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May 19, 2009, 5:04 AM CT

Workplace: sit less and eat better

Workplace: sit less and eat better
An e-mail intervention program is an effective way to significantly improve diet and physical activity by helping people move more, sit less, and make healthier food choices, as per a Kaiser Permanente Division of Research study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine

The study was a randomized controlled trial of the ALIVE (A Lifestyle Intervention Via E-mail) program conducted among 787 Kaiser Permanente Northern California employees at their worksites. Through the ALIVE program, developed by NutritionQuest, (www.nutritionquest.com) weekly e-mails were sent to the 351 employees randomized to the intervention group; the 436 employees in the control group received only immediate e-mail feedback at the start of the intervention indicating whether or not their reported physical activity and diet met national guidelines. The messages to the participants in the intervention group suggested small, practical, individually tailored goals, such as eating fruit for a snack three times a week, walking for 10 minutes a day at lunch time, or walking to the store instead of driving.

At the end of the 16-week trial, the participants in the intervention group were more physically active, eating more fruits and vegetables, and reducing their intake of saturated fats and trans fats, in comparison to the control group. The biggest changes occurred among those in the intervention group, who did not meet behavioral recommendations at the start of the trial. For example, employees who were not regularly active before receiving the intervention increased their participation in moderate intensity physical activities by almost an hour a week and decreased the amount of time they spent in sedentary activities, like watching TV and videos, by about two hours a week. These changes had a lasting effect four months after the intervention ended, the study found.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 13, 2009, 5:17 AM CT

Adults aren't active enough

Adults aren't active enough
A newly released study has sounded the alarm that the majority of Canadian adults are inactive over their lifespan and don't exercise enough during their leisure time. Reported in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, the study is unique in that it collected information over two decades from the 1981 Canada Fitness Survey, the 1988 Campbell's Survey of Well-Being and from the 2002/4 Physical Activity Longitudinal Study of the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute.

The research team studied a healthy subgroup of Canadians and found almost 56 percent were consistently inactive and only 12 percent of participants remained active with each subsequent survey. The investigation was a partnership between the Universit de Montral, the Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Center, the Centre Hospitalier de l'Universit de Montral, the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

"Women and older participants, in comparison to men or their younger peers, were less likely to follow a consistently active lifestyle. And participants with less education and lower household income were also less likely to be active," says main author Tracie A. Barnett, a professor at the Universit de Montral's Department of Social and Preventive Medicine and a researcher at the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 11, 2009, 5:03 AM CT

Does mom know when it is enough?

Does mom know when it is enough?
As the childhood obesity epidemic in the United States continues, scientists are examining whether early parent and child behaviors contribute to the problem. A study from the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Rutgers University, reported in the May/June 2009 issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior reports that mothers who miss signs of satiety in their infants tend to overfeed them, leading to excess weight gains during the 6 month to 1 year period.

Ninety-six low-income black and Hispanic mothers, who chose to formula feed exclusively, were enrolled in the study. Data was collected during an initial interview and three home visits at 3, 6, and 12 months. During the home visits, feedings were observed, the mothers were interviewed, and the child's weight was measured. Feeding diaries were also checked for omissions or clarifications.

Many characteristics that predicted infant weight gain from birth to 3 months were included in the analysis. These were birth weight, gender, race/ethnicity, maternal age, education, country of origin, body mass index (BMI) before pregnancy, and weight gain during pregnancy. For the 3 to 6 month period, birth weight, maternal BMI, infant weight gain from birth to 3 months, infant length gain from birth to 3 months, the estimated number of feeds per day, the month that solid food was introduced, and the mothers' sensitivity to the infants' signals at 3 months were included. And, finally, for the 6 to 12 month period, birth weight, maternal BMI, infant weight gain from 3 to 6 months, infant length gain from 3 to 6 months, maternal sensitivity to infant signals at 6 months, and the estimated number of feeds/day at 6 months were entered as the independent variables.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 8, 2009, 5:17 AM CT

Benefit of exercise in cardiovascular disease

Benefit of exercise in cardiovascular disease
Exercise is one of eight preventive measures identified by the European Heart Health Charter and features prominently in the scientific programme of EuroPRevent 2009, the congress of the European Association of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation.1 EuroPRevent 2009 takes place in Stockholm, Sweden, on 6-9 May. In new studies presented at the congress exercise is shown to improve markers of heart disease in patients following coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG), to improve event-free survival rate in coronary patients better than stent angioplasty, and to improve markers of disease in heart failure patients, a group commonly thought amenable to little more than palliative care.

