In addition to the growing waistlines, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the number of Americans with abdominal obesity increased by about eight percentage points, according to a Reuters article.
Abdominal obesity is defined as a waist circumference of about 40 inches for men and about 35 inches for women, according to researchers.
The researchers looked at the waist circumferences of nearly 33,000 adult men and women age 20 and older. Overall, the average circumference increased from 37.6 inches in 1999-2000 to 38.8 inches in 2011-12, according to the article.
Men had the smallest average increase (.8 inches) while the average increase among women was larger (1.5 inches), according to the article.
During the same time period, the prevalence of abdominal obesity increased from 46.4 percent a decade ago to 54.2 percent. Women had the greatest increase in that category, too, according to the article.
Past studies have found no change in body mass index, which is a measurement of weight in relation to height, between 2003-2004 and 2011-2012. But BMI doesn’t measure how weight is distributed.
“We’re still at a high level of obesity regardless of how you want to measure it,” Dr. Earl Ford, the study’s lead author, told Reuters.]]>
A single doorknob can spread viruses to 40 to 60 percent of people in an office building in just a few hours.
Think about that for a minute. One doorknob can spread viruses – such as norovirus, an infection responsible for a lot of nasty symptoms – to more than half of the people in an entire workplace in just two to four hours.
A new study found the viruses from the doorknob are also spread to a majority of most commonly touched objects within office buildings, hotels and health care facilities.
Researchers placed a surrogate for norovirus on one or two commonly touched surfaces (a doorknob or table top at the beginning of the day in office buildings, a conference room and a health care facility.
After various periods of time (two to eight hours), they took samples from numerous surfaces within the buildings: light switches, bed rails, table tops, counter tops, push buttons, coffee pots handles, sink tap handles, doorknobs, phones and computer equipment.
“Within two to four hours between 40 to 60 percent of the fomites sampled were contaminated with the virus,” said Charles Gerba of the University of Arizona, Tucson, who presented the study at an annual infectious disease meeting.
“What we really learned was the hand is quicker than the sneeze in the spread of disease,” Gerba said during his presentation, according to a Washington Post article.
Viruses, such as norovirus and the flu, can cause illness when people have the viruses on their hands and then touch their faces – something people do once every three to four minutes, according to Gerba.
There is a solution, though. Hand washing, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer use significantly reduces the spread of viruses, Gerba said.
“Using disinfecting wipes containing quaternary ammonium compounds (QUATS) registered by EPA as effective against viruses like norovirus and flu, along with hand hygiene, reduced virus spread by 80 to 99 percent,” he said.
Anybody else need some hand sanitizer?]]>
Olive Garden is offering Never Ending Pasta Passes for 1,000 pasta-lovers willing to shell out $100 for the seven-week pass.
Don’t do it. Just. Say. No.
The Pasta Pass gets Olive Garden fanatics seven weeks of unlimited pasta, salad, bread and Coca-Cola soft drinks.
Time did a little calorie math on the offer.
If you were to eat a standard Olive Garden meal once a day for each of the 49 days of the deal, you would consume 113,190 calories, according to the Time article.
The Time estimate comes out to about 2,100 calories for dinner – about what the recommended total daily caloric intake is for an adult.
Time’s estimate assumes the diner is eating a salad, one order of bread sticks, spaghetti and sausage entree and a Coke. The estimate also assumes you don’t take advantage of the “all you can eat,” and instead eat just one serving of each item.
“No matter how much we talk about epidemic obesity and diabetes, we have not yet caught up with the times,” Dr. David Katz, director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center and editor of a journal on childhood obesity, told Time. “The last thing we need is more refined pasta at no extra charge. It seems like a great deal until the money you saved goes to the endocrinologist.”
The restaurant chain is only selling 1,000 passes (Whew! At least they aren’t unlimited, too.) in conjunction with the ever-so-popular Never Ending Pasta Bowl promotion. During last year’s promotion, the restaurant served more than 13 million bowls of pasta.
The two promotions run Sept. 22 through Nov. 9.]]>
The number of women undergoing double mastectomies for early-stage breast cancer increased significantly from 1998 to 2011, but, according to researchers, the surgeries were not associated with a lower mortality rates.
