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January 2, 2008, 8:29 PM CT

Obesity linked to decreased seatbelt use

Obesity linked to decreased seatbelt use
Obese people are less likely to use their seatbelts than the rest of the population, adding to the public health risks linked to this rapidly growing problem.

The connection was made by Vanderbilt University psychology expert David Schlundt and colleagues at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn.

We observed that when weight goes up, seatbelt use goes down, Schlundt, associate professor of psychology and assistant professor of medicine, said. This is an additional public health problem linked to obesity that was not on the radar screen. We hope these new findings will help promote awareness campaigns to encourage people to use their seatbelts and that additional resources, like seatbelt extenders, will be made more readily available.

Schlundt and colleagues examined 2002 data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Controls Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, a telephone survey used to collect data on risky behaviors and health decisions linked to death.

The study observed that approximately 30 percent of individuals with a body mass index (kilograms per meter squared) that qualified them as overweight, obese or extremely obese reported not using a seatbelt, in comparison to approximately 20 percent of the average population. Furthermore, seatbelt use declined as BMI increased, with approximately 55 percent of extremely obese individuals reporting they did not use a seatbelt. The correlation between increased body mass index and decreased seatbelt use held even when controlling for other factors, such as gender, race and seatbelt laws in the respondents state.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source


December 20, 2007, 9:56 PM CT

Why exertion leads to exhaustion

Why exertion leads to exhaustion
Researchers have found an explanation for runners who struggle to increase their pace, cyclists who cant pedal any faster and swimmers who cant speed up their strokes. Scientists from the University of Exeter and Kansas State University have discovered the dramatic changes that occur in our muscles when we push ourselves during exercise.

We all have a sustainable level of exercise intensity, known as the critical power. This level can increase as we get fitter, but will always involve us working at around 75-80% of our maximal capacity. Reported in the American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, this research shows why, when we go beyond this level, we have to slow down or stop altogether. This is the first time that researchers have looked at processes taking place inside the muscles when we exceed the critical power.

The study showed that when we exceed our critical power, the normally-stable pH level in our muscles, is quickly pushed to levels typical of exhaustion. Moreover, the level of phosphocreatine in the muscles, a high-energy compound which serves as an energy reserve, is quickly depleted when exercise intensity exceeds the critical power.

Professor Andy Jones of the University of Exeter, lead author on the paper, said: The concept of critical power is well known by sportspeople, but until now we have not known why our bodies react so dramatically when we exceed it. We were astonished by the speed and scale of change in the muscles.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source


December 20, 2007, 5:33 AM CT

Obese patients wait longer for kidney transplants

Obese patients wait longer for kidney transplants
New research from Johns Hopkins specialists suggests that obese kidney disease patients face not only the usual long odds of a tissue match and organ rejection, but also are significantly less likely than normal-weight people to receive a kidney transplant at all.

The Johns Hopkins study results, would be published online this Wednesday in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, reveal that morbidly obese patients (those who on average weigh 100 pounds more than their ideal weight) are on the transplant waiting list for a median of five years - two years more than the median wait time for a patient of normal weight.

Because patients tend to get sicker the longer they wait on dialysis, obese patients are 44 percent less likely than normal-weight patients to ever receive a kidney transplant, the scientists report. Each year, 8 percent of the patients on the list die waiting for a kidney.

Johns Hopkins transplant surgeon Dorry Segev, M.D., who led the study, suggests that obese patients might be turned down, sometimes multiple times, because of the added cost and poorer outcome linked to transplants in overweight patients.

Being overweight should not be a disqualifying and discriminating factor against these patients, Segev says.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source


Sun, 16 Dec 2007 13:48:57 GMT

Salad and breakfast

Salad and breakfast
I can''t even begin to imagine how many forks these 11-inch melamine plates are going to break. Assuming that picture-perfect food is served on them (that takes me right out of the kitchen), how is anyone supposed to be able to differentiate between what can actually be speared with a fork and what is only part of the realistic image printed on the plate?

The salad and English breakfast (are those curly fries?) plates are sold separately in packs of 6 for £29 (about $60).

Via Nerd Approved.

Posted by: Sarah      Read more     Source


Thu, 13 Dec 2007 03:39:05 GMT

Reinventing ladies who lunch

Reinventing ladies who lunch
I just had lunch with the partners of the architecture firm Front Studio, who are reinventing the concept of ladies who lunch. Pushing aside the outdated description of women eating their mid-day meal while their husbands worked, Michi Yanagishita and Yen Ha turn their breaks from designing into a side art project. Every work day, they dutifully photograph lunch, whether its leftovers, take-out, or a sit-down meal at a restaurant. Of course, this being 2007, they also blog about it, post the images to Flickr and update their google map. They''ve been at it for almost a year. By now, they have covered a lot of places to eat around their Soho offices, which has turned the blog into an unexpected guide for Soho lunch places. Hmm.... when''s lunch?

Posted by: Sarah      Read more     Source


December 10, 2007, 10:45 PM CT

Abdominal fat distribution predicts heart disease

Abdominal fat distribution predicts heart disease
Abdominal obesity is a strong independent risk factor for heart disease, and using the waist-hip ratio rather than waist measurement alone is a better predictor of heart disease risk among men and women, scientists reported as per a research findings published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

In the study, scientists also looked at whether the association between fat distribution and heart disease risk was independent of body mass index (BMI), which assesses body weight relative to height, as well as other heart disease risk factors, such as hypertension and high cholesterol.

