Posts Tagged ‘Obesity’

Vaccines and obesity

February 21, 2010

The folks over at Effect Measure posted their take on a recent research article about vaccinating obese adolescents. The researchers were trying to see if needle length had an effect on the amount of antibody titer found in the subject’s blood after vaccination. The researchers found that those vaccinated with a 1.5″ needle  had higher antibody titers than subjects vaccinated with a 1.0″ needle.

I wish I could see the entire article, but unfortunately I don’t have access to Pediatrics and the abstract will have to suffice. The study itself was small, with only 22 young women and 2 young men receiving the Hepatitis B vaccine over 3 years. It raises an interesting point and possibly names another negative consequence of the obesity crisis in this country.

Of course, one study doesn’t tell us if using shorter needles constitutes under-vaccinating in obese individuals. In fact, it raises so many questions. Is it the needle size or the person that is the bigger factor in antibody levels? Will nurses have to start taking skin fold measurements before administering vaccines? Would vaccine needles have to start coming in many different sizes, to accommodate different levels of girth? And how will the anti-vaccine folks respond to this?


Finding Fruit in the Desert

November 2, 2009

Many urban and rural areas have become “food deserts”, or places where there are no supermarkets and grocery stores. Food deserts leave people with few options other than shopping at convenience stores for food. Well you’re lucky if you can finding a banana selling for $1.00 at most of these places and it is mostly cookies, candy, and canned goods a high prices. Public health officials have finally caught on to this (it does little good to tell a person how to eat right if they don’t have access to the food in the first place) and store owners in Cleveland, New York, Louisville and elsewhere are being approached by public health organizations and economic development agencies with offers of new equipment, marketing expertise or neighborhood promotions to encourage them to stock more fresh produce, whole wheat bread and other healthy offerings. The NY Times has more on this. Makes me feel pretty hopeful that we can turn things around.