Is Your State One of the 'Most Obese' in America?

Is Your State One of the 'Most Obese' in America?

News Picture: Is Your State One of the 'Most Obese' in America?

Latest Diet & Weight Management News

THURSDAY, Sept. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The number of U.S. states with adult obesity rates above 35% reached an all-time high of nine in 2018, a new report says.

In 2018, the nine states with adult obesity rates above 35% were: Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and West Virginia.

That’s two more than the year before. As recently as 2012, no state topped 35%, according to the report. It also pointed to statistically significant increases in adult obesity rates in 33 states between 2013 and 2018.

“These latest data shout that our national obesity crisis is getting worse,” said John Auerbach, president and CEO of the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), the nonprofit group behind the 16th annual “State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America” report.

The report showed considerable variation from state to state. The five with the highest rates were Mississippi and West Virginia (39.5%), Arkansas (37.1%), Louisiana (36.8%) and Kentucky (36.6%).

The lowest obesity rates were in Colorado (23%), District of Columbia (24.7%), Hawaii (24.9%), and Massachusetts and New Jersey (25.7%).

“Almost 50 years into the upward curve of obesity rates we haven’t yet found the right mix of programs to stop the epidemic,” Auerbach said in a TFAH news release.

“Isolated programs and calls for lifestyle changes aren’t enough. Instead, our report highlights the fundamental changes that are needed in the social and economic conditions that make it challenging for people to eat healthy foods and get sufficient exercise,” he added.

Obesity increases the risk of serious health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and many cancers.

It also increases U.S. health care spending by an estimated $149 million a year — about half of which is paid for by Medicare and Medicaid. And excess weight is the most common reason young adults are ineligible for military service, according to TFAH.

Those at greatest risk for obesity include people with lower incomes and people of color. They are more likely to live in areas where healthy food is hard to find, opportunities for physical activity are scarce and marketing of unhealthy foods is widespread, the report said.

Among adults, the latest data show that as of 2015-2016, about 47% of Hispanic and black Americans were obese, compared with about 38% of whites and nearly 13% of Asians.

Childhood obesity rates were highest among Hispanics (25.8%) and blacks (22%), compared with 14% of whites and 11% of Asians, the findings showed.

The report includes 31 recommendations for policy action by federal, state and local governments to improve access to nutritious foods, provide safe opportunities for physical activity, and limit harmful food marketing and advertising tactics.

— Robert Preidt

MedicalNews
Copyright © 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

SOURCE: Trust for America’s Health, news release, Sept. 12, 2019



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SOURCE: Trust for America’s Health, news release, Sept. 12, 2019

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Purdue Pharma to Settle Opioid Crisis Lawsuits, May Pay Up to $12 Billion

Purdue Pharma to Settle Opioid Crisis Lawsuits, May Pay Up to Billion

News Picture: Purdue Pharma to Settle Opioid Crisis Lawsuits, May Pay Up to $12 BillionBy Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) — OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma has reached a tentative settlement with a coalition of states and local governments that sued the company over its role in America’s ongoing opioid crisis, press reports say.

The settlement requires the dissolution of Purdue Pharma and the formation of a new company that would continue to sell OxyContin, the firm’s blockbuster opioid, the New York Times reported.

Proceeds from the new company would be used to pay the plaintiffs in the lawsuit and combat the opioid epidemic. Purdue also would donate drugs under development for addiction treatment and overdose reversal.

The family that holds a controlling interest in Purdue Pharma, the Sacklers, would be required to relinquish their hold on the company, the Washington Post said.

The deal is said to be worth between $10 billion to $12 billion, including a $3 billion payment from the Sacklers over seven years, the Times and the Post reported.

The settlement would not contain any statement of wrongdoing.

The executive committee of 22 states and more than 2,000 cities and counties taking part in the federal lawsuit is recommending that the deal be accepted, the Times said.

However, some state attorneys general remain opposed to a deal, objecting that the Sacklers are not forking over enough cash from their personal fortunes, according to news reports.

“I cannot speak to other states or divulge confidential negotiations, but Connecticut has not agreed to any settlement,” Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said in a statement. “The scope and scale of the pain, death and destruction that Purdue and the Sacklers have caused far exceeds anything that has been offered thus far.”

