Hot Topics: U.S. Gets (Even) Fatter, Study Shows
We all know the grave dangers of being overweight: heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes. Yet, the obesity epidemic in this country continues to bulge, despite high-profile healthy eating campaigns such as those led by First Lady Michelle Obama and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.
Adult obesity rates in the U.S. have increased in 16 states over the past year, with not a single state reporting a decrease, according to a new report from Trust for America's Health, a nonpartisan advocacy group, and the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation.Titled "F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2011," the report states that obesity rates among adults now exceed 25 percent in more than two-thirds of the states. "Obesity is one of the most challenging health crises this country has ever faced," Jeff Levi, executive director of Trust for America's Health, tells ABC News. "Twenty years ago, no state had an obesity rate higher than 15 percent. Now, only Colorado is below 20 percent." Southern states are the roundest, with Mississippi topping the list, where 34 percent of the population is obese. The report also features the efforts of different communities to combat obesity, whether by encouraging more physical activity among their residents or by helping them find healthier food choices, as outlined in this New York Times article. What do you make of the obesity epidemic? How do you battle the bulge?
Keeping weight off more difficult than losing it. Another new study by researchers at Penn State suggests that the techniques that work for losing weight aren't necessarily the same as those that help keep you slim, as reported in this Time article. The study noted four strategies associated with weight maintenance but not loss: Eating a diet rich in low-fat proteins; following a consistent exercise program; rewarding yourself for dieting and exercising; and reminding yourself why you need to keep the weight off.
Three of the top five highest-paid actresses are over 40. Sarah Jessica Parker, 46, tops Forbes' recently released list of the highest-paid actresses in show business, raking in $30 million last year. Also in the top five are Jennifer Aniston, 42, at $28 million and Julia Roberts, 43, at $20 million. See the complete list here.
Could Maria Shriver land $15 million for her memoir? RadarOnline.com speculates this week that Maria Shriver could receive more than $15 million for a hypothetical tell-all book after her divorce from former Califonia Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. There's no indication, however, that Shriver has any interest in writing a memoir.
AARP launches internet radio. The free Pandora-like streaming music player is available through the AARP website and features 18 channels of music geared toward the 50-plus crowd. "Finding new music and even old favorites has become more complicated and difficult for so many people," says Glen Barros, president of Concord Music Group, a partner in the project. "We aim to help adults across the country reconnect with the enjoyment of music and the artists who create it." Listen now.Facebook adds Skype video chat. "A few months ago, we started working with Skype to bring video calling to Facebook," Facebook announced on its blog this week. "We built it right into chat, so all your conversations start from the same place. To call your friend, just click the video call button at the top of your chat window." Get more details from this Los Angeles Times story.
All My Children lives on, online. ABC announced this week that canceled soap operas All My Children and One Life to Live have been licensed to a Los Angeles-based production company in a multiplatform deal that "enables the soaps' stories to continue beyond their finale dates on ABC." Production company Prospect Park will produce the two shows in the same format and length as ABC, but make them available on new devices, including internet-enabled TVs.
A doing-good second act. After Cris Peterson was in a serious accident, the Southern California woman and her husband, Tom Gordon, changed their priorities and decided to start a nonprofit. The Pepper Project introduces the unique products of Cambodia to the United States, with peppers from the Kampot region of southwestern Cambodia as their primary offering. Peterson was formerly an art director at an ad agency and Gordon a newspaperman for nearly 40 years. Read more about their story in The Orange County Register.
My SecondAct is...With her kids gone, Pia Louise sold her house and sought dual citizenship in Ireland. She now has plans to live and work somewhere in Europe. "I'm checking out Paris, Nice and Barcelona...and leaving with two suitcases," she says. Got your own tale of life or career reinvention? Please share it on SecondAct's Facebook page.
Last word: "A lot of you are asking when my swim is going to be! I don't know yet, but it's coming SOON! Stay tuned & thanks for support!" says Diana Nyad (@diananyad) on Twitter as she trains for a 100-mile Cuba-Florida swim.
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