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April 22, 2009, 5:21 AM CT

Breast cancer patients, emotional quality and exercise

Breast cancer patients, emotional quality and exercise
Charles Emery
The first study to monitor physical activity in patients with breast cancer for five years suggests that patients with greater depressive symptoms and a lower emotional quality of life are less likely to exercise as part of their recovery than are patients reporting less distress.

While the findings may seem intuitive, they also add weight to a growing pool of data supporting the need to concentrate on patients with breast cancer' emotional health soon after they are diagnosed, scientists say.

Overall, the women as a group increased their physical activity during the first 18 months after diagnosis and therapy, but then their physical activity gradually declined over the remaining 3 1/2 years.

Poor physical health also was linked to less physical activity over all five years. Conversely, family support appeared to slow the decline in physical activity over the last 42 months of the study.

Depressive symptoms can include low mood, low energy, sleep difficulty and a lack of interest in, or withdrawal from, normal activities. Emotional quality of health is a broad composite measure of social and psychological factors, including mood, tension and the presence or lack of social support.

"This suggests that stress in the form of depressive symptoms is correlation to actual health behavior over a sustained period of time," said Charles Emery, professor of psychology at Ohio State University and main author of the study.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


April 22, 2009, 5:14 AM CT

When healthy menus backfire

When healthy menus backfire
Just seeing a salad on the menu seems to push some consumers to make a less healthy meal choice, according a Duke University researcher.

It's an effect called "vicarious goal fulfillment," in which a person can feel a goal has been met if they have taken some small action, like considering the salad without ordering it, said Gavan Fitzsimons, professor of marketing and psychology at Duke's Fuqua School of Business, who led the research.

In a lab experiment, participants possessing high levels of self-control correlation to food choices (as assessed by a pre-test) avoided french fries, the least healthy item on a menu, when presented with only unhealthy choices. But when a side salad was added to this menu, they became much more likely to take the fries.

The team's findings are available in the online version of the Journal of Consumer Research, and will appear in its October 2009 print edition.

Eventhough fast-food restaurants and vending machine operators have increased their healthy offerings in recent years, "analysts have pointed out that sales growth in the fast-food industry is not coming from healthy menu items, but from increased sales of burgers and fries," Fitzsimons said. "There is clearly public demand for healthy options, so we wanted to know why people aren't following through and purchasing those items".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


April 21, 2009, 5:24 AM CT

Choice of food can lead to unhealthy choices

Choice of food can lead to unhealthy choices
More restaurants and vending machines offer healthy choices these days, so why do Americans' waistlines continue to expand? A newly released study in the Journal of Consumer Research shows that some efforts to control eating may backfire.

Consumers may feel they have fulfilled a healthy eating goal even if they choose an unhealthy food, and the presence of a healthy option among food choices may draw their attention to the least-healthy choice available, as per authors Keith Wilcox (City University of New York), Beth Vallen (Loyola College), Lauren Block (City University of New York), and Gavan J. Fitzsimons (Duke University).

"Just because we consumers want to see healthier items available does not mean that we are going to choose them," write the authors. "We present evidence that for a number of consumers, the addition of healthy alternatives to food choice sets can, ironically, increase the consumption of very indulgent food items".

In a series of four studies, the scientists examined how consumers' food choices differed when a healthy item was included in a set in comparison to when it was not available. The study results showed that the mere presence of a healthy item vicariously fulfills health-related eating goals, drives attention to the least-healthy choice, and provides people with license to indulge in tempting foods. They also demonstrated that these effects were more pronounced in people with relatively high levels of self-control.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


April 20, 2009, 5:20 AM CT

Vegetable juice may help some to lose weight

Vegetable juice may help some to lose weight
Drinking at least one glass of low sodium vegetable juice daily may help overweight people with metabolic syndrome achieve better weight loss results. A study, conducted at the Baylor College of Medicine and presented at this week's Experimental Biology Meeting, observed that participants who drank at least 8-ounces of low sodium vegetable juice as part of a calorie-controlled DASH diet lost four pounds over 12 weeks, while those who followed the same diet but drank no juice lost one pound.

