Southwest Air kicks off wrong passenger

On February 14, 2010, in Uncategorized, by Andrea

Yes.. we know about Southwest’s Fat hatred where they have kicked off fat people, humiliated them, made them late for funerals, etc.  They’ve also kicked off kids and people wearing “inappropriate attire.”

But the fat hatred is the most common hatred that Southwest shows on a regular basis.

This time, however, they screwed up.  They kicked off director and actor Kevin Smith — who has quite a platform on Twitter and a weekly broadcast — this week’s, of course being dedicated to Southwest.

Oops.

via the Comsumerist:

Filmmaker Kevin Smith Kicked Off Southwest Flight For Being Too Fat

By Laura Northrup on February 14, 2010 2:30 AM 0 views

Every so often Southwest Airlines arbitrarily and incorrectly decides that someone is too fat to fly in a single seat. These are people who have regularly flown Southwest in the past and can fit themselves in one seat without a problem. Prior to now, none were cult celebrities with more than a million and a half Twitter followers and a smartphone. Then an air captain declared filmmaker Kevin Smith a “safety risk,” and all hell broke loose.

Yes, Kevin Smith tweeted that Southwest Airlines kicked him off a flight. Yes, it was purportedly because of his weight. Southwest’s Twitter rep apologized (as did the VP of Customer Relations) once the incident took Twitter by storm. Smith took the opportunity to point out that the prompt apology was only because of his fame, and the same exact thing happens arbitrarily to other passengers who also shop in the plus-size section.

Fuck making it right for me just ’cause I have a platform. I sat next to a big girl who was chastised for not buying an extra ticket because “all passengers deserve their space.” Fucking flight wasn’t even full! Fuck your size-ist policy. Rude…

We’ve written about similar incidents here at Consumerist before, and are glad Smith is bringing more attention to the issue.

Kevin Smith [Twitter]
Customer of Size Q&A [Southwest Airlines]

We’ve seen some of the stats before — that RNY’ers are not compliant with their supplementation.  There was a study out that measured the efficacy of a multivitamin alone after RNY and in the process we learned that only 33% were actually compliant. You’d think we learned?

No.  We didn’t.

Now, this study was published in 2009 — but is from patients from 2006-2007.  I’m hoping, hoping, HOPING that people out there understand how freaking important their vitamins are, and if not perhaps they will see after reading these two studies.

Keep in mind, these are two studies in order — and neither are very good.  Both show that people, at least around 2005-2007 did not feel like they needed to take their vitamins.  Don’t become a statistic.

A few takeaways:

  • 33% took a multivitamin
  • 5.1% took b12
  • 7.7% took calcium
  • 11.1% took folic acid
  • 12.0% took iron
  • 61.5% took incorrect medication formulations
  • 34.7% took non-immediate-release medications
  • 25.0% took enteric-coated medications
  • 40.3% took enteric-coated non-immediate-release medications

How many do you think were getting appropriate protein levels?  Or their lab work?

The article abstract can be read here.

This simply continues the point that we need to educate ourselves AND our physicians.

As if some of us needed yet MORE reasons..

From Medscape:

Higher Pre-Pregnancy BMI Linked to Major Heart Defects

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Feb 01 – A higher pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) correlates with an increased risk of congenital heart defects, particularly conotruncal and right ventricular outflow tract (RVOT) defects, according to a recent study.

Common types of conotruncal defects include tetralogy of Fallot, truncus arteriosus, transposition of the great vessels, and double outlet of the right ventricle. RVOT defects include pulmonary atresia and pulmonary valve stenosis.

“Given the increased prevalence of pre-pregnancy obesity, the increased risk of alterations in glucose metabolism among women who are overweight or obese, and the association of maternal pregestational diabetes mellitus with congenital heart defects, it is valuable to clarify the association between pre-pregnancy BMI and congenital heart defects,” lead author Dr. Suzanne M. Gilboa, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, and colleagues write.

As reported in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology for January, the researchers used data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (1997-2004) to study links between pre-pregnancy weight and congenital heart defect phenotypes. The data came from 6440 infants with defects and 5673 control infants.

Mothers were categorized as underweight, normal weight, overweight, moderately obese, or severely obese according to standard BMI criteria.

