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Obesity Blog

Related terms: Weight Gain, Overweight

Childhood Obesity Brings Host of Health Problems, Researchers Report

Posted 1 day 20 hours ago by

MONDAY, Nov. 24, 2014 – Obese children are at increased for liver disease, high blood pressure and heart disease, a new study warns. Researchers looked at nearly 500 children and teens, aged 2 to 17, with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition that's most common among youngsters who are overweight and obese. NAFLD can develop in conjunction with other health problems such as diabetes. Nearly 36 percent of them had high blood pressure at the start of the study and 21 percent had persistent high blood pressure 48 weeks later. High blood pressure is present in 2 percent to 5 percent of all children and 10 percent of obese children, according to the researchers. The study showed that children with NAFLD have a significant risk of high blood pressure, which is often undiagnosed. The study was published Nov. 24 in the journal PLoS One. "As a result of our study, we recommend ... Read more

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Health Tip: Commit to Losing Weight

Posted 13 days ago by

-- Losing weight takes a plan, goals, desire and a firm commitment to succeed. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer these suggestions: Make the decision that you are going to lose weight and change your lifestyle. Write out and sign a contract to yourself. Write down the steps of your commitment, including how much weight you want to lose, dietary plans, weight loss goal dates, and a plan for regular exercise. Write down the reasons why you want to lose weight. Post them in a visible spot as a reminder. Read more

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Big-Name Diets All Work for a While, Review Found

Posted 15 days ago by

TUESDAY, Nov. 11, 2014 – There are plenty of famous-name diets for weight loss, but none stands out from the pack when it comes to lasting results, a new review suggests. Looking at a dozen clinical trials, researchers found that three big-name diets – Atkins, Weight Watchers and the Zone – were all "modestly" effective over the course of a year. In studies that compared the plans head-to-head, people lost anywhere from 4 to 10 pounds, on average. Meanwhile, a fourth commercial diet – South Beach – was no better than traditional advice to eat a low-fat diet, the study authors said. And in the few trials that lasted two years – all looking at Atkins or Weight Watchers – people often regained some of the pounds they lost. "From our results, no weight-loss diet came across as a clear winner," said study leader Renee Atallah, a research assistant at Jewish General Hospital/McGill ... Read more

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Kids Obese at Young Age Often Stay That Way, Study Shows

Posted 16 days ago by

MONDAY, Nov. 10, 2014 – The vast majority of children who are obese at age 11 are still far too heavy at age 16, new research suggests. Tracking nearly 4,000 children in three U.S. metropolitan areas over five years, researchers found that 83 percent of obese 10th graders had also been obese in fifth grade. Only 12 percent of kids who were obese in fifth grade transitioned to a normal weight over the following half-decade, according to the study. "Parents sometimes think that it's just baby fat and their kids will outgrow it, but we found a lot more constancy [of extra weight over time] than we anticipated," said study author Dr. Mark Schuster, chief of general pediatrics at Boston Children's Hospital. "Certainly, once you've gained weight and become obese or overweight, it's harder to change the habits influencing that," he added. "But just because kids are gaining weight as they get ... Read more

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Doctor-Implanted Balloons in Stomach May Spur Weight Loss

Posted 19 days ago by

FRIDAY, Nov. 7, 2014 – Balloons placed inside the stomach can trigger substantial weight loss without the need for invasive surgery, according to a new clinical trial. The new device – two connected balloons filled with saline – helped obese people lose twice as much excess weight as others who relied on diet and exercise alone, said principal investigator Dr. Jaime Ponce. He is medical director of the bariatric surgery program at Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton, Ga. He is also a paid consultant to the company that manufacturers the device. The balloons reduce stomach capacity, making people feel full with less food, Ponce said. People with the balloons placed inside their stomachs lost 28.5 percent of their excess weight within six months, compared to 11.3 percent weight loss for those who tried the lifestyle changes. Several weight loss experts were cautiously optimistic about ... Read more

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Kidney, Urinary Birth Defects Tied to Obesity in Moms-to-Be

