April 1, 2011

One-Third of US Adults Is Obese

1 NIH Seeks to Combat US Obesity

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) seeks to combat obesity by funding research for new programs and technology designed to address the problem which affects more than one-third of adults and nearly 17% of US children. Research recommendations include using technology to advance obesity research and improve healthcare delivery, discover key processes that regulate body weight and influence behavior, and evaluate strategies to prevent and treat obesity in real-world settings. The NIH plan hopes to improve public health by highlighting education and community outreach. One advance by past NIH task forces was to help women achieve a healthy weight before and during pregnancy to ensure the future health of their children.

More at ScienceDaily.com | Posted 7 years ago by Melody Lesser

Tags: Childhood Obesity, Dangers of Obesity, Diabetes, National Institutes of Health, Obesity, Pregnancy, Government Funding Obesity Research

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (53%) / No! (47%)

Popcorn, Goobers & a Diet Drink

2 Fed. Calorie Count Rule Exempts Movie Theaters

Posting calorie counts is de rigueur for many food establishments and now a proposed federal rule that requires it will exempt movie theaters, thanks to a push from the movie industry which relies heavily on income from food sales. The FDA will make the rule public this week. It’s expected to go into effect next year. The original rule included movie theaters but now includes only establishments whose primary purpose is to sell food. It also exempts alcoholic beverages sold in restaurants. (Do you know how many calories are in your margarita?) Nutrition advocacy groups are unhappy with the rule, although it is a step in the right direction. They point to the fact that a large tub of movie popcorn with butter can contain 1500 calories while a large soft drink has 500 calories.

More at NYTimes.com | Posted 7 years ago by Melody Lesser

Tags: Calories, Food and Drug Administration, Movie Snacks, Calorie Counts, Calories in Movie Popcorn, Calories in Soft Drinks, Nutrition Advocacy Groups, Nutrition Labels

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (54%) / No! (46%)

Or Is That Dander?

3 New Vaccine Leaves Cat Allergies in the Dust

A new vaccine has been developed at McMaster University, Canada, to treat people with cat allergies. The new vaccine is unlike traditional allergy shots that can be expensive and frequent, although initially, four to eight doses a year may be required. However, side effects that may be associated with traditional allergy shots don’t arise with the new vaccine. Researchers developed the vaccine, which is still in clinical trials, after ten years of research. It’s based on a protein that cats secrete in their fur that’s responsible for the majority of allergic reactions. Called peptide immunotherapy, the cat allergy vaccine is the first in the line of vaccines to be developed using this technology. Future vaccines will treat ragweed, grass and house dust mite allergies.

More at Eurekalert.org | Posted 7 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Scientists Identify Cat Allergy Trigger

Tags: Allergies, Cat Allergens, Cats, Vaccine, Cat Allergies, Cat Dander, McMaster University, Feline Allergies

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (48%) / No! (52%)

Emails Enlighten Workers' Plight

4 Anonymous Japan Nuke Workers Not Afraid to Die

The “Fukushima 50,” an anonymous group of about 300 people who have been working to prevent Japan’s damaged nuclear power plant, are being hailed as heroes. The Japanese government is keeping the identities of the workers a secret, although emails have emerged which shed light on their plight, says an article in The Wall Street Journal. "I just wanted people to understand that there are many people fighting under harsh circumstances in the nuclear plants," one anonymous Tokyo Electric Power worker writes. "Crying is useless. If we're in hell now all we can do is to crawl up towards heaven." Communication with the Fukushima 50 has been nearly impossible though, reports CBS, workers, who’ve been exposed to high levels of radiation, are not afraid to die.

More at Huffingtonpost.com/aolnews | Posted 7 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Meltdown Possible at Japan's Nuclear Power Plants

Tags: CBS, Japan Earthquake, Japan Tsunami, Radiation, Japan Nuclear Disaster, Fukushima 50, Japan Relief, The Wall Street Journal, Tokyo Electric Power

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (50%) / No! (50%)

Now $690 Per Injection

5 Price Drops for Makena Preemie Prevention Drug

Makena, a new drug that helps prevent premature birth, is becoming less expensive after makers KV Pharmaceutical Co. dropped the price by more than half. According to Detroit Free Press, the drug company has expanded their financial aid program, which is estimated to help 85 percent of women who may benefit from the drug. Pharmacies had been making cheap generic versions of the progesterone drug for about $10 to $20 per injection, but the government granted KV Pharmaceutical Co. the right to exclusively sell the drug. While the move was supposed to ensure consistency and quality, the price increase to $1,500 per injection was shocking to pregnant women and doctors alike. Each dose now costs $690. The government has said that pharmacies may continue to make the cheaper version of the drug.

More at Detriot Free Press | Hat tip to MSNBC | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Cheaper Version of Makena Still Available

Tags: KV Pharmaceutical Co., Premature Babies, Preventing Pregnancy Problems, Makena Price Drop, Preemie Prevention

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (54%) / No! (46%)

First Time for Big Fall

6 Lung Cancer Death Rates Fall for Women

Lung cancer death rates for women have fallen significantly for the first time, finds a new report from the National Cancer Institute. The yearly report uncovered a statistically significant decline in lung cancer death rates for women from 2003 to 2007, the latest time period studied. While lung cancer death rates started to fall for men about 10 years ago, the decrease for women is new, but expected since many women have stopped smoking. Washington Post reports that lung cancer death rates for women peaked in 2002, then dropped around 1 percent a year throughout 2007. Overall, cancer rates fell for men and women, including all racial and ethnic groups. Researchers attribute some of the overall decline to drops in colorectal cancers and breast cancer.

