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CDC announces Arthritis on the rise...

by Sharon Gayle May 18, 2018

Arthritis on the Rise

Alarming Statistics Presented

About 53 million U.S. adults have arthritis. However, the number of men and women with arthritis is growing and expected to reach more than 78 million in 2040, according to a new CDC study.

Learning what to do so you feel your best with arthritis, and being active are recommended for people with arthritis.

Arthritis Increases

CDC estimates that the number of men and women with arthritis will increase almost 49% to more than 78 million in 2040. About half of those with arthritis are working age adults—age 18 to 64 years.

In this just released study, an estimated 34 million adults will be limited in their usual activities because of their arthritis in 2040, an increase of 52%.

Impact of Increased Arthritis

As the number of people with arthritis increases, their need for special medical care will grow as well. Providers who are experts in arthritis, like rheumatologists and orthopedic surgeons, may be harder to find and expensive. In addition, programs like Social Security Disability Insurance and Medicare will also be impacted by the growing number of arthritis patients. Contine reading...


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | www.CDC.gov | CDC Health Living Section

GayleFORCE® KidsZone - Obesity Facts

by Sharon Gayle May 14, 2017

Childhood Obesity Facts

More than Tripled...

The percentage of children with obesity in the United States has more than tripled since the 1970s. Today, about one in five school-aged children (ages 6–19) has obesity.

Correct portion size is a major compenent of keeping a childs weight, and fat %, within healthy norms.

Obesity is defined as having excess body fat. Overweight is defined as having excess body weight for a particular height from fat, muscle, bone, water, or a combination of these factors
. Body mass index, or BMI, is a widely used screening tool for measuring both overweight and obesity. BMI percentile is preferred for measuring children and young adults (ages 2–20) because it takes into account that they are still growing, and growing at different rates depending on their age and sex. Health professionals use growth charts to see whether a child’s weight falls into a healthy range for the child’s height, age, and sex.

  • Children with a BMI at or above the 85th percentile and less than the 95th percentile are considered overweight.
  • Children at or above the 95th percentile have obesity. Read More...


CDC | Centers for Disease Control - Read full article

Stats & Facts - What’s on Your Plate?

by Sharon Gayle April 18, 2017

What’s on Your Plate?

MyPlate - USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans

In an attempt to battle the current obesity epidemic in the United States the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) decided to change the shape of the Triangular Food Pyramid to an image which it believed would better represent the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The new “MyPlate” symbol launched in June 2011 as the government’s new primary food group symbol.

MyPlate is an easy-to-understand visual cue to help consumers adopt healthy eating habits by encouraging them to build a “healthy plate”, consistent with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The plate is divided into 4 sections, with a cup of dairy off to the right upper side. Each half of the plate has a split of about 60/40. On one side, the 60/40 split is between your Protein (40%) and your Grains (60%). The other side is your Fruit (40%) and your Vegetable (60%). Check out the new MyPlate image and link to current and relevant information which may help you with your efforts for balanced eating and a healthy lifestyle.

Sadly, though every effort is being made to reverse the Obesity crisis in the United States, Obesity numbers continue to rise. During the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States and rates remain high. More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) and approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years are obese. ~Sharon Gayle

Adult Obesity Facts
What are the latest statistics on adult obesity in the United States?

Childhood Obesity Facts
How many children in the United States are obese?

Source: www.CDC.gov
Links: www.USDA.gov
CDC: Facts Page

STATS & FACTS: Just how much sleep do we really need?

by Sharon Gayle April 2, 2015

Quite a bit it seems!

Though scientists are...

...still learning about the concept of basal sleep need, one thing sleep research certainly has shown is that sleeping too little can not only inhibit your productivity and ability to remember and consolidate information, but lack of sleep can also lead to serious health consequences and jeopardize your safety and the safety of individuals around you.

