All kinds of behaviors can have an effect on your weight, and the solution to each is different. Maybe portion size is your biggest issue. Maybe it’s hard to get moving, even though you know you need to get some exercise. Maybe you have a sweet tooth that you can’t shake. Maybe you’re completely stressed out, and you never get a decent night’s sleep. Maybe you are a nighttime snacker. Or ...

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At at time when 2 out 3 Americans are overweight, a story about black women and fat has gone viral. Perceptions about what women see in the mirror, feel about their bodies  and others tell them about beauty is not sufficient for health. The opinion that "many black women are fat because we want to be" may nurture bias that can hinder health care for those who are overweight ...

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If you Google “skinny definition” what will pop up is the following: Adjective: (of a person or part of their body) Unattractively thin. The word skinny according to Webster’s is defined as the following: 1. resembling skin: membranous 2a. lacking sufficient flesh: very thin: emaciated 2b. lacking usual or desirable bulk, quantity, qualities or significance. So how did our culture take this word and use it to represent a goal, or rather set "skinny" as a ...

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In recent years, childhood overweight and obesity statistics have received a good deal of media attention, but this has done little to slow their rise.  Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey shows that nearly 1 in 5 children aged 2-19 are obese.  Even more concerning, since 1980 obesity rates have tripled in the 6-11 and 12-19 age groups. Our ...

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I am sitting at home and the popular show American Idol is on. Randy Jackson has a red shirt on, which is color coordinated with a large red Coca-Cola cup. J-Lo is sitting by his side, also with a red Coca-Cola cup. Same with Steven Tyler.  When one of the artists takes the stage, there is a large red moving video banner promoting Coca-Cola. It’s called product placement and it ...

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Recently I have become interested in the obesity epidemic plaguing our country. I’ve actually been interested in obesity and co-morbid psychiatric illness since residency, but recently my interest has been revived. I read that Medicare is going to be reimbursing health care practitioners for obesity counseling and screening. My initial thought was that this is a positive step in the right direction. But the cynic in ...

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Dr. Nortin Hadler, author of Worried Sick and Stabbed in the Back, is well-known for debunking medical myths. But in his latest book, Rethinking Aging (UNC Press), Hadler, a professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, commits what some might call medical heresy, suggesting that, perhaps, as we approach middle-age, "It’s OK to be Overweight." Wait a minute. What is Hadler saying? Everyone knows that obese Americans are driving ...

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Lifestyle interventions are effective, but require multiple visits of behavioral, nutrition, and exercise counseling over 6 months to 2 years if delivered true to original form.  Few medical centers offer such services, leaving this care to be handled by commercial vendors or simply leaving patients to deal with their weight on their own. This predicament is likely a factor in the development of a $60 billion fad diet industry, which ...

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I come back into the exam room, keeping my best poker face, sit down and turn to face her.  She’s on the edge of her seat, nervous and barely able to contain herself, maybe not even sure which answer she wants. “Congratulations,” I say. She lets out her breath and smiles, huge. “Thanks!” Once the adrenaline settles down and she can hear me again, ...

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For many celebrities, their livelihoods depend on their physical appearance and they rely on armies of personal assistants, schedulers, stylists, trainers and chefs to plan, manage and measure their diet and exercise regimens. Obviously, most of us don’t have the time or resources to diet and exercise like celebrities do, but new technologies are closing the gap. As an introduction to some of these new platforms and methods, we describe and ...

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I’ve written many times that losing weight is the second hardest thing I ask my patients to do. (Breaking an addiction like smoking or alcoholism is the hardest.) The frustrating thing is how little we know about how to lose weight successfully. But we are learning more all the time about why losing weight is so difficult. Much about dieting and weight loss is poorly understood, but let’s first lay out ...

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The chart below shows the unheralded rise in pediatric obesity (not overweight, just obesity) over the last 40 years. Outrageous, and downright scary. Kids today are flocking to multi-billion dollar pediatric centers for adult-onset diabetes, heart disease, joint replacement and bariatric surgery. This too little (but definitely not too cheap), too late approach is literally killing us. The generations behind us are not only impacting the expense of healthcare, but ...

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On the first day of the 1st Caribbean Obesity Forum, I presented various talks on obesity - its economic implications, its assessment and the need for firmly anchoring obesity treatment in primary care. Interestingly, several family doctors in the audience raised the interesting issue that here on Barbados (as probably on other islands) many patients are actually quite happy with their weights. One family physician noted in his presentation the case of ...

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Based on a survey conducted by the largest cosmetic surgery provider in the U.K., 76% of British women feel "depressed" about their appearance in January, related to an average weight gain of 11 pounds during December. Inquiries about cosmetic procedures peak on the third Monday in January, dubbed "Fat Day" in the U.K.. Most people will, of course, try various diet and exercise programs before resorting to cosmetic or
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Our children (and grandchildren) are the future and we are responsible for their growth and development. As responsible parties, we are clearly failing. That is my interpretation of the report issued a few days ago by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on seven criteria known to the associate with ideal cardiovascular health as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examinination Survey. They are defined, briefly, as 1) a diet ...

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