Obese Children Twice as Likely to Die Young

Children's Health, Heart Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
In my Amazon.com best-selling book, SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat, I predicted that if we did not stem the epidemic of childhood obesity, that our children could become the first generation in American history to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. Now, the New York Times is reporting on a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine "that tracked thousands of children through adulthood found the heaviest youngsters were more than twice as likely as the thinnest to die prematurely, before age 55, of illness or a self-inflicted injury." While "youngsters with ... pre-diabetes were at almost double the risk of dying before 55, and those with high blood pressure were at some increased risk," it was obesity that was "most…
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One in five US teens may have abnormal lipid levels — most related to overweight or obesity

Children's Health, Heart Health, Nutritional Health
The Washington Post reports that "one out of every five US teenagers has a cholesterol level that increases the risk of heart disease," according to a new study published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. For "the study ... researchers analyzed data collected from 3,125 youths through the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey." The data indicated that "20.3 percent had abnormal 'blood lipid' levels." Bloomberg News reports that "obese children were at the highest danger of abnormal levels, with 43 percent testing outside the recommended ranges." Ashleigh May, an epidemiologist at the CDC's division of heart disease and stroke prevention, said, "Parents should inquire about whether their child is eligible for this lipid screening, especially if their child is overweight or obese." MedPage Today reported that "an unsigned commentary by…
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Surgery better than diet, exercise in morbidly obese teens

Children's Health, Nutritional Health
Reuters is reporting that severely (morbidly) obese teens who had surgery to limit what they could eat lost more weight and enjoyed more health benefits than those who did an intensive lifestyle program. Researchers announced that 21 of 25 severely obese teens aged 14 to 18 who underwent a form of gastric banding lost more than half of their excess weight compared with just 3 out of 25 who did a diet, exercise and behavior modification program. "In this study, gastric banding proved to be an effective intervention leading to a substantial and durable reduction in obesity and to better health," Dr. Paul O'Brien of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association. O'Brien and colleagues evaluated the effectiveness of Allergan Inc's Lap-Band…
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Vitamin D May Lower Colon Cancer Risk

Nutritional Health
Soaking in more sunlight and drinking more dairy may help you ward off colon cancer according to a report in Medscape. Researchers in Europe have found that people with abundant levels of vitamin D -- the so-called sunshine vitamin -- have a much lower risk of colon cancer. The findings add to a growing body of evidence that suggest vitamin D may have the power to help prevent colon cancer and possibly even improve survival in those who have the disease. The body makes vitamin D after the skin absorbs some of the sun's rays. You can also get vitamin D by consuming certain foods and beverages, such as milk and cereal, which have been fortified with the vitamin, but few foods naturally contain it. For the current study, researchers…
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Daily Calcium Plus Vitamin D Supplements May Reduce Fracture Risk

Nutritional Health
MedScape reports that daily supplements of calcium plus vitamin D, but not of vitamin D alone, are associated with significantly reduced fracture risk, according to the results of a patient level-pooled analysis reported in the January 12 issue of the BMJ. "A large randomised controlled trial in women in French nursing homes or apartments for older people showed that calcium and vitamin D supplementation increased serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, decreased parathyroid hormone, improved bone density, and decreased hip fractures and other non-vertebral fractures," write B. Abrahamsen, from Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte, in Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues from the DIPART (vitamin D Individual Patient Analysis of Randomized Trials) Group. "Subsequent randomised trials examining the effect of vitamin D supplementation — with or without calcium — on the incidence of fractures have produced…
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