Friday, May 9, 2008
Medical Reports: Healthcast: Obesity
Obesity ranks second among preventable causes of death. More than nine million Americans are morbidly obese, but scientists are trying to find a way to kill the craving. Seven's Christine Cruz has more in tonight's Healthcast.
WSVN -- Laurie Halpin: "I have been overweight my entire life."
Pam Hahn: "I'm a stress eater, so stress will do me in every time, and I just use food as comfort."
Laurie and Pam know how hard it is to be obese.
Laurie Halpin: "I have a lounge dress that I used to wear and it fit, I have to say, very comfortable without being too big."
Pam Hahn: "When I looked in the mirror, I always saw this. I didn't have full-length mirrors in my house for that reason."
Now they are living life lighter. Both lost the weight through diet and exercise and both say it's a battle everyday to fight the urge to eat the wrong foods, which can be hard with all the temptations facing them
Emily Rubin: "People tend to gain a pound a year, especially women post-menopausal."
That's why scientists are now testing what could be the perfect food.
Corby Martin: "We hope to identify different clinical interventions that can help reduce body weight and help maintain that weight loss."
The Pennington Biomedical Research Center has investigators running what may be the most sophisticated metabolic test kitchen in the country, hoping to determine which kinds of meals satisfy us best with the smallest penalty to pay on the scale.
Corby Martin: "Finding the magic combination of macro nutrients that will promote satiety. That's pretty difficult to do, and we haven't done that yet."
Meanwhile, researchers at Temple University are looking at drugs to help fight fat. They are using a drug therapy that treats obesity as an addiction. Although researchers are not certain how the brain and the stomach interact when it comes to hunger, one thing is for certain to get rid of the obesity epidemic.
Corby Martin: "It's going to take a lot of help from science."
Pam and Laurie didn't need help from science. Combined, they lost 242 pounds, but both say they'll be counting calories the rest of their lives.
Laurie Halpin: "I understand that that's how thin people stay thin. They take care of five or 10 or 15 pounds before it gets to be 60, 80, 124."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Pennington Biomedical Research Center
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital