Tag Archives: obesity diseases

Eating More Fish May Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

salmonAdd yet another long-term health issue to the list of risks of being overweight. Previous studies have connected middle age obesity to dementia in late adulthood. Now, scientists may have found a link between Alzheimer’s and a hormone that helps control appetite. Leptin tells your body when you are satiated and reduces appetite. It is a hormone that is produced by fat cells. Research conducted during 12 years at the Boston University Medical Center found that those participants with the lowest levels of leptin had a 25% chance of developing Alzheimer’s, while those with the highest levels of leptin had only a 6% chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease. (more…)

Biggest Loser Know Your Number HealthScore Available for Contestants and Viewers

A new test is being conducted on the Biggest Loser contestants, and everyone watching at home will get to benefit too, with the introduction of the Biggest Loser Know Your Number HealthScore. The test is being introduced on the January 12 episode of Biggest Loser, season nine episode two.biggest loser know your number healthscore

For the first time, contestants will learn their HealthScore number and their risk of the three most deadly diseases: stroke, diabetes and heart disease. With Dr. Huizenga, Medical Advisor on The Biggest Loser, the contestants will also learn how many years of life they can recover when they make the necessary habit changes to their health. Then, at mid-season, the contestants will be tested again to reveal drastic changes in their HealthScore, no doubt stunning them and viewers and proving the benefit of fitness, proper diet and lifestyle change.

The Biggest Loser Know Your Number HealthScore opens a new dimension to the show because it provides a personalized health roadmap for contestants to know their current health risks and will let me track their progress toward reducing those risks through the season,” says Dr. Robert Huizenga. “I believe the HealthScore can provide the same guidance to anyone wanting to take charge of their health.”

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Kathleen Sebelius Aims Stimulus Money to Fight Obesity

The federal government’s stimulus plan isn’t just for the fat cats of Wall Street. It’s also being aimed at reversing our country’s obesity epidemic.

kathleen sebelius health careThe Obama administration is going to provide states and local governments with money to control obesity, which will include investing in public transportation to encourage more walking, says Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Sebelius says that the majority of the $1 billion stimulus plan appropriated by Congress for disease prevention would go to a CDC-planned initiative to fight obesity, heart disease and other chronic conditions. (more…)

Obese at Higher Risk for Swine Flu

As if obesity doesn’t come with enough collateral health damage – heart disease, diabetes, cancer, to name a few – now the obese may be more susceptible to the H1N1 swine flu virus.overweight man

Researchers in the U.S., including Dr. Lena Napolitano of the University of Michigan Medical Center, studied 10 patients admitted to the university’s intensive care unit with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome caused by infection with H1N1.

“Of the 10 patients, nine were obese (body mass index more than 30), including seven who were extremely obese (BMI more than 40),” the experts wrote in the report published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly report on death and disease. (more…)

Prevention is a Healthier Route than Treatment

prescriptionsMany of the diseases and cancers seen in our society could be preventable or postponed if we shifted our focus to prevention rather than treating a disease. Too often people go on medication to lower their cholesterol or help with their blood pressure, but had they considered diet and exercise years before it’s likely that they wouldn’t have to depend on medication at all.

Obesity is another medical issue that could probably be avoided if we paid more attention to what we put into our mouths and how much exercise we get. The cost of prevention (eating right and exercising) is far cheaper than the cost of medical expenses (doctor visits, hospital stays, medications, etc.).

All this being said, what can you do to start this road of prevention? In my eyes, it’s never too late to start getting healthier. So what can you do?  (more…)

Understanding Obesity Related Diseases: Hypertension and High Blood Pressure

As more of our population become obese and overweight, obesity diseases become much more prevalent. Hypertension is one such disease, and here I explain what it is, why it affects the overweight, symptoms and prevention.

blood-pressureWhat is it?
Hypertension is one word meaning elevated or high blood pressure.  Known as the “silent killer” due to it being asymptomatic (not showing significant signs or symptoms). It typically leads to having a fatal stroke or heart attack.  High blood pressure is defined as having a consistently elevated arterial blood pressure.  When a doctor or nurse takes your blood pressure, they measure the systolic and diastolic blood pressure.  Being hypertensive means you have a systolic blood pressure above 140mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure is above 90mm Hg (normal blood pressure = systolic of 130mm Hg and diastolic of 85mm Hg).  Untreated hypertension can result in heart failure, renal disease, and peripheral vascular disease. (more…)

