June 5th, 2012
05:16 PM ET
Having a large waist is an important early warning sign for diabetes, one that in some cases may be just as significant as body mass index (BMI), if not more so, a new study has found.
Waist size, which provides a rough measure of a person's body type, may be especially useful for identifying high-risk people who are overweight but not obese, the study suggests. Obesity is a clear-cut risk factor for diabetes, but doctors generally have a harder time determining which overweight people are most vulnerable to the condition.
"Waist circumference is very helpful in people who are obese, but exceptionally helpful in people who are overweight," says Dr. Abraham Thomas, M.D., head of endocrinology and diabetes at Henry Ford Hospital, in Detroit. Thomas was not involved in the study.
May 28th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
You might want to lose weight, but the noticeable benefits seem so far off in the future that you continually procrastinate. You need a reason to get more fit right now - how about money?
A new study in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine reinforces this idea that if money were on the line, you might start on a healthier path. Web and mobile tools are cropping up to help you do this yourself - but first, a word about the study.
May 11th, 2012
05:57 PM ET
Five years ago, California passed some of the strongest school-food legislation in the nation in hopes of combating childhood obesity.
These rules limit the kinds of unhealthy foods that students can buy in vending machines or at a snack bar, which aren’t offered as part of lunch in the school's cafeteria.
The state is well-known for leading the nation with health trends, so it's no surprise that its legislators are out front when it comes to cutting back on junk food in schools. A new study shows their efforts may be working: High school students in California are eating fewer calories and less added sugar and fat during the school day than students from other states.
April 27th, 2012
07:21 AM ET
Sweet tooth? You’re not alone. Sugary foods and beverages are delicious. But we’ve also learned they can be highly addictive and, too much of them, can take a serious toll on our health.
Today some of our favorite drinks, gum, baked goods, and candy are available in sugar-free versions. But that got me thinking... are sugar substitutes any better for you than the real thing? I was not alone on this issue. I’ve received dozens of tweets and emails wondering if fake sugar can harm us, or worse, crave more food!
For some answers I turned to internist and physician nutrition specialist, Dr. Melina Jampolis. Her specialty is practiced by only 200 physicians in the United States. She focuses exclusively on nutrition for weight loss and disease prevention and treatment.
April 19th, 2012
02:32 PM ET
Brides often feel the pressure of looking their best on their wedding day, purchasing a dress with sometimes significantly lower wedding weight in mind. While some try to lose weight the healthy way focusing on long-term weight management, eating right and exercise, others attempt crash diets sometimes going to extreme measures to shed those extra pounds.
One such bride, Jessica Schnaider told ABC and The New York Times that she wanted to lose 10 pounds before her big day. She went to Dr. Oliver Di Pietro in Miami Beach, Florida. In a release to CNN, Di Pietro says he's brought the K-E diet to the United States from Italy. The diet involves inserting a feeding tube into a patient's nose that runs to the stomach for a period of 10 days.
March 15th, 2012
11:19 AM ET
Work can be a real burden for some people. They feel overwhelmingly exhausted and cynical toward their workplace environment, and believe their efforts are not valued.
In other words, they are burned out.
A new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition connects these sentiments with overeating and controlled eating behaviors.
The experiment involved 230 working women. Those who were experiencing workplace burnout at the beginning of the experiment were more likely to have emotional and uncontrolled eating than those without burnout. This held true even after 12 months.
Among those without burnout, uncontrolled eating decreased significantly over the year.
February 23rd, 2012
03:02 PM ET
On Wednesday morning, an advisory committee for the Food and Drug Administration recommended that the FDA approve Qnexa, a weight-loss drug that works to suppress appetite. The panel voted 20-to-2 in favor of approval.
The FDA has until April 17 to decide whether to take the committee's recommendation. If they do so, it will be the first time the FDA has approved a weight-loss drug since 1999.
The advisors' decision was a reversal of a previous recommendation in 2010. At the time, a panel rejected Qnexa based on concerns about increased heart rates, psychiatric problems and birth defects in patients taking the pills.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains what this means and what's next in the video above.
February 9th, 2012
11:39 AM ET
How many times have you been to the movie theater, ordered a regular-sized popcorn or soda and been asked, “Would you like a large for a quarter more?” What about ordering a sandwich at your local deli? "Make it a combo!" you probably say.
We’re trained early on, oftentimes by our parents, to clean our plates or no dessert. Frequently, regardless of how hungry we are, that’s exactly what we’ll do.
Sure, the medium-sized popcorn would’ve been entirely satisfying, but if offered the larger portion, we’re going to take it and eat it – all of it.
This phenomenon, in part, is was what sparked a series of studies conducted at a fast-food Chinese restaurant on Tulane’s New Orleans campus.
The researchers conclude, in a study published in this month’s Health Affairs, that up to one-third of customers accepted a verbal offer to downsize their lunch, regardless of whether they were offered a minor monetary incentive to do so. Customers who accepted the downsized meals ate, on average, 200 fewer calories than did those who ordered the full-sized meals.
January 17th, 2012
10:00 AM ET
Professional football players already vulnerable to memory loss and cognitive problems stemming from repetitive head injuries may be at even greater risk if they also carry excess weight, as many of them do.
In a small new study of retired NFL players, researchers found that overweight players had less blood flow to key areas of the brain and lower scores on mental-function tests than former players of normal weight.
"There was a very significant relationship: As their weight went up, their reasoning scores and memory and attention scores went down," says the senior study author, Daniel G. Amen, M.D., founder and medical director of Amen Clinics, a neuropsychiatry clinic and research center based in Newport Beach, California.
December 11th, 2011
07:44 AM ET
Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at email@example.com.
Q: How do celebrities have babies and then appear in their skinny jeans again four weeks later?
Well, we have to be honest here - most of the celebrities you're thinking of (Gisele, Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, and Heidi Klum come to mind) were pretty skinny and in great shape before their pregnancies. And most continued to work out regularly during those nine months.
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.