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BMI
Weight Status
Below 18.5
Underweight
18.5 - 24.9
Normal
25.0 - 29.9
Overweight
30.0 and Above
Obese
A BMI of less than 19 indicates you are underweight.
A BMI between 20 and 24 is usually considered normal.
A person with a BMI of 25 to 29 is considered overweight,
and a person with a BMI of 30 or above is considered obese.

Obesity is associated with an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases.

Pharmaceutical company dedicated to the development and commercialization of novel therapeutic products, today announced that it has completed enrollment in the EQUATE study (OB-301). This trial, initiated in December 2007, will study the effects of Qnexa, an investigational drug, in obese patients with and without co-morbidities over 28 weeks. The EQUATE study has enrolled over 700 patients with Body Mass Index (“BMI”) ranging from 30 to 45 in 35 clinical sites. The co-primary endpoints for these studies will evaluate the differences between treatments in mean percent weight loss and in the percentage of subjects achieving weight loss of 5% or more.

Patients in the EQUATE study will undergo a 4-week dose titration period followed by 24 weeks of treatment. The study is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 7-arm, prospective trial with subjects randomize to receive once-a-day treatment with mid-dose Qnexa (7.5 mg phentermine/46 mg topiramate CR), full strength Qnexa (15 mg phentermine/92 mg topiramate CR), the respective phentermine and topiramate constituents, or placebo. At randomization, subjects will be instructed to follow a hypocaloric diet representing a 500-calorie/day deficit and advised to implement a simple lifestyle modification program throughout the study period. VIVUS has completed the Special Protocol Assessment (“SPA”) process for this trial with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Under the SPA process, the company and the FDA have reached agreement on study design features that will be employed throughout the entire phase 3 program including the co-primary endpoints of the study, scope and size of the patient population, specific safety assessments, inclusion/exclusion criteria, duration of the trials and the statistical method for analyzing the co-primary study endpoints.

Weight loss is not just a physical act. The most successful people who lose weight and keep it off are those who adapt a long-term lifestyle change that is a good fit for them.

It is something we all have heard of before but certainly not a simple change process to begin. That’s the psychology of weight loss. To get to the stage of actually changing your lifestyle, you will enter a tough journey, but not an impossible one. It is a step-by-step process. Remember, the journey to finish a marathon begins with the first step.

When entering a weight-loss program, be mindful to avoid ones that promote their program with “x” amount of weight loss for “x” amount of money. For example, “Lose 20 pounds in two weeks for just $19.99.” To avoid a disaster, look at the program’s outcome data. Look to see that it gives you tools to maintaining your weight loss, and, most importantly, does it teach one to be accountable to oneself.

A healthy weight-loss program is not one that is just low in caloric intake, but uses several tools to help you achieve your lifestyle changes.

Excessive weight is what I call a multifactoral or multimodal health problem. Your body is a complex piece of machinery. Excess weight is related to many factors (e.g., biological, genetics, psychological and social). It is not as simple as “eating less and exercising more.” If excess weight is multifactoral, then the approach to losing weight must be multimodal.

One must appreciate and be mindful not only of the physical battle ahead but the emotional/psychological one as well. Choose a program that will help you on all levels that has multiple resources, which could include a physician, psychologist, dietitian/nutritionist and other support groups or systems.

The process of weight loss should start with honestly evaluating your readiness to change. For many people, weight gain occurs for many reasons and over some period of time.

All of the factors that have lead to the weight gain need to be evaluated and addressed to promote the most individually tailored weight loss treatment plan. With this in mind, you should think about everything that has lead to your weight gain and list those reasons (e.g., stress, genetics, poor eating habits, time management, etc).

Think about the relationship you have developed with food and eating. Include the surroundings of where and when you usually eat: in the car, in front of the TV, when you are stressed, on your way to work.

After you have listed and examined all of these issues, ask yourself this important question: “Am I truly ready to change my behaviors?” The first answer commonly is “yes” when I ask my patients; however, it is easier to identify whether you truly are ready for change by using Prochaska, DiClemente and Norcross’ Stages of Change Model, which puts your situation in perspective.

There are six stages of change that have been identified, which are crucial in tailoring treatment. Research has shown there are specific techniques and processes that help people move from one stage to the next.

Precontemplation: In this stage, you want to lose weight but you have not really thought about how to change yet.

Contemplation: You are thinking about change but sitting on the fence on what to do.

Preparation/pre-action: You start actively looking for resources, programs or other tools geared to help reach your weight-loss goals.

Action: You are fully engaged in the weight-loss process and working a program tailored for you.

