Sunday, October 22, 2006

The cost of obesity in the US

Obesity — which affects one in every three Americans — and the illnesses associated with it cost the United States some 90.7 billion dollars a year in health care costs, a University of Pennsylvania researcher said Saturday.

Among developed countries, the United States has the most obese and overweight people, representing 66 percent of its overall population.

Costs tied to excess pounds (or kilograms) account for 5.04 percent of all US health care costs.

The calculations by Professor Adam Gilden Tsai of the University of Pennsylvania, presented at a conference on obesity here Saturday, are based on a comparison of 30 previous studies on the cost of obesity for the US health care system.

An obese person racks up an additional 1,034 dollars (or 40 percent) in health care costs for doctors’ visits, medications and medical procedures compared with a person of average weight.

For someone who is overweight but not yet obese, the medical bills amount to 273 dollars more a year, or 9.3 percent more than those of an average-weight person.

And obese patients over the age of 65 pay an additional 2,511 dollars in medical bills.

Obesity often leads to other conditions, such as arthritis, asthma, breast cancer, colon cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Other studies sought to determine whether gastric bypass surgery and similar procedures were “a good investment for health plans.”

Such operations generally cost between 15,000 and 25,000 dollars and are not covered by most health insurance plans, according to Derek Brown of North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park.

Although the financial benefits of such procedures are less evident in the short term, Brown said, they are actually more economical over the course of seven years in terms of medical savings.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Skinny escapee gets 18 months more jail

A PRISONER who escaped from a Sydney jail after losing weight and slipping between the bars of his cell has been sentenced to a further one year and nine months in prison.

Robert Cole, 37, spent three days on the run from police after escaping from Sydney's Long Bay jail on January 18 this year.

The prisoner shed up to 14 kilograms - apparently with the help of laxatives - to fit his 56kg frame in a 15cm gap between the brickwork and steel bars of his hospital cell.

In the NSW District Court at Parramatta today, Judge Roger Dive handed Cole a non-parole period of one year and nine months, backdated to the date of his arrest on January 21.

Judge Dive said Cole's escape involved a considerable degree of planning.

"This is a serious offence of escape,'' Judge Dive told the court.

"It has involved some time consuming efforts and planning and preparation."

The court was told Cole spent three weeks scraping the brickwork in his cell with a butter knife and also made a blanket to assist him in scaling razor-wire fences.

Cole will be eligible for parole on October 20 next year.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Weight Loss Surgery Hang-Ups

BACKGROUND: For morbidly obese patients who have tried just about everything to lose weight, bariatric surgery, or gastric bypass surgery, may seem like the perfect solution. While the procedure is very effective in helping patients lose weight and overcome risk factors for heart disease, there are a lot of post-surgery factors to take into consideration. What once seemed like a solution is actually turning out to be the initial step in reshaping both bodies and attitudes.

Every year more than 100,000 Americans undergo gastric bypass surgery. But as more and more people go under the knife, experience reveals that gastric bypass is just the beginning of many more surgeries to come. After the first change of body image, losing the weight, many patients will need to undergo a second change, the process of body contouring surgery. Plastic surgeon, Christopher Prevel, M.D., from the Florida Plastic Surgery Institute says the most common procedures after bariatric surgery are body-contouring procedures. They often consist of a limited or extended abdominoplasty. The abdominoplasty is usually combined with a thigh and buttock lift, thus forming the phrase "lower body lift."

Not all of these procedures are medically necessary, however. "They are all elective in the sense that they are not emergency procedures," says Prevel. In some rarer cases, there are medically necessary procedures. Prevel adds, "Some body contouring procedures are because of chronic infections in the skin, or rashes, or the weight that extra skin from the abdominal wall causes to the groin or the thighs."

In addition to the common side effects of bariatric surgery, there are risks if a patient gains weight post-body contouring surgery. Adversely, If a patient gains back roughly more than 15 pounds, the skin can expand and they will lose the body contour they once had. Also, if a patient loses weight, their skin shifts and they may have to have what's called a revisionary procedure to achieve the result that they had beforehand. "I try to advise folks that surgery is a journey it's not a destination," Dr. Prevel says.

DOCTOR'S ORDERS: - Seek consultations with board certified plastic surgeons, American Board of Plastic Surgery, who are trained and qualified to do the procedure.

- Ask the number of procedures that the surgeon has performed to be certain that the surgeon has experience in performing that procedure.

- Be certain the facility is an accredited facility at a state or a national level

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Try dry wine for losing weight

You should try dry wine if you want to lose weight. You know dry wine is better than sweet wine. Sweet wines Contains large amount of sugar. But on the other hand, in dry wines most of this sugar has been fermented away. So from the weight point of view dry wines are much better than sweet wines.

Percentage of carbohydrates and proteins

You should keep 50 to 55% of your diet carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are a ready source of energy and so 50 to 55% of your diet should be carbohydrates.

25 to 30% of your diet should be proteins. Various processes and activities are going on in our bodies. Things are broken down and being built up again. Resistance has to be built up, recovery from disease too is needed and for all this the body needs plenty of proteins so see to it that 25 to 30 % of your diet consists of proteins.