Friday, January 29, 2016

Indian paradox: Scourge of obesity among children needs to be tackled effectively

India is said to be a land of paradoxes. Nowhere is that more evident than in the fact that while India has one of the highest child malnutrition rates in the world, a recent World Health Organization study found that its child obesity rate, counting children and adolescents in the 5-19 years age group, is a staggering 22%. This surpasses even the US where obesity is a big problem – US child obesity estimates run between 17.5% and 20.5%.
Could a perverse reverse psychology be at work here? Could it be that, precisely because India is a land so deeply marked by food scarcity, that its cultural orientation is to shower food on one’s children as the principal means of showing affection on the part of those who can afford to? Rather than, say, take one’s children to the park or find some other form of entertainment that involves exercise? Be that as it may, another culprit is certainly the explosion of ready to eat packaged and junk foods with excess saturated fats, as well as sugary drinks, in both homes and schools.
High obesity levels can severely impact the health and level of educational achievement of children. Obese children have a high incidence of diabetes and heart disease. Obesity can also negatively impact their ability to take up productive employment in the long term. This calls for immediate measures to spread awareness about the need for a healthy diet and being more physically active at home and in schools. School canteens can do their bit to educate children by banning junk food and promoting healthy menu options. India may run the largest midday school meal programme in the world to tackle high malnutrition levels, but it’s time to ramp up its anti-child obesity efforts as well.

Obesity Is Skyrocketing Among African Children

Sugary beverages and soft drinks are a leading cause of a growing epidemic of obesity in Africa, according to a new report from the World Health Organization.

The number of obese children across the continent has doubled from 5.4 million in 1990 to 10.3 million in Africa today, the WHO's Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity found.

And while soft drinks are a focal point of the report, the commission said that African countries' rapid economic and social change were two primary, environmental culprits driving the trend. As the continent's once-rural populations continue to coalesce around urban areas, African children are exercising less, taking public transportation instead of walking, playing indoors instead of outdoors, and have access to a greater number of unhealthy food choices.

"There's been a great change with people moving from the countryside to the city," Juana Willumsen, a member of the team working with the WHO Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity told Radio France International. "This results in a change in traditional diets. People have also become more sedentary. They start taking public transportation and cars instead of walking."

Fat? Thin? Molecular switch may turn obesity on or off

Identical twins may be alike in everything from their eye color to their favorite foods, but they can diverge in one important characteristic: their weight. A new study uncovers a molecular mechanism for obesity that might explain why one twin can be extremely overweight even while the other is thin.

Heredity influences whether we become obese, but the genes researchers have linked to the condition don’t explain many of the differences in weight among people. Identical twins with nonidentical weights are a prime example. So what accounts for the variation? Changes in the intestinal microbiome—the collection of bacteria living in the gut—are one possibility. Another is epigenetic changes, or alterations in gene activity. These changes occur when molecules latch on to DNA or the proteins it wraps around, turning sets of genes “on” or “off.”

Monday, January 25, 2016

Mindfulness Can Tackle Obesity In Kids: Study

The balance in brain networks in children who are obese is different compared to healthy-weight children, making them more prone to over-eating, suggests a new study.

Mindfulness has been shown to increase inhibition and decrease impulsivity. Since obesity and unhealthy eating behaviours may be associated with an imbalance between the connections in the brain that control inhibition and impulse, said the researchers from Vanderbilt University at Nashville in the US.

Women run to create awareness on cancer, obesity

More than 1,500 women participated in the marathon organised by GEM Hospital in the city on Sunday to create awareness on women’s health – particularly cancer and obesity.

Former athlete Shiny Wilson flagged off the marathon in the morning in the presence of Collector Archana Patnaik and the hospital Chairman C. Palanivelu.

A release says the marathon was a precursor to the ‘Penne Nalama’ programme the hospital had planned.

School and college students and women participated in the marathon. The hospital had categorised the runners based on age.

Health campaign has lowered obesity rate among Fukushima children, study shows

A push to increase exercise among children in Fukushima Prefecture has resulted in a decreased obesity rate, according to preliminary data from the education ministry.

The proportion of children who are at least 20 percent heavier than the national standard fell for 10 of the 13 grades from kindergarten through high school.

In fiscal 2012 to 2014, the proportion of such children in Fukushima Prefecture was the highest in the 47 prefectures for sixth and seventh graders, apparently reflecting restrictions on outdoor activities due to fears over radiation exposure following the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

In 2015, however, none of the prefecture’s grade groups were heaviest among the nation’s prefectures, according to an education ministry report released Friday.

The board of education in Fukushima took measures following the crisis that included a program to increase the amount of exercise during physical education classes and sending experts to schools to extoll the benefits of exercise.

The board also promoted healthier washoku Japanese cuisine for school lunches as part of dietary education.

The declines in the proportion of obese children also came after playgrounds were moved inside buildings and restrictions on outdoor activities were eased after progress in decontamination work.

“The children’s awareness of exercise is improving,” an official on the board of education said. “But we will continue efforts as the proportion of overweight children (in the prefecture) is still higher than average, with four grades having the second-highest proportions of obese children (in the country).”

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Majority of Americans Wants Medicare to Cover Obesity Treatments

FRIDAY, Jan. 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Most Americans believe Medicare should cover approved medicines to treat obesity, a new survey shows.

"Public policy and society seldom associate obesity with advanced age," James Appleby, chief executive officer of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), said in a news release from the organization.

"But recent research has shown that,

Mindfulness can tackle obesity in kids

New York: The balance in brain networks in children who are obese is different compared to healthy-weight children, making them more prone to over-eating, suggests a new study.

Mindfulness has been shown to increase inhibition and decrease impulsivity. Since obesity and unhealthy eating behaviours may be associated with an imbalance between the connections in the brain that control inhibition and impulse, said the researchers from Vanderbilt University at Nashville in the US.

