The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released new information regarding our nation’s health. According to new estimates, almost 54 percent of Americans diagnosed with hypertension don’t have the condition under control despite the majority receiving healthcare.
As a result, the CDC estimates that the prevalence of hypertension among adults at that time was more than 30 percent, or nearly 67 million Americans. Additionally, of the 53 percent who didn’t have their blood pressure in control, 39 percent were unaware they had hypertension, 16 percent knew but took no medicine to treat the condition, and 45 percent were taking medications that were not bettering the condition.
Why is this news concerning? CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden has deemed hypertension “public-health enemy number two,” only behind tobacco use.
To have hypertension means to have elevated or high blood pressure. A disease often known as the “silent killer” due to it being asymptomatic, hypertension typically leads to fatal stroke or heart attack. High blood pressure is defined as having a consistently elevated arterial blood pressure. Furthermore, obesity has been strongly associated with hypertension and heart disease.
Financially speaking, the CDC estimates that high blood pressure costs our nation close to $130 million a year in healthcare bills. And certainly more concerning, Frieden points out, is the fact that hypertension claims approximately 1,000 lives a day. (more…)
It seems the general rule when it comes to salt is ‘don’t have too much – it’s not healthy for you.’ And after hearing this message for most of our lives, the majority of people view it as fact. Put the salt shaker down; it’ll give you high blood pressure.
But a recent editorial piece in the New York Times by Gary Taubes argues otherwise, questioning whether or not salt really is as bad as they say it is.
Taubes points out that recent evidence suggests restricting the amount of salt we eat can actually increase our likelihood of dying prematurely, which is the exact opposite of what we thought before. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture still considers salt the nation’s greatest health threat before fats, sugars and alcohol. But, a new rebel band of health experts now suspects that it’s more likely that eating the amount of salt the USDA and CDC actually recommends would be doing more of a disservice than benefit.
In the 1970s, despite no conclusive evidence showing a connection between salt intake and serious health problems, salt reduction was declared a must. Health experts at the time thought this to be true primarily based on the observation that populations outside the U.S. that ate little salt had minimal hypertension, as well as a study that showed a group of rats developed hypertension on a high-salt diet. (more…)
Scientists from the U.S. Johns Hopkins team have managed to turn bad white fat into good brown fat in recent experiments on rodents. This breakthrough could be a huge step in treating obesity if it were able to yield the same results in humans.
Brown fat is present in all humans during the infant years, but disappears as we age. Brown fat has been called the key to burning fat and could be a helpful way to control weight. When brown fat is lost in the body, it is replaced by white fat which has been called “bad fat” because it just sits. In their experiment, scientists were able to suppress an appetite stimulating protein called NPY. Through this suppression, the rodent’s appetite and caloric intake was reduced. This was the case even when they were fed a diet high in fat. An even more interesting development with this experiment was that the rodent’s bad white fat stores turned into good brown fat.
Every five years, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is reviewed and updated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health. The 2010 guidelines were published today, and not only outline what foods are best for us, but also for the first time give advice on what foods to avoid.
In the introductory summary of the document, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH diet) is singled out as an eating plan that embodies the these updated dietary guidelines.
The DASH Diet is a way of eating that’s been proven to reduce blood pressure, and has also been recommended by the American Heart Association and the National Institute of Health. On this diet, you will eat lots of fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy products, lean meats, fish, poultry, nuts, beans and whole grains. This eating plan will not only help to lower your blood pressure, it’s also a safe and effective weight-loss diet.
Picture this: A world where the majority of the population has to take insulin shots, and the life expectancy of children is lower than their parents’. That’s exactly where we’re headed, according to the documentary Killer at Large: Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat.
The film opens with an obese 12-year-old child. Brooke Bates and her parents list reasons for her weight gain and explain that diet and exercise didn’t work for her. So, instead of seeing a dietitian or personal trainer, they choose liposuction surgery to resolve the problem.
The creator of the film, Bryan Young, lists stress-induced cortisol, junk-food advertising to children, unhealthy school lunches and increased production of high-fructose corn syrup as the obesity epidemic’s main catalysts.