Posted by: Wellness Centers of America | December 2, 2010

Overweight People, Not Just Obese, More Likely to Die Sooner

People who are overweight or obese are more likely to die sooner from varying causes than those with healthy weight, according to the first government study to pinpoint risks from findings on 1.5 million white Americans.

Women who never smoked and were classified as merely overweight and not obese — a 5-foot 5-inch female weighing 150 to 179 pounds — had a 13 percent greater risk of dying sooner than normal weight peers, the research found. Women who were obese — 5-foot 5-inches and more than 180 pounds — had a 44 percent higher risk. The results for men were similar.

Two-thirds of Americans and at least half the people in many developed countries are now considered overweight or obese, according to the authors. Previous studies have documented higher death rates in the obese, while being inconclusive about the risks of being overweight. The research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, pooled the results of 19 studies and excluded smokers to provide precise estimates of increased death risks.

“Both overweight and obesity are associated with increased all-cause mortality,” wrote the authors led by Amy Berrington de Gonzalez at the National Cancer Institute. “The results of our analysis are most relevant to whites living in affluent countries.”

The researchers restricted their analysis to participants who were non-Hispanic whites and said similar studies were under way in other populations.

Body Mass Index

The analysis looked at people’s body mass index, or BMI, a measure of weight based on height. The authors identified a sweet spot that they found was healthiest, a BMI between 20 and 24.9. To be in that category, people who are 5-feet 5-inches tall should weigh between 120 and 149 pounds and people who are 5-feet 10-inches should weigh 140 to 173 pounds. Weighing more than that puts people into the overweight category and starts increasing their risk of health problems that can lead to death.

The death rate increased the most, by 88 percent, in the severely obese whose BMI is 35 or higher. In the U.S., 17 percent of women and 11 percent of men are severely obese.

For this analysis, researchers looked at 19 studies. The people involved had a median age of 58 and were followed for a median of 10 years to record deaths from all causes. Those who smoked or had pre-existing illness such as heart disease or cancer were excluded to eliminate the influence of those factors on their risk of death, the authors said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Waters in San Francisco at rwaters5@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net.

Full Article

Posted by: Wellness Centers of America | July 14, 2010

Obesity in Pregnancy Continues to be a National Health Problem

A Media Release from The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Findings from a study assessing the incidence and impact of pre-pregnancy maternal obesity on obstetric outcomes and proposed introduction of collaborative antenatal interventions to address the obesity issue will be discussed today at a national collaborative maternity services conference which is currently being held in Alice Springs,
Northern Territory.

Obesity is a growing national health problem that significantly contributes to the burden of disease in Australia. Over 50 per cent of adult female Australians are overweight or obese, and almost one in four are obese when they conceive.

‘Our study found a greater prevalence of adverse maternal outcomes among obese women. The risk of obstetric complications are increased in obese compared to non-obese women’, according to Dr Andrew Zuschmann.

‘We found the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus was doubled, and the risk of severe hypertensive disorders of pregnancy was increased 2.6 times. Macrosomia, induction of labour and emergency caesarean sections were observed to escalate with increasing maternal obesity.

We recommend that weight loss interventions should commence in the pre-pregnancy period and weight gain should continue to be monitored during pregnancy,’ said Dr
Zuschmann.

‘We hope this study will inspire a shift from the current reactive management of obesity in pregnancy to a more proactive approach in the future. Collaborative, multidisciplinary antenatal interventions to address the issue of excess maternal weight gain before and during pregnancy may lead to improved maternal and neonatal outcomes,’ said Dr Zuschmann today.

With a strong inter-professional program, the 3rd Biennial Breathing New Life into Maternity Care Multidisciplinary Conference is expected to attract over 400 health
professionals, including midwives, general practitioners, specialist obstetricians, aboriginal health workers, and other health service providers including health service managers and policy makers. The fundamental aim of this conference is to encourage midwives, specialist obstetricians and general practitioners to work together to ensure women receive the most appropriate and effective maternity care.

The Australian College of Midwives (ACM) is working in partnership with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) and the Royal Australian and New
Zealand College of Obstetricians and gynecologists (RANZCOG). The theme of this conference is ‘working together, learning from each other’.

<a href=”http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070926192026.htm”>ScienceDaily </a>(Oct. 2, 2007) — Enhanced and systematic efforts to identify and treat depression in the workplace significantly improves employee health and productivity, likely leading to lower costs overall for the employer, according to a study published September 26, 2007, in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Previous studies have shown that employees who are depressed are less productive and are absent more often. Other studies have shown that organized screening and enhanced depression treatment can significantly improve health. However, few employers have implemented such programs, in part because their return on investment is unclear.