"We know the brain plays a big role in obesity in adults, but what we understand about the neurological connections associated with obesity might not apply to children," said lead author BettyAnn Chodkowski.

"We wanted to look at the way children's brains function in more detail so we can better understand what is happening neurologically in children who are obese," Chodkowski added.

The new research was published in the journal Heliyon.

Identifying children at risk for obesity early on and using mindfulness approaches to control eating may be one way to approach weight management, the researchers suggested.

(Also Read: Obesity linked with blood clots in children and juveniles)

They used data collected by the Enhanced Nathan Kline Institute -- Rockland Sample from 38 children aged 8-13.

The data included children's weights and their answers to the Child Eating Behaviour Questionnaire, which describes the children's eating habits.

The researchers also used MRI scans that showed the function of the three regions of the brain they wanted to study.

From the study, five of the children were classified as obese, and six were overweight.

Why Poverty May Be More Relevant Than Race For Childhood Obesity

As researchers have searched for ways to explain the childhood obesity epidemic in the U.S., many have posited that a child's race or ethnicity alone can put them at greater risk of becoming overweight or obese.

Kim Eagle, a professor of internal medicine and health management and policy at the University of Michigan, was skeptical of this thinking. His hunch was that poverty was a much more important part of the equation.

And he saw an opportunity to parse the connections between childhood obesity, poverty and race in Massachusetts, where public health officials have been collecting race, body mass index and other data on about 112,000 students from about 70 of the state's school districts. Eagle and colleagues decided to compare those data to students' eligibility for free school lunch programs, an indicator of poverty, to find out what predicts whether a child might become overweight or obese.

"At first glance it looked like childhood obesity was more common among African-Americans or Hispanics," Eagle says. When they accounted for poverty, though, the trend vanished. What his findings, which appeared in December in the journal Childhood Obesity, show is that "[obesity] is not about our race or ethnicity at all — it's about resources," he says.

It's far from the first study to reach this conclusion. A 2012 paper published in the American Heart Journal that also looked at kids in Massachusetts found that prevalence of obesity and overweight in children rose in communities with lower household income.

While not entirely surprising, this is an important insight for our understanding of attitudes about childhood obesity. "When you have particular groups with higher rates of a problem, people start to think that they're doing something wrong that's specific to them," says Marlene Schwartz, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Government urged to tackle marketing strategies in response to obesity crisis

Consumers should not be forced to pass "chicanes of sugar" at the petrol station or be offered a kilo of chocolate with their newspaper, an influential MP has said as she called for action on obesity.

Health Select Committee chair Sarah Wollaston favours a sugar tax but said the Government must also tackle promotional and marketing strategies.

Ms Wollaston said 40% of what households spend on food and drink to have at home comes from price promotions, while 37% of confectionery is bought on impulse.

The promotions are focused on sugary and unhealthy products and therefore have the effect of encouraging people to consume more rather than save money, the Tory MP said.

So in order to tackle the nation's obesity problem, which Ms Wollaston said costs the NHS around £5.1 billion a year, a tax on sugary drinks needs to be accompanied by action on promotional tools.

During a backbench debate on childhood obesity, she said: "It is a staggering fact that around 40% of what we spend on consumption of food and drink at home comes from price promotions, but unfortunately these aren't saving us as much money as we would assume, they are just encouraging us to consume more.

"Within British supermarkets a huge amount of those promotions is actually going on sugary and other unhealthy products so I would call on the Government as part of their strategy to tackle that and that we need to have a clear and level playing field that looks at rebalancing price promotions.

"But that has to be done in a way that doesn't just drive us to promoting other products such as alcohol, so a very careful evidence-based look."

Pre-Pregnancy Obesity And Infant Deaths Strongly Related

NEW YORK:  Pre-pregnancy obesity is strongly linked with infant mortality and compliance with weight-gain guidelines during pregnancy have limited impact on that mortality risk, warns a new study.

"The findings suggest that primary care clinicians, OB-GYNs (Obstetrics and gynaecology) and midwives need to have conversations about weight as part of well-woman care and when women are contemplating getting pregnant," said lead author Eugene Declercq from Boston University School of Public Health in the US.

"There is a need for more open, honest discussions about avoiding the possible risks of maternal obesity on infant health," Declercq added.

The study, published online in Obstetrics and Gynecology, claims to be the largest study to date of the relationship between pre-pregnancy obesity, prenatal weight gain and infant mortality.

Could this new op combat obesity? It's less invasive and cheaper than gastric bypass surgery - and 'reduces weight by 54%'

Doctors have long searched for a non-invasive treatment for obesity.
For, invasive bariatric surgeries – such as gastric bypass or gastric band – are costly and do carry risks.
And so, only two per cent of people who need the surgeries actually get them.
But now, scientists have developed a procedure called an endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty.
By inserting a flexible tube with a light and camera attached to it, doctors can reduce the size of a stomach by creating a ‘sleeve’ with sutures, a new study revealed.
The procedure is minimally invasive, cost efficient - and reduces excess body weight by 54 per cent.
This finding offers an alternative to traditional weight loss surgeries, according to the study.

The procedure falls under the umbrella of endoscopy – the nonsurgical procedure that gastroenterologists use to examine a person’s digestive tract.
The Mayo Clinic conducted a study on 25 obesity patients who underwent the procedure.
They found it reduced excess body weight within one year.
Additionally, the procedure delayed solid food emptying from the stomach – creating an earlier feeling of fullness during a meal.
That feeling of fullness resulted in a more significant and long-lasting weight loss.
The endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty was ‘well tolerated’ as an outpatient treatment.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Zafgen’s Halted Obesity Treatment Shows Effectiveness

Zafgen Inc. shares more than doubled Wednesday after the biopharmaceutical company said its treatment for a rare obesity disorder showed effectiveness in reducing body weight in a late-stage trial that also included two previously announced deaths.