For example, short sleep duration is linked with:

  • Increased risk of motor vehicle accidents
  • Increase in body mass index – a greater likelihood of obesity due to an increased appetite caused by sleep deprivation
  • Increased risk of diabetes and heart problems
  • Increased risk for psychiatric conditions including depression and substance abuse
  • Decreased ability to pay attention, react to signals or remember new information.

According to researchers Michael H. Bonnet and Donna L. Arand, "There is strong evidence that sufficient shortening or disturbance of the sleep process compromises mood, performance and alertness and can result in injury or death. In this light, the most common-sense 'do no injury' medical advice would be to avoid sleep deprivation."

On the other hand, some research has found that long sleep durations (nine hours or more) are also associated with increased morbidity (illness, accidents) and mortality (death). Researchers caution that there is not a definitive conclusion that getting more than nine hours of sleep per night is consistently linked with health problems and/or mortality in adults, while short sleep has been linked to both these consequences in numerous studies.

The Exact Amount -

Though research cannot pinpoint an exact amount of sleep need by people at different ages, the above table identifies the "rule-of-thumb" amounts most experts have agreed upon. Nevertheless, it's important to pay attention to your own individual needs by assessing how you feel on different amounts of sleep.

  1. Are you productive, healthy and happy on seven hours of sleep?
  2. Or does it take you nine hours of quality ZZZs to get you into high gear?
  3. Do you have health issues such as being overweight?
  4. Are you at risk for any disease? Are you experiencing sleep problems?
  5. Do you depend on caffeine to get you through the day?
  6. Do you feel sleepy when driving?

These are questions that must be asked before you can find the number that works for you.

For complete research article click on link below. ~SG


Excerpt from "How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?"
National Sleep Foundation

The American Girth Increases at an Alarming Rate

by Sharon Gayle October 31, 2014

Americans possibly exercising less...

The number of American men and women with big-bellied, apple-shaped figures - the most dangerous kind of obesity - has climbed at a startling rate over teh past decade, according to a government study.

People whose fat has settled mostly around their waistlines instead of in their hips, thighs, buttocks or all over are known to run a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and other obesity-related ailments.

Fifty-four percent of U.S. adults have abdominal obesity, up from 46 percent in 1999-2000, researchers reported in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association. Abdominal obesity is defined as a waistline of more than 35 inches in women and more than 40 inches in men.

During the 12-year period studied, the average waist size in the U.S. expanded to 38 inches for women, a gain of 2 inches. It grew to 40 inches for men, a 1-inch increase.

Cause for concern:

“The increase is a concern. There’s no question about that,” said Dr. William Dietz, an obesity expert formerly with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, now at George Washington University.

The expansion in waistlines came even as the overall level of obesity – as defined not by waist size but by body mass index, of BMI, a weight-to-height ratio – held fairly steady.


An overweight man rests on a bench in Jackson, Miss.

What this might mean:

“What it suggests is that even though the obesity rate may be stable, fat distribution may be changing, which would mean that we shouldn’t be complacent about the plateau,” said Dietz, who was not involved in the study.

Dr. Earl Ford, a CDC researcher and the study’s lead author, said the seemingly contradictory trends are puzzling. He said it could be that Americans are exercising less and getting flabby. But because fat weighs less than muscle, they are not necessarily getting heavier.

Additional Reasons:

The study cites other possible reasons for the increase in belly fat, including sleep deprivation and certain medicines. Also, researchers said the increase might be related to pesticides, the plastics additive BPA and other chemicals that mimic hormones that can affect weight. But the connection is speculative and unproven.

Belly fat not only makes people look apple-shaped but often means fat has built up deep inside the body, around the liver and other abdominal organs.


Compared with fat that lies closer to the surface, this “visceral” fat secretes lower levels of beneficial hormones and higher levels of inflammatory substances linked to obesity-related ailments, Dr. Lisa Neff, an obesity specialist at Northwestern University. She was not involved in the study.