Overweight, moderate obesity, and severe obesity increased the odds of a congenital heart defect by 16%, 15%, and 31%, respectively, relative to normal weight.

Overall, above-normal BMI (>25 kg/meters-squared) was associated with a number of phenotypes, including conotruncal defects in general (OR 1.16) and tetralogy of Fallot in particular (OR 1.24), total anomalous pulmonary venous return (OR 1.53), hypoplastic left heart syndrome (OR 1.32), RVOT defects in general (OR 1.34) and pulmonary atresia (OR 1.55) and valve stenosis (OR 1.36) in particular, septal defects in general (OR 1.15) and secundum atrial septal defects (OR 1.29) in particular.

“Given the increased prevalence of obesity and the public health importance of congenital heart defects, further work is warranted to determine the extent to which…type of obesity, patterns of dieting and weight change before and during pregnancy, physical inactivity, and inadequate levels of essential vitamins and nutrients, play a role in the associations with congenital heart defects,” the researchers conclude.

Am J Obstet Gynecol 2010;51:e1-e10.

1 in 5

On February 6, 2010, in Uncategorized, by Andrea

That’s the number of kids that abnormal lipid numbers.

I’ll wait for some of you to, you know, wake up.  Need some smelling salts?

20% of kids have abnormal lipid numbers.  That’s scary, folks.  These are kids just waiting for RNYs, DS’s, VSG’s, and AGB’s — plus anything else we can think up and guinea pig on ourselves.  We need to get all of this down and understand it cause the next generation isn’t looking too healthy.

From Medscape:

One in Five Kids With Abnormal Lipids

Michael O’Riordan

February 3, 2010 (Atlanta, Georgia) — New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that one in five youths aged 12 to 19 years has abnormal lipid levels [1]. Also, nearly one-third of these youths are obese or overweight and based on their body-mass index (BMI) are candidates for lipid screening, according to investigators.

In an editorial accompanying the new report [2], the CDC urges clinicians to be aware of the lipid screening guidelines so that interventions for overweight or obese children and youths can be recommended. “Healthcare providers can refer eligible youths to nutritional counseling, community fitness programs, and school-based lifestyle programs,” writes the CDC.

The new report, from a combined sample of four National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) surveys taken from 1999 to 2006, includes data on 9187 youths, of which 3733 provided fasting blood samples for lipid testing.

Among the sample, 20% had at least one abnormal lipid measurement, such as elevated LDL cholesterol (>130 mg/dL), reduced HDL cholesterol (<35 mg/dL), or elevated triglyceride levels (>150 mg/dL). Researchers also showed that compared with normal-weight youths, those who were overweight or obese were significantly more likely to have at least one abnormal lipid measurement.

In addition to these findings, the CDC report also showed that boys were more likely than girls to have low HDL cholesterol, while older youths, those aged 18 to 19 years, were more likely to have low HDL and elevated triglyceride levels than kids aged 12 or 13 years.

The researchers point out that, based on the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) screening recommendations, 32% of youths would be eligible for lipid screening based solely on their BMI. The AAP recommends screening based on family history of high cholesterol or premature cardiovascular disease or an unknown family history of high cholesterol or premature disease, as well as the presence of at least one major cardiovascular disease risk factor, including overweight/obesity.

Orlistat on Trial

On February 6, 2010, in Uncategorized, by Andrea

And it wins.

From Medscape:

Significant Visceral Fat Loss Seen Within 12 Weeks With Orlistat

Martha Kerr

February 3, 2010 — A randomized placebo controlled trial of orlistat (Alli, GlaxoSmithKline) 60 mg daily for overweight to obese but otherwise healthy subjects showed that the weight-loss agent was not only associated with greater overall weight loss than placebo, but that there was a greater loss of visceral fat with active treatment.

Furthermore, effects were seen within 3 months, investigator Rex Newbould, PhD, head of the Clinical Imaging Center at Hammersmith Hospital in London, United Kingdom, reported at the first International Congress on Abdominal Obesity (ICAO) underway in Hong Kong.

Of the 26 overweight and obese subjects (body mass index [BMI], 25.0 to 35.0 kg/m2; waist circumference >88 cm for women and >102 cm for men) enrolled, 24 completed the 12-week study.

