New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that four additional states reported obesity rates of 35% or more in 2020 — bringing the national total to 16 states. Separately, a study says artificial sweetener in drinks may actually increase food cravings and appetite in some people.
Weight Gain And Obesity Up In 2020 In The U.S.
It is official: The pandemic’s effect on America’s waistline has been rough. New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed 16 states now have obesity rates of 35% or higher. That’s an increase of four states — Delaware, Iowa, Ohio and Texas — in just a year. The findings confirm what several recent research studies have found: Many Americans have gained significant weight since the COVID-19 crisis started, likely fueled by an increase in sedentary behavior, stress and troubles such as job and income loss that make healthy eating harder. And those rates are rising faster among racial minorities. (Noguchi, 9/29)
Artificial Sweetener In Soda, Other Drinks May Increase Food Cravings, Appetite In Women And Obese People
Diet soda and drinks that contain the artificial sweetener sucralose may increase food cravings and appetite in women and people who are obese, researchers say. In a new study led by the University of Southern California’s (USC) Keck School of Medicine and published in JAMA Network Open, scientists studied the effects of an artificial sweetener – or a nonnutritive sweetener (NNS) – both on brain activity and appetite responses in different groups of the population. (Musto, 9/29)
Pandemic Health Inequities Expose Need For Greater Obesity Prevention
The pandemic has thrust longstanding racial and economic health disparities into bold relief. Americans of color have died from COVID-19 at two to three times the rate of the rest of the population. A primary underlying cause is obesity. “The fact that obesity has proven to be such a significant risk factor for severe COVID-19 illness and death has the potential to focus more public attention on the need to start doing something about it,” said Dr. Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers, in an interview with Stateline. The effects of obesity account for a large share of the nation’s health care spending, but funding for obesity prevention and control has been inadequate for decades, Plescia said. (Vestal, 9/29)
In other public health news —
Human Eastern Equine Encephalitis Case Recorded In New Jersey
Officials in New Jersey’s Camden County have reported a human case of eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). The patient, a resident of Pine Hill, remains hospitalized. “Eastern Equine Encephalitis is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Only a few human cases are reported each year, and the disease can’t be passed directly from person to person,” said County Commissioner Carmen Rodriguez, in a Camden County press release. “The Camden County Department of Health is continuing to work with the Mosquito Commission to ensure that additional spraying and testing will be conducted in the area.” (9/29)
Health News Florida:
Study Could Change FDA Blood Donation Policy For Gay And Bisexual Men, But It Needs More Participants
Blake Lynch says he’ll never forget the first time he tried to give blood. It was 2013, and Lynch was a nursing student. He was excited to donate in honor of a classmate with sickle cell anemia. Lynch says he filled out the questionnaire that’s required of all donors. Shortly after, he got the news. “They review it, they’re like, ‘Blake, I’m sorry, but you can’t donate blood,’ ” Lynch says. “I was like, ‘Why can’t I donate?’ And they were like, ‘Well, I see you’re gay. So that means you’re banned for life.’ (Prieur, 9/29)
The New York Times:
Can A Low-Carb Diet Help Your Heart Health?
Going on a low-carb diet has long been a popular weight loss strategy. But some doctors and nutrition experts have advised against doing so over fears that it could increase the risk of heart disease, since such diets typically involve eating lots of saturated fats, the kind found in red meat and butter. But a new study, one of the largest and most rigorous trials of the subject to date, suggests that eating a diet low in carbohydrates and higher in fats may be beneficial for your cardiovascular health if you are overweight. (O’Connor, 9/28)
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