The results gave hope to investors that the Boston-based company might be able to convince the Food and Drug Administration to remove the agency’s clinical hold on the treatment, which received the designation following news of the first patient’s death in October.

Zafgen’s beloranib treats Prader-Willi syndrome, a genetic disorder that results in life-threatening obesity because of unrelenting hunger. There is no cure for the disease, which affects one in 12,000 to 15,000 people, according to the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association.

The company said Wednesday that beloranib demonstrated a significant reduction in both body weight and behaviors related to hyperphagia, or abnormally increased appetite, the first investigational drug to do so.

“These pathologies are the two hallmarks of the disease,” Chief Executive Thomas Hughes said. “They’re widely agreed upon as the most important and completely unmet needs.”

Specifically, Zafgen said beloranib reduced body weight, relative to the placebo, by 9.45% at the higher dose and 8.2% at the lower dose. The treatment also showed a statistically significant decrease in hunger-associated behaviors based on the questionnaire used to study hyperphagia.

Study: Drinking Water Reduces Risk Of Childhood Obesity

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)– Offering water to young students may help reduce the risk of childhood obesity, according to a new study.

The latest research from the online issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics found that thousands of New York City School children lost weight and lowered their body mass index after self-serve water dispensers were placed in schools.

“We looked at over a million kids in just over 1,200 schools in grades K-8,” Brian Elbel, study co-author and associate professor at NYU Langone Medical Center, told CBS2’s Elise Finch. “They ended up being about four or five pounds lighter after the introduction of this intervention as compared to a kid in a school that didn’t get a water jet.”

Experts say the results could lead to a breakthrough in the battle against childhood obesity.

‘Radical changes needed’ to tackle obesity timebomb

‘Radical changes needed’ to tackle obesity timebomb

Radical changes including a sugar tax and regulation of junk food promotions have been recommended by government advisers as a new report revealed sugar consumption in Scotland has failed to improve in five years.

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) made a raft of recommendations yesterday on how to tackle Scotland’s “health time-bomb” of obesity and poor diet, including reductions in promotion, advertising and portion control.

Experts have predicted Scotland could face adult obesity levels of 40 per cent by 2030 if current trends continue.

The independent food body will advise ministers to consider how a sugar tax could be brought in, allowing the industry a 12-month grace period to come up with an alternative to reduce sugar consumption levels.

Despite reductions a 21 per cent drop in sugary drink purchases since 2010, the amount of sugar purchasing has not changed. Industry representatives said punishing the industry which employs 34,000 people in Scotland would be a “retrograde step” and reformulation of products would be a better move.

Ross Finnie, FSS chair, said: “There can be few in any doubt now as to the gravity of the health timebomb related to poor diet and obesity facing our nation.

“Individual responsibility around food choices, exercise and activity levels remain important, but this cannot be left to individuals alone.”

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

'Water Jets' May Stem Tide of Student Obesity

Inexpensive dispensers that bring cold, filtered water into New York City public schools may be putting a dent in the childhood obesity epidemic there.

More than 40 percent of children in elementary or middle school in New York City are overweight or obese. But now, researchers have found that the schools that have installed the new water dispensers — called water jets, serving chilled, oxygenated water into cups or bottles — have seen a decline in body-mass index among children with a weight problem.

The decline was modest — a drop of 1 percentage point in the obesity rate among boys, and a half percentage point among girls — but the study, published today (Jan. 19) in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, was statistically significant, following more than 1 million schoolchildren in 1,227 schools for five years in a real-life setting.

Childhood Obesity? This Expert Says Mothers Must Get Sexy Back!

'Show Me Better Health' created by Aetna Better Health of Missouri and Robert Ferguson, CEO of Diet Free Life and founder of the non-profit organization The Ferguson Foundation, started this program to educate people on nutrition with the knowledge and understanding of how to eat right and it starts with the parents at home especially the moms.

Ferguson has worked with Fortune 100 companies, celebrities, elite professional athletes and thousands of everyday people to lead them to a transformed body through self-love and a diet free lifestyle.

Obesity remains one of the biggest threats to the health of our children and our country. Around 17 percent of children and more than 30 percent of adults are currently considered obese putting them at heightened risk for a wide range of health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure.

Childhood obesity rates are on the rise in the U.S., but Ferguson believes this can be changed if you get people to think differently about food and the way you eat.

'Show Me Better Health' ' started in Missouri and the teachings of Ferguson’s Diet Free Life method are expanding to all 50 states beginning with California, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Indiana and Kentucky. The program is a an eight week one day per week one-hour course that's free and open to the public.

The goals of the program:

1) He starts with educating the parents at home. Ferguson wants the moms to 'get their sexy back' and feel good about themselves, so that gives the opportunity for their children to be healthier.

2) Meet people where they are at culturally, socially, economically and psychologically..

Researchers investigate why obesity can trigger bowel cancer

"Excess calories 'turn off a hormone in the intestine that blocks colon cancer'," the Mail Online reports.
Obesity is a known risk factor for bowel cancer (also known as colorectal cancer). There is evidence that a diet rich in processed meats, which contain the potentially cacogenic compound nitrates, increases bowel cancer risk. However, it is unclear why other high-calorie diets also increase risk.
This latest study, conducted in genetically engineered mice, found that obesity caused by a diet rich in fats or carbohydrates "silenced" a hormone called guanylin. This, in turn, led to the turning off of a receptor called guanylyl cyclase C (GUCY2C) found on cells that line the bowel. Receptors are specialised structures designed to respond to specific chemical signals.
Turning off this receptor was associated with tumour growth, as the GUCY2C receptor, when working properly, is designed to prevent abnormal cell growth. Further study confirmed this by showing that using a drug to increase production of guanylin reversed the effects of the high-calorie diet and prevented tumour growth.
The obvious question is: could a similar drug be effective in obese humans thought to be at high risk of developing bowel cancer? The simple answer is: we just don't know yet.
It is unwise to assume that the results of an animal study will transfer over to people; we are not biologically identical.
However, the study does provide a route – looking at ways to activate the GUCY2C receptor in humans – for further, hopefully fruitful, research in the area.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Cute or obese? How to deal with childhood obesity

