Obesity May be Driving Earlier Puberty in Girls | Psych Central News

Obesity May be Driving Earlier Puberty in GirlsNew research shows obesity is the largest predictor of earlier puberty in girls, which is affecting white girls much sooner than previously reported.

The multi-institutional study published in the journal Pediatrics confirms that girls of all races are beginning puberty at a younger age, a longstanding observation in the U.S.

“The impact of earlier maturation in girls has important clinical implications involving psychosocial and biologic outcomes,” said Frank Biro, M.D., lead investigator.

“The current study suggests clinicians may need to redefine the ages for both early and late maturation in girls.”

Researchers have observed that girls with earlier maturation are at risk for a multitude of challenges, including lower self-esteem, higher rates of depression, norm-breaking behaviors and lower academic achievement.

Experts say early maturation also results in greater risks of obesity, hypertension and several cancers — including breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer .

The study was conducted through the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Program, established by the National Institute of Environmental Health Science.

Researchers at centers in the San Francisco Bay Area, Cincinnati and New York City examined the ages of 1,239 girls at the onset of breast development and the impact of body mass index and race/ethnicity.

The girls ranged in age from 6 to 8 years at enrollment and were followed at regular intervals from 2004 to 2011. Researchers used well-established criteria of pubertal maturation, including the five stages of breast development known as the Tanner Breast Stages.

The girls were followed longitudinally, which involved multiple regular visits for each girl. Researchers said this method provided a good perspective of what happened to each girl and when it occurred.

Researchers found the respective ages at the onset of breast development varied by race, body mass index (obesity), and geographic location.

Breast development began in white, non-Hispanic girls, at a median age of 9.7 years — earlier than previously reported.

Black girls continue to experience breast development earlier than white girls, at a median age of 8.8 years.

The median age for Hispanic girls in the study was 9.3 years, and 9.7 years for Asian girls.

Body mass index was a stronger predictor of earlier puberty than race or ethnicity.

Although the research team is still working to confirm the exact environmental and physiological factors behind the phenomenon, they conclude the earlier onset of puberty in white girls is likely caused by greater obesity.

Source: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

 

Young girl performing breast exam photo by shutterstock.

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Obesity 4 Times More Likely in Schizophrenia Patients

Obesity 4 Times More Likely in Schizophrenia PatientsThe risk for abdominal obesity is more than four times higher in patients with multi-episode schizophrenia compared to the general population, according to new meta-analytic research.

These individuals are also at greater risk for other cardio-metabolic problems — such as low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, hypertriglyceridemia and diabetes.

For the study, researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 136 studies — involving 185,606 patients with schizophrenia — 28 of which provided data on nearly 3,900,000 population controls matched for age and gender. This study is one of the largest ever conducted on people with schizophrenia.

The findings reveal that patients with multi-episode schizophrenia were 4.43 times more likely to have abdominal obesity than controls. 

Furthermore, the risk for low HDL cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, and hypertriglyceridemia were more than doubled, at 2.35, 2.35, and 2.73, respectively.

The risk for diabetes was nearly double in these patients, and the risk for hypertension was increased 1.36-fold.

With the exception of diabetes and hypertension, the risk for these conditions in multi-episode schizophrenia patients was also significantly increased versus that for first-episode or drug-naïve patients.

Schizophrenia researchers have warned that weight gain occurs in up to 40 percent of patients taking medications called second-generation or atypical antipsychotic medications, which have been found effective in controlling major symptoms of schizophrenia.

Given the high rates of metabolic problems, the researchers propose that schizophrenia patients should, at the very least, have their waist circumference measured regularly, and, ideally, also their fasting glucose, triglyceride, HDL cholesterol, and hemoglobin A1C levels.

They also suggest routine screening of cardiovascular risk factors at key stages to create a risk profile for patients that takes into account their personal and family history.

“This risk profile should afterwards be used as a basis for ongoing monitoring, treatment selection and management,” wrote the researchers in World Psychiatry.

