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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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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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Cancer is a Weighty Matter

Twenty percent of cancers are related to excess body weight.

The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has found growing evidence that losing weight may prevent obesity-related cancers. Those include postmenopausal breast, colorectal and esophageal cancers. The American Institute of Cancer Research estimates that if every American were at a healthy weight, 130,000 or more cases of cancer could be prevented.

PositiveTip: Intentional weight loss, when needed, can help lower cancer risk.

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Which Country Leads the World in Childhood Obesity?

What can you do to help families with children prevent obesity?

Looking for a really sobering number to share with your friends? Here it is. One in every five children 5-17 years old is overweight or obese--in the 34 countries monitored by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Believe it or not, the U.S. is not the leader.  Take a look yourself at the countries that lead the world in childhood obesity.

PositiveTip: Avoid highly processed, calorie dense foods and exercise as much as possible. It is good for your and your children.

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Prostate Cancer Linked to Being Overweight

Greater body fatness is probably a cause of advanced prostate cancer.

New evidence suggests there is strong evidence that being overweight or obese elevates the risk of advanced prostate cancer. This finding is from the World Cancer Research Fund's Continuous Update Project that analyzes global research on how diet, exercise, physical activity and weight influence cancer risk.

PositiveTip: Avoid being overweight or obese to lower your risk of deadly prostate cancer and many other serious diseases.

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A Very Weighty Matter

The biggest gains in obesity worldwide occured between 1992 and 2002.

From 1980 through 2013 the prevalence of overweight and obesity rose by 28% for adults. For children it is even more frightening--a rise of 47%. This scary picture of the global obesity pandemic is found in research done for The Global Burden of Disease Study 2013There are now 2.1 billion people who are overweight or obese on this globe.

PositiveTip: Use your personal example and action to provide leadership in your community for effective intervention against this trend.

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Normal Weight Not Just for Looks

Morbid obesity increased risk for poor birth outcomes 2-3 fold.

A large global meta-analysis found nearly 25% increase in fetal death and stillbirths per five-unit increase in maternal BMI. Being overweight or obese before becoming pregnant increased the risk of poor outcomes compared to normal-weight women. The greatest risk was for the heaviest women, and this dose-response relationship suggests underlying biological mechanisms. The optimal pre-pregnancy BMI and and any threshold effects are yet to be determined.

PositiveTip: Planning a pregnancy? Keep those extra pounds off for the health of your baby and yourself.

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Fat Teens Have Shorter Lives

Obese kids and adolescents appear to face an early death.

Adults who were overweight or obese during their adolescence were significantly more likely to die before reaching 50 years old than their normal-weight peers. While life-expectancy gains of the last 50 years have been very encouraging, this analysis of more than 2 million Israelis from ages 17 to 50 suggests this progress may be wiped out as a result of the obesity epidemic of today.

PositiveTip: Parents must do all they can to encourage their kids to maintain a healthy weight.

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Pregnancy Weight Gain Leads to Kid's Obesity

Weight gain in pregnancy linked to children's obesity.

When material weight gain during pregnancy was analyzed in over 42,000 women and more than 91,000 of their children, researchers found every kilogram gained was associated with a significant risk of the child being overweight or obese through 12 years old. This data suggest overnutrition during pregnancy may program the unborn for an increased lifetime risk of obesity. Caution: inadequate weight gain also negatively affects the developing fetus.

PositiveTip: Balance is a principle of healthful living. In most things, too little or too much can be harmful.