Obesity And Inactivity During Pandemic Caused Greater Covid Infection

April 29, 2021 – On his latest podcast, Dr. Steven Goldstein told his audience that Americans gained a good bit of weight during the lockdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. But that was not the only bad news. The sad irony that obesity increased the risk of hospitalization due to the Covid-19 infection was not lost on him or his listeners as obesity and inactivity during pandemic caused greater covid infection risk. The cruel combination of lockdowns that were supposed to help keep the American public safer created a situation that made the likelihood of infection and a difficult recovery more possible.

Fat people are at increased risk of morbid covidity
The vast majority—78%—of U.S. patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were overweight or had obesity according to the American Medical Association.

The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast can be heard on: : Apple Podcasts, LibSyn, Spotify, Radio.Com, Listen Notes, iHeart Radio, Podcast Addict, Podbay, Backtracks, Player FM, Stitcher, and SoundCloud. There is a way to repair this and many other weight related health risks if individuals change their eating habits.

The Consequences of Obesity & Covid-19                                                                              

The vast majority—78%—of U.S. patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were overweight or had obesity according to the American Medical Association. The numbers for intensive care, invasive mechanical ventilation and death were nearly the same.  In short, the quarantine was and is associated with stress and depression leading to unhealthy diet and reduced physical activity. “The main culprit in all of this was what we choose to eat before and during the pandemic,” Dr. Goldstein said.

This Century’s Dietary Downward Spiral

The obesity rate in the U.S. steadily increased since the initial 1962 recording of 23%. By 2014, figures from the CDC found that more than one-third of U.S. adults and 17% of children were obese.  The National Center for Health Statistics at the CDC showed in their most up to date statistics that 42.4% of U.S. adults were obese as of 2017-2018 (43% for men and 41.9% for women).

Americans in general consume more calories than needed. “We eat out way more than we ever did before,” Dr. Goldstein commented. “School systems encouraged unhealthy eating practices among children by accepting soft drink and fast-food contracts because they provide large commissions for financially strapped schools. The increase in energy intake or calories has been paralleled by a decrease in physical activity. Not moving is the norm. And that was especially the case during the pandemic.”

Discouraging but Curable

Rather than be discouraged by this news Dr. Goldstein was hopeful because the treatment for this is known and within the reach of all Americans; that they all make better decisions about what they eat.  “Everyone in the USA can literally take control of their own health and well-being with better choices at the table, store and restaurant and that can start right now, for everyone,” he said.

The pandemic and lockdown brought a lot of significant change to American society. The tendency to sit and eat was exacerbated considerably. “With more people moving less than ever while snacking constantly it is no wonder that our collective weight is so far up,” Dr. Goldstein concluded. “This is an easy fix for us all if we will just make the changes.”

About the Houston Healthcare Initiative

The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast with Dr. Steven Goldstein is an information vehicle for people who want to know all medical options for themselves and are interested in reforming the healthcare industry. To learn more about the Houston Healthcare Initiative please visit www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org.

The solution to this issue is simple but not easy… Obesity Linked to Greater Risk to and from Covid-19 Infection

junk food
Eating from the added stress of quarantine caused a lot of excess snacking, take-out food and kettle corn consumption while binge watching television.

The solution to this issue is simple but not easy…

Obesity Linked to Greater Risk to and from Covid-19 Infection. People who are overweight were already at more risk of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. We can now add complications due to the Covid-19 infection to the list. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) obesity increases the risk of hospitalization due to the Covid-19 infection. More than 900,000 adult COVID-19 hospitalizations occurred in the United States between the start of the pandemic and November 18, 2020. Models estimate that 271,800 (30.2%) of these hospitalizations were attributed to obesity.

This is the subject of the latest Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast with Dr. Steven Goldstein. “We have no control over the Covid-19 virus or any other pathogen,” Dr. Goldstein told his audience. “But we can make our chances of recovery and even possible avoidance much better with a sensible diet.” To hear the Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast go to: Apple Podcasts, Audacy, iHeartRadio, ListenNotes, Spotify, Stitcher, Backtracks, PodbayFM, and SoundCloud. This and all other editions of the Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast can also be heard on www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org.

Control through Choices

According to the CDC, a study of COVID-19 cases suggests that risks of hospitalization, intensive care unit admission, invasive mechanical ventilation, and death are higher when Body Mass Index (BMI) are higher. “Everyone listening can take control of and make a significant, positive impact on their own health by making better choices about what they choose to eat or drink,” Dr. Goldstein said. “Not smoking and exercising regularly add even more benefits.”