Lead researcher Davy Vancampfort, Ph.D.,  of the University Psychiatric Centre KU Leuven and colleagues believe it is important to educate schizophrenia patients and their family members about the increased risk for cardio-metabolic abnormalities and ways to lessen it.

According to the researchers, many schizophrenia patients are either unaware of the need to make appropriate lifestyle changes or do not possess the knowledge and skills to do so.

The findings support guidelines from the World Psychiatric Association recommending physical health screening and monitoring in patients with schizophrenia. And they further emphasize the need for patients with schizophrenia and their family members to be educated about the possibility of cardio-metabolic risk.

Source:  World Psychiatry

 

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CDC American Obesity Rates

America’s bad reputation for obesity is not getting any better.

The CDC just released the latest obesity data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey — the 2011-2012 year. The survey examines about 5,000 people each year and asks a series of socio-economic and health-related questions and includes a physical exam, giving us a frightening look at just how fat Americans really are.

The CDC defined obesity as individuals having a body mass index greater than or equal to 30. Body mass index is calculated by weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared.

Here are five most worrying facts:

1. Almost 35% of adults in the U.S. are obese.

2. Obesity rates were higher among middle-aged adults (40 to 59-years-old) than younger adults (20 to 39-year-olds) or older adults (60-years-old and over).

3. There was no real difference in obesity rates between men and women — everyone is getting fatter.

You can see the breakdown of obesity rates by age and gender in the chart below:

CDC obesity study

CDC

4. Black Americans had the highest obesity rates (about 48%), while Asian Americans had the lowest (about 11%).

You can see the obesity rates among different races in the chart below:

cdc3

CDC

5. Obesity rates are not getting any better.

The CDC found there was no decrease in obesity rate from the 2009-2010 survey to the 2011-2012 survey.

The chart below shows that rates have been steadily getting worse since the 1980s:

overweight

CDC

Wondering how you fit into these trends? The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has a tool that can calculate your body mass index.

SEE ALSO: 
Are We Ignoring The True Cause Of Obesity?

Targeting Weight Gain in Pregnancy to Reduce Childhood Obesity …

Targeting Weight Gain in Pregnancy to Reduce Childhood Obesity A new study suggests pregnancy may be an especially important time to prevent obesity in children.

Investigators followed 41,133 mothers and their children in Arkansas and discovered that high pregnancy weight gain increases the risk of obesity in those children through age 12.

The findings, published in the journal PLoS Medicine, suggest pregnancy may be an especially important time to prevent obesity in the next generation.

“From the public health perspective, excessive weight gain during pregnancy may have a potentially significant influence on propagation of the obesity epidemic,” said the study’s senior author, David S. Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D.

Childhood obesity is especially worrisome as the condition is harmful in many ways including an increased risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, breathing and sleep issues. Obese kids are also more likely to be obese adults.

“Pregnancy presents an attractive target for obesity prevention programs, because women tend to be particularly motivated to change behavior during this time,” said Ludwig.

Researchers have previously observed a familial tendency toward obesity. Children with mothers who are obese, or gain too much weight during pregnancy, are more likely to be obese themselves.

However, this relationship may be due to associated factors such as shared genes, common environmental influences and socioeconomic and demographic considerations, rather than any direct biological effects of maternal over-nutrition.

Ludwig, together with coauthors Janet Currie, Ph.D., and Heather Rouse, Ph.D., used a novel study design to examine other causes of childhood obesity.

They linked the birth records of mothers with two or more children to school records that included the child’s body mass index (BMI) at an average age of 11.9 years, and then made statistical comparisons between siblings.

Researchers comparing siblings to minimize the influence of outside factors because on average, siblings have the same relative distribution of obesity genes, the same home environment and same socioeconomic and demographic influences.

The current study extends results of an earlier study that Ludwig led, which showed that excessive weight gain in pregnancy increased the birth weight of the infant.

The effect of maternal weight gain apparently continues through childhood and accounts for half a BMI unit, or about 2 to 3 lbs., between children of women with the least to the most pregnancy weight gain.

“Excessive pregnancy weight gain may make a significant contribution to the obesity epidemic,” said Ludwig. “Children born to women who gained excessive amounts of weight, 40 pounds or more, during pregnancy had an 8 percent increased risk of obesity.”

This risk, though relatively small on an individual basis, could translate into several hundred thousand cases of excess childhood obesity worldwide each year.

Source: Boston Children’s Hospital

Pregnant woman sitting on a couch photo by shutterstock.

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Harvard Researchers Address Obesity and Toxic Food

Visit the Mercola Video Library

By Dr. Mercola

A staggering two-thirds of Americans are now overweight, and according to the American Heart Association,1 five percent of American children can now be considered “severely obese,” which puts their health at grave risk.

One in four Americans are either diabetic or pre-diabetic, and an estimated 110,000 Americans die as a result of obesity-related ailments each year. This includes cancer, about one-third of which are directly related to obesity.

Carb-rich processed foods, along with rarely ever fasting, are primary drivers of these statistics, and while many blame Americans’ overindulgence of processed junk foods on lack of self control, scientists are now starting to reveal the truly addictive nature of such foods.

The video above features Huffington Post’s Editorial Director Meredith Melnick and a panel of experts in nutrition, public health, and obesity. In it, they discuss the effects that our toxic food environment have on weight. The video also includes clips from the four-part HBO documentary series,2 Weight of the Nation.

As reported in the featured article:3

“Obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. People who are obese may also face social and professional discrimination, limited mobility and elevated rates of depression.

In June of this year, the American Medical Association (AMA) classified obesity as a disease for the first time — and what a complicated disease it is. At the time of the resolution, the organization wrote:

“The suggestion that obesity is not a disease but rather a consequence of a chosen lifestyle exemplified by overeating and/or inactivity is equivalent to suggesting that lung cancer is not a disease because it was brought about by individual choice to smoke cigarettes.”

 It is this gray area — “the suggestion of the chosen lifestyle” — that we joined together to discuss.

Obesity—A Disease, or the Outcome of Poor Lifestyle Choices?

As the article mentions, the conventional view has been that obesity is either the result of “bad genetics” or poor lifestyle choices combined with a certain amount of laziness or lack of willpower.

But as panelist Walter Willett (who chairs the department of nutrition at the Harvard school of public health) points out, the fact that obesity rates 50-60 years ago were only one-third of what they are today is a potent clue that genetics are not to blame.

Also, a number of other affluent nations do not have the same obesity problems as the US. For example, the obesity rate among Swedish and Japanese women is between five and six percent, compared to almost 40 percent for American women. Furthermore, when people from such countries move to the US, they end up gaining significant amounts of weight…

This tells us there’s something in the American diet that is different from other nations, in which people do not have the same level of difficulty with their weight.

Unfortunately, branding obesity as a disease is not going to do anything to change matters for the better. If anything, it will only deepen the problem, as drugs, surgery and even “anti-obesity vaccines”4 will quickly become the advertised answer for this new “disease.”

For example, just one month before the AMA’s reveal of obesity as a disease, a new diet drug sold under the name Belviq became available by prescription to patients with a body mass index (BMI) above 30, or a BMI of 27 with at least one weight-related condition, such as hypertension or Type 2 diabetes.

The drug works by activating serotonin receptors in your brain, which is thought to reduce feelings of hunger—although it sounds awfully similar to the action of certain antidepressants, known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which boost serotonin levels and are fraught with dangerous side effects, including suicide. CNN Health5 also reported that some patients taking the drug have reported heart valve problems.

The drug’s website6 admits that it’s still not known whether Belviq might increase your risk of heart problems or stroke. A sound health care system simply would not encourage the use of a weight loss drug that might lead to increased heart attack or stroke risk when the appropriate dietary- and lifestyle changes would REDUCE those risks right along with the lost weight…

The fact is, well-educated nutritional experts already KNOW what’s causing obesity and how to fix the problem. But this involves massive changes to the processed food industry, updating agricultural subsidies to promote healthier non-processed foods, and telling the public the truth about nutrition—without any regard for industry profitability. We also need to stop the dangerous marketing of junk food to children.