Posted 4 Nov 2014 by

TUESDAY, Nov. 4 – A woman's odds of having a baby with kidney and urinary tract birth defects are higher if she's obese, new research suggests. Such defects include being born with a single kidney, having kidney swelling or enlarged ureters, the urine-carrying tubes, said lead researcher Dr. Ian Macumber, a pediatric nephrology fellow at Seattle Children's Hospital. "The more we find out about obesity, the more we find out what a public health problem it is," he said. Prior research has linked maternal obesity with newborn heart defects, neural tube defects such as spina bifida and other health conditions. The discovery of a link with kidney and urinary tract birth defects is newer. "We found a significant association between maternal obesity and risk of these anomalies," said Macumber. While the study found a link between maternal obesity and certain birth defects, it did not ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Renal Failure

Study Confirms Obesity-Breast Cancer Link for Blacks, Hispanics

Posted 31 Oct 2014 by

FRIDAY, Oct. 31, 2014 – Obesity increases the risk of certain types of breast cancer in postmenopausal black and Hispanic women, two new U.S. studies show. One study of more than 3,200 Hispanic women found being overweight or obese increased the risk for estrogen receptor-negative and progesterone receptor-positive breast tumors among postmenopausal women. "We've known this for a long time for white women, but now we are seeing this also in Hispanic women," study author Esther John, a senior research scientist at the Cancer Prevention Institute of California, said in an American Institute for Cancer Research news release. The study was presented Thursday at the research institute's annual meeting in Washington, D.C., and published Oct. 30 in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. "Breast cancer appears to have different risk factors in younger versus older women but ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Breast Cancer

Obese Children With Leukemia Fared Worse in Study

Posted 27 Oct 2014 by

MONDAY, Oct. 27, 2014 – Obesity may change the way young people react to chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, new research suggests. The study showed that obesity made young people more than twice as likely to have leftover leukemia cells. That puts them at a higher risk of the cancer coming back and of death, the researchers said. The findings could explain why obese young people do worse on initial chemotherapy – called induction therapy – than their peers who aren't obese. "Induction chemotherapy provides a patient's best chance for remission or a cure," principal investigator Dr. Steven Mittelman, of The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles, said in a hospital news release. "Our findings indicate that a patient's obesity negatively impacts the ability of chemotherapy to kill leukemia cells, reducing the odds of survival." However, the current ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Teens Who Dine With Their Families May Be Slimmer Adults

Posted 24 Oct 2014 by

FRIDAY, Oct. 24, 2014 – For those teens who try to avoid spending time with their parents and siblings, new research suggests that sitting down for family meals might help them stay slim as adults. Despite everyone's busy schedules, researchers found that just one or two gatherings around the kitchen table each week were well worth the effort. "There are numerous distractions that could keep families from having family meals. However, this study shows that even trying to have a few family meals a week could be beneficial for guarding against overweight and obesity in adulthood," noted study author Jerica Berge, an assistant professor in the department of family and community medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School, in Minneapolis. Using data from a 10-year study involving more than 2,000 teenagers, the researchers examined variables that could affect young people's ... Read more

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Tall, Heavy 1-Year-Olds May Be at Risk for Obesity Later, Study Finds

Posted 21 Oct 2014 by

TUESDAY, Oct. 21, 2014 – Infants who quickly add weight and length may be showing a genetic propensity for obesity as toddlers, a new study suggests. In adults, certain genes have been linked to increased body fat, but the same genes in infants promote proportionate gains in fat and lean muscle, the researchers said. At 1 year, kids with these genes may be heavier and taller. By ages 2 and 3, however, these genes were linked to excessive weight gain, the investigators found. "Our findings contribute to the growing evidence that lifelong obesity risk can be predicted at very young ages and hopefully modified by very early changes in lifestyle and diet," said lead researcher Ken Ong, head of the child growth and development program at the University of Cambridge's medical research council epidemiology unit in England. The conclusions are based on a review of four European studies ... Read more

