Obesity Weekend Roundup, November 8, 2013 | Dr. Sharma's …

As not everyone may have a chance during the week to read every post, here’s a roundup of last week’s posts:

Have a great Sunday! (or what is left of it)

@DrSharma
Edmonton, AB

Obesity Weekend Roundup, November 8, 2013, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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William Petit Joins Company Developing Diabetes Device

Dr. William Petit is a partner in a company that’s developing a new device for testing diabetes.

Petit is one of four principals in Quick LLC, a Farmington-based company that announced Thursday the start of a fundraising campaign to raise money for developing a prototype of the device and testing it.

Petit said he got involved with the company because it’s an opportunity to be involved with something that could solve the long-discussed problem of how to make it easier to measure glucose levels in diabetes patients. He is friends with Scott Fox, the president and CEO of the company.

“Over the course of a number of rounds of golf, he told me about what was going on,” Petit said.

David Mucci and Ron Clark, both doctors at the Hospital of Central Connecticut who developed the device, demonstrated it to Petit.

Instead of using a finger prick to test blood, the device measures glucose levels in saliva. It’s easier and less painful, Petit said, especially for people who need to test themselves several times each day. Some people don’t test themselves as often as they should, Petit said, because of the pain and inconvenience.

“It’s a fascinating idea and I give credit to Dave Mucci and Ron Clark,” he said in a telephone interview. “People have been looking for ways to measure glucose levels for some time.”

The device also connects to smartphones so that parents can track their children’s tests.

A former medical director of the Joslin Diabetes Center at the Hospital of Central Connecticut, Petit hasn’t practiced medicine since 2007, when his wife and two daughters were killed in a brutal attack in their home. Since that ordeal, he has worked for the Petit Family Foundation, which has raised and donated more than $1 million to causes that match the interests of his wife and daughters.

He has also advocated for reforming the state’s death penalty law and has served with the Hartford County Medical Association and the Connecticut State Medical Society.

The new device, called the iQuickIt Saliva Analyzer, has been in development for about 18 months, Fox said. The company hopes to raise $100,000 over the next two months on the crowdsourcing website Indiegogo.com, which allows people to raise money for specific goals with contributions from many people.

Fox, Mucci and Clark are the founders of the company. They brought Petit onto the management team to serve as the diabetes advisor. Among other tasks, he’ll oversee the clinical trials when the device gets to that stage.

In a best-case scenario, Fox said, the device could be on the market in about two years.

Petit made news earlier this month when he confirmed that he was considering running for Congress. Petit said Thursday he was still considering a run for the Republican candidacy in the 5th District, and is weighing the time it requires to other commitments, including the foundation, his work with Quick LLC and the fact that he and his new wife are expecting a baby in six weeks.

Safe foods – Lets take on childhood obesity | Grovelands Childcare

Parents are being urged to make practical changes to everyday lifestyle habits such as portion sizes, drinks and screen time to make a big difference to the health and wellbeing of children and combat the island’s high levels of childhood overweight and obesity. That was the message from safefood with the launch today of a new public health campaign to help parents take on childhood obesity. The campaign will feature on television, radio, poster and point of sale advertising and includes a free booklet for parents that will be available nationwide in crèches, health centres, GP surgeries, and from public health nurses and local libraries.

Launching the campaign, Minister for Health Dr James Reilly TD said: “Obesity presents a real clinical, social and financial challenge which will have a detrimental legacy lasting decades and which will undoubtedly lead Ireland to an unhealthy and extremely costly, if not unaffordable, future if action is not taken now. I want to encourage everybody to help create generations of healthy children who can enjoy their lives to the full and reach their full potential as they develop into adults by making healthier food choices, by being more active and taking the first steps towards reducing overweight and obesity.”

Speaking at the campaign launch, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald TD said “Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions in Europe and Ireland is one of the countries worst affected. The Growing Up in Ireland survey, 2011 which is funded by my Department found that 1 in 4 children as young as 3 years of age are overweight or obese. I particularly welcome this new campaign as it seeks to help parents with very practical tips and ideas for actions they can take. We know from research that tackling obesity in childhood requires a family-centred approach, that is part of a wide ranging multi-agency set of initiatives.

The safefood campaign emphasises the importance of taking on practical changes for the whole family which are sustainable for the long term. Dr Cliodhna Foley-Nolan, Director of Human Health and Nutrition, safefood said: “We have based our campaign on strong feedback from parents that they wanted a solutions-based approach. For this phase we’re focusing on reducing portion sizes for children, replacing sugary drinks with water and being realistic about foods that ‘should be’ treat foods. While parents may be somewhat aware of the sugar levels in fizzy drinks, they may not be as aware of the sugar content in juice drinks and cordials, and research tells us they are regularly given to children at mealtimes. The sugar content of these drinks varies enormously and parents need to consider replacing these drinks with water instead”, added Dr. Foley-Nolan.