Food Addiction and Obesity Is a Profit-Driven Enterprise

At the heart of the problem is the issue of toxic food—foods that are heavily processed and purposely designed for maximum “craveability.”  None of this happened by chance. Companies spend untold amounts concocting just the right flavor formulas to keep you coming back for more. To illustrate my point, consider this: Researchers at the Boston Children’s Hospital recently demonstrated that highly processed carbohydrates stimulate brain regions involved in reward and cravings, promoting excess hunger.7 As reported by Science Daily:8

“These findings suggest that limiting these “high-glycemic index” foods could help obese individuals avoid overeating.”

While I don’t agree with the concept of high glycemic foods, the featured research shows just how foolhardy the AMA’s decision to reclassify obesity as a disease really is, because drugs and vaccines are clearly not going to do anything to address the underlying problem of addictive junk food!

“Sensory-specific satiety” is a fundamental guiding principle in the processed food industry, and this applies to everything from junky snacks to staples like pasta sauce—that’s part of the problem! Processed fructose, salt and fat are the top three substances making processed foods so addictive. Novel biotech flavor companies like Senomyx also play an important role in the development of foods that trick you into thinking it’s healthier than it really is.

Senomyx, for example, specializes in helping companies find new flavors that allow them to use less salt and sugar in their foods. But does that really make the food healthier? This is a questionable assertion at best, as these “flavor enhancers” are being created using carefully guarded patented processes. They also do not need to be listed on the food label, which leaves you completely in the dark—all you see is that the food contains far less of the dietary culprits you’re told to avoid.

Following USDA Diet Recommendations is a Recipe for Obesity

Some of you may be old enough to recall the 1992 Food Pyramid, which had grains as the largest bottom block of the pyramid, encouraging you to eat 6-11 servings of bread, cereal, rice and pasta each day. This excess of carbohydrates, most of them refined, is precisely the opposite of what most people need to stay healthy. At the very top of the pyramid was fats and sugar, and while sugar clearly belongs there, healthy fats do not. In fact, most people would benefit from getting anywhere from 50 to 70 percent of their total calories from healthy fats!

The food pyramid was replaced with “MyPlate9 in 2011, which slightly downplayed grains as the most important dietary ingredient, making vegetables the largest “slice,” but it still has a long way to go before it will offer a meal plan that will truly support your optimal health.

One of its most glaring faults is that MyPlate virtually removed all fats from the equation! In fact, except for a small portion of dairy, which is advised to be fat-free or low-fat, fats are missing entirely… There is no mention of the importance of dietary fats, even the “politically correct” ones like the monounsaturated fats in olive oil and nuts, such as pecans (canola oil is also in this category, but I advise avoiding it and using coconut oil instead).

The US government refuses to accept the ever mounting data showing that saturated fat is actually an incredibly healthy, nourishing, and all-natural fat that humans have been thriving on for generations. It provides the necessary building blocks for your cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone like substances that are critical to your health. Saturated fats from animal and vegetable sources (such as coconut oil, avocado, non-CAFO meat and dairy,  also provide a concentrated source of energy in your diet.

When you eat fats as part of your meal, they also slow down absorption so that you can feel satiated longer, which helps curb overeating. Additionally, they act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, and are needed for mineral absorption and a host of other biological processes. To get these healthy saturated fats in your diet, you need to eat animal foods like butter and other full-fat raw dairy products and eggs, yet these foods are still demonized by the establishment.

Take Control of Your Health and Embrace REAL Food

With a food system and dietary guidelines that promote obesity and actively prevents optimal health by restricting critical nutrients, is it any wonder Americans are struggling? If you’re at all concerned about your health, nutrition is paramount, and you’re simply not going to get what you need from a boxed concoction of processed ingredients.

