Obesity: An American Epidemic

childhood-obesityLawrence Herman,dean and full professor in the College of Health Sciences, Physician Assistant Studies, Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, N.C. posted in his November 8, 2015 blog posted these comments:

IIt strikes me that there are many people today whose disease — obesity and overweight — makes them feel they are taking the “walk of shame” each day. Their disease — and society’s frequent judgment of its symptoms and manifestations — makes them feel that they are victim, even if no one is physically hurling objects or insults. –

It is becoming more and more common as two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese. It is such a stigmatized issue that, as I sat to write this, I was challenged by how I could address obesity as a clinician and as a compassionate human being. The best way to accomplish this is to explain obesity as a disease and to bring awareness to how important it is to help patients who suffer from it.

Are we really facing an epidemic? The answer is yes. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System reveal that obesity rates increased by 37 percent between 1998 and 2006. And with no signs of this slowing, many estimate that more than one-half of Americans will be affected by obesity by the year 2030. That’s more than 180 million people in the U.S. alone — a staggering number.

Obesity is a gateway disease that almost always leads to conditions most of us recognize as life-threatening, including diabetes and heart disease. It can be linked to increased risk of stroke, liver disease, depression, and even cancers. The rapid rise in obesity is startling, especially when we recognize the potential for a corresponding increase in these other devastating diseases.

How significant are the repercussions? Recent estimates show that the annual direct medical burden of obesity alone is approaching 10 percent of all medical spending and likely amounted to $147 billion per year in 2008. One study found that obesity was responsible for 27 percent of the rise in inflation-adjusted health spending between 1987 and 2001. But you cannot calculate the full cost of obesity just in terms of dollars.

– See more at: http://www.diagnosticimaging.com/blog/obesity-american-epidemic#sthash.8yNddbJN.dpuf

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If You Only Do 1 Healthy Thing in the Morning, Make Sure It’s This

morning_yoga_0Lizzie Fuhr from POPSUGAR recommends that when you wake up late and start your day crazed, you can be sure that the rest of your day will follow suit. In the same vein, it’s equally incredible how a quick morning meditation can shift you away from a case of the cuckoos and back to your centered self — ready to embrace the day! Some might scoff at the concept of taking a significant amount of time in the morning to do nothing but sit in silence, but it can be a truly transformative time.

  • You’ll breathe better all day long: So many days the clock can strike noon, and you realize you haven’t taken one really deep breath since you woke up. Starting your day off with these full body breaths instantly relieves nerves and leaves you with a sense of calm. Calling this attention to your breath will keep your stamina up and your head clear for the duration of your day.
  • You’re giving your bod a treat: It just plain feels good! Forcing yourself to cool your jets and sit for even five or 10 minutes may seem like a struggle, but practice makes perfect, and it will give back tenfold. You’re busy helping everyone all day long; you need to give yourself a little love too.
  • You’re setting an intention: Waking up, pressing play, and going all day long may seem like a productive jump-start, but a racing mind does you far more harm than good. If you feel like you’re on a constant wheel every morning, taking this time and celebrating your day will keep you feeling positive and purposeful.

Not sure how to start a daily meditation practice? Here are five styles of meditation for beginners.

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A 1,500-Calorie Detox Plan For the Day After Thanksgiving


POPSUGAR says, a post-Thanksgiving hangover is about as predictable as dealing with Black Friday crowds at the mall. If you’re tired of feeling sluggish the day after Thanksgiving, follow this easy-to-prep meal plan to beat bloat and feel back on track by the end of the day.

When you wake up, get things going on a right note by substituting your morning cup of java with a mug of hot water and lemon. Nutritionists swear by this combofor flushing out toxins and waking up your digestive tract — both important when you’re dealing with a post-festive feast hangover.

