10K’s this spring and a longer race or two later in the year…so I started putting on a few miles over the weekend.  What about you, what’s one thing you do to get in shape or stay in shape?