November 15th, 2012
01:42 PM ET
The odds are increasing that you or someone you know has Type 2 diabetes. The latest Morbidity and Mortality report (MMWR) released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that from 1995 to 2010, there was at least a 100% increase in the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes cases in 18 states. Forty-two states saw an increase of at least 50%.
"Even when you know that [the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes] is increasing, to see that level of increase was shocking to me," says Linda Geiss, a statistician with CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation and the lead author of the MMWR.
"It was the 100% figure. 100% – that's a large increase."
Predictably, states in the South where obesity levels have also steadily increased had some of the highest increases in diabetes. Oklahoma topped the list with an increase of 226%, followed by Kentucky with 158%, Georgia with 145%, Alabama with 140% and the state of Washington with 135%.
November 6th, 2012
05:02 PM ET
Add this to the list of reasons why exercise is good for you: A new study says 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity, leisure time exercise is associated with roughly 3.4 years added to a person's life.
Researchers from the National Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, and other organizations analyzed six different prospective cohort studies of more than 632,000 people ages 40 and older. The studies had a median follow-up period of 10 years, with roughly 82,000 reported deaths. Regular, moderate intensity exercise was associated with an increased life expectancy, even when the person exercising had an unhealthy Body Mass Index (BMI).
Dr. I-Min Lee, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the senior author of the study, says that not exercising but having a healthy weight was associated with 3.1 fewer years of life, compared to obese people who were active. Conversely, people who exercised 150 minutes a week and had a healthy BMI gained an extra 7.2 years of life. FULL POST
November 2nd, 2012
05:49 PM ET
In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, cold weather could put people returning to their homes at risk. Here is a bit about some of the health risks victims of the storm may face.
1. Carbon monoxide exposure
Dr. Howard Mell, spokesperson for the American College of Emergency Physicians, lists carbon monoxide exposure as the No. 1 risk for people returning to their homes. If they lack power, and the weather is cold, they should stay somewhere else before risking a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning by using appliances such as generators or stoves indoors to heat their homes.
"A lot of these injuries come about because some of these people are in such a rush to get back into their homes," says Mell. FULL POST
October 30th, 2012
12:01 PM ET
With all the talk about obesity in America, you might be surprised to know that most people are pretty good at losing weight.
Weight loss programs have proven effective in helping people drop pounds. But keeping them off is another story.
Studies have shown that overweight participants typically give up their newly learned health habits and regain 30 to 50% of the weight they lost within one year, even if they participate in a post-weight loss maintenance program.
“There’s something we’re missing in terms of what it takes to maintain our weight,” says Michaela Kiernan, an expert in behavioral weight management at the Stanford Prevention Research Center.
October 30th, 2012
12:02 AM ET
During spinning class, I often find myself wishing I was in a pool. For one, water would make the sweat dripping down my back less noticeable. Two, it has to be easier to sneak a break when the instructor can’t see your legs below the surface.
The study analyzed cardiovascular data from 33 young, healthy participants who performed the same workout on a dry land stationary bike and on a water stationary bike.
Also called hydro-riders or aqua bikes, water stationary bicycles are anchored to the bottom of a pool so that cyclists are submerged up to their shoulders. Resistance can be added by changing the pedal size or, in some bikes, the angle of plates in the wheels.
Researchers found that participants’ oxygen consumption and average heart rates were lower while riding in the water. In other words, their cardiovascular systems were working more efficiently to do the same amount of exercise.
October 23rd, 2012
09:02 PM ET
Editors' note: Tom Colicchio talks about food and your vote on "Sanjay Gupta MD," Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET and Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET.
Jobs… Obamacare… Iran… and food?
Voters looking for a reason to support or oppose a candidate will find new ammunition in the first-ever “National Food Policy Scorecard,” created by a coalition of non-profits including environmental advocates, anti-hunger groups and activists including “Top Chef’s” lead judge and restauranteur Tom Colicchio.
“I don’t think the average person thinks this stuff through,” says Colicchio, who sees a link between government policy and what families put on the table. “When you see people who are struggling, and buying fast food for kids, it’s not because they think it’s great for you. It’s because it’s cheap. And it’s cheap because the government subsidizes corn, wheat and soy. That’s what we’re supporting with our tax dollars. What if we took that money and put it towards farmers growing fresh, organic vegetables?”
October 18th, 2012
10:20 AM ET
We all know that what you eat can change your physical appearance. It also alters how your body functions, making it more or less difficult to pump blood, grow healthy bones or process insulin.
New research presented this week at the Neuroscience 2012 conference suggests that what you eat can even alter your brain – and vice versa.
Timothy Verstynen and his colleagues used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to observe the brain activity in 29 adults. The study participants were shown words on a screen in various colors and asked to identify the color, not the word. Sometimes it was easy – the word red printed in red; other times it was harder, like seeing the word red printed in blue.
The overweight and obese participants’ brains showed more activity during difficult questions, suggesting they were working harder to get the same answers.
October 12th, 2012
03:04 PM ET
Obese teenage boys are at risk for more than diabetes and heart disease, a new study has found. They also have alarmingly low levels of testosterone - between 40 to 50% less than males of the same age with a normal body mass index.
The study, published this week in the journal Clinical Endocrinology, investigated the effect of obesity on testosterone levels in young males.
It has its origins in earlier research, which showed that type II diabetes and obesity in older men are linked to a high rate (25-33%) of hypogonadism, or low testosterone levels. According to the new study, the rate of hypogonadism in type II diabetic men ages 18-35 is greater than 50%. FULL POST
October 10th, 2012
05:01 PM ET
Ever gone to the grocery story intending to buy apples and milk and left with a jar of queso dip, a gallon of ice cream and an enormous bag of Halloween candy? Impulse shopping can wreak havoc on your healthy eating plans, but experts say it may not be entirely your fault.
An editorial published in this week's New England Journal of Medicine blames part of the obesity epidemic on our food environment. Dr. Deborah Cohen and Dr. Susan Babey collaborated to write the article "Candy at the Cash Register - A Risk Factor for Obesity and Chronic Disease."
"The reality is that food choices are often automatic and made without full conscious awareness," the authors write. "In many cases they may even be the opposite of what the person deciding would consciously prefer."
October 8th, 2012
04:01 PM ET
Eating tomatoes in your daily salad or regularly enjoying a healthy red sauce on your spaghetti could help reduce your risk of stroke, according to research published this week in the journal Neurology.
Tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant that is good for brain health, the researchers say, and cooked tomatoes seem to offer more protection than raw.
"This study adds to the evidence that a diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of stroke," says study author Jouni Karppi, of the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio. "A diet containing tomatoes... a few times a week would be good for our health. However, daily intake of tomatoes may give better protection."
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.