April 18, 2012
By Bill Chappell
“KT has talked this many times. Take an hour walk each day. But not a leisurely little stroll, walk like you mean business.” –KTRN
“Americans now walk the least of any industrialized nation in the world,” says writer Tom Vanderbilt. To find out why that is, Vanderbilt has been exploring how towns are built, how Americans view walking — and what might be done to get them moving around on their own two feet.
Talking with Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep about what is wrong with Americans’ relationship with walking, Vanderbilt says, “The main thing is, we’re just not doing enough of it.”
“We’ve engineered walking out of our existence and everyday life,” Vanderbilt says. “I even tried to examine the word ‘pedestrian,’ and it’s always had sort of this negative connotation — that it was always better to be on a horse or something, if you could manage it.”
In a series of stories for Slate about “The Crisis in American Walking,” Vanderbilt writes about pedestrian life in America, from “sidewalk science” to possible ways to make the U.S. less car-centric. And he finds that what started as a push for convenience has become a difficult problem, as many parts of the country are now designed specifically for cars, not pedestrians.
And while Americans have cut down on walking, they’ve been putting on some pounds. A recent study found that about 35 percent of adult Americans are obese, as NPR’s Shots blog reported in January. That equals “more than 78 million adults and more than 12 million children.”
March 26, 2012
By Mike Barrett
“Once again – more evidence that fast food is the last thing you should ever consider eating.” –KTRN
It is no secret that the average American diet is in completely in the slumps. Consuming packaged foods, fast food, artificially enhanced products, and especially low quality cheap food is the norm, but is it any wonder that being overweight while also falling victim to a host of illnesses is also the norm. Being raised in this era of poor health makes it difficult to know what is truly healthy and unhealthy. Food has drastically changed since decades ago, and so parents often aren’t aware of the severe decline in food quality. Fast food in particular is one of the primary reasons for the drastic health decline seen today.
If you haven’t already, take a couple of hours to watch the films Super Size Me or Fast Food Nation. After watching these films, you can see first hand how fast food causes severe damage to your body – even if you don’t consume it for every meal of every day like in one of the films. Fast food is nothing but a concoction of harmful and health-damaging chemicals which can easily be understood if you were to think for a moment how any restaurant could offer a double cheeseburger for only $1.
Most recently it was uncovered that these $1 cheeseburgers, along with the rest of McDonald’s’ beef and chicken, were actually harnessing ‘pink slime’ scrap meat covered with ammonium hydroxide. Not only does this fake meat provide no nutritional value at all, but it is chemically contaminated from ammonia, the toxic cleaning agent found under the sink. The meat is actually fat trimmings and connective tissue that are separated from the bone – scrap meat that is not fit for human consumption. The ammonia treatment is in response to the danger of contamination from salmonella or E. coli, but the scrap meats themselves are more likely to contain pathogens. Despite the chemical treatment, the meat is still in the line of fire for contamination.
Additionally, McDonald’s McNuggets contain 7 different ingredients making up the ‘meat’, many of which contain sub-ingredients. Instead of using real meat, the ingredient list utilizes sodium phosphate, safflower oil, wheat starch, dextrose, and autolyzed yeast extract – a particularly dangerous substance very similar to the toxic MSG. Along side with these ingredients comes the use of dimethylpolysiloxane, a silicon substance used as an anti-foaming agent and often found in breast implants and silly putty.
February 17th, 2012
By: Carrie Gann
In the search for treatments to fight obesity, regulators are turning their attention to a diet drug that has already failed to receive government approval as a weight loss treatment.
Next week, a panel of advisors to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will consider whether or not to recommend the diet drug Qnexa for approval. The move is the latest attempt to give new tools to patients and doctors to fight the obesity that currently plagues one-third of Americans. It also fans a fiery debate about the search for a “magic bullet” alternative to difficult lifestyle changes to help obese people lose weight.
Qnexa was rejected by the FDA in 2010 over concerns about potentially dangerous side effects, such as cardiovascular problems and birth defects. Now, the FDA will consider whether or not the drug’s manufacturer, Vivus, should do a larger clinical trial to investigate the potential for cardiovascular side effects.
But some obesity specialists are, in effect, already giving the drug to their patients by prescribing Qnexa’s two major ingredients, phentermine and topiramate. The practice, called off-label prescribing, is not prohibited by the FDA. Doctors who have prescribed this combination say it has helped patients shed pounds when many other paths to weight loss have failed.
Dr. Ken Fujioka, director of the Center for Weight Management at Scripps Clinic in San Diego, said he often sees obese patients who have changed their diets, started exercising more and still have not been able to lose more than a few pounds. Though bariatric surgery is a lasting, effective option for long-term weight loss, many patients either aren’t morbidly obese enough to qualify for the surgery or are reluctant to resort to such a drastic measure to lose weight. For about 30 of these patients, Fujioka has prescribed low doses of phentermine and topiramate.
