Things I am passionate about. Injustice, stupidity, intolerance, bigotry and small-mindedness. Oh and there might just be some humor to offset the whole thing.

Archive for the ‘obesity’ Category

NPR: Economy Is Forcing Fat People to Starve

Posted by morganwrites on July 25, 2008

Public media: your tax dollar at work. Socialism can’t even produce socialist propaganda as competently as the free market.

Check out the picture accompanying a tear-jerking NPR piece (printed below for your convenience) that weeps for Americans who are cutting down on food because they can’t afford it due to the horrible economy:

Photo Courtesy of Food Stamps

Photo Courtesy of Food Stamps

Angelica Hernandez & Gloria Nunez

Public media: your tax dollar at work. Socialism can’t even produce socialist propaganda as competently as the free market.

All Things Considered

July 17, 2008 · A generation ago, the livelihood of Gloria Nunez’s family was built on cars.

Her father worked at General Motors for 45 years before retiring. Her mother taught driver’s education. Nunez and her six siblings grew up middle class.

Things have changed considerably for this Ohio family.

Nunez’s van broke down last fall. Now, her 19-year-old daughter has no reliable transportation out of their subsidized housing complex in Fostoria, 40 miles south of Toledo, to look for a job.

Nunez and most of her siblings and their spouses are unemployed and rely on government assistance and food stamps. Some have part-time jobs, but working is made more difficult with no car or public transportation.

Low-income families in Ohio say they are particularly hard-hit by the changes in the economy, according to a new poll conducted by NPR, The Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard School of Public Health. Two-thirds of lower-income respondents, or 66 percent, say paying for gas is a serious problem because of recent changes in the economy. Nearly half of low-income Ohioans, or 47 percent, say that getting a well-paying job or a raise in pay is also major problem.

‘I Just Can’t Get A Job’

Nunez, 40, has never worked and has no high school degree. She says a car accident 17 years ago left her depressed and disabled, incapable of getting a job. Instead, she and her daughter, Angelica Hernandez, survive on a $637 Social Security check and $102 in food stamps.

Hernandez received her high school diploma and has had several jobs in recent years. But now, because fewer restaurants and stores are hiring, she says she finds it hard to find a job. Even if she could, she says it’s particularly hard to imagine how she’ll keep it. She says she needs someone to give her a lift just to get to an interview. And with gas prices so high, she’s not sure she could afford to pay someone to drive her to work every day.

People tell Nunez her daughter could get more money in public assistance if she had a child.

“A lot of people have told me, ‘Why don’t your daughter have a kid?'”

They both reject that as a plan.

“I’m trying to get a job,” Hernandez says. “I just can’t get a job.”

Hernandez says she’s trying to get training to be a nurse’s assistant, but without her own set of wheels or enough money to pay others for gas, it hasn’t been easy.

‘What’s Going To Happen To Us?’

Most of their extended family lives in the same townhouse complex. The only employer within walking distance is a ThyssenKrupp factory that makes diesel engine parts. That facility, which employs 400 people, is shutting down and moving to Illinois next year.

The only one with a car is Irma Hernandez, Nunez’s mother. Hernandez says that with a teenage son still at home, the cost of feeding him and sending him to school is rising, and she can no longer pay for the car.

She’s now two car payments behind.

“I’m about to lose my car,” she says on her way to pick up one of her daughters to take her to Toledo. “So then what’s going to happen to us?”

So Nunez and her daughter are mostly stuck at home.

The rising cost of food means their money gets them about a third fewer bags of groceries — $100 used to buy about 12 bags of groceries, but now it’s more like seven or eight. So they cut back on expensive items like meat, and they don’t buy extras like ice cream anymore. Instead, they eat a lot of starches like potatoes and noodles.

No signs of exercise in this article. Hmmm.