Subjects took orlistat 60 mg 3 times a day and ate a hypocaloric (reduced by 500 kcal) low-fat diet. Subjects received a single dietary counseling session, and an abdominal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan was performed to measure visceral adipose tissue (VAT) at baseline. Body weight and waist circumference were measured at weeks 4, 8, and 12, and a repeat abdominal MRI scan was performed at week 12.

After 12 weeks, orlistat was associated with a significant reduction in body weight, waist circumference, and VAT, according to MRI.

“MRI measures fat more accurately than weight or waist measurement,” Dr. Newbould told Medscape Medical News. “It measures the fat inside the fat, and has less ‘noise’ than other measurements. It measures only fat, whereas weight is a measure of fat, fluid, and other factors.”

The change in VAT was correlated with the change in weight (P < .0001) but not waist circumference (P = .35). The mean change in weight was –5.24 kg (–5.6%), in waist circumference was –4.54 cm (–4.3%), and in VAT was –0.60 L (–10.6%).

“Visceral fat is the metabolically active type of fat that is associated with adverse outcomes,” Dr. Newbould explained. “We would expect [a loss of VAT] to be associated with improved outcomes.”

A similar study was presented by Kaj Stenlöf, MD, executive director of the Clinical Trial Center at Sahlgrenska Academy in Göteborg, Sweden.

He and his colleagues randomized 131 overweight and obese subjects (BMI, 25 to 35 kg/m2; waist circumference >88 cm for women and >102 cm for men) to orlistat 60 mg or placebo 3 times a day plus a hypocaloric low-fat diet for 24 weeks. Subjects were “encouraged to exercise,” but were not on a prescribed exercise regimen.

Treatment was well tolerated, Dr. Stenlöf said, and 107 subjects completed the study. The primary adverse effects were gastrointestinal.

Mean change in VAT after 24 weeks of orlistat treatment was –9.39% in the placebo group (P < .0001) and –15.66% in the orlistat group (P < .0001). The percent change difference from baseline to week 24 between the placebo and orlistat groups was 0.227 (P < .0244).

In addition, there was a significant reduction in mean body weight from baseline to week 24 in both groups, with a loss of 5.96 kg in the orlistat group and 3.91 kg in the placebo group (P < .05).

Although only data on VAT were presented at the meeting, Dr. Stenlöf told Medscape Medical News that they are calculating cardiac muscle fat and fat in other muscles, and are computing other parameters, such as blood pressure and blood glucose. These data will be presented this summer at the International Conference on Obesity in Stockholm, Sweden.

“With the over-the-counter formulation of orlistat, there has been a conceptual shift in the treatment of obesity,” Jean-Pierre Després, PhD, director of research in cardiology at the Quebec Heart and Lung Institute at Laval University in Quebec City, told Medscape Medical News.

“Instead of overall weight loss, we are now focusing on this high-risk form of obesity, with loss of the more metabolically active visceral fat — the fat that carries a high risk of heart disease.”

“We don’t know if orlistat induces a preferential loss of visceral fat. Those data are just now coming in, and we heard some new data here,” said Dr. Després, who is chair of the ICAO. “We don’t know if the loss of visceral fat is part of overall weight loss. The key point is that there has been a paradigm shift to focus on the reduction of this most dangerous form of obesity.”

“Orlistat is very safe and is an effective therapy in motivated patients,” said Christie M. Ballantyne, MD, professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at Methodist DeBakey Heart Center in Houston, Texas, in an interview with Medscape Medical News. He was not involved in either study.

“I think it has been underutilized because of [gastrointestinal] side effects, but the data are very clear that this provides additional weight loss to a program of lifestyle modification. It has clearly been shown to have favorable effects on metabolism, and the newer data on visceral fat are also encouraging.”

“This therapy should be discussed as an option, particularly in patients with comorbidities, because both the efficacy and safety are proven,” Dr. Ballantyne asserted.

Both studies were supported by grants from GlaxoSmithKline. Dr. Després has disclosed no relevant financial relationships. Dr. Ballantyne reports being a consultant to GlaxoSmithKline for lipid reduction (Lovaza) and to other companies in field of lipid research, including Merck, AstraZeneca, and Abbott.

First International Congress on Abdominal Obesity (ICAO). Presented January 28, 2010.

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