1. In rehabilitation following CABG

A study performed by Dr Tomasz Mikulski and his colleagues from the Medical Research Centre in Warsaw, Poland, observed that aerobic training using a cycloergometer (a static bike whose pedal load can be set and user performance measured) improved the physical capacity of cardiac patients following CABG, with reduction in the levels of lipids and markers of inflammation. Sixty optimally treated patients, with a mean age of 56 years and an average of two months following heart surgery, were randomised to either six weeks of aerobic training three times per week on the cycloergometer or to a non-exercise control group. At the end of the study period only the exercise group showed improvement in exercise duration and maximum workload. Other measures taken during a stationary handgrip test heart rate, blood pressure and stroke volume were all improved in the exercise group, as were some metabolic markers such as LDL cholesterol.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 8, 2009, 5:13 AM CT

Vibration plate machines may aid weight loss and trim abdominal fat

Vibration plate machines may aid weight loss and trim abdominal fat
Image courtesy of made-in-china.com
New research suggests that, if used properly, vibration plate exercise machines may help you lose weight and trim the especially harmful belly fat between the organs.

In a study presented on Friday at the European Congress on Obesity, researchers observed that overweight or obese people who regularly used the equipment in combination with a calorie restricted diet were more successful at long-term weight loss and shedding the fat around their abdominal organs than those who combined dieting with a more conventional fitness routine.

"These machines are increasingly found in gyms across the industrialized world and have gathered a devoted following in some places, but there has not been any evidence that they help people lose weight. Our study, the first to investigate the effects of vibration in obese people, indicates it's a promising approach. It looks like these machines could be a useful addition to a weight control package," said the study's leader, Dirk Vissers, a physiotherapist at the Artesis University College and the University of Antwerp in Belgium.

Vissers and colleagues studied the effects of the Power Plate in 61 overweight or obese people - mostly women - for a year. The intervention lasted six months, after which the researchers advised all the volunteers to do the best they could with a healthy diet and exercise regime on their own for another six months. Body measurements, including Computerized axial tomography scans of abdominal fat, were taken at the beginning of the study and after three, six and 12 months.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 7, 2009, 10:20 PM CT

Too much of a good thing

Too much of a good thing
For a number of women, body image is a constant struggle; a poor self-image can lead to a host of both mental and physical health problems. But a newly released study out of Temple University finds that an extremely good body image can also take its toll on a woman's health.

In research reported in the recent issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Temple scientists studied the body image perceptions of 81 underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese women in the North Philadelphia area and observed that as their body mass index (BMI) increased, two-thirds of the women still felt they were at an ideal body size.

"So the question for doctors then becomes, 'How can we effectively treat our overweight and obese patients, when they don't feel they're in harm's way?'" said study researcher Marisa Rose, M.D., assistant professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences in the Temple University School of Medicine. "It stresses a need for culturally sensitive education for this population".

All participants were measured for height and weight and completed an anonymous survey to determine their self-perceived, current and ideal body sizes. Each woman was then shown an illustration of different-sized women that correlated with increasing BMIs, and were asked which size they felt they were at currently, and what their ideal would be.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 7, 2009, 9:39 PM CT

Massage after exercise does not improves circulation

Massage after exercise does not improves circulation
A Queen's University research team has blown open the myth that massage after exercise improves circulation to the muscle and assists in the removal of lactic acid and other waste products.

"This dispels a common belief in the general public about the way in which massage is beneficial," says Kinesiology and Health Studies professor Michael Tschakovsky. "It also dispels that belief among people in the physical treatment profession. All the physical treatment professionals that I have talked to, when asked what massage does, answer that it improves muscle blood flow and helps get rid of lactic acid. Ours is the first study to challenge this and rigorously test its validity".

The belief that massage aids in the removal of lactic acid from muscle tissue is so pervasive it is even listed on the Canadian Sports Massage Therapists website as one of the benefits of massage, despite there being absolutely no scientific research to back this up.

