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Posts Tagged ‘obesity’

Friday Roundup: Earlobes and Heart Disease, Allergy Season Updates, and More

April 12, 2013

Are you looking to stay up-to-date on the latest health news? Start with the weekly news roundups from Life Line Screening. March is National Nutrition Month so this news roundup features recent headlines focused on diets and nutrition. Headlines include how earlobes predict heart disease, allergy season news, and a report on obesity of older Americans.


Will You Develop Heart Disease? Check Your Earlobes

You’re probably wondering, “how can my earlobes predict if I have heart disease?” Sounds fishy, but a new study in the journal Angiology found that earlobes may hold a sign that points towards increased risk of developing heart problems in the future.

Specifically, the study examined 253 people with no known heart conditions. Among the participants, those with a noticeable ear crease on the earlobe were 10 percent more likely to have blocked arteries, a common cause of heart disease. The earlobe creases were the most common among participants suffering from the most severe arterial backups, further indicating the connection.

Read the full study results here:


Are You Ready for Allergy Season?

Most of us are excited for the beginning of spring. With the birds chirping, buds popping up on the trees, grass turning green again, and more sunshine, what’s not to love? We can name one thing: allergies.

Experts say that this year, springtime allergies will be more severe and last longer, plaguing more people with allergy symptoms like sneezing, watery eyes, and fatigue caused by tree pollen. Southern states typically seen an increase in allergies beginning in January, but northern states usually experience symptoms from high tree pollen levels in March, April, and May.

Read the full article on springtime allergies here:


Report: Older Americans More Obese

Americans may be living longer lives, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the quality of life is better. A recent article from NBC News discusses a report that details a trend among older Americans: they’re becoming more obese.

From the years 1988 to 1994, approximately 22 percent of Americans over the age of 65 were considered obese. As of 2010, however, that number has increased to 38 percent, leading to even more risk of preventable diseases and health problems, like stroke, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and even depression.

Read the full article here:


What’s Trending on

You can get involved with the health and nutrition discussions going on right now at Here’s what’s trending:

  • Sweeteners: Are there any natural sweeteners out there that aren’t bad for your health? Which ones do you prefer? Share with us.
  • 100 Days of Real Food: Have you ever considered eating only “real” food for a certain length of time by cutting out unhealthy sugars and fats? Please join the discussion here.
  • What Suggestion Would You Give a Company to Promote Wellness? Wellness and prevention are two central themes that are taking center stage lately. Do you have any suggestions for companies looking to get involved? Share them.

3 Heart Rate Myths Busted, Sleep Problems and Alzheimer’s, Belly Fat and Stroke Risk

September 7, 2012

Friday Roundup:


Uncover the Truth about Heart Rate

There’s tons of information out there on heart rates and conditions affecting heartbeat, but how do you know what’s true? In honor of Atrial Fibrillation Awareness month, we’re debunking some of the most common heart rate myths so you can keep your heart strong.

Myth: An irregular heartbeat is a heart attack.
This is partly myth. A heart attack is most often associated with not only an irregular, erratic heartbeat, but other symptoms like chest pain, body aches and shortness of breath. If abnormal heart rate appears on it’s own, it’s most likely just an arrhythmia that can be treated with medication. Some arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation can lead to further heart problems like stroke or heart attack, but at times can be completely harmless.

Myth: A normal heart rate equals normal blood pressure.
According to WebMD, there is no relationship between heart rate and blood pressure. Anyone who has high blood pressure could very well have a normal heart rate, and vice versa. You can’t determine if your blood pressure is high from knowing your heart rate, and you can’t determine your heart rate from knowing your blood pressure levels.

Myth: Stress doesn’t affect heart rate.
Actually, WebMD states that stress can increase your heart rate and cause it to beat more than 100 times per minute. This condition is called tachycardia. It’s important to note, however, that other factors may raise heart rate as well, like:

  • Smoking
  • Consuming large amounts of caffeine
  • Dehydration
  • Fever
  • Anemia
  • Thyroid disease

Keeping your heart healthy by maintaining a nutritious diet, staying active, not smoking and not consuming too much alcohol can greatly reduce your risk of developing heart problems like atrial fibrillation. Preventive health screenings that identify heart conditions early can also help. Schedule your screening today.