Posted in obesity | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Increasing Obesity Requires New Ambulance Equipment

Posted by morganwrites on April 19, 2008

(NYT) – CONCORD, N.H. — Calls from obese patients had increased nearly 25 percent in recent years, and the Fire Department could no longer handle them.

The department’s gurneys could not adequately support the patients’ weight, and the department had to pay a private ambulance company.

Last fall, the department bought three gurneys that can hold patients weighing up to 600 pounds, about twice the holding capacity of a regular stretcher.

“We had to do something,” Acting Chief Tim McGinley said. “It was one of those things where we would try to use the equipment we had and were afraid that you were going to end up hurting somebody, the patients themselves or the staff.”

As obesity rates increase around the country, fire departments and emergency medical workers are responding similarly.

“I think everybody is moving to a stretcher that has a higher weight capacity,” said Jerry Johnston of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, president of the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians. “We have to be able to deal with it and have the equipment to take care of those people appropriately. It’s part of our job.”

But the effort can be expensive.

A bariatric ambulance that can transport patients weighing up to 1,000 pounds costs $110,000 to build, compared with $70,000 for a standard ambulance, said Doug Moore, a spokesman for American Medical Response, which operates 4,200 ambulances nationwide.

A bariatric cot costs around $4,000, four times the price of a regular cot.

Fire Chief Tim Robbins of Gilmanton, N.H., received $15,800 from the town for new equipment that can hold patients weighing up to 650 pounds.

“People should have a fair shake when they’re transported to the hospital,” Chief Robbins said.

Jerry Socha, a spokesman for Ferno, which sells emergency medical equipment, said that the company started increasing production of bariatric products about five years ago and that sales had steadily increased.

“A lot of the motivation was our customers,” Mr. Socha said, speaking of the emergency workers, “who are experiencing a higher call volume regarding bariatric patients.”

Some departments say they bought the equipment to help prevent injuries to patients and first responders.

Mike Smith, director of emergency medical services in Durham, N.C., bought bariatric cots in 2004, after several paramedics had strained their backs and injured their shoulders transporting patients on inadequate equipment.

The stretchers operate on battery power and lift patients, so paramedics do not have to hoist patients into ambulances.

Mr. Johnston, in Iowa, said the equipment should be standard.

“If something collapses, you injure a patient and yourself,” he said. “We’re in the people business. We’re about taking care of people who get sick and hurt, and we have to be prepared for anything.”

No need for new equipment. You can hire all the truck drivers who are out of business because the price of diesel is $4.35 a gallon where I live. Just make sure you have a fork lift and a sling. Hell, I just might buy a flat bed truck and start another business.

Posted in obesity | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Obesity growing to be top cancer cause

Posted by morganwrites on March 2, 2008

BOSTON – (AP) – Obesity is on its way to being deadlier than smoking as a cause of cancer, a leading researcher said Friday. Being obese is currently associated with about 14 percent of cancer deaths in men and 20 percent in women, compared with about 30 percent each for smoking, Dr. Walter C. Willett of the Harvard School of Public Health, told the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

“As smoking goes down and obesity goes up it won’t be long before obesity is the No. 1 cancer killer,” Willett said at a symposium on cancer prevention.Added Dr. Douglas R. Lowy of the National Cancer Institute: “Cancer prevention begins at home. … Not all of us always act in our own best interest.”

Willett said research is producing increasing evidence associating obesity with a variety of cancers, including breast, colorectal, liver, pancreas and gallbladder. Alcohol is also associated with certain cancers, he said.

In the 1980s, researchers focused on the amount of fat people ate as a probable cause of cancer, but studies did not strongly support that. Later they turned to diets high in fruits and vegetables as a way to reduce cancer, but again, Willett said, they struggled to find convincing evidence in studies.

Now attention has turned to obesity, and more and more research is providing evidence that indict that as a cancer cause.

That does not mean people should stop eating fruit and vegetables and go to a high-fat diet, he quickly added. “We do see evidence of a benefit for heart disease, I think that’s pretty real,” he said.

