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Study: Duration of obesity linked to increased risk of diabetes

BY Michael Johnsen

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The longer a person maintains a body mass index qualifying him or her as "obese," the greater risk he or she incurs in developing diabetes, a new study released Tuesday found.

"Our study finds that the relationship between weight and Type 2 diabetes is similar to the relationship between smoking and the risk of lung cancer,” stated study lead author Joyce Lee,  a pediatric endocrinologist at University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. “The amount of excess weight that you carry, and the number of years for which you carry it, dramatically increase your risk of diabetes," she said. “We know that, due to the childhood obesity epidemic, younger generations of Americans are becoming heavier much earlier in life, and are carrying the extra weight for longer periods over their lifetimes. … When you add the findings from this study, rates of diabetes in the United States may rise even higher than previously predicted.”

Researchers found that a measure of degree and duration of excess weight — based on the number of years a person maintained a body mass index of 25 or higher — was a better predictor of diabetes risk than a single measurement of excess weight.

Lee and colleagues also found that black and Hispanic individuals compared with white individuals had a higher risk for diabetes, for the same amount of excess weight over time. For example, individuals with a BMI of 35 (10 points higher than healthy weight) for 10 years would be considered to have 100 years of excess BMI. Hispanics in this group were twice as likely to develop diabetes compared to whites, while blacks in this group had 1.5 times greater risk than whites.

Based on the latest findings, Lee suggested obesity prevention and treatment efforts should focus on adolescents and young adults, especially racial minorities.

In addition, she believed that measuring and following BMI and the cumulative “dose” of excess BMI may be helpful for clinicians and patients in understanding risk of diabetes in the future.

The new University of Michigan Health System study surveyed 8,000 adolescents and young adults. The study appeared online ahead of print in the September issue of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine.

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Essie Cosmetics to take part in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Nail care brand Essie Cosmetics is making its mark on Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week for spring 2012 by creating exclusive backstage nail looks.

The Essie team, and founder and creative director Essie Weingarten, will lend beauty expertise throughout the week. Essie will collaborate with such designers as DKNY, DKNY AMEX, Pamela Love, L.A.M.B., Zac Posen, Carolina Herrera and Tory Burch. Essie also is working with Haven Spa to provide color inspiration for Prism, Edun, Rebecca Minkoff and Preen. Chado Ralph Rucci also will use Essie nail color in its fashion show.

"Well-manicured hands are the ultimate fashion accessory," Weingarten stated. "Whether you’re inspired by what’s hot now or your own personal color choices, every woman can agree: Nails are an essential form of self-expression, both on the runway and every day. We are thrilled to be a part of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week to help inspire the season’s most important trend statements."

Manicurist Elle Gerstein, famous for perfecting the tips of Blake Lively and Jennifer Lopez, will lead a team of nail professionals in creating many of the Essie nail looks seen on the runways.

Also during Fashion Week, Essie will partner with Teen Vogue at Fashion’s Night Out, offering free manicures at the Sept. 8 Teen Vogue Block Party in New York City’s Greenwich Village. Gerstein will be there as well, dishing about the latest tips and nail artistry trends for fashion-goers this season. Nail fanatics can chose from Essie’s latest fall 2011 collection, or choose from custom nail art designs created especially for Fashion’s Night Out by Essie and Teen Vogue.

Essie also will team up with Allure in the Allure Pop-up Salon at The Empire Hotel. The salon is designed to serve as an oasis for Fashion Week VIPs, who are invited to stop by for a manicure or nail polish change in between shows.

Making Fashion Week extra-special for Essie, the nail brand will celebrate its 30th anniversary. "My entire life I have been in pursuit of two goals: creating the most fabulous colors and helping women feel pampered and beautiful by giving them the perfect manicure experience. I am inspired by color all around me, and I’m so thrilled to share it with women everywhere," Weingarten stated.

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Kroger beefs up presence in Memphis market with Schnucks acquisition

BY Michael Johnsen

MEMPHIS — The Memphis-based Kroger Delta Division, a division of Kroger on Friday announced its purchase of eight Memphis-area Schnucks stores. In addition, Kroger has acquired seven convenience stores that will be remodeled under the Kwik Shop banner and will be operated by Tom Thumb, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kroger. The Schnucks grocery stores will be converted and re-opened under the Kroger name over the next few weeks.

"For over 60 years, Kroger has proudly served the Memphis community," stated Mark Prestidge,Kroger Delta Division president. "Kroger has demonstrated its commitment to the Memphis area by investing more than $70 million on remodels, expansions and fuel centers over the last five years."

Currently, Kroger operates 37 stores in the Memphis metropolitan area. The Schnucks’ acquisition will bring that number to 43, with two of the acquired Schnucks locations replacing two smaller existing Kroger locations. The market will be new for Tom Thumb, which currently operates 116 stores in Florida and Alabama.

"We plan to convert these stores and re-open within two weeks after they close. Our primary goal is to minimize the inconvenience to our customers as we transition the stores to Kroger," Prestidge said. "While the acquired stores will be temporarily closed during the conversion process, the pharmacies and in-store banks will be accessible and remain open to customers during regular business hours. … Pharmacy customers in the Schnucks locations that will close permanently will have their prescriptions available at the nearest Kroger pharmacy to avoid any disruption in service."

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