Kinesiology MSc candidate Vicky Wiltshire and Dr. Tschakovsky set out to discover if this untested hypothesis was true, and their results show that massage actually impairs blood flow to the muscle after exercise, and that it therefore also impairs the removal of lactic acid from muscle after exercise.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 5, 2009, 8:40 PM CT

Concerns over dietary supplements

Concerns over dietary supplements
As the FDA warns consumers to stop using Hydroxycut products, a new editorial reported in the May 2009 issue of The FASEB Journal shows that this FDA warning is not unique. In the editorial, Gerald Weissmann, M.D. Editor-in-Chief of the journal and Research Professor of Medicine and Director of the Biotechnology Study Center at NYU School of Medicine, examines litigation involving StarCaps dietary supplement weight loss capsules to illustrate regulatory loopholes that make it impossible for the FDA to prevent dangerous substances sold with health claims from reaching the market.

"You don't need to be a pharmacologist to suspect that almost anything that really affects the structure or function of the human body might have an unwanted side effect (a.k.a., toxicity)," Weissmann states. "Indeed, a search in PubMed for 'herbal drugs/toxic effects' finds such 460 articles.These range from hepatotoxicity from herbals and weight-loss supplements in the United States to kidney failure as a result of aristolochia, a Chinese herb used worldwide".

In the editorial, Weissmann looks back to the late 1800s to point out that Coca Cola once made medicinal claims fueled by an original recipe that included secret amounts cocaine among other drugs. A 1902 trial where Coca Cola's secret ingredients came to light, ultimately helped lead to the landmark Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, provisions of which still guide today's FDA. Then, through the course of his editorial, Weissmann explains how and why the dietary supplement industry is at odds with the FDA's origins and mission, and that these supplements represent little more than unregulated drugs that have tangible personal and professional consequences that go well beyond anything described on their labels.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 4, 2009, 5:26 AM CT

Women live longer, not better

Women live longer, not better
Obesity and arthritis that take root during early and middle age significantly contribute to women's decreased quality of life during their senior years, as per scientists at Duke University Medical Center.

In a study that included 5,888 people over 65, women suffered up to two and a half times more disabilities than men of the same age.

Higher rates of obesity and arthritis among these women explained up to 48 percent of the gender gap in disability above all other common chronic health conditions.

"While women tend to live longer than men, this study shows that they are at greater risk of living with disability and much of the excess disability is attributable to higher rates of obesity and arthritis," said Heather Whitson, M.D., assistant professor of medicine and lead investigator of the study presented today at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Geriatrics Society. "This is important because it suggests that women's tendency to pack on extra pounds in their child-bearing and peri-menopausal years translates into loss of independence in their old age".

Scientists said the study is the first to isolate the impact of specific chronic health conditions on the difference in disability rates between older men and women. While a number of people are studying how chronic conditions affect mortality, the researchers were surprised to see the extent to which these conditions explained the gender difference in disability.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


April 28, 2009, 5:10 AM CT

Dietary fats trigger long-term memory formation

Dietary fats trigger long-term memory formation
Having strong memories of that rich, delicious dessert you ate last night? If so, you shouldn't feel like a glutton. It's only natural.

UC Irvine scientists have observed that eating fat-rich foods triggers the formation of long-term memories of that activity. The study adds to their recent work linking dietary fats to appetite control and may herald new approaches for treating obesity and other eating disorders.

Study results appear this week in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Daniele Piomelli, the Louise Turner Arnold Chair in Neurosciences, teamed with UCI's James McGaugh, one of the world's leading learning and memory researchers, to examine how dietary fats facilitate memory retention.

Piomelli's prior studies identified how oleic acids from fats are transformed into a compound called oleoylethanolamide (OEA) in the upper region of the small intestine. OEA sends hunger-curbing messages to the brain to increase feelings of fullness. In elevated levels, OEA can reduce appetite, produce weight loss and lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Piomelli and McGaugh discovered that OEA also causes memory consolidation, the process by which superficial, short-term memories are transformed into meaningful, long-term ones. It does this, Piomelli said, by activating memory-enhancing signals in the amygdala, part of the brain involved in the consolidation of memories of emotional events.........

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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