Obesity

A picture of insulin vials and a syringe.
.:[ Melissa ]:. / Flickr

A report from Harvard University says one-in-10 North Carolinians has diabetes, and that the disease will cost the state $17 billion per year by 2025.

Sarah Downer is a fellow at Harvard's Health Law and Policy Clinic. She said limited access to healthcare, nutritious foods and safe places to exercise are dangerous to communities.

North Carolina has the fifth highest rate of food insecurity, meaning people don't have regular access to nutritious meals. The state also ranks fifth for early childhood obesity.

A picture of a stethoscope.
jasleen_kaur / Flickr/Creative Commons

A new online guidebook aims to help connect doctors with public health agencies to fight chronic illnesses like diabetes.  Those illnesses make up 80-percent of health care costs today, compared to only 20-percent in 1900.

Duke's Department of Community and Family Medicine partnered with the de Beaumont Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to launch "Public Health and Primary Care Together: A Practical Playbook.” It suggests ways primary care and public health providers can better manage chronic disease and combat rising health care costs.

A new study looks at the availability of caloric information from fast food restaurants online.
jasonlam via Flickr, Creative Commons

It's easy to point the finger at fast food joints. A decade after the breakout documentary, Super Size Me, the cheap, un-nutritious, happy meal is a go-to candidate for public ire when it comes to childhood obesity.

But a new study by researchers at the University of North Carolina says that explanation might be too easy.

Mike, via Flickr

  

Obesity is a significant problem for many in the United States. But for some high school football players, weight gain means success.

A supermarket in Durham is going to offer healthy snacks in the check out line.
Tijmen Stam via Creative Commons

Shoppers at a local grocery in Durham will have the option of checking out at an aisle filled with healthy snack choices. So instead of lollipops and candy bars, last minute purchases at Los Primos Market might include apples, raisins or yogurt. Erica Samoff coordinates Partnership for a Healthy Durham, a community coalition that's collaborating with the East Durham Children's Initiative.

Actress Gabourey Sidibe has spoken openly about her obesity and how people perceive her because of it.
Greg Hernandez via Creative Commons

New research out of Duke University suggests merely maintaining weight, instead of losing it, is a more practical and successful approach for African American women. Lead author Gary Bennett is associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke. He says pre-menopausal black women have the highest rates of obesity in the country. About 80 percent are overweight, which contributes to a disproportionate risk for chronic diseases like diabetes, stroke, and cancer.

Charles Lindquist
Duke Clergy Health Initiative

Like their good friends the Baptists, the Methodists love a good covered dish event. Any church gathering can serve as a reason to bring out the cakes, cookies and casseroles, and in rural North Carolina, that puts church leaders, like Pastor Charles Lindquist, in an awkward position.

“People used to say, ‘get up there in the front of the line’ and you had this feeling of 90 pairs of eyes staring at you to see whose food you were going to take,” says Reverend Lindquist. “So you tried to take some of everything.”

Cover of Lionel Shriver's new book, 'Big Brother.'
http://www.npr.org/assets/bakertaylor/covers/manually-added/big-brother_custom.jpg

In her new book, "Big Brother," Lionel Shriver takes on the struggle of obesity through Edison. He is a formerly good looking, charismatic jazz musician who has become hugely obese and down on his luck. His sister takes him on as a project, threatening her marriage and her sanity.

obeasts.org

Turn on any news program and you’ll eventually hear about the dangers of obesity. It’s commonly accepted that being heavy is bad, and being skinny is good. Rachel Herrick is challenging that idea with her Obeast project.

Doctors in North Carolina roll out a long-term plan today to reverse the rise of the state's obesity rate.  The proposal recommends thousands of behavioral and policy changes for the next seven years.  The recommendations range from limiting time in front of the television to adding funds for hiring health coordinators at every school district.  Doctor Carolyn Dunn is a professor at N.C. State and lead writer of the plan.  She says the strategy to reduce obesity is shifting from broad reform to one policy change at a time.

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