To read other heart rate myths, view this link:


Sleep Problems May Predict Alzheimer’s

Sleep problems may predict Alzheimer's - Life Line ScreeningBecause there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, researchers have been conducting studies to find early warning signs of the memory-loss disease in order to better treat or prevent it. A new study shows that bad sleep may be one indication of oncoming Alzheimer’s.

According to BBC News, the study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, revealed disrupted sleep in mice with Alzheimer’s plaques forming in the brain.

Since the study was only conducted on mice, there is no definite link between sleeping problems and Alzheimer’s in humans as of yet, but researchers believe they may be on to something.

In the study, nocturnal mice slept for 40 minutes per hour of daylight. In mice with plaques forming in the brain, sleep only occurred for 30 minutes per hour.

“If sleep abnormalities begin this early in the course of human Alzheimer’s disease, those changes could provide us with an easily detectable sign [of Alzheimer’s],” said researcher and professor David Holtzman in the BBC News article.

Further studies are being conducted to confirm whether there is a link between sleeping problems and Alzheimer’s disease in people, as well as mice. Should results prove the link, doctors will then be able to identify the disease early, before it becomes untreatable. Be on the lookout for more information on this topic.

To read the full article discussing this study on sleep and Alzheimer’s, view this link:


Why Belly Fat is Worse Than Obesity

Have you ever heard of the phrase ‘spare tyre’? It’s a name given to extra weight found around the waistline, and studies are showing it could be even more dangerous than being obese.

Physicians from the Mayo Clinic recently reviewed health records of about 12,700 individuals over a period of 14 years. Their average age was 44 years old. In the health records, the participants’ weight-to-height ratio (BMI) was recorded along with their waist-to-hip ratio.

Preventive health screenings from Life Line ScreeningDuring that 14 year period, 2,562 of the participants died, of which 1,138 died from heart disease or stroke. Resulting from these numbers, doctors concluded that people with a higher waist-to-hip ratio but normal BMI were almost 3 times more likely to die from a cardiovascular condition in comparison to people with normal ratios for both.

The reason? The fat that accumulates in the midsection around the organs is a different kind of fat cell than the fat that appears on other areas of the body, like the legs. These cells found in the midsection release a chemical that can raise insulin resistance and therefore increase risk of cardiovascular illnesses.

The study goes to show the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle to avoid accumulating the dreaded ‘spare tyre’. Eating right and working hard to burn any fat around your midsection is especially important in lowering your risk for stroke or other heart problems.

If you have excess body weight around your midsection, consider scheduling a health screening to become more aware of the state of your health. Learn more about these preventive health screenings now.

To read the full study on midsection weight gain and stroke risk, view this link:

What do you do to keep your waistline slim? We’d love to hear. Share with us below.


What’s Trending on

Want to get in on the discussions happening on Check out what’s trending now:

What is Elder Abuse?: Millions of elders are being abused all over the world. Learn more about these cruel cases of bullying and what can be done to stop them.

People with Pre-Existing Conditions: Pre-existing conditions are a big concern for people when it comes to health insurance. Join the discussion now.

Discuss: The Donut Hole: Baby boomers are growing, and with this growth comes the “donut hole”, a gap in coverage that affects millions of elderly people. Read more here.

Lifting Weights Lowers Diabetes Risk, How to Do a Skin Exam, 6 Surprising Obesity Stats

August 17, 2012

Friday Roundup:


Pump Iron to Lower Diabetes Risk

Some people might not particularly enjoy exercising, but research shows the benefits of physical activity are abundant. Now, weight training has been linked to lower diabetes risk in men.

Multiple news outlets (ABC News, Fox News, Reuters) are discussing the latest diabetes study linking weight training exercise to lower diabetes risk for men. Data was collected from 32,000 male health professionals who answered surveys every two years from 1990 to 2008.

Results published in the Archives of Internal Medicine show that four out of 1,000 men developed type 2 diabetes every year. For men who did weight training for 150 minutes or more per week, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes was one-third lower than men who never lifted weights.

“I think the benefits of weight training are real,” said Dr. Frank Hu of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and lead author of the study. “Any type of exercise is beneficial for diabetes prevention but weight training can be incorporated with aerobic exercise to get the best results.”

