Mutated gene clue to heart remedy

New drugs may cut LDL levels to ultra-low.Photo: Bloomberg

The discovery of a rare genetic mutation that gives two women astoundingly low cholesterol levels has set off one of the greatest medical chases ever. Three pharmaceutical companies - Amgen, Pfizer and Sanofi - are in a race to test and win approval for a drug that mimics the effects of the mutation, which drives "bad" cholesterol levels to new lows and prevents heart attacks. All three companies have drugs in clinical trials and report that their results, so far, are exciting.

Thursday, 11 July, 2013, 2:06am

Fast food nutrition levels in US 'unchanged in 14 years'

A pedestrian walks past a Burger King restaurant near downtown Los Angeles. Photo: AP

Fast food restaurants in the US have failed to raise the nutritional value of their dishes in 14 years, despite pledges to offer healthy choices, researchers say. The global obesity crisis and rising levels of chronic diseases such as diabetes and strokes have put pressure on fast food chains to cut the salt, fat and sugar content of what they sell.

9 May 2013 - 3:34am

Muddled thinking is fuelling obesity epidemic

Cutting down on what you eat is a far more effective way to lose weight than burning calories with exercise

People's beliefs about the causes of obesity can affect their own weight, my research has shown. If you think lack of exercise is the primary cause of obesity, you are more likely to be overweight than someone who implicates poor diet.

10 Mar 2013 - 2:53am

Life is just not worth the weight for most of us

Overweight/obesity levels generally increase as age advances.

About five years ago, the percentage of Hong Kong adults who were overweight/obese stood at about 39 per cent, according to the Centre for Health Protection.

26 Feb 2013 - 9:00am

Research paper finds obesity myths are still accepted at face value

Sorting obesity myths from fact. Photo: Reuters

In a study titled "Myths, Presumptions, and Facts about Obesity" published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine, the authors scoured popular media and scientific literature for obesity-related myths and presumptions and weighed them against scientifically proven facts.

24 Feb 2013 - 6:31am

Western food blamed for rise in Crohn's disease in Japan

Models taste McDonald's Japan's latest product in Tokyo. Photo: AP

The rising consumption of Western foods is predicted to trigger a rapid increase in Crohn's disease among Japanese people more used to a diet that is heavy in fish, vegetables and rice.

15 Feb 2013 - 4:59am

Letters to the Editor, January 13, 2013

A scene from the play The Orphan of Zhao. Photo: RSC

Why China declined under Qing dynasty

In her stimulating article ("Reinvent HK's economic role", January 6), Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee attributed the Qing dynasty's failure to develop science and technology to an abundant labour supply.

13 Jan 2013 - 1:57am

Fat people have lower death risk, study shows

Study finds that being slightly overweight, and even mildly obese, can increase life expectancy.

It's a common medical refrain: carrying extra kilos raises the risk of ills such as heart disease and diabetes and therefore the risk of premature death. But does that heightened risk of early death apply across the board to those who are merely overweight?

4 Jan 2013 - 9:24am

Briefs, December 28, 2012

Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi was the Iranian health minister.

Former US president George H. W. Bush, who led a coalition that ejected Iraqi forces from Kuwait in 1991, was in intensive care at a Houston, Texas, hospital in a "guarded condition", family spokesman Jim McGrath said.

28 Dec 2012 - 5:59am

Shanghai researchers identify bacteria linked to obesity

Mainland researchers have identified a bacteria which may cause obesity.

A new paper suggests diets that alter the presence of microbes in humans could combat the condition.

Researchers in Shanghai found that mice bred to be resistant to obesity even when fed high-fat foods became excessively overweight when injected with a kind of human bacteria and subjected to a rich diet.

20 Dec 2012 - 4:12am

Childhood obesity still a problem in Hong Kong

The percentage of students deemed overweight has continued to drop but the rate is still significantly higher than 16.4 per cent 15 years ago. Photo: Reuters

Childhood obesity is a problem that has not received the attention it deserves. There is a common but dangerous misperception that an extra few pounds at a younger age does no harm. Some parents even find chubby children more adorable and are quite happy to see their waistlines grow more than they should.

20 Dec 2012 - 3:03am

Obesity may not be bad for your health, says expert

Dr Lucy Aphramor, HAES UK. Photo: Nora Tam

Health officials, educators and governments the world over are up in arms over what they see as an obesity epidemic. Changing diets, a growing dependence on processed foods, and modern conveniences have done away with the necessity for much physical exertion.

18 Dec 2012 - 9:28am 3 comments

Don't blame the sick

Don't blame the sick. Photo: Nora Tam

If people can make themselves healthy, should we blame them for getting sick? That is the question raised not only by broadening acceptance of the idea that people should assume some responsibility for their health, but also by the exciting new trend towards patient empowerment.

7 Dec 2012 - 4:20am

Eating at the wrong time can cause obesity

Eating at the wrong time can cause obesity

It doesn't matter if you're not taking in more calories - eating at the wrong time can also cause weight gain. A new study in Nature Medicine shows that removing the clock gene in fat cells causes mice to become obese, with a shift in the timing of when the animal normally eats.

13 Nov 2012 - 9:28am

Initiative aims to redress global food imbalance

Katy Yung (left) and Stephanie Tan formed a charity organisation that promotes healthy eating. Photo: Nora Tam

Obesity and malnutrition may be at opposite ends of the nutrition spectrum, but they're both pressing problems in today's world.

About one billion people in the world are hungry, while roughly an equal number suffer from obesity, diabetes, and other health-related issues of overconsumption.

13 Nov 2012 - 9:40am