Category Archives: Fitness

27% of Washington state residents are obese

Share

Twenty-seven percent of Washington state residents are obese, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

You are considered obese if your body mass index, or BMI, is 30 or more.

To find out your BMI go here

Obesity prevalence in 2013 varies across states and regions

  • No state had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%.
  • 7 states and the District of Columbia had a prevalence of obesity between 20% and <25%.
  • 23 states had a prevalence of obesity between 25% and <30%.
  • 18 states had a prevalence of obesity between 30% and <35%.
  • 2 states (Mississippi and West Virginia) had a prevalence of obesity of 35% or greater.
  • The South had the highest prevalence of obesity (30.2%), followed by the Midwest (30.1%), the Northeast (26.5%), and the West (24.9%).

Prevalence* of Self-Reported Obesity Among U.S. Adults by State, BRFSS, 20132013-state-obesity-prevalence-map

 

Share

Use a Rule of Thumb to Control How Much You Drink

Share

Picture of a table after a party with wine and beer bottlesSticking to a general rule of pouring just a half glass of wine limits the likelihood of overconsumption, even for men with a higher body mass index. That’s the finding of a new Iowa State and Cornell University study to be published in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Drug Policy.

via Use a Rule of Thumb to Control How Much You Drink.

Share

How to pick running shoes

Share

Running shoes full shotThe American College of Sports Medicine has written a short a guide for picking running shoes:

Running shoes should be selected after careful consideration. With so many brands and styles of shoes on the market today, it is important to find the best fit for your feet and your needs. There is no “right shoe” that fits all runners. However, research and injury patterns have shown that there are some general characteristics of a good, safe running shoe.

To read the guide go here: Selecting Running Shoes

Share

King County’s wellness plan beats the odds

Share

By Christine Vestal, Stateline

Seattle

SEATTLE – When King County, Washington, launched its employee wellness program seven years ago, its motive was clear. “We were being eaten alive by runaway medical costs,” says the county’s top executive Dow Constantine.

By all accounts, the previous administration was desperate to bring down double-digit health care cost growth that threatened to destroy the entire budget.

That partially explains why King County, which spends nearly $200 million per year to insure 14,000 workers and their families, who mostly live and work here in the county seat, was willing to risk millions more on a wellness program that would prove to break the traditional mold.

Why has King County’s  employee wellness program far surpassed all others in employee participation, health improvement and health care savings?

It may also explain why labor unions took the unusual step of joining management in a plan that would ultimately shift more health care costs to workers.

But it doesn’t explain why this employee wellness program, which received an innovation award this year from Harvard University, has far surpassed all others in employee participation, health improvement and health care savings.  Continue reading

Share

Extreme obesity may shorten life expectancy up to 14 years

Share

ScaleFrom the National Cancer Institute

Adults with extreme obesity have increased risks of dying at a younger age from cancer and many other causes including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and kidney and liver diseases, according to a new study.

The study, led by researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, found that people with class III (or extreme) obesity had a dramatic reduction in life expectancy compared with people of normal weight. The findings appeared July 8, 2014, in PLOS Medicine.

 Six percent of US adults are now classified as extremely obese

“While once a relatively uncommon condition, the prevalence of class III, or extreme, obesity is on the rise. In the United States, for example, six percent of adults are now classified as extremely obese, which, for a person of average height, is more than 100 pounds over the recommended range for normal weight,” said Cari Kitahara, Ph.D., Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, NCI, and lead author of the study.  Continue reading

Share

In bid for Millennials, cities and states promote cycling

Share

Though its bike commuter percentage is lower than that of some other states, Washington State has topped the list of bike-friendly states compiled by The League of American Bicyclists for seven years in a row. It gets especially high marks for educating and encouraging cyclists. Much of the credit for that ranking goes to Seattle, which has a bike commuting rate of 4.1 percent. The city is known for its innovative pavement markings and plans to put protected lanes near every home.

Road BikeBy Tim Henderson
Stateline

If a 90-minute commute from Brooklyn to New Jersey sounds grueling in a car, just imagine it on a bicycle.

Until a recent job change, 40-year-old Peter Schneider made that daily trip, biking 22 miles from his home in Brooklyn to his marketing job in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey—and he loved it. “Commuting and exercising at the same time kills two birds with one stone,” he said.

