Weighing too much can deny patients emergency airlift service

Weighing Too Much Can Cost You Your Life

Not just weighing too much, but size as well can negate emergency transportation via helicopter.  Many municipalities have not yet upgraded to the heftier aircraft that can accommodate larger patients. The cost for two new EC-145 helicopters ran up a tab between $8 and $10 million for the Duke University Health System.  Their Life Flight program is now able to airlift patients weighing up to 650 lbs.

weighing too much

America’s annual air emergency needs are up to about 500,000 people per year.  Of these, an estimated 5,000 – or about 1 percent of these patients are denied air transport because they are either weighing too much for the aircraft to lift them or they are too large to fit through the aircraft doors.  Either way, it can delay the care so desperately needed.  Occasionally, when a patient is grounded, the highly trained helicopter crew members will travel with the patient in the ambulance to ensure that the critical care required is not delayed during the drive.

The fact that at least two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, is forcing emergency medical providers to buy these larger aircraft so everyone can receive the care needed in these life and death situations.  Statistically, patients transported by medical helicopter are a third less likely to die than those who go by ground.

The pilots of these craft have a number of factors to take into consideration when a patient is of a size that’s borderline.  Balancing the risks of a victim’s weight with the forces needed to lift the craft can vary greatly with the condition of the weather.  Air density is a major player.  Denser air produces greater lift just as thinner air decreases lift.  Higher temperatures thin the air making hot, humid days a much greater challenge than one that is crisp and cold.

The possible denial of airlift emergency care for those suffering from obesity points out that the risks of this disease reach much farther than increasing the chances of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Craig Yale, the 57-year-old executive at Air Methods, underwent gastric sleeve weight loss surgery when, at the previous weight of 335 pounds, he realized he may not fit on his own firm’s aircraft.  Craig now weighs in at 225 pounds.  His advice, quite simply is; “I would encourage anybody to do what they can to be healthy.”

If you’re weighing too much, it’s never too late to get started toward a healthier, happier life.  Let Smart for Life products get you going in the right direction…today!

Obesity recognized as a disease by American Medical Association

Obesity Classified As A Disease

In just this past month, a majority of delegates (I’m surprised it wasn’t unanimous) in the A.M.A. voted to tag obesity as a disease. “Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans,” Dr. Patrice Harris, a member of the association’s board, said in a statement.  She believes this new determination will help in the fight against Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, which are clearly linked to obesity.

Not all who voted were in agreement, however; and the A.M.A. has no legal authority.  Additionally, the waters are further muddied by the absence of a universally agreed upon definition of what actually constitutes a disease.  Regardless of these controversies, there are doctors and obesity advocates who believe having the nation’s largest physician group come forth with this declaration will bring a greater focus to the growing problem of obesity.  If it helps from an insurance standpoint to improve reimbursement for drugs, surgery and counseling this decision could have a positive impact.

Obesity A.M.A. Conclusion

As the controversies continued, the A.M.A.’s Council on Science and Public Health concluded that obesity should not be considered a disease.  Among their reasons is the opinion that a B.M.I., the measure most commonly used to define obesity, is believed to be simplistic and flawed and because there are no specific symptoms associated with obesity.  It’s more of a risk factor that leads to other conditions, rather than a disease in its own right.

After all was said and done, the delegates rejected the Council’s conclusion and the resolution was voted in, arguing that obesity is a “multimetabolic and hormonal state” that leads to negative outcomes such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  “The suggestion that obesity is not a disease but rather a consequence of a chosen lifestyle exemplified by overeating and/or inactivity is equivalent to suggesting that lung cancer is not a disease because it was brought about by individual choice to smoke cigarettes,” the resolution said.

Opinions will always differ on such global subjects, but those of us who are true advocates can take heart that any discussion which keeps the topic of obesity in the forefront, will help in the long run.  Hearing contrasting opinions and causing us all to think about the solutions are key players in moving our social consciousness forward.  As a practicing bariatric doctor, I knew obesity was a disease a long time ago.  It’s about time!

To eliminating obesity, your great health and happiness, -Dr. Sass

Studies report the effects of water consumption on weight loss

Faster Weight Loss By Drinking Water

Although the evidence is not overwhelming, the scales are beginning to tip in
favor of plentiful water consumption as an aid in weight loss strategies, according to the article recently posted in Reuters Health by Kerry Grens.

As a researcher at the Berlin School of Public Health, Rebecca Muckelbauer was often being asked if drinking water would aid in weight loss and decided to review numerous weight and water studies in search of an answer.  Rebecca and her team found eleven studies that fit their criteria.  Three of these studies provided evidence that weight loss was positively influenced by increased water consumption.  Another study, with middle aged and older individuals, showed that drinking two cups of water prior to a meal caused an increase of four additional pounds lost, compared to those who did not begin their meals with water.  Another study showed that the women who increased their water intake while dieting lost more weight than the women who kept their intake below a liter a day.

