tagged w/ Fat
The growing culprit behind liver disease
By Elizabeth Cohen, CNN Senior Medical Producer
June 17, 2011 6:22 a.m. EDT
Photo: Wilson Alvarado rests at the Cleveland Clinic with his wife, Patricia, by his side. He recently had a liver transplant.
Doctors say being either overweight or obese can lead to liver disease
About a third of the U.S. population has nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, doctor says
But most of those won't develop significant liver disease
Symptoms often don't show up until the disease has progressed, experts say
(CNN) -- The first time Wilson Alvarado got lost on the way to a neighborhood park, he told his wife, Patricia, not to worry about it -- he was 62, he told her, and just getting a little forgetful.
Patricia thought it was strange, considering the park was only a half-mile away, and he'd driven there every week for more than 30 years. Then Wilson got lost again on the way to the park. A few months later, he called Patricia from the supermarket, asking why he was there.
"I thought, well, maybe he really is just getting old," Patricia recalls. "My mother has Alzheimer's, and I thought maybe that was it."
It was easy to overlook the little memory lapses until several years later when the situation reached a head. While her husband was visiting relatives in Puerto Rico, Patricia received a phone call from his cousin saying they'd taken Wilson to the hospital because he "wasn't making any sense" and was acting so aggressive the hospital put him in restraints.
"It was really horrifying," she says.
Patricia had him put back on a plane to Buffalo, near their home in Cheektowaga, New York. His doctors explained that liver disease was behind Wilson's memory lapses and erratic behavior.
"When you think about this kind of thing, you think about dementia or Alzheimer's," she says. "You don't think about the liver."
Wilson had cirrhosis, just like alcoholics get, but in his case, fat, not alcohol, was the culprit. At 5 feet 8 inches and 185 pounds, Wilson is overweight, and too much fat in his liver eventually caused it to malfunction.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese, and doctors say they're seeing more and more patients like Wilson Alvarado.
"It's overwhelming how many patients we're seeing with this problem," says Dr. Naim Alkhouri, a hepatologist at the Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. William Carey, also a hepatologist at the Cleveland Clinic, adds, "This is huge. We didn't even know this disease existed 30 years ago. Now it's the most common liver disease in America."
'We won't have the ability to treat all these patients'
About a third of the U.S. population has nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, according to Dr. Michael Curry, a hepatologist at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
Curry said most of those people -- about 80% -- will not develop significant liver disease. The other 20% will develop a disease called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH. Of those, about 20-30% will go on to develop cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease, where the only real treatment is a liver transplant.
"That's about 6 million people. We won't have the ability to treat all those patients," Curry says. "If we even have a fraction of that number of patients, it will overwhelm liver transplant programs."
NASH is often silent, according to the National Institutes of Health. While some people have pain in the right side of their abdomen, most do not. Liver enzyme tests are sometimes normal, and even ultrasounds and CT scans don't always pick up on the disease.
"Symptoms are few and far between," the Cleveland Clinic's Carey says.
"It can sneak up on you," says Dr. Kevin Mullen, a hepatologist at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "Even your doctor might miss it."
Often symptoms don't show up until the disease has progressed. Sometimes, the first sign is a swollen stomach or ankles, or vomiting blood.
Some patients, such as Wilson Alvarado, develop brain changes called hepatic encephalopathy. As the disease progresses, the liver has a hard time filtering out toxins, which can go to the brain and cause problems such as memory lapses, trouble sleeping at night and lack of coordination.
"It might start out with minimal changes, like a few more dents in the car," Curry says.
Later, the changes can become more disturbing.
"I had a patient who put his laundry in the refrigerator," Carey says. "Another one couldn't remember the family party that had just happened that very day."
Curry adds, "One of my patients got into the shower and turned on boiling hot water and couldn't figure out how to switch it off."
Mullen says, "It really can be bizarre. They might try to sell their house for $100 or walking around the neighborhood unclothed."
Preventing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
If a patient loses weight, eats better and exercises, he or she can often reverse the disease in its earlier stages.
"That's why we like to find these people early," says Alkhouri of the Cleveland Clinic.
However, by the time the disease has advanced to the point of cirrhosis, it's usually irreversible, he adds.
Alvarado had to have a liver transplant last month at the Cleveland Clinic, and his wife says his thinking has become more clear.
