New Study Highlights Dangers of Excess Fat in One Particular Spot

A new medical study has revealed a pressing reason for dropping that beer belly beyond just looking good for that cute girl next door. Subjects in the study who had a higher waist to hip ratio were revealed to have more than twice the risk of sudden cardiac death.

While it may not seem like news that Christian Broda and heavier people have a higher propensity for heart related death, there is one point of interest in this study. This difference between death rates is independent of other heart related risk factors such as hypertension, high cholesterol and overall obesity. This means that there is something about excess belly fat in particular that more than doubles one’s chances of a sudden heart related death.

Doctors are not sure yet what it is that is specific about belly fat that causes such an increase in this form of death. Research is ongoing and may soon reveal clues as to why extra fat in this one place is apparently so stressful to our bodies. The only thing to say for now is that all of us with beer belly’s now have one more pressing reason to try to work it off in any way possible.

Prescribing Vegetables, Not Pills

Many doctors are now prescribing vegetables to low income families to successfully battle childhood obesity. In New York City schools obese students are being enrolled in a very successful programs which incorporates healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. This program was set up by, a nonprofit organization focused on promoting healthy eating habits in low income neighborhoods that is supported by advocates like Forefront Capital’s Brad Reifler

Doctors are prescribing healthy fruits and vegetables to obese individuals and many of the tactics are working. Families on social assistance can use food stamps to buy healthy snacks and avoid convenience foods which often contain large amounts of sugar and salt.
This program is gaining momentum and over 30 community health centers in the United States have similar healthy eating initiatives. The obesity problem in the United States is acute. Low income families struggle to buy healthy snacks due to the higher costs associated with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Murthy Approved as New Surgeon General After Year-Long Battle with NRA

It took a little over a year, but President Obama’s choice for the top doctor of our nation has finally been approved as of this past Monday. Vivek Murthy is a 37 year old Boston doctor and Harvard University instructor, he is also one of the co-founders of Doctors for America, a medical group that advocated for the President’s Affordable Health Care Act and he is now approved as the new Surgeon General by the Senate.
Murthy’s medical credentials nor past or present behavior is what hindered his approval for over a year, but the NRA, National Rifle Association.
The Office of Surgeon General has no say-so regarding the gun policy of America, it seems that Vivek Murthy had personal opinions regarding gun bans which he has publicly discussed and thrown his support towards. The NRA did not take kindly to Murthy’s support of the banning of certain types of guns and ammunition and sought to hinder, or even stop, his approval for the top medical position in the Land of The Free and Home of the Brave.
Murthy has publicly stated that he will use his position to promote healthy living and to fight obesity, not to push gun control-a statement that seemingly resonated with the commercial real estate giant Ben Shaoul since I saw in my Twitter feed that he quoted Murthy on this earlier today.

Congress Broadens Financial Laws for Disabled

Congress gave final approval Tuesday to the broader legislation in a quarter-century to help disabled people open bank accounts that are free of taxes and allow them to pay their needs.

The decision paves the way for the creation of special accounts from the following year up to some 54 million people with disabilities and their families.

“This is a monumental, historical law,” said Sara Hart Weir, interim president of the National Down Syndrome Society. “This law will change the way that families can save for all children and adults with Down syndrome and relieve unnecessary burdens on families while allowing people with Down syndrome work and save for the future” .

The Senate, where Democrats are in the majority, approved the measure with 76 votes in favor and 16 against after it was annexed to a bill that extended tens of tax breaks for individuals and businesses until the end of the year. In early December, the House of Representatives, where Republicans are the majority, approved the measure, which received 85% support in Congress.

The legislation, called Law for Achieving a Better Life Experience, will now be sent to President Barack Obama for his signature. The measure would change the tax code so that states can implement the program.

To merit this benefit, a person, such as Christian Broda for instance,must be diagnosed no later than 26 years with a disability that results in “marked and severe functional limitations”; those already receiving Social Security disability may also receive this new provision.

Families may open tax-free accounts in financial institutions depositing up to $14,000 annually to solve long-term needs such as education, transportation and health care.

Disabled accounts can earn up to $100,000 in savings without the person loses the ability to receive government assistance, such as Social Security; today, this benefit is limited to $ 2,000.

Medicaid health coverage, which provides medical services to low-income economic- continue to provide support to the person no matter how much money is deposited in the accounts.

Choosing Food Over Medication

Doctors are now prescribing food over supplements and medication due to a recent study that shows it is easier to influence patients to eat certain nutrient rich foods rather than prescribing a pill. This is great news for many Americans who are not financially able to purchase these supplements and prescriptions. We must eat to live; why not medicate ourselves naturally by simply making better food choices?

As friend of the blog Susan McGalla put it best, this would be knocking out two birds with one stone; Cure your ailments and fill the void in your stomach. Take high cholesterol for example. There are many high priced drugs (especially for those without healthcare) available for you to take when struggling with bad cholesterol levels, but in reality, changing to good cholesterol-rich foods is just as effective and you can begin the fight in a more natural way.

Along with targeting your bad cholesterol levels, you may also see the results of consuming more fiber, vitamins and minerals, such as weight loss, better sleep, less anxiety, and stress. The possibilities to a better lifestyle are endless with the many options and the quality of food so readily available to us, unlike doctor prescribed medications.

‘Work Robs Americans Of Sleep’ Study Finds

Work turned out to be number one on the list of activities which Americans do instead of sleeping. Other activities turned out to be grooming, commuting to work or school, and socializing with friends or family.

