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December 17, 2008, 10:40 PM CT

Women double fruit, veggie intake with switch to Mediterranean diet plan

Women double fruit, veggie intake with switch to Mediterranean diet plan
Mich. In a new study led by the University of Michigan Health System, women more than doubled their fruit and vegetable intakes and dramatically increased their consumption of "good" fats when they were counseled by registered dietitians and provided with a list of guidelines on the amount of certain foods they should eat each day.

The six-month study of 69 women divided the participants into two groups. In one group, registered dietitians used an "exchange list" of foods that are common in a Mediterranean diet to make a plan for each participant. The new plan maintained the caloric and total fat intakes that the participants consumed at the beginning of the study.

The list included suggested servings, or exchanges, of several categories of foodssuch as dark green vegetables, such as spinach, or high-monounsaturated fats, such olive oil. The dietitians also provided counseling on the telephone to help the participants to make the dietary changes, as well as in-person sessions at the start of the study and three months later.

Women in the comparison group continued their usual diet and did not receive any dietary counseling, though they were offered one free dietary counseling session after they completed their part in the study. If their intake of any vitamin or mineral was less than two-thirds of the recommended levels, they were given a list of foods that are rich in that nutrient. They also were given the National Cancer Institute's "Action Guide to Healthy Eating".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 17, 2008, 10:36 PM CT

Circumcision Reduces the Risk of HIV Infection

Circumcision Reduces the Risk of HIV Infection
HIV
A new U.S. study has observed that being circumcised significantly reduced the risk of HIV infection in heterosexual African American men known to have been exposed to the virus. The findings complement those of recently reported clinical trials in Africa, where interventional use of adult male circumcision similarly reduced the risk of HIV infection in heterosexual men. The findings of the new study, along with similar results from other studies, suggest that circumcision may protect other heterosexual males in the U.S. The promising new findings are published in the January 1 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, now available online.

Lee Warner, PhD, MPH, and his colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine studied the records of more than 26,000 African American men who had had HIV testing during visits to two Baltimore, Maryland, STD clinics from 1993 to 2000. The subjects selected for the study said that they did not inject drugs and had sex only with women. Their visits to the clinics were classified as involving known HIV exposure if there had been a recent notification of such exposure by a sex partner or by a clinic's disease intervention specialists; clinic visits for other reasons were classified as involving unknown HIV exposure. By these criteria, the researchers found 394 visits with known exposure and 40,177 visits with unknown exposure.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 17, 2008, 10:34 PM CT

Fast Food Meals Are Smaller, Have Fewer Calories

Fast Food Meals Are Smaller, Have Fewer Calories
A new study in the Review of Agricultural Economics compares fast food and table service meals at restaurants. Results show that both are larger and have more calories than meals prepared at home, with the typical fast food meal being smaller and having fewer calories than the average meal from a table service restaurant.

James K. Binkley of Purdue University used data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals, which is the most recently available large sample of information regarding nutritional intake, to analyze fast food, table service restaurant meals, and meals prepared at home.

Fast food was found to be more energy dense than food from a table service restaurant. However, Binkley observed that fast food meals tend to be smaller. Consequently, the typical fast food meal had fewer calories than the average meal from a table service restaurant, whether the diner is an adult, teenager, or child.

But, the study observed that table service diners are more likely to reduce their food consumption during the rest of the day than are those eating at fast food restaurants, most likely because of the difference in energy density. As a result, fast food may ultimately result in more calories.

Perhaps the most surprising result of the study was the finding that fast food had the largest effects for adults, and that children's caloric intakes were greatest when they ate at table service restaurants.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 16, 2008, 10:19 PM CT

Experts comment on importance of Christmas dinner

Experts comment on importance of Christmas dinner
The menu might be different and families might be smaller, but Christmas remains among the most important holidays. "It is sacred," says Universit de Montral Psychology expert Luc Brunet. "It's part of our culture to come together to laugh and eat in a festive setting."