The three year, all island campaign by safefood in partnership with the HSE and Healthy Ireland Framework in the Republic of Ireland and the ‘Fitter Futures for All’ Implementation Plan in Northern Ireland also reminds parents about the negative health impacts of excess weight in childhood and how this can impact on a child’s quality of life.

Dr Cate Hartigan, Head of Health Promotion and Improvement, HSE said “Parents want what is best for their children, however tackling overweight and obesity is a sensitive and difficult task. A fundamental goal of Healthy Ireland is supporting people to enjoy a healthy and active life. This campaign helps make this a reality by motivating and supporting parents to make healthier choices for their children, and by raising awareness and knowledge among health professionals.

Chair of the safefood Advisory Board, Ms Lynn Ní Bhaoighealláin said “We all want children to have a bright future and we get them into all sorts of healthy habits, like brushing their teeth or crossing the road safely. This campaign is about supporting parents in making small changes in their everyday family lives.” At present, approximately 1 in 4 primary¹ school children are overweight or obese. The prevalence of excess weight is also beginning earlier in childhood², with currently 6% of 3 year olds being obese. Speaking at the campaign launch, Consultant Paediatrician and Clinical Lead for the W82GO Healthy Lifestyles programme at Temple Street Children’s Hospital, Dr Sinead Murphy said “With a quarter of children overweight or obese, we need to tackle the issue of childhood obesity head on or our next generation will be beset with significant health problems later in life. Evidence shows that once obesity is established, it is both difficult to reverse and can track into adulthood”. “Sadly, children who are overweight are at serious risk of becoming adults who are obese. This increases the risk manifold of developing serious illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, certain types of cancers and shortened life-expectancy”, she continued.

Welcoming this initiative by safefood, Dr Darach O’Ciardha, ICGP Spokesperson said “Obesity is one of the conditions where prevention is certainly better than cure. Any move to educate parents about the need to monitor and prevent bad dietary habits which will last a lifetime, from developing is welcome. This initiative is a first step in tackling the ticking time bomb that is rising obesity levels particularly amongst the young.”

The safefood campaign will also be supported on the safefood website www.safefood.eu and on social media, including Facebook and Twitter. To find out more about the campaign including how-to videos from health experts and practical advice and guides for parents, visit: www.safefood.eu.  – See more at: http://www.safefood.eu/News/2013/safefood-launches-campaign-to-take-on-childhood-ob.aspx#sthash.T41EWFAK.dpuf

Obesity grips Australia: research shows 40% of adults are …

The obesity crisis in Australia is far worse than experts thought, with new evidence showing 40% of adults are dangerously fat.

The new figures are based on the waist circumferences of 11,000 people who were tracked for 12 years in the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute’s AusDiab study.

Previous estimates using body mass index were 25%.

“The results surprised us,” associate professor Anna Peeters, president of the Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society, said.

When measured around the waist, a man should not be more than 102cm and a woman 88cm, said Peeters, who will present the findings at the society’s scientific meeting in Melbourne on Thursday.

She is pleased about growing government momentum against obesity, but says parents need more support.

“It is important to intervene early in life. We need good programmes for parents from before their children are born.”

A lot could be learnt from the US, which had decreased childhood obesity.

A minority of Australian schools adhered to dietary guidelines, she said, and workplaces should revise their catering and what was allowed in their vending machines.

Obesity was a condition of an inactive, affluent society that consumed in excess, said Peeters, who is head of obesity and population health at Baker IDI.

However, people of lower education and income living in rural areas were most at risk because energy-dense, nutrient-poor food was relatively cheap.

“People don’t need to be thinking too much about weight loss when they are a little overweight, but they do need to be thinking about preventing weight gain,” she said.

“If you are a little overweight at 30, you are likely to be quite overweight by 50.”

One way to avoid children growing up to be obese was to limit sugar intake, said associate professor Tim Gill, of the University of Sydney, who will chair a session at the conference.

“We are burning so few calories that every calorie we eat needs to come from nutritious food,” he said.

Active children should be allowed two small treats a day at most, he said.

The biggest problem was sugary drinks, which should be limited to one glass a week.

“People are not aware how much sugar they are eating. A can of soft drink has eight to ten spoons of sugar, but children and teenagers typically drink double that in a serve. Foods that contain a lot of added sugar contribute little nutrition, but a lot of calories,” he said.

Why schools shouldn't report obesity

Most of us know schools as institutions of learning, usually associated with “the three Rs,” but now schools in 19 states are reporting progress on another subject: “BMI” — body mass index.