The settlement comes about six weeks before the start of the first federal trial related to the opioid epidemic lawsuits.

The trial is slated to take place before a federal judge in Cleveland who has issued tough pretrial rulings against Purdue and the Sacklers, the Times noted, darkening the company’s prospects in court.

Meanwhile, more than 40 individual lawsuits against drug companies are making their way through state courts, as well as some lawsuits targeting the Sacklers personally, the Post reported.

More than 200,000 people have died from prescription opioid overdoses since 1999, according to federal statistics. Another 200,000 have died due to overdoses from illicit opioids such as heroin and fentanyl.

MedicalNews
Copyright © 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

SOURCES: The New York Times, Sept. 11, 2019; The Washington Post, Sept. 11, 2019



QUESTION


What are opioids used to treat?
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References


SOURCES: The New York Times, Sept. 11, 2019; The Washington Post, Sept. 11, 2019

Source: Medicinenet.com (Feeds API) – Health News

Fitter Bodies Make for Healthier Brains, Study Finds

Fitter Bodies Make for Healthier Brains, Study Finds

News Picture: Fitter Bodies Make for Healthier Brains, Study FindsBy Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

Latest Exercise & Fitness News

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) — If you’re looking for incentives to hit the gym, new research suggests that staying in good shape may help preserve brain structure, boost memory, and improve the ability to think clearly and quickly.

The finding follows an analysis of fitness and brain health among more than 1,200 young adults, average age 30. All underwent brain scans; tests to measure memory, sharpness, judgment and reasoning; and a speed-walking trial to assess cardiovascular fitness. (Muscle strength was not assessed.)

The investigators found that study participants who moved faster and farther over the two-minute walking test performed better on thinking tests than their less-fit peers. Fitter men and women were also found to have healthier nerve fibers across the white matter portion of the brain. White matter is critical for high-quality neural communication, the researchers noted.

Study lead author Dr. Jonathan Repple offered several theories as to what might explain a strong body/strong brain connection.

For one, “exercise decreases inflammation, which then, in turn, is beneficial for brain cells,” said Repple, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist with the University of Muenster, in Germany.

Being fit may also promote better nerve-fiber insulation, and greater growth across nerve cells and nerve connections, he explained.

It may also be that fitter men and women simply have a “better blood supply to the brain,” Repple added.

Dr. David Knopman, a professor of neurology with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., seconded that thought.

“It is my opinion that these results reflect a pattern of general improved vascular health in individuals who are more physically fit,” said Knopman. He is a fellow with the American Academy of Neurology and was not part of the study team.

But Knopman said that it is also likely “that physical fitness is a characteristic of people who are more health conscious and practice better health behaviors.” In that case, a constellation of healthy behaviors ultimately might come together to foster better brain health and structure.

For couch potatoes, could a link between body and brain health mean that getting just a bit fitter might be a win-win?

Study volunteers ranged from 20 to 59. Repple said the findings held up even after accounting for factors such as age, gender, high blood pressure, diabetes and body mass index (a standard measurement of obesity).

However, he said, because the study merely observed each individual’s current status, he cannot say for sure that the newly fit will actually enjoy improved brain health (“cognition”).

But Repple did note that the fitness-brain health connection seemed to be on a sliding scale, meaning that “if you get 10 ‘units’ better on the walking test, you improve three ‘units’ on the cognitive tests.”

Also, “a lot of other studies showed that, independent of age, it is always beneficial to start exercising,” Repple said.

Knopman offered a cautious take on the study’s implications: cardiovascular fitness while relatively young “probably has beneficial consequences in mid-life and later life.” And that likely means that “the earlier one begins to practice good vascular health behaviors, the greater the benefits will be,” he said.

“The sooner the better,” Knopman added.

Repple presented the findings Monday at a meeting of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, in Copenhagen. The report was simultaneously published online Sept. 9 in Scientific Reports.