“This study provides compelling evidence of the importance of workplace depression screening, outreach, and enhanced treatment,” said NIMH Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D. “It is in the interest of workers’ health and the company’s bottom line to ensure depressed employees are effectively treated.”

Philip Wang, M.D., Dr.P.H., director of NIMH’s Division of Services and Intervention Research, and colleagues conducted a trial with 604 employees enrolled in a managed behavioral health care plan, all of whom were identified as having clinically significant depression during a Web-based and telephone screening process.

Half of the participants were randomly assigned to an intervention that included telephone support from a care manager and their choice of telephone psychotherapy, in-person psychotherapy or antidepressant medication. The other half of the participants were assigned to usual care, which included feedback about their screening results, and advice to seek care from their usual provider.

After 12 months, those in the intervention group were 40 percent more likely to have recovered from their depression compared to those in usual care. Participants in the intervention group also were 70 percent more likely to stay employed, and worked an average of two more hours per week than those in usual care.

Although the data did not lend itself to a comprehensive cost/benefit analysis, the researchers noted that just the value of more hours worked among those in the intervention group who were employed, estimated at $1,800 per employee per year, far exceeds the $100-$400 per person costs associated with the type of outreach and intervention program used in the study.

“For many people, a large chunk of their lives is devoted to work. Depression affects not only a person’s health, but also his or her ability to work,” noted Dr. Wang. “Employers should consider a depression screening and intervention program as a healthy, win-win investment.”

Reference: Wang PS, Simon GE, Avorn J, Azocar F, Ludman EJ, McCulloch J, Petukhova MZ, Kessler RC. Telephone screening, outreach and care management for depressed workers and impact on clinical and work productivity outcomes, a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, Sept 26, 2007; 298(12): 1401-11.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Posted by: Wellness Centers of America | May 4, 2010

Wellness Programs Targeted

Workplace wellness seen as key to lowering health care costs

By <a href=”http://www.hartfordbusiness.com/news9295.html”>Laura Petrecca</a>
USA Today

Companies, desperate to slice fat from their budgets during this recession, increasingly are targeting workplace wellness programs.

Smoking cessation and weight-loss programs are among those being considered for the chopping block, says Laurel Pickering, executive director of the New York Business Group on Health, a coalition representing employers on health benefit issues.

“When (companies) are looking for something to cut, and the CFO comes to the HR people and says, “Why should we keep this program?’ it’s difficult for the HR person to say, “It’s important,’ “ Pickering says.

A big problem: It can take years to analyze the impact of these programs, and even then, the return on investment isn’t always clear.

The attack on such programs comes even as political power players, benefits officers and top health care academics aggressively tout workplace wellness as a way to boost productivity and reduce health care costs.

Just last month, President Obama hosted a wellness gathering at the White House with top company executives, as well as union and public health officials, to learn more about such initiatives. He deemed the confab the start of an “ongoing process,” and his advisers have already had a follow-up meeting with corporate and academic experts on the topic.

Other governmental leaders also have latched onto the issue. For instance, a bill making its way through the Senate would give tax credits to firms that offer wellness programs.

But even with all the high-profile attention, some companies have had to revamp those initiatives in the quest for healthier bottom lines.

Pfizer, dealing with the sour economy and a corporate restructuring, scaled back on the monetary incentives it offers employees to participate in its wellness program, says Janet Rodriguez, a senior manager at the company.

<strong>A strong history</strong>
Faced with the uncertainty of what shape the health care overhaul will take and with health care expenses rising more than 6 percent a year, companies aren’t willing to completely abandon wellness.

Pfizer, for instance, didn’t cut the number of programs it offered, just the amount it gives to employees who participate.

One-third of employers said they had such programs in an August MetLife survey. That’s up from just over a quarter in 2005.

Big firms are almost all self-insured for health insurance plans and, therefore, pay for employees’ health care costs from their own coffers. Slightly more than 60 percent of companies with 10,000 or more employees said they had a wellness program in 2008, up from 47 percent in 2005, according to the MetLife survey. In 2008, the median health care cost per employee was $7,173, according to a survey by human resources consultants Watson Wyatt and employer coalition National Business Group on Health.

Keeping healthy employees fit — and productive — is vitally important to a company’s success, says Dee Edington, director of Michigan’s Health Management Research Center. The cost of an ailing worker goes beyond just medical expenses, he says. There’s also the monetary cost of paying for disability leave, as well as the strain on productivity if an ill person isn’t effective at work.

While some employees are enthusiastic about wellness programs, many are sitting on the sidelines. “A big issue is getting noticed and getting employees to participate,” says LuAnn Heinen, National Business Group on Health vice president.

Workers — stressed by the economic downturn — are often more focused on work and finances than eating right and exercising.

