Tag Archives: obesity

When Did We Let Digital Fat-Shaming be OK?

Imagine a person just standing there minding his or her own business, and that person happens to be fat. If you place a clever caption underneath of the photo pointing out just how fat that person is and suddenly, somehow it becomes funny, right? Wrong. I’m sure you’ve these photos floating around on the interwebs. This is what is referred to as fat-shaming.

fat shaming

Personally, I have never found any photos exploiting overweight individuals as a “joke” to be funny at all. Being overweight in itself is not funny. And I have to wonder why this type of discrimination and bullying is still so acceptable in our culture. Even in Hollywood, consider how much negative attention a celebrity gets when they gain weight. Their image is shown on the cover of a magazine with a caption stating something about how fat they’ve gotten, and we’ve allowed that to be acceptable!

I gained a great deal of weight in my early teenage years and in high school, I was somewhere over 200 pounds. My saving grace was that I was funny and well-liked, so I didn’t become the target of much bullying (and most people would never have made fun of me to my face). I thank my lucky stars that things like Facebook and Twitter (heck, even cell phones or texting!) didn’t exist back then, because it’s so much easier to bully someone when you’re sitting behind a computer. (more…)

Dietitians Speak Out in Support of the Trans Fat Ban Proposed by the FDA

The FDA is finally stepping up to remove trans fat from a list of chemicals known as GRAS – or generally recognized as safe. This morning, the Food and Drug Administration opened up a 60-day public call for comments, scientific data, and other information they can use to help guide their decision to issue an all-out ban on trans fat, also known as partially hydrogenated oil.

fries

“Based on new scientific evidence and the findings of expert scientific panels, the [FDA] has tentatively determined that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), which are the primary dietary source of industrially-produced trans fatty acids, or trans fat, are not generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for any use in food based on current scientific evidence establishing the health risks associated with the consumption of trans fat, and therefore that PHOs are food additives,” says the formal announcement made by the agency.

If this is finalized, the FDA says “food manufacturers would no longer be permitted to sell PHOs.”

That’s news that has the dietetic community happy as heart-healthy clams. We reached out to several thought leaders from the dietetic community to hear their reactions to the trans fat ban news first.

Those foods are suspect, not only because of the link between trans fats and cardiovascular disease, but because of wide-reaching inflammation from a host of artificial products. This could give people a reminder to eat real food.Mary Hartley, RD, our resident nutrition expert and a NYC-based dietitian (more…)

Why Are Americans So Fat? 7 Little Reasons with Big Health Repercussions

By Team Best Life

Why are so many Americans—69.2 percent to be exact—overweight or obese? The answer seems obvious: We’re taking in more calories than we expend. But why is that? Check out these seven common weight gain triggers.

obesity soda
We slurp down sugary drinks.

This includes sodas, fruit drinks, sweetened iced tea and other beverages that cost about 140 to 150 calories per 12-ounce serving. They are a major source of added sugar in our diet. Guzzle just one can daily on top of your actual calorie needs and you could gain 15 pounds a year. A Canadian study that tracked toddlers found that those who drank more sugary beverages were 2.5 times more likely to be overweight compared to those who didn’t.

We consume too little fiber.   

This comes from not eating enough fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Aside from making you feel fuller on fewer calories (and thus, satisfying appetite), fiber may also promote a slimming gut flora, the population of trillions of bacteria that reside in our gut that are thought to influence everything from immunity to anxiety to obesity risk. (more…)

Fernanda Abarca is Biggest Loser’s First Elimination, but Down 70 Pounds at Home

Last night on the The Biggest Loser, an unlucky roll of the die put Jillian’s White Team in jeopardy for the second week in a row, and Fernanda took the fall. We spoke to her about her short time on the ranch, what Dr. H. had to say about her overall health, and how much weight she’s lost since the elimination.

The Biggest Loser - Season 15

Nobody likes week 2 on The Biggest Loser ranch. Some even talk about the week 2 curse. Fernanda isn’t superstitious but wishes she’d had one more week to show what she could do. “Now that I’ve been home, my weight loss fluctuates high one week, then low the next,” she explained. “One week I’ll lose 10 pounds, the next week I’ll lose 2. Everybody’s body is different.”

During the first week, Fernanda lost an encouraging 12 pounds but at last night’s weigh-in, the scale only budged by two pounds.

This may be the second episode of Season 15, but Fernanda is actually the first contestant eliminated. In a new season twist, trainers are allowed to save one eliminated contestant and Jillian used hers right out of the gate on Craig, the warehouse supervisor from North Carolina. We asked Fernanda how she felt about Craig receiving the save. “I was totally fine with it,” she replied. “I was so concerned about working hard to save the team in case my number came up that I didn’t think about it. He deserves to be here. I was happy for him.”

