Coca-Cola Funded Research Group Closes Down

Amid a resignation and growing scandal, Coke had stopped financially supporting the group, making its shuttering of operations further evidence of its true purpose all along.
(go to article)

Pregnant U.S. Women Routinely Gain Too Much Weight

It is estimated that more than half of pregnant women in the U.S. are overweight or obese. (go to article)

Opioid Rx Linked to Heroin Use Later

Three-quarters of heroin addicts today say that they used prescription opioids before turning to the drug.
(go to article)

Foods We See Daily Factor in Our Weight

A new study of American countertops reveals the profound effect food-availability can have on our health.
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Lesser Known Walking Benefits

Walking can curb sweet cravings, reduce breast cancer risk and aid in other surprising health outcomes.
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Fun You Haven’t Heard Of: Archery Tag

Popular in Canada and slowly making its way southward through the U.S., archery tag is a team-based competitive activity similar in many ways to paintball.
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The Clinic

Modify Training to Get to Root of Knee Pain
(go to article)

Aching Hamstrings After Just Sitting
(go to article)

Return to Running After Hernia
(go to article)

Orthotics—Or Your Feet—Can Change Over Time
(go to article)

The Back Page

Team VA and Team MD Split 2015 Potomac XC Cups

Virginia has its Day at National HIGH SCHOOL X-COUNTRY Finals – NXN in Oregon & Footlocker in San Diego

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A Hopeful Follow-up to Grim
Diabetes Numbers

In a development that may well have influenced companies like Coca-Cola to aggressively pursue obesity academics for Coke-funded research and favorable assessments in the media, the amount of soda Americans drink has declined by about 25% since the late 1990s, when no or little such public image campaigning needed undertaking.

The greater effect of heightened public awareness of the value of steering clear of sugary soft drinks, though (among other factors), may be the recent drop in new cases of diabetes. As reported by the CDC in December—and just after Running & FitNews® reported the unsettlingly high National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys numbers through 2012—the rate of new diabetes cases has now fallen by about a fifth from 2008 to 2014, the first sustained decline since the disease started to explode in the U.S. about 25 years ago.

A modest decline in cases
Because it has been a gradual drop over the last several years, the improvement in the nation’s health had not previously been big enough for any one year to achieve statistic meaningfulness. But new data for 2014 confirms that the decline is real: There were 1.4 million new cases of diabetes in 2014, down from 1.7 million in 2008.

The percentage of U.S. adults with diabetes or prediabetes, at a whopping 48% as of 2012, remains disconcerting to say the least. What we are looking at is a slowdown of a huge problem of affluence that will continue to be difficult to combat.

Obesity slows—slightly
For example, the prevalence of obesity has continued to rise in even the most recent years (though no longer significantly so). In 1999 to 2000, 31% of U.S. adults were obese. By 2009 to 2010, the figure increased to 36%. This time examining NHANES data from 2011 to 2014, the CDC found that obesity prevalence had inched up to 38% in 2013 to 2014, but the difference between these most recent years was not statistically significant.

During this same three-year period, the prevalence of obesity was higher for women (38%) than for men (34%), and for non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics relative to other ethnic groups. The obesity prevalence for youth aged 2 to 19 years held steady at 17%, with prevalence increasing with age.

And it’s worth a note of caution that the portion of Americans with diabetes in 2014 was still more than double what it was in the early 1990s. The CDC report points out that educated Americans have seen improvements, for example, while the rates for the less educated have flattened but not declined.

Women and diabetes’ ill effects
Women with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely as diabetic men to have coronary heart disease, according to a new statement from the American Heart Association, published in Circulation.

Among other surprising gender differences:

  • Heart attack (M.I.) occurs earlier and is deadlier in diabetic women than men.
  • Diabetic women have a higher excess risk for incident heart failure. In the Framingham Heart Study, risk was five times as high in diabetic versus nondiabetic women, and twice as high in diabetic versus nondiabetic men.
  • Diabetic women are less likely to have well-controlled blood glucose and blood pressure.
  • Diabetic women may require more physical activity than men to lower their cardiovascular risk.

For example, the Nurses' Health Study found that at least two hours of activity weekly was needed to derive CV benefits in women.

The AHA admits that it has yet to fully understand “how the inherent hormonal differences between men and women affect risk... This statement is a call for action to do the compelling research that is so important for all people with diabetes."

And along with that important research, continued health and dietary education and physical activity programs in our schools and communities seems equally important. It’s clear that the country may be finally starting to move in the right direction, but that we also have a long way to go to get obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome more generally, well under control.

The New York Times, Dec. 1, 2015, “New Diabetes Cases, at Long Last, Begin to Fall in the United States,” by Sabrina Tavernise,

Circulation, AHA Scientific Statement, Published Online December 7, 2015,

CDC, NCHS Data Brief, Number 219, Nov. 2015,

Antibiotic Overuse: Another Reason to Follow Doctor’s Orders

Over the summer we looked at many of the misconceptions that exist among patients (and, more rarely, healthcare professionals) with regard to antibiotic use. Here we follow up on July/August’s depiction of a public that increasingly overuses antibiotics—most often within households that hoard older prescription medicines and misperceive their efficacy generally—with new data about childhood use and greater obesity risk later.

A longitudinal study in the International Journal of Obesity used electronic health records to assess physician orders for antibiotics in about 150,000 children ages 3 to 18. The cohort had been under care for at least one year before their BMI was first recorded. (continued)

editorial board

Kenneth Cooper, MD
Kevin Beck
Jack Daniels, PhD
Randy Eichner, MD
Mary Jo Feeney, MS, RD
Mitchell Goldflies, MD
Paul Kiell, MD
Sarah Harding Laidlaw, MS, RD
Paul Langer, DPM
Douglas Lentz, CSCS
Todd Miller, MD
Gabe Mirkin, MD
Col Francis O’Connor, MD
Stephen Perle, DC, CCSP
Pete Pfitzinger, MS
Charles L. Schulman, MD
Bruce Wilk, PT, OCS
Mel Williams, PhD
Michael Yessis, PhD
Jeff Venables, Editor

board of directors

Jeff Harbison, President
Bill Young, Secretary-Treasurer
Immediate Past-President
(Vacant) Vice President
Robert Corliss
Charles L. Schulman, MD, AMAA Pres.
AMAA President
Terry Adirim, MD, MPH
Gayle Barron
Sue Golden
Senator Bill Frist, MD
Jeff Galloway
Jeff Harbison
Ronald M. Lawrence, MD, PhD
Jeff Moore
Noel D. Nequin, MD
David Pattillo

Association Staff

Executive Director: Dave Watt
Project Consultant: Barbara Baldwin, MPH

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