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Archive for the ‘Obesity’ Category

What if you are fat because your friends are fat?  Similarly, what if your friends are fat because you are fat?  According to Nicholas Christakis (2010), an individual’s social network influences ones behavior and therefore, their health outcome.  Looking at obesity, he found that being friends with someone who is obese made that individual’s chance of becoming obese 45% higher.  Likewise, if your friend’s friend is obese, then the chance is 25% higher.  Only when you get to your friend’s friend’s friend’s friend is there no relation between the friend’s body size and that your own.  (more…)

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There are people in America who think that calorie intake is the most important factor of a heart healthy diet. What ever happened to that food pyramid children had to color (in between the lines) and list all the food groups? Oh that’s right, it’s been blackened by an influx of advertisements swaying Americans to follow some fad diet.  However, the food pyramid never disappeared; it falls under a new name, choosemyplate.org.  With the collective efforts of Michelle Obama and the United States Department of Agriculture, the variety of fruits and vegetables on dinner plates is being brought back to life. The First Lady works to encourage Americans to follow a well-balanced meal with varied, colorful fruits and vegetables. Following these tips could decrease the rate of obesity among the population. (more…)

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War on Obesity – Enforcing a Trim and Fit Program in Schools? by Prayag Patel

Just recently, I discovered, that about a year ago, First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled an ambitious campaign in an effort to end childhood obesity within our country. Called “Let’s Move”, the goal of the program was to “solve the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight.” Alongside this plan, President Barack Obama initiated the Task Force on Childhood Obesity to look into, review and reform the current school programs and develop a national action plan to launch a war against obesity. (more…)

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For a drug to come onto the market it must go through three phases of human trials before it comes onto the market. The drug then is continuously monitored once it comes onto the market with what is called phase IV trials or Post Marketing Surveillance Trial. If the drug is found to have adverse affects once it reaches phase IV it is then taken off the market. It seems logical right? If something is proven to have adverse affects on the population, those in charge (in this case the physicians) should not be allowed to continue its use. Why is this same approach not used in law making? Why are those in charge (in this case the politicians) allowed to continue to have a policy in place that is having adverse effects on the welfare of the public?

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With an adult obesity rate of 33% and the highest rate of obesity and overweight in children, Mississippi has earned the title of the most obese state in the U.S. As the poorest state in the nation, Mississippi has 21% of its residents living below the poverty level as found with the most recent census. Due to the high percentage of those living below the poverty level, it can be hard to develop a healthy diet. Much of what is eaten is inexpensive and dense in calories, leaving fresh fruits and vegetables as a luxury item. Yet despite being crowned a title that should not be held with much pride, a fitness program initiated by a native Mississippian is slowly impacting change. Paul Lacoste, a former professional football player has created a 12-week program that attacks both the physical activity and the diet maintenance aspects of weight loss. Entitled 2011 Paul Lacoste Sports Fit 4 Change Challenge, it is a program that attempting to influence a complete lifestyle change. Ultimately, without a change in mindset about living a healthier life the obesity problem in our nation will never show signs of stopping.

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Making the right choices for what to eat can be difficult. When I’m really hungry it’s easier to grab a bag of chips than cut and wash fruit, but for the most part I make healthy decisions regarding food. I know whole wheat bread is healthier than white, fruits and veggies should be in most meals and lean protein helps curb hunger. But what if I didn’t know that? What if I hadn’t been taught how to eat healthy meals and save sweets and fatty foods for special treats? And what if I had been allowed to decide what I wanted to eat? I would have eaten cookies, chips, and McDonald’s morning, noon and night. But guess what, I wasn’t allowed to, my parents made those decisions for me as a small child and I’m thankful they did. As my nutrition Professor taught, the adult is supposed to decide what the child eats, when to eat and where to eat, while the child is left to decide how much he or she wants to eat. This teaches the child good eating habits so when they get older they can make similar decisions and not get stuck in the habit of eating junk food.

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How about some Double Stuffed Oreos, Wendy’s Junior Bacon Cheeseburger, Coca Cola and KFC’s Honey Barbeque Wings? Have you ever watched TV during the evening or on the weekends and started craving these items or others? I know I am guilty of this; however this could soon change in Australia, at least. The Australian Medical Association (AMA) is calling for a ban on junk food advertising particularly those marketed at children. (more…)

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