OBESITY and more than 300 million ppl affected!!

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    Chad Moechnig

    Post subject: OBESITY and more than 300 million ppl affected!!! PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 5:57 pm

    Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2004 11:16 am
    Posts: 325
    Location: Texas
    ATHENS (Reuters) – Obesity, which already affects more than 300 million people and an alarming number of children, must be recognized and treated as a disease with deadly complications, a leading expert said on Wednesday.

    Up to 8 percent of total healthcare costs in some Western countries are attributable to obesity and related problems. It is a leading cause of preventable death — so shedding excess weight is not just about looking good.

    “Obesity is not an aesthetic problem. It is a very complex problem tightly connected to diabetes, atherosclerosis (blocked arteries) and other major health problems and causes of death,” Professor Constantine Tsigos, chairman of the 14th European Congress on Obesity, told Reuters ahead of the meeting.

    “It has to be treated and confronted seriously.”

    The four-day congress with 2,000 experts from 80 countries will focus on all aspects of obesity. But much of it will be devoted to its consequences, which include cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems, diabetes, depression and some cancers.

    “The emphasis has been put on the complications to increase the awareness of obesity as a disease and a serious condition with many risks associated with it,” said Tsigos.


    Despite a better understanding of the causes of obesity, a multi-billion dollar diet industry and countless weight-loss programs and gadgets, the number of overweight and obese people is rising at an astounding rate.

    In European countries, rates have soared by 10-50 percent in the last decade. In Japan, it has doubled since 1982 and in the United States the percentage of young overweight people has tripled in 25 years.

    Tsigos stressed that prevention efforts must be geared to the young because excess weight in children is linked to early markers for metabolic syndrome — a collection of health risks that increase the odds of developing heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

    The symptoms include a large waistline or “beer belly,” high blood pressure, raised insulin levels, excess body weight and abnormal cholesterol levels. If someone has three or more symptoms they have the syndrome.

    “We should target childhood and adolescents for prevention and treatment as early and as aggressive as we can,” he said.

    Awareness of the problem has increased but he said some doctors still consider obesity as more of an aesthetic problem.

    Two anti-obesity drugs, Roche Holding AG’s Xenical and Meridia, made by Abbott Laboratories, are already available and more treatments are in the pipeline.

    Sanofi-Aventis has submitted its anti-obesity drug Acomplia for marketing approval with U.S. and European health authorities. It could be launched early next year.

    A vaccine to help people shed excess pounds, made by Switzerland’s Cytos Biotechnology, is in early trials.

    Tsigos said treatments are not only aimed at improving weight loss but achieving benefits such as reduced blood pressure, better insulin sensitivity and improved well being.

    “This will make therapy for obesity more widely acceptable and probably even justified by insurances — if we can prove the benefits are not simple weight loss,” he added


    Believe it or not, the health costs associated with obesity are literally DOUBLE those associated with smoking. In America, direct smoking-related costs are about $52 billion, while direct obesity-related costs are about $106 billion.

    Let’s recap: a 5’9 person would have to weigh 200lbs in order to be considered obese, meaning about 30lbs over the high range of “normal BMI.” Lets not get into an argument about BMI, because its a good “rough” system.

    This expert talks about obesity being bound up with diabetes, artery problems, and other major health concerns. This isn’t a correlation; this is a cause-and-effect. Another health consequence associated with obesity is arthritic joints. However, old people don’t start ballooning when their joints start to go; they go if they start ballooning. The diabetes in question comes from the obesity, not vice-versa.

    Indeed, a person who is obese will need serious treatment to minimize the fallout. But if they never reach that point in the first place (primary prevention), secondary prevention efforts would be unnecessary except in rare cases.

    When the hell did we get to the point where people had to be vaccinated against obesity?



    Post subject: PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2005 2:05 pm
    Pro Fighter

    Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 6:39 am
    Posts: 131
    Location: North East England
    McDonalds, Burger King, KFC etc etc Happy Meals aimed directly at kids, who have to collect 8 or more toys for a set and in a limited time so that the offer doesn’t finish.

