Parents, educators, health officials asked to take action during September

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Released: 4-Sep-2014
Source Newsroom: American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)


Newswise — The fifth annual National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month kicked off September 1, encouraging all Americans to take steps to reduce the effects of the childhood obesity epidemic in the U.S. More than 23 million children and teenagers in the United States are overweight or obese, according to recent data. Childhood obesity is linked to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, breathing problems, joint problems, fatty liver disease and other health concerns. The epidemic also places a financial burden on all of us: Obesity requires $14 billion per year in direct health care costs in the U.S.

COAM invites individuals to take action in their own community and organization to build awareness about the causes and implications of childhood obesity and – most important – to take steps to prevent and combat it. The COAM movement is recognized by Congress and the White House and promoted by the American College of Sports Medicine and other partners, It is an alliance of diverse advocates who recognize that eating sensibly and being physically active are keys to better health and quality of life. The American College of Sports Medicine has also partnered with Designed to Move, Hip Hop Public Health and former Olympian Jackie Joyner Kersee in support of healthier kids.

“Kids are less physically active now than any previous generation,” said Carol Ewing Garber, Ph.D., president of the American College of Sports Medicine.

“Research leaves no doubt that being active is a key to maintaining fitness and a healthy weight. I hope everyone from health professionals and parents to those in corporations and community groups will do what they can to promote awareness and action toward reducing childhood obesity.”

To get involved in Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, simply determine how you can take steps to further the cause. Use the toolkit available at; adapt what others have tried; see how you can build awareness and action toward our shared goal.

Look for opportunities in your organization and your community. In doing so, you are contributing to better individual health and quality of life for all. This month, you are encouraged to take action to reverse this trend by spreading the message about the benefits of physical activity and leading a healthy lifestyle. Download our online toolkit – complete with sample PSAs, proclamations, and news releases – for quick, easy ideas for bringing Childhood Obesity Awareness Month to your community.



Higher Exposure to Traffic Pollutants Linked to Increased Leptin Levels

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Released: 8-Sep-2014 Citations Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine`            Source Newsroom: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine


Newswise — September 8, 2014 — Higher exposure to one measure of traffic-related air pollution is associated with higher levels of the obesity-related hormone leptin in older adults, reports a study in the September Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).

Gregory A. Wellenius, ScD, of Brown University and colleagues analyzed the relationship between measures of traffic-related air pollution and blood leptin levels in 765 Boston-area older adults. Higher levels of leptin, an “inflammatory cytokine,” have been linked to increased rates of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

The results showed a significant association between exposure to black carbon—a measure of fine-particle air pollution from traffic sources—and leptin levels. Participants with higher exposure to black carbon were less likely to be white, had lower incomes, and had higher rates of high blood pressure and diabetes.

But even after adjustment for these differences, average leptin levels were 27 percent higher for older adults in the highest category of black carbon exposure. An alternative measure of exposure to traffic-related pollution—residential distance to the nearest major roadway—was unrelated to leptin levels. The estimates of black carbon exposure “likely reflect contributions from traffic on a wider range of roadways in the immediate vicinity of each participant’s home,” the researchers write.

While the study cannot prove any causal link, the link between black carbon exposure and leptin levels may help to explain observed increases in cardiovascular disease risk associated with air pollution—especially from traffic. Dr Wellenius and colleagues conclude, “If confirmed, these findings support the emerging evidence suggesting that certain sources of traffic pollution may be associated with adverse cardiometabolic effects.”

About the Author
Dr Wellenius may be contacted for interviews at gwelleni(at)

ACOEM is the official journal of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Edited to serve as a guide for physicians, nurses, and researchers, the clinically oriented research articles are an excellent source for new ideas, concepts, techniques, and procedures that can be readily applied in the industrial or commercial employment setting.



From FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Embargo expired: 2-Sep-2014    Citations JAMA   Source : JAMA – Journal of the American Medical Association


Newswise — Among patients with morbid obesity, blocking the vagus nerve, which plays a role with appetite and metabolism, did not meet pre-specified efficacy objectives compared to a control group, although the intervention did result in greater weight loss, according to a study in the September 3 issue of JAMA.

Bariatric surgery can produce significant weight loss and improvement in health but is associated with several potential adverse effects. There is interest in the development of a device that could be as effective or nearly as effective as bariatric surgery but has fewer risks and is less invasive. One such possibility is blockade of the vagus nerve using electrodes implanted through minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, according to background information in the article.

Sayeed Ikramuddin, M.D., of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and colleagues randomly assigned 239 participants who had a body mass index of 40 to 45 or 35 to 40 and 1 or more obesity-related condition to receive an implanted active vagal nerve block device (n = 162) or an implanted sham (inactive) device (n = 77). All participants received weight management education. The study was conducted at 10 sites in the United States and Australia between May and December 2011.

At 12 months in the intent-to-treat population, the average percentages of excess weight loss was 24.4 percent (9.2 percent of their initial body weight loss) in the vagal nerve block group and 15.9 percent (6.0 percent initial body weight loss) in the sham group, with an average difference of 8.5 percentage points, which did not meet the primary efficacy objective of achieving superiority with a 10 percentage-point margin. Weight loss was statistically greater in the vagal nerve block group.

At 12 months, 52 percent of participants in the vagal nerve block group achieved at least 20 percent; and 38 percent, at least 25 percent of excess weight loss, which did not meet the primary efficacy objective performance goals of at least 55 percent of participants achieving a 20 percent excess weight loss and 45 percent achieving a 25 percent excess weight loss.

The device, procedure, or therapy-related serious adverse event rate in the vagal nerve block group was 3.7 percent, significantly lower than the 15 percent primary safety objective goal. The adverse events more frequent in the vagal nerve block group were heartburn, indigestion and abdominal pain attributed to therapy; all were reported as mild or moderate in severity.

“Additional studies are needed to compare effectiveness of vagal nerve block with other obesity treatments and to assess long­term durability of weight loss and safety,” the authors conclude.

This study was supported by EnteroMedics Inc., St. Paul, Minn.  David E. Arterburn, M.D., M.P.H., of the Group Health Research Institute, Seattle, and David P. Fisher, M.D., of the Permanente Medical Group, Richmond, Calif., write in an accompanying editorial that several conclusions can be drawn from this study.

“First, vagal nerve blockade plus moderately intensive lifestyle counseling does not appear to be much more effective than an intensive lifestyle program. Second, based on comparisons with other studies, procedures for adjustable gastric banding, which reported a 50 percent excess weight loss; Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, a 68 percent excess weight loss; and vertical sleeve gastrectomy, a 65 percent excess weight loss, are clearly more effective for initial weight loss than vagal nerve blockade. Third, the rate of serious adverse events with vagal nerve blockade (8.6 percent) is clinically important. Fourth, the long-term rates of weight regain and reoperation with vagal nerve blockade are currently unknown. Fifth, the report by Ikramuddin et al does not include a discussion of how vagal nerve blockade compares with other obesity treatments in terms of costs. Although vagal nerve blockade therapy is an innovative approach, it does not appear to be a sustained, effective treatment for severe obesity.”


Back tomorrow Jeanne


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