What We’re Reading: 10/18/19


A few highlights from around the web that made it into our feeds this week.

Childhood Obesity Is Rising 'Shockingly Fast' — Even In Poor Countries

Childhood obesity is now a global epidemic. UNICEF released its most comprehensive report of child malnutrition in two decades and found that 1 in 3 children under age 5 is undernourished or overweight, and at least 340 million children ages 5-19 are classified as overweight. In just 8 years, the global rate of children who are overweight climbed from 10.3 percent to 18.4 percent. 

In this article researchers discuss the need for more awareness and education about nutrition, government regulation of food labels, and better food options in schools, which is an important place to start. As a follow-up, check out this conversation with Jeffrey Zitsman, MD, Director of the Center for Adolescent Bariatric Surgery, about the benefits of weight loss surgery for teens. It may sound shocking at first, but weight loss surgery is proven to be the most effective treatment for severe obesity in adults and adolescents. (From npr.org)

An Oncologist Asks When It’s Time to Say ‘Enough’

Oncologist, Arza Raza, MD, wants to shift the paradigm in how we talk about cancer to include real conversations about suffering. Dr. Raza thinks about the “ghastly toxicities of therapies” that often achieve so little. She asks tough questions like “Why are we so afraid to tell the stories of the majority who die? Why keep promoting the positive anecdote? Why all this mollycoddling?” 

She wants to get real, and in doing that shift the paradigm of cancer research too. This article introduces her new book in which Dr. Raza reflects on the patients shes treated over the years and how her husband battled with metastatic disease. She then presents a plan for this paradigm shift—Instead of the majority of funding going to the creation of new drugs, research should focus on the early cancer cells, before the tumor develops. (From nytimes.com)

As vaping-linked deaths rise to 33, officials are still seeking answers

As of Oct. 15, the CDC reported 1,479 lung injuries and 33 deaths associated with the use of e-cigarettes. 

The new numbers reinforce earlier findings that patients are largely male and young. About 4 out of 5 people are younger than 35 years old, but patients range from 13 to 75 years old. And those who have died tend to be older, with a median age of 44. Here’s a brief update on what researchers have found so far and how they plan to test the vapor of myriad products. (From washingtonpost.com)

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