Kick-start your metabolism by eating soon after waking up. A warming bowl ofchocolate banana oatmeal will fight Winter chill and fill your belly to keep you energized for hours. Since oatmeal is high in fiber, it’ll also help you debloat and move things along even more. Calories: 361

For lunch, it’s time to put that leftover turkey to good use. Whip up this chicken avocado salad recipe, swapping shredded chicken for leftover shredded turkey. Serve as a sandwich for a light lunch that is packed with protein, fiber, and belly-blasting healthy fats to keep you full for hours. Calories (with two slices of wheat bread): 359

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Follow These 3 Breakfast Rules and Lose Weight

breakfastLeta Shy from POPSUGAR shared that breakfast is the most important meal of the day because of so many reasons. But you need to make sure that you’re doing it right. If you’re trying to maintain or lose weight, here are some things to consider when enjoying your first meal of the day.

  1. Eat it soon: Studies have found that eating breakfast jump-starts your metabolism, and not only that, it can help ensure that you don’t feel so starved later that you make bad eating choices for lunch or dinner. To take advantage of your body’s fat-burning potential, try to eat breakfast soon after waking up.
  2. Go for filling: Stay away from foods that can lead to a midmorning crash. Instead, opt for meals that are full of slow-digesting nutrients to help keep you satisfied throughout the morning; high-fiber, high-protein breakfast options are a good choice for feeling full and energized. And make sure your breakfast doesn’t have too much sugar in it — here are seven low-sugar, high-protein, and fiber-filled breakfast ideas that fit the bill.
  3. Watch out for portions: A big breakfast can help fill you up, but you don’t want to overdo it. Check out our handy chart of what servings sizes should look like, and keep calories in check with this list of the amount of calories in typical breakfasts.
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Bedtime routine helps babies sleep through the night

sleeping babyDr. Anthony Komaroff, a physician and professor at Harvard Medical School shared that by the time a baby is 4 or 5 months old, he or she is capable of sleeping through the night. We tend to think of “sleeping through the night” as a long stretch of uninterrupted sleep. But in reality, all babies wake up during the night. Some discover their own way of comforting themselves and getting back to sleep. Others must be taught.

Different experts recommend different techniques for helping your baby get to sleep and then to sleep through the night. Ask your pediatrician what he or she recommends, or do some research on your own to see which technique best fits with your parenting philosophy.


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6 Habits All Healthy And Happy People Have

happySELF shared that if only achieving health and happiness were as easy as combining a positive attitude with clean eating and exercise. In reality, feeling #blessed every day comes down to so much more. To figure out which habits lead to true well-being, we turned to Christine Carter, Ph.D., a happiness expert and author of The Sweet Spot, and wellness coach Rebecca Casciano. Here, they explain six habits healthy, happy people have, and how to incorporate them into your own life.

1. They sleep seven to nine hours a night.
That’s how much people between the ages of 18 and 64 need to feel rested, according to the National Sleep Foundation. “When you’re tired, you get in these downward spirals, so you’re more likely to be irritable,” says Dr. Carter. Imagine dealing with a passive-aggressive coworker when you’ve gotten three hours of sleep vs. when you’ve gotten eight. Point = made.

2. They intentionally make time in their schedules to do the things they care about.
Block out time on your calendar for activities you love, color-coded at your discretion. Actually getting those dates down in writing instead of just mentally making them a priority is one small step that can make a big difference. “We feel so guilty about liking our lives these days, but it’s really important,” says Dr. Carter.

3. They focus on the present instead of only looking ahead to the future.
“Always pursuing an end result is not a very fulfilling experience,” says Dr. Carter. Those who feel deeply satisfied with their lives revel in trying to reach their goals, not just how it feels once they’ve gotten there. “Slow down, be more present, and find ways to really appreciate the beauty in yourselves, your surroundings, and others,” Casciano tells SELF.

4. They remind themselves of their social value.
Basically, they tell themselves why their existence is important to people. To get there, you have to actively think of how the hard work you put into something—your petsitting side hustle, for example—has rewarded others with some sort of positive experience. “This understanding of value tends to bring great meaning and fulfillment,” Dr. Carter tells SELF.

5. They pause before reacting when they’re unhappy.
No one wanders around feeling blissed out all the time. Instead of immediately reacting when they’re upset, generally happy people allow themselves to just feel how they feel. Then they back up and figure out next steps. “They’re able to separate from the part of themselves that is having the emotion so they can respond appropriately,” explains Dr. Carter.

