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September 24, 2009, 6:59 AM CT

Excess body weight causes over 124,000 new cancers a year in Europe

Excess body weight causes over 124,000 new cancers a year in Europe
At least 124,000 new cancers in 2008 in Europe may have been caused by excess body weight, as per estimates from a new modelling study. The proportion of cases of new cancers attributable to a body mass index of 25kg/m2 or more were highest among women and in central European countries such as the Czech Republic, Latvia, Slovenia and Bulgaria.

The main author of the study [1], Dr Andrew Renehan, told Europe's largest cancer congress, ECCO 15 ESMO 34 [2], in Berlin today (Thursday 24 September): "As more people stop smoking and fewer women take hormone replacement treatment, it is possible that obesity appears to become the biggest attributable cause of cancer in women within the next decade".

Dr Renehan, who is a senior lecturer in cancer studies and surgery at the University of Manchester (UK), and colleagues in the UK, The Netherlands and Switzerland, created a sophisticated model to estimate the proportion of cancers that could be attributed to excess body weight in 30 European countries. Using data from many sources including the World Health Organisation and the International Agency for Research on Cancer, they estimated that in 2002 (the most recent year for which there are reliable statistics on cancer incidence in Europe) there had been over 70,000 new cases of cancer attributable to excess BMI out of a total of nearly 2.2 million new diagnoses across the 30 European countries.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 18, 2009, 6:33 PM CT

New way to calculate body's 'Maximum Weight Limit'

New way to calculate body's 'Maximum Weight Limit'
Most of us are familiar with the term, Body Mass Index, or BMI, as an index to determine healthy body weight. But, calculating BMI involves a complex formula: weight in pounds is multiplied by 703, and then divided by height in inches squared. Charts or online calculators are then used to show a "healthy weight range" given an individual's height that corresponds to the "healthy range BMI." For example, a BMI chart indicates that a healthy range BMI of 19 to 24 translates to a "healthy weight range" of 120 to 150 pounds for a 5-foot, 6-inch individual.

If this sounds way too complicated to you, you're not alone. George Fernandez, a professor of applied statistics and director of the Center for Research Design and Analysis at the University of Nevada, Reno, set out to give people a simpler way of calculating their healthy weight, and one that wouldn't require charts or online calculators. In addition, he doesn't think the "range" approach sticks in individuals' minds.

"We need a "Maximum Weight Limit, or MWL," he said, "one number that we know we can't go over, just like a speed limit".

So, using SAS software and statistical procedures, he discovered a much simpler way of calculating a Maximum Weight Limit, which closely corresponds to weight recommendations listed on BMI charts. But, you don't need to calculate or know your BMI, nor do you need a chart or online calculator to figure out your Maximum Weight Limit. Fernandez will present his Maximum Weight Limit calculation at the Nevada Public Health Association Conference, 1:30 p.m., Sept. 22 at the University of Nevada, Reno's Joe Crowley Student Union, Room 423.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 18, 2009, 6:31 PM CT

Women Benefit From Endurance

Women Benefit From Endurance
Zinta Zarins with one of the 10 subjects who participated in a study of the cardiovascular effects of endurance training - 60 minutes daily on an exercise bicycle - on postmenopausal women. (Credit: George Brooks/UC Berkeley photo)
Marilyn Graham was 56 when she signed up for a grueling hour of cycling each morning for 12 weeks, occasionally decked out in a mask, a heart monitor and a bag of intravenous fluid and subjected to needle pricks to obtain blood samples.

"I was probably the biggest whiner of the group, complaining loudly about the seats and how my butt hurt," said Graham, who writes software for business units on the University of California, Berkeley campus. "It was really intense, and on some days my legs felt like wet noodles. On a cranky day I'd say, 'Let me off this stupid bike!'".

But once the training "kicked in," she said," I was feeling good. I had energy left over at the end of the day, less mental sluggishness. And I dropped two dress sizes without any weight loss".

Graham's experience was typical of the 10 healthy but sedentary women, averaging 55 years of age, who participated in a 2006 study of endurance training in 50-something women.

In two papers based on the experiments and published in recent months, UC Berkeley scientists report that postmenopausal women can achieve the same health benefits from regular, vigorous exercise as younger women do.

"There is some good news here for older women in the population, in that they respond much like younger women do to training," said study leader and exercise physiologist George Brooks, UC Berkeley professor of integrative biology. "The results are very encouraging for exercise without weight loss as an effective means for increasing vigor and controlling risk factors for chronic diseases in older women".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 15, 2009, 7:26 PM CT

Brain's response to seeing food and weight loss maintenance

Brain's response to seeing food and weight loss maintenance
A difference in brain activity patterns may explain why some people are able to maintain a significant weight loss while others regain the weight, as per a newly released study by scientists with The Miriam Hospital.

