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'Weight of the Nation' declares war on obesity
May 8th, 2012
08:15 PM ET

'Weight of the Nation' declares war on obesity

Efforts to end the U.S. obesity epidemic have been too slow, resulting in millions of Americans suffering from chronic, debilitating and deadly diseases, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

Released Tuesday at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's "Weight of the Nation" conference, the report outlines critical goals that must be put in place to address the complex and unrelenting problem of obesity.

The IOM - an independent nonprofit arm of the National Academy of Sciences - offered the following recommendations for individuals, schools, government and industry:

  • Include physical activity in daily life.
  • Ensure everyone has access to healthy food and drink choices in all settings.
  • Change the message and the marketing about the importance of nutrition.
  • Make schools a gateway to healthy weight.
  • Motivate employers, doctors and other health care professionals to get on board and champion healthy lifestyles.

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Infections cause one in six cancer cases
May 8th, 2012
06:30 PM ET

Infections cause one in six cancer cases

One in six cancer cases worldwide are caused by infections, many of which are preventable or treatable, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal The Lancet Oncology.

A total of 2 million new cancer cases in 2008 were linked to infections, the study said. Of those, only 7.4% were reported in more developed countries, and 22.9% in less developed countries.

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Lethal combo killed artist Thomas Kinkade
Kinkade, one of America's most popular artists, painted more than 1,000 works including cabins, nature scenes and seascapes.
May 8th, 2012
05:35 PM ET

Lethal combo killed artist Thomas Kinkade

The artist Thomas Kinkade, 54, died in April from a lethal combination of alcohol and Valium, according to an autopsy report from the Santa Clara County, California, medical examiner.

Alcohol and Valium, also known as diazepam, are both depressants that slow down the central nervous system. These depressants slow down the brain and also decrease the heart rate, lower the blood pressure and cause lethargy.

“Because your brain will control autonomic function like heart beat, breathing, when the concentration is so high that area of the brain is affected, it does not function,” said Douglas Rohde, supervisor of chemistry and toxicology at Lake County Crime Laboratory in Ohio.  Rohde is not involved in Kinkade’s case.

This could knock a person into a coma, and then breathing and heart beat could stop.

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Triathlete: No meat, no dairy, no problem
Adrienne LaGier harvests lettuce from her new vegetable garden.
May 8th, 2012
01:03 PM ET

Triathlete: No meat, no dairy, no problem

Adrienne LaGier is one of seven CNN viewers training to race the Nautica Malibu Triathlon with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. This weekend, the team and Dr. Gupta will head to Hawaii for a training trip. LaGier set a personal goal to focus on her diet in the month leading up to the flight.

Four weeks ago, my friend Susan posted in her Facebook group, "The Truth About Exercise," that she had lost 25 pounds since the New Year. While working out had been one of her main focuses, she recently adopted a vegan diet that catapulted her weight loss.

Up until then, I had not been focusing on my diet in this triathlon journey. I would justify going out to eat and eating what I'd like after finishing 2 to 3 hour workouts.

After reading Susan's post, and realizing I had four short weeks until leaving for Kona, I decided to give no meat and no dairy a try. And while I was at it, no caffeine either.
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Longer commutes may steal health and fitness
May 8th, 2012
12:05 AM ET

Longer commutes may steal health and fitness

Anybody who has a long daily commute knows the frustration of sitting in traffic with nothing to do but wait. Now, a study suggests that long commutes can take away more than just precious time - they also negatively impact your fitness and health.

Previous research has linked longer commutes with obesity. But this new research is believed to be "the first study to show that long commutes can take away from exercise time,” explained lead investigator Christine M. Hoehner of Washington University in St. Louis.

Long commutes are associated with "higher weight, lower fitness levels and higher blood pressure, all of which are strong predictors of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers,” she said.

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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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