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December 27, 2005

Lifestyle Changes Have Major Health Impact

Lifestyle Changes Have Major Health Impact
New Year's resolutions to lose weight, stop smoking and exercise are made by countless people every January. Unfortunately, these goals seldom seem attainable and good intentions often fall by the wayside after a few weeks. Is there really a way to keep your resolutions and transform your body and your health? .

The results of a two-year study involving the Department of Human Services (7,500 employees) of the State of Oklahoma conclude the answer is "yes". A lifestyle management program using step-by-step attainable goals was shown to successfully translate good intentions to live a healthier lifestyle into reality.

The study participants were enrolled in INTERVENTUSA, a scientifically-based lifestyle management program offered in the Atlanta area through the Emory Heart Center. Individualized programs to help participants implement and adhere to exercise, nutrition, weight management, stress management, and smoking cessation resolutions were implemented and administered via the telephone and the Internet.

Not only did a number of of the participants in the program, named OK Health, reach their goals but the health claim costs of the employees who completed one year of program participation were lowered by a staggering 31 percent, according to the Oklahoma Employees Benefits Council and Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

"In employees with abnormal risk factor values at the start of the study, one year of program participation resulted in impressive improvements in blood pressure and cholesterol levels, with increases in HDL ('good' cholesterol) and decreases in the 'bad' lipids (LDL cholesterol and triglycerides). In addition, on average, there was a weight loss of 11 pounds and a significant reduction of fasting blood glucose levels," says Neil F. Gordon, MD, PhD, clinical professor of medicine in the Emory University School of Medicine and INTERVENTUSA founder.........

Janet      Permalink


December 25, 2005, 10:32 AM CT

Merry Christmas To All Our Readers

Merry Christmas To All Our Readers
Medicineworld wishes all our readers merry Christmas.

Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells

Jingle all the way

Oh, what fun it is to ride

In a one horse open sleigh

Jingle bells, jingle bells

Jingle all the way

Oh, what fun it is to ride

In a one horse open sleigh........

Daniel      Permalink


December 21, 2005

Resolved to Lose Weight in 2006?

Resolved to Lose Weight in 2006? Neal Barnard, M.D
With 2006 quickly approaching, losing weight is on the minds of a number of people considering a New Year's resolution. Doctors with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) suggest a new approach to weight loss based on a recent study showing that a low-fat vegan diet is an effective way to shed unwanted pounds.

PCRM's weight-loss study, published in September in The American Journal of Medicine, showed that a low-fat, plant-based diet is more effective at helping women lose weight and improve insulin sensitivity than an omnivorous diet.

"The study participants following the vegan diet enjoyed unlimited servings of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other healthful foods that enabled them to lose weight without feeling hungry," says Dr. Neal Barnard, the study's lead author. "Anyone who wants to make healthy changes in the New Year will do well to try a plant-based diet".

Other scientific studies support the obesity-fighting power of plant-based diets. In a recent study of more than 55,000 Swedish women, Tufts University researcher P. Kirstin Newby and her colleagues found that 40 percent of meat-eaters were overweight or obese while only 25 to 29 percent of vegetarians and vegans were. Worldwide, vegetarian populations experience lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

The simplicity of a vegan diet appeals to people busy with work and family, and a number of familiar recipes are easy to adapt. At least four studies published in peer-reviewed journals show that patients give the low-fat vegetarian diet a high rating in terms of acceptability, and that the transition only takes about three weeks or less.........

JoAnn      Permalink


December 21, 2005

Impediments For Overweight People From Exercising

Impediments For Overweight People From Exercising
Doctors treating overweight or obese patients often prescribe exercise as part of a regime to take off pounds. However, a new study indicates that some people's ability to exercise may be hampered by a variety of gastrointestinal problems that frequently affect individuals who are overweight.

A team of scientists studying nearly 1,000 men and women participating in a randomized trial evaluating three weight-loss programs in Minnesota found that associations between gastrointestinal symptoms, diet and exercise may have implications for the therapy of both obesity and gastrointestinal problems. The physiological mechanisms linking gastrointestinal symptoms, obesity and exercise still need to be determined, said psychology expert Rona Levy, lead author of the study and a University of Washington professor of social work whose research focuses on common gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome in adults.

"Our main finding is that the amount of exercise people in a weight loss program do is related to gastrointestinal symptoms. In statistical terms, this means exercise is protective against gastrointestinal symptoms. This isn't surprising, but it has not been demonstrated before with this population. Science has now validated what people have been guessing," she said.

"But we don't know if this is a 'did the chicken or the egg come first' kind of a thing. We are not sure which is the key, exercise or gastrointestinal symptoms. It is plausible that if a doctor put a patient on an exercise program to lose weight the GI problems experienced might hamper the patient's ability to exercise".

People in the study reported experiencing a variety of problems: 19 percent said they had abdominal pain, 13 percent had irritable bowel syndrome, 25 percent had diarrhea and 20 percent had bloating.........

JoAnn      Permalink


December 19, 2005

Obesity Before Pregnancy

Obesity Before Pregnancy
A child's weight may be influenced by his mother even before he is actually born, according to new research. Results of the study, which included more than 3,000 children, suggest that a child is far more likely to be overweight at a very young age - at 2 or 3 years old - if his mother was overweight or obese before she became pregnant. A child is also at greater risk of becoming overweight if he is born to a black or Hispanic mother, or to a mother who smoked during her pregnancy.

And there's a good chance that an overweight child will stay overweight for the rest of his or her life.

"Weight persists with time, so a child who is overweight by her second birthday is more likely to be overweight at a later age," said Pamela Salsberry, the study's lead author and an associate professor of nursing at Ohio State University. "Prevention of childhood obesity needs to begin before a woman ever gets pregnant".

