Obesity Could Cost America $ 147 Billion
A new study finds that the increasing prevalence of obesity could wind up costing the nation almost $147 billion a year, the AFP reports. The study, published in the journal Health Affairs, shows that money spent to treat chronic conditions associated with obesity has doubled in the past decade. More than 25 percent of Americans are now obese, compared with 18.3 percent in 1998, the researchers reported.
Read how scientists are teasing out the link between obesity and type 2 diabetes; studies that appeared online yesterday in Nature Medicine suggest inflammation in fat tissue could trigger the disease. Here are 5 lessons from the nation's obesity report card.
6 Reasons Your Athletic Performance May Be Lagging
Feeling stale or tired during workouts may have you worried you've lost your oomph. Performance decline has a variety of possible explanations, most temporary and fixable but some more serious. U.S. News's Katherine Hobson offers a field guide to what might be keeping you from doing your best in your workout. Getting more sleep might help you bounce back because of its ability to promote recovery from workouts—key for endurance—or power-based sports, such as running or weightlifting.
The inability to complete a workout that was previously a piece of cake might be rooted in a medical problem such as an underactive thyroid gland, anemia, or depression. Even if there's no pain or pressure in the chest, a consistent loss of steam may signal cardiovascular disease, particularly in athletes over 35, says one expert. If you notice that your heart rate is particularly high even though you're only creeping along, that's also a sign something may be amiss, Hobson writes.
Depo Provera Shot: How to Minimize Weight Gain
Women taking Depo Provera, the progesterone-only birth control shot, may gain an average of 11 pounds over three years, compared to the 3 to 4 pounds gained by women using other forms of contraception, according to a study published in March in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology . The study showed that one quarter of Depo users gained a significant amount of weight—upwards of 20 pounds. New research published last week in the journal found that women who start getting Depo shots and go on to gain an average of 24 pounds over three years have several things in common. U.S. News's Deborah Kotz covers what Depo Provera users should be aware of to prevent significant weight gain.
The latest study found that women who gained the most also gained it early. Their weight increased soon after starting the shots—an increase of 5 percent over their starting body weight within the first six months. Women who don't gain significant amounts of weight within their first six months on Depo probably don't need to worry about longer-term weight increases as a result of the contraceptive, Kotz writes. Those who do gain more than a couple of pounds would be better off switching to a different form of contraception.
In March, Kotz asked the studies' author Abbey Berenson, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, to explain what the original findings mean for women taking Depo Provera. Ongoing research is looking into how birth control pills may affect a woman's risk of developing heart disease. Find out what contraception is best if you're over age 35.
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