We live in a society that admires chubby kids. As a parent, especially as a full-time working mom, we always felt guilty about a skinny daughter, no matter how much the pediatrician assured us that she was healthy and active. On the other hand, telling a parent that their child is obese would elicit the following response: 'He looks big but he is not fat.' Or 'He looks healthy at this weight, any lower than this, he looks weak!'. - See more at:

Worldwide, obesity trends are causing serious public health concerns. Recently,the journal of Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity had reported that excess fat that accompanies obesity might have an effect on how the bone grows. In fact, in many countries, policy makers are beginning to question the viability of basic health care delivery including weight loss businesses. Obesity-related issues among children and adolescents has now become an overwhelming concern; a fact authenticated by the statistic (check box) from the last two decades which show an increase in health care costs. Childhood obesity affects all socio-economic groups, irrespective of age, sex or ethnicity. Dr Mandar Bichu, specialist pediatrician from Sharjah and author of the book Right Parenting: New Age Parenting and Child Health Handbook, says, "The reasons for this pandemic of obesity are same everywhere. Avoidance of breastfeeding and home-cooked weaning foods, reliance on bottle-feeding and packaged baby foods are often the first trigger factors. The typical parental fixation about 'how much does my baby/child eat' is a major culprit. Later, fast foods and more exposure to packaged processed food such as chocolates, chips, cakes, cookies and colas become a routine." - See more at:

How to tackle Tonga's obesity crisis?

The Pacific island of Tonga is the most obese country in the world but its government is trying to tackle the problem.
Up to 40% of the population is thought to have diabetes and life expectancy is falling.
One of the main causes is a cheap, fatty kind of meat - mutton flaps - imported from New Zealand.
Katy Watson reports.

UK plans sugar tax in hospital cafes by 2020 to tackle obesity

Britain plans to impose a "sugar tax" in hospitals and health centres across England to help tackle the growing problem of obesity and expected to generate up to 40 million pounds a year.
It would mean a 20% tax on all sugary drinks and foods in National Health Service cafes by 2020, NHS chief executive Simon Stevens told The Guardian. It is hoped the tax would discourage staff, patients and visitors from buying sugary items.
The move will make the NHS the first public body in the UK to bring in a sugar tax, and it will use the expected proceeds, between 20 million pounds and 40 million pounds a year, to improve the health of its own 1.3 million workers.
NHS bosses will begin consulting on introducing the tax, which would be gradually enforced as catering and hospital shop contracts come up for renewal over the next three to five years. "We will be consulting on introducing an NHS sugar tax on various beverages and other sugar-added foods across the NHS, which would be enforced over time as contracts for food catering and the shops that are in the foyers of hospitals come up for renewal over the next three to five years over a rolling basis," Stevens said.
"By 2020, we've either got these practices out of hospitals or we've got the equipment of a sugar tax on the back of them," he said.
The NHS levy will be linked to the UK's upcoming national childhood obesity strategy. The proposal comes days after PM David Cameron signalled he was prepared to drop his opposition to a nationwide sugar tax.

UK plans sugar tax in hospital cafes by 2020 to tackle obesity

Britain plans to impose a "sugar tax" in hospitals and health centres across England to help tackle the growing problem of obesity and expected to generate up to 40 million pounds a year.
It would mean a 20% tax on all sugary drinks and foods in National Health Service cafes by 2020, NHS chief executive Simon Stevens told The Guardian. It is hoped the tax would discourage staff, patients and visitors from buying sugary items.
The move will make the NHS the first public body in the UK to bring in a sugar tax, and it will use the expected proceeds, between 20 million pounds and 40 million pounds a year, to improve the health of its own 1.3 million workers.
NHS bosses will begin consulting on introducing the tax, which would be gradually enforced as catering and hospital shop contracts come up for renewal over the next three to five years. "We will be consulting on introducing an NHS sugar tax on various beverages and other sugar-added foods across the NHS, which would be enforced over time as contracts for food catering and the shops that are in the foyers of hospitals come up for renewal over the next three to five years over a rolling basis," Stevens said.
"By 2020, we've either got these practices out of hospitals or we've got the equipment of a sugar tax on the back of them," he said.
The NHS levy will be linked to the UK's upcoming national childhood obesity strategy. The proposal comes days after PM David Cameron signalled he was prepared to drop his opposition to a nationwide sugar tax.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Obesity crisis: 40% of South Tyneside children become overweight by the age of 11

More than a thirds of children in South Tyneside are overweight by the time they leave primary school, according to shocking new figures.

Date released by the National Child Measurement Programme show that 16.3% of the borough’s youngsters are overweight while 23.1% are obese by the age of 11 – totalling 39.3%.

Study by Bristol researchers to examine obesity treatment

Clinical researchers at the University of Bristol are studying treatment options for obesity, after a survey on behalf of National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) found more than four in 10 people in the West have noticed an increase in local obesity levels in the last five years. Despite the findings, the same survey shows that around three-quarters of the public in this region have a clear understanding of the most important causes of obesity: overeating and lack of exercise. This suggests that with obesity levels in the UK having almost trebled in the last 30 years, public understanding is not solving the problem.\

Can Babies Be Obese?

For babies carried to full term, birth weight is considered "normal" between about 6 pounds, 2 ounces and 9 pounds, 2 ounces. Given sustained concern about childhood obesity, I have wondered how early in life children may be at risk for extra weight.

Can babies be obese?

It was easy enough to debunk the absurd "news" that a year ago, an Australian woman gave birth to a 40-pound baby. More recent reports exist, sensationalized enough in their own right, like this one out of the U.K. worrying about "schoolgirls" who give birth to "obese babies."

