Link between reduced sleep and childhood obesity

From Science Daily on 05/20/14:

One of the most comprehensive studies of the potential link between reduced sleep and childhood obesity finds compelling evidence that children who consistently received less than the recommended hours of sleep during infancy and early childhood had increases in both obesity and in adiposity or overall body fat at age 7.

Editor's note: 

Fat person sleeping
I have found this research on the link between obesity and sleep deprivation interesting because most of my adult life I was sleep deprived due to my work schedule. I noticed over those years I gained almost 100 lbs going from 180 to 280 over a period of 30 years. Now that I am retired and sleeping much more, I have found it much easier to lose weight.


Corporations tell young girls they aren't OK for profit

This is an interesting video about pre-teens and body image. It lasts three minutes. It is interesting how young women get so many warped ideas from our culture about their bodies. I believe it comes from advertising and our corporate culture. They sell products to make you look beautiful, attractive, desirable. In order to create a need for their products, the corporations convince young people that they aren't good enough, don't look good enough, just the way they are. The seeds of dysfunction are sown for profit. Take a look and tell me what you think?


Feeling fat may be worse for you than being fat

Obese_man_2 Reuters reported on January 30, 2008 on a study which will appear in the March, 2008 issue of the American Journal of Public Health which found that feeling fat may be worse for a person's health than being fat.

Obesity's health effects could have more to do with feeling bad about being fat than actually being overweight, a new study shows.

Researchers who looked at a nationally representative group of more than 170,000 US adults found the difference actual weight and perceived ideal weight was a better indicator of mental and physical health than body mass index (BMI).

"The obesity 'epidemic' might have a lot more to do with our collective preoccupation with obesity than obesity itself," the study's lead author, Dr. Peter Muennig of Columbia University in New York City, told Reuters Health. "We still need to focus on healthy diet and exercise as public health officials, but we need to take fatness out of the equation. Were we to stop looking at body fat as a problem, the problem may well disappear."

I am 100 lbs. overweight and have been for 35 years. My weight has stayed stable between 275 - 290 for most of that time. I am 6'1". I know I should loose weight and have lost as much as 50 lbs. always to get back to the 275 - 290 Lbs. range. So I find this study very interesting. How bad do I feel about being obese? How bad does Santa Claus feel?

Link: MedlinePlus: Feeling fat may be worse for you than being fat.


One-Third of Diabetics Have Sleep Apnea

I am 61. I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes last year. I have had high blood pressure for 15 years. I am 90 lbs. over weight. Now my doctor thinks I may have sleep apnea. It appears that I am high risk. I am scheduling a sleep study in the next month or two.

According to an article in Reuters Health Day on July 30,2007 based on an article in the journal, Endocrine Practice, one out of three people with diabetes may also be suffering from sleep apnea.

People with type 2 diabetes who drag themselves through the day may be among the 36 percent of diabetics suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, according to new research.

Sleep apnea occurs when impaired breathing due to collapsed airways triggers multiple nighttime awakenings.

Researchers at The Whittier Institute for Diabetes in La Jolla, Calif., analyzed health data from 279 adults with type 2 diabetes. They found that one out of three diabetics also suffered from obstructive sleep apnea. Men, particularly those over the age of 62, were more than twice as likely as women to experience interrupted sleep.

Previous research has indicated a relationship between obstructive sleep apnea, glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, so the connection with type 2 diabetes is not surprising. This is the first study to analyze data from both men and women at a diabetes clinic, the researchers said.

"These findings demonstrate that obstructive sleep apnea has a high prevalence in adults with type 2 diabetes," principal investigator Dr. Daniel Einhorn said in a prepared statement. "Given that treatment of obstructive sleep apnea has the potential to both decrease blood pressure and improve glycemic [blood sugar] control, individuals with type 2 diabetes should be regularly screened for the presence of sleep apnea," he said.

People with sleep apnea suffer from troubling symptoms such as fatigue, poor concentration, irritability, anxiety, apprehensiveness, depression, and may have poor job performance, more traffic accidents, etc.

There is good treatment available so quality of life can be improved.

Link: Medline. Plus: One-Third of Diabetics Have Sleep Apnea.


Portion sizes larger today than 20 years ago

Triple_burger Reuters reported on September 1, 2006 on a study in the September, 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, that self selected portion sizes of food have grown in the United States over the last 20 years. The researchers attribute this to the size of packaging in the food industry. For example, 12 oz beverage serving has increased to 20 oz. or in some cases 24 oz. With beverages like orange juice and sugared soda this is a huge increase in calories and carbohydrate.

Portion sizes young adults serve themselves have swelled significantly over the past 20 years, a new study shows.

Portion sizes of ready-to-serve foods and restaurant servings have grown over the past two decades, Jaime Schwartz of Portable Nutrition in New York City and Dr. Caron Byrd-Bredbenner of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey note in their report.