So, first and foremost, you have to realize that a healthy diet equates to fresh whole, preferably organic foods, and foods that have been minimally processed. I advise spending 90 percent of your food budget on whole foods, and only 10 percent (or less) on processed foods. If the food meets the following criteria, it would fall under the designation of “real food,” which is the very foundation of good health:

  1. It’s grown without pesticides and chemical fertilizers (organic foods fit this description, but so do some non-organic foods)
  2. It’s not genetically engineered 
  3. It contains no added growth hormones, antibiotics, or other drugs
  4. It does not contain any artificial ingredients, including chemical preservatives
  5. It is fresh (keep in mind that if you have to choose between wilted organic produce or fresh conventional produce, the latter may be the better option)
  6. It did not come from a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO)
  7. It is grown with the laws of nature in mind (meaning animals are fed their native diets, not a mix of grains and animal byproducts, and have free-range access to the outdoors)
  8. It is grown in a sustainable way (using minimal amounts of water, protecting the soil from burnout, and turning animal wastes into natural fertilizers instead of environmental pollutants)

How to Combat Food Addiction and Regain Your Health

The sad fact is, if you eat a standard American diet (SAD), which primarily consists of processed foods, you’re virtually guaranteed to inadvertently pack on extra pounds, even if you think you’re eating healthy.  For the majority of people, limiting carbs to non-starchy vegetables and severely restricting or eliminating carbohydrates such as sugars, fructose, and grains in your diet will be the key to sustained weight loss.

It’s important to realize that refined carbohydrates like breakfast cereals, bagels, waffles, pretzels, and most other processed foods quickly break down to sugar, increase your insulin levels, and cause insulin resistance, which is the number one underlying factor of nearly every chronic disease and condition known to man, including weight gain.

As you cut these dietary villains from your meals, you need to replace them with healthy fats, such as the following. (Avoid the common Paleo mistake of replacing carbs with protein as that could actually convert to sugar in your diet and could be more problematic than excess carbs.)

 

I’ve detailed a step-by-step guide to this type of healthy eating program in my free comprehensive nutrition plan.

Additionally, a growing body of evidence shows that intermittent fasting is particularly effective for losing weight. One of the mechanisms that makes intermittent fasting so effective for weight loss is the fact that it provokes the natural secretion of human growth hormone (HGH), which is a fat-burning hormone. Fasting also increases catecholamines, which increases resting energy expenditure, while decreasing insulin levels, which allows stored fat to be burned for fuel. Together, these and other factors will turn you into an effective fat-burning machine. Hence, if like many tens of millions of people, your goal is to shed excess fat, fasting can be both effective and beneficial for improving many disease markers.

Best of all, once you transition to fat burning mode your cravings for sugar and carbs will virtually disappear—it’s really as close to a “magic pill”-effect as you’ll ever get. While you’re making the adjustment, you could try an energy psychology technique called Turbo Tapping, which has helped many sugar addicts kick their sweet habit.

Last but certainly not least, to boost weight loss, make sure to incorporate high-intensity, short-burst-type exercises, such as my Peak Fitness Program, two to three times per week. Several studies have confirmed that exercising in shorter bursts with rest periods in between burns more fat than exercising continuously for an entire session. High intensity exercise can also combat food cravings. It always amazes me how my appetite, especially for sweets, dramatically decreases after a good workout. I believe the mechanism is related to the dramatic reduction in insulin levels that occurs after exercise.

Obesity is a Disease? | Care2 Healthy Living

Yes, obesity is now classified as a disease by the American Medical Association (AMA). Do you agree with this?

Obesity is killing three times as many people as malnutrition.  The “disease” claims more than three million lives a year worldwide, according to a landmark study.

Even young children and seniors are becoming obese in most developed countries.

What is Obesity?

  • Mildly obese – a person’s weight is 20 to 40 percent over ideal weight.
  • Moderately obese – 40 to 100 percent over ideal weight.
  • Morbidly obese – 100 percent over ideal weight.
  • Overweight – 10 to 20 percent over ideal weight.