The researchers report that when individuals who have kept the weight off for several years were shown pictures of food, they were more likely to engage the areas of the brain linked to behavioral control and visual attention, in comparison to obese and normal weight participants.

Findings from this brain imaging study, published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggest that successful weight loss maintainers may learn to respond differently to food cues.

"Our findings shed some light on the biological factors that may contribute to weight loss maintenance. They also provide an intriguing complement to prior behavioral studies that suggest people who have maintained a long-term weight loss monitor their food intake closely and exhibit restraint in their food choices," said main author Jeanne McCaffery, PhD, of The Miriam Hospital's Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center.

Long-term weight loss maintenance continues to be a major problem in obesity therapy. Participants in behavioral weight loss programs lose an average of 8 to 10 percent of their weight during the first six months of therapy and will maintain approximately two-thirds of their weight loss after one year. However, despite intensive efforts, weight regain appears to continue for the next several years, with most patients returning to their baseline weight after five years.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


September 11, 2009, 7:47 AM CT

Size of fat cells and waist size predict type 2 diabetes in women

Size of fat cells and waist size predict type 2 diabetes in women
When it comes to assessing risk for type 2 diabetes, not only do waistlines matter to women, but so does the size of their fat cells. This new discovery by a team of Swedish scientists was just published online in the FASEB Journal (http://www.fasebj.org) and helps explain why some women of normal weight develop type 2 diabetes, despite not having any known risk factors.

"Increased knowledge of the link between enlarged fat cells and the development of type 2 diabetes may give rise to new preventive and therapeutic alternatives," said Malin Lnn, co-author of the study and associate professor in the department of clinical chemistry at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden. "Our research also identifies the ratio waist-to-height, waist circumference divided by body height, as a simple tool that can be used to identify women at risk of developing type 2 diabetes".

The data for this discovery were obtained as part of the "Prospective Study of Women in Gothenburg," performed in Sweden and started in 1968 by Professor Emeritus Calle Bengtsson. For this study, a team of Swedish scientists invited women to free health examinations over the course of 25 years. In 1974-1975, researchers collected abdominal fat biopsies from some of the women and tracked who developed type 2 diabetes. They observed that the number of abdominal fat cells remained relatively constant in women after adolescence, but the size of fat cells could change considerably throughout life and were larger in women with type 2 diabetes. In addition, they observed that waist-to-height ratio may also be a good indicator of diabetes risk.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 10, 2009, 7:11 AM CT

Regular aerobic exercise reduces health concerns

Regular aerobic exercise reduces health concerns
Scientists from the University of Sydney, Australia determined that patients with a sedentary lifestyle who engage in routine physical activities lower their risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The lower risk of problems linked to fatty liver was not contingent upon weight loss, but a direct result from the increased aerobic exercise. The results of this study are reported in the recent issue of Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease affects 30% of the adult population and the majority of obese individuals. The condition, where fat accumulates in the liver of those individuals who drink little or no alcohol, can cause inflammation or scarring of the liver with more serious cases, known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, possibly progressing to liver failure.

A study, led by Jacob George, M.D. from Westmead Hospital at the University of Sydney, included 19 obese adults who had a body mass index >30 kg/m2 and reported a sedentary lifestyle. Baseline measurements were performed to determine hepatic triglyceride concentration (HTGC) and hepatic lipid saturation index (SI), intramyocellular triglyceride (IMTG) levels, visceral adipose tissue (VAT) or amount of fat stores in the abdomen, cardiorespiratory fitness, blood biochemistry, and measurements for body height and weight. Volunteers either received 4 weeks of aerobic cycling exercise (12 subjects) or a placebo (7 participants), which involved regular stretching.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 3, 2009, 7:37 AM CT

Rise in weight-loss drugs prescribed for childhood obesity

Rise in weight-loss drugs prescribed for childhood obesity
Thousands of children and adolescents are using anti-obesity drugs that in the UK are only licensed for use by adults. The number of young people receiving prescriptions for these drugs has increased 15-fold since 1999, but most stop using them before they could expect to see any benefit, as per a newly released study.

The study, reported in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, focuses on prescriptions in the UK, where the drugs are not licensed for use under the age of 18. Extrapolated across the whole population, the results indicate that around 1,300 young people are now being prescribed off-licence anti-obesity drugs each year.