CNN's Linda Saether contributed to this report.
http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/HEALTH/06/16/liver.disease.ep/t1larg.cleveland.clinic.jpgThe growing culprit behind liver disease By Elizabeth Cohen, CNN Senior Medical... more
Overweight welfare claimants in the US state of Arizona face paying $50 (£31) fines if they don't follow a dietary regime laid down by their doctor. Is that fair?
Just as American waistlines - like many in the western world - continue to expand, so does the budget to meet the associated costs.
Medicaid, the programme which provides healthcare for the poor, costs the US federal and state governments $339bn (£209bn) a year, a figure climbing 8% annually.
The federal government matches state spending on the program, providing as much as $3 for every $1 spent in poorer areas.
Given the size of the budget, it's no surprise that Medicaid has become one of the fiscal battlegrounds in Congress.
Obama's healthcare reforms would extend cover further, increasing costs to states by tens of billions of dollars. But the Republican budget proposal put forward by Congressman Paul Ryan caps the government contribution, saving an estimated $750bn (£463bn) over 10 years, but forcing states to make cuts.
Now the state of Arizona is proposing a radical idea. It wants to impose a $50 annual fine for overweight Medicaid recipients who don't follow a strict health regime developed with their doctor.
Smokers and diabetics who ignore their medical advice would also have to pay.
Monica Coury, assistant director at Arizona's Medicaid programme, says the aim is to change behaviour using a carrot and stick approach, in the same way that increasing cigarette taxes reduced smoking.
"It's undeniable that there is a link between obesity and the rising cost of healthcare in America, so we can't be afraid to discuss this issue.
"It's reaching a crisis level in the US and we continue to complain about the rising uncontrolled costs of care - and yet we don't drill down and test some of these concepts."
Rewards for those who meet slimming targets could come in the form of keep-fit videos or other kinds of incentives, says Ms Coury. People with children, and those overweight due to a medical condition will not have to pay.
"But if you are just an average person who is able to do something to address your weight issue, and your doctor believes you can do something about it and prescribes a regime for you and you choose not to follow it, your treatment [for heart problems in later life, for example] is costing more and we're asking you to put something back to the system."
Details of how the scheme, put forward by Governor Jan Brewer, would be administered have yet to be thrashed out, and would be agreed if the state gets the go-ahead from Congress.
Although some private companies have similar penalties in their health insurance cover, this would be the first time any state health care programme has charged people in this way for what could be deemed an unhealthy lifestyle.
Arizona has the second-highest proportion of Medicaid recipients in the US, and a quarter of its residents are classed as obese. Among its other plans to cut its annual $10bn (£6.2bn) Medicaid bill is to freeze enrolment for some childless adults.
Other states will be watching closely as they all scramble to cut costs, says Matt Salo of the National Association of Medicaid Directors.
"They don't know how they will survive the next two years. States are facing a $175bn (£108bn) shortfall. It's a huge amount of money and it's a time of great uncertainty.
"What Arizona is doing is a combination of short-term budget savings that will have a long-term change of behaviour with health outcomes.
"Is this the answer? I don't know, but people are looking at it closely because there are so few other options."
But Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema thinks the tax is unfair because it may penalise people who have conditions beyond their control, like her diabetic grandmother.
Most Americans would agree it's not fair for healthy people to subsidise unhealthy people, she says, but unhealthy people who work for the state and get state health insurance aren't subject to this proposal.
"This proposal targets only the working poor and elderly, and includes punishing people like my grandmother who aren't unhealthy but have a medical condition."
But her grandmother seems unlikely to be penalised - those with children, and people overweight due to a medical condition, will not have to pay.
A better solution to spiralling Medicaid costs, she says, is to lift more people out of poverty by creating jobs in the state.
This is just another example of nanny-state social engineering, says Wes Benedict of the Libertarian Party.
"If you want to save the state money, which libertarians do, cut Medicaid across the board, but don't single out overweight people and smokers. I wouldn't be surprised if this programme costs 10 times more to administer than it saves."
The $50 fine alone might not be enough to change behaviour, says fitness expert Lisa Johnson, but it could help encourage doctors to talk about weight issues with patients.