And, he noted, studies have indicated some benefit from a high fruit and vegetable diet in some cancers, he added, including mouth, esophagus, lung and stomach.

Overall, Willett estimated 30 percent to 35 percent of cancers are due to nutritional factors, much of it to obesity. (Italics and highlighting mine).

Your thoughts?

Posted in American Association for the Advancement of Science, Cancer, Dr. Douglas R. Lowy, Dr. Walter C. Willet, Harvard School of Public Health, National Cancer Institute, obesity, smoking | Leave a Comment »

Obesity More Dangerous Than Terrorism Experts Say

Posted by morganwrites on February 25, 2008

SYDNEY – (AFP) – World governments focus too much on fighting terrorism while obesity and other “lifestyle diseases” are killing millions more people, an international conference heard Monday.


Overcoming deadly factors such as poor diet, smoking and a lack of exercise should take top priority in the fight against a growing epidemic of preventable chronic disease, legal and health experts said.

Global terrorism was a real threat but posed far less risk than obesity, diabetes and smoking-related illnesses, prominent US professor of health law Lawrence Gostin said at the Oxford Health Alliance Summit here.

“Ever since September 11, we’ve been lurching from one crisis to the next, which has really frightened the public,” Gostin told AFP later.

“While we’ve been focusing so much attention on that, we’ve had this silent epidemic of obesity that’s killing millions of people around the world, and we’re devoting very little attention to it and a negligible amount of money.”

The fifth annual conference of the Oxford Health Alliance — co-founded by Oxford University — has brought together world experts from academia, government, business, law, economics and urban planning to promote change.

An estimated 388 million people will die from chronic disease worldwide over the next 10 years, according to World Health Organisation figures quoted by the alliance.

“There’s a political paralysis in dealing with the issue,” said Gostin, an adviser to the US government and a professor at Georgetown and Johns Hopkins universities.

He noted that prevention of obesity and its effects had hardly rated a mention in the current campaign for the US presidency.

“Yet the human costs are frightening when we consider that obesity could shorten the average lifespan of an entire generation, resulting in the first reversal in life expectancy since data collecting began in 1900,” he said.

Like terrorism, some passing health threats get major government attention and media coverage, while heart and lung disease, diabetes and cancer account for 60 percent of the world’s deaths, the meeting was told.

“It is true that new and re-emerging health threats such as SARS, avian flu, HIV/AIDS, terrorism, bioterrorism and climate change are dramatic and emotive,” said Stig Pramming, the Oxford group’s executive director.

“However, it is preventable chronic disease that will send health systems and economies to the wall.”

The conference is due to end Wednesday with a “Sydney Resolution” calling on governments and big business among others to take action to avert millions of premature deaths due to chronic disease.

“The way we live now is making us sick, it’s making our planet sick and it’s not sustainable,” said Asia-Pacific co-director Ruth Colagiuri.

The Sydney resolution focuses on four key areas, including the need to make towns and cities healthier places in which to live by urban design which promotes walking and cycling and reduces carbon emissions from motor vehicles.

Insufficient physical exercise is a risk factor in many chronic diseases and is estimated to cause 1.9 million deaths worldwide each year, said Tony Capon, professor of health studies at Australia’s Macquarie University.

“We need to build the physical activity back into our lives and it’s not simply about bike paths, it’s about developing an urban habitat that enables people to live healthy lives: ensuring that people can meet most of their daily needs within walking and cycling distance of where they live,” he said.

The resolution also calls for a reduction in sugar, fat and salt content in food, making fresh food affordable and available and increasing global efforts to stop people smoking.

Just about says it all. The only things they left out were laughing, singing, playing, reading, television, computer games, blogging, talking, kissing, making love – for those who can, listening to music, etc. I guess we should just go out and shoot ourselves – solve the whole damn problem.