The size of the hips seems to predict a protective effect, said Dexter Canoy, M.Phil., M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the study and a research fellow in epidemiology and public health at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. In other words, a big waist with comparably big hips does not appear to be as worrisome as a big waist with small hips.

The research was based on 24,508 men and women ages 45 to 79 in the United Kingdom who participated in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer cohort study (EPIC-Norfolk) which is based at the University of Cambridge in the UK. Scientists measured participants weight, height, waist circumference, hip circumference and other heart disease risk factors from 1993 to 1997. They then followed up with participants for an average 9.1 years.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source


December 6, 2007, 7:39 PM CT

Kids eat more fruits, vegetables when schools offer salad bar

Kids eat more fruits, vegetables when schools offer salad bar
UCLA Salad Bar Study
A new UCLA study has observed that elementary schools can significantly increase the frequency of fruit and vegetable consumption among low-income students by providing a lunch salad bar.

The findings, reported in the recent issue of the international peer-evaluated journal Public Health Nutrition, show that the frequency of students' fruit and vegetable consumption increased significantly - from 2.97 to 4.09 times daily - after a salad bar was introduced. In addition, students' mean daily intake of energy, cholesterol, saturated fat and total fat declined considerably.

"One of the major contributing factors to the high rate of overweight children in the United States is that they do not consume the daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables," said lead author Dr. Wendy Slusser, assistant professor of pediatrics at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA and the UCLA School of Public Health. "Increasing the availability and accessibility to healthy foods is one way to improve children's diets. In turn, this sets up opportunities for kids to have repeated exposure to healthy food and positively impact their choices".

The UCLA pilot study was conducted at three Los Angeles Unified School District elementary schools participating in the salad bar program and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source


December 4, 2007, 10:13 PM CT

Computer calls can talk couch potatoes into walking

Computer calls can talk couch potatoes into walking
Computer-generated phone calls may be an effective, low-cost way to encourage sedentary adults to exercise, as per a recent study by scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Results of the yearlong study observed that regular telephone calls delivered from either live health educators or by an automated computer system successfully prodded inactive adults into a regular 150-minute per week exercise program.

What most surprised scientists was that the computer calls were almost as effective as the calls by a real person.

"This is the first study to directly compare the efficacy of a physical activity program delivered by a computer versus humans and found them to work similarly well," said lead author Abby King, PhD, professor of health research and policy and a senior investigator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center. "Theoretically, it could be delivered to anybody around the country or around the world, and could save time and money.

The study is reported in the current issue of the journal Health Psychology. A number of of the 218 San Francisco Bay Area adults over the age of 55 who took part in the study, referred to as the Community Health Advice by Telephone or CHAT, insisted at the start that they would need a live human voice to be successful, King said.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source


November 21, 2007, 5:14 AM CT

Most physicians aren't prepared to deal with obesity epidemic

Most physicians aren't prepared to deal with obesity epidemic
The soaring obesity rates across the globe have been called the most critical challenge to public health of the 21st century. A top university researcher argues that most physicians are not adequately prepared to deal with this obesity epidemic.

In an article published in Canadian Family Physician, University of Alberta researcher Tim Caulfield examines the vital role physicians play in managing and identifying obesity and highlights the obstacles these physicians must overcome when treating obese patients. Caulfield, who is the Canada Research Chair in Health Law at the U of A and professor and research director in public health sciences, is recognized as one of the foremost experts in health law research in Canada.

In North America, physicians have a legal obligation to provide their patients with a reasonable standard of care, says Caulfield. By law, overweight and obese patients are entitled to the same level of care as the general public; however, there are reasons to believe this patient population is not, in some circumstances, receiving optimal care and advice.

Available data indicates that a number of physicians do not have the skills and knowledge to address obesity. As per Caulfield, this could contribute to substandard care in the way obesity is handled and in the way obese patients are treated.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source


November 19, 2007, 8:29 PM CT

Eating disorders in adolescents

Eating disorders in adolescents
Eating disorders in the U.S. among ethnic groups were believed to be rare, but recent studies have shown that a number of cultures are now exposed to the thin beauty ideal. As a result, experts expect to see an increase in eating disorder symptoms among ethnic groups. It is also suspected that eating disorders and weight control behaviors may be increasing among adolescent boys. Eventhough research has shown that eating disorders begin during adolescence, few epidemiological studies have been conducted with teens and those that have examined weight control practices among adolescents are too varied to be able to discern trends.

A new study, one of the first to examine trends in adolescent weight control behaviors over a 10-year period, observed that the prevalence of these behaviors in male adolescents significantly increased, while black females appear to resist pressure to pursue thinness. The study was published online in the International Journal of Eating Disorders (http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/eat), the official journal of the Academy for Eating Disorders.

Led by Y. May Chao of Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, scientists examined data from nationally representative samples of high school students from 1995 to 2005. The data was available via the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), a survey conducted every two years since 1991 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to assess the prevalence of health-risk behaviors among teens.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source


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