Tipping The Scales: Examining Obesity in New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, almost two out of three
adults and more than a quarter of our children
are overweight or obese. NHPR’s series
explores the causes, the consequences,
and some promising solutions to a growing crisis.

Fast Facts about Obesity in NH

BROUGHT TO YOU IN PART BY: The HNHfoundation

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Shots - Health Blog
12:08 am
Mon April 9, 2012

Study Warns Of Autism Risk For Children Of Obese Mothers

A pregnant woman measures her stomach.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue April 10, 2012 9:18 am

Scientists have found one more reason that pregnancy and obesity can be a bad combination.

A new study in the journal Pediatrics suggests that moms who are obese or have diabetes are more likely to have a child with autism or another developmental problem.

The finding is "worrisome in light of this rather striking epidemic of obesity" in the U.S., says Irva Hertz-Picciotto from the MIND Institute at the University of California, Davis, one of the study's authors.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:20 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Is food addiction a myth?

(Photo by Adam Kuban via Flickr Creative Commons)

Bet you can’t eat just one. The Lays potato chip campaign plays on the idea of snacking out of control. From Oprah to "The Biggest Loser," people describe themselves like addicts, needing one more bite of fatty, salty, sugary foods, knowing full well that remorse will follow their mouthful of pleasure.

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Series: Shifting the Balance
11:00 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Adjusting to the shift...at home

Photo by Zophos via Flickr Creative Commons

Holyoke, Massachusetts has a rate of childhood obesity much higher than the national average, especially within its considerable Puerto Rican community.

Karen Brown reports on how a community center is enacting change for this population in a three part series. In this story, a 9 year-old finds herself in a house now full of healthy food and surrounded by adults encouraging her to ride her bike instead of watching TV. But with a lack of sidewalks, a high rate of neighborhood crime, and the odds seemingly stacked against her, can the balance truly be shifted in her favor?

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Series: Shifting the Balance
9:34 am
Wed March 28, 2012

A Community Approach to a Growing Epidemic

Photo by acastrodad25, Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Childhood obesity has become a public health crisis in America – and one of first lady Michelle Obama’s main causes. More than thirty percent of all children in America -- about 11 million -- are considered clinically overweight or obese. In Holyoke, Massachusetts, which has many Puerto Rican and low-income residents, the problem is even worse than the national average. In the first of a series, Karen Brown reports how one community health center is trying to reverse this trend.

 

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The Salt
5:36 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Does A Chocolate Habit Help Keep You Lean?

Researchers say some compounds in cocoa may help us fend off fat.
Philippe Huguen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 2:05 pm

A new study finds that people who eat chocolate several times a week are actually leaner than people who don't eat chocolate regularly.

Really, we asked? Last time we checked chocolate was loaded with fat and sugar. But this new research, along with some prior studies, suggests chocolate may favorably influence metabolism.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:25 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Weight-Loss Surgery May Help Treat, Even Reverse, Diabetes

Cristina Iaboni, a diabetic, underwent gastric bypass surgery at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell in the fall of 2009 as part of a study. After losing 50 pounds, her blood sugar was nearly normal. She is pictured here in June 2010.
Thomas Cain AP

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 3:33 pm

Surgical procedures that are commonly used to help obese people lose weight can also dramatically improve — even reverse — diabetes, according to two studies released Monday.

Tim Ferree of Macedonia, Ohio, struggled with his weight for years. He knew his out-of-control blood sugar would eventually cause serious problems.

"You're looking at losing your vision, losing your feet, having problems with your kidneys, going blind — you know, heart disease, strokes," Ferree said.

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Series: Shifting the Balance
10:31 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Stand in the Place Where You Work

Photo by Chotda via Flickr Creative Commons

Are you sitting down? Well, listen up: research shows that sitting too much shaves years off of your life. In 2011, a study in the emerging field of Inactivity Studies found that each hour of sitting per day increases a person’s risk of death due to cardiovascular diseases by 18 percent. It turns out that eating well and getting plenty of exercise do not offset the detriments of couch potato time as much as living and working in an environment where standing is the default option. As part of our continuing series Shifting the Balance, we spoke with Dr.

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Series: Shifting the Balance
3:06 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

A School Bus of a Different Sort

Photo by Sam Warren via Wordpress

In rural towns, getting to school isn't always as easy as the walks I used to take in suburban Long Island. Small towns rely heavily on parents to give kids rides, and on kids taking lengthy bus rides...not exactly the healthiest option at a time when childhood obesity rates are climbing exponentially.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Gain Together, Lose Together: The Weight-Loss 'Halo' Effect

Studies show that friends and family gain weight — and lose weight — together.
Sean Locke iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 5:19 pm

Here's another good reason to lose weight: It might benefit your friends, family and co-workers. Such altruism might be just the final "nudge" some of us need.

Researchers are finding that the friends and family of obese and overweight individuals who lose weight lost weight themselves, and sometimes a lot of it. Dr. John Morton, who directs Bariatric Surgery at Stanford Hospital & Clinics, calls obesity a "family disease."

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Health
5:22 pm
Fri March 9, 2012

First Lady Michelle Obama Visits New Hampshire

First Lady Michelle Obama Visits Penacook Community Center
Josh Rogers, NHPR

First Lady Michelle Obama brought her "Let's Move!'' health and fitness initiative to New Hampshire on Friday.

Mrs. Obama visited the Penacook Community Center, a neighborhood nonprofit group in Concord.

It has a child care center that helps children exercise before and after school and teaches them about healthy eating through the use of a garden.     

Mrs. Obama was joined by New Hampshire First Lady Susan Lynch, a pediatrician who has worked to increase awareness about childhood obesity.

Series: Shifting the Balance
11:09 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Eat Less, Give More

Photo by wanpark2, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

How many times have you ordered an entrée at a restaurant only to end up with a pile of food on your plate you then feel obligated to take home in a doggie bag? Overly large portions must have some appeal for restaurant goers…after all, some chains rely marketing campaigns that talk about little else…

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Series: Shifting the Balance
12:08 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Weight Watchers' new magic formula

In the world of weight loss programs, Weight Watchers rules, with more than a million members worldwide. New CEO David Kirchoff is credited with increasing meeting attendance in North America by fourteen percent, and upping online membership by 64%. Those numbers mean money, of course. Weigh Watchers is valued at an estimated at five billion dollars…double that of a year ago.

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Tipping The Scales: Examing Obesity in NH
1:00 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

The Obe$ity Battle: Why Solving it is So Hard

Graphic Created by Sara Plourde NHPR

Today health reporter Elaine Grant shines a light on the epidemic itself, which is costing the U.S. more than $150 billion dollars a year in medical spending alone.  

When Jennifer Riccio was in college, she started gaining weight. “I couldn’t really figure out what I was doing differently. In my mind I didn’t really have any difference in eating, or exercise habits at that age.”

Mystified, she visited doctor after doctor.

It was the beginning of a 15-year journey to determine why she kept putting on pounds.

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Tipping The Scales
5:00 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

Examining the Link between Obesity and Mental Illness

Photo: iStock

In 2002, Ken Jue found himself going to funeral after funeral. But at the time Jue wasn’t sure what was killing so many of his mental health patients.

Ten years ago, lots of people were asking the same questions as Ken Jue.

Why were people diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia and depression dying so early in life?

“I decided that I needed to look into this because it was just happening too frequently.”

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