Water Helps Weight Loss By Making You Feel Full

It’s not clear, from these studies, why water has this effect on weight loss.  Perhaps, suggested Brenda Davy, a Virginia Tech professor who assisted in the reviews, it’s as simple as the water providing a feeling of fullness, which in turn would keep calorie consumption lower.  Muckelbauer agreed and added that it may also have to do with the lesser-known idea of “water-induced thermogenesis”.   According to Muckelbauer, “drinking water itself increases energy expenditure of your body.  It has an energy consuming effect.  This is not very well studied.”

The Institute of Medicine recommends that adult female adults consume around 90 ounces of water per day and male adults around 125 ounces per day.  This total can be reached through plain water, other beverages and foods.

Muckelbauer concludes that it would be beneficial to have larger experiments exploring the potential benefits of adding more water to our diets in our weight loss endeavors.

At Smart for Life we have believed in and experienced the benefits of generous water consumption for years.  Take the effort to provide clean, pure water for yourself and watch the improvement in your overall health and complexion.  Many of us have been dehydrated for years and don’t even know it.  Water up and see just how good you’ll feel!

To your weight loss, health and happiness, -Dr. Sass

WHO calls for healthier marketing to curb childhood obesity

Healthier Marketing Is Critically Needed

We need healthier marketing on TV! Just over a week ago, in London, Kate Kelland published an article in Reuters stating that the World Health Organization (WHO) is claiming the marketing techniques geared toward children to push unhealthy foods has proven to be “disastrously effective”.

Television is the largest contributor, but certainly not the only medium being used to target our children.  Inexpensive new marketing channels such as Social media and smart phone apps are flooding our kids with advertising for products high in saturated and trans-fats, sugar and salt.  Even in environments where we would expect to find protection, such as schools and sports facilities, these dangerous foods are readily available. Healthier marketing is needed badly to help children.

Leading culprits include, but are not limited to: soft drinks, sweetened breakfast cereals, cookies, sweets, snacks, prepared foods and fast food outlets.

Healthier Marketing On TV

Most children watch at least two hours of television; daily.   If you combine the passive time spent with the unhealthy influence of these advertisements, the negative impact multiplies exponentially.

Zsuzsanna Jakab, director of the WHO’s regional unit for Europe is quoted as saying; “Overweight is one of the biggest public health challenges of the 21st century: all countries are affected to varying extents, particularly in the lower socioeconomic groups.”

Although some countries (Denmark, France, Norway, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden) have taken action to curb this by means of legislation, self-regulation or co-regulation, most rely on general regulations which offer no real protection.

As with most things, we really need to rely on ourselves for regulating what matters in our lives.  Those who are influenced by our words and actions will tend to follow our lead, so we must be self-aware and practice what we know to be healthy choices.  We all have a very important role in this on-going health conscious revolution.  Let Smart for Life®make it a bit easier.  Keep some Smart for Life protein bars and cookies on hand for the kids when they want a snack.  They’re so delicious, affordable, healthy and easy.  What’s not smart about that?

To more healthier marketing, your health and happiness, -Dr. Sass

If you aren’t feeding your kids healthy, whole foods, is anyone?

It’s Time To Eat More Healthy Whole Foods

I recently watched an amazingly eye-opening video, featuring Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution on healthy, whole foods.  Jamie’s a 34 year old, average citizen and chef from Essex, England, who has a not-so-average take on where we need to focus our attention, immediately.  Jamie’s message is simple and to the point: Teach our children about food.  It’s an all-out assault on our ignorance of food.  Our kids are going to live a shorter life span than us, by about ten years, if we don’t teach them how to shop for, prepare and eat real food.  The processed food and fast food that is the bulk of so many diets today is literally killing us.  Diet-related diseases are the biggest killers in the U.S. and two-thirds of our population is obese.  Those of us who are older are probably better off since these dangerous “pseudo foods” weren’t around or as prevalent when we were growing up, but think of the youth of today.  If we aren’t cooking in our homes, where are our kids going to learn about real food?  Jamie visited an elementary school classroom and showed them various fresh vegetables in their “whole state”.  Cauliflower, potato, beet, tomato, eggplant; the children could not identify any of them.

Healthy Whole Foods Should Be The Standard In Daily Eating

Jamie’s been working on this revolution for seven years and believes the United States, as a leader, needs to take the wheel so the rest of the world will follow.  That’s why he came here and began in West Virginia, where obesity and related fatalities are so high.  He talked with families, teaching them how to teach others.  He has made himself available to the lunch ladies, convinced that the limited budgets can be creatively adjusted to provide healthy meals to the school-aged children.  Jamie is calling out for all of us to make the change for our own families and then spread the word, the recipes, and the information on healthy, whole foods that will change the health of our society, in general.

Being on the leading edge of change isn’t usually a comfortable place to be…but it’s the only place to be if you really want to make a difference.  Stepping out from the crowd is the way it’s always been done.  More so than ever before; it’s time to step up!

Jamie Oliver is one of a small army of concerned individuals who are carving out their own perfect way to make a difference.  As he so aptly points out in this video, if those of us who have valuable pieces of information to contribute, each get involved on a small grass roots level, the change will happen quickly.  As we share information with a few, who share with a few, the knowledge travels easily and effortlessly, like the ripples in a pond; reaching an ever-widening circle as we move forward as a healthier town, nation and world.

