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September 1, 2010, 7:13 AM CT

High-fat diet during puberty linked to breast cancer

High-fat diet during puberty linked to breast cancer
Girls eating a high-fat diet during puberty, even those who do not become overweight or obese, appears to be at a greater risk of developing breast cancer during the later part of life, as per Michigan State University researchers.

The implications - that a high-fat diet may have detrimental effects independent of its effect to cause obesity - could drive new cancer prevention efforts.

The findings come from research at MSU's Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Center, established in 2003 and funded through 2010 by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Cancer Institute.

Physiology professor Sandra Haslam, director of the center, and Richard Schwartz, microbiology professor and associate dean in the College of Natural Science, are now expanding that research with a new, five-year, $2.3 million federal grant. They will use that funding to continue their work studying the impact of prenatal-to-adult environmental exposures that predispose women to breast cancer as part of the extended nationwide Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program.

"The pubertal time period is crucial, as this is when the basic framework is created for mammary gland development," Haslam said. "What we are seeing from preliminary research in animals is that a high-fat diet during puberty can lead to the production of inflammatory products in the mammary glands of adults, which can promote cancer growth".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


August 31, 2010, 7:13 AM CT

Improved Tool for Cycling Fitness

Improved Tool for Cycling Fitness
Kerry Litka, a competitive cyclist from Nashua and a graduate student in exercise science at UNH, prepares to perform the three-minute all-out cycling test in UNH's Robert Kertzer Exercise Physiology Laboratory. Credit: Jay Francis.
For competitive bicyclists with goals - whether competing in the Tour de France or aiming for the podium at a local race - faster cycling comes from training regimens based on various zones of exercise intensity. New research from exercise researchers at the University of New Hampshire has observed that effective training regimens, which generally are created after expensive, time-consuming laboratory tests, can be developed from a relatively simple, do-it-yourself test.

Using two tools most competitive cyclists already own -- a power meter, an increasingly common training device that mounts on a bicycle's rear wheel, and a stationary bicycle trainer - UNH graduate student Jay Francis '09 modified a three-minute all-out cycling test and observed that it is as effective as more lab-intensive measurements for determining exercise intensity. The study, which was Francis's master's thesis, is reported in the September 2010 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise, the premier journal in the field.

"Power is a very unbiased way of measuring your exercise ability, in comparison to speed, heart rate, or perceived exertion," says Francis. "A power meter measures how much power you are getting from your body to the road," independent of external conditions like hills, wind, or even what you had for lunch, he adds.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


August 25, 2010, 6:48 AM CT

Federal school lunches linked to childhood obesity

Federal school lunches linked to childhood obesity
With children going back to school, parents are concerned that their youngsters are staying fit and eating right, particularly those who dine in a school cafeteria.

New research funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture finds that children who eat school lunches that are part of the federal government's National School Lunch Program are more likely to become overweight.

The same research study found, however, that children who eat both the breakfast and lunch sponsored by the federal government are less heavy than children who don't participate in either, and than children who eat only the lunch, says economist Daniel L. Millimet at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Millimet authored the study with economists Rusty Tchernis, Georgia State University, and Muna S. Hussain, Kuwait University. For a link to the journal article and to more information see http://tinyurl.com/2874wqn.

"The fact that federally funded school lunches contribute to the childhood obesity epidemic is disconcerting, eventhough not altogether surprising," said Millimet, whose research expertise is the economics of children, specifically topics correlation to schooling and health.

The newly released study was reported in the Summer issue of The Journal of Human Resources. It is titled "School Nutrition Programs and the Occurence rate of Childhood Obesity".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


July 23, 2010, 6:59 AM CT

Sugar substitutes help reduce caloric intake

Sugar substitutes help reduce caloric intake
Image courtesy of dealcetera.com
A newly released study reported in the August 2010 journal, Appetite, further demonstrates that people who consume low-calorie sweeteners are able to significantly reduce their caloric intake and do not overeat.

In fact, study participants who received the sugar substitutes instead of sugar consumed significantly fewer calories and there was no difference in hunger levels despite having fewer calories overall.

