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30% of world's population is obese, costing economy $2 trillion per year

By Barker:(NaturalNews) Almost one-third of the world's population is obese, and the global economic cost is nearly the same as that of smoking or even war, according to the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI).

The researchers at MGI recently published a discussion paper, Overcoming obesity: An initial economic analysis, which outlines the issue and offers strategies for dealing with what is a preventable global problem -- and one which is increasingly growing worse.

Gene mutation may raise the risk of alcoholism

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Researchers have identified a gene variation that seems to influence a person's craving for alcohol. They believe this finding could have important implications for identifying at-risk drinkers as well as for selecting the best treatment for a patient's dependence.

The gene mutation involves a cell structure called the mu-opioid receptor. In previous studies, this receptor has been shown to bind beta-endorphin, a pain-relieving chemical the body releases in response to alcohol intake and other stimuli.


Potential cure for alcoholics is hailed

By Kathy Marks Published: 26 December 2006

Australian scientists say they have found a way of eliminating alcoholic cravings using a drug that blocks the euphoric "high" associated with getting drunk.

The research focused on cells in the hypothalamus region of the brain that produce orexin, a chemical linked to drink or drug-induced euphoria. Scientists at Melbourne's Howard Florey Institute made a compound that blocked orexin's effects, and gave it to rats that had already been turned into alcoholics.


Mental Ills Seen in Families of Alcoholics

By Alison McCook

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - First-degree relatives of alcoholics are more likely to also become addicted to alcohol, as well as to other drugs such as cocaine, according to new research.

Moreover, a close family history of alcoholism appears to put people at increased risk of mental health problems, such as depression and panic disorder.


Heavy Social Drinkers Show Brain Damage, Study Finds

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Heavy social drinkers show a pattern of brain damage similar to that seen in hospitalized alcoholics -- enough to impair day-to-day functioning, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

Brain scans show clear evidence of damage, and tests of reading, balance and other functions show people who drink more than 100 drinks a month have problems, the researchers said.


Study: College Diversity Cuts Binge-Drinking Rates

Thu Oct 30, 2003

BOSTON (Reuters) - Greater diversity on college campuses significantly lowers rates of binge drinking among high-risk students, according to results of a Harvard University study released on Thursday.

The research may enable college administrators to fine-tune their admissions and housing policies to cut rates of binge drinking, study authors said.

"If you have younger white males together to the exclusion of other groups, you're going to have fewer role