We might need to step on our scales before setting up the next doctor’s visit. A Massachusetts primary care physician has implemented a policy of refusing patients who are over 200 pounds, citing concern for her employees. Dr. Helen Carter of Shrewsbury, MA says that she decided to stop seeing overweight patients after her staff suffered injuries trying to accommodate people over 250 pounds. We didn’t think this was legal, but according to the American Medical Association’s Council on Ethics and Judicial Affairs, doctors have the freedom to determine what kind of patient-physician relationships to pursue, as this WCVB.com story points out. One of her former patients, Ida Davidson, who was turned away because of her weight, thinks this policy is just the doctor’s way of avoiding “too much work.”
Tell us: Whose side are you on? Do you think Dr. Carter is being fair or discriminatory?
The week before last Christmas, Dr. Ed Chicoine, a Canadian chiropractor told his family that he wanted to run across the United States and Canada to “create a wellness revolution.” He thought that raising awareness and starting a petition—with a goal of one million signatures—would help to influence government policy. “Health care seems to be more like disease care today. Society can save money over the long run if we start thinking of ways to improve health that may be outside of the box, like subsidizing more wholesome foods,” Dr. Chicoine says.
It took three months for his kids to put their lives on hold, but six out of seven of them decided to join their dad on the “Marathon of Health” journey, which began in Vancouver on May 9. They made stops along the way at schools—”kids like hearing from other kids,” one young Chicoine says—and looped around the outer edge of the U.S. They stopped in New York City, and at the FITNESS offices, along the way to chat with us about their project.
A few of the best “overheard” quotes from our discussion:
- Since they traveled in an R.V. designed for two people, “running provided a couple hours of freedom.”
- “We’ve eaten out about ten times so far and do all of our cooking in the motor home. I really don’t know how to cook anything for less than eight people!”
- “We stock up on a lot of oatmeal since we have that every morning for breakfast.”
- “Driving in traffic is so much more exhausting than running 10 miles!”
To learn more, sign the family’s petition and find simple steps to improve your health and longevity from experts working with the family, visit marathonofhealth.com.
More from FITNESS:
- 10 Family Fitness Ideas From Around the Country
- Fit For a Cause: Women Who Are Changing the World
- Give Your Family a Health Makeover
Can you believe 16 years ago no state in the U.S. had an obesity rate over 20 percent? According to this report from Trust for America’s Health, now all but one does. So why do we keep getting bigger? Obesity experts say the link could be tied to how much you eat out.
According to this article, the U.S. Department of Agriculture claims a third of the calories Americans eat come from restaurants, almost double what it was 30 years ago. The study showed that more than half of adults eat out three times or more a week, with 12 percent eating out seven times a week – that’s every day! Plus, with the added strain of financial woes, it’s not surprising to see that more people are eating cheaper, which means a rise in fast-food consumption.
This isn’t to say you should never eat out, but you should definitely be wary of what you’re eating when you go. A plate of salmon might seem healthy on the menu, but when you don’t know how much olive oil, butter, and other fatty ingredients it’s being cooked in counting calories starts to get a little tricky. Another tip? Keep in mind portion control. I was shocked to find out that a bagel 20 years ago was only three inches in diameter with 140 calories and today, are six inches with 350 calories. Just because you get a larger portion, doesn’t mean you have to eat the whole thing if you’re full.
Tell us: How many times do you eat out a week?