A Very Weighty Matter

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 2013. There are now 2.1 billion people who are overweight or obese on…

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Report Card: Fewer Now Smoking

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…

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Smoking Holds Steady in U.S.

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…

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Despite Risks, Pregnant Women Still Drink

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…

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Most Americans Okay in Vitamin D

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…

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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…

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Fourteen Percent of Fourteen Year Old Female Teens Have an STI

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…

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Are You Sleepy, Too?

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…

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Good News, Bad News!

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…

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