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8 Fairly Weighty Obesity Issues

8 Fairly Weighty Obesity Issues


  • This might be the first generation where kids are dying at a younger age than their parents, and it’s related primarily to the obesity problem.—Actress Judy Davis

  • 1. New Trending in Teen Obesity. The prevalence of obesity in US children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years was 17.0% in 2011-2014 and the prevalence of extreme obesity was 5.8%, according to NHANES. In variances from earlier analyses, the prevalence was seen to increase between 1988-1994 and 2003-2004 and then decrease in children aged 2 to 5 years, increase until 2007-2008, and then level off in children aged 6 to 11 years and increase among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years.

  • 2. Eating Disorders Associated with Obesity Prevention. A clinical report suggested that obesity prevention and treatment, if conducted correctly, do not predispose teenagers to eating disorders. Most adolescents in whom an eating disorder develops did not previously have obesity, but an eating disorder may develop in some teens as they attempt to lose weight. The report recommended a focus on a healthy lifestyle rather than on weight.

  • 3. High Obesity Rate Even in Student-Athletes. A large percentage of student-athletes in a recent study were overweight or obese and had stage 1 or 2 level blood pressure readings that strongly correlated with elevated BMI. Researchers expressed concerns about the cardiovascular health of this population because the obesity and high blood pressure rates place the student-athletes at increased risk for complications later in life in spite of their sports participation.

  • 4. A Challenge to “Healthy Obesity.” Differences in the acute transcriptional response to insulin are driven primarily by obesity per se. Insulin-sensitive severely obese and insulin-resistant severely obese subjects displayed a clear but globally similar transcriptional response to insulin that differed from the small effects observed in non-obese subjects. The finding challenges the notion of healthy obese adipose tissue, at least in severe obesity.

  • 5. Stronger Obesity–Heart Failure Link. In the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study, investigators compared the association of higher BMI with incident heart failure, coronary heart disease, and stroke. The link between obesity and heart failure was stronger than those for other cardiovascular disease subtypes and was uniquely unexplained by traditional risk factors. They suggested weight management is probably critical for optimal heart failure prevention.

  • 6. Obesity May Age Brain, By a Decade. Investigators performed a cross-sectional analysis of MRI-based brain structure to determine whether common mechanisms in aging and obesity increase susceptibility to neurodegeneration. Cerebral white-matter volume in overweight and obese persons was associated with a greater degree of atrophy. Maximal effects in middle-age corresponded to an estimated increase of brain age of 10 years.

  • 7. Obesity Duration Shapes Cancer Risk. A longer duration of overweight and obesity is associated with an increased risk of several forms of cancer. Researchers concluded that reducing overweight duration in adulthood could reduce cancer risk and that obesity prevention is important from early onset. They suggested that health care teams recognize the potential of obesity management in cancer prevention and manage excess body weight in women regardless of the patient’s age.

  • 8. The FDA on Obesity Medical Devices. More than 68% of U.S. adults are overweight and 36% of them are obese, says the FDA, which recommends patients turn to prescription medications, invasive surgery, and medical devices when diet and exercise do not achieve weight loss. Four types of devices are FDA approved for adults: gastric bands, an electrical stimulation system, gastric balloons, and a gastric emptying system. The FDA recommends monitoring by a health care provider.

Two-thirds of Americans are considered overweight or obese, and as the prevalence increases, obesity continues to grow as a major health problem. Click through the slideshow above for brief summaries of the latest research findings.

Additional information on the studies is availabe below.

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