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July 4, 2009, 10:58 PM CT

Overweight Kids Experience More Loneliness

Overweight Kids Experience More Loneliness
As childhood obesity rates continue to increase, experts agree that more information is needed about the implications of being overweight as a step toward reversing current trends. Now, a new University of Missouri study has observed that overweight children, particularly girls, show signs of the negative consequences of being overweight as early as kindergarten.

"We observed that both boys and girls who were overweight from kindergarten through third grade displayed more depression, anxiety and loneliness than kids who were never overweight, and those negative feelings worsened over time," said Sara Gable, associate professor of human development and family studies in the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences. "Overweight is widely considered a stigmatizing condition and overweight individuals are typically blamed for their situation. The experience of being stigmatized often leads to negative feelings, even in children".

MU scientists used the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K) to examine the social and behavioral development of 8,000 school-age children from kindergarten entry through third grade. The scientists reviewed factors that have not been studied previously: age at becoming overweight and length of time being overweight.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 23, 2009, 5:13 PM CT

Underweight and extremely obese die earlier

Underweight and extremely obese die earlier
Underweight people and those who are extremely obese die earlier than people of normal weightbut those who are overweight actually live longer than people of normal weight. Those are the findings of a newly released study published online in Obesity by scientists at Statistics Canada, Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Portland State University, Oregon Health & Science University, and McGill University.

"It's not surprising that extreme underweight and extreme obesity increase the risk of dying, but it is surprising that carrying a little extra weight may give people a longevity advantage," said David Feeny, PhD, coauthor of the study and senior investigator for the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research.

"It appears to be that a few extra pounds actually protect older people as their health declines, but that doesn't mean that people in the normal weight range should try to put on a few pounds," said Mark Kaplan, DrPH, coauthor and Professor of Community Health at Portland State University. "Our study only looked at mortality, not at quality of life, and there are a number of negative health consequences linked to obesity, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes".

"Good health is more than a BMI or a number on a scale. We know that people who choose a healthy lifestyle enjoy better health: good food choices, being physically active everyday, managing stress, and keeping blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels in check," said Keith Bachman MD, a weight management specialist with Kaiser Permanente's Care Management Institute.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 21, 2009, 8:42 PM CT

How obesity increases the risk for diabetes

How obesity increases the risk for diabetes
Marc Montminy (left) and Yiguo Wang are researchers with the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

Credit: Courtesy of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Obesity is probably the most important factor in the development of insulin resistance, but science's understanding of the chain of events is still spotty. Now, scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have filled in the gap and identified the missing link between the two. Their findings, to be reported in the June 21, 2009 advance online edition of the journal Nature, explain how obesity sets the stage for diabetes and why thin people can become insulin-resistant.

The Salk team, led by Marc Montminy, Ph.D., a professor in the Clayton Foundation Laboratories for Peptide Biology, discovered how a condition known as ER (endoplasmic reticulum) stress, which is induced by a high fat diet and is overly activated in obese people, triggers aberrant glucose production in the liver, an important step on the path to insulin resistance.

In healthy people, a "fasting switch" only flips on glucose production when blood glucose levels run low during fasting. "The existence of a second cellular signaling cascadelike an alternate route from A to Bthat can modulate glucose production, presents the potential to identify new classes of drugs that might help to lower blood sugar by disrupting this alternative pathway," says Montminy.

It had been well established that obesity promotes insulin resistance through the inappropriate inactivation of a process called gluconeogenesis, where the liver creates glucose for fuel and which ordinarily occurs only in times of fasting. Yet, not all obese people become insulin resistant, and insulin resistance occurs in non-obese individuals, leading Montminy and colleagues to suspect that fasting-induced glucose production was only half the story.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 11, 2009, 5:06 AM CT

Abnormal sleep pattern linked to weight gain

Abnormal sleep pattern linked to weight gain
Body Mass Index (BMI) varies as a function of habitual sleep duration, as per a research abstract that will be presented on Thursday, June 11, at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

Results indicate that twins who slept between 7 and 8.9 hours each night had a lower mean BMI (25.0 kg/m2) in comparison to those who regularly slept either more (25.2 kg/m2) or less (26.4 kg/m2) per night. The relationship between sleep duration and BMI remained after controlling for genetics and shared environment.

