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Obesity in the news

Following on the article I posted earlier today about Drew Carey, this bit of news deals with three findings coming out of the recent International Congress on Obesity. No question but that obesity is an epidemic in North America and getting worse all the time. Just look around you the next time you walk down the street and notice how many people are morbidly obese – that’s with a BMI in excess of 30.

Here are three specific reports from the Congress which should cause all of us to be concerned.

-- A man who is obese at age 20 is at double the risk of dying at any subsequent age through age 80 of a man who is not obese. On top of that, the study found that "the chance of dying early increased by 10 percent for each BMI point above the threshold for a healthy weight and that this persisted throughout life, with the obese dying about eight years earlier than the non-obese," according to the news release.

-- Community-based interventions to prevent obesity in children can work, but they work best in those under the age of 5. Researchers report that there is evidence of some success for such programs among primary schoolchildren but "very mixed effects" among adolescents, according to media materials.

-- Efforts to limit the marketing of unhealthful food and drink to children are underway in the U.S., Brazil and two-thirds of European countries, among other jurisdictions. A recent article talked about the plan to have a boat sail up the Amazon River to reach some isolated communities to basically sell them junk food.

Should governments step in to take control of diet and nutrition? This article by Dr. Kelly Brownell suggests so. Consider the enormous cost of obesity to our health care system whether through diabetes, heart disease, joint problems – the list goes on and on.

Your opinions are welcome!

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