Researchers looked at the data of 189,734 patients diagnosed with stages 0 to 3 unilateral breast cancer in California.
Among those patients, the rate of bilateral mastectomies increased from 2 percent in 1998 to more than 12 percent in 2011. Among women younger than 40, the rate increased from 3.6 percent in 1998 to 33 percent in 2011, according to the report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Bilateral mastectomies were more often performed on white women, those with private insurance and those who received care at a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, according to the report.
In contrast, unilateral mastectomies (removal of one breast) were more often performed on ethnic minorities and those with Medicaid insurance coverage, researchers found.
Despite the increase, researchers concluded bilateral mastectomies showed no significant all-cause mortality difference when compared with breast-conserving surgery and radiation.
Those with bilateral mastectomies had a 10-year mortality rate of 18.8 percent. The 10-year mortality rate for breast-conserving surgery with radiation was 16.8 percent, according to researchers.
Unilateral mastectomy, however, was associated with a higher mortality rate when compared to breast-conserving surgery and radiation. The mortality rate for unilateral mastectomy was 20.1 percent, according to researchers.]]>
Alcohol may be the most commonly consumed drug among athletes, but that the alcohol can impact your workouts days later.
While it takes the average person about 90 minutes to metabolize one drink, the effects can linger in your system much longer, Dr. David Spinner, a physical rehabilitation specialist at The Mount Sinai Hospital, told the Daily Beast.
The effects can become apparent in many ways.
Research has shown athletes who consume alcohol at least once a week are more than twice as likely as nondrinkers to get injured (55 percent injury rate compared with 24 percent).
That may be partly due to the hangover effect of alcohol, which has been shown to reduce athletic performance by more than 11 percent.
Alcohol also disrupts normal sleep – which is when your body produces human growth hormone needed for building and maintaining mass, Barbara Lewin, a Florida-based sports nutritionist, told Daily Beast.
And then there’s the dehydration.
“If you go out drinking on a Saturday night and then wake up Sunday and go for a long run, you can expect about a 10 to 12 percent decrease in aerobic performance,” Spinner told Daily Beast.
Spinner recommends athletes limit alcohol consumption and drink plenty of water. Waiting several days before between a night of partying and resuming intense exercise is also a good idea, Spinner said in the article.
When prepping for a marathon, triathlon or other competitive event, however, Spinner said cutting out all alcohol two weeks before the event is the best course of action.]]>
Youth who have tried electronic cigarettes are nearly twice as likely to say they would try a conventional cigarette compared with those who have never tried an e-cigarette, according to a new study.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study was based on nationally representative youth surveys.
The study found that more than 263,000 adolescents and teens who had never smoked a conventional cigarette use electronic cigarettes in 2013. That’s a threefold increase from 2011 when 79,000 kids tried e-cigarettes, according to a Reuters article.
Among the nonsmoking youth who tried e-cigarettes, about 44 percent said they planned to smoke conventional cigarettes in the next year. That’s compared with 22 percent of youth who never used e-cigarettes, according to the study.
Health experts have raised concerns that e-cigarettes would reverse the declining youth smoking rate that has taken decades to curb. In 2013, less than 16 percent of teens reported smoking – the lowest rate ever recorded, according to Reuters.
In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed rules that would ban the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under 18. The rules would not restrict flavored products, online sales or advertising, all of which public health advocates argue appeal to minors, according to the article.
Earlier this month, attorneys general from 29 states – including Washington – urged the FDA to strengthen those rules.]]>
As waistlines continue to grow, parents are having a tougher time recognizing their children are overweight.
A new study found parents are 24 percent less likely to spot a child’s weight problem than parents interviewed two decades ago.
The study, published in the Pediatrics journal, used data gathered during the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In the survey, parents of kids ages 6-11 were asked whether they considered their children to be overweight, underweight or about the right weight. The children’s weight and height were then measured and used to calculate their BMI, according to a HealthDay article.
Parents surveyed for the 1988-1994 survey correctly perceived about 51 percent of the time that their child was overweight or obese. For the more recent survey, only 44 percent of parents correctly perceived their child was overweight, according to the article.