This video shows the 10 Most Overweight Countries in the world with their customary foods. In this case, overweight would be considered anyone over 10 percent of ideal weight.

Is it really a disease?

Obesity itself is not a sickness but it certainly does create disease.  According to the AMA, a person in the obese category who is otherwise completely healthy and happy is now classified as sick. Critics are concerned that, by classifying obesity as a disease, it allows people to not take personal responsibility for how they got there. This could be damage recovery.

Drug companies are fans of the AMA’s decision. The move gives them the opportunity to sell even more prescriptions, putting more money into their big pockets.

“Calling obesity a disease could allow for obese people who require medical interventions to get the help they need.  We need to be able to use this disease label to the extent that it makes people take obesity seriously, and not keep blaming people for being irresponsible,” says Marlene Schwartz, the acting director of the Rudd Center for Obesity and Food Policy at Yale University.

Eating too much is a much more serious health risk to the health of populations than eating poorly, except for the sub-Saharan Africa according to the Global Burden of Disease study.

We’ve gone from a world 20 years ago where people weren’t getting enough to eat, to a world now where too much food and unhealthy food “even in developing countries” is making us sick. Said Dr Majid Ezzati, chair of global environmental health at Imperial College London.

World Obesity Rates On The Rise: 480 million by 2022

Nine major countries (US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, Japan, Brazil and Canada) will increase from 167 million in 2012 to 213 million in 2022. According to healthcare.globaldata.com

America is no longer the most obese country among more populated nations. America is number 2 in the ranks, right behind Mexico, with 31.8 percent of its population classified as obese, and followed by New Zealand (26.5 percent), Chile (25.1 percent) and Australia (24.6 percent).

Nearly 70 percent of Mexicans are overweight and close to one-third are obese.  Mexican teenagers are also obese; they have tripled in the last decade. In Mexico 70,000 people die each year from diabetes.

The same people who are malnourished are the ones who are becoming obese,� said physician Abelardo Avila with Mexicos National Nutrition Institute. In poor classes we have obese parents and malnourished children. The worst thing is the children are becoming programmed for obesity. It’s a very serious epidemic.�

See how many people become obese every second: World Meters Info Obesity

Why is Obesity on The Rise?

1. Fast food is excessively available. Filled with calories and harmful fats, it’s the main reason for the increase in obesity rates and being overweight. According to a survey by whichcountry.co,  fast food and home deliveries have replaced home cooking. Thank you America for exporting the love of fast food around the world!  As a result, it is exporting the increase of obesity around the world.

Mexico, being the closest to America, has the greatest increase in obesity in the world. Mexicans drink the most soda, at 43 gallons per capita annually.  U.S. agricultural policies are a big factor in fueling that addiction, says John Norris atForeign Policy.

2. Our new sedentary lifestyle is another big reason. We sit at desks with computers, watch television and take the car or bus to work. No walking anywhere.

3. Stress is a big factor. Eat to avoid and medicate. Eating for comfort or as a reward. Using food to feel better. Food is used to fill the void.  People are lonely and disconnected from something deeper.

My Response to This Scary Trend

I see obesity or being overweight as a symptom of poor health. When people get healthier, weight drops off.  What needs to happen is for people to get healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to get healthy.

This is why I constantly write about things like Acid/Alkaline Balance, Sugar Cravings, Smart Carbs, Food Combining and Powerfoods. I want to help people become healthy and then it naturally follows that they achieve their optimum weight.

Recently, I started teaching my own healthy version of the trendy 2 – 5 Diet. I emphasize getting healthy while losing weight.

Eat more salads with healthy salad dressings:

Tomato Dressing Some fast food salads have more calories than a hamburger meal. They should be using a healthy light dressing like this.

Light Lemon Olive Oil Salad Dressing A classic!

Crunchy Salad A combination of crunchy and tasty makes you chew your salad. Good for digestion and weight management!

Alkalizing Mixed Green Salad You can’t lose weight if your body is acidic!

