The following story, which I wrote for the Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer of Raleigh, originally appeared in those papers on January 10. It appears here in expanded form, with links.
When Sidney Eagles Jr. went in for his annual physical a dozen years back, his physician reminded him that he was overweight, that his blood pressure was high, and that his cholesterol was up there as well. The reminders had become a perennial checkup ritual for Eagles, who at the time was 60 and Chief Judge of the N.C. Court of Appeals.read more
When most people think of interval training — if they think of it at all — they think of an intense regimen reserved for competitive types. Distance runners heading to the track once a week to work on speed (evidenced by the Swedish fartlek approach that came into vogue here in the 1970s), cyclists working 30-second county-line sprints into their 3-hour rides, swimmers who periodically inject a speed lap into their long hours in the pool.read more
Does obesity breed obesity? A 2007 study out of Harvard University found that hanging out with fat people increase your chances of being fat. Now, based on the result of that study comes a new study from the Harvard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology Division of Health Sciences and Technology predicting obesity rates in the U.S. will slowly climb for another 40 years, at which point 42 percent of the population will be obese. Not just overweight, but obese. That finding contradicts previous predictions that the obesity rate has topped at its current rate of 32 percent of the U.S. population.read more
Something to be aware of as we enter the holiday season: You may not be the person you think you are. Or more to the point, you may be more of a person than you think you are.
A study in the December issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology reports that of 2,224 women taking part in an assessment of “perceptions of body weight and weight-related behaviors,” just one in four considered themselves overweight. In fact, when the 2,224 women had their BMI calculated, 1,162 — that’s over half — surpassed the BMI’s overweight barrier of 25. (Curiously, of the 1,062 women who were normal weight, 16 percent perceived themselves as being overweight.)read more
We now have a month dedicated to the childhood obesity epidemic. And the observance comes none-too-soon, considering it appears our kids may be even bigger than we realized.
As Take A Child Outside Week draws to a close and as we segue into National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month comes the disturbing news that the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic may be even worse than the numbers suggest. First, to recap those numbers: Nearly 20 percent (19.6) of the nation’s kids ages 6-11 were considered obese in 2008 (up from 6.5 percent in 1980), while 18.1 percent of 12- to 19-year-olds were obese in 2008, up from just 5 percent in 1980; In North Carolina, more than a third of our kids are either obese or overweight.read more