A recent survey showed that half of Canadians will travel over 200 kilometers to be with their families this holiday season, which is indicative of the importance of Christmas. "As a result of the demands of the workplace, this is often the only time families come together other than around the buffet at a funeral," says Brunet.

Marie Marquis is a professor at the Universit de Montral Department of Nutrition. She believes it's crucial to protect family dinners. "Quebecers are losing the habit of eating together," says Marquis. "Everyone eats at their own time and in their own place."

The dinner table is where relationships are forged, where children can express their joys and concerns. Yet Marquis is concerned that esthetics are changing how people get together.

"People are more concerned with how the Christmas table looks than how it brings people together," she says. "Before, Christmas dinner was a reason to get together. People sat around with mismatched china, while people of different generations would come together and talk. Nowadays, people want a Martha Stewart table. Kids are put on a separate table while adults have their own table. It's a shame".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 16, 2008, 8:22 PM CT

GPs 'could do more' to help obese avoid surgery

GPs 'could do more' to help obese avoid surgery
Surgery to treat obesity could be avoided if GPs and healthcare trusts put more time and money into early stage weight management programmes, a senior clinical researcher will say today (Wednesday, 17 December, 2008).

And he will say that patients suffering from obesity face a "post code lottery" when seeking access to specialist care.

Speaking at the British Pharmacological Society's Winter Meeting in Brighton today, Dr Nick Finer, Clinical Director, Wellcome Clinical Research Facility at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, will call for anti-obesity drugs to be more widely used.

Dr Finer will say that these drugs are cost-effective interventions and do work if correctly used.

But he will add that in some patients early potential for drug therapy to prevent the later need for surgery is being missed - due to the reluctance of primary care doctors to treat obesity.

In his presentation, entitled 'Clinical challenges: can current drugs compete with surgery?', Dr Finer will be discussing the place of drug therapy in the management of obesity.

Dr Finer said: "About one third of people taking the two drugs currently licensed for obesity management, in conjunction with a diet and lifestyle programme, will achieve a 10 per cent weight loss and around half a five per cent loss. Weight loss is well maintained if drug therapy is continued.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 15, 2008, 5:28 AM CT

Obesity is in your head, not your gut

Obesity is in your head, not your gut
New research suggests that genes that predispose people to obesity act in the brain and that perhaps some people are simply hardwired to overeat.

An international research team co-led by the University of Michigan found six new genes that help explain body mass index and obesity, and all but one of the genes are tied to the brain rather than to metabolic functions, such as fat storage and sugar metabolism.

In addition to the six new genes, the study also confirmed the role of two other genes previously linked to obesity, said co-principal investigator Goncalo Abecasis, an associate professor at the U-M School of Public Health. The study will appear online Dec. 14 in advance of print publication in the journal Nature Genetics

It's significant that five of the six new genes also impact brain function, because the findings suggest people could simply be programmed to overeat, said U-M postdoctoral researcher Cristen Willer, first author on the study. The brain, she said, has two main functions correlation to weight: appetite control and the regulation of one's total energy balance (whether you burn more calories or conserve more energy).

"This research tells you a little about what kinds of drugs you want to develop and where you want them to act," Abecasis said.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 15, 2008, 5:15 AM CT

Psychotherapy to treat eating disorders

Psychotherapy to treat eating disorders
Wellcome Trust researchers have developed a new form of psychotherapy that has been shown to have the potential to treat more than eight out of ten cases of eating disorders in adults, a study out today reports.

This new "enhanced" form of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT-E) builds on and improves the current leading treatment for bulimia nervosa as recommended by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). CBT-E is the first treatment to be shown to be suitable for the majority of cases of eating disorders.

According to NICE, eating disorders are a major cause of physical and psychosocial impairment in young women, affecting at least one in twenty women between the ages of 18 and 30. They also occur in young men but are less common. Three eating disorders are recognised: anorexia nervosa, which accounts for around one in ten cases in adults; bulimia nervosa, which accounts for a third of all cases; and the remainder are classed as "atypical eating disorders, which account for over half of all cases. In these atypical cases the features of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are combined in a different way.