Do yourself, your family and your friends a favor by watching and sharing this video.

http://www.ted.com/talks/jamie_oliver.html

To your health and happiness, -Dr. Sass. Eat healthy, whole foods for a healthier life you deserve.

A cola and a smile? Not so fast….Diabetes Kills

Sodas And Lots Of Daily Sugar Can Cause Diabetes

In an on-line article by Kate Kelland (Reuters) I read of a very disturbing study done on the consumption of sugary drinks and Diabetes.  You know the ones to which I’m referring; Coke, Pepsi, and any of the other brands of soft drinks in that category.  Those of us who drink these on a regular basis consider these 12 ounce wonders to be a true friend.  They give us a boost of energy and refresh us with their effervescence.  Well, don’t be fooled.  These are the bad guys hiding behind clever commercials, fun packaging and a burst of ice-cold bubbles.

diabetes

Hold onto your hat for this statistic.  Drinking just one of these sugar-rich beverages a day can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 22%!  This study was done throughout eight European countries, utilizing information from 350,000 individuals.  They questioned these people about their diet, including the number of sugary and artificially sweetened soft drinks and juices they consumed each day.  The research team at Imperial College London was headed up by Dora Romaguera.  She has great concerns about the fact that Europeans have increased their consumption of these sugar-laden drinks and wants to get the information out to the public.  It’s also interesting to note that, according to this study, fruit juice consumption was not linked to diabetes incidence.  Actually, Smart for Life® believes that in the weight loss phase, no fruit or fruit juice should be consumed.

Type-2 Diabetes Is A Long Term Condition

The research that’s been done in the United States shows alarmingly similar results.  Several studies have linked the consumption of these beverages to being overweight and developing conditions such as type 2 diabetes.  Type 2 diabetes is a long-term condition characterized by insulin resistance and affects more than 310 million people, worldwide.

Patrick Wolfe, a statistics expert from University College London, who was not involved in the research, said the message is quite clear.  “The bottom line is that sugary soft drinks are not good for you – they have no nutritional value and there is evidence that drinking them every day can increase your relative risk for type 2 diabetes.” Wolfe was quoted to say.

So, there it is.  It’s time to steer away from what I call “dumb” calories.  For those of us who need to kick the habit, believe me, I know it’s tough.  We drink our 8-10 glasses of water a day and feel great about it, but really look forward to that occasional sweetness.  Personally, I’ve turned my diet cola habit into a Smart for Life® water enhancer habit.  I’m not saying it’s easy, but between the Peach Mango and Acai Pomegranate, I’m able to satisfy that craving and reap the benefits of this natural appetite suppressant supplement.   A few squirts in my water bottle, and I get great flavor along with an energy boost from the Vitamin B6 & B12.  But honestly, the biggest benefit is feeling the relief from knowing I’m no longer ingesting the colas.  Whether we’re trying to eliminate the sugar or the artificial sweeteners, we know it intellectually, but we have to line it up on a deeper level to be successful when we go to change these types of habits.  It feels like we’re saying goodbye to a dear friend; but believe me, some relationships just run their course.  This is one that’s best seen through your rear view mirror as you move on down the road to your healthier lifestyle.

To a Diabetes-free life, your health and happiness, -Dr. Sass

Smart For Life iPad Mini Giveaway

Smart For Life iPad Mini Giveaway Contest

iPad Mini Giveaway

Smart for Life is hosting a free iPad Mini and Smart for Life Coaching Membership Giveaway Contest!

Were you bummed that the Smart BMI App was released, but you don’t have a device to use it on? Worry no more! Smart for Life is giving away an iPad Mini and Coaching Membership for those who dig down deep to share the Smart for Life lifestyle. Like us on Facebook to unlock the contest page!

After you like us on Facebook, you can start participating in the contest. Below are ways that you can “rack up” entries to become the owner of a brand new iPad Mini and Smart for Life Coaching Membership. Want to learn more about Lifestyle Coaching?

The first thing you need to do is viewing and liking our Facebook page!

Ways to Enter:

  • Follow @Smart4Life on Twitter
  • Tweet about the contest
  • Join our mailing list
  • Follow us on Pinterest
  • Repin us on Pinterest
  • Refer to Friends (up to 10 entries per referral!)

Keep in mind, the more entries you have, the better the chance you have to win. Each option is worth 1 entry, but referring a friend will give you bonus entries (up to 10 for sharing). Every option can only be performed once, except for sharing.

Prizes:
One winner will receive an iPad Mini and a Smart for Life Coaching Membership. As a coach, you will receive 25-40% all personal purchases, plus a starter package with everything from cookies, protein bars, granola squares and much more. Coaches will also be able to use the new Smart for Life Smart BMI App. This Smart giveaway is valued at over $500! Contest Ends July 5th, 2013 at 12:00 p.m.

Good luck! Coaches, don’t forget to sign up for the new BMI app!