The European Commission said Wednesday it was considering tightening food advertising and nutrition labeling rules if companies failed to improve consumer awareness about unhealthy foods.
In a new drive against obesity, EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou said he wanted to "encourage" food companies to provide consumers with full information about the health risks associated with their products.
But if they failed to improve the information available to consumers, he said "we cannot exclude the possibility" of setting tougher advertising and labelling rules on companies.
"What consumers eat is up to them, but they should be able to make informed choices, and have a range of healthy options to choose from," said Kyprianou.
Obesity has long been associated with a person's lifestyle and dietary habits, but the study shows it might just as well be dependent on "epigenetics" -- factors such as genes, and the eating habits and lifestyle of parents and grandparents, said researchers at the University of Hong Kong.All the more reason to upgrade the eating habits of the whole family.
"You tend to assume it's just your lifestyle, but what people are realising is it's not just what you are doing now, but what people have done in your family in the past," said Mary Schooling, assistant professor at the university's School of Public Health.
New born infants would be considered heavy if they weigh 3.65 kg (8 pounds) and over.
Excess weight and obesity pose major risks for chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke and some forms of cancer.
Published online in May in The American Journal of Epidemiology, the study said that workers who weigh too much were at risk for a variety of problems.You know this already, but it’s worth mentioning. In Eat to Live Dr. Fuhrman explains that obesity is the number health concern in the United States. From the book:
It is not just conditions caused over time by excessive stress on the overweight body, like carpal tunnel syndrome. The researchers, led by Keshia M. Pollack of Johns Hopkins University, also found a significantly higher risk of traumatic injuries from single incidents.
The study is based on a review of the medical and accident records of more than 7,600 people employed by an American aluminum manufacturing company at eight plants.
The number one health problem in the United States is obesity, and if the current trend continues, by the year 2030 all adults in the United States will be obese…And obesity—especially childhood obesity—can line you up for a host of health problems, take cancer for example. Dr. Fuhrman explains in Disease-Proof Your Child. Check it out:
…Obesity and its sequelae pose a serious challenge to physicians. Both primary-care physicians and obesity-treatment specialists fail to make an impact on the long-term health of most of their patients. Studies show that initial weight loss is followed by weight regain.1
Obesity increases the incidence of many common cancers. For example, a carefully designed study that tracked more than one million women for twenty-five years found that women who were heavier and taller as youngsters were 56 percent more likely to develop ovarian cancer.2Continue Reading...
The Garden State has the highest percentage of overweight and obese children under age 5, at 17.7 percent, according to a 2004 survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. New Jersey also has many black and Latino youth, who are more likely to be overweight than white kids.
Dr. Fred M. Jacobs, commissioner of the state Department of Health and Senior Services, said young people are a crucial target for the new agency because it's easier to instill good diet and exercise habits to prevent obesity in young people than it is to reverse weight problems in adults; adults almost always gain back any weight they lose — and then some.
In their study, a team at Emory Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta examined data from the U.S. National Asthma Survey.
"Our analysis showed that out of more than 3,000 patients with asthma, obese patients were 66 percent more likely to report continuous symptoms, 36 percent more likely to miss more days of work and 52 percent more likely to be classified as having either moderate or severe persistent asthma when compared to non-overweight people," Dr. Brian Taylor, a pulmonary fellow, said in a prepared statement.
These findings held true after the researchers adjusted for factors including gender, race, age, smoking status, and family history of asthma.
Taylor said he and his colleagues, "noted that obese patients were more likely to have less education, be unemployed and be African-American."
They also found that obese people with asthma made more frequent emergency room visits and used daily controller and as-needed rescue medications more often. The association between obesity and asthma severity seemed slightly stronger in women than in men, which has been noted in previous studies.
"Being thin doesn't automatically mean you're not fat," said Dr. Jimmy Bell, a professor of molecular imaging at Imperial College, London. Since 1994, Bell and his team have scanned nearly 800 people with MRI machines to create "fat maps" showing where people store fat.
According to the data, people who maintain their weight through diet rather than exercise are likely to have major deposits of internal fat, even if they are otherwise slim. "The whole concept of being fat needs to be redefined," said Bell, whose research is funded by Britain's Medical Research Council.
Without a clear warning signal — like a rounder middle — doctors worry that thin people may be lulled into falsely assuming that because they're not overweight, they're healthy.
A program that pulled a whole town into helping its children eat better and exercise more helped stop the kids from gaining too much weight, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday.
The children of Somerville, Massachusetts gained, on average, just less than a pound (half a kg) less than children who did not take part in the program, the researchers at Tufts University's school of nutrition in Boston found.
And it got them to eat broccoli.
For young children still growing rapidly, this was a significant success, study leader Christina Economos said in a telephone interview.
"All children are gaining weight because they are growing," she said. "We want to prevent weight gain over and above what they need to for development."
They did, Economos and colleagues report in the journal Obesity. Children who were overweight lost weight, or stopped gaining, and those who were lean continued to grow at a healthy rate.
Economos hopes the seeds of life-long healthy habits have been planted in these children.
Talk to your kids—who would have thought?
The technique, motivational interviewing, involves asking open-ended questions (for example, "could you tell me how you feel about your weight"), listening and repeating the interviewee's answers, and encouraging them to recognize what is holding them back from making changes, Dr. Robert P. Schwartz of Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the study's lead author, told Reuters Health.
"What you want to do is get the patient to take responsibility for their behaviors," Schwartz said in an interview. "What motivational interviewing does is help people get unstuck from their ambivalence."
Motivational interviewing has been used successfully to help people with substance abuse problems, but employing the approach to address physical activity and nutrition is something new, he added.
As every Western nation struggles with child obesity, the Swedes are puzzled by an unusual blip in the data: Why are little girls more likely to be fat than little boys? A recent study by researchers at Sweden's Uppsala University showed that today's 4-year-old girls were six times as likely to be obese compared to 20 years ago - a bigger jump than among boys.
"This indicates that there is a relatively recent change in our lifestyles that is behind this," said Ulf Holmback, the lead researcher for the study published in the April issue of Acta Paediatrica. "But it's difficult to say what that is."
The weight increase itself was expected - Swedes, along with most other Europeans, have been getting heavier.
But obesity experts are scratching their heads over the gender difference that emerges in obesity rates. In 1982, just 1 percent of all 4-year-olds were deemed obese. By 2002, 2 percent of the boys that age were obese, but 6 percent of the girls were. The discrepancy was similar for 10-year-olds.
"Fifty two percent of the adult population and 27.6 percent of children are either overweight or obese," the ministry said as it unveiled the results of a 2006 study into the state of the nation's health.
The results, based on the height and weight of respondents interviewed in 31,000 households nationwide, showed that 15.5 percent of men and 15 percent of women were obese and that 44.4 percent of men and 30.3 percent of women were overweight.