Obese and Sedentary: How Does Your State Rank?

Americans are living longer then ever before but over a quarter of us are inactive and obese, leading to increased levels of diabetes and other chronic conditions, according to a new report by the United Health Foundation.

Both type 2 diabetes and obesity increase the risk of cancer. Although cancer deaths have declined since 1990 with the help of medical advances, the unhealthy lifestyle habits seen throughout our country suggests that more people will be living longer with a chronic illness or be at increased risk of being diagnosed with cancer.

The 2012 America’s Health Rankings pulled data from government and other sources to gather 24 health measures state by state. You can see the report and how your state ranks here.

For the sixth year in a row, Vermont topped the list for the healthiest state – yet even here, 24 to 30 percent of its residents are obese. Hawaii is ranked as the second healthiest state, followed by New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Minnesota. The five least healthy states are South Carolina, West Virginia, Arkansas, and Mississippi and Louisiana, which tied for the 49th slot. Continue reading


More Diabetes: Increased Cancer Risk

With two-thirds of US residents now overweight or obese, it’s no surprise that the incidence of type 2 diabetes has also increased over the decades. A government report released last week shows how sharply the increase has occurred: diabetes cases increased in every state, with six states having 10 percent or more of its residents facing this disease.

The report was published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The increased incidence does not bode well. Type 2 diabetes brings with it numerous health complications. It also brings increased cancer risk.

The greatest increases in risk linked to type 2 diabetes are for cancers of the liver, endometrium, pancreas and bladder and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Liver cancer is 250 percent and pancreatic is almost 75 percent higher. There’s a smaller increase in risk for colon and breast cancers. Continue reading


Can Green Tea Help Lower Blood Sugar? New Study

Lab research has linked green tea and its compounds to many potential health benefits, including preventing cancer and type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, is a risk factor for diabetes, and having diabetes also increases your chances of getting cancer.

A new animal study now suggests that a compound found in green tea may reduce the spike in blood sugar that occurs after eating starchy foods.

The study was published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.

In the study, mice were placed on a corn starch diet to mimic what happens when humans eat starchy foods. The mice were then fed an antioxidant found in green tea called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). The researchers found that, in mice given EGCG, the blood sugar spike that typically occurs after eating was significantly reduced (about 50% lower) compared to mice that were not fed the antioxidant. Continue reading