Sunday, October 18, 2009

'Too-Fat' Baby Denied Health Care insurance

This is appalling. This is one of the bad consequences of the constant lying propaganda about obesity. One would have hoped that an insurance company had more competent actuaries than this one seems to have

A Colorado couple said their 4-month-old son was denied health insurance because he is overweight. Alex Lange, who measures 25 inches long and weighs 17 pounds, was denied coverage after underwriters ruled him a high-risk patient because of his "pre-existing condition" -- obesity.

Bernie and Kelli Lange tried to get insurance for their family with Rocky Mountain Health Plans when they were told by a broker the company couldn't cover Alex because he was "too fat."

Alex is in the 99th percentile for height and weight for babies his age. Insurers don't take babies above the 95th percentile, no matter how healthy they are otherwise, the Denver Post reported on its Web site.

Bernie Lange said there is something absurd with denying an infant coverage. "I could understand if we could control what he's eating. But he's 4 months old. He's breast-feeding. We can't put him on the Atkins Diet or on a treadmill," Bernie Lange told Grand Junction television station KKCO.

The family plans to appeal Rocky Mountain's denial.


Copper bracelet arthritis cure is a myth, say scientists

Copper and magnetic bracelets worn by thousands to alleviate arthritis are useless, researchers claim. The trial - the first scientifically-based study of its kind - raises doubts over the multimillion-pound alternative pain therapy industry.

Magnetic therapy and copper replacement are said to help a variety of ailments, including chronic joint pain caused by osteoarthritis and other musculoskeletal disorders. Manufacturers suggest the condition can be alleviated by re-balancing the body's magnetic field or topping up depleted copper levels though the skin. Many prefer to use the bracelets rather than drugs because there are no side effects.

But researchers from the universities of York, Hull, Durham, along with the NHS, found there was no difference in symptoms whether patients wore magnetic straps or de-magnetised ones. They asked 45 arthritis sufferers aged 50 and over to wear four wrist straps in turn over a 16-week period.

They tested out a commercially available magnetic wrist strap, a weak magnetic wrist strap, a de-magnetised wrist strap and a copper bracelet. Their pain levels were rated on an internationally recognised score index and their use of medication noted, says a report published in the latest issue of the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine. No difference was found in terms of their effect on pain between the four devices, with similar results found for joint stiffness and need for medication.

Stewart Richmond, of York University, who led the trial, said: 'It appears that any perceived benefit obtained from wearing a magnetic or copper bracelet can be attributed to psychological placebo effects. 'People tend to buy them when they are in a lot of pain, then when the pain eases off over time they attribute this to the device. However, our findings suggest that such devices have no real advantage over placebo wrist straps that are not magnetic and do not contain copper.' Dr Richmond added that although some arthritis sufferers do have lower copper levels, this is an effect of the condition rather than a cause.

Magnetic and copper bracelets typically cost between £30 and £50, with the industry worldwide worth around £2.45billion. Dr Richmond said: 'I realise this may dispel the myth and puncture a few balloons, but I don't want to see people wasting their money.'


Milk police treat adults like foolish children

Why can't people make their own decisions about what sort of milk they drink? Many things in life are risky and we all have to strike our own balance between risks and rewards. Cutting off options is authoritarian and arrogant

A national battle is heating up between proponents of drinking raw milk for health benefits and food safety advocates such as the Food and Drug Administration. Drinkers of raw, or unpasteurized, milk say it tastes better, helps with digestive problems and boosts immunity. The FDA warns the milk is "inherently dangerous." It can be a host for potentially harmful germs, FDA spokesman Michael Herndon says.

The sale of raw milk is legal, with varying restrictions, in 28 states, with five additional states allowing it to be sold as pet food, according to the Weston A. Price Foundation, a Washington-based non-profit that advocates raw milk. Efforts to tighten or loosen sales restrictions on raw milk have been underway this year in several states, including:

• Maryland. A bill to legalize raw milk sales has been under consideration since February.

• Texas. The state health department recently lost a bid to tighten raw milk sales regulations.

• Connecticut. After the state health department traced an E. coli outbreak to raw milk in 2008, a bill was introduced to rescind farmers' rights to sell raw milk in stores. The bill died in committee after a February hearing.

• Wisconsin. Raw milk supporters recently hired a lobbyist to try to amend state law to allow raw milk sales, according to a state report.

Although no official industry statistics are kept on sales of raw milk, advocates of raw milk, such as the Weston A. Price Foundation, say more consumers want the choice. Demand for raw milk "is rapidly growing," says Sally Fallon Morell, president of the foundation.

Mark McAfee, owner of the Organic Pastures raw milk dairy in Fresno, Calif., calls the raw milk campaign an "out-of-control grass-roots movement." In less than 10 years he says, he has expanded to serve 50,000 to 60,000 people a week.

The FDA has not seen appreciable growth in the production of raw milk, Herndon says. He warns consumers, "Do not compromise your health and safety by subscribing to the raw milk fad."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says raw milk can host germs such as E. coli and salmonella. A joint CDC and FDA statement implicated raw milk in 45 outbreaks from 1998 to 2005 in which people became sick from various bacteria.

Drinkers of raw milk pay many times the cost of pasteurized milk, said McAfee, who charges $10 per gallon — compared with a national average of $3.17 for pasteurized milk, according to the U. S. Department of Agriculture.


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