The following stories appear in full on today's Vidyya Medical News Service Web site.
Researchers report that dopamine, a brain chemical associated with addiction to cocaine, alcohol, and other drugs, may also play an important role in obesity. In the February 3 issue of The Lancet, scientists from the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, NY, report that obese individuals have fewer dopamine receptors and may eat more to try to stimulate the dopamine "pleasure" circuits in their brains.
For more information: Obese Individuals Have Fewer Dopamine Receptors In The Brain
The most recent government obesity guidelines propose that doctors use body mass index (BMI) to assess patients because the index is simple, correlates to fatness, and applies to both men and women. To determine BMI, weight in kilograms is divided by height in meters, squared. Too difficult for you to calculate? Then try this BMI calculator.
For more information: Body Mass Index Calculator
Need to give weight loss advice, but don't have time to wade through long reports and recommendations? This list is a point by point examination of why individuals need to lose weight, how they should calculate actual weight and more.
For more information: Key Recommendations - From The Expert Panel On The Identification, Evaluation, And Treatment Of Overweight And Obesity In Adults
Use this simple, easy to read handout for you patients. The handout counsels the patient on what constitutes safe weight loss, portion size, food preparation, etc.
For more information: Information for Patients: Embrace Your Health! Lose Weight If You Are Overweight
Periodic height and weight measurements are recommended for all patients. In adults, BMI (body weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters) or a table of suggested weights e.g., may be used, along with the assessment of other factors such as medical conditions or WHR, as a basis for further evaluation, intervention, or referral to specialists. In adolescents, a BMI exceeding the 85th percentile for age and gender may be used as a basis for further assessment, treatment, or referral. The height (or length if appropriate) and weight of infants and children may be plotted on a growth chart e.g., or compared to tables of average weight for height, age, and gender to determine the need for further evaluation, treatment, or referral. The optimal frequency for measuring height and weight in the clinical setting has not been evaluated and is a matter of clinical discretion. There is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against determination of the WHR as a routine screening test for obesity.
For more information: Information For Health Professionals: Screening For Obesity
Today's Vidyya articles are:
As always, we hope you enjoy the issue.