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March 27, 2007, 9:58 PM CT

Factors Associated With Successful Weight Loss

Factors Associated With Successful Weight Loss
Participating in moderate to vigorous physical activity and limiting time in front of the television are some of the keys to successful weight loss in teens, as per scientists at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Research published in a recent issue of Obesity identified common factors among teens, ages 16 to 18, who successfully lost weight:
  • Overweight teens who lost weight participated in significantly more moderate to vigorous physical activity than those who maintained the same weight or gained. Females who lost weight averaged 7.6 hours a week, and males 11.7 a week.
  • Female adolescents who lost weight were more likely to participate in weight training and strengthening exercises.
  • Teens who lost weight spent significantly less time in front of the television in comparison to those who gained weight.


"Today, nearly 31 percent of adolescents in the United States are considered overweight," said Kerri Boutelle, Ph.D., lead author of the study and assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School. "It is clear that exercising, staying active, and limiting sedentary activity is essential to teens successfully losing weight".

As per the study, successful weight loss for overweight teens averaged 14 percent reduction of their body weight for females and 12 percent reduction for males within a year. The average weight loss met the 10 percent goal recommended for adults to experience the medical benefits of weight loss.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 19, 2007, 5:12 AM CT

Americans still not eating enough fruits and vegetables

Americans still not eating enough fruits and vegetables
"Eat your vegetables" has been heard at the dinner tables of America for a long time. Has the message gotten through? Since 1990 the Dietary Guidelines for Americans has recommended consuming at least two servings of fruits and three servings of vegetables daily. However, two studies reported in the recent issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine clearly show that Americans are not meeting the mark. This is a serious public health concern because consuming a diet high in fruits and vegetables is linked to decreased risk of obesity and certain chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers.

Scientists from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research in Baltimore analyzed NHANES data (National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys) to determine trends over time for fruit and vegetable consumption among American adults. The answers are not encouraging. Despite campaigns and slogans, Americans have not increased their consumption, with 28% and 32% meeting USDA guidelines for fruits and vegetables, respectively, and less than 11% meeting the current USDA guidelines for both fruits and vegetables.

The study included 14,997 adults (18 years) from 1988 to 1994 and 8,910 adults from 1999 to 2002 with complete demographic and dietary data. Approximately 62% did not consume any whole fruit servings and 25% of participants reported eating no daily vegetable servings. There was no improvement in Americans fruit consumption during this period and there was a small decrease in vegetable intake.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 14, 2007, 10:22 PM CT

Obesity high among Baltimore's homeless

Obesity high among Baltimore's homeless
A small but telling study from the Johns Hopkins Childrens Center reveals an ominous trend: more than expected, obesity shadows Baltimores homeless children and their caregivers, putting them at high risk for heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, among other conditions.

Not long ago, homeless people were undernourished. Our study shows the pendulum has swung the other way: Obesity might be the new form of malnutrition among the homeless, says lead author Kathleen Schwarz, M.D., a gastroenterologist at the Childrens Center. More disturbing, it appears that being both poor and homeless may increase ones obesity risk.

The study, reported in the recent issue of the online journal Medscape General Medicine, looked at 60 children, ages 2 to 18, and 31 caregivers recruited from eight homeless shelters in Baltimore. Nearly half of the children (25 out of 60) were either overweight or at risk for becoming overweight. Children with weight in the 85th to 95th percentile for their age are considered at risk, while those with weight above the 95th percentile are classified as overweight. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control does not use the term obese for children. Compared with children nationally, Baltimores homeless poor had a higher percentage of at-risk or overweight children, pointing to homelessness as an added risk.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 13, 2007, 10:15 PM CT

Belly fat may drive inflammatory processes

Belly fat may drive inflammatory processes
As researchers learn more about the key role of inflammation in diabetes, heart disease and other disorders, new research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that fat in the belly may be an important promoter of that inflammation.