“In people of the same weight, the person who carries weight around the middle is going to have higher risks” of obesity-related ailments, Neff said.

By 2011-12, the last year studied, 44 percent of men suffered from abdominal obesity, up from 37 percent. The trend was more pronounced among women: By 2011-12, about two-thirds of all women were affected, up from just over half in 1999-2000.

The researchers analyzed data from CDC health surveys and in-person exams. Adults’ average age during those years was 45.

Previous Data:

Previously released data from the same surveys indicate that about 35 percent of U.S. adults are obese, a level that hasn’t budged much in recent years. Those surveys define obesity as a BMI of at least 30. For example, someone who is 5-foot-4 – the average U.S. woman’s height – would be obese at 175 pounds.

Ford said that for both kinds of obesity, the bottom-line message for patients is probably the same: diet and exercise.


Source: Fox11Online.com
By LINDSEY TANNER, AP Medical Writer
Published: September 16, 2014, 4:20 pm
Photo: (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

Shine On Me!

by Sharon Gayle August 30, 2014

The Healing Benefits of Sunlight and Vitamin D.

When the sun is high overhead we often take cover to avoid the intense heat. However, sunlight is natural and has an multitude of benefits for humans. The sun not only provides both light and heat that sustains us, but I think we would all agree that that whether it’s strolling in the sun, sunbathing, sitting in a window daydreaming on a sunny day; sunlight affects how we feel, and often transfers positively into how we look.  New research supports those feelings, indicating that a short daily dose of midday sun is healthy!  

Of the two main wavelengths in sunshine, UVA and UVB, it’s the UVB rays that help our skin produce vitamin D.  While it is wise to avoid burning or excess solar or indoor tanning, solar UVB radiation (290-315 nm) is the primary source of vitamin D. UVA rays, which penetrate skin more deeply and causes oxidative damage, are constant throughout the day, UVB rays are much stronger during the middle of the day.  The health benefits of UVB through production of vitamin D are considerable, with experts finding more and more benefits as research is continued.

Midday Summer sun is the best source of UVB, since minimal exposure times are required, and the UVB to UVA (315-400 nm) ratio is highest.  For most people, exposing arms and legs to the midday sun (without sunscreen) for 10-15minutes can produce a day’s worth of vitamin D.

Positive Exosure
Vitamin D, often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” has been shown to provide significant protection from the risk of:

  • cardiovascular disease
  • diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • bone fracture risk
  • breast prostate
  • colon cancers
  • cognitive decline as we age

Negative Exposure
Excess exposure to sunlight may sometimes be destructive, as it can lead to ailments such as:

  • eye damage, melanomas
  • skin cancer
  • change in the color as well as thickness of the skin
  • appearance of irregular spots on the face
  • itchiness or tenderness to the skin

Naturally, the benefits obtained from sunlight depends upon its usage.  Sunbathing and sun tanning are both effective means for getting sufficient sunshine, however, it is medically recommended that you use a quality after-sun lotion in order to moisturize your skin post sun tanning.  Wearing clothing that covers your arms and legs after sunbathing, will also protect you from further unnecessary exposure.

The Sun is your friend if you are responsible and use caution by avoiding chronic exposure!  Enjoy! ~SG.

STATS & FACTS - GayleFORCE Fitness Newletter - Dec. 2012

by Sharon Gayle December 18, 2012

Even Women Who Exercise, Sit Too Much.

Study finds that people sit more hours a day than they sleep, raising the risk of chronic health conditions

You might find this hard to believe, however, it makes total sense. We do far more sitting down than we did in the past when we had less convenience. Sadly, we have almost everything at our fingertips. We have remotes for TV’s, air conditioners, home alarm systems, and even window blinds; thus, we move less on so many levels. For those of us who do work out, that’s great, but even we tend to sit more. We really have to think “think active” and think of various ways to try to incorporate short and sweet bursts of movement into our days. I.e.