Posted in "Sydndy Resolution", bioterrorism, carbon emissions, climate change, deaths, disease, exercise, Georgetown University, HIV/AIDS, Johns Hopkins University, lack of exercise, Macquarie University, obesity, Oxford Health Alliance Summit, Oxford University, poor diet, reducing sugar fat salt, Ruth Colagiuri, SARS, silent epidemic, smoking, Stig Pramming, terrorism, Tony Capon, WHO | 3 Comments »

Obesity Cause Global Warming: Experts Say

Posted by morganwrites on February 25, 2008

A recently released report from the United Federation Against Obesity, a scientific firm based in the Washington, DC area, has determined that obese people could be causing up to 45 percent of the global warming problem.

Steven Nolard, head researcher at UFAO, states, “Just look at all the obese people there are in the world today. They consume 3-6 times more food than the average person and this phenomena is running rampant. Because of their enormous weight, they are unable to be productive members of society.”

The report goes on to say, “Obese people are taking a toll on our social services, and when they need hospitalization, they often need to have walls removed from their homes in order to extract them and then there’s the challenge with transporting them – as ambulances can’t carry them due to their extreme girth and weight. They’re often loaded on flat-bed trucks in order to get them to the hospital,” says Patricia Pounds, co-author of this study.

Studies have shown that obese people are blaming fast-food restaurants for their crippling situation. They also claim that if such eateries would stop advertising, they wouldn’t be drawn to their sites. “I used to weigh 200 pounds,” says Michael Hughest, “but now I weigh 475 pounds, and it’s all their fault. I mean, you go to (name of restaurant omitted) and the employees always say, “Would you like to super-size that, and, well, who wouldn’t want to get more food? It’s like getting a bonus for pennies.”

There are also reports, from Obese People United as well as United Coalition of Obesity, that posit the theory that obese people don’t really eat as much as most people have been lead to believe. As one member of OPU states, “We eat a little more than most but that’s because we are bigger,” states Jeff Moore. He goes on to say, “We’d exercise but there’s no sidewalks in our neighborhoods, and we can’t just walk down the street. That would really be dangerous.” Another anomaly is that “fitness centers” just aren’t available to the obese due to their location, a report from the UCO, as obese people can’t walk that far and public transportation is not a viable method, as many UCO members say, “When we ride the bus or subways, people laugh at us. And if there’s an available seat, we can’t fit. It’s just not fair.”

Dr. Stedhamm Burgher,of the University of Munich, Germany, contributed to the UFAO studies, insomuch, as to give this article an international presence.  In regards to the study above, his foreboding comment was, “Ach de liber!”

In another study, Healthy Day, reports that “Obesity Raises Cancer Risk”.

The more weight you carry on your body, the greater your odds of developing cancer, British researchers report.This is true not only of fairly common cancers such as colon and breast, but also of lesser known varieties, including gallbladder. Moreover, the degree of risk differs between men and women and among different ethnic groups, report the authors of a comprehensive new paper appearing in this week’s issue of The Lancet.”This is a profoundly important issue. Obviously, the obesity epidemic is a huge problem itself, and the relationship to cancer is only one of the many adverse health effects of being overweight and obese,” said Dr. Michael Thun, head of epidemiological research at the American Cancer Society. “The evidence has been accumulating now for over 10 years. . . This study tries to provide a quantitative measure of how much the relative risk goes up with each increment, basically jumping from one BMI [body-mass index] category to another.”

Although extra fat has already been identified by research as a risk factor for several different types of cancer, Thun said, “the problem of obesity is so large and so difficult to solve that there’s a very sound reason for ongoing studies of things that have become increasingly well-known, just because it helps the momentum in stimulating approaches that will actually help people maintain a healthy weight.”

Last year, a report issued by the American Institute of Cancer Research and the U.K.-based World Cancer Research Fund concluded that body fat is associated with an increased risk for several different types of cancer including esophageal adenocarcinoma, as well as cancers of the pancreas, colon and rectum, breast (postmenopausal), endometrium and kidney.

