Among 4-year-olds, 1 in 5 Obese, Study Finds

May 27, 2010 Leave a comment

A striking new study says almost 1 in 5 American 4-year-olds is obese, and the rate is alarmingly higher among American Indian children, with nearly a third of them obese. Researchers were surprised to see differences by race at so early an age. Overall, more than half a million 4-year-olds are obese, the study suggests.

Obesity is more common in Hispanic and black youngsters, too, but the disparity is most startling in American Indians, whose rate is almost double that of whites.

The lead author said that rate is worrisome among children so young, even in a population at higher risk for obesity because of other health problems and economic disadvantages.

“The magnitude of these differences was larger than we expected, and it is surprising to see differences by racial groups present so early in childhood,” said Sarah Anderson, an Ohio State University public health researcher. She conducted the research with Temple University’s Dr. Robert Whitaker.

Dr. Glenn Flores, a pediatrics and public health professor at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, said the research is an important contribution to studies documenting racial and ethnic disparities in children’s weight.

“The cumulative evidence is alarming because within just a few decades, America will become a ‘minority majority’ nation,” he said. Without interventions, the next generation “will be at very high risk” for heart disease, high blood pressure, cancers, joint diseases and other problems connected with obesity, said Flores, who was not involved in the new research.

The study is an analysis of nationally representative height and weight data on 8,550 preschoolers born in 2001. Children were measured in their homes and were part of a study conducted by the government’s National Center on Educational Statistics. The results appear in Monday’s Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Almost 13 percent of Asian children were obese, along with 16 percent of whites, almost 21 percent of blacks, 22 percent of Hispanics, and 31 percent of American Indians.

Some previous studies of young children did not distinguish between kids who were merely overweight versus obese, or they examined fewer racial groups.

The current study looked only at obesity and a specific age group. Anderson called it the first analysis of national obesity rates in preschool kids in the five ethnic or racial groups.

The researchers did not examine reasons for the disparities, but others offered several theories.

Flores cited higher rates of diabetes in American Indians, and also Hispanics, which scientists believe may be due to genetic differences.

Also, other factors that can increase obesity risks tend to be more common among minorities, including poverty, less educated parents, and diets high in fat and calories, Flores said.

Jessica Burger, a member of the Little River Ottawa tribe and health director of a tribal clinic in Manistee, Mich., said many children at her clinic are overweight or obese, including preschoolers.

Burger, a nurse, said one culprit is gestational diabetes, which occurs during a mother’s pregnancy. That increases children’s chances of becoming overweight and is almost twice as common in American Indian women, compared with whites.

She also blamed the federal commodity program for low-income people that many American Indian families receive. The offerings include lots of pastas, rice and other high-carbohydrate foods that contribute to what Burger said is often called a “commod bod.”

“When that’s the predominant dietary base in a household without access to fresh fruits and vegetables, that really creates a better chance of a person becoming obese,” she said.

Also, Burger noted that exercise is not a priority in many American Indian families struggling to make ends meet, with parents feeling stressed just to provide basic necessities.

To address the problem, her clinic has created activities for young Indian children, including summer camps and a winter break “outdoor day” that had kids braving 8-degree temperatures to play games including “snowsnake.” That’s a traditional American Indian contest in which players throw long, carved wooden “snakes” along a snow or ice trail to see whose lands the farthest.

The hope is that giving kids used to modern sedentary ways a taste of a more active traditional American Indian lifestyle will help them adopt healthier habits, she said.

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What’s On My iPod??? Part 3

May 26, 2010 Leave a comment

When it comes to introducing cool music to the world, there’s Dick Clark and me…sort of like a Hispanic Dick Clark…only with way cooler hair, better complexion, less wrinkly…actually, let’s forget the Dick Clark reference and concentrate on this installment of cool music.  This time, I reach back in time to “recycle” some old school hits.  First up…

This song was a sleeper hit in ’96…before most of you were born.  “Portable phone”…yep, this song is old!  Next…

I think this is Young MC’s best song…yes, even better than “Bust a move.”  Coming up next:

Come on guys, haven’t we all felt like this at least once?! Don’t leave me hangin’…

These last two are to introduce more class in your life, I mean other than the box of wine and Zimas you keep in your refrigerator…Adam.