Maintenance: You have maintained your healthy weight loss, being mindful of body and emotion for a lifestyle change with long-term effects.

Relapse prevention: Many people do relapse similar to other behavioral problems by resuming old habits and eating behaviors. In this stage, it is important to identify what the trigger was to this relapse and tackle that head-on.

Find out where you are. Do not assume you are ready to lose weight based on what you say or the pressure you feel from friends, family and society. Identify what stage you are in and aim to get to the next stage until you begin changing your lifestyle. There are countless bad weeks, and there’s never a right time to start a plan, so avoid that mind-set,  focus on the stage you are in and work toward the stage you want to be in.

Cutting kids’ TV and computer time by half reduced the amount of food they ate and helped them lose weight, a new study found.

The finding offers hope to the problem of childhood obesity in the United States, where an estimated 16 percent of children ages 6 to 19 years old are overweight, a 45 percent increase in one decade, according to federal researchers.

For the study, a professor in the department of pediatrics and social and preventive medicine at the University at Buffalo,  and his colleagues studied 70 overweight children, aged 4 to 7, who watched TV or played computer games for at least 14 hours a week.

The researchers installed a monitoring device on each television and computer the child used; the device allowed for the reduction of the children’s weekly screen time by 10 percent a week until a 50 percent reduction had been reached. Each family member was given a unique code to activate the TV or computer. In addition, the kids received such incentives as money and stickers to spend less time with TVs or computers.

The other overweight children had no restriction on their use of TVs or computers.

Professor‘s team found that the children who had no restrictions on their computer or TV use reduced their TV watching or computer-games playing by 5.2 hours a week. But the kids with restricted use cut their TV and computer time by 17.5 hours a week.

And, the children with restricted TV and computer time lost more weight than the other children. However, the researchers found no difference between the two groups in terms of physical activity.

“Using technology to modify television viewing eliminates parental vigilance needed to enforce family rules and reduces the disciplinary action needed if a child exceeds his or her sedentary behavior limits,” the authors concluded. “Perhaps most important, the device puts the choice of when to watch television in the child’s control, as opposed to a rule such as ‘no television time until homework is completed.'”

For teens looking to keep weight off, it doesn’t have to be a breakfast of champions, but it should be some kind of breakfast — and preferably a healthy one.

Yet another study is confirming that adolescents who skip breakfast have a higher risk of being overweight.

“There’s a pretty significant inverse association between how frequently kids report eating breakfast and how much weight they gain over time, and we took into account other dietary factors and physical activity,” said co-author of the study, published in the March issue of Pediatrics.

“It’s interesting to note that the kids who eat breakfast on a daily basis overall have a much better diet and are more physically active,”

More than one-third of teens aged 12 to 19 are now overweight or at risk of becoming overweight. And over the past two decades, the proportion of children who are overweight has doubled; among teens, the proportion has tripled, according to background information with the study.

An estimated 12 percent to 34 percent of children and adolescents skip breakfast on a regular basis, a number that increases with age. Previous studies have linked breakfast skipping with a greater tendency to gain weight.

“There has been quite a lot of published scientific literature already on the relationship between breakfast habits in both children as well as adults and obesity risk,” said an associate professor of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. “It’s pretty darn consistent in the literature that people who eat breakfast are at lower risk for obesity, but most of those studies have some methodological limitations.”

The new study was both cross-sectional and prospective — moving forward in time. More than 2,000 adolescents were followed for five years. Participants completed detailed surveys on their eating patterns and also provided information on their height, weight, body-mass index and physical activity.

The more often a person ate breakfast, the less likely he or she was to be overweight or obese.

“What happens is that total fat and saturated fat as a percentage of total daily energy were lower in the breakfast eaters compared with breakfast skippers,” Richel explained. “This really shows that we have the potential to improve energy balance and weight control with healthy breakfast consumption. We’re not talking pop-tarts.”

In another Pediatrics article, researchers reported that an Internet-based program helped keep teens’ weight in check over the short term and also reduced binge eating. Those who participated in the program also had less concern about their weight and shape, compared with teens who did not participate, suggesting that the program may lower the risk for eating disorders.

The 16-week program included education, behavioral modification, journaling, discussion and motivational messages.

Didrex Tablets contain the anorectic agent benzphetamine hydrochloride.
Benzphetamine is an anti-obesity drug marketed under brand name: Didrex in the USA by Pharmacia.

Benzphetamine has been approved by the FDA in 1960, for treating obesity on a short term use.

