Tag Archives: obese

The Swine Flu May Love Obese Folks Best

Greetings …
The Swine Flu may love us to death.

It seems that a study for one thing led to a surprising discovery directly affecting the obese and the Swine Flu and I care because after quitting a forty-year smoking habit, I grew eligible to join the lofty, spread out and huge Tubby Club and have a personal health interest in this study.

“…the cases of 10 patients at a Michigan hospital … were so ill they had to be put on ventilators.
Three died. Nine of the 10 were obese, seven were severely obese, including two of the three who died”
(EFFORTS Newsletter 13 Autumn 2009)

I have been waiting for this news to become public beyond the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention weekly report, but if it has, I’ve missed it.

In the meantime, the Swine Flu is here, real and we tub’ettes need to discuss these findings with our doctor and/or call the Health Department.

The following is taken directly from the autumn 2009 EFFORTS newsletter, verbatim. Thanks JJ and EFFORTS.
People who are obese but otherwise healthy may be at
special risk of severe complications and death from the new
H1N1 swine flu virus, U.S. researchers reported on Friday.

They described the cases of 10 patients at a Michigan
hospital who were so ill they had to be put on ventilators.
EFFORTS Newsletter 13 Autumn 2009
Three died. Nine of the 10 were obese, seven were severely
obese, including two of the three who died.

The study, published in advance in the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention’s weekly report on death and disease,
also suggests doctors can safely double the usual dose of
oseltamivir, Roche AG’s antiviral drug sold under the Tamiflu
brand name.

“What this suggests is that there can be severe complications
associated with this virus infection, especially in severely obese
patients,” said CDC virus expert Dr. Tim Uyeki. “And five of
these patients had … evidence of blood clots in the lungs. This
has not been previously known to occur in patients with severe
influenza virus infections,” Uyeki said in a telephone interview.

Dr. Lena Napolitano of the University of Michigan Medical
Center and colleagues studied the cases of 10 patients admitted
to the university’s intensive care unit with severe acute
respiratory distress syndrome caused by infection with H1N1.

“Of the 10 patients, nine were obese (body mass index more
than 30), including seven who were extremely obese (BMI more
than 40),” they wrote in their report.

Their study was not
designed to see if obesity or anything else poses a special risk
factor for flu. But the researchers were surprised to see that
seven of the 10 patients were extremely obese.

Nine had multiple organ failure, which can be seen in
influenza, but five had blood clots in the lungs, and six had
kidney failure.
None has fully recovered, the researchers said.

The H1N1 swine flu virus first emerged in Mexico in March
and was spreading out of control in the United States by the time
it was identified at the end of April. The World Health
Organization declared a pandemic in June.

While it is causing moderate illness, all influenza viruses can
be deadly and this one is no exception. It has killed close to 500
people globally, more than 200 in the United States alone.

However, the new virus has a slightly different pattern from
seasonal flu — it spreads in the summer months, attacks young
adults and older children, and may affect the body slightly

As with H5N1 avian influenza, which only rarely attacks
people, patients seem to survive better if they get Tamiflu for
longer than the usual five-day treatment course, Uyeki said. “We
don’t know if it is necessary for a higher dose of the drug to be
given to patients who are obese,” he said.

“The high prevalence of obesity in this case series is
striking,” the CDC’s commentary accompany the report reads.
“Whether obesity is an independent risk factor for severe
complications of novel influenza A (H1N1) virus infection is
unknown. Obesity has not been identified previously as a risk
factor for severe complications of seasonal influenza.”


Talk to you later… Sharon O’Hara

Unhealthy Excess Fat Is Worth $1,298.

Oh Fat Ones!

A few comments and a challenge.
Be aware that a move is afoot to tax soda pop as a primary reason this nation is top heavy with obese folks causing increased Health Care costs. The idea is that the extra 12-cent or so tax will cut down on the fatty folks buying soda thus we would lose weight and need less medical care.

It is strange the authorities do not look elsewhere to find better high calorie items to increase tax. Perhaps they could take a hard look toward chocolate covered donuts, Prednisone, Big Macs, a Frosty, French fries, Sara Lee pastries, Colonel Sanders chicken, ChezeIts, Butterfingers, Almond Roca, Hershey bars and other high calorie waist expanders rather than look toward soda pop as the blimp builder.

Drug addicts can hide their addiction, drunks too.
The public, until caught, does not see the human predator. Most people can hide addiction or criminal ways from public view until caught.
Not so, the fatties of the world. They have no place to hide. The fat of the obese is up, down, front, back, and everywhere.

The public judgment is there, as well. A recent study according to two Mayo clinic nutritionists, Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D. showed the evidence of obesity stigma.

The “July 2008 “International Journal of Obesity” …study developed a tool that could be used to measure bias, and to also rank biases from being a strong bias relative to others that are weaker. The three targets of bias that were chosen to measure and compare were: obesity, homosexuality, and Muslims. …The authors chose these three because each are widely known minority groups — …, they are documented targets of discrimination.

What emerged was that that there was strongest prejudice against obesity, followed next by bias against homosexuals, and then against Muslims. (If you wish to see the statistical details and strengths of the rankings you may access the using the link below.)

Laws and other protective policies have been put into place over the years to discourage — even punish — discrimination against race, gender, sexual orientation, and religion. It is pointed out that there is widespread documented evidence of weight bias in employment, educational, interpersonal — and yes — in medical settings. However unlike these other targets, no laws or protective policies are in place to discourage or punish bias against obesity.

The study concludes that weight bias is significantly stronger than bias against homosexuals and Muslims. It also concludes that much more research is needed in the area of prejudice and its causes and solutions.
For now, at the least, don’t you think social advocacy is needed to decrease the disproportionate attitude — and acceptance — of bias toward obese individuals? The authors — and I — applaud the efforts and progress made in protecting other minority groups against prejudice and discrimination. And, I also agree with the authors that “it is unacceptable that the obesity stigma is still so pervasive, strong and under recognized.”

It is time to prove – again – that most patients, if educated to what may well be their medical future if they do not change personal habits WILL make the changes needed to avoid future medical conditions.
After smoking forty years, I quit and discovered the true meaning of addiction and a gut-wrenching craving to smoke.

Losing the excess pounds will not change the lung diseases or add a lubricant between the bones of my left hip…but it will make a difference for one or more of the other medical conditions.

I am committing here publically to begin the Dash Diet http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/hbp/dash/new_dash.pdf on Thursday, September 24, 2009.

Women100 pounds or more overweight are welcome to join in the weight loss quest to the healthiest we can be through good nutrition, fewer calories and exercise.

I will meet with anyone interested, weekly or whatever works to make the goal for better health AND for the challenge that the first of us to lose the 100 pounds and keep it off for six months will win $1,295.

We can work out the details.

The beginning is Thursday, 24 September 2009. My plan is the Dash Diet but yours can be anything your doctor approves. Let me know…and change our health lives. It is time to take those lemons and make lemonade.

Can I do it this time? I bet I can.


More later… Sharon O’Hara