  1. Walk a few extra blocks to the next subway station rather than taking the station ½ a block away.
  2. At the office, walk up and down the internal stairwells, instead of taking the elevator 1 or 2 flights up or down.
  3. Go for a stroll on the weekend, fool around on the monkey bars at the park.
  4. Join the kids in a game of basketball at the courts.
  5. Use the phone at the office to talk to a co-worker, better yet, take a walk …tell them in person.

Whatever, it takes, just MOVE!!! And, try to have fun doing it! The following article elaborates on this apparent dilemma.

Are you sitting too much?

THURSDAY, Nov. 29, 2012 (HealthDay News)*
For women who love that great, self-satisfied feeling after a workout, a new study could be a disappointing surprise. Regular exercise, the study found, does not reduce the risk of an otherwise sedentary lifestyle.

Women who exercise regularly actually spend as much time sitting down as those who don't get much exercise, and thus may be susceptible to a greater risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and premature death, the study revealed.
"We spend the vast majority of our time not exercising," said Lynette Craft, lead author of the study and an adjunct assistant professor of preventive medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in Chicago. "It's important to think about how you spend your entire day and what you're doing in your non-exercise time." READ MORE... (*this news item will not be available after 02/28/2013)

Source: MedLinePlus News

STATS & FACTS: The Key to Re-defining Your Body

by Sharon Gayle May 2, 2012

Trimming the Fat!

Guidelines for a healthier body and a happier you!

With the Summer fast approaching, we tend to take a longer, harder, look at ourselves in the mirror.  Some of us are satisfied with our general physique, while others will see various areas that might need a little refining, and feel the need to get rid of a few extra pounds.

The following general guidelines will help you work toward a healthier body and a happier you!

Calorie Deficit

Many commercial diets toot their own horns as having the right strategy to shed unwanted weight; however, while most do provide initial results, most also fail to provide the long-term results needed to help keep the weight off.  Following are two very important points to keep in mind:

  1. Your body must burn more calories than it is taking in to lose weight.
  2. One pound of fat equals 3,500 calories, so if you want to lose 1 pound per week, you need to average a caloric deficit of 500 calories per day.

NO! You do not have to run on the treadmill faster than the speed of light until your legs buckle (or you end up somewhere in the Twilight Zone) to burn the 3,500 calories to lose a pound. You will however, need to combine increased activity with changes to your diet/meal plan.

Going nowhere fast?  Re-evaluate your workouts, and achieve success! 

Basal Metabolic Rate and Calories Burned in a Day

To manage your weight, you need to know the number of calories you consume and the number of calories you burn. Your body has what is referred to as basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the amount of calories you burn at rest in order to survive. Your BMR accounts for approximately 60 to 75% of all the calories you burn in a day. Yes—even while you are sleeping, your body continues to burn a small amount of calories.

Once you’ve determined your daily caloric needs, it’s time to set a realistic weight loss goal of 1-2 pounds per week and also calculate how many calories you need to eliminate your unwanted weight.
BE REALISTIC! Set a goal you can achieve. Crash diets and extreme workouts are not the way to do this. Work within your lifestyle and time constraints. Moderate changes will yield great results, and if done correctly, permanent positive lifestyle changes.

What to Eat

Managing your weight is easier than you might imagine. There is no need to spend hours planning your diet. Just follow several simple guidelines and keep the calorie deficit in mind.

You are what you eat. Choose to eat healthy.

  • Reduce your portion sizes by 10 to 15% each time you prepare or order a meal.
  • Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day and avoid skipping breakfast.
  • Consume a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and non-fat or low-fat dairy products to get the nutrients your body needs.
  • Aim for two or three servings of dairy products daily (e.g., milk, cheeses, yogurt).
  • Select low-fat foods and avoid trans fats. Limit your total fat intake to 20 to 35% of daily calories, with no more than 7% of your total calories coming from saturated fats.
  • Avoid eating too many salty foods.
  • Limit alcohol beverage intake.