Stress and Eating

Eating from the added stress of quarantine caused a lot of excess snacking, take-out food and kettle corn consumption while binge watching television. Add to that Zoom calls and a day seated in front of the computer screen, there was not much movement to counteract all those questionable decisions about what and when to eat. “People eat and ate more because of stress or boredom but did not increase their movement to counter those extra calories consumed,” he said. “Americans did not move at record levels.”

Seated While Stressing

Motionless is the norm, and Americans are not moving like never before. “I guess we could say that Americans are not moving at a record setting pace,” he said. “But the sad truth is that sedentary workplaces and motionless home lives are really bad for us. But, and to really stress this, it’s what we eat that is the main culprit,” Dr. Goldstein said. Many of the country’s health care problems are “self-inflicted” and are preventable through proper diet. With more people moving less than ever while snacking constantly it is no wonder that our collective weight is so far up. “This is an easy fix for us all if we will just make these changes.”

About The Houston Healthcare Initiative

The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast with Dr. Steven Goldstein is an information vehicle for people who want to know all medical options for themselves and are interested in reforming the healthcare industry. To learn more about the Houston Healthcare Initiative please visit www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org.

Did The Covid-19 Pandemic Cost You Your Job and Health Insurance?

In a time when so many lost their jobs because of the Covid-19 Pandemic….

Job & Health Insurance Loss Come and Go Together; How To Find Affordable Coverage

March 2, 2021 — In December 2020, 66% of Americans who answered a survey said they fear they won’t be able to afford health care this year. Of the 41% of respondents who are very or moderately concerned about health-care costs, 53% are parents with children. The amount of people who were and remain unemployed because of the Covid-19 pandemic remains high. Since most individuals get their health insurance with their jobs, those same folks are also in need of medical coverage.

On his regular podcast, Houston based neurologist and founder of the Houston Healthcare Initiative Dr. Steven Goldstein has immediate and affordable medical insurance solutions for those who need coverage. To hear the podcast visit: Apple Podcasts, Radio.com, iHeartRadio, SoundCloud, and the Houston Healthcare Initiative web site. Job & Health Insurance Loss Come and Go Together.

Use the Obama Care National Marketplace

People who lost their jobs due to the pandemic have the burden of finding work and paying for healthcare. As most people’s healthcare is tied to their jobs. “There are alternatives for people who lost both their jobs and accompanying health insurance,” Dr. Goldstein told his audience. “The key for those people to get covered is to act quickly.”

One reason for this is that job loss qualifies Americans for a special enrollment period in the health insurance marketplace regulated by the U.S. government, but it only lasts 60 days. “Normally the enrollment period for this is in the month of November, but job loss allows an exception. Just remember the 60-day deadline,” Dr. Goldstein said.

Private Health Insurance

Private health insurance will sometimes offer more flexibility than standard coverage. For example, short-term policies lasting up to one year are available in many states. There are differences between health insurance and private health insurance. People buy private health insurance many times because their place of employment does not offer it. In the case of people who lost their employer provided health insurance, purchasing it like this is an option. Private health insurance is often an option for those who work part time, are self-employed, or own a small business.

Health Co-Ops

Health insurance co-ops are private health insurance plans that serve a small group of people and are owned and operated by the members of that group. The health co-operative or co-op is a member owned not for profit corporation. They are run democratically by the members.

The real benefit of health insurance co-ops are they are significantly cheaper than regular health insurance. “The monthly fees are called membership fees, not premiums, Dr. Goldstein said. “The average cost of a co-op membership is about $40 to $90. To put that into perspective, regular COBRA insurance premiums can cost as much as $650 per month.”

Job loss is unnerving enough at any time. Losing health coverage during a pandemic makes that level of anxiety even higher. Because no one wants to be without medical insurance when a previously unseen virus is spreading.  It could make you or a loved one sick at the worst possible time. Fortunately there are reasons to be optimistic about getting health insurance that is affordable and obtainable if action is taken sooner than later.

The amount of information about this and other similar issues grows ever higher at the Houston Healthcare Initiative web site and its social media sites. To learn more about the Houston Healthcare Initiative go to www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org.

Job & Health Insurance Loss Come and Go Together.

Job & Health Insurance Loss Come and Go Together; How To Find Affordable Coverage

In a time when so many lost their jobs because of the Covid-19 Pandemic….