Although that report was one of the most comprehensive to date, it did leave some questions unanswered. For instance, are there associations between less common cancers and body weight, and do the associations differ between the sexes and people of different ethnic backgrounds?

The issue is a pressing one, with about two-thirds of adult men and women in the United States overweight or obese. That number is only expected to increase as people continue to eat more and exercise less.

This study, from scientists at the University of Manchester, analyzed 141 articles involving 282,137 cancer cases and 20 different types of malignancies to determine the cancer risk associated with a 5 kilogram-per-meter-squared increase in BMI, roughly the increase that would bump a person from middle-normal weight into overweight.

In men, such an increase in BMI raised the risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma by 52 percent, thyroid cancer by 33 percent, and colon and kidney cancer by 24 percent each.

In women, the same increase in BMI increased the risk of endometrial and gallbladder cancer by 59 percent each, esophageal adenocarcinoma by 51 percent, and kidney cancer by 34 percent.

In men, there were weaker associations between increased BMI and rectal cancer and melanoma. In women, there were weaker associations between increased BMI and postmenopausal breast, pancreatic, thyroid and colon cancers.

In both genders, there were associations between increased BMI and leukemia, multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

For colon cancer, the associations were stronger in men than in women (24 percent vs. 9 percent).

There were stronger associations in Asia-Pacific populations between greater BMI and both premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancers.

Although the main message is still to maintain a healthy weight, this research might indicate earlier screening for certain cancers, said Dr. Greg Cooper, interim chief of the gastroenterology division at Ireland Cancer Center of University Hospitals and Case Comprehensive Cancer Center in Cleveland. “If someone is obese, then lower the threshold for screening,” he said. “One of the cancers they identified is esophageal adenocarcinoma, which is not as common as colon cancer, but it is increasing in incidence. It is thought to be related to reflux, so as a gastroenterologist, if I have a patient who has reflux and is obese, I might lower the threshold for doing an endoscopy. For other cancers like colon cancer, those guidelines are pretty well-established, and this probably wouldn’t change practice.”

Experts aren’t sure why extra fat can lead to malignancies, but changes in the circulating levels of various hormones (insulin, insulin-like growth factors and sex steroids) might explain the link.

Here’s more bad news as the world heads for a smoke-free future: An accompanying commentary from Swedish researchers notes that as people quit smoking (the biggest cause of cancer in developed countries), weight gain may become the main lifestyle factor contributing to new cancers.

If you hadn’t figured it out, the first story was factional fiction, the second was from Health Day. Reading the last paragraph of their story – it seems like it’s damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

Posted in American Institute of Cancer Research, BMI, Cancer, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center in Cleaveland, Ireland Cancer Center of University Hospitals, obesity, Spoof, True Story, University of Manchester, World Cancer Research Fund | 2 Comments »

This ought to send you through the roof!

Posted by morganwrites on January 21, 2008

Obesity now a ‘lifestyle’ choice for Americans, expert says.

As adult obesity balloons in the United States, being overweight has become less of a health hazard and more of a lifestyle choice, the author of a new book argues.

“Obesity is a natural extension of an advancing economy. As you become a First World economy and you get all these labor-saving devices and low-cost, easily accessible foods, people are going to eat more and exercise less,” health economist Eric Finkelstein told AFP.

In “The Fattening of America”, published this month, Finkelstein says that adult obesity more than doubled in the United States between 1960 and 2004, rising from 13 percent to around 33 percent.

Globally, only Saudi Arabia fares worse than the United States in terms of the percentage of adults with a severe weight problem — 35 percent of people in the oil-rich desert kingdom are classified as obese, the book says, citing data from the World Health Organization and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

With the rising tide of obesity come health problems and an increased burden on the healthcare system and industry.

“But the nasty side-effects of obesity aren’t as nasty as they used to be,” Finkelstein said.