Cardio: Burn the Right Fuel

Research shows that lower-intensity exercise uses a larger percentage of fat as fuel compared to higher-intensity exercise. However, it does not burn as many calories as higher-intensity exercise and, consequently will not result in as much body weight or fat loss. Therefore, gradually increase the intensity to increase your caloric deficit while continuing to burn fats. Higher-intensity exercise also has a greater impact on keeping your metabolism elevated after your workout, which keeps your body burning calories, thereby allowing you to eliminate a few more calories. REMINDER! Always check with your doctor before starting any exercise program, and choose the intensity that is appropriate for your current health and physical capabilities.

Burn More Fat by Increasing Muscle

Strength training offers numerous health benefits, including an increase in the number of calories burned. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, and building muscles utilizes a lot of energy. As you increase the amount of muscle you have, you will also increase your resting metabolic rate.

Build muscle ...Burn calories even when sleeping!

To prevent injury and develop consistency, it is suggested that you start off with one to two sets of 12 to 15 repetitions for all major muscle groups. ~Sharon Gayle


Notice: This article is for your reference only. Please consult with you Physician prior to starting any exercise program.
Additional Reference Source: ACE-American Counsel on Exercise
Photographs: Courtesy of MSTemplates

GayleFORCE Stats & Facts: Blood Disorders and Public Health

by Sharon Gayle December 21, 2011

Blood Disorders and Public Health

America's public health system encompasses governments, healthcare providers, and others working to improve population health. The lack of a public health framework for many blood disorders, both rare and common, is a particular concern.

  • For example, even a relatively common blood disorder such as venous thromboembolism (VTE), with a U.S. prevalence of at least 1 million people, lacks an established mechanism for surveillance. Little is definitively known about the magnitude of the public health burden of VTE. Although VTE is an important cause of mortality and may account for more than 100,000 deaths per year, fewer than 40,000 deaths associated with VTE are recorded  each year in vital records. That underestimate reflects in part the low use of autopsies, which are required to detect many fatal pulmonary emboli.
  • Hereditary hemochromatosis is a genetic disorder present in about 1 million Americans, although few individuals at any point in time have symptomatic iron overload disease. The opportunity to detect iron overload at an early stage and intervene through therapeutic phlebotomy to prevent the development of clinical disease, specifically liver cirrhosis and cancer, remains a challenge.

  • At least 3 million Americans have sickle cell trait. They are carriers of the sickle cell gene mutation, also known as Hb AS, but the extent to which the carrier status poses health threats is not well established.
  • In the U.S., rare diseases are defined as disorders affecting fewer than 200,000 people (about 1 in 1500 people), although in the European Union, the cutoff is a prevalence of 1 in 2000 people. Medications that are targeted to rare diseases are known as orphan drugs. The rare blood disorders considered in the remaining papers in this supplement are bleeding or coagulation disorders, the most common of which are hemophilia A and B, and the hemoglobinopathies: sickle cell disease and thalassemia.
  • Globally, sickle cell disease and thalassemia are not rare, with more than 300,000 affected births each year. In the U.S., it is estimated that perhaps 100,000 people live  with sickle cell disease and a few thousand with clinically noteworthy thalassemia.

We propose a framework for public health to address rare conditions that affect relatively small numbers of people and are often neglected in public health programs.

Blood disorders have a vital importance to public health and vice versa. Whether relatively common or relatively rare, people with blood disorders have health challenges specific to their conditions that require knowledgeable healthcare providers, access to screening and diagnostic testing, and information to help them manage their conditions. Public health systems are responsible for the assessment of the frequency and seriousness of these conditions, the appropriateness of screening tests and preventive services, and barriers to access evidence-based services. Public health professionals should be involved in activities to inform and influence policy development in order to ensure access to cost-effective services that improve health outcomes. Public health is not just about intervening to reduce the burden of common diseases and exposures but also about giving appropriate attention to the needs of people with rare disorders.


