How to Define Obesity?

Dr. Hamdy comments on the medical definition of obesity

Nobody likes squeezing into a favorite pair of jeans or realizing you should buy a dress the next size up—but sometimes weight gain is more than just a slip in healthy habits. Excessive weight can be a serious threat to a person’s wellbeing. But where is the line between being healthy and unhealthy when it comes to weight gain?

Recently, obesity has been re-designated as a disease; defined as a person who has a Body Mass Index of 30kg/m2 or above. Similar to other diseases, a set of common symptoms accompanies this definition such high blood pressure or physical inactivity, which allow physicians to more accurately diagnose a person as obese.

From a medical standpoint, Osama Hamdy, M.D., Ph.D, F.A.C.E., Medical Director of the Obesity Clinical Program at Joslin, Director of Inpatient Diabetes Management at Joslin and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, agrees with the decision to recognize obesity as a disease.

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Get Ready for Fall with Joslin!

First day of fall happens next week. Get in the autumnal spirit with these posts from Joslin

Your Fall To-Do List: Tune Up Your Diabetes Care

Forget January—the early days of fall are the time to focus on your goals and recommit to your health. The weather is getting cooler, the barometric pressure is thankfully rising and a certain crisp clarity has taken hold. The morning air beckons you like a siren song to throw off the laden slumbers of summer and leap into action with renewed vigor.

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Molding the Future of Diabetes Technology with the Joslin Institute for Technology Translation

Dr. Howard Wolpert, Director of the Joslin Institute for Technology Translation

Over the summer, Joslin Diabetes Center announced a new initiative focused on improving the current state of diabetes technology. Called the Joslin Institute for Technology Translation, the new group offers advice and solutions to diabetes medical device and technology companies to improve development of easier-to-use, more widely accessible products that help patients manage their diabetes.

This could include anything from providing clinical input that may impact the redesign of pumps to be faster, more accurate and cost-effective, or to develop a mobile app that tracks your blood glucose levels.

JITT doesn’t plan to introduce any new technology to the market themselves. “We are not technology,” says Harry Mitchell, executive director of JITT. “We are the know-how. We are the clinical solutions that strive to make technology better to improve the lives of people with diabetes.”

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Ask Joslin: Could Trauma Have Caused My Diabetes?

Can a traumatic experience or a hospital stay be the cause of my diabetes?

The possibility of trauma inducing diabetes has been a topic of interest since Dr. Joslin was practicing medicine in the 1940s.  To quote Dr. Joslin from his paper, “The Relation of Trauma to Diabetes,” published in the Annals of Surgery in 1943, “The thesis that trauma de novo can cause diabetes has steadily lost support.”

The accumulation of knowledge about diabetes and its origins since that time has only substantiated the fact that, barring a direct substantial insult to the pancreas, diabetes does not arise spontaneously as a result of a traumatic injury.

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Check Out The Great Ideas That Won the 2014 Clinic Innovation Award

Joslin employees submitted ideas to improve the clinics. Check out the winners here!

Joslin Diabetes Center’s commitment to innovation extends to all facets of Joslin, including the Joslin Clinic with the 2014 Clinic Innovation Award. This award, made possible by a donation from the Chair of the Board of Trustees Ralph James, aims to foster clinical innovation and create improvements within the clinic.

“We are very thankful to Ralph James for his generous donation that spurred the providers and staff to brainstorm on how to provide even better care to our patients at Joslin,” said Robert Gabbay, M.D., Ph.D., FACP, Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President at Joslin.

After careful consideration, the Clinical Innovation Award Committee chose three recipients: Florence Brown, M.D. Director of the Joslin-Beth Israel Deaconess Diabetes and Pregnancy Program, Pernell Reid, MHA, MS, Practice Manager, Clinic Operations in the Joslin Clinic and Katie Wentzell, MSN, PNP, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.

