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.”
October 21, 2009
By David Gutierrez
Four people have died after receiving the popular blood-thinning medication heparin, while others have suffered severe and life-threatening allergic reactions. But when drug maker Baxter International Inc. announced that it suspects a Chinese manufacturing plant of being the source of contamination that led to the reactions, the FDA admitted that it has never inspected that particular factory.
Baxter stopped manufacturing certain varieties of heparin after receiving reports of allergic reactions that included nausea, breathing trouble, and rapid, life-threatening drops in blood pressure. All the reports were associated with the high initial doses given to patients about to undergo procedures such as dialysis or heart surgery.
In addition, four people taking the medicine have also died this year, out of a total of 350 adverse reactions to the drug. According to the FDA, the deaths do not appear related to the recent allergic reactions, because they did not happen after high initial doses.
Heparin is already known to have dangerous side effects including blood clotting and bleeding, and long-term use can even lead to hair loss and osteoporosis. In 2006, three premature infants were killed when a hospital accidentally gave them a lethal dose of the drug.
The Chinese manufacturing plant that makes heparin’s active ingredient, an enzyme found in pig intestines, is being investigated as a possible source of the allergies, although Baxter was careful to note that it is still unclear whether the plant or even the active ingredient are responsible for the reactions. The company said that it had inspected the Chinese plant less than six months ago, and that it always tests the active ingredients of its drugs as part of the manufacturing process.
“We are aggressively investigating the cause of the increase in adverse reactions,” a company spokesperson said.
But while Baxter has inspected the plant, which has been shipping the drug to the United States since 2004, the FDA admits that it has never done so.
“While no inspection of the facility has been conducted to date, preparations are being made to perform an inspection as soon as possible,” the agency said. “We have already requested expedited access to the facility, facilitated through a recently assigned agreement with the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration.”
The FDA noted that it would be investigating why it had failed to inspect the Chinese plant before this. It said that one factor appeared to be the fact that the plant’s name, Changzhou SPL, was similar to the name of a different drug manufacturer that the agency had already inspected.
China is the world’s largest manufacturer of active drug ingredients, and a major exporter to the United States of all kinds of products. But recent safety recalls of Chinese toy and food imports have drawn attention to the need for tighter inspections.
The FDA has come under increasing fire recently for its failure to regularly inspect foreign drug manufacturing plants. According to a report by the Government Accountability Office, the FDA only inspects about 7 percent of foreign drug factories each year. In 2007, the agency inspected only 11 Chinese facilities out of a total of 170 foreign inspects conducted.
In a letter to the FDA, Rep. John D. Dingell of Michigan blasted the agency for the “disastrous state of your agency’s foreign inspection program related to pharmaceuticals.” Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa also wrote to the agency, noting that the 2007 inspection of 11 Chinese plants was actually a drop from the 2004 high of 18 inspections.
There is no legal requirement that the FDA inspect drug manufacturing plants that are not located in the United States.