Weight training can also be beneficial to ward off other diseases, like osteoporosis, stroke and heart attack. Learn more about how you can gain priceless peace of mind by scheduling a preventive health screening with Life Line Screening today.

To read the full article about how weight training can lower diabetes risk, view this link:


Skin Health: How to Do a Self-Exam

With summer in its final stretch, your skin has probably been through a lot. Now is the perfect time to check yourself for unusual moles, sores, lumps or patches that could be cancerous.

Not sure where to start? Here are some tips for performing a self-exam of the entire surface of your skin.

1. Check your skin from head to toe

Face, neck, ears and scalp. Comb through your hair and part it randomly to check for discolorations or abnormal bumps on the scalp. To see the back of your head, hold a hand-held mirror in front of your face with your back to a wall-mounted mirror. Use your free hand to comb through your hair as you look in the hand-mirror.

Front, back, right and left sides. Stand in front of a full-length mirror and carefully check your front side. To check your back, use the hand-held mirror as described above. Lift your arms and check both your right and left sides (don’t forget your armpits). It’s a good idea to feel for any unusual lumps under the skin as well.

Arms, legs, feet, buttocks and genital area. Bend your elbows and check on the underside of your arms. Use a mirror to check your legs, buttocks and genital area closely. Don’t forget to check between your toes and on the soles of your feet. Never overlook an area because you think it’s too out of reach. It’s better to be as thorough as possible.

2. Study your skin

As you look, keep in mind where you have moles and what they look like so the next time you do this self-exam, you’ll know what’s different and what’s the same.

What to look for:

  • A new mole (if it looks different from other moles)
  • A change in a mole (size, shape, color or feel)
  • A red or dark flaky patch that seems a little raised
  • A new firm, flesh-colored bump
  • A sore that isn’t going away

Skin cancer is best treated when found early. That’s why these self-exams are so important. Stay proactive in your health and catch deadly conditions before they become just that—deadly.


6 Surprising Obesity Statistics

You’ve heard it from us time and time again: maintaining a healthy lifestyle can dramatically lower your risk of countless diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis and more. Obesity is one condition that can drastically increase your chances of developing any of these diseases.

We’ve rounded up 6 statistics related to obesity in the United States that can (hopefully) provide some motivation to stay fit and keep your body strong and healthy.

  1. 112,000 deaths occur from obesity every year in the U.S.
  2. Compared to people of a healthy weight, risk of premature death increases by 50-100% in people who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more.
  3. Medical costs for those who are obese are $1,429 (yearly) higher than those of normal weight.
  4. 70% of diagnosed heart disease cases are linked directly to obesity (according to the American Heart Association).
  5. In every U.S. state, 1 in 5 people are obese.
  6. 75 million Americans are obese.

If you’re at risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke or other ailments, learn more about the preventive health screenings offered by Life Line Screening and get the valuable peace of mind you deserve.

To read more obesity statistics, view these links: or

Life Line Screening: Friday Roundup Blog Post – April 13th

April 13, 2012

Friday Roundup:


During Alcohol Awareness Month – More Studies Support Moderate Alcohol Consumption for Heart Health

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and while there are many, many examples out there in society of the dangers of alcohol excess, there is also ongoing good news about alcohol’s heart-healthy effects to be noted. Two recent studies conducted by Canadian researchers found that those who consume alcohol moderately (1 drink a day for women and 1-2 drinks a day for men) are 14 to 25 percent less likely to develop heart disease than their non-drinking associates, and that moderate alcohol consumption regardless of the type of alcohol consumed (beer, wine, liquor) actually raises the levels of ‘good cholesterol’ (HDL) in the bloodstream, which acts to protect against heart disease. Of course, there are many reasons for not drinking at all, including religious beliefs and addiction risk. You can still be healthy without alcohol, but for those choose to drink at safe limits, it is nice to know that it can be heart healthy.