More than three quarters of those included in the study received prescriptions for orlistat, also known as Xenical or Alli. Orlistat has been approved for children as young as 12 in the US, but only for adults in the UK. Most patients given orlistat stopped using it very quickly, on average after just three months, and therefore would have been unlikely to see any benefit.

"It's possible that the drugs are being given inappropriately, or that they have excessive side effects that make young people discontinue their use. Conversely they could be expecting the drugs to deliver a miracle "quick fix" and stop using them when sudden, rapid weight loss does not occur," said Russell Viner, one of the authors of the study based at the General & Adolescent Paediatrics Unit at University College London.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 1, 2009, 11:15 PM CT

Exercise Minimizes Weight Regain By Reducing Appetite

Exercise Minimizes Weight Regain By Reducing Appetite
Exercise helps prevent weight regain after dieting by reducing appetite and by burning fat before burning carbohydrates, as per a newly released study with rats. Burning fat first and storing carbohydrates for use later in the day slows weight regain and may minimize overeating by signaling a feeling of fullness to the brain.

The University of Colorado Denver study also observed that exercise prevents the increase in the number of fat cells that occurs during weight regain, challenging the conventional wisdom that the number of fat cells is set and cannot be altered by dietary or changes in lifestyle.

These coordinated physiological changes in the brain and the body lower the 'defended' weight, that is, the weight that our physiology drives us to achieve, and suggest that the effects of exercise on these physiological processes may make it easier to stay on a diet.

The study is "Regular exercise attenuates the metabolic drive to regain weight after long term weight loss." Paul S. MacLean, Janine A. Higgins, Holly R. Wyatt, Edward L. Melanson, Ginger C. Johnson, Matthew R. Jackman, Erin D. Giles, Ian E. Brown and James O. Hill, all of the University of Colorado Denver, conducted the study. The American Physiological Society published the research in the American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


August 24, 2009, 10:41 PM CT

Low-carb diets linked to atherosclerosis

Low-carb diets linked to atherosclerosis
Even as low-carbohydrate/high-protein diets have proven successful at helping individuals rapidly lose weight, little is known about the diets' long-term effects on vascular health.

Now, a study led by a scientific team at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) provides some of the first data on this subject, demonstrating that mice placed on a 12-week low carbohydrate/high-protein diet showed a significant increase in atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque in the heart's arteries and a leading cause of heart attack and stroke. The findings also showed that the diet led to an impaired ability to form new blood vessels in tissues deprived of blood flow, as might occur during a heart attack.

Described in today's Online Version of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the study also observed that standard markers of cardiovascular risk, including cholesterol, were not changed in the animals fed the low-carb diet, despite the clear evidence of increased vascular disease.

"It's very difficult to know in clinical studies how diets affect vascular health," says senior author Anthony Rosenzweig, MD, Director of Cardiovascular Research in BIDMC's CardioVascular Institute and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "We, therefore, tend to rely on easily measured serum markers [such as cholesterol], which have been surprisingly reassuring in individuals on low-carbohydrate/high-protein diets, who do typically lose weight. But our research suggests that, at least in animals, these diets could be having adverse cardiovascular effects that are not reflected in simple serum markers".........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


August 24, 2009, 10:39 PM CT

Consumption of sugar substitutes assists weight control

Consumption of sugar substitutes assists weight control
A newly released study reported in the International Journal of Obesity reports that consumption of sugar-free beverages sweetened with low-calorie sweeteners increases dietary restraint, a key aspect of successful weight maintenance.

Scientists analyzed calorie, protein, carbohydrate, fat and beverage intake, as well as the dietary restraint of over 300 individuals. The scientists concluded, "Our findingssuggest that the use of artificially sweetened beverages appears to be an important weight control strategy among WLM [weight loss maintainers]." .

The scientists also stated, "The current study suggests that WLM use more dietary strategies to accomplish their WLM, including greater restriction of fat intake, use of fat and sugar modified foods, reduced consumption of caloric beverages and increased consumption of artificially sweetened beverages." .

This study builds upon the findings from a 2002 study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which found consumers of sugar substitutes had significantly greater weight loss compared with participants who did not consume sugar substitutes.

As per Dr. Adam Drewnowski, director, Center for Public Health Nutrition at the University of Washington, "Low-calorie sweeteners and reduced-calorie products are not magic bullets, which means using these products will not result in automatic weight loss. Instead, people looking to lose or maintain weight, can use low-calorie sweeteners in addition to other tools (such as portion control, exercise, etc.) to help manage their calories." .........

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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