Archive for January, 2012

Increasing Rates of Some Cancers Associated with Obesity

January 28th, 2012

Increasing rates of some cancers may be associated with obesity. Cancers with increasing incidence trends in… [CA Cancer J Clin. 2012] – PubMed – NCBI

Powerful New Study Underscores Obesity-Pain Relationship

January 28th, 2012

A new survey of one million Americans found a high association between obesity and pain. Obesity and Pain Are Associated in t… [Obesity (Silver Spring). 2012] – PubMed – NCBIThey found the association was “robust” among both men and women. This survey involved an unusually high number of subjects and confirmed earlier studies.

Child Labor Laws Responsible for Childhood Obesity?

January 28th, 2012

Well, here’s a new one. Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) is suggesting that child labor laws are responsible for the rise in childhood obesity. Grassley was criticizing a Department of Labor regulation that children could only work on farms owned by their parents when he decided to open up this novel line. Political Animal – Leave child-labor laws alone

FDA Approves Once Weekly Drug for Diabetes; Shows Weight Loss

January 28th, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration has approved Amylin Pharmaceutical’s Bydureon for thetreatment of type 2 diabetes. This is the first once-weekly treatment for type 2 diabetes. It is hoped that this feature will lead to higher adherence to the treatment regimen, although as with Byetta, it is injectable. The drug is exenatide, a GLP-1 receptor agonist. Study results showed an improvement in glycemic control.  A1C levels, a measure of blood sugar, decreased an average of 1.6 points.

Many patients with Type 2 diabetes are also overweight or obese. Many drugs for type 2 diabetes actually cause weight gain. The advantage of Bydureon (and its daily administered counterpart, Byetta) is that patients taking Bydureon can achieve weight loss, in addition to improvements in glycemia, blood pressure, and cholesterol in both overweight and obesity subjects with and without type 2 diabetes. Effects of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists on … [BMJ. 2012] – PubMed – NCBI

A very small study of 12 children and adolescents with extreme obesity also showed significant improvements, suggesting the need for a larger study. Exenatide as a weight-loss therapy i… [Obesity (Silver Spring). 2012] – PubMed – NCBI

More information is available at

Obesity Leveling Off? Check the Data

January 27th, 2012

Since my post went up about the CDC report on obesity ‘leveling off’ there has been a flurry of discussion.

My colleague, Neville Rigby in England, has generously provided this graph of NHANES data:

Obesity The Irish Way: No Blame, No Shame

January 27th, 2012

A few weeks ago I wrote about how Ireland is dealing with its obesity epidemic. I call it the “No Blame, No Shame” approach. Ever since my visit with the Irish government’s point person on obesity, I have been trying to think about “obesity” without thinking about “blame”. I recall that the first media call when I took over the American Obesity Association asked me, “Who is to Blame?” It seems to me still that we cannot move beyond blame.

So, it was with some interest that I read this report from The Lancet about the British Government’s new approach to move from nudging patients to a healthier lifestyle to nagging them which The Lancet’s editors predicted will be a failed policy. Public health in England: from nudge to nag : The Lancet

On the other hand, this editorial in the Irish Times points out something I think is obvious:

“Negative lifestyle messages lead to stigmatisation, victim-blaming and health inequalities. Discussing obesity and diabetes as if these problems are the individual’s fault stigmatises people with weight problems. Everyone may feel fearful when listening to health experts being interviewed about the latest lifestyle report, but only those in the higher socio-economic groups are able to comply with the message to, say, eat more fruit and veg. Poor people stay scared with no way of alleviating their fear. Telling people to exercise more is pointless if they live in an area with no facilities and no footpaths”. Forget lifestyle advice, it’s policy that matters – The Irish Times – Tue, Jan 03, 2012

The editorial goes on to call on the government to enact policies which change the food/physical activity environment.

Nagging or positive improvements? What’s the choice?


NIH Recommends A1c Testing

January 26th, 2012

The National Institutes of Health has come out for expanded A1c testing. Their press release and fact sheet point out that the A1c test does not require fasting and helps identify diabetes and pre-diabetes. They recommend testing of anyone 45 years old or younger than 45 are overweight, inactive or have at least one risk factor for type 2 diabetes. New NIH fact sheet explains test for diabetes, prediabetes, January 26, 2012 News Release – National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Is the Obesity Epidemic Leveling Off? Not so fast.

January 26th, 2012

See my post at: