1. Big men, bigger risks

    Big and tall can mean a whole lot more than having to buy your clothes in special stores and watch your head as you pass through doors.

    For men, it can add up to serious health risk--and a new study finds that a combination of extra height and excess weight is a one-two punch that could increase the risk of potentially deadly blood clots.

    Norwegian researchers checked the measurements of 26,714 people who were tracked for more than 12 years. During that time, 461 developed venous thromboembolism--a clot that forms in a deep vein, then can move towards and even into the lung.

    More than 1 million Americans suffer these clots every year, and it kills 300,000 of them--mostly in hospitals.

    But as the new study finds, hospitalization isn't the only risk factor... because in this case, size does matter--and the biggest risk goes to the biggest men.

    The researchers say obese men taller than 5 feet 11.7 inches were five times more likely to suffer from one of these clots than shorter men of normal weight.

    Tall men who had normal weights had 2.6 times the risk, while short men who weighed too much had a little more than double the risk, according to the study in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

    Women aren't off the hook here: Obese women had a slightly higher risk of the condition than women of normal weights, regardless of height.

    Since weight is already known to be a risk factor for the condition, that's not a stunner (in fact, the real shock here is that obesity only causes a slight increase in risk in women).

    Height, on the other hand, is a new one--and while it's not clear exactly why, the researchers believe it may be because blood must be pumped further by the calf- muscle pump in taller people, which can increase the risk of clotting.

    But that wouldn't explain why taller women didn't share the risk.

    In any case, there are things you should worry about... and things you shouldn't. And since there's nothing you can do about your height, you can safely put that on the second list.

    Your belly, on the other hand, is completely within your control--and if you lose the weight, you'll do a whole lot more than lower your risk for blood clots.

    You'll also slash the odds of diabetes, heart disease and maybe even broken furniture, too.

  2. Weight loss can boost memory

    Have you found that you don't remember quite as well as you used to?

    You're not alone... but if you've packed on the pounds over the years, the cause of your memory loss might not be in your brain.

    It could actually be in your belly.

    A new study finds that weight loss can lead to significant and even dramatic improvements in memory, proving once again that the same junk foods that cause bellies to swell can actually starve the mind.

    Researchers tested the memory and attention spans of 150 overweight people with an average weight of 300 pounds, including 109 who were scheduled for bariatric surgery.

    The remaining 41 served as a control group.

    At the start of the study, the researchers found that 23.9 percent of all patients had impaired learning and 22.9 percent had poor recognition memory--or the ability to recognize things learned or encountered before.

    Then, the researchers repeated the tests 12 weeks after gastric bypass surgery, which helped those patients lose an average of 50 pounds, and found significant improvements in both memory and concentration.

    Those who didn't have the surgery, on the other hand, did not improve at all.

    The researchers say they believe the surgery alone probably wasn't the reason for the improvement--just the loss of weight. They say other overweight people might see these same changes if they'd just drop between 20 and 25 pounds, even without surgery.

    And if you've packed on the pounds over the years, take that advice now-- because the memory problems linked to big bellies can lead to more severe problems down the road.

    A 2009 study found that women with the biggest waistlines had double the dementia risk of those with normal middles. And a study the year before found that men and women with the highest levels of abdominal fat had up to three times the risk of developing dementia as those with the lowest levels. (Click here to read more.)

    That's in addition to the other risks of obesity, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, depression sleep apnea, an early death and more.

    Don't wait for the damage to be permanent--if you're overweight, get started today... before you forget everything you just read.

  3. Lifestyle can help duck heartbeat problems

    Not many things can put the scare into you quite like atrial fibrillation--I've heard people say it feels like the heart is trying to break right out of the chest.
  4. The old-fashioned way to fitness

    Researchers assigned 93 obese seniors to one of four groups: One group exercised for 90 minutes three times a week, another reduced food intake by 500-700 calories a day, a third group did both and the fourth did nothing at all.
  5. BP meds linked to obesity

    If you've gained weight since you started taking blood pressure meds, it's not your imagination.
  6. Turning gold into lead

    Now, researchers have found a new way to show what's a stake when bellies get big and knees buckle under the weight: lost years, even if you happen to be using them while you're losing them.
  7. Working moms in obesity blame game

    A new study finds that the children of working mothers weigh ever-so-slightly more than the kids of moms who don't work.
  8. Screen time is disease time

    Researchers surveyed 3,034 children in Singapore from third grade through eighth grade every year from 2007 through 2009, and found that while nearly all of them played games, about 9 percent went much further. They were addicts.
  9. Kids who sleep less, get fatter

    A new study shows what happens when kids stay up too late, too often: They get fat, and some even show the early signs of disease such as diabetes.
  10. Bigger breakfasts aren't better

    A new study flips the cereal bowl right over--because researchers have found that people who eat more at breakfast simply eat more, period.
  11. Obesity linked to fibromyalgia pain

    Obesity has been linked to the chronic pain condition before, and a new study finds even more evidence that extra pounds can bring extra hurt.
  12. Belly fat is bad for your bones

    A new study found that bigger bones aren't stronger bones. In fact, they're actually weaker, and they could even increase your risk of osteoporosis.
  13. Extra pounds are extra deadly

    But just as a little bit of dynamite – or one angry bull – can kill you, so can those few extra pounds, because a new study finds that even slightly overweight people have a higher risk of death.
  14. The secret to successful diet maintenance

    A new study lights the way to post-diet success, and all you need to do is avoid the sugars and other bad carbs that probably led to your weight gain in the first place.
  15. Obesity epidemic hits pets

    Humans aren't the only ones facing an obesity crisis--pet cats and dogs are getting so big that the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention says up to 90 million of them are now overweight or obese.
  16. The rising toll of diabetes and obesity

    It's one of the most frightening "coming attractions" I've ever seen: By 2050, up to a third of all U.S. adults will be diabetic. That's triple the current rate of 1 in 10, and--depending on our population growth--could mean more than 100 million diabetics facing long-term health problems and expensive care. It sounds like a disaster movie in the making...
  17. The new national nightmare: arthritis

    New figures from the CDC find that one in five U.S. adults now battle arthritis.
  18. Could a vaccine cure obesity? Fat chance...

    One group of researchers say maybe obesity isn't being caused by all the sugar and starch in our diets after all... but a virus in our bodies.
  19. Garbage by any other name

    In a high-stakes game of switcheroo, the industry responsible for high-fructose corn syrup has asked the FDA for approval to use the name "corn sugar" instead.
  20. Osteoporosis meds, obesity linked to rare cancer rise

    Esophageal cancer is bad news now matter how you look at it, and two new studies show how you could be increasing your own risk of this frightening condition without even realizing it.

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