"A recent Harvard study said 61% don't have time to talk to patients about weight loss, so this could have a more dramatic impact on the way doctors see their patients than on the behaviour itself.
"If your wife is nagging at you, you roll your eyes and eat another chip, but if your doctor says you have to lose 10lbs, then you take it more seriously."
>For every dollar spent on health care, 83 cents is spent on a patient who is overweight or obese
>Annual health costs related to obesity in the US are as high as $168bn (£104bn)
>25.5% of Arizona residents are obese, which is about the US averageOverweight welfare claimants in the US state of Arizona face paying $50 (£31)... more
Once again many followers were disappointed this Easter when Jesus or his imaginary Father (God) did not show up for the 2011th straight time! Check out this web site it is very informative and plays pretty much the middle ground between Atheism and Believers!
2011 straight times he has not showed up! Those kind of numbers are Cal Ripken like as in consecutive games played.
Before I get any more of the holier than thou comments about it's not suppose to be Easter that God or Jesus is supposed to come back, let me say that, it is spread by believers he is coming back and we all better repent. So since you, that believe in the invisible man, what day is it?
Wasn't it Easter the day of resurrection, if it was the day when it happened the first time (Supposedly) it would only make sense out of the 365 days a year, that's the day he likes to come back on!
And hey, while I got your attention: I have been wondering my whole life of 59 years why aren't Christians more Christ like? Please explain your intolerance of so many things a real Jesus would have embraced!
I personally think that people are killing each other off because it has been 2011 years since he was last seen. What the hell is his problem anyway!
In The Beginning
In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth. And the Earth
was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And Satan said, "It doesn't get any better than this."
And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
And God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed,
and the fruit tree yielding fruit," and God saw that it was good.
And Satan said, "There goes the neighborhood."
And God said, "Let us make Man in our image, after our likeness, and let
them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the
air and over the cattle, and over all the Earth, and over every creeping
thing that creepeth upon the Earth." And so God created Man in his own
image; male and female created he them. And God looked upon Man and
Woman and saw that they were lean and fit.
And Satan said, "I know how I can get back in this game."
And God populated the earth with broccoli and cauliflower and spinach,
green and yellow vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live
long and healthy lives.
And Satan created McDonald's. And McDonald's brought forth the 99-cent
And Satan said to Man, "You want fries with that?"
And Man said, "Supersize them." And Man gained 5 pounds.
And God created the healthful yoghurt, that woman might keep her
figure that man found so fair.
And Satan brought forth chocolate. And Woman gained 5 pounds.
And God said, "Try my crispy fresh salad."
And Satan brought forth Ben and Jerry's. And Woman gained 10 pounds.
And God said, "I have sent thee heart-healthy vegetables and olive oil
with which to cook them."
And Satan brought forth chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own
And Man gained 10 pounds and his bad cholesterol went through the roof.
And God brought forth running shoes and Man resolved to lose those extra
And Satan brought forth cable TV with remote control so Man would not
have to toil to change channels between ESPN and ESPN2.
And Man gained another 20 pounds.
And God said, "You're running up the score, Devil." And God brought
forth the potato, a vegetable naturally low in fat and brimming with
And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center
into chips and deep-fat fried them. And he created sour cream dip also.
And Man clutched his remote control and ate the potato chips swaddled in
cholesterol. And Satan saw and said, "It is good."
And Man went into cardiac arrest.
And God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery.
And Satan created HMO's.Once again many followers were disappointed this Easter when Jesus or his imaginary... more
I think he's OK ...he bounced. I'm glad he was wearing a helmet.
Is he a lightweight or what? He sounds like a bear when trying to breathe after getting back up. Don't do drugs kids!Is he a lightweight or what? He sounds like a bear when trying to breathe after... more
Foods that we eat have a very powerful ability to make us feel better – or feel worse. Aram and Ruben share their wisdom so you will always feel on top of the world!Foods that we eat have a very powerful ability to make us feel better – or feel... more
Ok so it's not the most PC video and I don't know if Janice is the fat kid's mum, auntie, friend, whatever...but she is having a good old laugh at his expense and so was I. Are you?Ok so it's not the most PC video and I don't know if Janice is the fat... more
America is home to the fattest people in the Western World and being overweight is now the 'norm', according to a new report.
The U.S. has the highest Body Mass Index (BMI) for men and women among high-income countries, with average scores of more than 28.
