June 21, 2012
It's ironic that the year we, both new medical students, moved across the street from the nation's best hospital and began learning how to manage the health of others is the same year we stopped taking care of our own. It was a year of ups and downs. As our physical activity and healthy food intake went down, our body-fat percentages and stress levels went up. In turn, so did our risk for developing chronic diseases and conditions like obesity, hypertension, diabetes and even certain types of cancer.
June 18, 2012
Regarding the June 14, letter commenting on New York's proposed ban on sodas ("New York Mayor Bloomberg's ban on sodas should be backed") my interest soon changed to destain when the author listed "public subsidies" a culprit to the obesity epidemic, jumping from sugary drinks to tobacco, meat and dairy and corn. More than 90 percent of agriculture subsidies go to five crops - wheat corn, soybeans, rice and cotton. Another source says the U.S. government heavily subsidizes grains, oilseeds, cotton, sugar and dairy products.
May 20, 2012
"VEEP" keeps getting better week by week. And the last couple of weeks, it feels as if the HBO comedy has really found its feet. Baltimore viewers will be especially interested in the ending of Sunday's episode as it sets the wheels in motion for a trip next week that will bring Vice President Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) to Camden Yards. The episode includes appearances by Baltimore Orioles pitchers Jake Arrieta and Tommy Hunter, as well as former Orioles pitcher Jim Palmer.
May 18, 2012
As physicians who treat overweight children in Maryland daily, we strongly support the views expressed by Horizon Foundation CEO Nikki Highsmith Vernick in her recent commentary on childhood obesity ("A healthier way to snack," May 15). We urge parents to speak with their pediatricians about healthy food and beverage options for their children. We further suggest that parents advocate for their child's school to provide healthy alternatives to sugary foods and beverages that are often found in vending machines and school cafeterias.
May 14, 2012
Growing up in Texas, I played softball - fast pitch. After playing in the hot Texas sun, our team, the Sweetpeas, had a snack of oranges and water, in containers brought from home. Today, my husband and I are new Howard County residents, and we have gotten our children, ages 6 and 4, involved in sports activities, beginning with T-ball. We have been struck by the well-groomed baseball fields and the engaged volunteer parents. We were impressed with it all - until the post-game snacks came out. Over the last three weeks, these snacks have included chips, fruit roll-ups, sugary rice treats, chocolate-covered doughnuts with rainbow sprinkles, assorted fruit punch, and sports drinks.
May 11, 2012
The number of Americans considered obese is expected to rise from the current 34 percent to 42 percent by the year 2030, according to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and discussed at Monday's "Weight of the Nation" conference in Washington. Diabetes, kidney failure, heart disease, and other obesity-related ailments account for countless premature deaths and as much as 18 percent of the $2.6 trillion national cost of medical care. The leading causes of obesity are consumption of fat-laden meat and dairy products and lack of exercise.
May 10, 2012
You did a write up on HBO's documentary "The Weight of the Nation" in which you called our obesity epidemic a wake up call for America ("Salad bars take root," May 1). Nothing new here. The alarm bells have been sounding for a while now. I am an endocrinologist, and 90 percent of my patients are obese or near obese. This is a frustrating problem for doctors. There are no rewards for treating obesity. It is well known among physicians that a diagnosis code of obesity on your insurance claim can get you rejected for payment.
April 23, 2012
Unless I completely misinterpret this story ("Fatter folks, sicker bay," April 20), which is easy to do any time a "lefty" talks, it is a complete load of garbage! When the writer suggests that the health of the Chesapeake Bay is affected by the obesity of those who live near it, I have to respond that this is just another desperate attempt to lay blame on people, which usually is a precursor to another invasive law and a further erosion of freedom and liberty. He writes about a book he is reading by medical researchers and associates their findings with meanderings of his own mental deficiency and says, "It's intriguing to compare graphs these [Bay health]
April 19, 2012
For insight as to why we're having trouble restoring the Chesapeake Bay, I'm reading "The Evolution of Obesity" by medical researchers Michael L. Power and Jay Schulkin. It's an illuminating look at how we got so fat. It's epidemic - more than a fifth of the world's population is overweight or obese. In the United States, obesity-related health problems are soaring. The standard revolving door has gone from six to eight feet, and hauling our ampler butts costs airlines a quarter-billion more in fuel than it used to. The proportion of normal-weight Americans is at an all-time low. But what's a fat book got to do with the state of the Chesapeake Bay?
November 15, 2011
Editor: Your recent article about obesity in Harford County was interesting. Obesity is up all over the country. Harford County is no exception. The suggestion that everyone get more "active" is easier said than done. I applaud the county council member who had weight loss surgery. I underwent the same surgery. It is a radical lifestyle change. I was fortunate in that my insurance covered it. A lot of people have insurance that either doesn't cover it or requires the patient to pay thousands of dollars up front.