Cycling to work wouldn’t have been possible, Schneider said, without the protected bike lanes of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, a 32-mile route that circumnavigates the island of Manhattan.

Communities across the country are weighing similar routes, believing that a cycling-friendly reputation will help them attract millennials and the creative and economic energy that comes with them. Continue reading

Share

Are you the 1 in 4 who doesn’t know? – CDC asks

Share

Question MarkMore than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, up from the previous estimate of 26 million in 2010, according to a report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

One in four people with diabetes doesn’t know he or she has it. 

Another 86 million adults – more than one in three U.S. adults – have prediabetes, where their blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes. Continue reading

Share

Women’s Health – Week 40: Pregnancy, exercise and weight

Share

tacuin womenFrom the Office of Research on Women’s Health

Exercise It is a good idea to start a regular exercise program before you become pregnant, and continue to be physically active throughout your pregnancy.

Ask your health care provider about the level of exercise that is safe for you. Regular, moderate-intensity physical activity during pregnancy may:

  • Help your baby to grow to a healthy weight.
  • Reduce the discomforts of pregnancy, such as backaches, leg cramps, constipation, bloating, and swelling.
  • Lessen your risk for gestational diabetes(diabetes during pregnancy, see Week 18).
  • Improve your mood, energy level, and sleep.
  • Help you have an easier, shorter labor, recover from delivery faster, and achieve or maintain a healthy weight.

Follow these safety tips for activity during your pregnancy: Continue reading

Share

All about sugar substitutes

Share

fda-logo-thumbnailAn FDA Consumer Update

Whether it’s to cut down on the number of calories they consume or any of a variety of other reasons, some people use sugar substitutes – also called high-intensity sweeteners – to sweeten and add flavor to their foods.

They can be used alone to sweeten foods and beverages such as iced tea or coffee, or as an ingredient in other products. There are a number of sugar substitutes on the market from which to choose. Continue reading

Share

Women’s health – Weeks 37: Physical activity for adults

Share

tacuin womenFrom the Office of Research on Women’s Health

Physical activity is any form of exercise or movement you do that uses energy. Physical activity is important for physical health, emotional well-being, and achieving a healthy weight.

The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults pick an activity that is easy to fit into your life. Do at least 10 minutes of physical activity at a time. Continue reading

Share

Obese employees cost employers thousands in extra medical costs – study

Share

ScaleBy Katherine Kahn
Health Behavior News Service

A new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion finds that, on average, a morbidly obese employee costs an employer over $4,000 more per year in health care and related costs than an employee who is of normal weight.

The study also revealed that obese individuals who had comorbidities such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol incurred more costs than obese workers without these conditions, says Karen Van Nuys, Ph.D., lead coauthor and economist at Precision Health Economics in Los Angeles.

“For example, someone who is overweight or obese and also has diabetes is more likely to file a short-term disability claim compared to someone who doesn’t have diabetes but is overweight or obese.” Continue reading

Share

Inactivity linked to chronic disease in adults with disabilities – CDC

Share

CDC – Vital Signs

Icon of a visually impaired person with a service dog  3x

Adults with disabilities are 3 times more likely to have heart disease, stroke, diabetes, or cancer than adults without disabilities.

Icon of man and woman1 in 2

Nearly half of all adults with disabilities get no aerobic physical activity, an important health behavior to help avoid these chronic diseases.

Icon of a doctor and a person in wheel chair82%

Adults with disabilities were 82% more likely to be physically active if their doctor recommended it. Continue reading

Share

Women’s Health – Week 34: Obesity

Share

From the Office of Research on Women’s Health

tacuin women

Obesity is about more than just your looks. Today, two out of three adults in the United States are considered overweight or obese.

Obesity puts people at increased risk for chronic diseases, such as heart disease,  type 2 diabetes,  high blood pressure,  stroke,  and some forms of cancer. Continue reading

Share

Youth obesity rate drops in King County school districts participating in local public health initiative

Share

Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 11.23.21February 20, 2014

New findings published today by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that youth obesity dropped significantly in low-income school districts that were part of a King County-focused obesity prevention initiative.

The CDC report shows a 17 percent decline in youth obesity in King County (from 9.5 percent to 7.9 percent) after Public Health – Seattle & King County partnered with schools and community organizations to implement a two-year Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) obesity prevention initiative ending in 2012.  Continue reading

Share