“The weight loss with this combination rivals bariatric surgery and I see using these meds in the seriously obese patient as an alternative,” Fujioka said.
Dr. Jana Klauer, a New York City-based doctor specializing in weight management, said her patients lost an average of 40 pounds when taking the drugs along with improved diet and exercise plans.
“The drug combination gives great results, providing diet and exercise are part of the plan,” she said.
Vivus, the company that developed Qnexa, said in a statement that the drug is a combination of low doses of both drugs and it is intended for use in combination with improvements in diet and exercise. Vivus said it does not support the off-label use of phentermine and topiramate.
The drugs work by suppressing appetite, and both have been approved by the FDA for other uses. Phentermine, a stimulant, is already approved for weight loss, but only for short-term use. Topiramate is an anticonvulsant, for which weight loss is a side effect.
But a laundry list of side effects has many experts concerned about the safety of the drugs, if taken over a long period of time. Topiramate creates feelings of mental fogginess, memory lapses and a lack of concentration.
Phentermine, one of drugs that made up the failed diet drug Fen-Phen, can lead to a range of cardiovascular side effects, such as high blood pressure, heart attacks and heart palpitations. Dr. David Katz, co-founder of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, noted that these side effects are the very problems caused by obesity.
Dr. Charles Clark, a professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Indiana University, said the potential side effects are enough to keep him from prescribing phentermine and topiramate to his patients, particularly in light of the failure of Fen-Phen, which was withdrawn from the market in 1997 after causing fatal blood pressure and heart valve problems in patients.
“Given our experience with Fen-Phen, we should be cautious in our use of these agents until larger and longer-term trials are completed,” Clark said.
Others say concerns about side effects of both drugs and their offspring Qnexa are legitimate, but could be managed or avoided if doctors carefully monitor patients while they’re taking the drug. For example, the FDA’s concerns about potential birth defects caused by Qnexa could be resolved by not prescribing the drug to women who could get pregnant. Many doctors say the risks of these drugs may be outweighed by the benefits for some patients with disabling health problems caused by obesity.
In the past 20 years, a parade of diet drugs have come before the FDA, representing an effort by drug companies to give obese patients and their doctors alternatives to difficult, often unsuccessful lifestyle changes. Most of the drugs have failed to meet the agency’s standards for safety and effectiveness. Many come with a list of embarrassing side effects, such as anal leakage, and only one, Alli, is approved for long-term use. A handful of drugs, such as Metabolife and Meridia, were removed from the market because of heart safety concerns.
Some doctors say there is no evidence that Qnexa will perform better than the diet drugs that have already flopped.
“I have made selective use of some weight loss drugs, but have not to date found much reason for enthusiasm for any of them,” Katz said. “I don’t have much for Qnexa.”
Others are more hopeful that Qnexa is different, including Dr. Chip Lavie, medical director of cardiac rehab and prevention at the Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans. He cites evidence from previous clinical trials that Qnexa helps patients lose a modest amount of weight, which improves their risk factors for diabetes, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems. He said cardiovascular and birth defect risks that the FDA cited in its first look at the drug were very slight and “clinically unimportant.”
“Considering the dismal results that many experience with attempted weight loss with diet and exercise, which is always the first choice, and the explosion in the need and use of bariatric surgery, this combination drug should be a major advance, and I hope that it gets approved this time by the FDA,” Lavie said.
For The Full Report Go To ABC News
January 19, 2012
By Daisy Dumas
“If you are still ‘treating’ your kids to fast food, you are only treating them to eventual obesity and disease. If you are unhealthy and fat, chances are your kids are just as obese. Don’t blame your genes either – it’s what you’re eating.” –KTRN
New research has linked fathers’ weights to their childrens’ – finding that an obese man is more likely to have obese children.
The Australian study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, looked at the weights of eight- and nine-year-old children from two-parent families where one parent was obese.
The report found that ‘having an overweight or obese father, but a healthy weight mother, significantly increased the odds of child obesity’, while the reverse did not hold true.
The findings go against popularly held beliefs that mothers – who tend to spend more time with children than fathers as well as usually controlling food shopping and meals – have more influence over children’s weight.
Today Mums says that scientists had before theorised that the sex of offspring was an important factor when it came to parents’ sizes affecting obesity.
It was thought that obese mums were more likely to have obese daughters and obese fathers would similarly be more likely to have obese sons. The new evidence throws that into doubt.