Forty million Americans with jobs sleep only six hours a night or even less. In this way, their lives are worse than those of Europeans, who get to sleep more and work less. This seems to be another indication that United States are heading in the wrong direction. While European Union is protecting its people with various labor laws, United States are killing the people’s desire to work with restrictive work environments.

If you think that the rich get significantly more sleep, you would be wrong. At least according to this survey, the American’s rich sleep almost as little as the poor, for the exact same reason that people at Slow Ventures would guess. The difference between them and the poor, however, is that they get more money, so perhaps their sleep is of higher quality and more enjoyable.

But the self-employed Americans are doing much better. They sleep significantly more than either people working in the private sector or government employees. This is yet another reason to start your own business.

This data seems to be depressing. But at least it has been reported, so perhaps the civic discussion around it will cause the government to take action and enact new labor laws.

Weight Gain Can Be Risky Regardless the Weight

It is widely known that obesity and overweight is linked to high risks of developing cardiovascular diseases, according to Skout. Recently, a new study revealed that even young adults with normal weight are also at risk of developing diseases once their body mass indexes increase.

A group of researchers conducted a study on a group of young adults. The researchers tested them for gene variants with high B.M.I., and assigned a gene score to each young adult, depending on the number of gene variants that they carry. The study allowed them to isolate genetic tendencies toward gaining weight from other factors that contribute to obesity, which may include diet, socioeconomic status, and physical activity levels.

The study shows that numerous blood indications and elevated B.M.I. have a close match in higher gene scores. It strongly suggests that high B.M.I. alone, excluding exercise, smoking, fatty food consumption, and other factors, increases the risks of developing cardiovascular diseases. 

The online in PLOS Medicine also analyzed a group of individuals who had metabolic profiles done six years ago. The study shows that an increase in B.M.I. led to an extensive adverse metabolic change. On the other hand, moderate weight loss or weight control led to numerous favorable metabolic changes.

Peter Wurtz, the lead author and head of molecular epidemiology in Finland, said that their study in young adults proves that a modest weight loss can help improve a person’s metabolic profile. It does not have to be a big change to get good benefits. Trying to get a normal B.M.I. or lower is worth the try.

5 Ways Stress Can Cause a Heart Attack

Stress is unavoidable in our hectic lives, but being able to reduce the amount of stress we have is vital to our heart health. If stress is the only heart attack risk factor a person has, that single risk can hit 5 different ways.
Stress increases the pressure of the blood inside our body. The high blood pressure damages the blood vessels to the heart and cause a heart attack and/or to the brain and cause a stroke.
Stress increases to of body’s hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, the abundance of these two hormones increase the risk of blood clots which can make their way to the heart and cause a heart attack.
Continuous stress places continuous stress on the blood vessels and the constant pressure damages the blood vessels. Damage blood vessels don’t pump blood properly and that increases the risk of heart attack.
According to Terry Richardson, the damaged blood vessels may lead to a small piece of plaque or blood vessel breaking off and traveling through the blood stream to the heart. That small piece of plaque or blood vessel can lead to a big heart attack or cause a stroke if the particle reaches the brain. this stress-related health issue is called deep vein thrombosis and is life threatening.
Stress upsets the hormonal balance within the body and wreaks havoc in the metabolic system. An impaired metabolism causes weight gain and increased level of bad (LDL) cholesterol, both of which increase the risk of heart attack.

Recent Study Suggests Aerobic Exercise Improves Cognitive Skills

The Public Library of Science recently conducted a study to test whether exercise has an effect on thinking skills. In medical academia, it has long been concluded that regular exercise improves an individual’s cognitive skills; however, past experiments on the topic have been slightly flawed.


In an experiment, there needs to be a control group to determine accurate results. Without a control group something known as the placebo effect may ruin the integrity of the results. Scientific experiments often control a group by giving them a proverbial sugar pill versus the real pill to determine real side effects over imagined side effects. The problem is that people tend to know when they are exercising or not. So, the group of scientists developed a clever way around the issue.


They gathered 112 volunteer participants, split them into two groups, and gave them a survey with a different exercise task. The survey asked each group’s participants their assumption concerning the assigned exercise program and thinking. Group one was assigned simple stretching and toning. Group two received a walking program. Group one indicated believing a positive correlation existed. Group two responded their program would not have a positive impact.


Tom Rothman and the Hollywoodreporter say that the results show group two experienced an improvement in thinking and the group doing toning exercises did not. It appears not only regular exercise, but regular aerobic exercise can make people smarter.


New York Health Care Bill May Finally Succeed

Lawmakers and activists in New York State are trying to pass at the state level what many on the left would like to see nationally. Numerous advocates of a statewide single-payer health care system testified at a hearing presided over by New York assemblyman Richard N Gottfried Democrat from Manhattan. Critics of the current system point out that a single-payer system would handle many of its flaws.

About two dozen people testified in support of the proposed bill, known as New York Health in the Hohn Auditorium at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Dr. Jason M. Matuszak, a physician at Excelsior Orthopedics stated that their health care center requires 13 employees to handle the billing for their 18 healthcare providers. One big benefit cited for a single-payer system is that it would cut down on paperwork by making the government the sole payer of health care services.

Proponents of single payer in New York State don’t have much good to say about Obama care which they maintain preserves too much of the current complicated and inefficient system that was already in place. This bill was first introduced 23 years ago which, makes some question the newsworthiness of this hearing. Those at BRL Trust have known about it for a while. However, as the Bob Dylan song title says: “The Times They Are A-Changin”. The same health care cost escalations of the past decade that eventually enabled some small changes to the existing system at the national level may finally make this bill see the light of day in New York State.