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Archive for the ‘Obesity’ Category

-By Kara Lubeck

It should come as no shock to anyone that the obesity epidemic has been increasing on a worldwide scale.  A recent study published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization has found that there is a relationship between food regulation and obesity- the less food regulation a country has, the greater the increase in obesity has been over the past years1,2.  The study looked specifically at regulation of the fast food market, and per capita fast food transactions compared to body mass index (BMI).  While the average number of fast food transactions and BMI did increase per capita in all 25 countries in the study, countries where there are stricter food regulations, such as Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, and Belgium, saw a much lower increase in both areas.  The countries with the largest increases were Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland1,2.  The researchers on the study are now urging governments to enforce stricter food regulations in order to slow, and hopefully reverse, the obesity epidemic.  Recommendations have included banning all unhealthy foods and sugary drinks from public places (schools, hospitals, etc.), taxes on fats, incentives for growers to grow healthier and fresher produce, and a reduction in unhealthy food marketing (specifically to children and teens)1,2. (more…)

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By Constantinos Gioulekas

While browsing CNN I stumbled upon an article on a drug called Amlexanox; originally a topical ointment used to treat canker sores (Hudson & Cohen, 2013). Researchers at the University Of Michigan have discovered that Amlexanox (in mice) causes weight loss without diet or exercise. This article was interesting for me because of the possibility that this drug could also have the same weight loss effects in humans.  This could have many implications for populations affected by obesity. (more…)

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By Kara Shaughnessey

Obesity is a major problem worldwide. In 2008, more than 1.4 billion adults were overweight and in 2010 over 40 million children under the age of 5 were overweight (World Health Organization). The rate of obesity is increasing and there is need to be more to stop this epidemic. After reading “Child obesity programmes struggle to survive cuts” it is even more apparent to me that there needs to be more programs like MEND and more financial support for obesity prevention programs.

In 2004 MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do It) began helping children and adults in the UK. MEND set out to provide healthy lifestyle programs for families in local communities, offer weight management programs in health and fitness, and provide knowledge, skills, resources and training to professionals and community leaders to prevent obesity in their communities (Mendcentral.org). Since its start in 2004, MEND has helped over 55,000 children and adults around the world. MEND’s successes in the UK led to its adoption in other countries like Australia, Canada and the US. (more…)

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By Liz Mathew

While 67% of the American adults and 1/3 of the American children are overweight/obese, 49 million people in the country suffer from hunger and 16.7 million kids live in food insecure households. Internationally, this problem results in 1 billion people on Earth being overweight while 1 billion others are hungry¹. WHO estimates that by 2015, 2.3 billion adults worldwide will be overweight and an additional 700 million will be obese. With this data and the growing food problem across the world, how are food production companies responding? (more…)

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By Sandra Archer

Campbell and Malik (2013) explain that, “one in four adults in England is obese, and the figures are predicted to rise to 60% of men, 50% of women, and 25% of children by 2050”. In response to these changing times, the United Kingdom public health officials are proposing to raise prices by 20% on all soft drink beverages and a decrease in fast food outlets around schools. Will making these cuts and increasing prices really help diminish obesity? The novelty of having a meal given to you fast, easy, and cheaper than a salad is what fuels many people who are so busy making a living that they rarely have time or money to be healthy as well. This trend originally stemmed from the United States and is rapidly transferring to more and more developed and wealthy countries. The uproar from not only public health officials but many doctors as well is due to rapidly increasing prevalence of obesity on the UK’s population as a whole. As many may know, obesity is not just an issue of being more than overweight, but that the health complications that are brought on by this condition could turn out to be fatal.  The trend seems to be that as the years pass and the style of living becomes more fast paced, the epidemic of obesity seems to thrive.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/video/2013/feb/18/obesity-crisis-soft-drinks-impact-video

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By Kristen O’Donovan

Once considered primarily an American problem, childhood obesity is now quickly becoming a global epidemic.  This is easily one of the most pressing matters of our time, because the consequences are extensive and wholly preventable. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that obese youth are more at risk for cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol or high blood pressure and are more likely to have diabetes as well as social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem.  Furthermore, obese children are more likely to become obese adults, stuck in a cycle of poor choices and increased health problems.  This not only a concern for individual health, but for increasing health care costs and the increased burden placed on healthcare professionals who may have to expend extra effort and time to accommodate obese patients.  The wide range of costs due to childhood obesity is why it is so important to limit the causes behind the epidemic; namely food marketing directed at children.

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By Nadine Mansour

Obesity is a growing issue throughout the world – from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and North America. According to the World Health Organization, obesity has more than doubled since 1980 and is the fifth leading cause of death globally. As an international student, I was shocked upon arrival in Dallas, TX. From the malls to restaurants, gyms to workplaces, obesity was rampant. On every corner, a Taco bell, McDonalds, or In-N-Out Burger, screamed for customers with its cheap menus, special deals with every large side of fries, and automatic refills of soda. Therefore, The New York Times’ article by Sabrina Tavernise, which claims that children in the United States ate fewer calories in 2010, was surprising. Could public health interventions finally be overshadowing the unhealthy food advertisements pushing supersized meals, promising better value for bigger portions? What exactly is being done right? (more…)

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