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Some Weighty Headlines

12/03/10

  01:43:22 pm, by MedBen5   , 344 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Some Weighty Headlines

Body weight is, uh, big in the news today:

  • A report published in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that carrying around even a few extra pounds can be detremental to your well-bring. In a major study of 1.5 million otherwise healthy white adults, researchers used body mass index as a measure of longevity. Healthy, non-smoking women with an “ideal” BMI (between 22.5 and 24.9) had the lowest death rate, while those who were slightly overweight increased their risk of death by 13%. Obesity raised the likelihood of premature death by as much as 88%. Men’s numbers were similar.

    A BMI measurement of 25 is considered overweight, 30 obese, and 40 morbidly obese. You can read the Associated Press story at USA Today, along with a BMI calculator.

  • Weight loss surgery has always been confined solely for the most overweight, but the possibility of allowing less heavy people to receive Band surgery, which restricts intake to the stomach, is receiving serious consideration by the Food and Drug Adminstration. Based on a study by Allegen – the company that (surprise!) makes the Lap-Band device – demonstrating “statistically significant decreases in all measures of weight loss,” the FDA is weighing (sorry) the pros and cons of opening the doors to the less obese.

    With the growing percentage of overweight people nationwide, will the US government look past the side effects of the procedure, not to mention the difficulty of maintaining long-term weight reduction? You can get the full story at The New York Times.

  • The Department of Health and Human Services has released the nation’s Healthy People 2020 goals – a set of benchmarks the US government will push citizens to achieve over the next decade, by promoting healthier lifestyles. Stated goals include reducing the percentage of US smokers from 21% to 12%, and dropping the obesity level from current 34% of the population to about 31%. That’s a substantial shift in weight loss expectations from the 2010 Healthy People goals – when the goverment hoped to have the overweight percentage down from 25% in 2000 to 15% by this year. (Yikes.)

    The AP article is available at the Charlestown Daily Mail.

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