The scientists noted, "In conclusion, participants did not compensate by eating more at either their lunch or dinner meal and reported similar levels of satiety when they consumed lower calorie preloads [pre-meals] containing stevia or aspartame than when they consumed higher calorie preloads containing sucrose".

This study was conducted in both healthy and overweight adults and participants were given a pre-meal containing either sucrose, aspartame or stevia. Those who received the stevia or aspartame consumed fewer calories overall, did not overeat and did not report increased feelings of hunger.

"Eventhough the totality of the scientific evidence demonstrates that low-calorie sweeteners and the products that contain them are not correlation to weight gain, increased hunger or overeating, there have been recent reports questioning the benefits of low-calorie sweeteners," notes Beth Hubrich, a dietitian with the Calorie Control Council, an international trade association. "When used as part of an overall healthy diet, low-calorie sweeteners and light products can be beneficial tools in helping people control caloric intake and weight".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


July 22, 2010, 7:39 AM CT

Chili pepper ingredient fights fat

Chili pepper ingredient fights fat
Capsaicin, the stuff that gives chili peppers their kick, may cause weight loss and fight fat buildup by triggering certain beneficial protein changes in the body, as per a newly released study on the topic. The report, which could lead to new therapys for obesity, appears in ACS' monthly Journal of Proteome Research

Jong Won Yun and his colleagues point out that obesity is a major public health threat worldwide, associated with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and other health problems. Laboratory studies have hinted that capsaicin may help fight obesity by decreasing calorie intake, shrinking fat tissue, and lowering fat levels in the blood. Nobody, however, knows exactly how capsaicin might trigger such beneficial effects.

In an effort to find out, the researchers fed high-fat diets with or without capsaicin to lab rats used to study obesity. The capsaicin-treated rats lost 8 percent of their body weight and showed changes in levels of at least 20 key proteins found in fat. The altered proteins work to break down fats. "These changes provide valuable new molecular insights into the mechanism of the antiobesity effects of capsaicin," the researchers say.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


July 13, 2010, 7:02 AM CT

Could our minds be tricked into satisfying our stomachs?

Could our minds be tricked into satisfying our stomachs?
Research to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior, suggests that the key to losing weight could lie in manipulating our beliefs about how filling we think food will be before we eat it, suggesting that portion control is all a matter of perception.

Test subjects were more satisfied for longer periods of time after consuming varying quantities of food for which they were led to think that portion sizes were larger than they actually were.

Memories about how satisfying prior meals were also played a causal role in determining how long those meals staved off hunger. Together, these results suggest that expectations before eating and memory after eating play an important role in governing appetite and satiety.

In the first experiment, participants were shown the ingredients of a fruit smoothie. Half were shown a small portion of fruit and half were shown a large portion. They were then asked to assess the 'expected satiety' of the smoothie and to provide ratings before and three hours after consumption. Participants who were shown the large portion of fruit reported significantly greater fullness, even though all participants consumed the same smaller quantity of fruit.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


July 13, 2010, 6:51 AM CT

Men who are obese at age 20 two times risk of death

Men who are obese at age 20 two times risk of death
Stockholm, Sweden: Men who enter adult life obese face a life-long doubling of the risk of dying prematurely, new research has found.

In a study presented today (Tuesday) at the International Congress on Obesity in Stockholm, scientists tracked more than 5,000 military conscripts starting at the age of 20 until up to the age of 80. They observed that at any given age, an obese man was twice as likely to die as a man who was not obese and that obesity at age 20 years had a constant effect on death up to 60 years later. They also observed that the chance of dying early increased by 10% for each BMI point above the threshold for a healthy weight and that this persisted throughout life, with the obese dying about eight years earlier than the non-obese.

"As the obesity epidemic is still progressing rapidly, particularly among children and adolescents, it is important to find out if obesity in early adulthood has lifelong mortality effects," said the study's leader, Esther Zimmermann, a researcher at the Institute of Preventive Medicine, Copenhagen University Hospital and the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at University of Copenhagen in Denmark. "Prior studies have investigated obesity and mortality in middle-aged populations, which only tells us about the detrimental effects of obesity in middle age. Our study sheds light on how obesity at age 20 years affects obesity throughout adult life. It is the first study with such a long follow-up time and thus the first study to investigate the lifelong effect."........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


July 12, 2010, 6:49 AM CT

Many popular slimming supplements do not work

Many popular slimming supplements do not work
New research evaluating the effectiveness of a broad selection of popular slimming supplements sold in pharmacies and health food shops has found no evidence that any of them facilitate weight loss beyond the placebo effect.

