American women weigh as much as 1960 man

July 13th, 2016 No comments »

According to an article in the Washington Post, the average woman today weighs the same as the average man, circa 1960. The average American woman now weighs 166.2 pounds and the average man 195.5 pounds.

Medicaid and the obesity population

July 13th, 2016 No comments »

A recent study indicates that midlife obesity predicts nursing home admissions. This could be critical for Medicaid which pays the majority of nursing home costs.  Overweight was not associated with greater nursing home admissions. Discrimination may be the reason. See post. Recent data show a 24.2% of nursing home residents take antipsychotic medications which can cause weight gain. 5.8% or residents show unintended weight loss.

Staggering Cost of Global Obesity May be Underestimated

July 13th, 2016 No comments »

According to an analysis by the McKinsey Global Initiative, obesity ranks third, behind smoking and armed violence, war and terrorism, in its global social burden, or about $2 trillion or 2.8% of global gross domestic product (GDP) approximately equal to the GDP of Russia or Italy. Lost productivity may be responsible for 70% of total costs. “In the United States, armed conflict (and especially spending on the military) has the highest social and economic impact, and obesity is second; obesity generated an impact in the United States of $664 billion a year in 2012, or 4.1% of GDP.” As jaw-dropping as that analysis, the situation may be worse. A new paper by Hruschka and Hadley posits that worldwide variation in human body weights are far more widespread that previously thought. The use of standard cut-offs might lead to underestimating global obesity levels by 400-500 million while also incorrectly prioritizing high-risk areas for undernutrition in children.

What Leveling of childhood obesity?

July 13th, 2016 No comments »

Much has been made recently of a purported drop in childhood obesity, particularly among children age 2 to 5. (See my Oct. 2015 blog, Did the White House Spin CDC Study to show progress in childhood obesity?”) Now, a new study finds “no evidence of a decline in obesity prevalence in any age group, despite substantial clinical and policy efforts targeting the issue.” The paper by Ashley C. Skinner, Eliana M. Perrin and Joseph A. Skelton in Obesity used NHANES data from 1999-2014 and found, “A clear, statistically significant increase in all classes of obesity continued from 1999 to 2014.” They also reported that severe obesity (class II and III) showed a significant increase in adolescents and non-Hispanic black children.  They state, “By including severe obesity, our results also highlight particular areas of concern. In 2013-2014, nearly 10% of adolescents met criteria for Class II obesity, and nearly 5% also met criteria for class III obesity…The 4.5 million children and adolescents with severe obesity will require novel and intensive efforts for long-term obesity improvement. With scarce resources, and increasing costs of comorbid conditions, there is an urgent need for targeted interventions to stem the rise in severe obesity among children, in addition to policies and clinical efforts designed to prevent obesity. Policy efforts are yet to yield substantive changes in obesity prevalence but few have specifically targeted severe obesity.” Amen

2016 State Medicaid coverage of fee-for-service obesity treatments

May 2nd, 2016 No comments »

The STOP Obesity Alliance has updated its state-by-state information on fee-for-service obesity treatments in the Medicaid program. See here.

Eating Healthy is Getting Harder

May 2nd, 2016 No comments »

It’s getting harder to know what it means to eat ‘healthy’. That mantra of the nutrition community is becoming more difficult to put into practice.

The New York Times is reporting that old bad foods are back while questions have been raised about a key study questioning the harmful effects of saturated fats.

Debunking ‘progress’ on childhood obesity

May 2nd, 2016 No comments »

Much has been made recently of a purported drop in childhood obesity, particularly among children age 2 to 5. (See my Oct. 2015 blog, Did the White House Spin CDC Study to show progress in childhood obesity?) Now, a new study finds “no evidence of a decline in obesity prevalence in any age group, despite substantial clinical and policy efforts targeting the issue.” The paper by Ashley C. Skinner, Eliana M. Perrin and Joseph A. Skelton in Obesity used NHANES data from 1999-2014 and found, “A clear, statistically significant increase in all classes of obesity continued from 1999 to 2014.” They also reported that severe obesity (classII and III) showed a significant increase in adolescents and non-Hispanic black children.  They state, “By including severe obesity, our results also highlight particular areas of concern. In 2013-2014, nearly 10% of adolescents met criteria for Class II obesity, and nearly 5% also met criteria for class III obesity…The 4.5 million children and adolescents with severe obesity will require novel and intensive efforts for long-term obesity improvement. With scarce resources, and increasing costs of comorbid conditions, there is an urgent need for targeted interventions to stem the rise in severe obesity among children, in addition to policies and clinical efforts designed to prevent obesity. Policy efforts are yet to yield substantive changes in obesity prevalence but few have specifically targeted severe obesity.” Amen

The Biggest Loser study shows persistence of slower metabolism after 6 years

May 2nd, 2016 No comments »

Gina Kolata of The New York Times has a front-page story on May 2, 2016, covering a study of winners of the TV ‘reality’ show, The Biggest Loser. The study published in the journal Obesity shows that not only is most the lost weight regained, but that the slower metabolic rate, which occurs during active weight loss, persists for up to 6 years in the subjects. This is the process of adaptive thermogenesis which we have discussed on several occasions. What the article does not mention is that most of the weight loss programs used in employer wellness programs are based on The Biggest Loser. In other words, thanks to Obamacare, employees can be penalized for failing at a weight loss program where failure is all but assured.