Job & Health Insurance Loss Come and Go Together; How To Find Affordable Coverage

Affordable Fixes for Health Insurance
Many Americans lost their jobs and health insurance all at once and are looking for affordable, practical alternatives. That is the subject of this podcast.

March 2, 2021 — The Pandemic Cost Me My Job And Health Insurance Now What? In December 2020, 66% of Americans who answered a survey said they fear they won’t be able to afford health care this year. Of the 41% of respondents who are very or moderately concerned about health-care costs, 53% are parents with children.

The Pandemic Cost Me My Job And Health Insurance Now What?

The amount of people who were and remain unemployed because of the Covid-19 pandemic remains high. Since most individuals get their health insurance with their jobs, those same folks are also in need of medical coverage. On his regular podcast, Houston based neurologist and founder of the Houston Healthcare Initiative Dr. Steven Goldstein has immediate and affordable medical insurance solutions for those who need coverage.

Healthcare Premiums? WHO WILL BEAR THE BRUNT OF THE COSTS?

Guest Link from Dr. CRISTIN A. DICKERSON, MD. Dr. Cristin A. Dickerson is the founding partner of Green Imaging. Her article about how the public will be sent the bill  for the Covid-19 pandemic is very revealing. To read it please follow this link:

WHO WILL BEAR THE BRUNT OF THE COSTS?

Written by Dr. Cristin Dickerson, MD

In The Global Covid-19 Pandemic Who Suffers Most?

In The Global Covid-19 Pandemic Who Suffers Most?

January 5, 2021 – In the midst of an ongoing and worsening global pandemic, there are those who are more likely to be sicker and die than others. This according to respected neurologist Dr. Steven Goldstein, founder of the Houston Healthcare Initiative. He told his regular podcast audience that the mortality rate from the Covid-19 infection was greater for patients with obesity, chronic lung disease, diabetes and hypertension and that the older a patient was, the greater the mortality.  “The Covid-19 pandemic teaches us that improving public health should be a priority in reforming healthcare,” Dr. Goldstein said. The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast can be heard on Backtracks,SoundCloud, Libsyn, Listen Notes, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts and the Houston Healthcare Initiative web site.

When things are uncertain
Americans remain in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. What can we learn from it and how can this influence our thinking when it comes to personal lifestyle choices and healthcare reform?

Mayo Clinic Data

According to the Mayo Clinic web site, risk of severe Covid-19 is highest based on age; older people are at higher risk than those who are younger. Other conditions include type 2 diabetes, severe obesity and serious heart diseases. The site states, “obesity and diabetes both reduce the efficiency of a person’s immune system. Diabetes increases the risk of infections in general. The risk of infections, including COVID-19, can be reduced by keeping blood sugar levels controlled and continuing your diabetes medications and insulin.”

What Individuals Can Control

Dr. Goldstein said that people can take control of their own health by leading a healthier lifestyle. “By this I mean maintaining a modicum of physical fitness and being compliant with medical treatment if you have a chronic illness like diabetes and hypertension,” Dr. Goldstein told his audience. These and other voluntary measures like quitting smoking, moderating alcohol consumption and eating sensibly will help prevent an infection of Covid-19 or keep one from being more serious.

Freedom & Responsibility

Dr. Goldstein believes that in the New Year, the congress should find a balance of individual freedom, responsibility and monetary incentives for a better, national outcome. “People should have the freedom to adopt any lifestyle they wish as long as they do not interfere with anyone else. But, along with that freedom comes the responsibility to pay for it,” Dr. Goldstein said.   He mentioned how the government frequently uses its power to promote lifestyle choices. “For example, they impose high taxes on cigarettes to discourage tobacco use. But it does not outlaw the use of cigarettes. If anyone wants to lower their healthcare costs, they can adopt a healthier lifestyle.”

About the Houston Healthcare Initiative

The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast with Dr. Steven Goldstein is an information vehicle for people who want to know all medical options for themselves and are interested in reforming the healthcare industry. To learn more about the Houston Healthcare Initiative please visit www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org.

Photo Caption: Americans remain in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. What can we learn from it and how can this influence our thinking when it comes to personal lifestyle choices and healthcare reform?

The Case for Healthcare Reform in Unsettled Times

Unsettled Healthcare
2021 starts with healthcare no less unsettled than it ended in 2020.