Nearly half of employees surveyed by the National Business Group on Health in July said work demands prevent them from having a healthier life. That poll was taken before the full brunt of the economic downturn was felt.

Almost 60 percent of those surveyed by the American Heart Association in March said the economy has affected their ability to take care of their health. Many are delaying preventive-care appointments, not taking medications, skipping the dentist or canceling gym memberships.

To boost buy-in, companies are offering perks that include everything from gift certificates to discounts on their insurance premiums.

They’re also penalizing folks.

In 2008 PepsiCo introduced a $600 surcharge for smokers. It already offered a smoking-cessation program, but that year, it enhanced it by adding nicotine-replacement therapy such as patches and gum. “The combination of those two elements led to a tenfold increase in participation and increased the quit rate from 20 percent to 34 percent in 2008 over 2007,” says Greg Heaslip, benefits vice president.

The incentive of cold hard cash worked at IBM. Its offer of a rebate of up to $300 a year “got everyone’s attention” and helped to ramp up participation in its programs, Young says.

Posted by: Wellness Centers of America | May 4, 2010

Pay Attention to the Healthy People

That’s the recommendation from wellness guru Dee Edington in the following <a href=”http://www.uscorporatewellness.com/blog/?p=207″>article</a>…
In today’s economy, it’s becoming apparent that what we consider “health” needs to be redefined, argues Dee Edington, PhD, director of the University of Michigan’s Health Management Research Center in Ann Arbor.

In quality terms, the current healthcare model needs to move away from its structure of waiting for defects—and then trying to fix those defects. In other words, the system waits for patients to get sick and then treats them. But this has created a failed healthcare strategy that is posing a major threat to business survival, says Edington, author of a new book, Zero Trends: Health as a Serious Economic Strategy.

“Companies are going out of business because we don’t pay attention to healthy people. Our whole country, as we all know, just waits for sickness,” he told a Washington audience earlier this month. “Nobody cares about health except for the individuals themselves, and they don’t even care because they think, ‘It’s not going to happen to me.’”

Edington doesn’t consider his comments a shot across the bow aimed at healthcare providers. Instead, he sees it as an idea that providers—as employers themselves—can embrace and adopt for their own employee populations. One Michigan healthcare organization, Allegiance Health System, has already taken his suggestions on keeping its employees on the healthier side.

To change the conversation about health in today’s environment, Edington proposes five areas of change:

1.     <strong>Move from health as the absence of disease to health as vitality and energy</strong>. Companies can no longer wait for their employees to become sick. Instead, they need to realize that keeping people healthy adds value on both sides: Costs related to disease are lower while productivity increases.

2.     <strong>Move from caring only for the sick to enabling people to stay healthy</strong>. A culture needs to be developed that individuals are “winners” when it comes to health. Some corporate and community cultures are starting to change, and governments have put their stamp on change by legislating smoke-free environments or mandating safety belt laws. But more is needed, Edington says. Employers can help by recognizing and rewarding employees for staying healthy. “Set the incentives for healthy choices. Reinforce every touch point, every e-mail. Every time CEOs have a chance to talk, let them talk about the healthy culture,” he says.

3.     <strong>Move from the cost of healthcare to the total value of health</strong>. Governments and organizations generally have focused on how much it costs for someone who is sick. However, the total value of someone’s health should be much more than that, he says.

4.     <strong>Move from individual participation to population engagement</strong>. Health promotion or wellness programs have gone down the wrong path, Edington says. “If you try to change a person or provide something where people can change, then where do they go?” he asks. “You can’t put a changed person back into the same environment because what happens? They go right back.” Instead, shifts need to be made that keep entire populations in mind. Whether it’s a company or a government, strategies aimed at entire populations need to be kept in mind that encourage, for instance, compliance with activities such as exercising or smoking cessation.

5.     <strong>Move from behavior change to a culture of health</strong>. All too often, a “blame the victim” mentality has emerged for those who drink too much or do not exercise enough or do not eat healthy foods. The solution was to “sentence” them to behavior change programs, which often fell short of their goals, he says. Instead, more encompassing changes need to take place across the culture through vision and commitment that encourage healthier behaviors.

Posted by: Wellness Centers of America | April 6, 2010

Cancer Update from John Hopkins

After YEARS of telling people chemotherapy is the only way to TRY (‘TRY’, being the keyword) to eliminate cancer,  <b> Johns Hopkins is FINALLY starting to tell you</b> there an ALTERNATIVE way…

Cancer Update from Johns Hopkins:

1) <b>Every person has cancer cells in the body</b>. These Cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable size.

2) Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a person’s lifetime.

3) <b>When the person’s immune system</b> is strong the cancer cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumors.

4) When a person has cancer it indicates the person has <b>multiple nutritional deficiencies</b>. These could be due to genetic, <b>environmental, food and lifestyle factors</b>.