Many believe this has helped to contribute to the current obesity epidemic.

To investigate whether there's been a similar increase in the amount of food people will serve themselves, the researchers observed a group of 177 young adults serving themselves breakfast, lunch or dinner. The researchers modeled their study on similar research published in 1984.

I also have noticed that many fast food restaurants no longer offer a "small" but their previous "medium" size has now become their "small". No wonder Americans are becoming increasingly more obese and Type II diabetes is on the rise.

Link: MedlinePlus: Portion sizes larger today than 20 years ago.


Obesity Increases Chances of Early Death

Obese_people Reuters HealthDay reported on 08/23/06 on an article in the August 24, 2006 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine on the relationship of obesity and longevity. Everyone is aware, or should be aware, of the health risks associated with obesity, but a new study affirms the observation that obese people die young at significantly higher rates than people of normal weight.

Leitzmann's team found that people who were overweight when they were 50 had a 20 percent to 40 percent increased risk of dying prematurely. For those who were obese, the risk of premature death was two to three times that of normal-weight people. "That translates into a 200 to 300 percent increase in the risk of premature death," Leitzmann said.

The researchers did not look at specific causes of death, but Leitzmann said the primary causes of premature death in this group were heart disease and cancer.

The advice to reduce the risk of premature death is obvious. "People need to maintain a normal weight throughout adulthood and avoid developing excess weight," Leitzmann said. "And if you are overweight or obese, lose the excess weight."

I am obese and have been for 30 years. This morning 08/25/06 I weighed 266 down from 286 on July 14. My goal is 185. I am 60 and want to live into my 90s. So the fat has got to go.

Link: MedlinePlus: Obesity Increases Chances of Early Death.


Intuitive Eating: the Anti-dieting Diet

Reuters reported on Wednesday, November 23, 2005 on a study published in the November, 2005 issue of the American Journal of Health Education which showed that there are benefits to "intuitive eating".

"To become an intuitive eater, a person also needs to adopt two key behaviors. They must learn how not to eat for emotional, environmental or social reasons and they must listen to their body and eat only when hungry and stop when full. They must also learn how to interpret body signals, cravings, and hunger and respond in a healthy way."

Link: MedlinePlus: Intuitive Eating: the Anti-dieting Diet.


Anti-psychotic drugs linked to diabetes

According to study in the January, 2005 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry the anti-psychotic drugs used to treat Schizophrenia are linked to an increased risk of insulin resistance.

"Harvard Medical School researchers in Boston said the anti-psychotic drugs clozapine and olanzapine are linked to an increased risk of insulin resistance.

Their study, in the January issue of The Archives of General Psychiatry, said insulin resistance is a major risk factor for diabetes."

It's funny this should come up again because I had seen this report before, and one of our patients at GCASA where I work asked me about this a couple of months ago. He is what is referred to in New York State as a MICA patient, Mentally Ill Chemical Abuser. He is doing well with his substance abuse recovery, but struggles which Schizophrenia and is taking olanzapine and has been gaining weight. He told me that someone had told him about the risk of getting diabetes and wondered if he should stay on his meds. I am not his therapist and so referred him back to the psychiatrist prescribing his meds and said he should discuss it with him.

These are the tough questions asked in health care settings where patients need information to make informed consent having weighed the benefits against the possible risks.

Link: MedlinePlus: Anti-psychotic drugs linked to diabetes.


Nearly one-third of workers obese

Fat causes problems. Tell me about it. I am about 100 lbs overweight and have been for 30 years. I am 6'1" and hover around 290 lbs. most of the time. Blood pressure, even with medication is 160/100 or 140/90 which is not that good. My doctor told me, if I lost 20 lbs. my blood pressure would go down noticably.

I have lost 50 lbs. about 6 years ago and gained it all back. Then I lost 25 lbs. about 2 years ago and I have gained it all back, and now I am going to start again and this time keep it off. I will report periodically on this blog how I am doing. This morning I weighed in at 288 and I am going to put myself on 1500 calories per day which I have done in the past and I know I will loose weight. I have to see my doctor again in the middle of January. Do you think I can be at 275 by then? Stay tuned.

A study by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer found the percentage of U.S. workers considered obese grew from 20 percent to 29 percent over the past decade.

The study, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, said obesity causes serious problems for healthcare in the workplace -- having the same effect as 20 years of aging for a typical worker.

Fat workers had increased risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and a collection of health risks including stroke and heart disease.

"This study demonstrates unequivocally what happens when workers gain girth, both in terms of their ability to work and the impact on their own health," said Robin Hertz, senior director of population studies at Pfizer. "The damage caused by obesity is clear -- employers face growing costs for insurance premiums, as well as lost productivity, and employees face serious work and health concerns."

The study looked at health data on workers age 20 and older between 1988 and 2000.

Link: MedlinePlus: Nearly one-third of workers obese.