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25 Jan 13

Men and women, particularly those categorized as obese, have grown increasingly likely over the years to underestimate their true weight, according to a recent study.

In a paper published Wednesday in the journal PLoS ONE, researchers at University College of Cork examined height and weight data for Irish adults over a nine-year period. In three separate health surveys, men and women were asked to estimate their height and weight, and those figures were used to calculate body mass index, or BMI. Afterward, they were weighed and measured for accuracy.

What researchers discovered was that while people routinely misjudged their true dimensions, their weight estimates had grown increasingly inaccurate over time. Their height estimates however remained more or less constant.

18 Jan 13

A Cheesecake Factory pasta dish with more than 3,000 calories - or more than a day and a half of the recommended caloric intake for an average adult - is among the headliners on this year's Xtreme Eating list of the most unhealthy dishes at U.S. chain restaurants.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer-focused nonprofit group that promotes healthier eating, compiles an annual list of "food porn" to alert consumers to menu items with eye-popping levels of calories, saturated fat, sugar and/or sodium.

07 Jan 13

Heart disease and diabetes get all the attention, but what about the many other ways obesity can damage your health?

Carrying too many pounds may lead to or worsen some types of cancer, arthritis, sleep apnea, even infertility. But a new poll suggests few Americans realize the links.

Only about one-quarter of people think it’s possible for someone to be very overweight and still healthy, according to the poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Ask about the most serious consequences, and more than 7 in 10 Americans can correctly tick off heart disease and diabetes. Heart disease is the nation’s leading killer, and diabetes and obesity are twin epidemics, as rates of both have climbed in recent years.

07 Jan 13

Who would have thought that the future of weight loss might lie in the hands of the inventor of the Segway? Dean Kamen, creator of the two-wheeled wonder, along with a team from Aspire Bariatrics, of Philadelphia, has applied for a patent for a pump that can suck food and drink straight out of the stomach.

Users are able to stuff their face before draining their stomach by connecting the pump to a valve surgically installed in their abdominal wall. The makers hope to use it to treat the morbidly obese, and to provide an alternative to a gastric bypass.

28 Dec 12

The Obama administration has a lot riding on California’s implementation of Obamacare, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. How the state implements the new insurance exchanges, and whether or not it is done successfully, will be an important test of nationalized health care.

But a state-run health exchange puts the burden onto the state and the expense ultimately on the taxpayers. The state loses the authority and flexibility needed to best meet the needs of its people… Which is why more than 30 states have told the Obama government that they will not create state-run health exchanges, leaving the Obama administration to build and operate online health insurance markets for more than 30 states. This is an unexpected problem, unanticipated by the federal government when Obamacare was passed in 2010.

But this isn’t a problem for Democratically controlled California government, which will do just about anything for a federal grant.

03 Nov 11

"Around 4,000 deaths could be prevented every year if the UK population adopted the average diet eaten in England, concludes research published in BMJ Open."

Death rates for cardiovascular disease and cancer are higher in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland than they are in England, and it is well known that these diseases are associated with a poor diet that is high in saturated fats and salt and low in fibre, fruits and vegetables.

The researchers therefore looked at mortality data for coronary heart disease, stroke, and 10 cancers associated with diet, including those of the gullet, bowel, and stomach, in all four UK countries for the years 2007 to 2009 inclusive.

And they estimated average intake of 10 dietary components, including energy intake, in each of the four countries, drawn from national representative data from the Family Food Survey for the same period.

These data showed that people in Scotland and Northern Ireland consistently ate more saturated fat and salt and fewer fruits and vegetables every day than their English cousins, while the differences between Wales and England were less consistent over the three years.

The authors then calculated what differences in death rates could be expected from population changes in average dietary quality, using the DIETRON model -- a conceptual mathematical model that calculates the impact of food consumption on health outcomes.

26 Oct 11

"Every Friday, Bree Boyce dreaded her high school gym class. Students had to run a mile under 11 minutes, and those who couldn't finish in time would have to walk around the track for the rest of the period.