When selecting the recipients, the committee focused on identifying the most innovative projects that could impact the largest amount of patients while also having the ability to be tested and implemented within a six month timeframe.

On behalf of the committee, Dr. Gabbay explained, “What stood out the most about the chosen projects is that they all impact different populations at the Joslin and each recipient came up with an innovative care delivery system that can potentially be spread throughout the entire clinic.”

Click here to learn more about the winning ideas–>

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Four-Time Olympian Kris Freeman Balances Type 1 Diabetes with Olympic Dreams

Olympian Kris Freeman was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2000.

Even before Kris Freeman could walk, he could ski. Kris’ father pulled him along in a sled until the age of two when he began shuffling around on his own skis. By the time he was five, Kris was already skiing competitively. Fast forward to the 2014 Olympics where Kris competed in three different races, showing that he has not let anything, including his diabetes, get in the way of his Olympic dreams.

In 2000, while attending the University of Vermont, Kris was invited to train with the U.S. Ski team at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City.

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Honoring the Memory of Golf-Loving Husband, Dad, and Friend with Tournament to Benefit Joslin

Chuck Brockman with his granddaughter, Allison

Chuck Brockman was an avid golfer who never let diabetes get in the way of his game. Seven years after his passing, his family and friends continue to honor him by playing the game he loved most while raising money to fight the disease that took him too soon.

Chuck was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 30 years old and didn’t let it interfere with his life. This included golf, a sport he loved wholeheartedly. “He golfed every weekend he possibly could. Even in the winter! He loved the game,” said Elaine Brockman, Chuck’s wife. At the age of 61, Chuck passed away from diabetes complications leaving behind his wife and two children.

Today, Chuck’s son Keith flies up from Florida to Massachusetts to honor his father at this event. Keith hopes to find a cure for type 1 diabetes: the disease that took his father and a disease that he was also diagnosed with at 15 years old.

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All About Eyes with Joslin Experts

Diabetes is a complex disease. Understand more about the different aspects of diabetes in this series of quick explanations from Joslin doctors and researchers!

This September, learn all about your eyes, how they are affected by diabetes, and how to keep them healthy.

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Tasty Brown-Bag Lunches For Kids With Diabetes

Some suggestions for healthy, tasty, and carb-counted lunches!

All August, the Joslin Blog is highlighting stories about heading back to school with diabetes. This story was originally posted on Oct. 5, 2012.

Our school lunch blog generated some thoughtful comments and questions, one of which we are addressing today. If your child has diabetes and attends public school what can you give him or her for lunch that’s nutritious, carb smart and won’t end up in the garbage or traded for something more tempting?

Depending on the effort you want to put in and the time you have to make lunches, there is actually a wide variety of choices you can offer your hungry child. And with today’s cold packs there is very little you can’t transport to school safely.

Here’s a school-week’s worth of suggestions (plus two bonus menus).

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Building the College Diabetes Network One Chapter at a Time

Christina Roth founded the College Diabetes Network when she realized the value of a diabetes community when in college herself

All August, the Joslin Blog is highlighting stories about heading back to school with diabetes. This story was originally posted on June 19, 2014.

Making the transition from high school to college is not an easy process, but if you have diabetes, this transition includes a whole other set of challenges.

“College is the perfect storm of everything [happening all at once],” said Christina Roth, CEO and founder of the College Diabetes Network. “For most people, it’s the first time they are managing their diabetes on their own. There is very little control, whether its control over their personal routine day-to-day or just their life in general.”

Some of the everyday challenges of managing diabetes in college include: an unpredictable class schedule, navigating dining hall food options and financial concerns.  While it can be difficult to manage all of these changes, it can be even harder if you have to do it alone.

These aforementioned challenges as well as the lack of resources and a support community on college campuses inspired Christina Roth to found the College Diabetes Network (CDN), a national non-profit organization that works with young adults on college campuses across the country to create peer networks and provide support and access to resources.

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