6. They recognize other people’s awesomeness without comparing themselves.
Whenever you start to wish you were more like so-and-so, remind yourself that happiness doesn’t come from you being better than someone else. Plus, another person being great doesn’t mean you’re automatically less special—there’s more than enough to go around. “When you compare yourself to others, you will never see your true beauty,” says Casciano. “We are all beautiful in our own unique ways, so celebrate yours!”

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Health Department helps residents who are eligible for health insurance benefit


The DuPage County Health Department reminds residents that The Health Department continues to offer free information and enrollment assistance to county residents who may be eligible for Medicaid or Marketplace health insurance and persons who need to review and renew their Marketplace insurance. (See workshop dates below).

Community Health Workers are available for free in-person appointments at Health Department offices throughout the year. Call (630) 682-7400 to schedule an in-person appointment at a Health Department office in Addison, Lombard, Westmont or Wheaton. Enrollment in Medicaid is available at any time and not just during the Open Enrollment period.

Additionally, Health Department staff have scheduled an extensive list of activities and events to assist residents during Marketplace Open Enrollment, which began on Nov. 1 and will continue until Jan. 31, 2016.

Education, assistance and enrollment will be provided for free to residents at DuPage County libraries, schools, hospitals, health fairs and more.

For a full list of available events, including activities offered during business hours, in the evening and on weekends, please visit www.dupagehealth.org

Persons who want to contact the Health Department regarding Marketplace insurance or want to attend a workshop should call (630) 221-7606.

‘Review and Renew Workshops’

Residents who have signed up for insurance in the past are also reminded that they must “review and renew” their current insurance plan during Open Enrollment.

To assist clients who want to review and renew, the Health Department has scheduled free workshops on Nov. 14, Nov. 21 and Dec. 12, with appointment times at 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. (Maximum capacity 15 clients per appointment time) at the Health Department’s Central Office, 111 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton. Call (630) 221-7606 to reserve a space.

Clients are asked to bring a personal computer or smart phone, and their log in information if possible, to assist with Marketplace access. Health Department staff will be available at all three workshops to assist residents.

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Help continue the vision for bicycling and walking in Lombard!


The Village of Lombard is developing a Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan to better enable community connections by foot and by bicycle. Come learn about the planning process so far and add your input to feedback we’ve gathered from your friends and neighbors.

A brief presentation will review preliminary recommendations, followed by a brainstorming session to gather your ideas and answer questions. Stop by any time to talk with the study team, learn about proposed ideas, and provide your comments. Add your voice to help shape the recommendations!


November 19, 2015
5:00pm – 7:00pm
Lombard Village Hall
255 E Wilson Ave
Lombard, IL 60148

Come and leave at any time to learn about the planning process and provide your input. Brief presentation at 5:30 and repeated again at 6:30, with discussion before and after the presentations.

All are welcome!




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Study Links Sugar to Conditions That Lead to Diabetes, Heart Disease in Children

The study was designed to isolate the effect of added sugar in particular, as opposed to calories.

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, and Touro University California took soda, pastries, sugary cereals and other foods and beverages sweetened with added sugar away from 43 Latino and African-American children and teens for nine days. They replaced those foods with pizza, baked potato chips, and other starchy processed foods.

The children were patients at a UCSF obesity clinic who had symptoms of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions such as high cholesterol that can lead to diabetes. The change reduced sugar in their diets to 10% of overall calories from 28%, the researchers said.

Despite the short period of time and a diet still heavy on processed food, the researchers said they found striking results. The children’s cholesterol and other lipid levels improved, and their insulin levels dropped, they said.

“We reversed virtually every aspect of their metabolic syndrome,” said Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco and lead author of the paper, published Tuesday in the journal Obesity. Of note, he said, triglycerides, high levels of which can contribute to a hardening of the artery walls and cause acute pancreatitis, showed a “very, very large improvement.” Continue reading

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