Provided Courtesy of Centers for Disease Control (CDC) "Blood Disorders and Publick Health"
Source: Grosse SG, James AH, Lloyd-Puryear MA, Atrash HK. A Public Health Framework for Blood Disorders. Am J Prev Med 2011; 41(6S4): S319–S323.

Stats & Facts: Preventable Health Disparities.

by Sharon Gayle September 19, 2011

Health Disparities and Racial / Ethnic Minority Groups

Periodically I will choose to cover an issue for which my own words cannot fully amplify the severity of the situation. In these instances, where permitted, I will simply pull the entire article for your review and educational benefit. The following is one such issue / concern. Following is the article is provided courtesy of the
CDC, Centers for Disease Control.

Photograph, courtesy of CDC.

Health disparities are preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations. Disparities often begin early in life, starting during childhood or adolescence.
Young people from racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States suffer disproportionately from a number of preventable diseases and health problems. For example:
  • Compared with white youth, black and Hispanic youth have higher prevalence’s of asthma, overweight, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Rates of HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, and teen pregnancy are higher among black and Hispanic youth than among whites of the same age.
  • In 2007, black youth accounted for approximately 68% of new HIV/AIDS cases among 13–19 year olds, even though they represented only 15% of the population in that age group.
  • Hispanic youth experience proportionately more anxiety-related behaviors and depression than do non-Hispanic white youth.
  • Among youth aged 10–19 years, American Indians have the highest prevalence of type 2 diabetes of any racial/ethnic group.
  • Suicide rates among American Indians/Alaska Natives aged 15–34 years are more than two times higher than the national average for that age group.

Contributors to Health Disparities

The causes of these differences in health — known as "health disparities" — are many. Poverty, unequal access to health care, poor environmental conditions, educational inequalities, individual behaviors, and language barriers are all important contributors.
Health disparities are preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health experienced by socially disadvantaged populations.
These disparities are inequitable and directly related to the historical and current unequal distribution of social, political, economic, and environmental resources.
In addition to race and ethnicity, health disparities also exist on the basis of sex, age, income level, geography, sexual orientation, disability, and special health care needs.
To address health disparities, early intervention is key. Most of the leading causes of illness and premature death among minority youth and adults stem from unhealthy behaviors that become established during childhood and adolescence—such as poor diet, lack of physical activity, risky sexual behaviors, and use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs.

Findings from a National Survey of Youth

To learn more about the health-related behaviors of our nation's young people — their eating and exercise habits, their drinking and drug use, their sexual activities, and more — CDC conducts the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey. This survey is given every two years to 9th–12th grade students in public and private schools across the United States.
Demographic data are also collected through this survey to help researchers analyze trends by age, sex, and race/ethnicity.
The findings from this national youth survey have contributed greatly to our understanding of racial/ethnic disparities in health. CDC has prepared two reports that summarize the survey data and identify important differences in health-related behaviors among black, Hispanic, and white youth in the United States
The reports give demographic profiles for blacks and Hispanics in the U.S. and outline important health and behavioral differences among adolescents in the following areas:
  1. Injury, violence, and suicide attempts;
  2. Sexual risk behaviors, such as condom use, number of partners, and age of first sexual intercourse;
  3. Alcohol and other drug use;
  4. Obesity and unhealthy dietary behaviors;
  5. Physical activity; and
  6. Tobacco use.
CDC's Division of Adolescent Health also suggest actions that public health and education professionals can take to address disparities among students, including:
  • Focusing programmatic efforts to address the needs of youth in high risk groups.
  • Raising awareness about the causes of disparities and about evidence-based strategies for addressing them.
  • Building partnerships to address the root causes of health and educational disparities.
  • Documenting the impact of health disparities, as well as the impact of efforts to reduce them.
Entire Source and Data: Center for Disease Control and Prevention - cdcinfo@cdc.gov
All photographs provided courtesy of CDC.