Penn Medicine News Blog Archive: Obesity, Weight, and Eating Disorders

Science Communications, One White-Board Video at a Time

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In an online video series, Florie Charles, a doctoral student at the University of California at San Francisco, and founder of Youreka Science, simply uses a white board and colored markers (and occasionally a small cut out mouse -- animal, not computer peripheral) to explain findings from recent papers in an accessible, fresh, and engaging way. One of her newest videos happens to feature a recent publication from the lab of Garret FitzGerald, MD, FRS, director of Penn Medicine's Institute of Translational Medicine and Therapeutics.

Gadgets to Seamlessly Integrate Health Apps Into Daily Life

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In early April, Penn Medicine hosted a fast-paced lightning round of presentations highlighting new and emerging technology being used inside and outside the Health System that may help patients and medical professionals alike. “Connected health” is about continuous sensing and monitoring to enable early detection, diagnosis and intervention, and improving outcomes at lower cost. Alternating between internal and external projects, the presenters brought their best ideas and applications to share, explaining how these new devices fit within the existing health care system and, in some cases, how they stretch the boundaries and may change the way healthcare is delivered.

The Many Faces of Metformin

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Metformin, the most widely prescribed diabetes drug, has come full circle from a home remedy in the European medieval apothecary called goat’s rue to now being investigated for a host of modern chronic conditions.

You Can Do It!

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The new year frequently brings with it resolutions to improve our lives. And the two goals topping most people’s lists are losing weight and getting more exercise. Every January, gyms suddenly become more crowded and weight-loss programs see significant increases in membership. Diet aid apps are downloaded by the thousands....

Helping Mothers Give Their Babies the Best Start in Life

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All of Society Needs to Support Breastfeeding for Everyone to Reap the Maximum Benefits Medical journals, magazines, websites… they’re all touting the same message, something nature has known all along: breastfeeding is beneficial for both babies and mothers. The message is getting through - but not always to everyone who...

Behind the Scenes of the Drug Approval Process

This week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new prescription weight loss drug – the first in more than a decade. Advocates of the drug, which trials showed helped users lose an average of about five percent of their body weight, say it provides an important new weight loss option for the 35 percent of Americans classified as obese. But the medication, which will be sold under the name Belviq, is not without risks. Some studies showed that it causes heart valve problems, an issue that echoes the reasons why the weight-loss drug combination known as Fen-Phen was pulled from the market in 1997. A Penn medical toxicologist and emergency physician, Jeanmarie Perrone, played a role behind the headlines about the drug’s approval, as a member of an FDA advisory committee tasked with reviewing the data about the drug and making recommendations to the agency about whether or not it should be approved.

Pre-eclampsi-whaaa?: One of the most common, most dangerous, least known threats to pregnant women…

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I remember the first time I heard of preeclampsia . Despite the fact that I’ve worked my whole adult career in hospitals and health care, I didn’t first learn about preeclampsia on the job. In truth, I read about it years ago – and rather graphically – in the John...

Exercise: The “Underrated Wonder Drug” for Cancer?

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The nation’s 2.4 million breast cancer survivors already have strength in numbers, and they’re a powerful lobby for research funding and public awareness campaigns about early detection of the disease, but ongoing research at Penn Medicine offers them the chance to gain literal strength.

If water is so great, why don’t we drink it?

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We’re in the midst of the Year of Water here at Penn, but I can’t help but think there is a water disconnect – the water that we’re trying to save and protect is the same thing we’re rejecting as a drink. I, like many Americans, drink water only if...

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