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Doctor: Parents should lose custody of obese kids

Photo credit: AP | Stormy Bradley, left, and her daughter Maya, 14, are seen, in Atlanta. Maya, who is 5'4" tall and weighs about 200 lbs., is part of an anti-obesity ad campaign in Georgia. (July 11, 2011)

CHICAGO (AP) — Should parents of extremely obese children lose custody for not controlling their kids’ weight? A provocative commentary in one of the nation’s most distinguished medical journals argues yes, and its authors are joining a quiet chorus of advocates who say the government should be allowed to intervene in extreme cases.

It has happened a few times in the U.S., and the opinion piece in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association says putting children temporarily in foster care is in some cases more ethical than obesity surgery.

Dr. David Ludwig, an obesity specialist at Harvard-affiliated Children’s Hospital Boston, said the point isn’t to blame parents, but rather to act in children’s best interest and get them help that for whatever reason their parents can’t provide.

State intervention “ideally will support not just the child but the whole family, with the goal of reuniting child and family as soon as possible. That may require instruction on parenting,” said Ludwig, who wrote the article with Lindsey Murtagh, a lawyer and a researcher at Harvard’s School of Public Health.
“Despite the discomfort posed by state intervention, it may sometimes be necessary to protect a child,” Murtagh said.

But University of Pennsylvania bioethicist Art Caplan said he worries that the debate risks putting too much blame on parents. Obese children are victims of advertising, marketing, peer pressure and bullying — things a parent can’t control, he said.

“If you’re going to change a child’s weight, you’re going to have to change all of them,” Caplan said.
Roughly 2 million U.S. children are extremely obese. Most are not in imminent danger, Ludwig said. But some have obesity-related conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, breathing difficulties and liver problems that could kill them by age 30. It is these kids for whom state intervention, including education, parent training, and temporary protective custody in the most extreme cases, should be considered, Ludwig said.

While some doctors promote weight-loss surgery for severely obese teens, Ludwig said it hasn’t been used for very long in adolescents and can have serious, sometimes life-threatening complications.

Should Parents Lose Custody of Obese Kids?

“We don’t know the long-term safety and effectiveness of these procedures done at an early age,” he said.
Ludwig said he starting thinking about the issue after a 90-pound 3-year-old girl came to his obesity clinic several years ago. Her parents had physical disabilities, little money and difficulty controlling her weight. Last year, at age 12, she weighed 400 pounds and had developed diabetes, cholesterol problems, high blood pressure and sleep apnea.

“Out of medical concern, the state placed this girl in foster care, where she simply received three balanced meals a day and a snack or two and moderate physical activity,” he said. After a year, she lost 130 pounds. Though she is still obese, her diabetes and apnea disappeared; she remains in foster care, he said.

In a commentary in the medical journal BMJ last year, London pediatrician Dr. Russell Viner and colleagues said obesity was a factor in several child protection cases in Britain. They argued that child protection services should be considered if parents are neglectful or actively reject efforts to control an extremely obese child’s weight.

A 2009 opinion article in Pediatrics made similar arguments. Its authors said temporary removal from the home would be warranted “when all reasonable alternative options have been exhausted.”

That piece discussed a 440-pound 16-year-old girl who developed breathing problems from excess weight and nearly died at a University of Wisconsin hospital. Doctors discussed whether to report her family for neglect. But they didn’t need to, because her medical crisis “was a wake-up call” for her family, and the girl ended up losing about 100 pounds, said co-author Dr. Norman Fost, a medical ethicist at the university’s Madison campus.

State intervention in obesity “doesn’t necessarily involve new legal requirements,” Ludwig said. Health care providers are required to report children who are at immediate risk, and that can be for a variety of reasons, including neglect, abuse and what doctors call “failure to thrive.” That’s when children are severely underweight.

Jerri Gray, a Greenville, S.C., single mother who lost custody of her 555-pound 14-year-old son two years ago, said authorities don’t understand the challenges families may face in trying to control their kids’ weight.

“I was always working two jobs so we wouldn’t end up living in ghettos,” Gray said. She said she often didn’t have time to cook, so she would buy her son fast food. She said she asked doctors for help for her son’s big appetite but was accused of neglect.

Her sister has custody of the boy, now 16. The sister has the money to help him with a special diet and exercise, and the boy has lost more than 200 pounds, Gray said.

“Even though good has come out of this as far as him losing weight, he told me just last week, ‘Mommy, I want to be back with you so bad.’ They’ve done damage by pulling us apart,” Gray said.