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Obesity and Depression Often Twin Ills, Study Finds

Posted 16 Oct 2014 by

THURSDAY, Oct. 16, 2014 – Depression and obesity tend to go hand in hand, U.S. health officials reported Thursday. The combination was so common that 43 percent of depressed adults were also obese, according to the report. That association was even more prevalent among those taking antidepressants: 55 percent of those patients were also obese. Report author Laura Pratt, an epidemiologist at the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, could not explain why or how obesity and depression are so often linked. "We are just describing the relationship, but we don't have anything in our data that would help us answer the why question," she said. The researchers do know that as the severity of depression increases so does the odds of being obese, Pratt said. However, the study did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. In addition, gender and race played a role in the connection ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Obesity

Is 'Slow and Steady' Weight Loss Really the Best Approach?

Posted 15 Oct 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 15, 2014 – An Australian study throws doubt on the notion that a more gradual approach to weight loss is always the most effective route to take. The study also found that whether you opt for a "crash" diet or something a bit slower, the rate at which you shed excess pounds has no bearing on whether or not those pounds will come back. The findings are published Oct. 15 in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. "Across the world, guidelines recommend gradual weight loss for the treatment of obesity, reflecting the widely held belief that fast weight loss is more quickly regained," study lead author Katrina Purcell, a dietician at the University of Melbourne in Australia, said in a journal news release. However, the new study shows that "achieving a weight loss target of 12.5 percent is more likely, and drop-out is lower, if losing weight is done quickly," Purcell said. ... Read more

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Obesity May Speed Aging of the Liver, Study Suggests

Posted 14 Oct 2014 by

MONDAY, Oct. 13, 2014 – Extra pounds cause the liver to age faster, potentially explaining why obesity is linked to diseases like liver cancer and insulin resistance, new research suggests. It's not clear if this aging directly translates to higher risks of certain diseases. Still, it's possible that "people whose liver is much older than expected need to be screened more carefully for various diseases even if they managed to lose a lot of weight," said study author Steve Horvath, a professor of human genetics and biostatistics at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Health. Epigenetic aging is the aging rates of various tissues in the body. "According to the epigenetic aging clock, the vast majority of tissues, cell types and organs age at the same rate," Horvath said. But these aging rates may differ from person to person. "Some people are clearly older than ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Insulin Resistance, Hepatic Tumor

Calm, Positive Family Meals May Help Keep Kids Slim

Posted 13 Oct 2014 by

MONDAY, Oct. 13, 2014 – Positive, calm and friendly family meals might help a child avoid becoming overweight or obese, a new study suggests. Children seem to be less likely to add on extra pounds if their family meals feature pleasant conversation, positive encouragement and no disorder caused by kids acting out, University of Minnesota researchers said. For the study, they watched dozens of hours of video recordings of family meals. "In the households where kids were overweight, there was less of a positive atmosphere at the table," said study author Jerica Berge, a psychologist at the University of Minnesota. "It was a little more chaotic overall." The study builds on prior research that has linked frequent family meals to a reduced risk of childhood obesity. Berge and her colleagues decided to figure out what occurs at a family meal that might influence that risk, and whether some ... Read more

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Body May Change Bad Fat to Good After Exposure to Cold

Posted 10 Oct 2014 by

THURSDAY, Oct. 9, 2014 – Cold temperatures may prompt unhealthy white fat in the thighs and belly to turn into brown fat that burns calories for body heat, a new study says. But being obese appears to hinder this process, according to researchers. Most adult fat deposits are what's known as white fat, and it was once believed that only babies have brown fat, which appears to help keep them warm. Previous research suggested, however, that adults also have some brown fat. Then a study published in 2012 by researchers at Harvard determined that the brown fat found in adults isn't the same as brown fat in babies. Brown fat in babies arises from muscle, but brown fat in adults is actually a "beige" fat that occurs from the "browning" of white fat, the Harvard team explained. For the new study, a team of researchers led by Dr. Philip Kern of the University of Kentucky School of Medicine ... Read more

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