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obesity epidemic



Gary Taubes Attracts Billionaire’s Funding for Obesity Research

Everything you think you know about nutrition is wrong, says writer and researcher Gary Taubes. Billionaire John Arnold, ranked 129th on Forbes’ list of wealthiest Americans, has taken notice of Taubes’ certainty, and is giving millions to find out what is actually true about how food affects humans.

His charitable organization formed with his wife, the John and Laura Arnold Foundation, is providing the seed money to fund the newly launched Nutrition Science Initiative - a non-profit dedicated to finding out definitively what constitutes a healthy diet.

As reported by NPR, NuSi’s mission is to discover what causes obesity and, through that, to reduce the epidemic of obesity in America. Its founders, one of whom is Taubes (pictured right), question the conventional wisdom that consuming less fat equals weight loss.

Taubes, author of the New York Times Bestseller Why We Get Fat and Good Calories, Bad Calories, says current federal dietary guidelines and recommendations about physical activity are based on flimsy scientific studies and may actually be making us fat instead of promoting a healthy lifestyle.
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35.7% of Americans are Obese, 12 States Considered Very Obese

Just when we thought estimates for U.S. obesity rates couldn’t get any worse, they did. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new figures for American waistlines, and the result? Twelve states are now considered to have very high obesity rates among adults, which is an increase from nine states in 2010. And an estimated 35.7% of U.S. adults are obese.

A snapshot of the survey shows more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese, with Mississippi having the highest prevalence rate at 34.9%, and Colorado having the lowest overall at 20.7%.


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Take Five to Live Light Campaign Promotes Weight Loss Drug Contrave

While we’re weary to promote any kind of ‘quick fix’ weight loss pill, the “Take Five to Live Light” campaign is something we’re a little more willing to get behind.

The campaign is part of a study that’s investigating a new weight loss drug called Contrave, which has been in development for the last several years.

Contrave is a combination of two medications – naltrexone and bupropion – which have long-been prescribed to patients to aid weight loss. While the two haven’t been found dangerous on their own, the study is seeking to confirm that pairing the two won’t have any adverse affects on patients.

Steven R. Smith, M.D., scientific director of the Florida Hospital, believes that most people can’t achieve long term weight loss through diet and exercise alone, saying “the Light Study is an important clinical research study evaluating the cardiovascular health outcomes of Contrave, which is designed to reduce appetite, increase metabolism, and control cravings and overeating behaviors.”
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FDA Rules Against Calling High Fructose Corn Syrup ‘Corn Sugar’

Manufacturers of the infamous substance known as high fructose corn syrup are displeased at the ruling that it will retain its unfortunate name, at least for now. After the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) petitioned to rename HFCS “corn sugar,” the Food and Drug Administration ruled yesterday that the change cannot be made.

This isn’t the first time the CRA has tried to get the name switched. In September 2010, the organization petitioned for the change, arguing that consumers have a bad view of HFCS because it has a complicated name.

But since the FDA has the authority to decide what food labels say, it argued back that the name change would be too confusing for consumers. This is because the FDA clearly defines sugar as “solid, dried, and crystallized” and syrup as “an aqueous solution or liquid food.” So calling a “syrup” a “sugar” would not be accurate. 
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CDC Reports New Figures on American Health

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released its annual report on the health of the United States. The document contains more than 150 charts and graphs showing fluctuations in such areas as new births, causes of death, obesity in youth, and emergency room visits. The following are just a few of the highlights we found relevant.

Sloping activity levels: In 2010, less than half of American adults were meeting the government’s recommended daily physical activity levels, with only  30 percent of individuals over the age of 75 meeting the requirements.

Obesity is on the rise: It’s no surprise, but obesity rates have continued to rise. Numbers for those 20 years and older have jumped from 33.9 percent to 35.9 percent between 2008 and 2010.
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