More Americans have blood pressure under control

We’re a stressed out society, and between the faltering economy and juggling the pressures of everyday life, it’s no wonder that 65 million of Americans suffer from hypertension.

High blood pressure is a combined product of stress, obesity, a high sodium diet, and some genetic factors that keep the pressure on blood vessels …

A link between belly fat and dementia risk

Having excess belly fat in middle-age may increase the risk for dementia later in life, according to results of a new study published this week in the Annals of Neurology. In an analysis of 733 middle-aged men and women, researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine found that not only was higher body mass index (BMI)

Lack of sleep linked to obesity risk for adolescent boys

Findings presented yesterday at a meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in Vancouver suggest that, for some teens, getting too little sleep may increase the risk for obesity. What’s more, the research implies that this correlation is more prevalent in boys than girls: compared to peers who got more rest, teen boys who got too

California county bans toys in Happy Meals

Santa Clara County, California became the first to ban toys in fast food meals for children. As CNN reports, county officials voted 3 to 2 to ban the plastic toys in any meals with more than 485 calories. County supervisor Ken Yeager said the decision was made in an effort to prevent “restaurants from preying on children’s love of toys

Preventing childhood obesity from pregnancy on

While applauding the First Lady’s efforts to combat childhood obesity through the Let’s Move initiative, researchers from the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco say that the campaign’s efforts focused primarily on behavioral and nutritional intervention—in school or at home—will yield “limited

Understanding junk food “addiction” in lab rats

Exploring the hypothesis that deficits in reward processing may contribute to obesity by making it difficult for certain individuals to stop eating once their energy needs are met—either because they are prewired with faulty reward systems or because “excessive consumption of palatable food can drive reward dysfunction”—researchers

How much exercise do women need to stay trim?

For middle-aged women who aren’t counting calories, how much exercise does it take to keep off extra weight? According to a new study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, roughly an hour per day. Though current recommendations from the Department of Health and Human Services suggest that a weekly 150

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