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Plastics Chemicals May Boost Kids' Risk for Obesity, Diabetes …

Plastics Chemicals May Boost Kids’ Risk for Obesity, Diabetes

While study did not show cause and effect, expert

By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) — Chemicals used in plastic food wraps and containers could be contributing to childhood diabetes and obesity, two new studies claim.

One study links phthalates to increased insulin resistance in children, while another associates bisphenol A (BPA) with high body-mass index (BMI) and expanding waistlines. Both studies appear online Aug. 19 and in the September print issue of Pediatrics.

“There is increasing concern that environmental chemicals might be independent contributors to childhood diseases related to the obesity epidemic,” said phthalates study author Dr. Leonardo Trasande, an associate professor of pediatrics and environmental medicine at the NYU School of Medicine. “Our research adds to these growing concerns.”

Trasande’s study reviewed insulin resistance and urinary levels of phthalates in 766 kids aged 12 to 19. Previous studies have linked phthalate exposure to insulin resistance in animals and human adults.

Phthalates are chemicals used to soften and increase the flexibility of plastics and vinyl. They are suspected endocrine disruptors, and manufacturers have discontinued their use in baby products like teething rings and pacifiers.

The study found that insulin resistance in children increased with levels of a phthalate called di-2-ethylhexylphthalate, or DEHP. The association held even after researchers took into account the children’s caloric intake, BMI and other risk factors for diabetes.

“There are lab studies suggesting these chemicals can influence how our bodies respond to glucose,” Trasande said. “In particular, they are thought to influence genes that regulate release of insulin. There are other potential mechanisms, but that is the main mechanism of concern.”

In the other study, researchers Dr. Donna Eng and colleagues at the University of Michigan found that high urinary levels of BPA are associated with increased risk of obesity.

BPA is used to make polycarbonate and epoxy resins for a wide variety of products. For example, aluminum cans use a BPA lining to prevent corrosion. It has been linked to a wide variety of health concerns, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned its use in sippy cups, baby bottles and infant formula packaging.

The study reviewed data on about 3,300 kids aged 6 to 18, and found that children with high BPA levels tend to have excessive amounts of body fat and unusually expanded waistlines.

However, in a related journal commentary, Dr. Robert Brent of Cornell University pointed out the limitations of using urine levels alone to determine the extent or impact of chemical exposure.

Dr. Hugh Taylor, chair of the Yale School of Medicine’s department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, said these studies “point out the vulnerability of children to environmental chemicals. It seems the younger you look, the more things are developing and the more vulnerable they are to these type of insults.”

Abused Girls May Have Obesity Issues in Adulthood | Psych Central …

Abused Girls May Have Obesity Issues in Adulthood A poignant new study suggests women with a history of childhood physical abuse are more likely to become obese adults.

University of Toronto researchers discovered that women who were physically abused in childhood were more likely to be obese than women from non-abusive homes.

“After adjusting for age and race, childhood physical abuse was associated with 47 percent higher odds of obesity for women,” said lead author Esme Fuller-Thomson.

“Among men, obesity wasn’t associated with childhood physical abuse.”

“We had anticipated that the association between childhood physical abuse and obesity among women would be explained by factors including depression and anxiety, adult socio-economic position, alcohol abuse, and other childhood adversities, such as having a parent addicted to drugs or alcohol,” said study co-author and doctoral student Deborah Sinclair.

“However, even after taking into account all these factors, women from physically abusive families still had 35 percent higher odds of obesity.”

Because of the study design, the reason for the relationship between childhood physical abuse and women’s obesity could not be determined.

“It is unclear why childhood physical abuse is associated with adult obesity among women but not men; it may reflect gender differences in coping mechanisms,” said study co-author Sarah Brennenstuhl.

This research is found in the journal Obesity Facts.

For the study, researchers examined the association between childhood physical abuse and adult obesity in a representative sample of 12,590 adults, drawn from the 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey.

Of these, 976 reported being physically abused by someone close to them before they turned 18 and 2,786 were classified as “obese” based on a body mass index of 30 or greater which was calculated from self-report of respondents’ height and weight.