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Wealth is Health: Poorest States Trend Highest for Obesity, Cancer, and Poor Dental Health

As Americans, we’re competitive people. It’s in our blood. Speaking of blood and competition, a recently released infographic breaks down state by state statistics in categories like obesity, dental health, STDs, cancer rates, and several other quaint reminders of life’s frailty. Thanks to the Top Masters in Health Care—who meticulously compiled the data—you can now see how much better your state is compared to the other union territories! Naturally, we are most concerned with the obesity and health related numbers, and after a quick look, we noticed a disturbing trend. The statistical data suggested that obesity, loss of teeth and cancer were all closely correlated. How could this be? (more…)

The Aaron Rodgers Burger – Nobody Should Tackle This Gut Bomb

The National Football League, the most profitable and popular professional sports league in America, kicks off regular season play in less than a week. Six years ago, the NFL put its massive appeal to good use, founding the Play 60 program to tackle childhood obesity and encourage a more active generation of children. Most NFL media coverage is centered around head injuries, Fantasy Football, murder charges and twitter rants, but the league continues to make strides fighting the obesity epidemic with national activities for kids. However, when a few members of the Green Bay Packers had the opportunity to design their own hamburger recipes to be sold at Curly’s Pub in Lambeau field on game days, they did not have health on the brain and undermined the efforts of Play 60.

A Rodgers Burger

While Play 60 aims to get children to play for 60 minutes a day, anyone who eats the Aaron Rodgers burger will need to play for 120 minutes after they wake up from their food coma. The Aaron Rodgers burger does not come with an artery brush, but it should. Here’s what you get: bacon, swiss and havarti cheese, avocado, pickles, jalapeno, onion rings, mayo, ranch, and PEANUT BUTTER—all with a side of fresh Wisconsin cheese curds. Just like mom used to make—if she hated you. Peanut butter is a trending burger topping, but next to ranch, mayo, and avocado, it seems like a flavor rainbow from hell. (more…)

Obesity Causes 18 Percent of U.S. Deaths According to New Study

Children born today enter a world where more than one-third of all adults in the United States are obese. They also face the prospect of being part of the one-fifth of American children who are obese. These risks of obesity significantly increase mortality rates. According to a new study by researchers from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation at Columbia University, obesity is responsible for 18 percent of deaths in the U.S. Unfortunately, it’s possible that number will continue to grow if obesity rates follow the trend they’re on now. They have more than doubled since 1980.

obesity risks

The study found that the problem isn’t exclusive to older individuals, but rather people from younger generations who, as they age, have a greater chance of developing obesity-related health problems. “Obesity is unhealthy at any age, but as obese individuals grow older, they are more likely to experience serious health complications of obesity, including premature death,” said Ryan Masters, Ph.D, study author and researcher at Columbia in an interview with HealthlineNews. Masters fears that while the results of the study are worrying, they could actually be worse than they appear. He feels as obese individuals age and encounter health problems; they are less likely to participate in studies like the one conducted at Columbia. This can make the results skew healthier, an error he tried to correct in the results to allow for the discrepancy.

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Mexico Outweighs United States in Most Obese Ranking

We are no longer number one, in obesity rankings that is. Mexico is now the most obese populous nation, with about 33 percent of Mexican adults being overweight, compared to the United States at nearly 32 percent. Both figures are alarming as both nations are battling growing obesity rates every year. According to experts, in the last ten years childhood obesity rates have tripled in Mexico. The same experts warn that four out of every five of obese children will remain overweight into adulthood.

obesity

The cause of the growing obesity rates isn’t all that surprising. “As more Mexicans move from rural to urban communities they become more sedentary and they eat a steady diet of unhealthy, highly caloric foods,” said Martin Binks, an obesity researcher and spokesperson for the Obesity Society in an interview with ABC News. This shift to a more sedentary lifestyle is affecting much of the world’s population.

World Health Organization statistics show that more than 20 percent of the world’s population is overweight, with 65 percent of the global population living in countries where being overweight or obese kills more people than being underweight. Though Mexico ranks highest of the populous countries, there are several small Pacific Island countries with obesity rates well over those of Mexico and the U.S. combined. American Samoa is the heaviest country in the world with 75 percent of its population considered obese and 20 percent considered overweight.

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INFOGRAPHIC: Will Smoking Pot Make You Skinny? New Research Says Maybe

why are pot smokers skinny

As seen at Number 1 on Visual.ly! Embed This Graphic!

Are people who use marijuana thinner than those who don’t? Though scientists can’t say conclusively that smoking pot makes you thin, a recent study shows a correlation between smaller waist circumference and marijuana use. Users not only seem to be thinner, but also somewhat healthier than their non-using counterparts. An exact reason for the trend hasn’t been discovered, but scientists are still intrigued by the results of the study.

More than 4,600 people participated in the study. Waist circumference and other weight-related factors were assessed in those who currently are marijuana users, those who used but don’t anymore, and those who never used. Other studies had found lower prevalence for obesity and diabetes in marijuana users, but this was the first study to also include tests for insulin, glucose and insulin resistance. (more…)

The Dangerous Ways Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Ruin Our Health

By Team Best Life

Think about it: Your choice of beverages 100 years ago was pretty much limited to milk, water, coffee and tea. The same goes for the span of human history prior to that. Sugary drinks are a 20th-century phenomenon, and the very modern toll they take on our bodies encompasses more than just obesity.

coffee sugar

Here are a few facts to help keep the sugar you drink in check.

Sugar’s effects are multifaceted. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and disorders that affect our metabolism can all be attributed to over-consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB).

It starts early. The SSBs and fruit juice children consume are responsible for up to 15 percent of their daily caloric intake. (more…)