Healthcare reform in unsettled times. That times are troubled was never truer than in 2020 and 2021 will start out that way. But in an unsettled time with so much of the nation’s attention turned to medical care, could it be the time to really push healthcare reform and what might that reform look like? Americans remain in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. What can we learn from it and how can this influence our thinking when it comes to healthcare reform? Or is it all too big for any of us to do anything meaningful? Here to share his insight with us is respected neurologist and founder of the Houston Healthcare Initiative, Dr. Steven Goldstein.

Will more or less time save or cost lives? Shortcuts On Regulations For The Coronavirus/Covid-19 Vaccine Research

Will more or less time save or cost lives?

 Shortcuts On Regulations For The Coronavirus/Covid-19 Vaccine Research

According to Dr. Steven Goldstein, founder of the Houston Healthcare Initiative, it usually takes years for any vaccine to be developed, tested on humans and finally introduced to the public. What of the Shortcuts On Regulations For The Coronavirus/Covid-19 Vaccine Research? The much-anticipated vaccine for the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic is progressing at unprecedented speed. But why is this the case and should the public be concerned? On his regular podcast Dr. Goldstein provides explanations. The listen to the Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast visit: Soundcloud, Libsyn, iHeartRadio, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Radio.com,

Timing

Will more or less time save or cost lives?
Will more or less time save or cost lives? Shortcuts On Regulations For The Coronavirus/Covid-19 Vaccine Research.

Dr. Goldstein described to his audience some of the reasons these vaccine trials were progressing so quickly. “Given the urgent need for a vaccine to help end this global pandemic, some vaccine developers are compressing the clinical process by running trial phases simultaneously,” Dr. Goldstein said. “Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said that independent Data and Safety Monitoring Boards can end trials early if their interim results are overwhelmingly positive or negative, so that is another time saver.”

Caution Takes Time

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) promised to fast track the approval process for a Covid-19 vaccine. But they have also said that there are far more rigorous standards in place than is typical for the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) process for this vaccine. So while the NIAID made a way for the work on the vaccine to proceed more quickly than normal, the FDA says that its work will be ‘a careful evaluation with no rushing.’

The FDA Speaks

In an article published in the October 27, 2020 issue of USA Today, Dr. Peter Marks states that “this process will not be rushed. There will be no shortcuts in developing the relevant phase 3 efficacy results.” Dr. Marks also said that the public’s trust is important for the Covid-19 vaccine so it gets taken by the public. “Trust means everything. Trust in vaccines facilitated the incredible positive impact that vaccination had on public health in reducing illness and death over the past century.”

Not Predicting The Future But

Dr. Goldstein admitted that he was not very good at predicting the future, but he believed that the Coronavirus/Covid-19 vaccine could be available as early as January 2021. “There are currently dozens of vaccines under development and in the advanced stages of approval,” Dr. Goldstein said. “That the government has streamlined some of the requirements without compromising safety to help advance development is remarkable. But nothing in the world of medicine is without risk and the ultimate introduction of the Coronavirus vaccine is no exception. The laws and regulations, at least for now, seem to strike a balance that protects the public and aids in the fast delivery of a vaccine.”

About The Houston Healthcare Initiative

Dr. Steven Goldstein is a Houston based neurologist. He founded the Houston Healthcare Initiative and is an advocate for common sense solutions to the healthcare crisis that confronts the citizens and residents of the United States of America.

 

Child COVID-19 vaccine trials to begin in Florida this week.

NOTE: Child COVID-19 vaccine trials to begin in Florida this week. Watch how Dr. Steven Goldstein, founder of the Houston Healthcare Initiative, contributed to a major television feature on vaccine trials in the state of Florida. You can see him and the full story here:

WFTV ABC in Orlando, Florida news on Covid-19 vaccine trials.

Child COVID-19 vaccine trials to begin in Florida this week. Starting this week, researchers will begin testing one of the experimental COVID-19 vaccines on children, marking the first trial in the country to do so.

It’s one of several big developments in the race to approve a vaccine.

Screen Shot 2020-10-27 at 4.23.06 PM Child COVID-19 vaccine trials to begin in Florida this week.
In this story Dr. Steven Goldstein discusses liability waivers for vaccine trials starting in the state of Florida.

So far, more than 600 Central Floridians have walked into a DeLand lab, willing to test the Moderna vaccine.

Moderna and Pfizer are in the final phases of testing their vaccines. For Pfizer, that includes testing children 12 and over.