Weighing 234 pounds, Boyce never made it in time.

"There were a few times I tried to run because I was so embarrassed and afraid of what other kids might say. After many failed attempts, I gave up hope," said Boyce.

Every day, Boyce wore a baggy T-shirt and a pair of faded, size 18 jeans to school. She ducked and dodged anytime someone tried to take her picture. She deflected attention from her weight by cracking jokes.

Five years later and 112 pounds lighter, Boyce is no longer the camera-shy girl hiding inside saggy, shapeless tees.

She struts onstage in body-hugging evening gowns and swimsuits. She embraces the spotlight as the reigning Miss South Carolina. And she has been a guest co-host on "The View," chatting openly about her weight."

26 Oct 11

"Police in eastern China have arrested 18 people after a raid on two clinics offering illegal organ transplants, state news agency Xinhua reported on Wednesday.

The clinics in Jinan, Shandong's provincial capital, were raided on Sunday as doctors were preparing a kidney transplant, Xinhua cited local police as saying.

"Police were tipped off earlier this month, and then launched a probe with the city's health bureau against the two clinics. They found that vehicles and people regularly shuttled between the two clinics, which were not far away from each other," the report said.

China in 2007 banned organ transplants from living donors, except spouses, blood relatives and step or adopted family members, but launched a national system to coordinate donations after death in 2009. The organ shortage has driven a trade in illegal organ trafficking in the country.

"Reports about illegal transplants indicate there appears to be a large underground network profiting from the country's demand for donor organs," Xinhua added.

Police this month arrested three doctors for "illegally harvesting human organs" in northern Hebei province, it said. The doctors were all from Shandong.

Nearly 1.5 million people in China need organ transplants each year, but only 10,000 can get one, according to the Health Ministry."

26 Oct 11

"Teens who drink more than five cans of non-diet, fizzy soft drinks every week are significantly more likely to behave aggressively, suggests research published online in Injury Prevention. This includes carrying a weapon and perpetrating violence against peers and siblings."

US lawyers have successfully argued in the past that a defendant accused of murder had diminished capacity as a result of switching to a junk food diet, a legal precedent that subsequently became known as the "Twinkie Defense" -- a twinkie being a packaged snack cake with a creamy filling.

Responses were assessed in the light of factors likely to influence the results, including age and gender, alcohol consumption, and average amount of sleep on a school night.

Those who drank 5 or more cans of soft drinks every week were significantly more likely to have drunk alcohol and smoked at least once in the previous month.

But even after controlling for these and other factors, heavy use of carbonated non-diet soft drinks was significantly associated with carrying a gun or knife, and violence towards peers, family members and partners.

When the findings were divided into four categories of consumption, the results showed a clear dose-response relationship across all four measures.

Just over 23% of those drinking one or no cans of soft drink a week carried a gun/knife, rising to just under 43% among those drinking 14 or more cans. The proportions of those perpetrating violence towards a partner rose from 15% in those drinking one or no cans a week to just short of 27% among those drinking 14 or more.

Similarly, violence towards peers rose from 35% to more than 58%, while violence towards siblings rose from 25.4% to over 43%.
In all, for those teens who were heavy consumers of non-diet carbonated soft drinks, the probability of aggressive behaviour was 9 to 15 percentage points higher -- the same magnitude as the impact of alcohol or tobacco -- the findings showed. "There may be a direct cause-and-effect-relationship, perhaps due to the sugar or caffeine content of soft drinks, or there may be other factors, unaccounted for in our analyses, that cause both high soft drink consumption and aggression," conclude the authors.

24 Oct 11

Niki Gianni was 11 or 12 when she found a video on YouTube called "Meet Your Meat." Saddened and disgusted by the footage from a slaughterhouse, the Chicago girl announced she was no longer going to eat meat. Her parents were less than thrilled.

"When she first said she wanted to be a vegetarian, we were just looking at each other and we said, 'We can't be switching meals for you. You are not going to get your protein.' We were not educated in the health benefits," said Gianni's mother, Julie Gianni.