5) To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, <strong>changing diet</strong> and including supplements will strengthen the immune system.

6) Chemotherapy <strong>involves poisoning</strong> the rapidly-growing cancer cells and also destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells in the bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract etc, and can cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc.

7) Radiation while destroying cancer cells <strong>also </strong>burns, scars and damages healthy cells, tissues and organs.

8 ) Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often reduce tumor size. However prolonged use of chemotherapy and radiation do not result in more tumor destruction.

9) When the body has too much toxic burden from chemotherapy and radiation the immune system is either compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb to various kinds of infections and complications.

10) Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to mutate and become resistant and difficult to destroy. Surgery <strong>can also</strong> cause cancer cells to spread to other sites.

11) <strong>An effective way to battle cancer is to starve the cancer cells by not feeding it with the foods it needs to multiply</strong>..
<dl>
<dt>*Cancer cells FEED on:</dt>
<br>
<dd>a. <strong>Sugar </strong>is a cancer-feeder. By cutting off sugar it cuts off one important food supply to the cancer cells. Sugar substitutes like <strong>NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc are made with Aspartame and it is harmful</strong>. A better natural substitute would be Manuka honey or molasses, but only in very small amounts. <strong>Table sal</strong>t  has a chemical added to make it white in color. Better alternative is Bragg’s aminos or<strong> sea salt</strong> . </dd>
<br>
<dd>b. <strong>Milk </strong>causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the gastro-intestinal tract. <strong>Cancer feeds on mucus</strong>. By cutting off milk and substituting with unsweetened soy milk cancer cells are being starved. </dd>
<br>
<dd>c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. <strong>A meat-based diet</strong> is acidic and it is best to eat fish, and a little chicken rather than beef or pork. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer. </dd>
<br>
<dd>d. A diet made of <strong>80% </strong>fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruits help put the body into an <strong>alkaline environment</strong>. About 20% can be from cooked food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes to nourish and enhance growth of healthy cells. To obtain live enzymes for building healthy cells try and drink fresh vegetable juice (most vegetables including bean sprouts) and eat some raw vegetables 2 or 3 times a day. <strong>Enzymes are destroyed</strong> at temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C). </dd>
<br>
<dd>e. Avoid <strong>coffee, tea, and chocolate</strong>, which have high caffeine. <strong>Green tea</strong> is a better alternative and has cancer fighting properties. Water-best to drink purified water, or filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it. </dd>
</dl>

12) <strong>Meat protein</strong> is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines becomes putrefied and leads to more toxic buildup.

13) Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By refraining from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the body’s killer cells to destroy the cancer cells.

14) <strong>Some supplements</strong> build up the immune system (IP6, Flor-ssence, Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, EFAs etc.) to enable the bodies own killer cells to destroy cancer cells.. <strong>Other supplements</strong> like vitamin E are known to cause apoptosis, or programmed cell death, the body’s normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or unneeded cells.

15) Cancer is a disease of the <strong>mind, body, and spirit</strong>. A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor. <strong>Anger, un-forgiveness and bitterness</strong> put the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit. Learn to relax and enjoy life.

16) Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. <strong>Exercising daily</strong>, and <strong>deep breathing</strong> help to get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells.

I. No plastic containers <strong>in micro</strong>.
II. No water bottles <strong>in freezer</strong>.
III. No plastic wrap <strong>in microwave</strong>.

Johns  Hopkins  has recently sent this out in its newsletters. This information is being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical &amp; Center as well. Dioxin chemicals cause cancer, especially breast cancer. <strong>Dioxins are highly poisonous </strong>to the cells of our bodies. Don’t freeze your plastic bottles with water in them as this releases dioxins from the plastic. Recently, Dr. Edward Fujimoto, Wellness Program Manager at Cast le Hospital, was on a TV program to explain this health hazard. He talked about dioxins and how bad they are for us. He said that we should not be heating our food in the microwave using plastic containers.

This especially applies to foods that contain fat. He said that the combination of fat, high heat, and plastics releases dioxin into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body. Instead, he recommends using glass, such as  Corning  Ware, Pyre x  or ceramic containers for heating food You get the same results, only without the dioxin. So such things as TV dinners, instant ramen and soups, etc., should be removed from the container and heated in something else. Paper isn’t bad but you don’t know what is in the paper. It’s just safer to use tempered glass,  Corning  Ware, etc. He reminded us that a while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the foam containers to paper. The dioxin problem is one of the reasons.

Also, he pointed out that <strong>plastic wrap</strong>, <strong>such as Saran</strong>, is just as dangerous when placed over foods to be cooked in the microwave. As the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous toxins to actually melt out of the plastic wrap and drip into the food. Cover food with a paper towel instead.

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