The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 16, 1996 · Page 10
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 10

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Salina, Kansas
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Wednesday, October 16, 1996
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Page 10
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AID WEDNESDAY. OCTOBER 16, 1996 HEALTH THE SALINA JOURNAL V OBESITY Fat's apparently where it's at in U.S. Overweight Americans outnumber ones who are of normal size By The Associated Press BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. — Flab is now the norm. For the first time, overweight people outnumber normal-size ones in the United States, according to the latest government statistics, released Tuesday. Katherine Flegal of the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Md., who outlined the data, said many small reductions in physical activity might be to blame. She noted the development of the TV remote control, which keeps people planted on the couch all evening, and fear of crime, which gives them T HEEL PAIN STUDY another reason to stay inside. "It's just eating too much," contended Dr. Albert J. Stunkard of the University of Pennsylvania. "Physical activity hasn't increased enough to make up for it." The latest figures show just how fat the country has gotten. Federal guidelines suggest that people should keep their body mass indexes under 25. Anything more than that is too much. Body mass index, or BMI, is quickly becoming the standard way of talking about obesity, since it is an easy way to compare the fatness of people of different heights. BMI is body weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. A woman 5-foot-4 who weights 145 pounds has a BMI of 25. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted on 30,000 people between 1991 and 1994, shows that 59 percent of American men and 49 percent of women have BMIs over 25. Ten years earlier, 51 percent of men and 41 percent of women were this heavy. Flegal presented the figures at a meeting of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity. "It's been clear for several years that Americans are getting fatter, and it's accelerating. That's troubling," said Dr. Tim Byers of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. People in their 50s are the fattest. The survey found that 73 percent of men and 64 percent of women this age have BMIs over 25. However, the survey also found overweight increasing among preteen children, too. Extreme obesity is also becoming more common. The survey found 2 percent of men and 4 percent of women have BMIs over 40 — double the rate a decade ago. A 5-foot-4 women with a BMI of 40 weighs 230 pounds. While a BMI of 25 is probably not particularly bad, experts say significant health problems begin to emerge when people's BMIs hit 27. That's 155 pounds for the 5-foot-4 woman. Flegal noted, however, that some weight-related health ills do not appear to be rising with increasing weights. The survey shows that cholesterol levels are falling, and blood pressure appears to be holding steady or dropping slightly. The statistics do suggest that diabetes may be increasing. While there is no universally accepted definition of obesity, some experts call it a BMI of 30 or more. This is 175 pounds for the 5-foot-4 woman. "For The Love Of Quilts" 16th Annual Quilt Quilters Guild Show Saturday, October 26,10 am - 5 pm Luncheon & Fashion Show at Noon (Luncheon Registration due by October 21st) Mini Quilt Auction 2 pm Sunday, October 27, Noon - 5 pm * Merchants Mall Both Days * $3.00 General Admission (quilt show only) $12.00 Luncheon, Fashion Show, Auction & Gen. Adm. Additional Information: 825-5963 or 827-4289 All events will be held at the Bicentennial Center in Salina, KS Heel pain eased inexpensively Study shows that custom-fitted pads are not always better By The Associated Press NEW YORK — For millions of Americans who want relief from heel pain, over-the-counter pads that sell for $10 or so work better than custom-made shoe inserts that cost hundreds of dollars, a study found. Heel pain is the most common reason people go to a foot doctor, and many doctors start treatment with the custom-made device. But the new work suggests that most sufferers may not have to see a doctor. Starting treatment with over-the- counter pads could save more than $200 million a year in health care costs, said study director Dr. Glen Pfeffer, head of the San Francisco Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Center. The results were described Tuesday by Dr. Carol Frey, an associate professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Southern California and a study co-author, at a pre- sentation sponsored by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. The study was financed by companies that make the three over- the-counter pads used in the study and by the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society. The study focused on plantar fasciitis, the major cause of heel pain. It causes a dull or stabbing pain similar to walking with a stone under the heel. The study involved 236 patients who were otherwise healthy and were seen at 15 hospitals across the country. All were prescribed exercises to stretch the arch and heel cord. In addition, some were randomly assigned to get either a semi- rigid, plastic custom-made arch support or one of three off-the-shelf pads: a rubber heel cup, a silicone pad for below the heel or a felt arch support that extends under the heel. After eight weeks: • 72 percent of patients who just did the exercises reported at least some pain relief. • Those who also used the cus- tom-made inserts did no better. • 95 percent of silicone pad users, 88 percent of those using the heel cup and 81 percent of patients using the felt arch support said they had gotten at least some relief. Pfeffer said the heel cup and felt inserts cost about $10, while the silicone pad runs about $40. Custom- made arch supports cost about $180 to $500, he said. Matthew Mirones, president of the Pedorthic Footwear Association, which represents people who design and make custom-made shoe inserts, said he agreed that custom-made inserts shouldn't be the initial treatment for heel pain. But Mirones said that custom- made inserts can be made with a variety of materials and designs, and that a different custom insert might have performed better in the study. Pfeffer said that people can try the exercises and an over-the- counter product — available at drugstores and sporting goods stores — and then see whether they need to consult a doctor. \JOie ELECT '' BEN VIDRICKSEN PROVEN EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP « WATCH FOR SENATOR BEN'S RED, WHITE & BLUE Moving Billboard It is your reminder to vote for continued PROVEN EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP Senator Ben would appreciate your vote to continue his work for this district. Pol. 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