Posts Tagged ‘abc news’

11:39 am - Posted by Gregg
Do you think going gluten-free is right for kids’ diets? A new story from ABC News reports that an article in the Journal of Pediatrics says that following a gluten-free diet may do more harm than good for children who don’t have celiac disease. For more information (and news clip video) on this important question, concerned parents can click here.
Photo Source: ABC News
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March 27, 2013

Testing, testing

4:55 pm - Posted by Gregg

You may be aware of recent news stories documenting a new change in policy for all employees of CVS Pharmacy, which now requires all of the nearly 200,000 workers who are on CVS’s health plan to submit their weight, body fat, glucose levels and other vitals or (if they don’t submit these test results) pay a monthly fine of $50 a month (which adds up to $600 a year in additional insurance costs).Employees who agree to the testing will see no change in health insurance rates.

When I first shared this story on the Just Stop Eating So Much! facebook page, some readers expressed outrage, noting that CVS Pharmacy was enlisting a sort of “Big Brother” approach to health insurance. News reports state that other critics call this new policy coercion — worrying that the company could potentially use the information to start firing unhealthy workers.

Yet 12NewsNow reports that CVS, which is based in Rhode Island, claims the health screening is voluntary and that the company would never actually see the test results in question. 12NewsNow goes onto report that in an email to ABC News, CVS explained that its “benefits program is evolving to help our colleagues take more responsibility for improving their health and managing health-associated costs.”

What’s more, according to ABC News, CVS insists that the use of health screenings by employer-sponsored health plans is quickly becoming a common practice. This set internet chat on fire with chat boards boasting questions from posters wondering if similar programs and policies are legal.

Although contrary to public opinion, I personally do not see the harm in these sorts of tests. The fact is, many of us are overweight and don’t realize it — either because of denial, misinformation or simply not having access to test results like these that are real indicators of our overall health. Somewhere along the line, we have given up our personal responsibility in matters of our own health. Take it from me, someone who used to weigh over 450 pounds and was completely “out of touch” with the reality of my situation — much less the potential health hazards of being that morbidly obese. It all began with not being informed. And I was happily ignorant. Or so I thought. (Turns out I wasn’t so happy with all the side-effects of weighing that much as many loyal readers of this blog know.)

Since CVS Pharmacy has gone on record stating that these numbers will not be used against employees, it seems there would potentially be legal recourse if that did not turn out to be the case.

But just as important as the potential legal issues, it’s time we stopped lying to ourselves and living in denial. Our obesity problem is worse than ever before and yet many of us do not realize we are overweight or refuse to acknowledge it as the real health crisis that it is. The more we know about our medical conditions and our overall health, the more we can start making small, significant changes that will help us feel better and live longer.

ABC News’ chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser commented on this matter to ABC News, stating, “The goal of these kinds of programs is to end up with a healthier work force. If your employees are healthy they’re going to work better and they’re going to cost the employer a lot less money.”

Is that really such a bad thing? To be healthier? If this kind of free testing helps us be more informed, where’s the harm in that?

As always, I welcome your opinion and insights. So whether you agree with me or not, I’d love to hear from you on this and any other similar issue. In the meantime, here’s to all of us being more informed and, as a potential result, healthier!

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April 19, 2012

Tube tied

9:19 am - Posted by Gregg

Photo source: ABC News

Did you hear the one about the bride-to-be who ran around town attending to last-minute wedding details with a tube up her nose? Sadly, this isn’t the beginning of a joke, but is instead something that has the potential to become a disturbing trend among brides-to-be who want to shed 10 to 20 pounds before walking down the aisle and saying, “I do.”

Well, I say, “Please don’t.”

Perhaps you saw the recent ABC TV news report about what’s being called the K-E diet. This so-called diet requires the insertion of a feeding tube, which goes in through the nose and runs down to the stomach. Through the tube, the dieter is fed a continual slow drip of protein and fat (mixed with water), which reportedly contains no carbohydrates and equates to ingesting only 800 calories in a 24-hour time period, according to ABC News.

Along with having the feeding tube running into their noses throughout the entire 10-day process, dieters must also carry the food solution with them at all times. ABC news also reports that brides-to-be who are on the K-E diet claim that this extreme weight loss method is warranted because they need to get rid of excess fat in order to fit into their wedding dresses. Needless to say, some doctors are somewhat skeptical of this process, noting that fad diets are often cyclical.

As someone who spent years (and years!) trying – and often failing at – different diets (many of them of the fad variety), I know what it’s like to desperately want to lose weight before a certain social obligation (not to mention just wanting to lose weight in general). But how walking around with a feeding tube up your nose (and a bag of fluid “feed” thrown over your shoulder) is preferable to simply eating less and exercising more is beyond me.

How is it that, as a community of dieters, we continue to ignore the simplest – and usually best – solutions for losing weight? Can living with a feeding tube in your nose (which snakes through to your stomach) really be easier than relying on a measuring cup when preparing meals and power-walking on a treadmill when wanting to burn calories? Really?!

I understand that much of our obsession with finding a “magic wand” to take off excess weight has to do with wanting it to come off quickly. But successful dieting does not require a degree in rocket science (much less a feed bag of liquid “food”). There’s nothing wrong with common sense solutions. And the real work involved with these common sense solutions can help us to stay grounded mentally, and therefore potentially keep excess weight off after we’ve gotten rid of it.

As anyone who has ever crash-dieted knows, although you might lose some weight quickly, the weight doesn’t necessarily stay off. And our bodies can become aware of the starvation mode and will often retaliate by gaining even more weight back than we’ve initially lost. This is to say nothing of the reduced energy level that going on a “diet” such as this one would potentially leave the dieter with. Can you imagine these brides, although fitting into their dresses, stumbling down the aisle in a low-energy fashion – as if they were cast members of AMC’s The Walking Dead?

Again, there are easier, even less expensive ways to lose weight. Not to mention potentially less dangerous to our overall health (and psyches). Most brides plan their weddings a year or so in advance. So why not start cutting back on portions and rich foods at the time wedding planning begins, rather than waiting until 10 days before the ceremony?

And if all else fails, why not choose a wedding dress with a flattering fit and a comfortable cut? Anyone who has been to a wedding will assure you that a bride’s real beauty shines from within. None of us are checking waist sizes as the brides walk (or potentially stumble like zombies) down the aisle. However, wewill turn, stare and point at you if we see you at your bachelorette party with a tube sticking out of your nose and a liquid feed bag hanging from your shoulder.

While quickie solutions might sometimes be “quick,” they aren’t always “solutions.” If something sounds too weird, too wacky and too outlandish, take the hint and try dieting the old-fashioned way. Your health – and your body – will thank you for it.

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