Watch the 3:00-3:20 mark, you’ll thank me later.  I know what you’re thinking “You lift weights AND like opera?”  That’s right ladies, I’m the total package…the line starts on the left.

Here’s A Record None Should Want

May 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Paul is confined to his bed…he cannot prepare his own meals, which means someone continues to feed his addiction.  I prefer to call these people “enablers.”  Enablers, whether family or friends, always take the path of least resistance, the path that is easier for them.  It is easier for them to cook your favorite dish and watch you drown it with a gallon of gravy, than it is to get you to eat a nutrient-rich meal. 

Change is not an event, it is a process.  No one wakes up one morning and finds themselves weighting 1,000 pounds.  It happens over the course of many years…10 pounds here, becomes 20 pounds next year, and 40 pounds the year after that.  Until one day, you wake up and realize you no longer possess the strength to get out of your bed, which  ultimtely becomes your coffin.

When combating addictions, the first step is to change your environment.  It requires the addicted to get rid of the people who fueled and excused their addiction….yes, that includes family members who loved you so much, they willingly and readily provided you with your vice. 

Paul, unfortunately, will choose the “easiest” method to gain control of his weight…bariatric surgery.  The surgery will give him the quick fix he wants, but eventually, he’ll begin to re-gain whatever weight he loses.  I’m not being pessimistic, I’m being realistic…numerous studies support my view.  People who depend on “quick fixes” for weight loss, will go back to their unhealthy eating habits because they did not learn the benefits and requirements of healthy eating.  They did not learn the proper way to plan, prepare and structure a healthy eating lifestyle…in short, they did not learn discipline and control, they only learned to make excuses.

What about you?  Do you make excuses?  Are you an enabler? Do you look for quick-fixes?  How long before I watch a documentary about your life?

Eating Too Much Bok Choy Puts 88-Year-Old Woman in Coma

May 24, 2010 Leave a comment

A daily diet of more than two pounds of raw bok choy, a vegetable often used in Thai and other Asian dishes, sent an 88-year-old Chinese woman into a coma — and doctors determined an enzyme in the uncooked produce was the culprit.

The woman, who wasn’t identified in the “New England Journal of Medicine” report about her case, was rushed to the emergency room of New York University’s hospital in New York City last summer by her family after she became lethargic and lost her ability to walk and swallow for a period of three days.

She had been eating between 2 and 3 pounds of raw bok choy, or Chinese white cabbage, each day for several months in the belief that it would help manage symptoms of her diabetes.

But when she arrived at the hospital, the woman was suffering from extreme hypothyroidism, respiratory failure and a thyroid-linked, potentially life-threatening type of coma, according to the NEJM study and NYU’s Dr. Michael Chu, a resident who helped treat her with endocrinologist Dr. Terry F. Seltzer.

The patient, who also had coarse hair, dry skin and other symptoms, was admitted to the intensive care unit. Chu said she ate about two to three large heads of the bitter-tasting cabbage without any seasonings, salt or dressing.

“The patient was eating large amounts of raw bok choy, and the majority she was eating plain,” Chu told AOL Health. “It didn’t really ever come across that it was burdensome for her. … At one point when she was in the hospital, her family was asking if she could continue eating it. We recommended that she did not.”

But though she thought she could stomach it, her body couldn’t process so many stalks of the leafy vegetable, which along with other types of cabbage contains an enzyme called myrosinase that, in excess, can shut down the thyroid. Cooking the bok choy would have taken the dangerous enzyme out. The woman had no history of thyroid disease.

“Certain food types within the cabbage family are known to cause the thyroid to stop producing or increase production of the thyroid hormone,” said Chu. “The enzyme decreases the uptake of iodine into the thyroid, and iodine is necessary for production of the thyroid hormone.”