How can we instead approach this topic scientifically, with a focus especially on babies in the U.S.?

The medical definition of a large baby is 8 pounds, 13 ounces or larger. A "Well" column in The New York Times this week notes that fewer than 8 percent of babies born in the U.S. meet this definition.

Friday, January 15, 2016

EXCLUSIVE: Obese British men TWICE as likely to develop bowel cancer due to weight

Cancer is a scary word and thousands of us are affected by the disease every year - be it personally or watching a loved one battle it.

But there is a sure-fire way of making sure you've got a fighting chance of living a healthy life and not increasing your risk of cancer: keeping a stable, healthy weight.

There is a direct link between being obese and having cancer, as a bariatric surgeon exclusively revealed to It comes just weeks after the Food Standards Agency revealed toast and chips could bring on cancer.

Professor David Kerrigan is the CEO at Phoenix Health, a weight loss clinic, and explained how being overweight - which is having a body mass index (BMI) of over 30 - can impact upon your life.

Anti-obesity initiative for comes under fire for lack of results

An anti-obesity programme in Christchurch's south-west suburbs has come under fire for a lack of results in the year since it was launched.

Healthy Families New Zealand, the Government's flagship anti-obesity initiative,  was launched in the Spreydon-Heathcote ward in 2014 – one of 10 communities to share $40 million of funding.

In an email released by the Labour Party, governance board member Paul McMahon expressed his disillusionment with the programme.

"They have millions of $$$ and are achieving very little if anything. They have been setup to fail," he wrote.

McMahon – who is chair of the Spreydon-Heathcote Community Board and a member of the Labour-aligned People's Choice group – said he was frustrated after a governance board meeting in October was cancelled due to a "lack of tangible activity".

"There's a whole lot of money to improve the health and well being of the community I represent and I want to see it succeed."

He said he was more hopeful about the direction the programme was taking after a meeting on December 17.

"What I'd like to see is some real partnering with the community board and community organisations that are doing some really good work . . . and seeing how that can be built on for the wider community."

Healthy Families New Zealand was based on an Australian initiative, Healthy Together Victoria, which aimed to address the growing problem of obesity.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Online tool shows global scale of obesity-related cancer

“Obesity has become the new major discussion about the causes of diseases in various populations," said IARC scientist Dr Isabelle Soerjomataram, who was involved in the project. (image:
Related tags: Health public health policy, Lancet Journal, Obesity, Cancer, IARC, WHO, Global burden

The impact of obesity on cancer rates across the world – and how many cases could have been prevented – is made clear with an online data tool, launched by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) last month.

Based on data previously published in the Lancet Oncology Journal, the tool shows the extent to which the number of cancer cases in 2012 could have been prevented if obesity rates, measured using body mass index (BMI) values, had remained unchanged since 1982.

Users can filter the data according to cancer type, country and sex.

With 42,412 preventable cases, North America tops the charts with more than double the number of cases in Latin America and the Caribbean (17, 153).

Obesity surge drives debate on sugar and other sin taxes

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“Sugar, rum and tobacco,” Scottish moral philosopher and economist Adam Smith once wrote, “are commodities which are nowhere necessaries of life, which are become objects of almost universal consumption, and which are, therefore, extremely popular subjects of taxation.”
Two and a half centuries on, most countries impose some sort of levy on alcohol and tobacco. With surging obesity levels putting increasing strain on public health systems, governments around the world have begun to toy with the idea of taxing sugar as well.

The Battle Plan To Fight Diabetes And Obesity

From time to time, most strategic grant-making organizations review their programmatic priorities, assessing the needs and opportunities in a given area and figuring out what role a foundation could play in it. When the New York State Health Foundation’s (NYSHealth’s) board and staff began reviewing its strategic priorities in 2014, we grappled with how we could have the most impact given our modest resources. (Our annual grants and operations budget is approximately $15 million—a modest sum in a state expected, by 2020, to spend more than $300 billion annually on health care!)

One question for us was how best to tackle challenges outside of the medical care delivery system that have an impact on New Yorkers’ health. Doing so meant taking a hard look at our work to address the diabetes epidemic to see whether we were targeting the right populations to achieve the most impact.

An important priority for NYSHealth since our inception in 2006 had been reducing the toll of Type 2 diabetes in New York State. We singled out this type of diabetes (which primarily affects adults) for two key reasons: (1) its incidence and prevalence were increasing (while for some other chronic conditions, like asthma, rates were actually declining) and (2) it could be both prevented and managed, so we could use both community-based and clinical interventions.

Initially, we focused most of our attention on improving primary care and outcomes for patients with diabetes. By the end of 2013, we had helped more than 3,000 health care providers achieve National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) recognition for excellent diabetes care and outcomes; these providers care for approximately 600,000 of the 1.8 million New Yorkers with diabetes.

We felt good about our clinical work, but we also saw needs and opportunities for the prevention—not just treatment—of diabetes. The need is great: more than 4 million New Yorkers have prediabetes, a condition that puts them at high risk for developing diabetes and its complications (including cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, and complications with their eyes and feet). And a key opportunity is to ensure that more New Yorkers with prediabetes have access to the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP), a lifestyle modification program that has been shown to help participants lose 5–7 percent of their body weight and reduce their risk of developing diabetes by 50 percent.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Link Between Cancer And Obesity Cases -- Study

Obesity can be considered as one of the conditions that are affecting more individuals each year. Recently, a study in the U.K. came out revealing that there's a link between cancer and the growing number of obesity cases in the country.

In a recent report published in the Cancer Research UK and the UK Health Forum, it was predicted that due to obesity, at least 700,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer within the next 20 years. That's why the two publishing journals persuaded the public for an immediate action to stop this possible epidemic from happening.

