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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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Report Card: Fewer Now Smoking

American's are breathing easier--they are smoking less today.

Only 18% of U.S. adults now identify themselves as smokers according to the National Health Interview Survey 2012. This is down a full percentage point since last year, and down from almost 25% in 1997. Smoking related deaths still take a big toll, but if smoking prevalence continues to drop, even this will improve over time.

PositiveTip: Choose not to smoke or use any tobacco products. It is the healthiest choice!

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Smoking Holds Steady in U.S.

1 in 5 still smoke, but they are smoking less.

The percentage of people who smoke in the U.S. remains stable--one out of every five adults. Since 2005 the proportion who smoked 30 or more cigarettes per day decreased by more than 25% (12.6% to 9.1%). Approximately 443,000 U.S. adults die from smoking-related illnesses annually, and smoking costs the U.S. $193 billion each year in direct costs and lost productivity.

PositiveTip: There is no safe level of tobacco smoke. It causes death when used as indicated!

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Despite Risks, Pregnant Women Still Drink

Drinking during pregnancy still a problem.

Despite the risks of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, many women of childbearing age continue to drink. Researchers at the U.S. Centers of Disease Control found that 7.6% of pregnant women surveyed imbibed at least one drink within 30 days of the survey, and 1.4% had engaged in binge drinking within the same period. Almost 14,000 pregnant women were included in this study. Pregnant women 35-44 years old had the higest prevalence of drinking and binge drinking, and the lowest rates were in those 18-24 years old.

PositiveTip: No amount of alcohol is considered safe for pregnant women!

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Most Americans Okay in Vitamin D

It seems that most Americans have enough vitamin D in their blood.

More than 2/3 of the U.S. population had sufficient vitamin D, as defined by the 2010 Institute of Medicine's report (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25OHD] between 50 and 125 nmol/L). About 25% were at risk of inadequacy (30-49 nmol/L). Interestingly, the National Center for Health Statistics found that many non-white groups have better skeletal status than white persons even though they had lower 25OHD values.

PositiveTip: Adequate exposure to sunlight and/or dietary sources of vitamin D are important to bone health.

The Potential Problem of Kids & Gambling

Have you noticed that gambling is now treated like a sport?

Take a minute to go to the ESPN web site and search for the term “poker”. You'll find that ESPN Poker, is an entire section devoted to the game. Times sure have changed! Not long ago, very few people would have considered poker (a form of gambling) to be classified as a sport.Young boy gambling.

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Fourteen Percent of Fourteen Year Old Female Teens Have an STI

One in four US female adolescents have at least one sexually transmitted infection.

A nationally representative survey of the prevalence of the five most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) revealed that 24% of US teenage women between the ages of 14 and 19 years old are infected with at least one STI. Additionally, half of all female adolescents in the study reported sexual experience. Prevalence of STI in those reporting only one sexual partner was 20% and those who reported 3 or more sexual partners had a 53% prevalence rate. 

PositiveTip: It is vital for parents to begin appropriate principle-based sex education for their girls long before they become teens.

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Are You Sleepy, Too?

More than 10% of the US population gets insufficient sleep every night!

Chronic sleep insufficiency is under-recognized. Almost one-third of the US population reports sleeping less than 7 hours per night. This inspite of the numerous physical and mental problems associated with not enough sleep--as well as injury, loss of productivity and early mortality. A new CDC telephone survey of more than 400,000 Americans living in all states reports just over 10% of adults got insufficient sleep on each of the preceding 30 days. This was most prevalent in ages 24-34. People unemployed or unable to work were at the greatest risk. West Virginia had the highest incidence and North Dakota the lowest.

PositiveTip: Get sufficient sleep (7-8 hrs per night) regularly. It improves health, performance, and clear thinking.

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Good News, Bad News!

Americans are doing better at controlling cardiovascular disease, but not diabetes.

Analysis of Americans between 40 and 85 years of age reveals that between 1999 and 2006 the prevalence of hypertension, coronary heart disease and stroke remained stable, but diabetes rose 2%. Significant improvements were found in control of blood pressure, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels, and total cholesterol. However, gaps between white and nonwhite patients did not change, although they were smaller after age 65 when universal Medicare insurance begins.