April 12th, 2011
By: Liz Goodwin
Students who attend Chicago’s Little Village Academy public school get nothing but nutritional tough love during their lunch period each day. The students can either eat the cafeteria food–or go hungry. Only students with allergies are allowed to bring a homemade lunch to school, the Chicago Tribune reports.
“Nutrition wise, it is better for the children to eat at the school,” principal Elsa CarmonaÂ told the paper of the years-old policy. “It’s about … the excellent quality food that they are able to serve (in the lunchroom). It’s milk versus a Coke.”
But students said they would rather bring their own lunch to school in the time-honored tradition of the brown paper bag. “They’re afraid that we’ll all bring in greasy food instead of healthy food and it won’t be as good as what they give us at school,” student Yesenia Gutierrez told the paper. “It’s really lame.”
The story has attracted hundreds of comments so far. One commenter, who says her children attend a different Chicago public school, writes, “I can accept if they want to ban soda, but to tell me I can’t send a lunch with my child. ARE YOU KIDDING ME????”
For parents whose kids do not qualify for free or reduced price school lunches, the $2.25 daily cafeteria price can also tally more than a homemade lunch. “We don’t spend anywhere close to that on my son’s daily intake of a sandwich (lovingly cut into the shape of a Star Wars ship), Goldfish crackers and milk,” Northwestern education policy professor Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach told the paper in an email. She told The Lookout parents at her child’s public school would be upset if they tried to ban homemade lunches.
“I think that lots of parents at least at my child’s school do think that what they pack is more nutritious [than school lunches],” she said. A Chicago public school teacher started a blog to protest the city’s school lunches, and last year the schools tightened their nutrition standards for cafeteria-served school lunches. Every lunch must contain whole grains, only reduced-fat salad dressings and mayonnaise are offered as condiments, and the meals must feature a different vegetable each day. Meal providers also must reduce sodium content by 5 percent annually. About 86 percent of the district’s students qualify for free or reduced price school lunches because their families live close to the poverty line.
Change in Chicago’s school cafeterias feeds into a larger effort to combat the country’s childhood obesity epidemic. About a third of America’s kids are overweight or obese, and since children consume at least 30 percent of their calories while in school, making lunches healthier is seen as one way to counter that problem. Poorer kids are also more likely to be obese or overweight than middle class kids, and to consume a bigger proportion of their calories while at school. Forty-four percent of American kids living below the poverty line are obese or overweight, according to a 2010 study published in Health Affairs.
While we haven’t been able to track down another school that bans homemade lunches outright, many smaller food battles have been playing out in cafeterias across the country. As principals try to counter obesity in their schools, healthy intentions can come across as overreach, occasionally sparking parent and student anger.
Alabama parents protested a school’s rule that barred students from bringing any drinks from home, as ice water was provided at lunch. East Syracuse, New York schools have outlawed cupcakes and other desserts. And schools around the country have kicked out chocolate milk and soda vending machines. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin even showed up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, with dozens of cookies to express her disdain for a debate in the state about recommending teachers limit the number of times per month the sugary treats are eaten in classroom birthday celebrations.
Tucson, Arizona’s Children’s Success Academy allows home-packed lunches–but only if nothing in them contains white flour, refined sugar, or other “processed” foods, the Arizona Republic reported in a story last year. The school has no cafeteria, so some parents told the paper they struggled to find foods to pack that meet the restrictions. Many schools ban fast food or other take-out meals.
Soon, cafeteria offerings across the country will all be healthier, whether students like it or not. Last year’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, championed by First Lady Michelle Obama, calls for higher nutritional standards to serve the 32 million kids who eat lunch every day at school (most of whom qualify for free or reduced price lunches through a federal government program). For the first time, the USDA will set calorie limits for school lunches, and will recommend they contain more vegetables and whole grains, and less salt, USA Today reports. French fries should be replaced by vegetables and fruit, the guidelines say.
The bill also calls for stricter food safety checks on cafeteria food.
(UPDATE: An earlier version of this story was illustrated by an AP photo of a student’s lunch in Gleed, Washington, which was labelled as such but some readers complained was misleading. To see a photo of a sample lunch served at Chicago’s Little Village Academy, click here.)
Today, Kevin reveals the truth behind the American and UN plot to accelerate the need for a one world governing body and one world currency.
More Proof That The Media Is Lying To You
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March 28th, 2011
By: Tom Henderson
Yes, those pants make you look fat.
Actually, to be honest, it’s not so much that they make you look fat. You are fat.
Very few women can pull off polyester stretch pants with the word “delicious” emblazoned across the rear end, and girlfriend? You are not one of them.
Don’t worry. It’s a big club. With plenty of refreshments.
USA Today reports many a big mama and her horizontally challenged offspring are not as svelte as they think.