Hypothyroidism happens when the butterfly-shaped thyroid gland in the throat, which controls metabolism, becomes underactive and produces abnormally low levels of the thyroid hormone — causing fatigue, weight gain, problems breathing, thinning and brittle hair, dry skin and a slowed heart rate. A complete shut-down of the gland, as experienced by this patient, can be deadly.

“It’s kind of a unique thing — you really have to have the intention to eat so much in order for it to have such effects,” Chu told AOL Health, adding that the doctors weren’t able to determine exactly how much raw bok choy is too much. “She was pretty sick when she came into the ER.”

Though her condition was described as a myxedema coma, Chu said the term can be misleading because the patient didn’t slip into unconsciousness.

Doctors intravenously administered significant amounts of a synthetic thyroid hormone and a strong anti-inflammatory medication in order to save the elderly woman’s life, according to Chu. After four to six weeks in the hospital, she got better and was transferred to a nursing rehabilitation facility.

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Octomon Wants You to Believe her Craziness or The Photoshop Effect

May 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Before

After

 “Octomom” Nadya Suleman claims a good diet and lots of exercise allowed her to lose 150lbs in a year. When asked if she’d had a tummy tuck, the mother-of-14 said, “No way, I would feel like I cheated. I wanted to prove to myself that I can do it on my own, naturally. My friends call my Rubber Band because I always snapped back so quickly after my other kids!”

Hmmm…I think her friends call her “rubber band” for an entirely different reason.  However, I’d prefer to call her opportunistic and parasitic.

There is, however, one other person in Nadya’s life who played a huge part in making her appear “photogenic,” her Photoshop editor.

Photoshop is the bane of every woman’s life, unless you happen to be a model/actress.  The photo editing software is, in my opinion, the cause of most women’s negative feelings towards their bodies.  How fair and realistic is it to compare your body to that of a model on the cover of a fitness magazine, when she’s had numerous photo editors “minimize” wrinkles, stretch marks, and blemishes?  It’s like striving for an ideal which only exists in your imagination…or fantasy land.

Allow me to introduce you to the “Photoshop Effect.”

  If you truly want to be disgusted, watch the 3:50 mark.

 

Let’s Play A Game

Now that you’re aware of Photoshop’s technical prowess and popularity, let’s play a game…guess which photo of Kin Kardashian is Photoshopped?

BTW, in the second photo, Kim Kardashian is rehearsing the choreography for her *sigh* “Ultimate Butt Body Sculpt” workout DVD.  No, I’m serious.

Notice Kim doesn’t tell you by which Friday you’ll fit into your jeans.  It could be this coming Friday, next month’s Friday, or even next year’s Friday.  Also, what’s the definition of “fit in your jeans?”  If you can squeeze your body into your jeans, technically, they fit.  Never mind that you now look like an overstuffed kielbasa…or that your jeans are so tight, I can not only count the change in your pockets, but I can read the year they were minted.  That Kim has some smart lawyers!

Now if you excuse me..I just threw up in my mouth.

If You’re Female and Haven’t Dated Since the Clinton Administration…This Might Help

May 20, 2010 Leave a comment

In accordance with my policy of promoting public service announcements, here’s the latest installment.  This one goes out to all the single ladies, sitting by the telephone…on Saturday night…waiting for it to ring.  Who needs eHarmony when you’re only one good poo away from meeting your Mr Right. 

No need to thank me…just doing my part.

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Why We’re Fat

May 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Nothing like spending quality time with your children…the only way this lady could demonstrate even greater laziness is by placing the stroller on a treadmill while she sits on the couch watching Oprah.

 Nothing like spending quality time with your son…especially when it involves glorifying alcohol.  Reminds me of the time my father would take me to bars with him, and make me tell my mother we “went to a park.”

 

Red Robin Italian Burger

A beef patty topped with tomato, peperoncinis, italian mayo, pepperoni and a layer of fried mozzarella sticks.  The least Red Robin could do is use whole wheat buns, and organic sesame seeds. 

Every day, our country gets fatter and fatter.  Last week I saw my neighbor ironing her Muu-Muu dress in the driveway.

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