Perhaps it’s no surprise that people who own computers, televisions and cars tend to be less active and may be more vulnerable to obesity-related diseases than people without these possessions. Now, researchers from Simon Fraser University in Canada and more than 20 other institutions around the world have collaborated to determine the level of risk that ownership of certain devices presents.
We often hear about an “epidemic” of obesity. This past year, the American Medical Association deemed obesity a disease (AMA 2013). A lot of people have a hard time associating the term “disease” with obesity because body weight is within our control . . . or is it?
Obesity has many properties of diseases, including a genetic prevalence and associations with other diseases or conditions like diabetes, hypertension and certain cancers. Obesity causes losses of certain functions and creates pathological conditions that increase morbidity.
After spending much of his young life at a healthy weight, Lee Jordan began steadily gaining mass in his 20s. He reached a top weight of 450 pounds and was living what he refers to as a “nightmare of a life.” Inspired by his friend Beth, an ACE-certified personal trainer and now his wife, Lee began his journey to health and fitness by walking 30 seconds every morning down the hallway outside his apartment. Now, more than 275 pounds lighter, Lee is an ACE-certified personal trainer and health coach who specializes in helping people who need to lose 100 pounds or more.
Photography: Courtesy of NBCWhether you love to watch The Biggest Loser or you find it offensive, you have to admit the primetime TV program has been effective in showcasing health and fitness to millions of people around the world.
Business owners attempting to entice overweight clients should hold size-sensitivity training for their entire staff, says weight management expert Rochelle Rice. Indeed, size-friendly facilities are often a good fit for fitness professionals who have experienced significant weight loss first hand. “But there are also trainers, no matter the size, who have the compassion, knowledge and expertise to work with the fuller body,” Rice adds.
Michael R. Mantell, PhD, earned his doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania and his master’s degree in clinical psychology at Hahnemann Medical College, where he wrote his thesis on the psychology of obesity. He has served as chief psychologist both for Rady Children’s Hospital and Health Center of San Diego and for the San Diego Police Department. In addition to working in private practice, Mantell coaches world-class athletes and fitness enthusiasts for mental and behavioral performance enhancement.
Brian Biagioli is the executive director for the National Council on Strength & Fitness (NCSF) and a founding member of the Coalition on Registration for Exercise Professionals (CREP). A longtime leader in the health and fit- ness industry, Brian also serves as the graduate program director for strength and conditioning in the department of kinesiology and sport sciences at the University of Miami.
Today’s obese children aren’t just carrying around extra weight. According to researchers from Erasmus Medical Clinic, at Sophia Children’s Hospital in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, they are also carrying higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
The study observed 20 obese and 20 normal-weight children aged 8–12. To determine cortisol levels, researchers took scalp hair samples from each subject. Data showed that obese children had higher levels of hair cortisol than normal-weight children.