Focus on Health

Childhood ObesityThere’s a right way and a wrong way to persuade your adolescent to eat healthy and help avoid obesity, a new study suggests.

Pointedly connecting food with fatness or talking about needed weight loss is the wrong way and could even encourage unhealthy eating habits, researchers report.

Instead, discussions that focus on simply eating healthfully are less likely to send kids down this road, a new study shows.

“A lot of parents are aware of the obesity problem in the U.S — it’s everywhere you turn — but they wonder how to talk about it with their children,” said study lead author Dr. Jerica Berge of the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis.

She advises that parents “tell kids to eat more fruits and vegetables because eating them will make them healthy and strong. Don’t connect these conversations to weight and size.”

The study is published online June 24 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity has more than tripled in adolescents in the United States over the past 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This has had a profound effect on children’s health, with condition formerly only seen in adults, such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, now being diagnosed in children.

The new study included survey data from more than 2,300 adolescents with an average age of about 14 and more than 3,500 parents.

Focus on Health, Not Fat, in Food Talks With Kids


Wed Jun 19 2013 – AMA declares obesity a disease

The American Medical Assn. voted Tuesday to declare obesity a disease, a move that effectively defines 78 million American adults and 12 million children as having a medical condition requiring treatment.

The nation’s leading physicians organization took the vote after debating whether the action would do more to help affected patients get useful treatment or would further stigmatize a condition with many causes and few easy fixes.

In the end, members of the AMA’s House of Delegates rejected cautionary advice from their own experts and extended the new status to a condition that affects more than one-third of adults and 17% of children in the United States.

“Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately 1 in 3 Americans,” said Dr. Patrice Harris, an AMA board member.

Tuesday’s vote is certain to step up pressure on health insurance companies to reimburse physicians for the time-consuming task of discussing obesity’s health risks with patients whose body mass index exceeds 30. It should also encourage doctors to direct these patients to weight-loss programs and to monitor their often-fitful progress.

What You Need to Know About Symptoms of Diabetes

DiabetesIn most cases, diabetes symptoms start showing up gradually. That is why they are not always easy to identify. Some of the common symptoms are frequent urination at night, blurred vision, loss of weight, fatigue and excessive thirst. The major reason for frequent urination is that excess glucose in the bloodstream is removed by more frequent production of urine. Consequently, there will be a greater urge to drink more fluids which will further lead to repeated urination.

A physician may infer that a person has diabetes when there are obvious signs of diabetes related ailments. Some of these include: deteriorating vision, numb feet and legs, slow healing of wounds and heart related problems. The presence of these signs does not automatically confirm a patient as being diabetic but if anyone has several of these symptoms, it is best to see a doctor.

However, a person who has diabetes may initially not show any of these symptoms at all. In most cases, type 2 diabetes, develops gradually and may be dormant in a person for several years before it is finally diagnosed. The symptoms appear differently in each person. But two very common symptoms are repeated urination and excessive thirst.

Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes symptoms do not develop in same way. Type 1 diabetes symptoms show up gradually in infants and adolescents over a few weeks. But Type 2 symptoms develop at any even slower rate over a couple of years. Type 2 diabetes is more common in adults who are over 40 years. That is why it is common to find adults who have diabetes mellitus but are not even aware of it. Sometimes the condition is discovered after medical examination is carried out for another ailment.

Recent medical research has shown that if symptoms of diabetes are discovered early, the complications of the disease can easily be averted.

Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes

The symptoms of this type of diabetes manifest suddenly and are more severe. Examples of these symptoms include:
* Blurred vision
* Fatigue (feelings of weakness after very little activity)
* Loss of weight
* Repeated urination (Polyuria)
* Dryness in the mouth
* Excessive thirst (Polydipsia)

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

The symptoms of this type of diabetes manifest gradually and are less severe. Sometimes they are not quickly noticed. Examples of these symptoms include:
* Slow healing of sores and cuts
* Pain in the lower limbs
* Increased urination and thirst
* Irritation and itching of the skin
* Depreciating vision

Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes

The symptoms of gestational diabetes are similar to type 1 diabetes symptoms. But there are other symptoms such as: nausea and vomiting, infections of the skin, bladder and vagina and irritability.

Warning Signs of Diabetes

Here are some of the warning signs that may indicate the presence of diabetes in an individual.
* Flu-like symptoms e.g. signs of viral infection like coughing, sneezing, nausea etc.
* Excess weight loss or gain. Typical blood sugar disorders can cause a patient to either eat too much and gain weight or lose weight. Weight loss occurs when the muscles don’t have adequate glucose to support energy production and growth.
* Blurred vision. High blood sugar levels tend to cause the excessive removal of fluid from the body. This also affects the eye lenses and results in poor vision.
* Frequent infections and wounds that heal slowly. Vaginal and bladder infections are a common sign among women.
* Damage of the nerves. High blood sugar levels can lead to numbness in the hands and legs. Nerve damage can also lead to sexual and erectile dysfunction in men older than 50 years.
* Tenderness and swelling of the gums. The gums can be adversely affected by diabetes. They could easily become infected and may develop sores with small bags of pus.
* Skin changes. A condition known as acanthosis nigricans can develop in diabetes patients. This manifests as dark velvety patches in the groin, armpit and neck.

If you notice that you are experiencing frequent urination at night, it is better to see a doctor. It is very risky to assume that you are urinating more often simply because you are drinking more water. Contact a qualified medical doctor right away for proper medical examination.