Understanding Obesity Related Diseases: High Cholesterol

As more of our population become obese and overweight, obesity diseases become much more prevalent. High Cholesterol is one such disease, and here I explain what it is, why it affects the overweight, symptoms and prevention.doctor

What is it?
Cholesterol is in every cell in your body and is important for proper functioning of your body (i.e. used to build healthy cells and some vital hormones).  With high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia), fatty deposits may develop in your blood vessels, making it difficult for blood to properly flow through the arteries.  With this restricted flow your heart may not get the oxygen-rich blood that it needs, possibly causing a heart attack or stroke, if blood flow is restricted to your brain.

Why is it affected by obesity/overweight?
Obesity is mainly caused by taking in more calories than are expended through physical activity and daily life. Taking in too many calories, or too much saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol will increase blood cholesterol levels.  High cholesterol is an obesity-associated disease due to the increased amount of fat, especially when that fat is found in the abdominal region (“apple”-shaped individuals).  Obesity raises blood LDL “bad” cholesterol and lowers HDL “good” cholesterol. (more…)

Understanding Obesity Related Diseases: Metabolic Syndrome

obesityAs more of our population become obese and overweight, obesity diseases become much more prevalent. Metabolic Syndrome is one such disease, and here I explain what it is, why it affects the overweight, symptoms and prevention.

What is it?

Metabolic syndrome is characterized by several disorders related to your metabolism simultaneously. These disorders/components include obesity (particularly abdominal/waist fat), elevated blood pressure, increased triglyceride level, low HDL “good” cholesterol level, and insulin resistance. Having one of these components means you are more likely to have others; the more components you have the greater risk to your health.

Metabolic Syndrome has had a few names including syndrome X and insulin resistance syndrome. Not all experts agree on the definition of metabolic syndrome or whether it exists as a medical condition. Despite the discrepancies, the severity of possessing this collection of risk factors can lead to serious health complications.

Why is it affected by obesity/overweight?

Obesity is one of the components to this syndrome, therefore it has a huge impact on it. A body mass index (BMI) of greater than 25 increases your risk. BMI is a measure of your percent body fat based on height. Abdominal obesity (fat accumulation in the stomach area), or being “apple-shaped” rather than “pear-shaped,” is another factor increasing your risk of metabolic syndrome. (more…)

Understanding Obesity Related Diseases: Heart Disease

As more of our population become obese and overweight, obesity diseases become much more prevalent. Heart disease is one such disease, and here I explain what it is, why it affects the overweight, symptoms and prevention.cardiologist

What is it?
Heart disease is an umbrella term used to describe a range of diseases affecting the heart and, in some cases, blood vessels.  The diseases that fall under this broad term include: cardiovascular disease, coronary artery disease, heart rhythm problems, congenital heart defects, etc.

The damaging effect of heart disease is severe, it’s the number one killer of men and women.  According to the Mayo Clinic website, it’s responsible for 40% of all the deaths in the U.S., which is more than all forms of cancer combined.

Why is it affected by obesity/overweight?
Abdominal fat is a predictor of risk for obesity-related diseases.  Overeating and physical inactivity is a deadly combination when it comes to your health.  A poor diet high in fat, salt, and cholesterol (which is a common diet in obese/overweight individuals) can and does contribute to the development of heart disease.  The rate of obesity is significantly high in the U.S., thus is of concern to health professionals because of its implications on American’s health. (more…)

Understanding Obesity Related Diseases: Sleep Apnea

As more of our population become obese and overweight, obesity diseases become much more prevalent. Diabetes is one such disease, and here I explain what it is, why it affects the overweight, symptoms and prevention.sleep-apnea

What is it?
Sleep apnea is a sleeping and breathing disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts, which has the potential to be fatal.  There are two main types of sleep apnea: 1) obstructive and 2) central (or you could have a combo of the two, which is known as complex sleep apnea).  Obstructive sleep apnea is the more common form that occurs when throat muscles relax, whereas central sleep apnea occurs when your brain does not send the proper signals to the muscles that control your breathing.

Why is it affected by obesity/overweight?
Excessive weight and fat deposits around your upper airway seen with obesity may obstruct your breathing and lead to sleep apnea.  It is important to keep in mind that not everyone who has sleep apnea is overweight. (more…)