Blog | Monday, September 15, 2008

Medical News of the Obvious


Our theme this week is obesity. There are lots of interesting questions on this subject, but these studies aren't answering them.

Physical activity is associated with reduced risk for obesity in people who are genetically predisposed, the Sept. 8 Archives of Internal Medicine says. But, wait, there is a suprising part of the study--it was conducted among the Amish. Who would have guessed that there even are inactive, obese Amish? Apparently cars and fast food are not entirely to blame for the obesity epidemic, as 30% of female study participants were obese.

Another Archives study (a little old, but profiled in this week's Journal Watch) provides more evidence on the new weight-reducing properties of exercise. "Women who maintained a 10% weight loss during a 2-year study had better eating habits and more leisure-time physical activity than did those who regained weight." Got it? Diet + exercise = weight loss

And why should we care? Because obesity has some relationship to cardiovascular disease, according to a study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, reported in the Washington Post under the headline "Heavier People Have Heart Attacks Earlier." This study author wins the quote-of-the-week award for telling the Post, "If you had your choice, you would choose not to have a heart attack in the first place."