Aside from the negative effects that obesity can do to the body's physical abilities, excessive fats have also been previously linked to various types of cancer such as breast, kidney, prostate and colon. Cancer Research UK also pointed out that those who suffer from obesity also have higher risks of acquiring other diseases and conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular conditions and stroke.

This may be because of the 'overeating' of junk foods that contain too much sugar and harmful ingredients. Obesity doesn't choose a lifestyle as it can affect everyone, even overweight children. The reason why a movement was formed in order to provide a choice of healthier foods so that the overweight children in the country can avoid the hazards of obesity.

Obesity Can Still Shorten Life After Weight Loss – Study

Obesity is marked as a condition in which a person is gaining excessive body fat that leads to a point where negative effects in the body are evident. A recent study shows that obesity can still shorten a person's life after he or she loses weight.

A team of researchers from Boston University School of Public Health and University of Pennsylvania conducted the study. The researchers started the research by analyzing the data of over 6,000 Americans and found out that the mortality rate of those who lost weight after being obese is remarkably high.

The results showed that those people who were always under the normal weight was registered with a mortality rate of 6.25 per 1,000, while those who are formerly overweight garnered a rate of 10.81 per 1,000. But as for those who are formerly obese, they have recorded a massive 14.62 mortality rate.

Cutting Down On Siting Time Can Curb Heart Disease Risk in Obese People

Cutting Down On Siting Time Can Curb Heart Disease Risk in Obese PeopleProlonged sitting is assuming a menacing role for human health. With most part of our living shifting indoors and onto the work desk, lifestyle diseases are on the rise. Not only is prolonged sitting associated with triggering weight gain but also ailments like heart diseases, fatty liver and others.A recent study conducted at King's College London suggests that, "daily morning exercise alone may not help you ward off the ill-effects of sitting for long hours." Researchers at University of Pittsburgh, US share that for those suffering from obesity, reducing the time spent on watching television or playing computer games may be as important as doing exercise to reduce the risk of diabetes and heart diseases.Sedentary behaviour is associated with poor cardiovascular health and diabetes in adults with severe obesity, independent of how much exercise they perform, the study said. According to the researchers, the findings could be used to design and test programmes for adults with severe obesity that emphasize reducing time spent sitting, rather than immediately working toward increased moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity or exercise, such as brisk walking.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Leader: We cannot ignore dangers of obesity

OBESITY kills. Too many Scottish families know this to be true.

Our national record on health leaves a great deal to be desired. Smoking, the consumption of foods heavy in sugar and starch, and the excessive indulgence in alcohol are just a few of the favourite pastimes of Scots that conspire to cut lives short.

There are some signs that public health messages on smoking are cutting through. The ban on smoking in public was a controversial step for the Scottish Government to take but it is now widely held up as an example of sensible ­legislation.

Laws on minimum pricing enjoy the support of politicians across many parties and demonstrate that ministers take seriously the damage caused by Scots’ unhealthy relationship with the bottle.

Wide Bay obesity epidemic getting worse

THE rate of adult overweight and obesity in Wide Bay has significantly increased over a four year period, according to a new national report.

More than 65 per cent of Wide Bay adults weighed in as overweight or obese in 2011/12, compared to around 60 per cent in 2007/08, Progress in Australian Regions shows.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said the new figures also highlighted a lack of sufficient exercise for many Wide Bay locals.

"The new stats show only about 48 per cent of Wide Bay adults meet the recommended physical activity guidelines," Ms Clift said.

"This is a slight improvement on 42 per cent of local adults meeting the exercise guidelines in 2007/08 - but more locals urgently need to get moving for their overall health.

It's time we worked up an appetite to tackle obesity

We're so used to snacking that most of us have forgotten what hunger feels like.

Obesity will soon be the new normal. I repeat; obesity will soon be the new normal. Now, there are three ways of collectively responding to this news: take solace, take offence or take action.

Scenario one; everyone with a BMI over 30 punches the air to the roar of the crowd. At last, the long-overdue destigmatisation of bingo wings and pot bellies, saggy moobs and lardy bottoms. Social progress, that's what it is.

Scenario two; everybody with more back fat than a pig (i.e. everybody) takes highly personal offence. How dare the medical establishment engage in fat-shaming? Institutionalised prejudice, that's what it is.

Scenario three; we put down the flaky pastry sausage rolls, strip off our defence mechanisms and take a proverbial long, hard look at our supersized society in the mirror. The unpalatable naked truth, that's what it is.

Before I get lambasted, let me emphasise a greater authority than I - Cancer Research - reached that conclusion, based on hard medical evidence.

Exposure to artificial light results in obesity in kids

Parents, take note. Children who spend too much time on tablets, mobile phone or television are more likely to gain unhealthy weight not just because of physical inactivity but also due to increased exposure to light, says a new study. Timing and intensity of light exposure is critical for metabolic functioning and weight status, the findings showed.
“Artificial lighting, including light given off by tablets, mobile phones, night lights, and television, means modern children are exposed to more environmental light than any previous generation. This increase in light exposure has paralleled global increases in obesity,” said one of the researchers Cassandra Pattinson from Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia.

Kids From Low-Income Families More Susceptible to Obesity

If you think affluence is closely associated with lifestyle disease, here is a piece of news that would shock you. Some of the most recent studies have linked risks of lifestyle diseases more prevalent in low-income groups. "While incidence and mortality rates from several common types of cancer in many high-income countries have gone down, many low-and middle-income countries have seen cancer rates rise, partially due to increases in risk factors that are typical of Western countries, " a recent study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.Another study published in the online journal BMJ Open showed that "more than one in four middle-aged Indians on low and middle incomes now have an unhealthy midriff bulge."

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Cambridgeshire County Council aims to tackle Fenland’s youth obesity issue by backing sugar-slashing campaign

The nationwide campaign is aiming to reduce the amount of sugar children eat after it was revealed that they consume over 5,500 sugar cubes every year - which weigh the same as an average five-year-old.

