News Roundup: Florida’s Obesity Rate Is 8th Lowest, Study Tracks Pregnancy & Alcohol Use …

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September 25, 2015


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Adult obesity rates remain high across the U.S., but Florida ranks in the lower tenth of the nation.

Florida has the eighth-lowest adult obesity rate in the nation at 26.2 percent. However, the state’s adult obesity rate has been steadily rising since 1990, only taking seeing a slight decrease in 2011-12 (26.6 percent to 25.2 percent).

The latest state-by-state figures on obesity have been updated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America” is a CDC project in conjunction with the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The CDC says that more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese and about 17 percent of children are obese. The study puts the obesity rate for African-American adults at 47.8 percent, Latino adults at 42.5 percent and white adults at 32.6 percent.

Obesity rates now exceed 35 percent in three states — Arkansas (35.9), West Virginia (35.7) and Mississippi (35.5) — while Florida is one of 45 states with rates above 25 percent. Only Colorado (21.3), Washington D.C. (21.7), Hawaii (22.1), Massachusetts (23.3), California (24.7) and Vermont (24.8) have rates under 25 percent.

No state had a prevalence of adult obesity less than 20 percent.

While Florida can boast somewhat about having lowering adult obesity rates than 42 other states, obesity-related health issues in Florida are on the higher end. According to the report, Florida ranks 13th in the nation for both adult diabetes rate (11.2 percent) and adult hypertension rate (34.6. percent).

The obesity rate by age in Florida is as follows:

Age 18-25: 15. 3 percent
Age 26-44: 27.7 percent
Age 45-64: 30.8 percent
Age 65+: 23.2 percent

See other articles on obesity:

–John Fernandez

1 in 10 Pregnant Women Reports Alcohol Use

One in 10 pregnant women in the U.S. report drinking alcohol, and three percent of them report binge drinking, according to a study released yesterday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Binge drinking is defined as having four or more drinks in about a two-hour period. It is the most common pattern of excessive alcohol use in the U.S., says the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Alcohol use during pregnancy was highest among women aged 35 to 44, the CDC study found. Thirteen percent of college graduates and 13 percent of unmarried women also said they’d had a drink in the last 30 days while pregnant, according to the data collected between 2011 and 2013.

Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can cause birth defects and developmental disabilities in babies and increase the risk of other pregnancy problems, such as miscarriage, stillbirth and prematurity.

“Women who are pregnant should be aware that there is no known safe level of alcohol that can be consumed at any time during pregnancy. All types of alcohol should be avoided, including red or white wine, beer, and liquor,” said Cheryl Tan, lead author of the study and an epidemiologist in CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

Other articles related to healthy pregnancy:

–Tanya Racoobian Walton

Link Between Energy Drinks and Brain Damage, Study Says

Teens who consume energy drinks may be more likely to suffer traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to a new study from the University of Toronto. The link was evident for students who consumed highly caffeinated energy drinks and energy drinks mixed with alcohol.

“The odds of sustaining a recent traumatic brain injury were greater for those consuming alcohol, energy drinks, and energy drinks mixed in with alcohol than abstainers,” the study says.

Brain injuries occur in a variety of ways — during sports activities, falls and car accidents — but a high link exists between the use of energy drink and brain injury, the report shows.

“Relative to recent traumatic brain due to other causes of injury, adolescents who sustained a recent TBI while playing sports had higher odds of recent energy drinks consumption than abstainers.”

Studies and concerns about head trauma and concussions have made headlines following high-profile cases of professional athletes who have suffered severe physical, neurological and emotional side effects related to repeat concussions. Meanwhile, there’s been a 57 percent spike in head injuries related to sports for students age 19 and younger, from 2001 to 2009, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

For the study, the University of Toronto research team defined mild-to-severe cases of TBI “as those resulting in a loss of consciousness for at least five minutes, or being hospitalized for at least one night.” The links between a higher risk of TBI and consumption of energy drinks, alcohol or beverages containing both “warrant further investigation,” the researchers say.

–Sharon Harvey Rosenberg

Related articles:

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  • A Cupful of Reality
  • Common Poison Dangers for Adults
  • Watch Now: Heads Up – Brain Injury Awareness In Teen Athletes
  • Concussions Hit Younger Athletes Harder
  • Student Athletes Learn About Concussion Prevention and Proper Nutrition
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