Posts Tagged ‘Obesity


Women: Stay Healthy at 50+

Use this information to help you stay healthy at ages 50 and above. Learn which screening tests you need and when to get them, which medicines may prevent diseases, and daily steps you can take for good health.

Get the Screenings You Need

Screenings are tests that look for diseases before you have symptoms. Blood pressure checks and mammograms are examples of screenings.

You can get some screenings, such as blood pressure readings, in your doctor’s office. Others, such as as mammograms, need special equipment, so you may need to go to a different office.

After a screening test, it’s important to ask when you will see the results and who you should talk to about them.

Breast Cancer.Talk with your healthcare team about whether you need a mammogram.Cervical Cancer. Have a Pap smear every 1 to 3 years until you are age 65 if you have been sexually active. If you are older than 65 and recent Pap smears were normal, you do not need a Pap smear. If you have had a total hysterectomy for a reason other than cancer, you do not need a Pap smear.

Colorectal Cancer. Have a screening test for colorectal cancer. Several different tests—for example, a stool blood test and colonoscopy—can detect this cancer. Your health care team can help you decide which is best for you.

Depression. Your emotional health is as important as your physical health. Talk to your health care team about being screened for depression especially if during the last 2 weeks:

  • You have felt down, sad, or hopeless.
  • You have felt little interest or pleasure in doing things.

Diabetes. Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medication for high blood pressure.

Diabetes (high blood sugar) can cause problems with your heart, brain, eyes, feet, kidneys, nerves, and other body parts.

High Blood Pressure. Have your blood pressure checked at least every 2 years. High blood pressure is 140/90 or higher. High blood pressure can cause strokes, heart attacks, kidney and eye problems, and heart failure.

High Cholesterol. High cholesterol increases your chance of heart disease, stroke, and poor circulation. Have your cholesterol checked regularly if:

  • You use tobacco.
  • You are obese.
  • You have a personal history of heart disease or blocked arteries.
  • A male relative in your family had a heart attack before age 50 or a female relative, before age 60.

It’s Your Body!

You know your body better than anyone else. Always tell your health care team about any changes in your health, including your vision and hearing. Ask them about being checked for any condition you are concerned about, not just the ones here. If you are wondering about diseases such as glaucoma, or skin cancer, for example, ask about them.

HIV. Talk with your health care team about HIV screening if any of these apply to you:

  • You have had unprotected sex with multiple partners.
  • You use or have used injection drugs.
  • You exchange sex for money or drugs or have sex partners who do.
  • You have or had a sex partner who is HIV-infected, bisexual, or injects drugs.
  • You are being treated for a sexually transmitted disease.
  • You had a blood transfusion between 1978 and 1985.
  • You have any other concerns.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Talk to your health care team about being tested for sexually transmitted diseases.

Osteoporosis (Bone Thinning). Have a screening test at age 65 to make sure your bones are strong. If you are younger than 65 and at high risk for bone fractures, you should also be screened. Talk with your health care team about your risk for bone fractures.

Overweight and Obesity. The best way to learn if you are overweight or obese is to find your body mass index (BMI). You can find your BMI by entering your height and weight into a BMI calculator, such as the one available at:

A BMI between 18.5 and 25 indicates a normal weight. Persons with a BMI of 30 or higher may be obese. If you are obese, talk to your health care team about seeking intensive counseling and getting help with changing your behaviors to lose weight. Overweight and obesity can lead to diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Take Preventive Medicines If You Need Them

Aspirin. If you are 55 or older, you may want to consider taking aspirin to prevent strokes. Your health care team can help you decide whether taking aspirin to prevent strokes is right for you.

Breast Cancer Drugs. If your mother, sister, or daughter has had breast cancer, talk to your doctor about whether you should take medicines to prevent breast cancer.

Estrogen for Menopause (Hormone Replacement Therapy). Do not use estrogen to prevent heart disease or other diseases. If you need relief from symptoms of menopause, talk with your health care team.