    I don’t know if anyone saw the film ‘Supersize Me’ about the guy who ate nothing but McDonalds for a month to see what it actually does to your body. I know that this was extreme but it basically showed that if you eat this crap regularly it ain’t good for you.

    Schools should also do more, especially when kids first start school, they shouldn’t be allowed fast food at school, it should be an ‘occasional treat’ from the kids parents not an every day meal.


    Post subject: PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2005 6:37 am

    Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 6:49 pm
    Posts: 150
    Location: Austin, Texas
    Schools should also do more, especially when kids first start school, they shouldn’t be allowed fast food at school, it should be an ‘occasional treat’ from the kids parents not an every day meal.

    In the USA (at least where I am) they took out all the soda machines in the school, and the snack machines close at lunch time in hopes that the kids will go get lunch instead (i’m not sure if the snacks are healthier too- I do know that teachers and such aren’t allowed to feed kids certain types of candy because it’s not healthy- but I think chocolate is okay). They also force the kids to take a “well balanced” meal. This would all be good, but it’s sort of funny because they ONLY sold pepperoni pizza at this one school because if they sell it, they could sell it as the “whole meal”… has grain, dairy, meat, and tomato (veggie?)… so anyone who was a vegetarian had to pick the pepperoni off.

    But yet- despite these attempts, school lunch is still shit- chicken nuggets, greesy tacos, burgers…. *sighs* But let’s face it- no one’s going to spend the money on better school food- the school I worked at was like 80 or 90% free or reduced lunch (students who didn’t have to pay or paid less)… and tax payers (no matter how much they SAY they want to help the little children) aren’t going to be happy if they see taxes go up for it… and some of those kids don’t even get to EAT at home so that’s a problem.

    I was really interested in this group that the organization I interned for did at elementary schools. They picked a diverse group of students (not just ones with weight problems…)- every group session (there’s probably at least 12) the kids learn a different sport, and they learn to prepare a new healthy snack… a lot of this is just bringing in different types of fruit they’ve never tried. I think the kids track what they eat and are told what’s healthy for their age/size. It’s important because I think in America we get into this problem where we are sending 2 different messages: “you should love yourself how you are” (what we say) and “LOSE WEIGHT YOU FAT BITCH!” (the message we’re sending with our actions) … so instead of learning healthy eating habits, taking up a sport they enjoy for exercise and fun… we have girls starving themselves. And the focus becomes “not being fat” vs. “being healthy”… we SHOULD be aiming for health. Healthy does NOT necessarily mean being the thinnest girl in your school (read “Stick Figure” by Lori Gottlieb- about her struggles with anorexia- GREAT book, funny, but serious too)- I think everyone has different body types and although that doesn’t explain OBESITY, some girls are just bigger than others- and some petite girl may be JUST as unhealthy as the 200lb girl sitting next to her at lunch. My best friend in high school, for example, was about 98lbs and she could EAT… junk mostly… but would not put ANYTHING that was good into her body- milk, for example. I have met so many women who don’t drink milk… or take supplements. NOT healthy, no matter how thin you are…

    But if the countries target HEALTH, rather than obesity, they might see a drop in ALL of the health costs… not just those linked to obesity…

    Just a thought…


    Post subject: PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 3:46 am
    Pro Fighter

    Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 6:39 am
    Posts: 131
    Location: North East England
    It’s good about the soda and snack machines, that’s a good idea, I wonder who thought to put them in in the first place though?

    In Britain there is a chef called Jamie Oliver and he decided he would go into schools and try to cater for the kids lunch using the same budget they use now. It was about an 8 programme series on TV called jamie’s School Dinners, he made up the recipes and helped the dinner ladies cook them. The kids wouldn’t eat the food, they didn’t like anything that looked like it had veg in it so he started to disguise it, instead using frozen pizza’s etc, he made them from stratch and by using five vegetables in the tomato sauce it was a way of getting the kids to eat healthier.

    He also went into the classrooms and showed what exactly goes into burgers and sausages, the amount of fat and the poor quality of the meat, and the kids were totally put off, he also got the kids involved with cooking and they started to choose the healthier options. It also showed it was easier to change the bad eating habits the younger the kids were.