Benzphetamine is a sympathomimetic amine, which is similar to an amphetamine. It is also known as an “anorectic” or “anorexigenic” drug.
Didrex works by suppressing your appetite .

Although the mechanism of action of the sympathomimetic appetite suppressants in the treatment of obesity is not fully known, these medications have pharmacological effects similar to those of amphetamines. Amphetamine and related sympathomimetic medications (such as benzphetamine) are thought to stimulate the release of norepinephrine and/or dopamine from storage sites in nerve terminals in the lateral hypothalamic feeding center, thereby producing a decrease in appetite. This release is mediated by the binding of benzphetamine to centrally located adrenergic receptors. Tachyphylaxis and tolerance have been demonstrated with all drugs of this class in which these phenomena have been looked for.

Benzphetamine is contraindicated in patients with advanced arteriosclerosis, symptomatic cardiovascular disease, moderate to severe hypertension, hyper-thyroidism, known hypersensitivity or idiosyncrasy to sympathomimetic amines, and glaucoma. Benzphetamine should not be given to patients who are in an agitated state or who have a history of drug abuse.

Benzphetamine hydrochloride is a white crystalline powder readily soluble in water and 95% ethanol.
Each Didrex tablet, for oral administration, contains 50 mg of benzphetamine hydrochloride.
Inactive Ingredients: Calcium Stearate, Corn Starch. Ervthrosine Sodium. FD 8 C Yellow No.61 Lactose, Povidone, Sorbitol.
Didrex tablets are supplied as follows:

50 mg (peach, round, imprinted with Didrex 50, scored)

  • Bottles of 100 NDC 0009-0024-01
  • Bottles of 500 NDC 0009-0024-02

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make.
It is best to take Didrex in the mid-morning or mid-afternoon. Because Didrex may cause sleeplessness, do not take a dose late in the day unless directed to do so by your doctor.
Carefully follow your doctor’s instructions about a special diet plan that will help you lose weight .
For weight loss:
Dosage should be individualized according to the response of the patient. The suggested dosage ranges from 25 to 50 mg one to three times daily. Treatment should begin with 25 to 50 mg once daily with subsequent increase in individual dose or frequency according to response. A single daily dose is preferably given in mid-morning or mid-afternoon, according to the patient’s eating habits. In an occasional patient it may be desirable to avoid late afternoon administration. Use of benzphetamine hydrochloride is not recom-mended in children under 12 years of age.

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that Didrex is working properly .

Didrex may be habit-forming. If you feel that the medicine is not working as well, do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor for instructions .

If you will be taking Didrex for a long time, do not stop taking it without first checking with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount you are taking before stopping completely .

Check with your doctor right away if you think that you may be pregnant. Benzphetamine may cause birth defects or other problems in the baby if taken during pregnancy. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant .

You should not use Didrex if you have used an MAO inhibitor (MAOI) such as Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, or Parnate within the past 14 days .

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines, and herbal or vitamin supplements .

Didrex may cause some people to feel a false sense of well-being or to become dizzy, lightheaded, or less alert than they are normally. Make sure you know how you react to Didrex before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or not alert.

Didrex is available only with your doctor’s prescription .

Appetite suppressants are not a substitute for proper diet. For maximum effects, this must be used in combination with diet and exercise programs.

PHENDIMETRAZINE is a weight loss medication. It is available with a prescription under several brand names – Bontril, Phendiet, Phenzene, Plegine.
Phendimetrazine is a sympathomimetic amine, which is similar to an amphetamine. It is also known as an “anorectic” or “anorexigenic” drug.
Combined with a reduced calorie diet, it can help you reduce weight by decreasing your appetite. Generic phendimetrazine is available.
Phendimetrazine stimulates the central nervous system (nerves and brain), which increases your heart rate and blood pressure and decreases your appetite.

Phendimetrazine is used along with a doctor-approved, reduced-calorie diet, exercise, and behavior change program to help you lose weight.   It is used in people who are significantly overweight (obese) and have not been able to lose enough weight with diet and exercise alone.

The immediate-release formulation is available in 35 mg tablets and capsules. The sustained-release formulation is available in 105 mg capsules. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available.

Phendimetrazine is usually taken for only a few weeks at a time. It should not be taken with other appetite suppressants.
The possibility of serious side effects increases with longer use of this medication and use of this drug along with certain other diet drugs.

This medication may cause dependence, especially if it has been used regularly for an extended time or if it has been used in high doses. In such cases, withdrawal reactions (e.g., depression, severe tiredness) may occur if you suddenly stop this drug. To prevent withdrawal when stopping extended/regular treatment with this drug, gradually reduce the dosage as directed.
This medication may stop working well after you have been taking it for a while.