Salsberry conducted the study with Patricia Reagan, a professor of economics at Ohio State. Their study appears in the recent issue of the journal Pediatrics.

The scientists analyzed the data for 3,022 children included in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth's (NLSY) Child-Mother file. The NLSY collected height and weight information at multiple points in time. In this study, children were weighed when they were roughly ages 3, 5 and 7. The survey also gathered information on each child's race and ethnicity, and asked each mother to recall her pre-pregnancy weight, if she had smoked while pregnant and if she had breast-fed her child.

Children were considered overweight if their body mass index (BMI) was greater than or equal to the 95th percentile for their age and gender. BMI is a measurement that relates weight to height. A child in the 95th percentile for his weight is heavier than 95 percent of the children his age.........

Emily      Permalink


December 14, 2005

Advice On Fighting Holiday Pounds

Advice On Fighting Holiday Pounds
Our promises to eat less during the holidays seem to disappear when we're faced with parties and family gatherings laden with high-calorie food and drinks. Year's end can also bring out the worst in our eating habits, but a UT Southwestern Medical Center dietitian says breaking those habits can be easier than you think.

Lona Sandon, assistant professor of nutrition at UT Southwestern, says there are some simple tricks everyone can use to keep from getting stuffed this season.

"On average, we gain one to two pounds over the holidays, but unfortunately, we often don't lose that weight," she said. "So over the course of 10 years, you can find yourself 20 pounds heavier and losing the weight can be quite difficult.".

If you're hosting holiday parties, she suggests setting a table featuring lots of high-fiber, high-water foods such as a big green salad and fresh vegetable tray. This will encourage you and your guests to start the meal with a low-calorie appetizer.

You can also provide lower-calorie dressings, such as light vinaigrette or dips that are made with light sour cream or low-fat cream cheese. Crispy appetizers like pickles, fresh vegetables and fruit can also help guests consume fewer calories at the buffet table.

"I also recommend using smaller sized cocktail plates or even cocktail napkins instead of large plates," Ms. Sandon said. "That discourages guests from piling food onto their plates. When you're serving casserole dishes, serve from a tablespoon rather than a giant serving spoon. People are more likely to serve themselves less food.".

Using pre-sized portions also keeps people from sampling large portions of the main entree or dessert. Cutting a pie into slices previous to setting it out on the buffet table keeps guests from cutting larger portions.........

JoAnn      Permalink


December 13, 2005

Obesity, High Blood Pressure Impacting Many In U.S

Obesity, High Blood Pressure Impacting Many In U.S
Half of Americans aged 55-64 have hypertension - a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke - and two in five are obese, according to Health, United States, 2005, the government's annual report to the President and Congress on the health of all Americans. The report was prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics from data gathered by state and federal health agencies and through ongoing national surveys.

The report features an in-depth look at the 55-64 age group, which includes the oldest of the baby boomers. In 2011, the oldest of the boomers will be eligible for Medicare, and by 2014, the ranks of Americans ages 55-64 will swell to 40 million, up from 29 million in 2004.

"Controlling hypertension and obesity is crucial for health, and especially for baby boomers as they grow older," said HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt. "It's time to act against both conditions so more Americans can live longer, healthier lives.".

Dr. Julie Gerberding, CDC Director, urged 55-to-64-year-olds to take careful stock now of their health, including such vital measures as weight, cholesterol level, blood pressure, risk of heart attack and any signs of diabetes. "The late 50s and early 60s are a crucial time of life to focus on disease prevention. It's never too late to adopt a healthy lifestyle to enjoy a longer, healthier life," she said.

While a number of adults in their late 50s and early 60s enjoy good health, others are dealing with chronic and debilitating diseases and lack of health insurance. The report finds that minorities - primarily blacks and Hispanics - are more likely to fall into those categories.

The report also notes that 11 percent of Americans ages 55-64 lack health insurance-compared to the national average of Americans under age 65 without health insurance (16.5 percent). Eighty-three percent of married adults ages 55-64 had private health insurance, compared to 60 percent of widowed, separated, divorced or single adults in that age group.........

JoAnn      Permalink


December 13, 2005

Key To Halting Weight Gain

Key To Halting Weight Gain
A new study by scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center suggests that when fat cells increase in size - as they do during the development of obesity - the cells progressively lose receptors for the hormone leptin, a powerful stimulus for fat burning.

Leptin, a hormone produced by the body's fat cells and involved in the regulation of body weight, was first discovered in 1994. It was thought leptin itself would be a key to curing obesity in humans, but the hypothesis did not readily translate into weight loss in obese people. Using mouse models, UT Southwestern scientists have now shown that if enough receptors are present on the fat cells, it is impossible for the cells to store fat and obesity would be blocked.

The new findings, appearing in an upcoming issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and currently available online, bring scientists a step closer to understanding obesity in humans, said Dr. Roger Unger, director of the Touchstone Diabetes Research Center at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study.

" We now believe that people with naturally high levels of leptin receptors may not gain weight as rapidly over time as people who have low levels of leptin receptors," said Dr. Unger. "It could explain why some people can eat more and do not gain weight."

To test this hypothesis, the UT Southwestern scientists used genetically modified rats in which the leptin receptor remained present in large quantities even during marked overfeeding. In normal mice, the high-fat diet caused massive obesity with enlargement of fat cells to almost three times their normal size. In mice with the forced overexpression of the leptin receptor on their fat cells no obesity occurred, even though they too were fed high-fat, highly caloric diets.........

JoAnn      Permalink

  • Lifestyle Modification and Weight Loss Medications (December 8, 2005)
  • Lifestyle Modification Plus Medication More Effective For Weight Loss In Obese Adults (November 23, 2005)


  • Older Blog Entries   1   2  

    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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