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7 weight loss myths (sort of) debunked
January 31st, 2013
11:10 AM ET

7 weight loss myths (sort of) debunked

There's a lot said about how to lose weight. As it turns out, a lot of what's said may not be true.

To sort fact from fiction, a group of doctors and nutritionists researched the medical evidence behind common claims and presented their findings Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Beyond academia, however, the doctors and nutritionists also have deep ties to industry, receiving grant support and consulting fees from food, drug, and diet companies, raising questions about how wide a net of inquiry the authors were willing to cast.

Still, here are what the researchers say are the seven myths about obesity:

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Filed under: Diet and Fitness • Myths • Obesity • Weight loss

Obese girls at risk of multiple sclerosis, study finds
January 30th, 2013
04:01 PM ET

Obese girls at risk of multiple sclerosis, study finds

Obese girls are at greater risk of developing multiple sclerosis or MS-like illness, according to a new study published Wednesday in the online journal Neurology.

Researchers looked at body mass index (BMI) data from more than 900,000 children from the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Children's health study. Seventy-five of those children and adolescents between the ages of 2 and 18 were diagnosed with pediatric MS. More than 50% of them were overweight or obese, and the majority were girls.

According to the study, the MS risk was more than one and a half times higher for overweight girls, almost two times higher in moderately obese girls and almost four times higher in extremely obese girls.

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Heavy smokers can be successful lung donor candidates
January 29th, 2013
02:03 PM ET

Heavy smokers can be successful lung donor candidates

You might think that heavy smokers make for bad lung donors. But a new a study finds donors who smoked more than a pack of cigarettes a day for more than 20 years were strong candidates for double lung transplant donors.

The study was presented this week at the annual Society of Thoracic Surgeons meeting.

Authors of the study evaluated 5,900 adult double lung transplants between 2005 and 2011 in the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) database. UNOS is the nation’s organ transplant management system. Heavy smokers made up 13%, or 766 of the double lung transplants studied.

Researchers found that the patients who received the smokers' lungs had similar short and medium term survival rates as those who received lungs from people who did not smoke heavily. FULL POST


New, simpler childhood vaccine schedule
January 29th, 2013
10:29 AM ET

New, simpler childhood vaccine schedule

Pregnant women should receive a whooping cough vaccine in the second half of each pregnancy, according to this year's recommended vaccine schedule for children and adolescents.

In addition, the new schedule - published Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  and the American Academy of Family Physicians - consolidates the schedules into one comprehensive list, covering children from birth through age 18.

That's a change from previous years, when the schedule was separated into two different lists, for ages 0 to 6 and 7 to 18. The new schedule will also include an additional column that highlights which vaccines 4-to-6-year-olds and adolescents need.

The schedule, which is published every February, tells parents and doctors when is the correct time to vaccinate children against the 16 infectious diseases for which vaccines are available, said Dr. Cody Meissner, head of the pediatric infectious disease division at Tufts Medical Center and a consultant for the AAP's Committee on Infectious Diseases. The schedule is updated yearly to reflect any changes based on new research or developments.  FULL POST


TV ads may be driving children to drink
January 29th, 2013
10:18 AM ET

TV ads may be driving children to drink

The halls of every middle school in America are filled with teenagers looking to find themselves, express themselves and fit in with the crowd. But it’s what happens at home, at night, that can lead to some of the problems those teens may put on display.

Seventh-graders who are exposed to alcohol ads on television –- and who say they like the ads - may experience more severe problems related to drinking alcohol later in their adolescence, according to a study published Monday in the medical journal Pediatrics.

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Meal times may affect weight loss success
January 29th, 2013
05:01 AM ET

Meal times may affect weight loss success

Losing weight may not be just about WHAT you eat but WHEN you eat it, according to a new study. Participants in the study who ate a bigger meal later in the day lost less weight than those who ate earlier.

Study authors Marta Garaulet and Dr. Frank Scheer, director of the medical chronobiology program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, followed 420 people in Spain during a 20-week weight loss treatment program.

The participants were split into two groups – early eaters who ate lunch before 3 p.m. and late eaters who ate lunch after 3 p.m. In Spain, lunch is the biggest meal of the day, comprising about 40% of a person’s daily calories.

The early eaters, on average, lost 25% more weight than the late eaters over the course of the study, according to Scheer.
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New diabetes guidelines for children
January 28th, 2013
04:56 PM ET

New diabetes guidelines for children

Doctors have a new set of guidelines when treating children diagnosed with type II diabetes. It's the first time recommendations have been issued for children aged 10 to 18, a sign that childhood obesity continues to have a broad impact.

More children are developing type II diabetes "largely due to the increase in obesity and overweight (patients) in the pediatric population, as well as the overall population and the decreased activity we are seeing in our young people," said Dr. Janet Silverstein, co-author of the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines and chief of endocrinology at the University of Florida's Shands Hospital.

Type II diabetes affects 90% to 95% of the 26 million Americans with diabetes, while it's still rare in children and adolescents,  it's being diagnosed more frequently among minority populations including American Indians, African-Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, and Asians/Pacific Islanders, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. FULL POST


Shakespeare, thou art stored in DNA
January 23rd, 2013
01:01 PM ET

Shakespeare, thou art stored in DNA

The stuff we’re made of may be the means by which we store information that we want kept around long after we're gone.

Scientists have developed a technique of storing information in DNA, the molecule found in living creatures including humans that contains genetic instructions. The experiment is discussed in a new study in the journal Nature.

Researchers aren't using DNA from any living organism, or one that was once alive; instead, they are synthesizing it.

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Bird flu research resumes - but not in U.S.
January 23rd, 2013
01:00 PM ET

Bird flu research resumes - but not in U.S.

Drama surrounding research on the deadly H5N1 avian flu continues, as 40 scientists urge work on the virus to continue in countries that have established guidelines on the safety and aims of the research.  The United States is not among them.

This new correspondence, a letter from researchers published Wednesday in the journals Science and Nature, comes after a "voluntary pause" in the research, which scientists announced in January 2012.

"We declared a pause to this important research to provide time to explain the public-health benefits of this work, to describe the measures in place to minimize possible risks, and to enable organizations and governments around the world to review their policies (for example on biosafety, biosecurity, oversight, and communication) regarding these experiments," the letter states.

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Hearing loss may push decline in memory, thinking
January 22nd, 2013
11:03 AM ET

Hearing loss may push decline in memory, thinking

Older Americans who have hearing loss have an accelerated decline in thinking and memory abilities, compared to those with normal hearing, according to a study published in JAMA Archives of Internal Medicine.

Those with hearing loss experience a 30% to 40% greater decline in thinking abilities compared to their counterparts without hearing loss, according to the findings published Monday.

Hearing loss is common among old older adults, affecting about two-thirds of adults 70 and older, and about one-third of adults younger than 60, according to lead study author Dr. Frank R. Lin of Johns Hopkins University.  A large number of people with hearing loss are untreated, Lin explained, because they associate hearing loss with the stigma of getting older.

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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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