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COVID-19 prompts a car insurance break for some drivers. Also, a push for postal banking, and for grocery workers to be treated as first responders.

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Wisconsin held its primary yesterday in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic. But a shortage of poll workers led to just five polling stations in Milwaukee instead of the usual 180.

ND Docs Dealing With Question: Can You Be Fit and Fat?

November 26, 2007

Beulah, ND - If you stuffed yourself with Thanksgiving food and leftovers, you may be wondering how much those extra pounds can affect your health. A new study says maybe the risk isn't quite as high as you thought. The study, published in this month's Journal of the American Medical Association finds that being overweight doesn't increase most people's risk of dying, either from cancer or heart disease.

It's a controversial conclusion that will undoubtedly have North Dakota doctors trying to answer a lot of questions from obese patients about their actual health risks. Dr. Aaron Garman, with the Coal Country Community Health Center in Beulah, warns the results aren't a "free pass" to gain weight.

"I would like to have patients continue to exercise, continue to watch their diet and strive for a healthy lifestyle."

Garman says being obese is not a "one size fits all situation," so to speak -- there are many factors that determine a person's health risks.

"Do they have a history of diabetes? Do they have a family history of stroke, and what is their lifestyle? If they have a strong family history and they're overweight, they really need to take that into consideration."

He says deaths from heart disease and cancer may not increase for overweight people, but they do have greater chances of dying from diabetes and kidney disease. In addition, those extra pounds can cause wear and tear on joints, which cause arthritis to develop over time.

The study can be found online, at www.jama-ama-assn.org.

Dick Layman/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - ND