Under World Health Organisation guidelines, a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered ‘healthy’, 25 to 29.9 is overweight and 30 or above is clinically obese.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1353761/U-S-home-fattest-men-women-Western-World.html#ixzz1DE04fC3T
Being overweight or obese raises the risk of heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, arthritis and other health conditions.
The report showed that in 2008 more than one in ten of the world’s adult population – around half a billion – were obese, with women more likely to fall into the category than men. The total is nearly double the level recorded in 1980.
For British men, the average BMI was 27.4, matched by Cyprus and Luxembourg in Western Europe. This was up from 24.7 in 1980.
Among the rest of the world, other high-scoring countries included Russia (27.2), Israel (27.3) and Malta (27).
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1353761/U-S-home-fattest-men-women-Western-World.html#ixzz1DE07YOJnAmerica is home to the fattest people in the Western World and being overweight is now... more
More than one in 10 people around the globe are obese as more and more countries try and emulate our unhealthy "Western" lifestyles.Not one, but three papers are today published in The Lancet showing that obesity levels have doubled in the last 30 years.In 2008, more than half a billion adults worldwide - 205 million men and 297 million women - were clinically obese.This means they had a body mass index (BMI), measured by dividing a person's weight in kilogrammes by their height in metres squared, of 30 or above. A healthy figure is in the low 20s.An estimated 9.8% of men and 13.8% of women on Earth were obese in 2008, compared with 4.8% of men and 7.9% of women in 1980.Pacific island nations had the highest obesity rate, with average BMI levels reaching 34-35 - up to 70% higher than some countries in south-east Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. But perhaps that's not as surprising as big is seen as beautiful in many of these nations. It shouldn't come as a surprise that Americans have the highest BMI for both men and women in high income countries - and being overweight is now the norm for the average American. (Yikes!)Britons had the sixth highest BMI for women and ninth for men in Europe. Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: "There has been a striking escalation of obesity over the last 30 years."It's an ugly, upward trend but it can be reversed with effective policies and sensible lifestyle changes."On the plus side, the studies also revealed the proportion of the world's population with high blood pressure fell over the same period.More than one in 10 people around the globe are obese as more and more countries try... more
Dancing with the Stars pro Cheryl Burke has one of TV's most famously toned bodies – but that didn't stop her confidence from being shaken in July 2008 when a tabloid published photos of her looking heavier.
"One night I was supposed to go out with my friends but I couldn't do it. Every time someone looked at me I was like, 'That person thinks I'm fat,' " recalls Burke, who estimates she had gained 5 to 10 lbs. while on hiatus from the show.Dancing with the Stars pro Cheryl Burke has one of TV's most famously toned... more
I have trouble labeling myself.
Is that a photo of a fat person? I’m currently carrying more fat than I’ve ever had on my body, but does that make me fat? If not, what would make me fat? A belly, bigger arms, a less-prominent ratio between my waist and hips?
I tried to figure out which labels I think our ridiculous, teething-toddler-throwing-a-tantrum society would give me, and it was quite difficult. Here’s what I came up with [...]
What labels would your society give you?
Do those labels, positive or negative, bother you?
http://thedemoiselles.com/archives/the-other-side-of-labelsI have trouble labeling myself. Is that a photo of a fat person? I’m... more
Walmart supercentres offer expanding waistlines and strained buttons along with inexpensive housewares, clothing and electronics, new research suggests.
Two economists tracked extensive health and population data between 1996 and 2005, a period in which 1,569 supercentres — which sell groceries along with household products — opened across the U.S.
Of Walmart's 323 stores in Canada, 119 are supercentres.
The researchers found that one new Walmart supercentre per 100,000 residents meant an average weight gain of 1.5 pounds per person sometime over a 10-year period dating from the store's opening. It also boosted the obesity rate by 2.3 percentage points, meaning that for every 100 people, two who weren't obese ended up in that category after a superstore opened.
"I think the most obvious story is that Walmart lowers the price of foods and a lot of the foods it has big price advantages on are the processed, inner-aisle types of food that aren't that good for you," said Charles Courtemanche, an assistant professor of economics at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
"It's not just about Walmart underselling the competitor. It's about the competitors cutting their prices in response to competition from Walmart. Someone might never step foot in a Walmart, but they still might pay less for their food."
