Posts made in December, 2011

Physical fitness trumps body weight in reducing death risks

Posted on Dec 8, 2011

According to a recent study by the American Heart Association, being fit is better for long term health than losing weight.

“This is good news for people who have trouble losing weight but are still physically active,” says Alta Bates Summit cardiac surgeon Junaid Khan, M.D.

Picture of Dr. Junaid Khan with Alta Bates Summit Medical Center

Dr. Junaid Khan, a cardiac surgeon at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center

“For example, in a simplistic way, in comparing two equally, moderately overweight people, the person who maintained their level of fitness would have a lower chance of a cardiac event than the one who lost weight but was inactive,” says Dr. Khan.

The study of 14,345 adult men found:

  • Maintaining or improving fitness was associated with a lower death risk even after controlling for Body Mass Index (BMI) change
  • Every unit of increased fitness (measured as MET, metabolic equivalent of task) over six years was associated with a 19 percent lower risk of heart disease and stroke-related deaths, and a 15 percent lower risk of death from any cause
  • Becoming less fit was linked to higher death risk, regardless of BMI changes
  • BMI change was not associated with death risks

The study did not include morbidly obese people with a BMI above 30. To read the full study, click Read more about the American Heart Association study.

The Gift of More Than A Million Meals

Posted on Dec 2, 2011

Hunger is an unfortunate reality for many in our communities.  At Sutter Health, we understand that health care exists far beyond the walls of our care centers – it begins in our communities.

To help provide more nutritious meals to those struggling to get food on their tables, Sutter Health is donating $255,000 to 29 food banks across Northern California to help feed the hungry this holiday season. In the East Bay Region each affiliate received $12,500 to share among local organizations. Our commitments in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties are as follows:

  • Alameda County Food Bank – $25,000 from Alta Bates Summit Medical Center and Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation
  • Food Pantry of Davis Street Family Resource Center – $12,500 from Eden Medical Center
  • Society of St. Vincent De Paul – $12,500 from Sutter Delta Medical Center.

On average, every dollar donated translates to 4.5 meals provided by regional food banks.  This year’s donation – made on behalf of our network’s 48,000 employees, physicians, staff and volunteers – will help provide more than 1 million meals.

“Many of our patients and neighbors are still struggling to afford healthy, regular meals,” says Pat Fry, president and CEO of Sutter Health. “We hope that by supporting our local food banks we can provide some comfort this holiday season.  We recognize that health care extends beyond the walls of our care centers. Wellness begins in our communities with a healthy meal on the kitchen table.”

Our Sutter Health network of care has donated $762,500 over the past three years to food banks in local communities.