These schools are measuring the heights and weights of students to determine BMI, a measure of weight based on height, then sending home letters to inform parents of their children’s BMI status. As a pediatric nutritionist, I am not pleased.

Child obesity is at near epidemic proportions, with nearly one in three children overweight or obese. Obesity is a gateway disease to many chronic health problems, including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and joint problems.

I don’t want to see kids struggle with obesity or become obese. Not only for those reasons but also because it adds to their physical discomfort. Most importantly, I don’t want children saddled with chronic health problems that they should not encounter for decades and that might be prevented altogether.

What? A specialist in child nutrition who doesn’t want parents to be aware of their children’s abnormal weight? No, I didn’t say that.

I spend a good portion of my clinical time counseling motivated parents (and often unmotivated parents, but that’s for another blog post) about making positive changes to normalize their children’s weight. The key word here is “school.”

Schools these days seem to be tasked with doing just about everything related to raising kids: feeding them breakfast and lunch, teaching them (not just general knowledge, but good habits, manners, social skills, etc.), helping them with homework after school and, often, administering medication.

So what’s the problem with these BMI letters? Several things:

  • Parents should be taking their children for physical exams at least annually. The BMI is part of a standard pediatric physical, so in all likelihood, this information is known to the children’s pediatricians. Let’s hope that better access to affordable insurance will make this even easier for parents to do. However, while such access may get children to see a pediatrician, it won’t solve the issue of childhood obesity. Read on.
  • Parents of under- or overweight children will likely need some sessions with a registered dietitian skilled in working with kids and parents. Few health plans currently cover weight management. If they do, it is often for fewer hours or visits than are needed to make permanent dietary and lifestyle changes. The schools are not referring parents to helpful resources or making help available—just telling parents that they need to get some help. That’s not the same.
  • This is a perfect trigger for bullying. The kids know they’re being screened and they also know who the fat kids are. (Even at that age, the eyeballs are a keen assessment tool.) You can almost hear the taunts directed at the heavier kids once parents start receiving the letters. This just draws more attention to the issue. Bad idea.

I heartily applaud the intent of this initiative by the schools (as long as the intent is truly to help children, and not just the work of some politician or school board wanting to score points with constituents). But schools should get out of this business and get back to what they do well: teaching children, feeding them properly during the school day (school meals have improved tremendously) and providing structure.

Schools have an important role in children’s lives; this just isn’t it.

And if politicians or school boards really want to fight obesity, they can make physical education a daily activity for all kids, kindergarten through grade 12.

Keith-Thomas Ayoob is director, nutrition clinic, Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He blogs at The Doctor’s Tablet.

Health Tip: Help Prevent Childhood Obesity – WebMD

Health Tip: Help Prevent Childhood Obesity

By Diana Kohnle

HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay News) — Almost 18 percent of children and adolescents in the United States are obese, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That number has almost tripled since 1980.

The agency offers these suggestions for parents to help prevent the problem:

  • Limit screen time for your child at home, school and child-care facilities.
  • Check with the child-care center to make sure that healthy snacks and drinks are served, and that there’s plenty of physical activity.
  • Offer your child plenty of fruits and vegetables, and limit foods high in fat and sugar.
  • Serve your child water instead of sugary drinks.
  • Encourage your child to get physical activity every day.

Thousands Get Ready To Take Steps To Find A Cure For Diabetes

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It affects children and adults alike. Nearly 26 million Americans are fighting diabetes. That’s outpacing cancer, AIDS and heart disease.

But next weekend (Oct. 5), thousands in Baltimore will take steps to find a cure.

Mary Bubala has more.

It’s called Step Out: The Walk to Stop Diabetes. The event will bring thousands to Rash Field at the Inner Harbor to raise money to find a cure.

 

Ashleigh Gerber, 10, will be there with her parents. She has Type 1 diabetes and is proud to be this year’s youth ambassador.

“I like getting the word out to people and it’s just fun speaking at different events,” said Gerber.

“We’re so proud of her. She’s taking it on headstrong and showing people even though she has diabetes you can do whatever you want,” said Renee and Michael Gerber, Ashleigh’s parents.

Ashleigh was diagnosed three years ago. There have been ups and downs, but she remains really active and has adjusted well to her diagnosis. She uses a small insulin pump called an OmniPod to regulate her condition.

It’s breakthroughs like this that inspire so many people to walk and raise money. Some others are doing it to raise awareness about the other type of diabetes — Type 2.

If the current trends continue, one in three children born in Maryland will develop diabetes in their lifetime.