Women, low-income families and people living in less densely populated areas are those most likely to put on weight after the arrival of a supercentre, according to Courtemanche and his co-author, Art Carden at Rhodes College.
The researchers incorporated a variety of controls and tests in their study to ensure that other characteristics of the communities studied could have explained the weight gain.
While the most obvious explanation is that cheaper food leads to more eating, Courtemanche said further research is needed to determine the exact connection between Walmart supercentres and obesity. It could be a combination of diet and exercise, he said, noting that their previous research has shown Walmart's product offerings influence leisure activities — with people buying and watching more DVDs, for instance, after a Walmart moves into town and offers them cheaply.
It's also possible that prices drop more steeply on processed foods than they do on fresh fruit and vegetables after Walmart's arrival, he suggested. Previous research has estimated that Walmart causes prices to drop by between eight and 27 per cent across the board, he said.
"We don't want people to look at this and immediately say Walmart is evil. We want people to realize this is one of many things that are going on, and maybe some are good and some are bad," he said. "Certainly our results should not be taken as, 'Ban all Walmarts.' It's part of a very broad debate."
Courtemanche said he believes Walmart supercentres in Canada would follow similar trends, and it's possible the effects would be heightened because Canada has a lower population density: the study found that people in more sparsely populated places are more likely to gain weight when a supercentre arrives.
"These weight gains seem to be concentrated among people at the highest risk of being obese, so you're kind of maximizing the impact on obesity you could get from such modest increases in weight," he said. "It might be only one out of five people who is gaining any weight, but that one person is gaining 10 pounds."
The research will be published in the March issue of the Journal of Urban Economics. Walmart did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/Packing+pounds+blamed+weight+Walmart/4129042/story.html#ixzz1BVyGjUC4Walmart supercentres offer expanding waistlines and strained buttons along with... more
Fat Disco Queen 2011 ...she has lots of Power.
Happy New Year! Now...lose weight?
How our cultural obsession with getting thin has changed even our most basic goals.
http://thedemoiselles.com/archives/and-it-begins-again-new-year-new-dietHappy New Year! Now...lose weight? How our cultural obsession with getting thin... more
A woman who hopes to become the fattest woman in the world is now 30,000 calories closer to her 453.5kg (1000lb) goal after scoffing a festive feast that could have fed thousands of North Koreans (well perhaps not thousands).Donna Simpson, who weights 292kg, sat in a reinforced metal chair, and chowed down on the world's biggest Christmas dinner as she ate for two straight hours.The single mother-of-two, from New Jersey in the US, tucked into two 11kg (25lb) turkeys, two maple-glazed hams, 6.8kg (15lbs) of potatoes - 4.5kg (10lbs) roast, 2.3kg (5lbs) mashed, five loaves of bread, 2.3kg of herb stuffing, three litres of gravy, three litres of cranberry dressing and an astonishing 9kg (20lbs) of vegetables.After polishing off her enormous main course, she still had room for dessert and ate a "salad" made of marshmallow, cream cheese, whipped cream and cookies.The 157.5cm tall Simpson defended her meal, saying: "I eat as much as I want, whenever I want but at this time of year I really go all out."Christmas should give you carte blanche to do whatever you want."The food-crazy lady actually makes a living from being fat, getting paid to make public appearances and keeping a website where people can pay to watch her eat (!?).Already a Guinness world record holder for being the fattest woman to ever give birth, Simpson hopes to gain 160kg (25 stone) more and officially become the fattest woman in the world.Simpson met her daughter's father Philippe on a dating site for plus-size people, even though he weighed only 63.5 kg (10 stone). He supported her 12,000-calorie a day diet and was a "belly man" who loved her enormous shape. A woman who hopes to become the fattest woman in the world is now 30,000 calories... more
Before you worry too much about putting on those holiday pounds, consider this: We're not the only species with weight issues.
link: http://news.discovery.com/animals/fat-pets-obesity-weight.htmlBefore you worry too much about putting on those holiday pounds, consider this:... more
There is something seriously wrong here, why is her parents still giving her crap food?! The girl can't walk, only scoot around on the floor, so she is obviously being fed by someone.There is something seriously wrong here, why is her parents still giving her crap... more