Source: University of Toronto

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Mom's Depression Tied to Childhood Obesity | Psych Central News

Mom's Depression Tied to Childhood ObesityIn low-income urban families, a mother’s depression is linked to childhood obesity and disengaged parenting.

“We know many mothers experience feelings of sadness and depression. Despite this awareness, many mothers really suffer in silence and don’t feel comfortable [talking to someone about their feelings],” said Dr. Rachel S. Gross, lead author of the study.

While most research shows a link between a mother’s feelings of depression and a child’s development and social health, “This was one of the first [studies] to look at younger children [and how depression] can impact the physical health of children,” she said.

Gross has spent most of her career working with low-income families in the Bronx in New York. There she has witnessed patients struggling with feelings of depression as well as children who are gaining weight more quickly than expected.

For the study, moms self-reported depressive symptoms — such as loss of interest, fatigue, low energy and poor concentration — along with their children’s body mass index (BMI) at age 5.

The researchers controlled for such factors as decreased access to parks and fresh produce and still found the link.

According to the study, mothers who are depressed, have less than a high school education and are unemployed often display “… permissive parenting, where they place fewer demands on their children.”

“They are less responsive to their child’s needs, choosing parenting strategies for coping that require less cognitive effort and often neglect to set limits on the child’s behavior,” the study reports.

“They were more likely to have children who consumed more sweetened drinks, infrequently had family meals, more commonly ate at restaurants and had fewer regular breakfasts than children with mothers without depressive symptoms. Depressed moms also were less likely to model healthy eating than non-depressed mothers.”

Feeding practices, such as preparing daily breakfast, modeling healthy eating and setting limits on the child’s diet, all require active maternal involvement, Gross said, possibly explaining why these practices were less common among depressed mothers.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its guidelines that emphasize the importance of maternal mental health, said Gross.

“My advice is to encourage mothers to seek out help from their doctors but also to consider talking to their pediatrician,” said Gross. “Mothers with young children take them to the doctor more frequently than they take themselves, so it’s an opportunity to help mothers in a pediatric setting.”

Source:  Academic Pediatrics

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Children and Teens, Depression, General, Health-related, Mental Health and Wellness, Obesity and Weight Loss, Parenting, Psychology, Research

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Heartwise Ministries – Obesity: a Disease?

Obesity: a Disease?

The New York Times News Service has reported that the American Medical Association has officially recognized obesity as a disease, a move reportedly done to encourage physicians to take a more active role with their patients who have this condition. “Recognizing obesity as a disease will help the medical community tackle this complex issue now affecting one in three Americans,” stated Patrice Harris, a member of the association’s board.

 

I am unsure what this means since the definition of what constitutes a disease is debated. Still even though the AMA has no authority, having the nation’s largest physician group make the declaration would bring more focus to the disease or condition or whatever label is attatched. Morgan Downey, publisher of the online Downey Obesity Report believes it might improve reimbursement.

 

Two new obesity drugs Qysmia and Belviq have entered the market. We hear more and more advertising for obesity drugs, supplements which speed up the metabolism, and bariatric surgery. Everyone has a new diet plan. The question I want to throw out is why? Why do we have the problem? Why are there so many products on the market? Why are the rates of obesity soaring? Why do we need to call obesity a disease in the first-place?

 

I agree this is the nation’s greatest health issue. If we understand why, we might be able to make some headway. I would like providers to get reimbursed for sitting down with the patient and finding the “why” for each individual patient and working out a long- term plan. The why might be different for each individual. The why usually involves the brain and relationships and is not as simple as telling someone to take a pill, eat less or exercise more. Loving and not judging are two other important treatment considerations.

 

When the complexity is realized and the reasons why are addressed, we have a chance. With two In three affected, rising rates, and resulting medical conditions, we must do more than call this condition a disease. This is an economic crisis as well. We need to go to war against obesity as this condition is literally killing us. Obesity, Is it a disease? Is it a crisis? Is it a symptom of a sick world?

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