MedicalNews
Copyright © 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

SOURCES: Jonathan Repple, M.D., psychiatrist and neuroscientist, department of psychiatry, University of Muenster, Germany; David Knopman, M.D., behavioral neurologist and professor, neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., and fellow, American Academy of Neurology; European College of Neuropsychopharmacology meeting, Copenhagen, Sept. 9, 2019; Sept. 9, 2019, Scientific Reports, online



QUESTION


Walking can maintain your body weight and lower many health risks. True or false?
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References


SOURCES: Jonathan Repple, M.D., psychiatrist and neuroscientist, department of psychiatry, University of Muenster, Germany; David Knopman, M.D., behavioral neurologist and professor, neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., and fellow, American Academy of Neurology; European College of Neuropsychopharmacology meeting, Copenhagen, Sept. 9, 2019; Sept. 9, 2019, Scientific Reports, online

Source: Medicinenet.com (Feeds API) – Daily Exercise

Avocado Toast With a Twist

Avocado Toast With a Twist
News Picture: Avocado Toast With a TwistBy Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter

Latest Nutrition, Food & Recipes News

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) — It’s a pricy mainstay on restaurant menus, but avocado toast is an easy and healthy breakfast or lunch that you can make at home.

Avocados are full of healthy fats and vitamins C, E and B6. They’re fiber all-stars, too, with 10 grams per cup. Best known as the base for guacamole, because of its creaminess, avocado is now being turned into desserts like puddings and ice cream. Put mashed avocado, a great mayo substitute, on toast and it makes a meal.

Avocados are rarely ripe when you buy them, so plan accordingly, allowing for two days of ripening on your windowsill. They should be just soft to the touch, but not mushy. Dark-skinned Hass avocados have a silky, rich taste, and you can get them virtually year-round.

Avocado toast couldn’t be simpler to prepare and, despite its pricy cost at restaurants, it’s inexpensive when you make it yourself.

Avocado Toast

  • 1 ripe Hass avocado
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 slices whole grain bread
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 basil leaves, torn

Cut the avocado open, remove the pit and scoop the flesh into a medium bowl. Squeeze on the juice from the lemon and add the chili flakes and salt. Mash with a fork until smooth.

Toast the bread and spread each slice with half the mashed avocado. Top each with tomato slices, olive oil and basil. Serve immediately.

Yield: 1 serving

Consider this basic mashed avocado recipe as the starting point for tasty combinations. For a sweet topping, instead of the tomato, oil and basil, top the mashed avocado with pomegranate seeds (arils) tossed in balsamic vinegar. For a savory topping, use chopped red bell pepper and crumbled feta cheese. For a spicy topping, spoon on canned chipotle chilies mashed with pine nuts.

MedicalNews
Copyright © 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.




QUESTION


Which is one of the few drinks to be considered a superfood?
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How Your Genes Affect the Number on Your Scale

How Your Genes Affect the Number on Your Scale
News Picture: How Your Genes Affect the Number on Your ScaleBy Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter

Latest Diet & Weight Management News

THURSDAY, Sept. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Could your genes be keeping you from losing weight?

While you shouldn’t use a family tendency toward wide hips or an apple shape as an excuse to stray from a healthy diet, acceptance can help you reassess your personal ideal and make you happier with your body.

Hundreds of genes have been linked to weight. Some affect where fat is distributed on your body while others impact metabolism, cravings and even whether you reach for food to cope with stress. Their influence on overweight can be as little as 25% or as much as 80%. Signs that genes could be connected to your innate weight include having one or both parents who are overweight, and having a hard time losing weight even with strict dieting and exercise.

But the answer isn’t to starve yourself. That can backfire, putting your body into starvation mode and slowing metabolism and weight loss even more. It can also leave you feeling fatigued and cranky from a lack of food — on top of frustration about your physical appearance.

You can’t change your genes but you can improve variables, like getting enough sleep and easing stress. Also, focus on achieving better health rather than a perfect shape. That means taking steps to increase the amount of exercise you do and boosting the nutrition quality of the foods you eat. Rather than being obsessed with calorie-cutting, try cutting out (or at least cutting down on) refined foods and those with empty calories like many packaged foods.

If you aren’t able to make these lifestyle choices on your own, a dietitian can help. He or she might even be able to show you that you’re already at your best “you.”

MedicalNews
Copyright © 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.




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Source: Medicinenet.com (Feed API) – Weight Management