Metabolic syndrome is defined by a cluster of risk factors including excess body fat in the midsection, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and abnormal blood lipids. If left uncontrolled, metabolic syndrome increases risk for chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke or diabetes. An estimated 47 million Americans have some combination of these risk factors and are often overweight or obese as well.

Participants in the study were primarily African-American and Hispanic adults, populations that typically have a higher occurence rate of metabolic syndrome. Each group followed a DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet that emphasized eating lean meat, lower fat dairy, whole grains, vegetables and fruit daily and keeping saturated fat, total fat, cholesterol and sodium in check. Two of the groups were given Low Sodium V8 100% vegetable juice and instructed to drink 1 or 2 cups every day for 12 weeks, while the third group was not given any vegetable juice.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


April 20, 2009, 5:11 AM CT

Chewing gum helps lower calorie intake

Chewing gum helps lower calorie intake
WHAT: New research from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center and Louisiana State University shows the potential role of Extra sugar-free gum in helping to control appetite, decrease calorie intake and reduce snack cravings.i Primary outcomes include:
  • Chewing Extra sugar-free gum significantly reduced intake of an afternoon snack by 40 calories.
    • Chewing Extra sugar-free gum specifically reduced sweet snack intake by 60 calories.
  • When participants chewed gum, hunger, desire to eat and sweet snack cravings were significantly suppressed between lunch and an afternoon snack as in comparison to when they did not chew gum.
  • When participants chewed gum, they reported that their energy levels were maintained between lunch and an afternoon snack, and were significantly less drowsy as in comparison to when they did not chew gum during this same timeframe.


Overall, this study demonstrates the role of chewing gum in helping to decrease calorie intake from an afternoon snack, controlling appetite and reducing snack cravings. Nutritionists report that even small changes in caloric intake can have a significant impact in the long term. This research study supports the role of chewing sugar-free gum as an easy, practical tool for helping to manage snack intake and reducing sweet snack cravings.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


April 15, 2009, 5:19 AM CT

Low glycemic breakfast may increase benefits of working out

Low glycemic breakfast may increase benefits of working out
The benefits of physical activity and a balanced diet are well documented and form the basis of a number of public health recommendations. This is because each of these factors can independently influence risks for a number of chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Some research also suggests that exercise and diet interact to influence health. For instance, exercising after short-term fasting (such as before breakfast) may increase the amount of fat burned. Similarly, consumption of a meal eliciting a low blood glucose response previous to exercise may also boost the use of body fat (instead of glucose). However, most of these studies have used either trained athletes or recreational exercisers, and none has looked at effects of the type of pre-exercise meal on metabolism during and after exercise. To better understand the effects of pre-exercise meal composition on fat metabolism in more typical (sedentary) individuals, a group of scientists headed by Dr. Emma Stevenson at the University of Nottingham conducted a controlled human intervention trial. The results of their study are reported in the May 2009 issue of The Journal of Nutrition

As expected, blood glucose concentrations were higher after the HGI than the LGI meals and had returned to baseline levels by the time exercise was commenced, after which they were not influenced by breakfast type. Plasma free fatty acids (FFA; a marker for adipose oxidation) fell after consumption of both HGI and LGI breakfasts, but began to rise at ~2 h post-breakfast in the LGI (but not HGI) therapy. Exercise caused a rapid increase in FFA in both groups, but this was higher in the LGI trial in comparison to the HGI trial (P < 0.001). Circulating concentrations of FFA were not different between therapys following lunch. Overall, fat oxidation was higher in the LGI therapy than in the HGI therapy (P < 0.05) during the post-breakfast and exercise periods. Following lunch, fullness scores were higher in the LGI trial than in the HGI trial (P < 0.05). The authors concluded that consuming a LGI breakfast increases fat oxidation during subsequent exercise and improved satiety during recovery in sedentary females. As such, individuals trying to shed fat may consider choosing LGI foods eaten previous to when they exercise.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


April 13, 2009, 12:43 AM CT

Obstacles To Walking And Biking To Work

Obstacles To Walking And Biking To Work
As per scientists with Kansas State University's Physical Activity and Public Health Laboratory, active commuting -- walking or biking to school or work -- can be an easy, effective and efficient way to integrate physical activity into the daily routine.