  • Get a flu shot every year.
  • Get shots for tetanus and whooping cough.
  • If you are 60 or older, get a shot to prevent shingles.
  • If you are 65 or older, get a pneumonia shot.
  • Talk with your health care team about whether you need other vaccinations. You can also find out which ones you need by going to (Plugin Software Help)

Take Steps to Good Health

Be physically active and make healthy food choices. Learn how at

Get to a healthy weight and stay there. Balance the calories you take in from food and drink with the calories you burn off by your activities.

Be tobacco free. For tips on how to quit, go to: To talk to someone about how to quit, call the National Quitline: 1-800-QUITNOW (784-8669).

If you drink alcohol, have no more than one drink per day. A standard drink is one 12-ounce bottle of beer or wine cooler, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.

Get More Information on Good Health

Check out these Federal Government Web sites: Guides and tools for healthy living, an encyclopedia of health-related topics, health news, and more. Go to:

MedlinePlus. Health information from government agencies and health organizations, including a medical encyclopedia and health tools. Go to:

Questions Are the Answer. Information on how to get involved in your health care by asking questions, understanding your condition, and learning about your options. Go to:

If you don’t have access to a computer, talk to your local librarian about health information in the library.

Sources. The information in this pamphlet is based on research findings from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). The USPSTF, supported by AHRQ, is a national independent panel of medical experts that makes recommendations based on scientific evidence about which clinical preventive services should be included in primary medical care and for which populations.

For information about the USPSTF and its recommendations, go to



What is “Brown Fat” and How is it Different from “White Fat”?

While many of us struggle to keep the amount of fat in our bodies to a minimum, there is one type of fat that we may want to encourage more of.  Brown fat (also called brown adipose tissue) is our friend in that it has the ability to burn calories at a great rate, particularly when it is stimulated by exposure to cold temperatures.

As opposed to white fat, whose purpose is to store calories, brown fat essentially sucks white fat from the body to use for fuel, leading to a reduction in overall body fat.  Researchers are now looking into ways of stimulating the body to replace white fat with brown.

Both human babies and animals are born with a significant amount of brown fat in the body.  In infants it is concentrated around the upper back and trunk area to provide insulation and heat-generating activity to keep an infant warm, as they do not have the ability to shiver to generate heat.  It was originally thought that this type of fat was no longer present in adulthood, but researchers have found residual amounts that are activated when people are exposed to cold and when they exercise.

Interestingly, those who are obese have been shown to have little or no brown fat.  It appears in the greatest amounts in people who are thin, which is perhaps why they are slender in the first place.  Women have more brown fat than men, and young people have more than older people. It can increase the metabolism by up to 80 percent and generates warmth.  The presence of brown fat can be seen around the lower neck, the clavicle and along the spine on a PET scan when the subject is put in a cold room.

Until very recently, researchers did not know what particular mechanism caused the brown fat to be activated.  However, scientists from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) have discovered a protein that spurs brown fat into action.  Dr. Yuriy Kirichok, associate professor of physiology, and colleagues found that the protein called uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) causes the mitochondria in the cells of brown fat to burn energy and generate heat.  There are more mitochondria in brown fat cells than in the body’s other cells (including white fat cells), so theyf have greater potential for energy burning.

Those who have low levels of brown fat have also been shown to have low bone mineral density.  Dr. Clifford Rosen, professor of medicine at Boston’s Tufts University School of Medicine was shocked by the state of the bones in his mouse study subjects.  “The animals have the worst bone density we have ever seen,” he said. “I see osteoporotic bones all the time, but, oh my God, these are the extreme.”

So brown fat has the possibility of not only aiding in weight loss, but may also aid in maintaining good bone health.  Researchers still have a lot of work to do, but they intend to take what they have discovered about brown fat and develop therapies that may be able to help people generate more of their own brown fat in the future.


Dr Dubois, DC, CCSP.

Dr. Dubois,a Swiss physician, and a Triangle Certified Sport Chiropractor has over 20 years of experience in the treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system.Amongst hispatients, two world champions in martial arts (gold medalists in 2005 WMJA), one carrier of the Olympic flame in 2004, and numerous soccer players, swimmers and athletes of all levelswho benefited from his chiropractic care.


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