Phendimetrazine is usually taken once a day (sustained release formula) or two to three times daily (immediate-release formula) before meals on an empty stomach. Do not take phendimetrazine in the evening because it may cause insomnia. Do not crush, chew, or open any “once-daily” phendimetrazine tablets or capsules. Swallow them whole.

30 years ago, the campers were mostly teenage girls, 100 pounds-plus overweight. The menu consisted of food like liver, fish and alfalfa sprouts, and the exercise was running and sit-ups.

The goal was to lose as much weight in as short amount of time as possible.

Now, things are a little less extreme: About 40 percent of the campers are boys. Most kids need to lose between 20 and 40 pounds. Menus offer a broader range of food, and exercise is downright fun, with activities such as tennis and kayaking. The camps emphasize healthy lifestyles and skills the kids can take home with them.

In short, so-called “fat camps” are more likely to resemble regular camps that just happen to specialize in teaching good decision-making techniques.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 percent of children ages 6 to 19 are overweight or obese в a number that has tripled since 1980.

The number of weight-loss camps has remained relatively the same, says executive director of the National Camp Association. There are about 15 to 20 out of a total of 10,000 camps in the organization. (Some camps have multiple locations.)

Who used to run Weight Watchers camps, says campers tend to be younger than they used to be. A large number of the 1,500 kids he expects will sign up for his three summer camps over the next few weeks will be between the ages of 7 and 12.

That age group tends to be more successful because parents have more input on the child’s eating and exercise habits, he says. Bad eating habits are also less ingrained in younger children.

And camps are all about building habits, not just handing out quick fixes. They offer classes about nutrition, portion control, emotional eating, and dealing with situations like pizza and ice cream parties.

“The biggest misconception about weight-loss camp is that they don’t serve you enough food and that they overwork you,” says Daniel, 15, who was featured in the MTV documentary “Return to Fat Camp” based on New Image Camp Pocono Trails in Pennsylvania. He lost 40 pounds at the camp. “It’s the exact opposite. They feed you the right amount of food and work you out just enough.”

Changing behavior is key to sustaining weight loss, says Ryan Craig, president of Wellspring, which runs 11 weight-loss summer programs around the world, including nine camps and two adult vacations, as well as programs at two boarding schools.

Wellspring participants learn to cook, shop, order at restaurants, and work with psychologists on stress management, frustration tolerance and emotional eating.

“It’s not a lack of information,” says Craig, referring to the reason kids are overweight. “They know what it means to be healthy. They’re resorting to food as an unhealthy coping mechanism.”

Some campers want to be there, as opposed to years ago when their parents made them go.

Rod Rezvani, 20, who at one point weighed 440 pounds, says his father suggested attending Wellspring Camp last summer. But, he says, it was “completely my decision.”

“I was happy I was finally making a change,” says Rezvani, who has lost 167 pounds and is enrolled in the Wellspring college program in Reedley, Calif.

Maya Murray, 8, of Long Island, N.Y., who was 112 pounds, attended New Image Weight Loss Camps last summer and came home 16 pounds slimmer, more confident and independent, and making healthier choices. She continued to lose weight, with her family’s support, and is now 76 pounds.

“I wanted to feel better and look better,” says Maya. “I couldn’t breathe that well. I couldn’t run fast. It was hard to be active.”

Wellspring makes sure that parents are part of the process, says Craig, offering family workshops the last two days of camp, a home-transition plan for each child and an after-care program.

Losing the weight does come at a price. New Image Weight Loss Camps cost about $1,100 a week; the camp does give out scholarships. Wellspring Camps cost about $5,950 for four weeks, but insurance covers some of that because of the therapy, says Craig.

Still, those costs may put some of these programs out of reach, especially for inner-city youth, who have higher rates of obesity.

There are cheaper options, says Susan Blech, co-author of the weight-loss memoir “Confessions of a Carb Queen” and the senior care coordinator at Brookdale Hospital’s childhood obesity program in Brooklyn, N.Y. She recommends parents look into schools or churches that run camps, sports activities or a program similar to hers, which is free.

The important thing is to keep kids active in the summer, says Madelyn Fernstrom, founder and director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Weight Management Center.

Solomon also says more traditional camps are now focused on children’s fitness and health, serving more nutritious fare and encouraging lots of exercise.

“Any camp is great because it will force the child to have structured time in the summer,” Fernstrom says. “You want to choose a camp even if it’s a special camp like arts or science that has some activity.”