Obesity: Breaking News

An Apology

I apologize for the long time interval since my last entry. My excuse is a good one- I was visiting my daughter, her husband and their children, twins (Evan and Sophie). In fact my son-in-law is my webmaster and he taught me how to do links which I will try to add to many of my entries. Their family is rather interesting, although maybe not so much in California, where they live. They are judicious vegetarians and the grandchildren do not seem to have suffered any for it. The children have never, to the best of my knowledge,
set foot in a McDonald’s restaurant.

The “News”

There have been an increasing number of news reports about the “alarming” epidemic of obesity in children. Hello- where have people been the last decade or so? Also, more and more celebrities are wanting to get into the act. For example, there is a report in the New York Times today that former President of the United States, Bill Clinton is “teaming up” with Rachael Ray of the Food Network to promote healthy eating for children. The article is written by Kim Severson (“Dining In” section, page D4). Apparently, the cooking duet episode will be televised tomorrow (recorded April 12, 2007). President Clinton was Ms. Ray’s surprise guest and they are to be “partners in the fight against childhood obesity.” According to the report, President Clinton is flagellating himself for his previously terrible eating habits that may have contributed to his heart disease and recent quadruple coronary artery bypass surgery. Ms. Ray intends to work with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, an organization founded jointly by President Clinton’s foundation and the American Heart Association to combat diabetes and obesity. Ms Ray apparently intends to help by talking about “how fun healthy food is, period.” Good for her.

Will any of this help? I doubt it but who knows? It can’t hurt

More News: Are Any Swedish Children Overweight?

In yesterday’s New York Times, there was a short report that Swedish children, like children in most developed nations (I won’t define what “developed” means), are getting heavier. It’s really not a surprise but somewhat of a disappointment for me- the Scandinavians have been “out front” in promoting health education, including nutritional education and physical education for some time. The only solace I have is that the increased prevalence of obesity is only a fraction of what we have seen in the U.S.

Even More News: Treating Obesity with Drugs

Also, in yesterday’s New York Times Jane Brody wrote an excellent review of current drug therapies for obesity, entitled “Weight-Loss Drugs: Hoopla and Hype.” She discussed both over-the-counter medications/products and prescription drugs. Let me summarize: don’t believe the claims about the over-the-counter products and watch out for the side effects of prescription drugs, especially given their (?very) limited benefits. Nothing new here but I think she did a nice job in sifting through a great deal of data. Darn, we are still going to have to suffer with healthy eating (remember it’s mostly too many calories in and not enough burned up through activity).

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