More than 75 percent of parents interviewed for the 2005-2010 survey perceived their overweight children as “about the right weight” – 83 percent for boys and 78 percent for girls, according to the article.
As the childhood obesity problem grows, parents have a tougher time realizing their child has gained too much weight, Amanda Staiano, director of the Pediatric Obesity and Health Behavior Laboratory, told HealthDay.
“We compare ourselves to the people we see around us,” she told HealthDay. “If a child is in a class where most of the kids are overweight or obese, that becomes the new normal.”
Obesity has more than doubled among kids 6-11, increasing from 7 percent in 1980 to nearly 18 percent in 2012, according to the researchers.
“The society as a whole is stuck with a vicious cycle,” senior study author Dr. Jian Zhang told HealthDay. “Parents incorrectly believe their kids are healthy, they are less likely to take action, and so it increases the likelihood that their kids will become even less healthy.”]]>
Researchers are questioning whether breakfast really helps with weight loss.
Two trials tested the merits of the most important meal of the day and were published in the August issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The studies tested the main breakfast claims that is helps with weight loss and boosts metabolism, according to a Time article.
“As a scientist, I was quite shocked actually at how sparse the evidence base was,” study author James Betts, a senior lecturer in nutrition and metabolism at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, told Time.
In one study off 33 lean adults, researchers instructed participants to eat either nothing or a 700-calorie breakfast.
After six weeks, researchers found that eating breakfast didn’t increase metabolism and breakfast-skippers didn’t overeat at lunch. Breakfast eaters didn’t lose more weight either, according to the article.
In a larger and longer study, researchers assigned 300 overweight and obese people to one of three groups: eat breakfast, skip breakfast or the control group told to have a healthy diet.
“What we found was absolutely no difference in the change of weight among the three groups, severely calling into question the idea—at least among ordinary adults—that it’s important to eat a good breakfast every day for the purposes of weight control,” study author David Allison told Time.
The trials did find perks for breakfast eaters, however.
People who ate breakfast were more active, burning 442 calories more than non-breakfast-eaters. Those who ate breakfast also maintained steadier blood sugar levels, according to the article.]]>
If you want to keep your heart healthy, skip the instant noodles.
A study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that instant noodles aren’t good for the heart, especially if you’re a woman.
The study looked at the diets of nearly 11,000 adults in South Korea. The study found two types of diets: traditional (rice, grains, fish and produce) and “meat-and-fast-food pattern” (meat, soda, fast food and instant noodles), according to a Time article.
As a whole, neither of those diets was associated with an uptick in cardiometabolic syndrome, which includes risk factors for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and stroke. But the instant noodles were, according to the article.
Those who ate instant noodles at least two times a week were associated with 68 percent more cardiometabolic syndrome for women, regardless of the rest of their diet.
The effect was only seen in women, according to the article.
Study author Dr. Hyun Joon Shin told Time that one likely reason is women have different sex hormones and metabolism than men. In addition, instant noodle packaging (lined with BPA) can mess with estrogen signaling, which may lead to some of the risk factors.]]>
Sports injuries landed 1.24 million kids in hospital emergency rooms in 2013 – that’s nearly 3,400 kids every day, one kid every 25 seconds.
Those statistics were revealed in a new report by the nonprofit Safe Kids Worldwide. The organization conducted a survey – which included 1,000 young athletes, 1,005 coaches and 1,000 parents – to get a better look at the culture of youth sports.
The survey found many coaches, athletes and parents (23 to 31 percent) don’t do anything to prevent injuries. Fewer than half of coaches have received certification on how to prevent and recognize sport injuries. (But 80 percent of parents say they want coaches to have such certification.)
The survey also found 54 percent of athletes have played injured and 42 percent have hidden or down-played an injury during a game so they could continue playing.
In addition, 53 percent of coaches say they have felt pressure from a parent or player to put an athlete back into a game if the child had been injured.
Many athletes said the injuries were the result of rough play: 33 percent were injured as the result of dirty play from an opponent.
About 28 percent of athletes said it was normal to commit hard fouls and play rough to “send a message” during a game.
Any of these findings surprising?]]>