(photo credit: )
Overweight and obese youngsters can more easily lose kilos when they are having
a good time, learning a new lifestyle and sharing their experience with others.
The Edmond and Lily Safra Children’s Hospital, at Sheba Medical Center in Tel
Hashomer claims that its summer camp for overweight children – now in its 10th
year and reportedly the only one of its kind in Israel – has had great success
in getting them to lose weight and keep it off. The camp is lead by Dr. Orit
Pinhas-Hamiel, head of the hospital’s pediatric endocrinology clinic; Dr. Gal
Dubnov-Raz from the exercise, nutrition and lifestyle clinic; and a large team
of physical education instructors, dietitians and drama therapists. The camp
runs from July 13 to July 30 at a Wizo dormitory facility in Petah Tikva, and
the target ages are six to 17, separated in groups.
The most important
difference from most other summer camps is that the children remain overnight –
protected from the effects of summer, which can promote overweight. A
no-sleep-over option is also available.
As most obese adults were
overweight as children, dealing with the problem at a young age can save
While their normal-weight friends are having fun at the beach and
pool, the overweight feel left out. Boredom at home just triggers more
The camp participants are certainly not starved; rather they are
taught what healthful food to eat and how to overcome the urge for junk food.
Sports, martial arts, dancing, drama-therapy and sessions on nutrition are
provided, along with support groups for parents and children after the camp is
over. A constant message is how to improve one’s body image and self confidence,
alongside healthy lifestyle habits.
The Safra research team examined the
long-term effects of last year’s camp and found that the average participant
lost 3.5 kilos during their stay. Six months later, half were still losing
weight, and 62 percent had a lower body mass index than before the camp. Their
blood pressure also improved.
More information can be obtained at
http://yeladim.sheba.co.il/news/161.htm or by e-mail to Yael at
US SMOKES EVEN DEADLIER Although the US smoking
rate is relatively low, the amount of carcinogens in American-made cigarettes is
higher than in many other countries, according to a study published in the
journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. The researchers analyzed
chemicals from cigarettes smoked by 126 people in the US, Canada, England and
Australia and took urine samples from the participants. They found a correlation
between the amount of one tobaccospecific, cancer-causing nitrosamines that
entered the mouth and the amount of its breakdown product that appears in the
“We know that cigarettes from around the world vary in their
ingredients and the way they are produced,” Dr.
Jim Pirkle of the US
Centers of Disease Control told UPI.
“All these cigarettes contain
harmful levels of carcinogens, but these findings show that amounts of
tobacco-specific nitrosamines differ from country to country, and US brands are
the highest in the study.”
DECIDING WHO CAN GIVE Some patients who suffer
brain damage and go into a coma may be suitable for donating organs for
transplant, while others are not. A new tool may help neurologists predict which
coma patients may be candidates for organ donation, according to a study just
published in Neurology. Organ donations must take place within an hour of when
the heart stops beating.
Coma patients and other people with irreversible
brain injuries are often potential organ donors because their other organs are
“Neurologists must often predict whether the patient
will be a candidate for organ donation, but the existing tools are not designed
for people with critical brain disease or they require the patient to be taken
temporarily off ventilator support to conduct the test,” said study author Alan
Yee of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “This new test is a significant
improvement because it can be conducted before the patient is taken off
breathing support and is designed for people with critical brain disease,” Yee
For the study, Yee and his colleagues analyzed the information from
all patients during a seven-year period from the neurologic intensive care unit
at the Mayo Clinic whose life support was withdrawn. Those who were brain dead
or who did not have support for breathing were not included in the study. A
total of 149 comatose people were included. After the withdrawal of life
support, the heart stopped beating within 60 minutes for 75 people.
study identified four factors that make it more likely that a person
irreversible brain damage will be a suitable candidate for organ
donation – no
corneal reflex, no cough reflex, no motor response and high scores on
For the corneal reflex, people blink when the cornea
is touched with a small piece of cotton or dripping water solution into
People who do not have a corneal reflex are more likely to be
who do not have a cough reflex also are more likely to be suitable for
donation. For the cough reflex test, a chemical irritant is placed near
patient to see if the cough reflex will expel the irritant. Responses to
stimulation can also be tested. People who have no motor movements in
to pain and people who have extensor movements on their own or in
pain are also more likely to be candidates for organ donation. Extensor
response is a reflex movement of straightening the arms and legs. People
have a score greater than 4.2 on the oxygenation index, which is a test
well the lungs are functioning, are also more likely to be good
The study found that people with all four factors were
93% more likely to die within 60 minutes of withdrawal of life support
people with none of these factors. People with one of the four factors
to 76% more likely to die within 60 minutes.
“This research will need to
be validated with further studies, but it would be a valuable tool that
help improve organ donation rates after cardiac death, and also help
the allocation of medical resources,” said Yee.