Read full article in detail at:


“Central Obesity” May Lead to Greater Risks of Dementia

Our doctors, our siblings, our friends, even our parents are all encouraging us to exercise – and they’ve got plenty of good reasons that we’ve all heard time and again. But here’s one reason you may not have heard before – a Kaiser Permanente researcher and his colleagues in California have discovered an apparent link between mid-section abdominal weight in the middle years, known as “central obesity,” and dementia in senior years. Studies on over 6,000 people measured abdominally in the mid-1960s to 1970s found that people with the thickest bellies had over 3 times the risk of dementia than those with the lowest abdominal diameters. Though there are several theories as to why this would be the case, the bottom line is that excess weight carried in the mid-section of the body can be bad for your brain as well as your heart.

Read full article in detail at:


Get Your Vegetarian Passover Ideas Here!

While Passover is now concluding for the year, it’s never too early to think about next year’s Passover meal and ways you can make it healthier for your family, neighbors…even your rabbi. The venerable New York Times recently published a great article about vegetarian Passover meals completely devoid of animal flesh. Tasty, aromatic and beautiful to look at, we though recipes like Bitter Herbs Salad and Moroccan Fava Bean & Vegetable Soup just had to be passed on as opposed to passed over for our Jewish readers. We hope you enjoy them!

Read full article in detail at:


Dental X-Rays Linked to Brain Tumors in New US Study

No one likes to go to the dentist and hear bad news about their teeth, but it turns out one of the very processes used to evaluate our teeth might be giving us much worse than a cavity. Following up on our Roundup post from last Friday concerning the reduction in frequency of many standardized medical tests, a new study released in the U.S. journal Cancer reports that individuals who receive regular dental x-rays are more likely to develop a common type of brain tumor. This will of course be a controversial finding but we’ll keep you informed as we learn more about this story. In the meantime, get your teeth cleaned twice a year by your dentist to keep a healthy mouth, beautiful smile, and reduce cardiovascular disease risk. The plaque found in your mouth is related to the plaque in your arteries. If you have concerns about your x-ray exposure, make sure to discuss them with your dentist.

Read full article in detail at:

Life Line Screening: Friday Roundup Blog Post – April 6th

April 6, 2012

Friday Roundup:


Mammograms + MRIs/Ultrasound = More Breast Cancer Detection

A new study released in the April 4th issue of the Journal of American Medical Association notes that the addition of an M.R.I. or ultrasound to annual mammography tests leads to a higher rate of incident breast cancer detection than with just the mammogram alone. “The addition of screening ultrasound or MRI to mammography in women at increased risk of breast cancer resulted in not only a higher cancer detection yield but also an increase in false-positive findings,” the authors also report.

Read article in full detail at:


New Study Claims Americans May Be Fatter Than They Believe

Seeing isn’t always believing, as the BMI (Body Mass Index) may lead us to believe. The BMI, used by physicians, fitness trainers, physical therapists and nutritionists across the country to determine body fat for individuals based on height and weight, is coming under criticism by a study that claims that body fat percentage should be considered when assessments are made. For example, according to the study 4 in 10 adults who are considered “overweight” in the BMI could actually be labeled as “obese” if the percentage of their body fat were included in the determination. Since obesity brings with it greater risks of diabetes, heart disease, heart attacks and joint troubles, knowing that someone is actually “obese” could make a huge difference in the lifestyle changes they decide to make or in the information they are provided by their medical care team. Food for thought indeed!

Read article in full detail at:


Common Diabetes Drug May Also Fight Certain Cancers

The common diabetes drug known as metformin, used to control blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes, may also turn out to be a helpful drug for battling both prostate and pancreatic cancers. According to new studies presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, metformin may halt the growth of cancer tumor cells in men with prostate cancer, as well as extend the lives of people suffering with pancreatic cancer. Good news for sure from the research field!

Read article in full at:


Healthier Candy Choices for Passover & Easter Fun

Next to Halloween, Easter is the biggest day for breaking every dietary vow when it comes to consuming sugar-laden candies. Yes, it all tastes great, but keeping in mind what all that sugar can do to your teeth, not to mention to your weight, waist, metabolism and more is a good idea. And it’s never too early to introduce healthier dietary habits to your nieces, nephews, kids and grand-children either. Check-out this video for healthier candy choices for yourself and your loved ones, from one of the contributing editors of the Eat This, Not That No Diet! diet book.


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