Obesity

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Notes from Linked In: Obesity Rates Expected to Double

By Marcus Samuelsson | December 5, 2012

Photo: Thomas Hawk

This article was first posted on LinkedIn on December 3, 2012.

A friend forwarded me a link to this slide show (it’s at the bottom of the page) and it was startling. Created by the Center for Disease Control, it simply shows the changes to the geography of U.S. Obesity from 1985 until 2010. As you sit and watch, this simple set of maps starts from nearly all blue and just gets redder and redder, effectively and dramatically showing the yearly increase of American wastelines. While we’ve all heard the phrase “Obesity Epidemic” being thrown around, this visual really hit home for me how recently and dramatically this excessive weight gain has happened in our nation. Read More

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Emerging Health Paradox in Greece

By admin | April 18, 2012

Greek salad

Photo: Katherine Martinelli

By: Michael Engle

Currently, the national economy is not the only crisis for the country of Greece.  In a stunning and ironic development, more than 65% of Greek citizens are obese–the highest percentage of any EU member country. This growing problem in Greece is especially disappointing, when one considers that Greece is the cradle of the Mediterranean diet.  For centuries, the Greek lifestyle has been regarded as one of the healthiest diets, with its plethora of whole grains, olive oil, herbs and spices, and seafood, coupled with its societal aversion to (but not banishment of) red meat and salt. It is even recommended at times in order to lose or maintain ideal weight. Hence, the alarming paradox.

Predictably, Western lifestyles and influences can be blamed, as the Mediterranean region is poised to consume more unhealthy fats and sweets than ever.  As a result of these nontraditional diet practices and lower levels of physical activity, Greeks are increasingly prone to previously unprecedented maladies, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Read More

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“Weighing In”: An Interview with Author Julie Guthman, Part II

By admin | April 4, 2012

Julie Guthman

By: Michael Engle

With the obesity epidemic in news over the recent years, society is often quick to point to personal responsibility as a main cause to America’s weight problems. But in Julie Guthman’s book Weighing In: Obesity, Food Justice, and the Limits of Capitalism, she proposes other causes like exposure to chemicals and under-regulation of these by the government.

We continue her interview here with her thoughts on the ways to address this epidemic. Read More

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“Weighing In”: An Interview with Author Julie Guthman, Part I

By admin | April 3, 2012

guthman-weighing-in

By: Michael Engle

Last month, I attended the American Association of Geographers (AAG) national convention; the 2012 iteration happened to take place in New York City.  Of the countless seminars, discussions, and conferences I saw, one particular Saturday affair proved to be the most memorable.  I attended an “author-meets-critics” event, featuring Julie Guthman and her recent book, Weighing In: Obesity, Food Justice, and the Limits of Capitalism.

Weighing In is Dr. Guthman’s second book. She received her Ph.D. in geography in 2000, from the University of California at Berkeley, and is now an associate professor at UC Santa Cruz.   I got the chance to interview Dr. Guthman to discuss her book, her thoughts on the American food industry, and how and why calories and diets are not the be-all-end-all to healthier lifestyles. Read More

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First Lady Michelle Obama Launches Campaign to Battle Obesity in the Military

By Jeannette | February 20, 2012

Photo: United States Marine Corps Official Page

Photo: United States Marine Corps Official Page

By: Justin Chan

Obesity isn’t just a health issue that has plagued children. Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama noted that it has also become a health risk and even a national security hazard among members of the military. In addition to her effort to provide healthier lunch for kids, Obama wants to take part in overhauling the military’s food services.

According to Reuters, Obama announced a new nutritional awareness campaign to battle obesity that will change the nutrition standards for the first time in 20 years.

“The military is always taking the lead in terms of setting standards,” said Jonathan Woodson, Assistant U.S. Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. Read More

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Can A Ban on Junk Food Ads Reduce Its Consumption?

By admin | January 23, 2012

Photo: sean dreilinger

Photo: sean dreilinger

Studies based on an experiment in Canada, show that a ban on ads that promote junk food among children is likely to cut down their consumption. The experiment took place in Quebec province where the government banned fast food ads between 1984 and 1992, resulting in the consumption of about 11-22 million fewer fast-food meals per year. This translated to 2.2-4.4 billion fewer calories consumed by children and a reduction by 13% of fast-food expenditures per week in each household, according to Kathy Baylis, an economist from the University of Illinois.

This raises certainty to the question of effectiveness of junk food and fast food ads targeted at children. Read More

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Obesity Puts Girls At Higher Risk Than Boys

By admin | October 24, 2011

Photo: Der Wunderbare Mandarin

Photo: Der Wunderbare Mandarin

By: Michele Wolfson

Research from the University of California has suggested that obesity has a greater impact on the blood pressure of teenage girls compared to teenage boys. In the study that included 1,700 teens between the ages of 13 and 17, obese girls had three times the risk of higher blood pressure. Findings from this study also discovered that obese teenage males are 3.5 times more likely to develop elevated systolic blood pressure than their non-obese peers. For females, the statistics are even worse. Obese females are nine times more likely to develop elevated systolic blood pressure than to non-obese teen girls.

This is a major problem that American families are facing today. Read More

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The Struggle Continues Against Childhood Obesity

By admin | October 11, 2011

Photo: Port of San Diego

Photo: Port of San Diego

A new study from MSNBC reports that food ads on television have more pull when it comes to children’s food selection over parents.  Children ranging from 3-8 years of age were shown programs including three commercials; one group viewing an ad for French fries and the other an ad for apple slices and dipping sauce. It is reported that 71% of the children that watched the French fries commercial whose parent’s had a neutral influence chose to eat French fries over apple slices when given the option; 55% did when their parents encouraged them to make the healthier choice. Of the children who watched the commercial for the apples, only 46% went for the French fries when parents remained neutral and 33% did when parents promoted the healthier choice. Read More

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FoodCorps Vision Becomes a Reality

By admin | August 29, 2011

Photo: kaiscapes

Photo: kaiscapes

By: Melaina Gasbarrino

America is getting hit with a whole new set of soldiers that are ready to defend its children and healthy eating. FoodCorps has had a vision for a while now and their vision, as of last week, has become a reality. The organizations mission is to provide hands-on nutritional education, bring high-quality local foods into public school cafeterias and create and tend to school gardens. Read More

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