Report: 116 million obese Americans recommended for prescription diet aids
BOSTON — Research shows that 140 million American adults (about 65%) are recommended for behavioral weight-loss treatment, with 83% of those (or 116 million) considered for pharmacotherapy, according to a report released by The Obesity Society on Monday.
Thirty-two million adults are recommended for both pharmacotherapy and behavioral treatment, and are also potential candidates for bariatric surgery.
“These guidelines address critical questions in obesity treatment, and provide evidence-based recommendations on topics such as: Who needs to lose weight? How much weight loss is needed to improve health? And what are the best and most appropriate methods for losing weight?” said lead researcher June Stevens, professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina. “Our team was eager to apply these recommendations to the population of the United States, and unfortunately, we were not surprised to see that a massive number of Americans are recommended for weight-loss treatment.”
“These findings remind healthcare providers, policymakers and the public that obesity is a disease that needs to be taken seriously,” said Donna Ryan, Obesity Journal associate editor-in-chief and professor emeritus at Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center, speaking on behalf of The Obesity Society. “With more than half of U.S. adults recommended for weight-loss treatment, we call on all health practitioners from primary care physicians to registered dietitians to review the guidelines and take steps to put them into practice. This huge number of Americans recommended for weight-loss therapy reinforces the need for broad, sweeping transformations in obesity management in the primary care setting. The good news is that there are evidence-based treatments readily available for most adults recommended for weight-loss treatment.”
Researchers used data from the 2007-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to estimate the proportion of adults in the United States recommended for treatment based on The Obesity Society, The American Heart Association and The American College of Cardiology Guidelines for Managing Overweight and Obesity in Adults, released just one year ago in November 2013. The findings will be presented by Stevens during a poster session Nov. 6 at The Obesity Society Annual Meeting at ObesityWeek 2014 here.
Nationally representative data were used to estimate the number recommended to lose weight among adults 20 years or older who were not pregnant. The recommendation to lose weight was based on an algorithm that included weight, height, waist circumference and risk factors like diabetes, hypertension and blood lipid levels. Researchers also compared various demographics and found that individuals were more likely to be recommended for treatment if they were over 45, male, African American or Mexican American, did not have a college degree and were insured by either Medicaid or Medicare rather than another type of health insurance.
Google Flu Trends to be driven by new engine in upcoming season
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Google Flu Trends is getting a new engine to improve accuracy, according to a blog posted Friday by Christian Stefansen, Google senior software engineer.
"For the 2014/2015 season, we’re launching a new Flu Trends model in the U.S. that … takes official CDC flu data into account as the flu season progresses," he wrote. "We’ll publish the details in a technical paper soon. We look forward to seeing how the new model performs in 2014/2015 and whether this method could be extended to other countries."
Google Flu Trends was launched in 2008 using aggregate Web searches to indicate when and where influenza was striking in real time. However, the model overestimated flu levels over the 2012/2013 season.
Google Flu Trends is not designed to replace traditional flu-tracking methods, Stefansen cautioned. "But we do hope it can help alert health professionals to outbreaks early, and in areas without traditional monitoring, give us all better odds against the flu."
C&D promotes Matt Farrell to COO, CFO
EWING, N.J. — Church & Dwight on Monday announced that Matthew Farrell has been named COO and CFO, effective Nov. 3.
"The board of directors is extremely pleased to have Matt Farrell assume this broader leadership position within the company," said James Craigie, C&D chairman and CEO. "Matt has a superb track record in his current role as CFO and brings terrific depth of knowledge of our organization and industry to his new position. In his new role Matt will lead all line functions along with the finance organization, allowing me to focus more time on long term corporate strategy and accretive mergers and acquisitions.”
"I am excited to be taking on additional responsibilities and look forward to working closely with our outstanding management team as we continue to build on the company's impressive track record," Farrell said.
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