    I know what you mean about the money though but at the same time the costs of doctors and hospitals would reduce dramatically so it would balance up in the end. I also think that maybe if governments spent less money on expense accounts and things like the millenium dome they would be able to find the extra money without raising taxes. Problem is they spend so long to change anything that by the time something happens it’s about twenty years too late!

    Sorry, I’ll now get off my little soap box, sometimes I really go on and on.


    Post subject: PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 5:26 am

    Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 6:56 am
    Posts: 915
    Location: Lexington, KY
    We can’t blame others for our own weaknesses. That’s the problem with America today – no one wants to take responsibility for their actions.

    “If I’m fat it’s because there’s a McDonalds on my way to work.” “If I’m fat it’s because my wife keeps buying junk food.”

    People like this need to understand that if they are fat it’s because they chose to be. Because McDonalds and junk food were more important to them than being healthy.

    Then they don’t want to work to fix it (dieting and exercising). Instead they’ll just wait until they can have gastric bypass. It’s sad how the majority of people in this country have decided that nothing is their own fault so they’re not going to strain themselves to fix it.


    Post subject: OBESITY and more than 300 million ppl affected!!!PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 12:18 pm

    Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2004 4:19 pm
    Posts: 31
    Location: Elk Grove, CA
    Thank you both…
    So Very true -“no one wants to take responsibility for their actions”

    I remember a few years ago, here in CA, schools were craking down and taking sodas out of some of our schools and replacing it with Juice or even milk vending machines.

    As for lunches I have seen slight changes, which is important to recognize because if students can not afford lunch or don’t bring a lunch than if they are not given healthy choices we will continue to have an increase in the number of nutritional health problems.

    Now being a highschool teacher myself. I have seen more than ever how important it is that I am leading by example. Students see the choices I am making…just as they see their parents choices. Although in my school district they hold a 30 min Advidcocy period teaching students life skills, such as, nutrition, drug abuse, peer pressure, etc.

    Education is key to teaching youth better choices…but I find parents putting many of the life skill teachings onto the school system which is in my opinion again reinforces them not taking responsibility…


    Post subject: PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 12:18 pm

    Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 6:49 pm
    Posts: 150
    Location: Austin, Texas
    As for lunches I have seen slight changes, which is important to recognize because if students can not afford lunch or don’t bring a lunch than if they are not given healthy choices we will continue to have an increase in the number of nutritional health problems.

    I would personally like to see things change with food stamps- I like the WIC program because it ensures that families get important things like milk and eggs… as much as telling people what they can eat is kinda bad, I don’t think people can feed their kids and themselves off what we give them for food allowances…. at least not for healthy food. Ramen is like 50 bags for $2…. if they have to chose between vegetables and Ramen, people are going to pick what’s going to ensure they have enough food for the week.


    Post subject: PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 12:43 pm

    Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2004 10:25 am
    Posts: 364
    Location: Evansville, IN
    As a Libertarian I don’t much care for any of these government programs BUT the WIC program is, as you stated, is a great deal better than Food Stamps. The problem I have with the food stamp program is the opposite to what you are saying though. I think people are more concerned with stretching their food budget when it is their own money. With food stamps I see people buy what ever they want regardless of cost. I can’t even count the number of times that I have been at the Grocery store and saw the person in front of me spend 2-3 times my family’s weekly food budget on Steak and various other higher priced things that we can’t normally afford. The top it off with a couple of gallons of ice cream, bags and bags and bags of potato chips, boxes of high sugar kids cereal (you know, candy in a breakfast bowl), and then they pay for it all with food stamps. At this point, my blood is already boiling and I usually see it get worse. After all of that, I see them pay for their CIGARETTES and BEER with the cash that they have, telling me that they could have afforded their own food in the first place.

    I heard once, and from what my eyes tell me I believe it to be true, Obesity is the #1 Health Problem with the American Poor.


    Post subject: PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 6:09 am

    Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 6:49 pm
    Posts: 150
    Location: Austin, Texas
    Bleh if they’re buying that stuff with their food stamps, I wonder how long that food lasts. Probably not long 🙁


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