Obesity Could Cost America $147 Billion

US News & World Report

July 27, 2009

A new study finds that the increasing prevalence of obesity could wind up costing the nation almost $147 billion a year, the AFP reports. The study, published in the journal Health Affairs, shows that money spent to treat chronic conditions associated with obesity has doubled in the past decade. More than 25 percent of Americans are now obese, compared with 18.3 percent in 1998, the researchers reported….

Read how scientists are teasing out the link between obesity and type 2 diabetes; studies that appeared online yesterday in Nature Medicine suggest inflammation in fat tissue could trigger the disease. Here are 5 lessons from the nation’s obesity report card.

Depo Provera Shot: How to Minimize Weight Gain

Women taking Depo Provera, the progesterone-only birth control shot, may gain an average of 11 pounds over three years, compared to the 3 to 4 pounds gained by women using other forms of contraception, according to a study published in March in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. The study showed that one quarter of Depo users gained a significant amount of weight—upwards of 20 pounds. New research published last week in the journal found that women who start getting Depo shots and go on to gain an average of 24 pounds over three years have several things in common. U.S. News‘s Deborah Kotz covers what Depo Provera users should be aware of to prevent significant weight gain.

The latest study found that women who gained the most also gained it early. Their weight increased soon after starting the shots—an increase of 5 percent over their starting body weight within the first six months. Women who don’t gain significant amounts of weight within their first six months on Depo probably don’t need to worry about longer-term weight increases as a result of the contraceptive, Kotz writes. Those who do gain more than a couple of pounds would be better off switching to a different form of contraception.

In March, Kotz asked the studies’ author Abbey Berenson, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, to explain what the original findings mean for women taking Depo Provera. Ongoing research is looking into how birth control pills may affect a woman’s risk of developing heart disease. Find out what contraception is best if you’re over age 35.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.