Archive for February, 2013

Can Obesity Economics Favor Treatment?

February 20, 2013 — Doctors aren’t the only people worried about our weight. Economists are concerned, too. Because of obesity economics, people living longer with diseases caused by excess weight adds up to major economic blow. At a meeting of the American Economic Association held just after news of the Flegel study broke, economists groaned. The study suggests that having just a […]

Food Deserts or Mirages?

February 20, 2013 — A food desert is a concept that is simple, powerful, and widely accepted as a key contributor to poor nutrition and obesity. The idea springs from the observation that areas with poor access to fresh and affordable foods suffer from high rates of obesity. But when you scratch below the surface of evidence for the […]

Allied Health Professional Roles Debated

February 19, 2013 — The demand for physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) is growing, especially in rural areas and in primary care as physicians gravitate more to urban locations and to specialization. These demands will grow even faster if, as expected, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) brings an additional 30 million consumers into the healthcare system. In […]

FDA Seizes Weight-Loss Supplements

February 18, 2013 — Acting on behalf of the FDA, U.S. Marshals seized weight-loss supplements last week from a Florida company, Globe All Wellness. According to FDA, the products were seized because they contained an unapproved drug, sibutramine, that was not disclosed on the product label, and the company made unsubstantiated disease claims that require FDA approval. “Companies that […]

Do Antibiotics Cause Weight Gain?

February 18, 2013 — The antibiotics you’re taking to tackle that sinus or chest infection may be a factor in weight gain. Ranchers have known since the 1940s that giving cattle regular low doses of antibiotics improves the amount of weight cattle gain for every pound of food given. A study in Nature helps explain why. The study showed […]

Asthma and Allergy Organizations Merging

February 17, 2013 — The Kids With Food Allergies Foundation (KFA) and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) are merging in the coming weeks, creating the most comprehensive nonprofit source of education, research, advocacy, social networking, and support for millions of families living with these diseases. More than 60 million people in the U.S. are living with […]

Maybe Obamacare Is Bending the Health Costs Curve

February 17, 2013 — A new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is the latest signal that something is happening to push health costs in a favorable direction. The CBO is removing hundreds of billions of dollars from its estimates of how much the federal government is spending healthcare. The new estimate is 15% below what was […]

States Drag Their Feet on Health Consumer Protection

February 16, 2013 — Some of the most important consumer protection reforms in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), such as coverage for people with preexisting medical conditions, have yet to be provided by 39 states, according to a report by the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund. The report highlights a critical issue just 11 months before the reforms are scheduled to […]

Obesity: Strong Public Opinion, But Little Appetite for Change

February 15, 2013 — American public opinion is clear that obesity is a health problem that needs to be addressed, but opinions on obesity solutions are mixed. In a recent poll of 1,000 adults fielded by Associated Press/NORC for Public Affairs Research, 75% of people say having excess weight and obesity is an extremely or very serious problem. Excess […]

Healthcare Disparities Widening

February 14, 2013 — Physicians and other providers have known for some time about healthcare disparities. In a recent editorial, the American Medical Association (AMA) president, Jeremy A. Lazarus, forcefully states that it is well beyond time that these inequalities are eliminated. The latest National Healthcare Disparities Report examines the existing disparities in healthcare delivery related to racial and […]