The obesity epidemic knows no boundaries as shown in the news updates below.
Obesity in America
Nearly 90 percent of American adults will be overweight or obese by 2030, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). More about this is presented in a series of radio podcasts as part of AHRQ’s public service news Healthcare 411:
- Rising Health Care Costs Related to Obesity
- Staying Healthy: Losing Weight
- Obesity – Prevention and Treatment
Mexico to ban junk food from schools to fight fat
Mexico is another country struggling with rising obesity rates. The battle against obesity is currently being fought in the schoolyard where traditional Mexican treats are being scrutinized for nutritional value. Some of the banned foodstuffs are:
- salted tamarind candy
- pork rinds
- atole (the thick and sweet cornstarch-based beverage served piping hot in the morning)
- tortas (overstuffed, greasy, meat-packed sandwiches)
These drastic measures are justified since according to Mexican President Felipe Calderon “Unfortunately, we are the country with the biggest problem of childhood obesity in the entire world.”
States requiring PE, but amount varies
More and more American states are making physical education (PE) obligatory in elementary, middle and high schools. However, the guidelines seem to have too many loopholes in terms of quantity and timing of PE.
A report released Tuesday by the American Heart Association and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education said exercise for schoolchildren is also threatened by a rising number of waivers and exemptions from PE in school districts around the country.
Nancy Brown, CEO of the heart association, said the group is pleased that more states are requiring physical education but is also concerned that the requirements don’t have more teeth.
Scottish people ‘living dangerously’
By dangerous living here is not meant risk-taking behaviors like performing dangerous sports or engaging in violent crime. The study is referring to the fact that almost the entire Scottish population (97.5%) has multiple behavioral risk factors for cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions. [They] are likely to be either cigarette smokers, heavy drinkers, physically inactive, overweight or have a poor diet.
Genetic basis for health benefits of the ‘Mediterranean diet’
Does Mediterranean diet really help in reducing weight and keeping your heart healthy? Researchers report that phenolic compounds found virgin olive oil repress genes that are pro-inflammatory. Once these genes are repressed, the immune system cells shift to a “less deleterious inflammatory profile.” The researchers report that:
“These findings strengthen the relationship between inflammation, obesity and diet and provide evidence at the most basic level of healthy effects derived from virgin olive oil consumption in humans. It will be interesting to evaluate whether particular phenolic compounds carry these effects, or if they are the consequence of a synergic effect of the total phenolic fraction”.