While many parents worry whether their vegetarian or vegan children will receive adequate nutrition for their growing bodies, the American Dietetic Association says such diets, as long as they are well-planned, are appropriate for all phases of life, including childhood and adolescence. "Appropriately planned" vegetarian or vegan diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases, the dietetic association says.

14 Mar 11

Abstract
The ingestion of the dietary supplement creatine (about 20 g/day for 5 days or about 2 g/day for 30 days) results in increased skeletal muscle creatine and phosphocreatine. Subsequently, the performance of high-intensity exercise tasks, which rely heavily on the creatine-phosphocreatine energy system, is enhanced. The well documented benefits of creatine supplementation in young adults, including increased lean body mass, increased strength, and enhanced fatigue resistance are particularly important to older adults. With aging and reduced physical activity, there are decreases in muscle creatine, muscle mass, bone density, and strength. However, there is evidence that creatine ingestion may reverse these changes, and subsequently improve activities of daily living. Several groups have demonstrated that in older adults, short-term high-dose creatine supplementation, independent of exercise training, increases body mass, enhances fatigue resistance, increases muscle strength, and improves the performance of activities of daily living. Similarly, in older adults, concurrent creatine supplementation and resistance training increase lean body mass, enhance fatigue resistance, increase muscle strength, and improve performance of activities of daily living to a greater extent than resistance training alone. Additionally, creatine supplementation plus resistance training results in a greater increase in bone mineral density than resistance training alone. Higher brain creatine is associated with improved neuropsychological performance, and recently, creatine supplementation has been shown to increase brain creatine and phosphocreatine. Subsequent studies have demonstrated that cognitive processing, that is either experimentally (following sleep deprivation) or naturally (due to aging) impaired, can be improved with creatine supplementation. Creatine is an inexpensive and safe dietary supplement that has both peripheral and central effects. The benefits afforded to older adults through creatine ingestion are subs

08 Mar 11

High levels of "good" cholesterol may reduce the risk of colon cancer, a new study suggests.
If other studies confirm this finding, people with low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol should "be advised to change their lifestyle to reduce their risk of colon cancer," said lead researcher Dr. Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita, from the department of gastroenterology and hepatology at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in Bilthoven, the Netherlands.
Cutting "bad" (LDL) cholesterol and increasing "good" (HDL) cholesterol already are known to reduce the risk for heart disease, and this new study provides another reason to pay attention to your blood cholesterol numbers.

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This is a two-fer. good for the heart and the colon.

01 May 09

“I know many of you here today are single payer advocates and so am I … and those of us who are pushing for a public health insurance don’t disagree with this goal. This is not a principled fight. This is a fight about strategy for getting there and I bel

27 Apr 09

The United States is not testing airplane travelers from Mexico for the swine flu virus that has heightened fears of a possible pandemic, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Sunday.

"Right now we don't think the facts warrant more a

21 Apr 09

As Congress returns to begin an intense debate over reshaping the nation's $2.2 trillion health-care system, prominent left-leaning organizations and liberal House members are issuing a warning to their Democratic allies: Don't cave on us.
The early skir

06 Mar 09

President Obama’s kicking off his health care reform today in the worst possible way: with a mischaracterization of data.

“The cost of health care now causes a bankruptcy in America every thirty seconds," Obama said at the opening of his White House foru

04 Mar 09

While recognizing that many Canadians believe that we have one of the best health care systems in the world, the founders of Timely Medical Alternatives Inc. also recognize that there are some 875,000 Canadians currently on the waiting list for referrals

10 Feb 09

If the Obama administration’s economic stimulus bill passes the Senate in its current form, seniors in the U.S. will face similar rationing. Defenders of the system say that individuals benefit in younger years and sacrifice later.
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A back door att

12 Jan 09

Leading independent experts have issued this strong warning after investigating latest scientific evidence linking alcohol-containing mouthwashes to the deadly disease.

Their review, published in the Dental Journal of Australia, concludes there is now ``

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