Pam Wittman, a K-State senior in kinesiology, Olathe, worked with K-State's Melissa Bopp and Andy Kaczynski, both assistant professors of kinesiology, on the active commuting research. The project included two surveys, administered in 2008, which looked at demographics, psychosocial factors and environmental characteristics correlation to active commuting. A survey of more than 800 individuals at K-State was conducted, followed by another survey of 400 Manhattan area residents.

The scientists say the results lay the groundwork for future policy discussions and for tailoring public health messages. Just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day is enough for health benefits, and small bouts of exercise throughout the day of as little as 10 minutes provide the health payoff, as per recently revised guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Among the campus findings: students were most likely to actively commute, then faculty members, and then staff. Women and men were equally interested in walking or biking. Older individuals were less likely to actively commute than younger individuals.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


April 8, 2009, 5:21 AM CT

Weight discrimination and glass ceiling effect

Weight discrimination and glass ceiling effect
Mark Roehling, associate professor, School of Labor and Industrial Relations, College of Social Science

Weight discrimination appears to add to the glass ceiling effect for women, finds a newly released co-author of studyed by a Michigan State University scholar.

Overweight and obese women are significantly underrepresented among the top CEOs in the United States, as per the research, which appears in the British journal Equal Opportunities International. However, while obese men were also underrepresented, overweight men were actually overrepresented among top CEOs.

The different results for women and men suggest weight bias may contribute to the glass ceiling on the advancement of women to the top levels of management, said Mark Roehling, MSU associate professor of human resource management.

"The results suggest that while being obese limits the career opportunities of both women and men, being 'merely overweight' harms only female executives - and may actually benefit male executives," he said. "This pattern of findings is consistent with prior research indicating that, at least among white Americans, there is a tendency to hold women to harsher weight standards".

Roehling said the research is the first to focus on the potential effect of weight on career advancement to the highest levels of management. For the study, two groups of experts analyzed publicly available photos of CEOs from Fortune 1000 companies. The expert raters included individuals who were tested previous to the study to determine their accuracy in assessing body weight based on photographs, and medical professionals who by virtue of training and experience are experts at weight estimation.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


April 7, 2009, 5:08 AM CT

Weight gain early in life leads to physical disabilities

Weight gain early in life leads to physical disabilities
Carrying extra weight earlier in life increases the risk of developing problems with mobility in old age, even if the weight is eventually lost, as per new research out of the Sticht Center on Aging at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

The study, funded by the National Institute on Aging and the Wake Forest University Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center, appears in the April 15 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology

"In both men and women, being overweight or obese put them at greater risk of developing mobility limitations in old age, and the longer they had been overweight or obese, the greater the risk," said lead investigator Denise Houston, Ph.D., R.D., an assistant professor of gerontology at the School of Medicine and an expert on aging and nutrition. "We also observed that, if you were of normal weight in old age but had previously been overweight or obese, you were at greater risk for mobility limitations." .

Houston added that dropping weight during the later part of life can lead to problems with mobility because weight loss during the later part of life is commonly involuntary and the result of an underlying chronic condition.

The study is based on data collected in the Health, Aging and Body Composition study, which enrolled Medicare recipients in Pittsburgh, Pa., and Memphis, Tenn., between April 1997 and June 1998. Participants had to be well-functioning, living in the community, and free of life-threatening illness.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


April 6, 2009, 10:28 PM CT

Substituting water for sugar-sweetened beverages

Substituting water for sugar-sweetened beverages
Replacing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) with water could eliminate an average of 235 excess calories per day among children and adolescents, as per a research studyreported in the April 2009 Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine The study's authors conclude that such a replacement would be a simple and effective way to reduce excess intake of calories causing childhood overweight and obesity, as well as address dental cavities and other health problems linked to added sugar. And they predict no detrimental effects on nutrition.

"The evidence is now clear that replacing these 'liquid calories' with calorie-free beverage alternatives both at home and in schools represents a key strategy to eliminate excess calories and prevent childhood obesity," said Y. Claire Wang, MD, ScD, assistant professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and the study's main author.

Dr. Wang and his colleagues analyzed what children and teens reported they ate and drank on two different days, using nationally representative data from the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They then estimated the impact of substituting water for SSBs on the total energy intake of youths ages two to 19.........

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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