“William Howard Taft, the Only Massively Obese Man (at 350 Pounds) Ever to Be President … Struggled Mightily to Control His Weight a Century Ago…”

The New York Times article noted: “On the advice of his doctor, a famed weight-loss guru and author of popular diet books, he went on a low-fat, low-calorie diet. He avoided snacks. He kept a careful diary of what he ate and weighed himself daily. He hired a personal trainer and rode a horse for exercise.”

“Obesity experts said Taft’s experience highlights how very difficult it is for many fat people to lose substantial amounts of weight and keep it off, and how little progress has been made in finding a combination of foods that lead to permanent weight loss.”

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Teaching Heart-Healthy Habits to High-Risk Children and Families

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has received a $3.8 million grant from the American Heart Association (AHA) to promote cardiovascular health through early education and intervention programs targeting high-risk children and their parents in Harlem and the Bronx.

Mount Sinai researchers will study the genes and lifestyles of 600 preschoolers and their parents or guardians who live in these communities, which are associated with high rates of obesity, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. The investigators will track whether the interventions lead to healthier eating habits and additional exercise. They will also examine the participants’ DNA and RNA to understand how genetics plays a role in the development of cardiovascular disease.

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What to Know about Childhood and Teen Obesity

We commonly hear that two-thirds of all adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese, and that adult obesity has risen at an alarming rate over the past 30 years. What is less commonly heard is that the rate of obesity has risen nearly three times faster in adolescents as compared to adults in the past 30 years! Importantly, 70 percent of obese teens become obese adults, and adult obesity has been linked to other serious diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and several forms of cancer. Thus, the teen years represent a particularly crucial time to reach kids and help them build healthier habits that they can continue into adulthood.

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