Health Promotion: November 2006 Archives

healthy womanAvoiding health risk factors in midlife such as smoking, being overweight, excessive drinking and hypertension is associated with a longer and healthier life in men, according to a study in the November 15 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on men's health.

Bradley J. Willcox, M.D., of the Pacific Health Research Institute and Kuakini Medical Center in Honolulu, presented the findings of the study today at a JAMA media briefing on men's health in New York.

Persons alive at age 85 years or older are the fastest-growing age group in most industrialized countries and are among the largest consumers of health care resources. Identifying strategies for remaining healthy, vigorous, and disability-free at older ages has become a major priority, according to background information in the article. Studies with substantial numbers of long-lived participants and characteristics associated with longer survival are rare but essential to identify risk factors for health and survival at older ages.

obese manCHICAGO (Reuters) - Heavier patients with clogged heart arteries have lower death rates in the short term than their leaner counterparts because they get more aggressive treatment, a study said on Wednesday.

This so-called obesity paradox could occur because overweight patients were younger and doctors might be more willing to perform invasive treatments on them, said the study's author, Benjamin Steinberg, a visiting medical student at Johns Hopkins University.

The analysis of 130,139 patients found that heavier patients did better because doctors were more likely to follow standard treatment guidelines, including performing surgeries like angioplasty, which may improve their outcomes.
junk foodNEW YORK (Reuters) - British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver wants the United States to take up his campaign against fatty snacks and school lunches to combat the country's burgeoning child obesity problem.

Oliver, 31, has spent the past several years crusading for healthier food in British schools with a television series that aired last year and a government-backed overhaul of school catering. Now he wants the United States to address the issue.

"England's the most unhealthy country in Europe and America is the most unhealthy country in the world," Oliver, known for his frank opinions, told Reuters in New York while promoting his latest book and television series on Italy.

Healthy Citizens Boost National Wealth

healthy lifestyleThe best economic investment a nation can make is to invest in the health of its citizens, a European Commission report concludes.

Most studies of the link between health and wealth look at poor countries, note World Health Organization economist Marc Suhrcke and colleagues. Yet rich nations owe much of their wealth to previous health gains.

"For example, about 30% of economic growth in the United Kingdom between 1790 and 1980 has been estimated to be attributed to better health and dietary intake," Suhrcke and colleagues write in the journal BMJ. "Better health meant that British workers increased their ability to convert energy into productive work by over 50% during this period."

Schools Work to Make Nutrition Fun

nutrition in schools DALLAS  --  The Dallas Independent School District is calling on "Mister Tone" to cut down on student obesity. It's a program meant to make good nutrition and exercise fun.

The district is working with a private company to implement Operation Tone-Up next semester for 1,600 fourth graders at 20 elementary schools.

Associate Superintendent Celso Martinez said the program will give students an opportunity to learn good health habits.

Martinez said the issue is especially important for Hispanic students, who make up 65 percent of the district's population.

home workoutFear of fitness and weight loss failure are major contributors to the worldwide obesity epidemic. Simple home workouts can be instrumental in fighting fat and poor fitness levels.

Ponte Vedra Beach, FL -- According to official figures from a 2006 report compiled by The Trust for America's Health, the adult obesity rate rose from 15 percent in 1980 to 32 percent in 2004. Combine that with the number of Americans who are overweight but not obese, and the figure stands at 64 percent. And the childhood obesity rate more than tripled between 1980 and 2004, from 5 percent to 17 percent.

 "I don't have enough time for exercise." "I'm too out of shape to workout." "I don't know what to do." "I'm too afraid to ask the fitness instructors." "The gym is too crowded." "The health club members are rude." "I don't have the willpower." These are some of the top excuses revealed by a 2004 survey conducted by the American Council on Exercise of San Diego.

NYC planningby Tom Angotti, Gottam Gazette

In the news recently we have seen the controversial proposal by the City’s Health Department to address the epidemic of obesity by limiting the use of transfats by restaurants and fast food outlets. The city’s health professionals are also working in neighborhoods with high rates of obesity and diabetes to promote the sale of healthy foods. At the same time, city officials are moving to improve the quality of food in school cafeterias. Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the city, with 43 percent of elementary school children found to be obese or overweight. Health specialists acknowledge that diet and exercise are two key factors related to this epidemic, and they are working seriously on diet.

But what about exercise? Can the city do anything more to increase physical activity? This is a more difficult issue, and not as simple to address. Physical activity is also related to another serious epidemic in the city –- asthma.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Health Promotion category from November 2006.

Health Promotion: December 2006 is the next archive.

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