Category Archive: obesity

Jul 01

What is “Morbid Obesity?”

Doctors would do well to remember that, “If it can be misunderstood, it will be misunderstood.” On a medical chart, the term “morbid obesity” has a specific meaning to the medical personnel who read it, but it may be lost in translation to the patients who hear that diagnosis. To a doctor (or an insurance …

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Apr 17

“First in War, First in Peace…”

That famous quote came from a eulogy written about George Washington. It has been applied to many of the good people and good qualities of Americans in general, but we are also first in some other things. In which of these categories do you think Americans lead the world? Number of books read each year …

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Mar 19

Is Obesity Contagious?

Looking around these days, you might think that obesity could be a contagion. Actually, it is true that there are clusters of obesity in some areas, places where a greater than expected proportion of people are seriously overweight. If obesity is not contagious, why does it sometimes seem to cluster in certain areas? The RAND …

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Mar 15

Obesity and Lifespan

In 2014 Americans could expect to live an average of 79 years, almost twice the life expectancy of those born in the 1800’s. For decades, average life expectancy had grown year after year, but recently this has not happened! Why? The prestigious scientific organization, the National Academy of Science (the NAS), pointed to obesity as …

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Feb 18

Ghrelin, the Hunger Hormone

What do you know about ghrelin, the so-called “Hunger Hormone?” Ghrelin is involved in telling your brain that it is time to eat. Like everything involved in the endocrine system, the relationship between ghrelin and eating behavior is not completely understood. Still, many patients would benefit from a basic understanding of this hormone and its …

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Feb 15

Read “The Sugar Mill”

Imagine looking at a grocery store shelf with a row of 27 five-pound bags of sugar standing side-by-side. Those 27 bags contain the amount of sugar consumed each year by an average American! The American Heart Association recommends no more than nine teaspoons of sugar a day for adult men and six for women; this …

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Feb 04

Seniors and Obesity

Obesity is a “growing problem” (no pun intended) for Americans of all ages, and seniors are not an exception. The Centers for Disease Control reports that about 35% of adults aged 65 and over were obese in the period 2007–2010, and these numbers have almost certainly increased in the past decade. Medical obesity is a …

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Jan 23

Obesity in children

Two years ago, the National Center for Health Statistics reported that over 36% of all American adults met the medical definition of ‘obese’ (a BMI or body mass index of 30 or higher).  As disturbing as that statistic is, the growing problem of childhood obesity may be even more concerning. Obesity in childhood is especially …

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Jan 14

Are you medically obese?

Everybody knows that obesity is one of America’s (and the entire world’s) biggest health problems. Do you think this is getting better or worse? What percentage of America’s population qualifies as medically obese? Is it 20%, 30% or more than 30%? Bariatric surgery procedures are more common every year, but so is obesity. Here is …

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Dec 05

Obesity and Healthcare Costs

Everyone is worried about managing health care costs. This issue is a growing concern to hospitals, the health insurance industry, public health officials and doctors; it especially worries politicians. The fact is that a very large part of this problem is related to human behavior, not to any natural force like infection. Depending on your …

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