In Fenland, nearly one tenth of four to five-year-olds are obese, increasing to nearly one in five of 10 to 11-year-olds. Childhood obesity in Fenland is above the average for the county, and in four to five-year-olds it is also higher than the English average.

Local health experts are backing the Sugar Smart campaign to highlight the role sugar plays in children’s health

Fox Valley business leaders team up to tackle obesity problem

Bright and early Friday morning, you could see some of the Fox Valley's community leaders, a bit out of context. Local business leaders joined forces to get sweaty for a good cause. Dr. Thomas Zoch said the early morning workout was inspiring.

Zoch, Chief Medical Officer at Ministry Health Care said, "This was wonderful, it was very energizing. It's very motivating to see others working out, seemingly having a lot of fun. This was unique and frankly exciting."

Zoch represented just one of the dozens of local organizations that had participants in the workout. It's all part of the Weight of the Fox Valley's campaign to bring attention to corporate wellness programs.

Aaron Hunnel, a local wellness professional, said, "Workplace wellness is such a great business investment because it empowers employees to bring their best selves to work each day."

Wellness experts say while corporate efforts to promote wellness don't have to be huge, they do make a big impact.

Hunnel said, "It could be promoting walking trails at work. It could be allowing people flex time to go to the gym or exercise."

Jeff Curtin with the Kimberly Clark Corporation said, "I believe that more engaged, more loyal employees are going to be more productive and more energetic, and more enthusiastic about their job."

Obesity warning as six in 10 classed as overweight

According to the Public Health Agency (PHA) levels of obesity have barley fallen over the past decade prompting fresh warnings about the risks to lives.

Dr Tracy Owen, consultant in Public Health Medicine at the PHA, said: "Having a waistline of 37 inches or more for a man and 32 inches or more for a woman can put you at a greater risk of developing heart disease, some cancers and type two diabetes. Your health could be at greater risk if you're storing a lot of fat around your waist.

"We store excess body fat under the skin but also around our vital organs in the abdomen and having a large amount of tummy fat could make you more likely to develop heart problems or type two diabetes."

According to the statistics just 38% of adults were classed as being of normal weight last year.

Some 35% were deemed by medics to be overweight while a further 25% were reported as obese.

A new campaign, coinciding with National Obesity Awareness Week (January 11-17) has been launched to encourage members of the public to measure their waistline.

Dr Owen added: " Many people don't measure their waistline correctly as they're unsure of where their waistline actually is.

"It's not about the size of your trousers, it's the distance around your abdomen at roughly the halfway point between the bottom of your ribs and top of your hips - the bellybutton can be used as a good point to do it from."

Freeze-dried poop pills being tested for obesity treatment

In a randomized, controlled clinical trial starting this year, researchers will test out such a fecal formula for the treatment of obesity. They’ll also try to glean critical details about the human microbiome and its role in our health and metabolism. The trial, led by Elaine Yu, an assistant professor and clinical researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital, will involve taking fecal samples from lean, healthy donors then freeze-drying the stool, putting a gram or two into capsules, and giving them to 20 obese patients.

Such poop-packed pills, which are designed to replace a person’s intestinal microbes with those from a donor via their feces, have proven effective at treating tenacious gut infections. This has led researchers to ponder whether the transplants could remedy other health problems, including obesity and metabolic disorders. A few animal studies and some anecdotal data in humans suggests the answer is yes—and Yu hopes to get a final answer with the upcoming trial.

At the moment, “we have no idea what the result will be,” Yu told Ars. But she and colleagues are cautiously optimistic.

A few years ago, researchers took the gut microbes from a set of twins—one lean, one obese—and transplanted them into two sets of microbe-free mice. Even though all the mice were on the same diet, the rodents that received the obese twin’s microbes became chubby. The mice that got the lean twin’s mix stayed slim, suggesting that the microbes were calling the shots when it came to the animals’ weight.

Doc Talk: Surgery is an option for severe obesity

Obesity is an epidemic that affects an estimated one in three adults in the United States and is linked to many serious health conditions, such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and severe sleep apnea (when breathing stops for short periods during sleep).

It is a common thought that obesity is due to laziness or a lack of willpower, but this is simply not true. Obesity is a multi-factorial disease that can be caused by certain medical conditions and medicines, as well as by strong physiologic and biologic markers. For many people, it is just not as simple as “fewer calories and more exercise.”

 Nicholas Brown
Nicholas Brown Courtesy photo
A great deal of time and money are spent every year by Americans on diets, but only a small percentage of people are able to keep the weight off. Fortunately, for those that struggle with obesity and the health conditions associated with it, there is another option. Bariatric surgery has been shown to be very effective at producing significant and sustained weight-loss. There are several different weight-loss operations currently available that can lead to this desired result.

Adjustable Gastric Band (AGB): The AGB works mainly by decreasing food intake due to restriction. Food intake is reduced by placing a band with a silicone balloon around the top of the stomach, creating a small pouch. The amount of restriction can be tailored to the individual patient by adjusting the amount of fluid within in the balloon.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Regular exercise can counter obesity genes, and make you thinner

While genes may influence our likelihood of being overweight or obese, a new study has found that a physically active lifestyle can blunt the effects of inherited obesity genes.
Regular exercise can substantially decrease the genetic effect of a major fat mass and obesity associated gene FTO on body weight, the findings showed.
“This provides a message of hope for people with obesity predisposing genes that they can do something about it. Our body weight destiny is not only written in our genetic blueprint,” said one of the researchers David Meyre from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.

Is taxing sugary drinks the answer to obesity and diabetes epidemic?

With rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes skyrocketing, health officials around the world are employing strategies to control what the World Health Organization has called “globesity” – the global epidemic of overweight and obesity and its health implications.

The latest target is the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages.

Two new studies with two different approaches are the latest research into solutions of how to curb over-consumption.

