Posts tagged Reuters
With the second-highest national rate of obesity in the world (after the U.S.) and the fourth highest rate of childhood obesity, Mexico has started an initiative to help educate children about healthy eating habits and the dangers associated with sugary beverages and fatty foods, Voxxi reports.
Mexican officials recently started a “Week of Taste” program in 124 schools to show children natural and simple flavors while creating a desire to eat healthy.
Last year, they started a campaign to focus on getting young people to drink more water, eat more vegetables and fruit, and to exercise more.
America’s obesity epidemic is so deeply rooted that it will take dramatic and systemic measures—from overhauling farm policies and zoning laws to, possibly, introducing a soda tax—to fix it, according to a new report released May 8, 2012, by the influential Institute of Medicine (IOM), Reuters reports.
The 478-page report, according to Reuters, refutes the idea that obesity is largely the result of a lack of willpower on the part of individuals:
Instead, it embraces policy proposals that have met with stiff resistance from the food industry and lawmakers, arguing that multiple strategies will be needed to make the U.S. environment less “obesogenic.”
The IOM, part of the National Academies, offers advice to the government and others on health issues. Its report was released at the Weight of the Nation conference, a three-day meeting hosted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cable channel HBO will air a documentary of the same name next week.
“People have heard the advice to eat less and move more for years, and during that time a large number of Americans have become obese,” committee member Shiriki Kumanyika of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine told Reuters. “That advice will never be out of date. But when you see the increase in obesity you ask, what changed? And the answer is, the environment. The average person cannot maintain a healthy weight in this obesity-promoting environment.”
Earlier this week, a CDC-funded study projected that by 2030, 42% of American adults will be obese, compared to 34% today.
The staggering human toll of obesity-related chronic disease and disability, and an annual cost of $190.2 billion for treating obesity-related illness, underscore the need to strengthen prevention efforts.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation asked the IOM to identify catalysts that could speed progress in obesity prevention. The IOM evaluated prior obesity prevention strategies and identified recommendations to meet the following goals and accelerate progress:
- Integrate physical activity every day in every way
- Make healthy foods available everywhere
- Marketing what matters for a healthy life
- Activating employers and health care professionals
- Strengthening schools as the heart of health
A new report from the American Cancer Society indicates that cancer death rates are continuing to fall, dropping by 1.8% per year in men and 1.6% per year in women between 2004 and 2008, thanks to advances in cancer screening and treatment, Reuters reports.
While the rate of decline is small, experts say, it is significant because it has continued to fall each year in the past 10.
Cancer death rates among Hispanic men (2.3%) and black men (2.4%) had the biggest declines.
But the news is not all good. According to the Reuters report:
Despite improvements in the most common cancers, a companion report found an increase in cases of several cancers over the past decade, Reuters. These included cancers of the pancreas, liver, thyroid, and kidney and melanoma, as well as esophageal cancer and certain types of throat cancers associated with human papillomavirus or HPV infection.
That report found cases of HPV-related throat cancer and melanoma rose only in whites, and rates of esophageal cancer rose in both whites and Hispanics.
Experts say obesity and early detection may play a role in the rise of these cancer types.
Latinas and older, poorer women all are more likely to have lymph nodes under the armpit removed unnecessarily during breast cancer surgery, according to a new study, Reuters reports.
That’s despite 2005 guidelines recommending a gentler surgery that spares most of the lymph nodes, avoiding side effects like pain, swelling and numbness down the line.
Based on a California cancer registry, researchers found that more than a third of about 18,000 women who had undergone mastectomy for early-stage breast cancer had had their lymph nodes removed as well.
Yet all of these women had node-negative tumors, meaning the cancer had not spread beyond the breast.
In a telephone survey, Latinos were found to be less likely than whites to get screened for colon cancer, and much less likely when both groups had a family history of the disease, Reuters reports.
However, the study results did not show an ethnic difference in which women had recently been screened for breast cancer, whether or not it was in their families.
According to the news report:
Researchers didn’t know why each person in the study had or hadn’t gotten screened. But they proposed a few reasons why Latinos might not get their regular colon cancer check-ups, including communication problems with doctors and fear and anxiety about being screened.
“It seems very plausible that this is not happening for Latinos because of access barriers and language barriers,” said Heather Orom, who studies racial disparities in cancer at the University at Buffalo and wasn’t involved in the new study.
In addition, she added, “we don’t know if those messages about family history and risk are resonating culturally with Latinos.”
The data came from a 2005 survey of more than 30,000 adults under 65 in California.
A new study finds that Hispanic women who use in vitro fertilization (IVF) are just as likely to get pregnant and have a baby as non-Hispanic whites, Reuters reports.
Study researcher Dr. Robert Brzyski, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, reviewed 10-years of outcomes of women who underwent IVF at his clinic.
Twenty-six out of every 100 Hispanic women who had the procedure became pregnant. White women had the same rate of pregnancy.
The vast majority of the women went on to deliver babies.
“Hispanics should be optimistic about pursuing IVF therapy,” Brzyski told Reuters Health.
Melanoma is on the rise among certain groups of dark-skinned Floridians, new research shows, Reuters reports.
The study isn’t sure why but does provide an important main message: ”Just because you have darker skin pigmentation, whether you’re Hispanic or black, does not make you immune to skin cancer,” Dr. Robert S. Kirsner of the University of Miami told Reuters Health.
Melanoma remains much rarer among blacks and Hispanics than among whites, which helps explain why public health efforts to prevent melanoma chiefly target the light-skinned.
In the current study, for example, in 2004 there were about 26 cases of melanoma diagnosed for every 100,000 persons per year among U.S. whites, compared to 4 cases for Hispanics and less than 1 case for non-Hispanic blacks.
Nevertheless, non-whites with melanoma are diagnosed later, and are thus actually more likely to die from the disease, Kirsner and his team point out in the Archives of Dermatology.
“It’s picked up later and a lot of this is really felt to be due to decreased detection and screening,” Dr. Melody Eide, a staff physician-scientist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit who has studied ethnicity and melanoma but was not involved in the new study, told Reuters Health.
Read more here, including differences among Hispanics in Florida compared to the nation and other groups.