Stormy Bradley, an Atlanta mother whose overweight 14-year-old daughter is participating in a Georgia advocacy group’s “Stop Childhood Obesity” campaign, said she sympathizes with families facing legal action because of their kids’ weight.

Healthier food often costs more, and trying to monitor kids’ weight can be difficult, especially when they reach their teens and shun parental control, Bradley said. But taking youngsters away from their parents “definitely seems too extreme,” she said.

Dr. Lainie Ross, a medical ethicist at the University of Chicago, said: “There’s a stigma with state intervention. We just have to do it with caution and humility and make sure we really can say that our interventions are going to do more good than harm.”

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5 Ways You Can Reduce Your Cancer Risk

Cancer is one of the leading killers among women after cardiovascular related incidents. Many of the cancers diagnosed can be prevented through very simple lifestyle changes. Here are five easy ways that you can begin to reduce your cancer risk today!

 

Keep Your Weight In a Healthy Range
Sometimes when we’re at the doctor’s office and we look at ‘ideal’ weights, it can be a bit discouraging because you may not necessarily fall into that range even though you are leading an active lifestyle. Instead, focus on having a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9. Anything above 24.9 can result in hormone fluctuations and insulin markers that can trigger cancers in the body.

Watch How Much You Consume Alcohol
Too much alcohol can result in an increased risk of both breast and colon cancers in women. The alcohol triggers hormonal changes and can lead to poor nutrient absorption in the colon. Keep your intake of alcoholic beverages to just one a day to avoid these complications.

Exercise!
Cancer hates nothing more than an active lifestyle. The American Cancer Society says that exercise alone can decrease your chances of colon cancer by 30%. Their suggestion is at least 30 minutes a day; five days a week to reap the cancer fighting rewards.

Eat As Little Processed Food As Possible
The chemicals used in today’s food processing can trigger hormonal and digestive responses in the body as well as the processed food tends to lack important nutrients needed to keep your healthy. Aim to eat as fresh and natural as possible to avoid these chemicals and hormones, and get all of the nutrients your body needs.

Quit Smoking!
According to The American Cancer Society, over 30% of deaths from cancer related illnesses are cigarette smoking related. Not just lung cancer, but bladder, kidney, mouth, esophageal, and other cancers are related to cigarette smoking. But if you make the commitment to quit today, your cancer risk will be cut in half in as little as ten years.

So there you have it. By making these five lifestyle changes you can start today, your chances of getting cancer are greatly reduced. When you think about it, seems pretty minor to make these little adjustments to give you a better quality of life for many years to come. Personally, I have some risk factors for certain cancers in my family, so when I heard that there were simple things I could do to minimize my risk, I jumped at the chance to give them a try. Which one are you going to try first?

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Eating Eggs Has No Effect on Cholesterol Levels

Eggs do not increase cholesterol
Eating eggs does not significantly raise the body’s cholesterol levels, according to a new study conducted by researchers from the University of Surrey and published in the Nutrition Bulletin of the British Heart Foundation.

The researchers reviewed the results of several different studies on eggs and nutrition, concluding that eggs did not contribute significantly to the body’s cholesterol levels. Although eggs are in fact a high-cholesterol food, the researchers note that only one-third of the body’s cholesterol comes from dietary sources; the rest is produced by the body from saturated fats. As a consequence, saturated fat intake plays a far more significant role.

Eggs Do Not Increase Cholesterol“The ingrained misconception linking egg consumption to high blood cholesterol and heart disease must be corrected,” researcher Bruce Griffin said. “The amount of saturated fat in our diet exerts an effect on blood cholesterol that is several times greater than the relatively small amounts of dietary cholesterol.”

The researchers note that other factors, such as obesity, a sedentary lifestyle or smoking also have greater effects on cholesterol levels or the risk of cardiovascular disease than egg consumption does.

“The  public does not need to be limiting the number of eggs they eat,” Griffin said. “Indeed, they can be encouraged to include them in a healthy diet, as they are one of nature’s most nutritionally dense foods.”

Up until 2007, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) recommended that people limit their intake of eggs to three per week, as a way of reducing the risk of heart disease. That advice is now considered outdated.

“We recommend that eggs can be eaten as part of a balanced diet,” said Victoria Taylor of the BHF. “There is cholesterol present in eggs, but this does not usually make a great contribution to your level of blood cholesterol. If you need to reduce your cholesterol level, it is more important that you cut down on the amount of saturated fat in your diet from foods like fatty meat, full fat dairy products, and cakes, biscuits and pastries.”