“Over 400 thousand Marylanders are impacted, so it’s a big disease, an epidemic. So we are bringing awareness to the community,” said Kerry Graves, ADA Maryland. “We are also raising money for research programs and advocacy.”

To learn more about Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes, click here.

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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'Fat Letters' Take the Stage in Childhood Obesity Debate – WebMD

‘Fat Letters’ and the Childhood Obesity Debate

Teens whose parents harped about weight gain

By Alan Mozes

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) — If their kids are frequently tardy, truant or failing to turn in homework, parents of U.S. schoolchildren expect to be notified. And in some districts, they might be contacted about yet another chronic problem: obesity.

The “fat letter” is the latest weapon in the war on childhood obesity, and it is raising hackles in some regions, and winning followers in others.

“Obesity is an epidemic in our country, and one that is compromising the health and life expectancy of our children. We must embrace any way possible to raise awareness of these concerns and to bring down the stigmas associated with obesity so that our children may grow to lead healthy adult lives,” said Michael Flaherty, a pediatric resident physician in the department of pediatrics at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass.

About 17 percent of U.S. teens and children are obese — three times the number in 1980, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And one in three is considered overweight or obese. Being overweight or obese puts kids at risk of developing serious health problems, such as heart disease. Too much weight can also affect joints, breathing, sleep, mood and energy levels, doctors say.

Massachusetts — which has had a weight screening program since 2009 — is one of 21 states that have implemented statutes or advisories mandating that public schools collect height, weight, and/or BMI (body mass index) information. Some states further require that parents receive confidential letters informing them of the results, advising that they discuss the findings with a health care provider.

But some parents in the Bay State and elsewhere consider such policies an unwelcome intrusion into private family matters. Other objectors say “fat letters,” as they are sometimes called, have the potential to trigger bullying or eating disorders among the very children they’re trying to help.

In Massachusetts, where parents are letter-informed of BMI results for students in grades 1, 4, 7 and 10, the state department of public health is currently debating a possible repeal of the letter portion of its screening protocol.

This would be a grave mistake, Flaherty believes. “The growing number of children and adolescents seen day in and day out in our clinics with hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and musculoskeletal issues secondary to weight do not lie,” he said.

Flaherty, a clinical associate at the Tufts University School of Medicine, outlines his thoughts in a “perspective” piece published online Aug. 19 in Pediatrics.

While acknowledging that the effectiveness of such programs remains to be determined, Flaherty notes that school screenings are nothing new, with many states having done so for many years. And in 2005, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force determined that calculating a child’s BMI — a calculation of body fat based on height and weight — should be considered the “preferred measure” for tracking weight issues.

School shows the door to diabetic boy

The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet. Tanishq Jaiswal has learnt it the harsh way. For no fault of his, the boy is being denied education. His only fault is that he has contracted diabetes at an early age.

St. Paul’s High School, Hyderguda, where he is studying fourth class, has served marching orders on the nine-year-old kid. The school authorities have asked his parents to seek a Transfer Certificate (TC) and take the boy out of the school within a week. Tanishq has been taking insulin injections during the lunch break for the last one year. But now the school management feels enough is enough and has asked the parents to withdraw their child at the earliest. The boy’s parents are already upset at their son falling prey to diabetes. But the stubborn attitude of the school has shattered their peace of mind and shocked them beyond words. “Diabetes is not a disease, much less infectious. Moreover, our son has been taking the insulin injection on his own without causing disturbance to anyone. How can the school remove him?” asks Neeraj Jaiswal and his wife, Vaishali Jaiswal.

The world of the working couple came crashing down when their son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in April 2012. An insulin-dependent diabetes, it occurs when the pancreas fail to produce enough insulin to control the body’s sugar level. It is not hereditary, but could be triggered by environmental factors, doctors feel. The number of children affected with Type I diabetes is said to be on the rise.

Insulin shots

Right now Tanishq is under the treatment of endocrinologist Dr. Bipin K Sethi. He has learnt to take four insulin shots everyday, one in school, on his own. “My son has never poked the syringe at any other child or created nuisance as the authorities fear,” says Ms. Vaishali in a choked voice. A teacher herself at the Azra Public School, she is worried about the psychological effect of all this on her child.

Last year itself, school principal Bro. Sudhakar Reddy reportedly objected to Tanishq taking insulin injections in the classroom. But a Good Samaritan teacher intervened and the boy stayed put. But two days ago the principal called the parents and told them to take away their child. “Worse, he asked us to pay the fee for the entire year as well,” Mr. Neeraj said. The principal was not available for comment.

Interestingly, despite his diabetic condition, Tanishq is regular to the school with 98 per cent attendance. His academic record is also equally good. Penalising a kid for what? For getting an ailment he has no control on?