As per the main author of the story, Nathaniel Watson, MD, co-director at the University of Washington Sleep Institute, in Seattle, sleep habits have a significant impact on weight and BMI.

"Findings of the study point towards an environmental cause of the relationship between sleep duration and BMI," said Watson. "Results were robust enough to be present when the sample was limited to identical twins."

The study included data from 1,797 twins, including 634 twin pairs (437 monozygotic, 150 dizygotic and 47 indeterminate pairs) and 529 individual twins with a mean age of 36.8. Habitual sleep duration was obtained by self-reported length of sleep per night and BMI was calculated by self-reported height and weight. Of the sample, 68.3 percent female, 88.2 percent were Caucasian. Results persisted in a co-twin control analysis of within twin pair differences in sleep duration and BMI.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 3, 2009, 5:00 AM CT

Obesity Does Not Worsen Asthma

Obesity Does Not Worsen Asthma
Being overweight or obese does not make asthma worse in patients with mild and moderate forms of the disease, as per a research studyby National Jewish Health researchers, eventhough it may reduce the response to medications.

"With both asthma and obesity on the rise in recent years, there has been much interest in the possible link between these two conditions," said main author E. Rand Sutherland, Associate Professor of Medicine at National Jewish Health, and main author of the paper appearing in the June 2009 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

"By studying a well characterized group of patients with asthma, we were able to determine that increased weight is not linked to more severe asthma. Eventhough benefits can be obtained with weight loss in other diseases, these findings suggest that an improvement in asthma may not necessarily result from weight loss.

"The findings also suggest that patients and physicians should be aware that obese asthma patients may not respond well to corticosteroids, the most successful controller medicine for asthma, which can affect dosing decisions and choices of possible alternatives to steroids."

Prior studies have suggested that obesity predisposes people to developing asthma, to suffer more severe asthma symptoms, and to respond less to medications. However, the exact mechanism for these links has been unclear, and the studies have generally relied upon patients' reports of their diagnosis and symptoms rather than using more precise tools to characterize patients.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 1, 2009, 5:10 AM CT

Obesity and diabetes double risk of HF

Obesity and diabetes double risk of HF
The twin epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes will continue to fuel an explosion in heart failure, already the world's most prevalent chronic cardiovascular disease, as per John McMurray, professor of cardiology at the Western Infirmary, Glasgow, and President of the Heart Failure Association. He reported that around one-third of patients with heart failure have evidence of diabetes, and for them the outlook is very serious. For doctors, he added, effective therapy is "very difficult".

Obesity, like diabetes, is increasing in prevalence. The latest report from Euroaspire, Europe's largest survey of cardiovascular risk factors in coronary patients, observed that the prevalence of obesity had increased from 25 per cent in 1997 to 38 per cent in just ten years and this in people who had already had at least one heart attack.

Now, a session at Heart Failure 2009 emphasises that obesity is not just linked to an increased risk of heart attack, but also and particularly - with an increased risk of heart failure.1,2 "Obesity is at least as great a risk factor for heart failure as it is for heart attack or stroke," says Professor McMurray. "Obesity more than doubles the risk".

The pathways by which obesity plays such a role in heart failure are still not fully understood, but have been shown to have an indirect effect via hypertension, or heart attack, or diabetes and a direct effect on the heart muscle itself. "We know that the underlying changes in the structure and function of the heart appears to be different in obese and non-obese patients with heart failure," says Professor McMurray. An even more "intriguing" suggestion, he added, is that adipose cells might act as an endocrine tissue, secreting substances which may have a harmful effect on heart tissue and blood vessels.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 1, 2009, 5:00 AM CT

Obesity predicts inadequate bowel prep at colonoscopy

Obesity predicts inadequate bowel prep at colonoscopy
Obesity is an independent predictor of inadequate bowel preparation at colonoscopy, and the presence of additional risk factors further increases the likelihood of a poorly cleansed colon, as per a newly released study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute.

Obesity has become an epidemic in the present era, both in the U.S. and in other developed nations. Abnormal elevation of body mass index (BMI) is linked to several gastrointestinal diagnoses, including diverticular disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease, colon polyps and colon cancer.

Since the majority of colon cancers arise from adenomatous (benign) colon polyps, proper screening becomes crucial while performing colonoscopy on obese patients. An inadequately cleansed colon can jeopardize the effectiveness of screening or surveillance colonoscopy, exposing these patients at higher risk for colorectal tumors to the dangers of missed lesions and higher cost of repeat colonoscopy.