“When you have a first-rate medical system that can cure the diseases that obesity promotes, you no longer need to worry so much about being obese,” he told AFP.

“With our ever-advancing modern medicine there helping to save the day (at least for many people), are government and the media blowing the magnitude of the ‘obesity crisis’ out of proportion?” his book says.

A study in which Finkelstein and colleagues at the RTI International, an independent research institute in North Carolina that works on social and scientific problems, asked overweight, obese and normal weight people to predict their life expectancy came up with a total difference of four years.

Normal weight respondents predicted they would live to 78, the obese to 74, and the overweight 75.5.

Other studies that looked at death data back the conclusion that people who carry excess weight tend to die slightly earlier, the book says, and draws the conclusion that “many individuals are making a conscious decision to engage in a lifestyle that is obesity-promoting.”

“People make choices, and some people will choose a weight that the public health community might be unhappy about. Why should we try to make them thinner?” Finkelstein said.

Linda Gotthelf, a doctor who heads research at Health Management Resources, a private, nationwide firm that specializes in weight loss and management, agreed that Americans now live longer but stressed that quality of life declines with age.

“People are living longer but with more chronic diseases,” Gotthelf told AFP.

“That brings a diminished quality of life, especially for the obese who have more functional limitations as they age and tend to be on multiple medications.”

Obesity is not a choice for Alley English, a 28-year-old mother from Missouri who has struggled with a weight problem all her life.

“If you knew that you could be what society considers normal, why would you not choose to do that?” English told AFP.

“As we get older, life does get more rushed and we do tend to make the easier choices sometimes,” English, who currently weighs 392 pounds (178 kilograms), told AFP.

“But you can’t say if you quit going to the drive-through, exercise more and eat more vegetables, you’ll lose weight. There are so many more factors involved.”

Gotthelf also disagreed that people choose to be obese.

“There are studies in which people have said they would rather lose a limb or be blind than obese. Being obese is not a desire,” she said.

“For many, this is a problem they have struggled with for many years… it gets discouraging after a while,” she said.

“I would not doubt that if you asked obese people if they could push a button and not be obese, close to 100 percent would say they would push the button.”

Finkelstein says he wrote “The Fattening of America” to “encourage discussion of what I understand is probably an uncomfortable position for a lot of people.”

Even if private industry and government take steps to protect society against the costs of obesity, many Americans “will likely continue to choose a diet and exercise regimen that leads to excess weight,” because losing weight requires too many lifestyle sacrifices, his book warns.

Meanwhile, frustrated by years of unsuccessful dieting and weight loss programs, English has opted to join a growing number of Americans who have gastric bypass surgery — hailed in Finkelstein’s book as “the best-known treatment for severe obesity.”

“I have a higher risk of developing diabetes or hypertension if I don’t have the surgery,” English said.

“I don’t care if I end up with a body like whoever-in-the-media thinks I should look like; I just want to be healthy and able to participate in my daughter’s life,” she said.

I am speechless. It’s like 40 is the new 30, or however that tripe is stated. Jesus H. Christ, when are we going to get our $#%# heads out of the sand. Wake up, people! And don’t blame the fast food chains, the fact that you don’t live close to a gym, that you can’t exercise because there are no sidewalks in your neighborhood, etc. And should we really be taking away gym class in schools, not letting children out to run and play at recess. Take away the video games from the kids, they won’t die if they’re forced to go out and play in the yard. There oughta be a law.


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U.S. Schools wage war against obesity

Posted by morganwrites on January 16, 2008

Another story from the net.

Educators and health officials have stepped up their fight against obesity in US schools by trying to replace greasy fast food with healthy meals, and are seeing small but encouraging results.

Nearly 13 million children and adolescents in the United States are overweight, a particularly worrying segment of an overall epidemic in a country where 200 million people, or two thirds of the population, are overweight or obese.

