Tonight at 8 pm, HBO will debut a four-part documentary series, The Weight of the Nation, an unflinching look at the severity of the obesity crisis in America, and its crippling effect on our nation’s health and economy.
HBO and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences have joined forces to bring together the nation’s foremost experts on weight and weight loss for a frank and educational look at obesity in America. The series explains how weight became such an issue in this country and provides answers for how we can get to a healthy weight by overcoming the forces that drive us to eat too much and move too little. …
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) sent a strongly worded message to parents this week: your children should not drink sports drinks or energy drinks.
The ads for these drinks are full of athletes exercising and the message is clear: sports drinks will help us be faster and stronger. More than that, the message is that we need them for exercise, because they replace the fluid we lose in sweat. “Energy and sports drinks are marketed in a way that imbues them with a healthy halo,” says David Ludwig, MD, PhD, director of the New Balance Center for Obesity Prevention at Children’s Hospital Boston.
“Over the last decade, many studies have highlighted the adverse effects of the traditional sugar-sweetened soda,” says Ludwig. With declining consumption rates of these drinks, the food industry has tried to create a submarket of alternative beverages. Sports drinks are still sugar-sweetened, but they typically have about 25 percent less sugar and some electrolytes. …
Other stories we’ve been reading:
Another court case rules that vaccines don’t cause autism. Eczema drugs need tougher warnings. Deep brain stimulation reduces epileptic seizures. [Read one patient’s story of how brain stimulation is keeping her epileptic seizures at bay.]
The First Lady tells food makers to hurry up on making healthy food. PepsiCo pledges not to sell sugary beverages in school. Kraft plans to cut sodium levels in food products. [Read Thrive’s stories on childhood obesity and healthful eating.]
MTV launches an online “morality meter” to help teens understand the difference between “digital use” and “digital abuse.” [Read whether or not parents are legally responsible when their kids engage in sexting.] Learning may be tougher for the teen brain. [Read about Frances Jensen, MD’s research into why teen brains really are different.]