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  2. In an attempt to reassure consumers that drinking sugary, carbonated beverages is a-okay, Coca-Cola has released two new commercials highlighting the ways the company is helping to reduce obesity. ”Across our portfolio of over 650 beverages, we now offer over 180 low- and no-calorie choices,” says the narrator of one commercial, titled “Come Together.” The ad goes on to say that calories from soda are no different than any other calories we put into our bodies every day, and suggests that it’s the consumer’s responsibility to burn off what he or she takes in.

    A second commercial says a can of Coke contains 140 “happy” calories that can be spent doing “happy” things, like walking your dog and laughing out loud.

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  3. Photo: Thinkstock

    In 1993, the average stroke victim suffered his first attack at age 71. In 2005, that number fell to 69. More disturbingly, the stroke rate of people under age 55 increased significantly from 13 percent of all stroke victims studied in 1993 to 19 percent in 2005. In other words, as of 2005, people under age 55 accounted for one in five stroke victims. That rise comes despite an overall drop in the number of people suffering strokes and was consistent across different ethnic groups, says BBC News.

    Why are more young Americans having strokes?

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  4. Studies show that up to 60 percent of the dogs and cats in the U.S. qualify as obese, while only 35 percent of their human counterparts do. That’s a lot of wheezing, huffing, puffing Labradors. 

    Enter America’s first pet-obesity clinic

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  5. Study: Marijuana could help cure obesity-related diseases

    Researchers say marijuana leaves contain two compounds that boost the metabolism of mice, leading to lower levels of fat and cholesterol in the body — the latest addition to a growing body of evidence that marijuana may be useful in countering ailments related to obesity.

    One study in March found that a brain chemical similar in structure to an active compound in cannibis could help people shed weight, while another study last September concluded that pot smokers were less likely to be obese than non-potheads, though for reasons that remain unclear. 

    Keep reading

     

  6. Walt Disney will no longer carry ads for foods that don’t meet strict requirements for sodium, sugar, and saturated fat content during its children’s programming. The company is the owner of ABC, ABC Family, the Disney Channel, and other TV outlets.

    Disney Chairman Robert Iger said the move was part of an effort to combat childhood obesity. First Lady Michelle Obama, appearing with Iger, threw the White House’s support behind the deal, saying it was “truly a game changer for the health of our children.” However, while it’s assumed Disney will lose advertising dollars, Iger insisted that the initiative was also “smart business.” 

    Will curbing junk-food ads help Disney’s bottom line?

     

  7. While wearing “diet glasses” that made snacks appear 50 percent larger than their actual size, research subjects consumed 10 percent less of the snack.

    Researchers developed camera-equipped goggles that beam images of what you see to a computer, which magnifies the apparent size of the food you see using augmented reality — all while ensuring that your hand looks normal. That makes the food in your hand look bigger than it actually is.

    It gets crazier: The goggles were able to fool an incredible 80 percent of subjects into thinking they were eating something sweet, when they were really biting into plain biscuits.

    Keep reading

     


  8. In ancient history, eating was for survival. Food was tough to come by and we consumed what we needed. Food was a necessity. In today’s America, it is an addiction … To combat this epidemic, we may have to start with the brain, not the stomach.
    — From Bill Frist’s newest column: How to wean America from its dangerous food addiction
     

  9. A new report estimates the national cost of accommodating obese citizens at $190 billion a year.

    Included in that figure: hospitals widening bathroom stalls, stadiums installing larger seats, the Federal Transit Administration testing new steering and breaks on mass transit systems, and thousands of dollars per person in medical expenditures. Here’s a look at some unexpected financial costs of obesity, by the numbers:

    35.7 — Percentage of U.S. adults considered obese

    400 — The new minimum seat threshold, in pounds, for subway trains in New York

    9.4 — Extra sick days obese women take every year compared to their coworkers

    $3,792 — Annual cost to workplaces due to lost productivity for every obese male worker

    $5 billion — Extra annual cost of gasoline required to fly overweight passengers on airplanes

    More numbers

     

  10. Citizens Medical Center, a health-care facility in southeastern Texas, is refusing to hire any person who has a body mass index over 35. Officials say the measure is meant to promote healthy living, so that employees can set a healthy example for patients. The rule is legal in Texas, and the medical center is hardly the first company to institute weight-related policies — in 2010 grocery chain Whole Foods started offering workers with low BMIs better employee discounts.

    Considering how hard it is for anyone to get a job these days, should hospitals be able to reject applicants based on their weight?

    (Source: theweek.com)

     


  11. Surprising new research has found that pot smokers are actually thinner than those who don’t indulge in marijuana. What’s behind this phenomenon?

     

  12. "Forcing heavy children out of their homes is not the solution."

    A pair of Harvard researchers say putting extremely obese children in foster care, at least temporarily, could help the childhood obesity epidemic. More…

     


  13. The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel polled 105 OB/GYN practices, and found that 15 of them either set weight limits — starting at 200 pounds — or use other obesity tests to filter out would-be patients. Their reasons? They say exam tables can’t handle heavy women and point out that obese patients run a higher risk of complications — raising the threat of malpractice lawsuits.

    "Everything is more complicated with an obese patient."