Fast food, television, soft drinks and a sedentary lifestyle are seen as the main culprits of childhood obesity, and schools – in the absence of action on the part of families – are beginning to take a stand.

“I like to believe we are in the early stages of a social movement and there have been exceptional changes in what schools are doing in nutrition,” said William Dietz from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 1,800 researchers and general practitioners are taking part in a conference on obesity and exchanging views on how better to combat obesity at the local and state levels.

A recent CDC study shows that the share of school cafeterias offering their students French fries as the only vegetable item on their menus has dropped from 40 percent in 2000 to 18.8 percent in 2006.

The CDC finances anti-obesity school programs in 23 states, and has seen some positive signs begin to emerge.

In Arkansas, schools have been taking a measurement of their students’ body mass for the past three years and have started sending parents letters that warn if their child is obese.

The combined bans on junk food in cafeterias and soda drinks in vending machines, as well as a greater emphasis on sports, have paid a dividend: obesity among students in Arkansas has stabilized and even went down slightly – from 20.9 percent in 2004 to 20.6 percent in 2007.

A similar program in Texas, close to El Paso, has helped reduce the percentage of children with weight problems from 25.8 percent in 2002 to 23.4 percent in 2005.

Despite resistance on the part of some parents who think that schools should not get involved in determining their children’s menus, Dr. Allen Queen has developed an intervention model for the schools: an hour of sports every day plus nutritional education and a better cafeteria.

After two years, attendance increased 11 percent among students and 20 percent among teachers.

But schools cannot offer all the solutions because American children spend only 19.5 percent of their time in school, if vacations and weekends are factored in.

Some experts say that local initiatives will not be enough to win the war against obesity.

“None of this is coordinated. The federal government has to be involved in a systematic way,” said John Morton, associate professor at Stanford School of Medicine.

“We won the war on hunger in 1964, we need to win the war on obesity.”

Karen Young, medical director for the Pediatric Fitness Clinic in Arkansas Children’s Hospital believes the government should forbid advertising of junk food for children.

“I take care of the worse of the worse, those 400, 500 pound children who can barely breath,” she said.

I’m sure you’ll all have comments to make on this article. Give ‘er a rip.


Posted in obesity | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

More obese US kids ending up in the hospital

Posted by morganwrites on January 15, 2008

The number of children hospitalized in the United States for health problems linked to obesity tripled from 1998 to 2004, according to a study presented here Wednesday.

The most frequent problems were sleep apnea, high blood pressure and gall bladder stones, the conference organized by the Obesity Society was told.

“In 2002 for the first time ever, there have been more admissions for obesity than for malnutrion,” said John Morton, a professor of medicine at Standford University.

In 1998, 40 out of every 10,000 children under 18 were hospitalized for ailments linked to obesity compared to 120 cases per 10,000 children in 2004, he said.

The most biggest (sic) increase was among children affected by sleep apnea. The rate of their hospitalization increased from about 20 cases per 10,000 to 270 per 10,000 in 2004.

High blood pressure was responsible for 100 hospitalizations per 10,000 children, or twice the rate six years earlier, while hospitalization rates for gall bladder problems reached 35 per 10,000 up from 20 in 1998.

Meanwhile, the number of gastric bypass surgeries, which involves stapling part of the stomach in a last-ditch bid to loose weight, shot up from 500 among people under 18 in 1998 to 4,000 in 2004, Morton said.

This is absolutely insane. The people to blame are not fast-food restaurants, school cafeterias, grocery stores nor the government. The blame lies with the parents who have no idea how to raise children. They should be ashamed of themselves.


Posted in children, obesity | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Use of Heartburn Drugs Surges in Young Children

Posted by morganwrites on October 16, 2007

This article from AP should make you sit-up, or is that spit-up?

CHICAGO – The number of young children on prescription drugs for heartburn and other digestive problems jumped about 56 percent in recent years and researchers say obesity and overuse might be contributing to the surprising increase.

