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September 17, 2011

Is Overweight the New Normal Weight?

This is the second time in a week that Foxnews has posted a photo showing an individual on a scale weighing less than 100 pounds in association with an article on obesity.

Even in kilos the photo shows a person weighing only 132 pounds and I'm pretty sure the scale isn't measured in stones, which would equate to 840 pounds.

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Is Overweight the New Normal Weight?

A new report issued last week warned us that, if trends in the U.S. waistline continue as they are, 50 percent of our population would be obese by 2030. There are many reasons why overweight and obesity are such problems right now. Some research suggests that we’ve grown more comfortable being overweight and that being overweight has become “normal,” while being of an ideal weight may appear to be “underweight.”

While national surveys show that 67 percent of Americans are overweight or obese, a new survey of 1,000 Americans by Russell Research commissioned by Pollock Communications, showed only 52 percent of Americans believe they are overweight. This lack of reality around body weight and diet is considered to be one of the many barriers in the nation’s growing obesity epidemic. We’ve become more “numb” to overweight and obesity because it’s everywhere; a person who is of normal weight actually appears to be the one who doesn’t fit in anymore.


September 14, 2011

Health care billing reform or insurance nightmare?

Somehow I don't think this is going to help!

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Walked Into a Lamppost? Hurt While Crocheting? Help Is on the Way

New Medical-Billing System Provides Precision; Nine Codes for Macaw Mishaps

Today, hospitals and doctors use a system of about 18,000 codes to describe medical services in bills they send to insurers. Apparently, that doesn't allow for quite enough nuance.

A new federally mandated version will expand the number to around 140,000—adding codes that describe precisely what bone was broken, or which artery is receiving a stent.

It will also have a code for recording that a patient's injury occurred in a chicken coop. (See code.)

Some codes could seem downright insulting: R46.1 is "bizarre personal appearance (see code)," while R46.0 is "very low level of personal hygiene (see code)."

It's not clear how many klutzes want to notify their insurers that a doctor visit was a W22.02XA, "walked into lamppost, initial encounter" (or, for that matter, a W22.02XD, "walked into lamppost, subsequent encounter").

Why are there codes for injuries received while sewing, ironing, playing a brass instrument, crocheting, doing handcrafts, or knitting—but not while shopping, wonders Rhonda Buckholtz, who does ICD-10 training for the American Academy of Professional Coders, a credentialing organization.


September 12, 2011

SpongeBob makes Preschoolers Slower Thinkers

You have to wonder. . .it's on all the time and it can't be good when your going on 16yo still watches the show with her 9yo brother.

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Watching SpongeBob Squarepants Makes Preschoolers Slower Thinkers, Study Finds

PHOTO: Mindy, SpongeBob and Patrick are shown in a scene from

He may be one of the longest-running, best-loved cartoons in Nickelodeon history, but SpongeBob SquarePants is getting no love from child psychologists.

According to research published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, watching fast-paced cartoons like SpongeBob, even for just a few minutes, hinders abstract thinking, short-term memory and impulse control in preschoolers.

Study authors note that it's hard to say what it was about the adventures of this friendly kitchen sponge that seemed to have such an immediate negative effect on kids, but they suspected it was the fantastical events and rapid pacing of the show. By contrast, the PBS show was slower and exhibited real life events about a preschool-age boy.