The three eating disorders vary in their severity, but typically involve extreme and relentless dieting, self-induced vomiting or laxative misuse, binge eating, driven exercising and in some cases marked weight loss. Common associated features are depression, social withdrawal, perfectionism and low self-esteem. The disorders tend to run a chronic course and are notoriously difficult to treat. Relapse is common.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 11, 2008, 5:16 AM CT

Sugar can be addictive, Princeton scientist says

Sugar can be addictive, Princeton scientist says
A Princeton University scientist will present new evidence today demonstrating that sugar can be an addictive substance, wielding its power over the brains of lab animals in a manner similar to a number of drugs of abuse.

Professor Bart Hoebel and his team in the Department of Psychology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute have been studying signs of sugar addiction in rats for years. Until now, the rats under study have met two of the three elements of addiction. They have demonstrated a behavioral pattern of increased intake and then showed signs of withdrawal. His current experiments captured craving and relapse to complete the picture.

"If bingeing on sugar is really a form of addiction, there should be long-lasting effects in the brains of sugar addicts," Hoebel said. "Craving and relapse are critical components of addiction, and we have been able to demonstrate these behaviors in sugar-bingeing rats in many ways".

At the annual meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology in Scottsdale, Ariz., Hoebel will report on profound behavioral changes in rats that, through experimental conditions, have been trained to become dependent on high doses of sugar.

"We have the first set of comprehensive studies showing the strong suggestion of sugar addiction in rats and a mechanism that might underlie it," Hoebel said. The findings eventually could have implications for the therapy of humans with eating disorders, he said.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 11, 2008, 5:07 AM CT

Exercise Suppresses Appetite By Affecting Appetite Hormones

Exercise Suppresses Appetite By Affecting Appetite Hormones
A vigorous 60-minute workout on a treadmill affects the release of two key appetite hormones, ghrelin and peptide YY, while 90 minutes of weight lifting affects the level of only ghrelin, as per a new study. Taken together, the research shows that aerobic exercise is better at suppressing appetite than non-aerobic exercise and provides a possible explanation for how that happens.

This line of research may eventually lead to more effective ways to use exercise to help control weight, as per the senior author, David J. Stensel of Loughborough University in the United Kingdom.

The study, "The influence of resistance and aerobic exercise on hunger, circulating levels of acylated ghrelin and peptide YY in healthy males," appears in the online edition of The American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, published by The American Physiological Society. The authors are David R. Broom, James A. King and David J. Stensel of Loughborough University, and Rachel L. Batterham of University College, London.

Treadmill versus weight lifting

There are several hormones that help regulate appetite, but the scientists looked at two of the major ones, ghrelin and peptide YY. Ghrelin is the only hormone known to stimulate appetite. Peptide YY suppresses appetite.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 4, 2008, 5:30 AM CT

Pediatric obesity may alter thyroid function

Pediatric obesity may alter thyroid function
In addition to its strong associations with hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, pediatric obesity may induce alterations in thyroid function and structure, as per a new study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

Thyroid hormones drive metabolism, however demonstration of a direct or strong correlation of obesity with deficient thyroid function has been controversial, and prior studies provide conflicting conclusions. While some studies have observed that thyroid disorders may lead to obesity, this recent study shows that in some cases, it is the obesity that may cause the disorder.

"Our study shows that alterations in thyroid function and structure are common in obese children and we may have uncovered the link," said Giorgio Radetti, M.D., of the Regional Hospital of Bolzano in Italy and lead author of the study. "We found an association between body mass index and thyroid hormone levels which suggests that fat excess may have a role in thyroid tissue modification".

This study reviewed 186 overweight and obese children over a period of nearly three years. Scientists measured subjects' thyroid hormone levels and thyroid antibodies and also performed a thyroid ultrasound.........

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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