February 6th, 2013 - Jill Ettinger
Pregnant women exposed to vehicular air pollution along with contaminants from coal power plants and urban heating plants are more likely to give birth to children with low birth weights, finds a new study published in the current issue of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
Read More:Common Air Pollution Causes Low Birth Weights, Health Risks, New Study Finds
July 25th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
I received more feedback than usual on my recent blog entry, A Mountain of Meat and Cheese, with readers defending their right to have their patties stacked at Burger King. Odd comments, considering this is a website dedicated to organic living, but that’s the peculiar nature of the Internet.
Those who relish fast food may want to check out a study published in today’s Journal of the American Medical Association, which reveals that a large group of American Indians who developed type 2 diabetes (diabetes mellitus) before age 20 had a substantially increased risk for end-stage kidney disease and death between ages 25 and 55. While this study involved a specific population, it’s important to note that the rise in obesity among all U.S. children and adolescents, regardless of race or ethnicity, has led to an increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Meda E. Pavkov and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health wanted to see if there was an association between a person’s age at the onset of type 2 diabetes and the risk of end-stage kidney disease and death. Among the study participants, the incidence of end-stage kidney disease in those who developed type 2 diabetes before age 20 was 840% higher than the rate for those who developed the disease between ages 25 to 34, 500% higher than the rate for those 35 to 44, and 400% higher than the rate for those 45 to 54.
The death rate in participants who developed diabetes before age 20 was 300% higher than in nondiabetic participants and 210% higher than in individuals with older-onset type 2 diabetes.
“Because youth-onset diabetes mellitus leads to substantially increased complication rates and mortality in middle age, efforts should focus on preventing or delaying the onset of diabetes, delaying the onset of diabetic nephropathy [kidney disease] or both,” the researchers conclude.
Read More:Type 2 Diabetes Warning
July 10th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
Perhaps you’ve adopted an organic lifestyle and have made a commitment to buying organic food because you’re battling a weight problem. If so, you’ve taken a step in the right direction.
A new study published in the July 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals the health risks for women who are extremely obese may be underestimated, as they have a higher prevalence of hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol than women at lower levels of obesity.
Obesity diagnosis and treatment are typically based on body mass index (BMI) of at least 30. BMI is calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. Three categories of obesity have been defined:
- Obesity 1 (BMI of 30–34.9)
- Obesity 2 (35–39.9)
- Extreme obesity (40+)
The latter 2 categories—sometimes termed “severe obesity”—are increasing rapidly in the United States. From 1986 to 2000, prevalence of BMI of 30 or higher approximately doubled, BMI of 40 or higher quadrupled, and BMI of 50 or higher increased fivefold. In 2000, 2.8% of all U.S. women—and 6% of African-American women—reported measurements consistent with extreme obesity.
Dr. Kathleen McTigue and colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh conducted a study to examine the relationship between weight category and risk of death and coronary heart disease (CHD) in a large sample of U.S. women. They found extreme obesity prevalence differed with race/ethnicity, from 1% among Asian and Pacific Islanders to 10% among black women.
“We found that obesity was linked with considerable health risk and that accounting for degree of excess weight is important in understanding weight-related health risk,” the researchers write, concluding that their findings have “important clinical and policy implications.”
Healthcare providers can help patients assess their weight-related health risks, which would allow more informed decision-making about lifestyle and health.
Read More:Obesity Health Risks