Once you get past the assumption that eggs are terrible for you, there isEggs and Cholesterol room to discover the myriad of health benefits that come with eating them regularly. Eggs are jam-packed with vitamins and minerals in forms that can be easily absorbed. These include vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K in addition to iron, zinc, lecithin and choline. All of these help contribute to brain function, a healthy metabolism and disease prevention.

Eggs are also a great source of protein, especially for those who don’t consume very much meat. It can be difficult to obtain all of the essential amino acids – the ones our bodies can’t produce – if you eat a diet mostly based in grains. An egg contains each of the nine essential amino acids, making it a top source for these nutrients.

Of course, all eggs are not created equal. Commercial eggs are a nutritionally poor substitute for organic, free-range eggs. Chickens that are allowed to roam free provide eggs with a higher protein and vitamin content, while organic practices mean harmful pesticides and chemicals won’t find their way into your breakfast. You can also look for eggs that contain higher levels of essential omega-3 fatty acids. These come from chickens that have been fed a special diet high in those healthy omega-3s.

If you’ve been afraid to commit nutritional sacrilege by enjoying a tasty omelet in the morning or a boiled egg for an afternoon snack, set your fears aside and relish in the wholesome goodness of one of mother nature’s best gifts.

NOTE – It is highly recommended to purchase and consume free ranged eggs with zero hormones and chemicals.

To see our recipe pages that include delicious eggs go to this link http://www.celestialhealing.net/food4.htm

10 Foods that Lower Cholesterol

LDL and HDL The bad and The Good Cholesterol

1. Whole grains and oats – a five-year Insulin Resistance Athersclerosis Study showed that people whose diets contain the most whole grains “had the thinnest carotid artery walls and showed the slowest progression in artery wall thickness.”

2. Blueberries – a compound in blueberries (pterostilbene) may help lower cholesterol as effectively as commercial drugs with fewer side effects.

Walnuts lower HDL Levels 3. Nuts – I recommend Pistachios, Walnuts, and Almonds – a Penn State study showed that eating pistachios significantly lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed eating walnuts or almonds after a high-fat meal might protect your heart. Omega-3 fats and antioxidants in nuts work to reverse the arterial damage caused by saturated fats.

4. Avocados, 5. Olives, and Olive oil – 26 of the 30 grams of fat in an avocado are heart-healthy, unsaturated fats that can increase your levels of HDL cholesterol. The good fats in avocados, olives, and olive oil protect against heart disease and diabetes. Check out the Mediterranean Diet.

6. Flaxseed oil – flaxseed oil can lower blood pressure in men with high cholesterol. In a three-month study of 59 middle-aged men, those who took daily flaxseed oil supplements (with eight grams of the omega-3 fats, alpha-linoleic acid) experienced significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

7. 100% cranberry-grape juice – antioxidants in grape juice slow down LDL cholesterol oxidation, and cranberry juice raises HDL or “good” cholesterol.

8. Fish and Fish oil – a study from the Norwegian University of ScienceSalmon Oil to Lower Cholesterol and Technology found that people with type 2 diabetes who consumed high doses of fish oil over nine weeks lowered the size and concentration of several lipoprotein subclasses (cholesterol) in their bodies.

9. Pomegranate juice – a National Academy of Sciences study showed that pomegranate juice reduces cholesterol plaque buildup and increases nitric oxide production (nitric oxide helps reduce arterial plaque).

10. Yogurt with live active cultures (probiotics) – Vicki Koenig, MS, RD, CDN said “several studies have shown that the probiotics Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Lactobacillus Reuteri actually help lower cholesterol. They work by preventing the reabsorption of cholesterol back in to the blood stream.”

You might be a person who is predisposed to high cholesterol, or maybe your diet could use a shape-up. Here are a few key points on cholesterol that I try to focus on:

LDL or “bad” cholesterol deposits itself on the walls of your arteries, forming plaques that make them hard and narrow. HDL or “good” cholesterol removes excess LDL in your blood and brings it to your liver for disposal. The more HDL you consume, the less LDL you’ll have in your blood.

You may need natural herbs to help reduce your cholesterol, but eating a heart-healthy diet and getting exercise are very important. To find out what type of herbs you need to help reduce your cholesterol please check our website By Clicking Here or contact Dr Akilah for a private consultation.