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obesity

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Obesity's Toll

As societies grow richer behaviors that exacerbate obesity risk become more common.

Have you noticed that everyone seems to be talking about obesity and its effect on the health of the population? There is good reason. Scientists from the Global Burden of Disease 2015 have determined that 110 million children and 600 million adults living in 73 countries are obese.  Between 1980 and 2014 the prevalence of obesity in both groups doubled. Obesity caused about 4 million deaths in 2015 and 120 million disability-adjusted life-years.

PositiveTip: Now is the time you can avoid obesity and help build a healthy community in your neighborhood.

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No Fruit Juice for Infants

Reducing consumption of juice during infancy can reduce the risk of obesity later.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has extended its recommendation against offering juice to all infants from 6 months and younger to 12 months and under. Toddlers should be given no more that 4 oz (120 ml) of 100% juice; children 4-6 years old no more than 6 oz (180 ml) and 7-18 years no more than 8 oz (235 ml). 

PositiveTip: Parents and grandparents need to be aware of the impact juice can have on the weight infants and children. 

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Is the Obesity Paradox Real?

The healthiest people are those who have normal weight all the time!

A 2013 meta-analysis suggested that overweight individuals had lower all-cause mortality than those at normal BMI. Now data from three large cohort studies with more than 225,000 men and women has demonstrated there is no protective effect of being overweight. These researchers used the maximum weight achieved over the past 16 years in addition to current weight, demonstrating that trends in weight are very important.

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Excess Weight Increases Risk of Eleven Cancers

The absence of excess body fat lowers the risk of most cancers,

Scientists have found 11 types of cancer show a strong association with excess body fat, according to a systematic review of the literature. The strongest evidence was seen for gastric, colon, rectum, bile duct system, pancreas, breast, endometrial, ovary, kidney, esophageal adenocarcinoma, and multiple myeloma.

PositiveTip: Avoid consuming excess calories and engage in physical activity daily to maintain ideal weight and reduce your risk of these common cancers.

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Obesity and Teen Screen Time

Five or more hours per day of screen time significantly associated with obesity in teens.

The Center for Disease Control's Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System collects data from grades 9-12 yearly. When looking at the self-reported data on the amount of screen time outside of school work, researchers found 20% were spending 5 plus hours per day of screen time and this was associated with 272% greater odds of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption compared to those who did not watch TV.

PositiveTip: Help your teens limit the amount of screen time to lower their risk of obesity.

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Do Your Genes Make You Fat?

There are no poor candidates for lifestyle change!

Many people who are overweight or obese often blame it on their genes. In a meta-analysis of nearly 10,000 subjects, researchers from England found even those with genetic risk factors for obesity respond as well as anyone else to diet and exercise. This data strongly suggests that obesity-linked genes do not affect the ability to lose weight.

PositiveTip: Don't blame your genes. While your genes may increase your risk of being fat, your choices of healthful lifestyle change make is possible to lose weight!

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Early Bedtime for Preschoolers

Early to bed in preschool reduces the risk of adolescent obesity.

A new study suggests that putting preschoolers to bed early may help prevent the risk for adolescent obesity. The risk for adolescent obesity was cut in half when children went to bed before 8:00 PM compared to those who stayed up past 9:00 PM. It is estimated that 25% of U.S. preschoolers go to bed after 9:00 PM, and only 25% retire before 8:00 PM.

PositiveTip: Parents, encourage your preschoolers to establish a routine of early bedtime!

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Larger Bottles Linked to Later Obesity

Using bottles larger than 6 ounces to feed infants formula may lead to obesity.

Overweight infants are more likely to be overweight children. In formula-fed infants the size of the bottle may be associated with the weight gain. Researchers found when infants were fed from a 6 or 8 ounce bottle they weighed significantly more at 6 months than those using bottles smaller than 6 ounces. This was true after adjustment for birth weight, socioeconomic characteristics and time between visits.

PositiveTip: To help prevent childhood obesity, choose a bottle smaller than 6 ounces when feeding formula.

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Weight Loss in Obese Young Women Improves Fertility

Reducing calories and increasing physical activity increased the odds of natural conception.

A high body-mass index (BMI) combined with a sedentary lifestyle decreases the likelihood of natural conception. Dutch researchers randomized 574 infertile, obese women to a six month lifestyle program of lowered calories and increased physical activity followed by infertility treatment.  Those in this group experienced 10% higher natural conception than the control group which received infertility treatments immediately.

PositiveTip: Modest weight loss and more exercise can increase the chances of natural conception in young infertile, obese women.

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A Heavy Problem for Thailand's Monks

The government of Thailand is putting overweight monks on a diet!

Every morning in Thailand, Buddhist devotees bring food offerings to the monks holding donation bowls. Today they load up the monks with sugary juices, full fat and sugar dishes, snacks, and fast foods. Monastic life is very sedentary, also. Over 48% of monks are obese and 42% have high cholesterol, 23% hypertension, and 10% are diabetics.  Consequently, medical costs for the monks is rapidly rising. The government has stepped in with a program to promote healthy eating and physical activity.

PositiveTip: Overweight? Go on a program similar to the Thai monks.