Could Flame Retardants In Household Items Lead To Obesity?

You know that your couch could lead to weight gain…but not in this way.
A study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental
Health suggests that polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), chemicals used as a
flame retardant, can lead to obesity in laboratory rats. You may say, “So why should should I care?
I am not a rat, and I don’t know of any PBDEs around me.” Not true.
(Well, at least not the latter, since I don’t know if you are a rat.) PBDEs are frequently in many household items such
as couches, other furniture, electronics, textiles, and plastics.

DNA changes affect nicotine consumption: Study

New York: Small differences in a particular region of the mouse genome can alter nicotine consumption, a new study has found.

"We know that genes influence nicotine behaviours, but trying to figure out what specific genetic variants do requires different types of tools," said Helen Kamens, assistant professor of biobehavioural health at Pennsylvania State University.

Nicotine binds to and activates specific receptors on nerve cells in the brain that can also bind the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. These receptors are made up of five subunits, and human genetic studies show that changes in a single subunit can alter nicotine behaviour.

The researchers at Penn State and the University of Colorado focused on the gene that encodes the beta-3 subunit, which is found in areas of the brain important in drug behaviour.

"This work was based on associations that were found in human genetic studies. Genetic variants were shown to affect certain nicotine behaviors, but the question was why? Here we focused on trying to figure out what these genetic variants actually do," Kamens said.

The researchers used a mouse model to study how reducing how much of the beta-3 subunit was made, or preventing its production completely, affected nicotine consumption.

They used genetic engineering techniques to remove one or both copies of the beta-3 gene.

Then, to measure how much the mice wanted the drug, the researchers provided each mouse with two water bottles, one with nicotine and one without nicotine, and recorded how much water the mice drank from each bottle.

Muscle exercise can help reduce lower back pain

Sydney: Exercises that improve coordination of muscles that support and control the spine offer a strategy to reduce pain and disability caused by lower back pain, finds a new study.

Lower-back pain is one of the most common health conditions worldwide. It can have substantial health and economic costs as people experience disability and general ill health, leading them to need time off work.

"Targeting the strength and coordination of muscles that support the spine through motor control exercise offers an alternative approach to treating lower back pain,” said lead author Bruno Saragiotto from The University of Sydney, Australia.

Motor control exercise is a popular form of exercise that aims to improve coordination of the muscles that control and support the spine.

Patients are initially guided by a therapist to practise normal use of the muscles with simple tasks. As the patient's skill increases the exercises become more complex and include the functional tasks that the person needs to perform during work and leisure activities.

The study gathered together data from 29 randomised trials involving a total of 2,431 men and women, aged between 22 and 55 years old.

The trials investigated the impact of using motor control exercises as a treatment for lower back pain compared with other forms of exercise or doing nothing.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Obesity 'linked to cancer rise'

Rising levels of obesity and unhealthy weights could be linked to 670,000 extra cases of cancer in the next 20 years, a UK report predicts.
If current trends continue, experts say, almost three in four adults could be overweight or obese by 2035, bringing a host of health issues.
The Cancer Research UK and UK Health Forum report says TV adverts for some food should be banned before 21:00.
Health officials say they are committed to tackling childhood obesity.
'Tipping the scales'
Recent studies suggest obesity is linked to several cancers - including oesophageal (gullet), womb, and bowel tumours.
And being overweight has long been associated with conditions such as diabetes and coronary heart disease.
In this study, researchers used a computer modelling system, together with historical and current health data, to predict the impact of obesity over the next 20 years.
Their work suggests a rise in the number of people who are overweight or obese would contribute to 4.6 million additional cases of type-2 diabetes and 1.6 million extra cases of heart disease by 2035.
And experts estimate this could lead to an additional £2.5bn in costs to the NHS for 2035 alone.
Sugar tax
The report recommends a number of ways to tackle this problem, including introducing a 20p per litre tax on sugary drinks and a review of how food is advertised online.
Experts behind the report say they have taken into account that increases in obesity have started to slow in the past few years.
But they also say one of the major challenges they faced was an inability to take major future changes - such as new drugs or technologies - into account.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

How to lose weight in a week!

What if, you got invited to a party next week and you want to flaunt your new dress and look your absolute best ! But the stubborn dress just won't fit because of all lazing around you have done and put on those unwanted kilos on your body. Now, you have got just one week to get rid of those unwanted guests. Sounds illogical, but it's not impossible! And no, not eating at all won't help you lose weight.

If you are up for this challenge, here's how you can do it!

Switch to a different diet-plan by shunning sugary drinks, fried, baked foods completely for a week.
If you want to see wonders, grab raw veggies and fresh fruits. But remember not to have potatoes from the veggies section and bananas from the fruits section.
Rigorous and heavy exercise is just not advisable in this case because you might hurt yourself if you have no previous experience. Instead just be very physically active and do your daily workouts and cardio exercises to lose those extra calories.
Drink lots and lots of water! Water is the perfect slim-down drink because it has zero calories and carbs. One the first day, drink about 8 to 12 glasses of water and various kinds of fruits throughout the day.

Obesity can shorten life after weight loss

Obesity can lower life expectancy even after a person has lost weight, new research suggests.

Death rates among those who were formerly obese or overweight were considerably higher than those who had never exceeded normal weight.

Scientists say this illustrates that obesity at any age can cause illness, regardless of whether the weight is kept on.

Failure for this to be reflected in official studies "obscures the benefits" of never becoming overweight at all, researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health and University of Pennsylvania said.

The report, which analyses data from 6000 Americans, said there was "exceptionally high mortality among those who lost weight".

It showed that those who were never above normal weight had a mortality rate of 6.25 per 1000, while those who were formerly overweight had a rate of 10.81 and those formerly obese of 14.62.

In England, figures from the Health Survey for England show that around 62.1 per cent of adults were overweight or obese in 2013.