The surge was found in a Medco Health Solutions Inc. analysis released on Oct. 4, 2007 of U.S. prescription data for 2002-2006. It suggests that more than 2 million U.S. children 18 and under used drugs for digestive or gastrointestinal complaints last year.

“It’s a signal that something’s going on that we need to keep and eye on,” said Dr. Robert Epstein, Medco’s chief medical officer. “Whether it’s parents getting their children diagnosed more frequently, or obesity or other factors, it bears further study,” he said.

Researchers at Medco, a pharmacy benefits management company based in Franklin Lakes, N.J., analyzed prescription drug claims of more that 575,000 U.S. children.

They calculated that 557,259 infants and children up to age 4, or about 3 percent of youngsters in that age range, were taking these drugs last year. That’s about a 56 percent increase from 2002.

There was a 31 percent increase among children aged 5 to 11, climbing to an estimated 551,653 children, or 2 percent in that age group in 2006, the analysis found.

Almost 1 million children aged 12 to 18 had prescriptions for the drugs last year, but that was up only 6 percent over 2002.

Acid-reducing drugs called proton pump inhibitors are the most common medicines prescribed for GI problems, the analysis said. They are used for acid reflux associated with heartburn, and a related condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.

Some of these, including Prevacid, were approved for use in children during the study period, which likely also contributed to the prescription surge, said Dr. Benjamin Gold, an Emory University specialist in children’s digestive diseases. (Emory University is in Atlanta, GA. and is one of the most acclaimed institutions in America).

Heartburn is a common complication of being overweight and the surge happened during the nation’s rising obesity epidemic, said Dr. Renee Jenkins, president-elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She noted that more than 10 percent of U.S. preschoolers and 30 percent of older children are considered overweight.

Gold said there’s no hard data on how many children have acid reflux or GERD. But there’s some evidence that the numbers are rising, and obesity could be playing a role.

Heartburn and acid reflux are also extremely common in infants and young children. Many of them outgrow it and drug treatment often isn’t needed, so the increase raises concerns about whether these drugs are sometimes being used unnecessarily, said Jenkins, a Howard University pediatrics professor.

While some children do require treatment including prescription drugs, many get better with no treatment or lifestyle changes such as smaller, more frequent meals or cutting down on fatty foods, she said.

Still, parents increasingly are demanding that doctors prescribe medicine for reflux, in part because of direct-to-consumer marketing, Gold said. But also, symptoms including frequent spitting up, irritability and stomach aches are troublesome and many parents prefer a quick fix, he said.

Gold said reflux drugs are generally safe but there is some evidence linking long-term use with an increased risk of infections including pneumonia and bowel inflammation.

To avoid overuse, Jenkins said parents should be willing to try non-drug approaches for treating reflux and other digestive problems in young children.

Isn’t this just insane? Children under the age of 4 on prescription drugs due to acid reflux! What do you think is causing this malady? Rhetorical. I blame this whole issue on parents who are so caught up in their own crap, that they don’t take time to prepare good, wholesome meals and feed their children via the drive-thru nor do they teach their children a proper eating regime. Have you seen the commercial wherein a mother tells her family (2 kids one father) that they’re going to have a good old fashioned home cooked meal tonight – the father and children get this glassy eyed look in their eyes in anticipation of this rare occasion, and mom then whips out a bucket of KFC with mashed potatoes, gravy and biscuits. No greens, no fruit, no milk, no grains, no brains. In addition to this story, pediatricians have noticed a rise in irritable bowel syndrome in children under the ages of 18. It seems that parents are giving their children, as young as 1 years of age, enemas to help them with their elimination, and they’re repeating the process so often that the procedure has weakened the musculature of the intestines and thereby reducing the ability of the intestines to do the job that they were intended for and because of this lack of ability, by the intestines, they need to resort to – repeating the enema routine. How’s that for proper parenting!

Posted in children, insane, medicine, nutrition, obesity, stupid | 5 Comments »