"The implications of our findings are profound. Since over a quarter of all patients had an inadequate examination, identification of a patient profile with a high risk for poor colon preparation will be helpful in capturing those who would benefit from an initial individualized designer preparation regimen," said Brian Borg, MD, of Washington University in St. Louis, MO and main author of the study. "Our results suggest that the obese patient should at least be subject to more precise instructions and possibly a more rigorous bowel preparation regimen. In addition, as the number of risk factors for an inadequate bowel preparation increase, the need for early repeat colonoscopy escalates".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 21, 2009, 6:04 AM CT

More than a bad night's sleep

More than a bad night's sleep
Sleep apnea has long been known to be linked to obesity. But a newly released study reported in the recent issue of Diabetes Care finds that the disorder is widely undiagnosed among obese individuals with type 2 diabetes nearly 87 percent of participants reported symptoms, but were never diagnosed.

For those with untreated sleep apnea, it doesn't just mean their sleep is disrupted; existing research shows that it can also mean an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

"The high prevalence of undiagnosed, and therefore, untreated sleep apnea among obese patients with diabetes constitutes a serious public health problem," said Gary Foster, PhD, main author and director of the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University.

The newly released study, called Sleep AHEAD, looked at 306 obese patients with type 2 diabetes already enrolled in the Look AHEAD trial, a 16-site study investigating the long-term health impact of an intensive lifestyle intervention in 5, 145 overweight or obese adults with type 2 diabetes.

Each participant had a sleep study (polysomnogram) that measures various breathing and brain activity during sleep. Participants also filled out a series of questions about symptoms correlation to sleep (snoring, sleepiness during the day), and had their weight, height, waist and neck circumferences measured.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 20, 2009, 5:23 AM CT

Satiation solution

Satiation solution
Have you ever gotten sick of pizza, playing the same computer game, or had a song stuck in your head for so long you never wanted to hear it again? If you have, you may suffer from variety amnesia. In new research, Joseph Redden, professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, may have found a cure for your satiation blues. "People forget about the abundance of different experiences they have had and tend to focus on the repetition," said Redden. "Simply thinking about the variety of songs they have listened to or meals they have eaten will make people enjoy the activity again." .

Satiation, the process of consuming products and experiences to the point where they are less enjoyable, is a big problem for consumers and retailers. In the past, time and variety have been seen as the only ways to cure satiation. In their new article forthcoming in the Journal of Consumer Research, Redden and co-authors find that just recalling variety may cure satiation faster. "Intuition says that if time passes we will like something again: we call this 'spontaneous recovery,' " said Redden. "This isn't the whole story. People don't fully recover on their own with the mere passage of time. If I'm sick of chocolate, simply thinking about all the other desserts I've had since the last time I had chocolate helps cure my satiation. Time doesn't seem to do that very well".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 19, 2009, 5:19 AM CT

Lettuce gets a healthy suntan

Lettuce gets a healthy suntan
Salad dressing aside, a pile of spinach has more nutritional value than a wedge of iceberg lettuce. That's because darker colors in leafy vegetables are often signs of antioxidants that are thought to have a variety of health benefits. Now a team of plant physiologists has developed a way to make lettuce darker and redderand therefore healthierusing ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

Steven Britz of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Beltsville, Md., and his colleagues will present the research at the 2009 Conference on Lasers and Electro Optics/International Quantum Electronics Conference (CLEO/IQEC), which takes place May 31 to June 5 at the Baltimore Convention Center.

The dark red tinges on a leaf of red leaf lettuce are the plant kingdom's equivalent of suntan lotion. When bombarded with ultraviolet rays from the sun, the lettuce leaf creates UV-absorbing polyphenolic compounds in its outer layer of cells. Some of these compounds are red and belong to the same family that gives color to berries and apple skin. They help block ultraviolet radiation, which can mutate plant DNA and damage the photosynthesis that allows a plant to make its food.

Polyphenolic compounds,which include flavonoids like quercetin and cyanidin, are also powerful antioxidants. Diets rich in antioxidants are thought to provide a variety of health benefits to human beings, from improving brain function to slowing the wear and tear of aging.........

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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