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Obesity rate in the United States to rise by more than 65%

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Half of U.S. adults will be obese by 2030, according to a new study published in The Lancet.

The research, part of a four-part series published in the journal this week, projected that the number of obese adults in the country would jump from 99 million in 2008 to 164 million by 2030, a 65.6% increase. What’s more, the U.S. obesity rate will rise from 32% to about 50% for men, and from 35% to a range between 45% and 52% for women.

Meanwhile, the researchers also said that the rate of obesity in the United Kingdom also will see a dramatic rise, increasing from 15 million to 26 million.

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Levels of certain enzyme lower in those with Type 2 diabetes, study finds

BY Allison Cerra

BOSTON — An enzyme found in the mitochondria of cells decreased in the skeletal muscle of those with Type 2 diabetes, according to researchers at the Joslin Diabetes Center.

The study sought to understand how decreased levels of enzyme Sirt3 might influence the metabolism of cells, particularly how it could affect insulin action in cells. According to the study, Sirt3 levels in the skeletal muscle of those with Type 2 diabetes decreases by at least 50%, compared with those without Type 2 diabetes, researchers said. This may indicate why insulin resistance develops, which is one of the indicators of Type 2 diabetes.

“Ours is perhaps the first study to understand what is going wrong in the mitochondria of those with diabetes,” said senior author C. Ronald Kahn, head of the Joslin section on integrative physiology and metabolism and the Mary K. Iacocca professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Many studies have shown that the mitochondria don’t work well in those with diabetes. This points to a cause of why they don’t work well.”

The mitochondria of cells, known as the "powerhouse," converts energy into usable forms. Kahn said the study showed that when Sirt3 levels are low, as they are in the case of diabetes, the mitochondria of the cells are not as efficient in energy metabolism as they should be. The study also indicated that drug makers may want to develop drugs that boost Sirt3 enzyme levels, which potentially could help fight the disease. 

“Agents which increase Sirt3 activity could, therefore, potentially reverse at least some of the adverse effects of Type 2 diabetes,” the researchers wrote in the paper, which was published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Kroger, The Little Clinic announce availability of flu shots

BY Antoinette Alexander

CINCINNATI — Kroger has announced that it is offering early flu vaccinations for patients within its 1,900 pharmacy locations nationwide and at the 79 Little Clinic locations in select stores.

The flu shots are administered by Kroger pharmacists or Little Clinic nurse practitioners or physician assistants.

"Health experts recommend a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step to protect against seasonal flu viruses," Kroger VP pharmacy Lincoln Lutz said. "Kroger’s family of stores offers a variety of options to our customers, including needle-free flu vaccinations available in many locations and a customized Workplace Flu program to help companies provide for their employees."

Kroger pharmacists and Little Clinic nurses administered more than 1 million flu vaccinations during the 2010-2011 flu season.
 

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