On Tuesday, Johnson & Johnson paused its study after one person got “an unexplained illness.” And it’s been over a month since AstraZeneca’s trial had been put on hold in the U.S. after two British participants experienced neurological issues.

When a vaccine is approved and available by, at the earliest, the end of the year, companies cannot be held liable for any unexpected complications. A good place to start with answers is here as Child COVID-19 vaccine trials to begin in Florida this week.

“Now, if there are expected complications, and the company hid that information, like they knew about something that it would happen, and they don’t tell people about it, you can still sue for that,” said Dr. Steven Goldstein of the Houston Healthcare Initiative.

A recent Gallup Poll found people are split right down the middle when asked if they’d take a vaccine, down from the 66% of people who were willing to take it three months ago. People in Florida will help the entire country find answers.

What Will Vaccine Liability Waivers Mean For The Covid-19 Inoculation

What Will Vaccine Liability Waivers Mean For The Covid-19 Inoculation. There will be issues with the new Coronavirus/Covid-19 vaccine because there were issues with every single vaccine introduced before. There are currently numerous studies and trials devoted to finding a shot that will give immunity to the recipient against the deadly and contagious Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic. The company that is first to introduce a successful shot for immunity will reap big rewards in the form of profits and scientific prestige. But when there are problems with it, as there certainly will be, what recourse does the public have?

Vaccine Liability Photo
Vaccine waivers protect manufacturers from lawsuits and liability other drugs have.

On his regular podcast, respected neurologist Dr. Steven Goldstein describes the risks and benefits of vaccines and a regulation known as the ‘vaccine liability waiver.’ The Houston Healthcare Initiative Podcast can be heard on SoundCloud, LibSyn, Google Play, iHeartRadio, iTunes, Stitcher, Radio.com and many other places where podcasts are heard.

What Is The Vaccine Liability Waiver?

According to Dr. Goldstein, vaccine liability waivers are really what the name implies which is that vaccine makers are not generally held responsible for injuries their vaccines may cause. “This is notable because it is the only part of the healthcare industry where such protection exists,” Dr. Goldstein told his listeners. “The companies that make these vaccines cannot be sued for monetary damages unless a person who died or was seriously injured can demonstrate that the company engaged in “willful misconduct” which is a very high legal standard to achieve.”

The Vaccine Waiver Makes Vaccines Possible

What Will Vaccine Liability Waivers Mean For The Covid-19 Inoculation? It is very likely that were it not for the ‘waiver’ there would be few if any vaccine makers in the U.S. Starting with the Salk vaccine in the 1950’s through the 1970’s and ‘80’s, lawsuits against vaccine makers increased to the point that there was only one Diphtheria Pertussis Tetanus (DPT) vaccine maker in the U.S.

In 1986 the U.S. Congress responded to the situation in the vaccine market by passing the ‘National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act’ or NCVIA. The act included a number of regulations related to informed consent and adverse event reporting but also removed many of the monetary recovery options that were putting the industry out of business.

Complexity Comes With Safeguards

Vaccines are developed, tested, and regulated the same as other drugs but more so. Vaccine development is a complex process that takes usually takes years. That is because the number of people in vaccine clinical trials are usually greater, and, those who receive vaccines are more in number than those who receive or take other prescription drugs. In addition, post-license monitoring of vaccines is closely examined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

So, while the liability waiver exists, all the other pharmaceutical safeguards are in place. Regardless of expectations, no medical treatment is completely risk free. “Vaccines are made to protect us from disease, but they can have negative side effects,” Dr. Goldstein said. “Most of these effects are pretty mild like soreness in the arm from the injection. Others can be more serious. But without these rules it is unlikely anyone in the U.S. would be researching a Covid-19 vaccine.”

What Will Vaccine Liability Waivers Mean For The Covid-19 Inoculation? Nothing in the world of medicine is without risk and the ultimate introduction of the Coronavirus vaccine is no exception. The laws and regulations strike a balance that protects the public and aids in the delivery of a vaccine sooner than later.

The Effectiveness Standard for Covid-19

The minimum requirement by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for any COVID-19 vaccine is that it should at least prove 50% effective when compared with a placebo — that is, a neutral saline solution. The annual flu vaccine is a success when it is 40% – 60% effective. Fifty percent is right in the same range as the flu vaccine.

About The Houston Healthcare Initiative

Dr. Steven Goldstein is a Houston based neurologist. He founded the Houston Healthcare Initiative and is an advocate for common sense solutions to the healthcare crisis that confronts the citizens and residents of the United States of America.