Two studies presented today (Monday) at the International Congress on Obesity in Stockholm, Sweden, have found they were no more effective than the fake supplements they were compared with.

"There are scores of slimming supplements out there claiming weight-loss effects through all sorts of mechanisms of action. We have so-called fat magnets, mobilizers and dissolvers, as well as appetite tamers, metabolism boosters, carb blockers and so on. The market for these is huge, but unlike for regulated drugs, effectiveness does not have to be proven for these to be sold," said Dr. Thomas Ellrott, head of the Institute for Nutrition and Psychology at the University of Gttingen Medical School, Gera number of, who lead one of the studies. "Few of these supplements have been submitted to clinical trials and the landscape of products is always changing, so we need to put them through rigorous scientific assessment to determine whether they have any benefit."

Ellrott's group tested nine popular supplements against placebo pills in a randomized controlled trial. The supplements tested included L-Carnitine, polyglucosamine, cabbage powder, guarana seed powder, bean extract, Konjac extract, fibre pills, sodium alginate formulations and selected plant extracts.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


July 8, 2010, 6:57 AM CT

Higher-protein diets support weight loss

Higher-protein diets support weight loss
Overweight and moderately obese postmenopausal women using diets based on higher protein intake also need to be aware of potential bone loss, as per new research from Purdue University.

"We know that when overweight, postmenopausal women reduce their energy intake to successfully lose weight, they can lose less lean body mass when they consume higher amounts of protein and include lean meats, such as pork loins, ham, beef and chicken, in their diet," said Wayne W. Campbell, professor of foods and nutrition. "However, we also observed that these older women lost bone mineral density faster than women who consumed normal protein diets that did not contain any meats. This finding is of concern for this age group that is susceptible to osteoporosis".

Campbell and doctoral student Minghua Tang analyzed data from two controlled diet studies. In the first study, they reduced 28 women's individual daily diets by 750 calories to achieve a one-and-one-half-pound weight loss each week for 12 weeks. These postmenopausal women ranged in age from 43-80. Fifteen women consumed meat-free diets with protein from vegetarian, dairy and egg sources, comprising 18 percent of each woman's energy intake. This amount of protein was comparable to the recommended dietary allowance of 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


July 8, 2010, 6:45 AM CT

Inactivity and childhood obesity epidemic

Inactivity and childhood obesity epidemic
A new report from the EarlyBird Diabetes Study suggests that physical activity has little if any role to play in the obesity epidemic among children. Obesity is the key factor behind diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

EarlyBird is based at the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth, UK, and has been observing in detail a cohort of city school children for the past 11 years.

A review published in 2009 of all trials using physical activity to reduce childhood obesity showed weight loss amounting to just 90g (3oz) over three years, and the EarlyBird study wanted to know why the trials were so ineffective. So they challenged some popular paradigms.

It is well known that less active children are fatter, but that does not mean as most people assume it does that inactivity leads to fatness. It could equally well be the other way round: that obesity leads to inactivity.

And this is the question EarlyBird was uniquely placed to answer. With data collected annually over several years from a large cohort of children, it could ask the question which comes first? Does the physical activity of the child precede changes in fatness over time, or does the fatness of the child precede changes in physical activity over time?

And the answer, published recently in Archives of Disease in Childhood, was clear. Physical activity had no impact on weight change, but weight clearly led to less activity.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Exercise can't stop the aging process, but experts at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston say that for the elderly, whether it's weight training, walking, swimming or biking, 30 minutes of exercise three to five times a week is a good prescription for aging."It's never too late to start exercising," said Dr. Robert Roush, an associate professor of medicine-geriatrics at BCM. "Being physically active and exercising regularly can help prevent or delay some diseases and disabilities as people age.".

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