More at The Washington Post | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Toenails Foretell Lung Cancer Risk

Tags: Lung Cancer, Lung Cancer Risk, National Cancer Institute, Lung Cancer Death Rates, Number Women Dying Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancers

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (47%) / No! (53%)

Unusual Companion

7 Woman Wants Disabled Kangaroo for Pet Therapy

Christie Carr, an Oklahoma woman suffering from depression, is seeking an exemption from the Broken Arrow City Council to keep a 25-pound great red kangaroo as a therapy pet. Irwin, named after Australian animal expert Steve Irwin, was partially paralyzed after running into a fence as a baby, fracturing his neck and causing severe brain damage. The kangaroo cannot stand or walk on his own, but is regaining mobility with help from Ms. Carr. She also feeds him, dresses him in little boy clothing, and changes his diaper several times a day. Ms. Carr’s therapist has certified Irwin as a therapy pet under the Americans with Disabilities Act, but Broken Arrow Mayor Mike Lester says that there are a “myriad of things to consider” before allowing him to remain in Ms. Carr’s home.

More at WBTV | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Urbanites More Likely to Think of Pets As Kids, Tripping over Pets Sends Many Americans to Emergency Room

Tags: Depression, Pets, Pet Therapy, Wild Animals

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (44%) / No! (56%)

Diabetes Role in Liver Disease

8 Diabetics More Likely to Die from Liver Cancer

A study of 11,367 people who died of liver disease, 1,267 of whom were diabetic, found that 24 percent of those with the disease died of liver cancer compared to only 9 percent of those without diabetics. Sixty-three percent of people without diabetes died from liver disease linked to alcoholism whereas 38 percent of diabetics died because of alcohol-related liver disease. Diabetics should not consume alcohol in excess because it can affect blood glucose levels and cause weight gain, a risk factor for both type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Alcoholism and fatty liver related to diabetes increases the risk of cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver which can ultimately lead to cancer. Researchers want to further investigate the role of diabetes in liver disease.

More at BBC | Posted 7 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Spice May Help Prevent Liver Damage

Tags: Cirrhosis, Fatty Liver Disease, Liver, Liver Cancer, Type 2 Diabetes, Risk Factors for Liver Disease, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (49%) / No! (51%)

May Affect Fertility

9 Shift Works Alters Menstrual Cycle

A study of over 71,000 female nurses found that 12 percent on rotating shifts were more likely to have irregular menstrual periods compared to nine percent who had not done so in the last 2 years. Irregular menstrual cycles make it difficult for women to conceive but it is unclear if problems due to shift work are linked to infertility. After accounting for other factors associated with irregular menstrual cycles such as weight, age and levels of activity, shift work increased the likelihood to 23 percent. Rotating shifts disrupt circadian rhythm which affects blood pressure and the production of hormones such as melatonin which is produced at night and regulates many processes including sleep. Melatonin’s role in regulating reproduction is unknown.

More at Yahoo! Reuters | Posted 7 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Cycle Affects Change in Vitals When Intubated

Tags: Circadian Rhythm, Infertility, Melatonin, Menstrual Cycle, Rotating Shift Work, Menstrual Irregularities, Irregular Periods

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (40%) / No! (60%)

Similar Findings in Adults

10 Hole in Heart and Aural Migraines Linked in Kids

A study involving 109 children greater than 6 years old showed that about 50 percent of those who had aural migraines had a hole in their heart which is two times greater than those without the defect. Researchers looked for the heart defect using echocardiogram which scans the heart. Previous research has found the same link in adults with the same condition known as patent foramen ovale. This resulted in surgically repairing the heart in hopes of alleviating the migraines. This phenomenon in which people see flashing light during the migraine affects one in ten people. While the results are interesting researchers believe further investigation is warranted. The complete study can be found in the Journal of Pediatrics.

More at BBC | Posted 7 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Women with Migraines As Kids Tend to Gain Weight

Tags: Migraines, Heart Defects, Aural Migraines, Hole in Heart, Migraines in Kids, Patent Foramen Ovale

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (51%) / No! (49%)

Got Hypertension? Blame Mom

11 Gene Related to Hypertension Passed on from Mom

Genetic analysis of one Chinese family demonstrated that a defect in one gene was related to high blood pressure and was passed on from the mother. The change was in mitochondrial DNA which can only be inherited from mom. This genetic screening showed that one small change in the DNA sequence was linked to inherited high blood pressure and 15 of the 27 relatives who are descendants of the same female ancestor had BPs greater than 140/90 mmHg compared to only 7 of 81 who were not related by this woman. To confirm the link, 342 Chinese residents living in the same area were done to confirm the maternal link. This defect impairs the mitochondrial respiration chain which generates energy for the cell. When this is impaired the levels of oxygen radicals increases which causes cellular damage.

More at Science Daily | Posted 7 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Amelia Earhart Mystery Could Be Solved by Spit

Tags: Genetics, High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Inherited High Blood Pressure, Mitochrondrial DNA, Mitochondrial Transport Chain, Oxygen Radicals

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (48%) / No! (52%)

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