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center in New York asked 111 women and 111 children questions about their age, income and body size, and also measured their height and weight. They were asked to identify their body shapes based on silhouettes representing underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obesity.
• 66 percent of the mothers were overweight or obese.
• 39 percent of kids were too heavy.
• 82 percent of the mammoth mommies underestimated their weight when looking at the silhouettes; 42.5 percent of overweight women did the same. About 13 percent of normal-weight women thought of themselves as thinner than they were.
• 86 percent of the corpulent kiddies underestimated their weight, compared with 15 percent of normal-weight kids.
• 47.5 percents of moms with fat kids thought their children were at a healthy weight.
• 41 percent of the children thought their moms could lay off the donuts and lose weight.
Pediatrician Claire McCarthy of Children’s Hospital Boston tells USA Today roughly half of her patients are fat.
“Parents come in and say that their child is too thin, but on the growth charts, he’s a normal weight or even slightly overweight,” she tells the newspaper. “There are so many overweight children out there that a normal-weight child looks thin. The norm has become overweight.”
As America gets fatter, people could get a warped attitude toward their fattitude, lead researcher Nicole Dumas, an internal medicine resident at Columbia, tells USA Today.
“We’re working on accruing a larger sample size to see if it applies to everyone,” Dumas tells the newspaper. “The take-home message is that to address the obesity epidemic, we have to address body image misperception.”
Today, Kevin explains how specific products may help you now, but will end up hurting you in the long run. Plus, find out how a woman was able to use her mind to win the lottery!
FDA Rejects Another Diet Pill
Women Under 30 Losing ‘Lady Skills’ Like Cooking and Cleaning
Working Moms More Likely To Have Overweight Children
What School Lunches Should Be
Defective Hip Replacements Recalled
A Sex Joke and Other Judicial Bad Behavior
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February 7th, 2011
By: Ethan A. Huff
The mainstream media is just now catching on to what NaturalNews and other natural health advocates have been saying for years: type 2 diabetes can be reversed through dietary and lifestyle changes, and without the need for lifelong drug interventions. A recent report by CNN says that improving one’s diet, keeping off excess weight, and regularly exercising, can help millions of people with diabetes get rid of it for good.
“We have seen numerous people reverse their condition,” Dr. Michelle Magee, director of the MedStar Diabetes Institute in Washington, is quoted as saying by CNN. “But it takes a real dedication for the rest of their lives.”
Typically, overweight or obese people who eat poorly and exercise little develop type 2 diabetes. The conventional course of action is then to regularly watch blood sugar levels with a monitor and take daily shots of insulin, the hormone normally produced by the pancreas to process sugars, but that is lacking in diabetics.
But by eliminating processed foods loaded with highly refined sugars, eating lots of whole, organic foods, and getting regular exercise to maintain healthy muscle and fat levels, diabetes can actually get their bodies back on track to where they can once again naturally produce their own insulin, and even stop having to inject themselves with insulin every day.
February 4th, 2011
By: Agence France-Presse
The more mothers work during their children’s lifetimes, the more likely their kids are to be overweight or obese, according to a US study published on Friday.
Researchers from American University in Washington, Cornell University in New York state and the University of Chicago studied data on more than 900 elementary- and middle-school-aged children in 10 US cities.
They found that the total number of years the children’s mothers worked had a cumulative influence on their children’s body mass index (BMI) — the weight to height ratio used to measure if a person is overweight or obese.
“Every period of time (averaging 5.3 months) a mother was employed was associated with an increase in her child?s BMI of 10 percent of a standard deviation,” says the study which was published in the journal Child Development.
“For a child of average height, this is equivalent to a gain in weight of nearly one pound (half a kilogram) every five months above and beyond what would typically be gained as a child ages.”
The findings were strongest among sixth graders, the oldest children for whom data was studied. Sixth graders are typically 11 years old.
Changes in the children’s physical activity, time spent unsupervised or watching television did not explain the link between maternal employment and children’s BMI, the study says.
Moreover, a mother working odd hours or overnight was not significantly associated with their children’s BMI.
The researchers were unable to clearly explain the findings but theorized that because working mothers have little time to shop for healthy food and prepare meals, they and their children eat more fast- and packaged foods, which tend to be high in fat and calories.
Childhood obesity in the United States has tripled in 30 years.
Today, one in three US kids is overweight or obese, meaning they are more likely than their normal-weight counterparts to grow up to be obese adults and suffer from obesity-related conditions including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and fatty liver disease.
Childhood obesity has also been linked to “behavior and academic problems in adolescence and adulthood,” said the lead author of the study Taryn Morrissey, assistant professor in public administration and policy at American University, calling for healthy foods to be made more accessible to working families.
“Given that more than 70 percent of US mothers with young children work, the importance of providing support to these families is clear,” the study says.