Excess fat is known to be linked to disease, but now the scientists have confirmed that fat cells inside the abdomen are secreting molecules that increase inflammation. It's the first evidence of a potential mechanistic link between abdominal fat and systemic inflammation.

For years, researchers have been aware of a relationship between disease risk and excess belly fat. "Apple-shaped" people, who carry fat in the abdomen, have a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and other problems than "pear-shaped" people, who tend to store fat in the hips and thighs. Too much abdominal fat is linked to a defect in the body's response to insulin. During medical exams, some physicians measure waist circumference to identify patients at increased risk for these problems.

Not just any belly fat will cause inflammation, however. Back in 2004, Washington University researchers observed that removing abdominal fat with liposuction did not provide the metabolic benefits normally linked to similar amounts of fat loss induced by dieting or exercising.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 8, 2007, 7:55 AM CT

Mercury contamination of fish

Mercury contamination of fish
The health risks posed by mercury contaminated fish is sufficient to warrant issuing a worldwide general warning to the public particularly children and women of childbearing age-to be careful about how much and which fish they eat.

That is one of the key findings comprising "The Madison Declaration on Mercury Pollution" published recently in a special issue of the international science journal Ambio.

Developed at the Eighth International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant last August in Madison, Wis., the declaration is a synopsis of the latest scientific knowledge about the danger posed by mercury pollution. It presents 33 principal findings from five synthesis papers prepared by the world's leading mercury researchers and reported in the same issue of Ambio. The declaration and supporting papers summarize what is currently known about the sources and movement of mercury in the atmosphere, the socioeconomic and health effects of mercury pollution on human populations, and its effects on the world's fisheries and wildlife.

Five other major findings in the declaration were:
  • On average, three times more mercury is falling from the sky today than before the Industrial Revolution 200 years ago as a result of the increasing use of mercury and industrial emissions.........

    Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 5, 2007, 5:05 AM CT

Childhood obesity may contribute to earlier puberty

Childhood obesity may contribute to earlier puberty
Increasing rates of childhood obesity and overweight in the United States may be contributing to an earlier onset of puberty in girls, say scientists at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.

In a new study reported in the recent issue of the journal Pediatrics, the scientists reveal that a higher body mass index (BMI) score in girls as young as age 3, and large increases in BMI between 3 years of age and first grade are linked to earlier puberty, defined as the presence of breast development by age 9. This longitudinal study is unique in that it included girls younger than age 5 to examine the association between weight status and timing of puberty.

"Our finding that increased body fatness is linked to the earlier onset of puberty provides additional evidence that growing rates of obesity among children in this country may be contributing to the trend of early maturation in girls," says lead author and U-M pediatric endocrinologist Joyce Lee, M.D, MPH.

Studies have suggested that girls in the United States are entering puberty at younger ages today than they were 30 years ago, says Lee. Since rates of childhood obesity also have significantly increased during the same time period, scientists have speculated that childhood obesity may be contributing to a trend of earlier puberty in girls.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 1, 2007, 4:46 AM CT

Frequency of Dietary Supplement Use

Frequency of Dietary Supplement Use
More than one in seven American adults have used nonprescription dietary supplements to try to lose weight, according to researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Nearly 9,500 people over age 18 were asked about the prevalence and duration of nonprescription weight-loss supplement use, associated weight-control behaviors, discussion of use with a health-care professional and specific ingredient use.

Approximately 15 percent of the respondents said they had used weight-loss supplements, and 8.7 percent said they had done so in the past year. The highest use was among women 18 to 34 years old (16.7 percent). Nearly three-fourths of respondents (73.8 percent) said they have used a supplement containing a stimulant including ephedra, caffeine and/or bitter orange.

The researchers conclude: Qualified professionals should inquire about use of supplements for weight loss to facilitate discussion about the lack of efficacy data, possible adverse effects, as well as dispel misinformation that may interfere with sound weight-management practices.

Additional research articles in the March Journal of the American Dietetic Association include:
  • Supplementation with Soy-Protein-Rich Foods Does Not Enhance Weight Loss.
  • Safety and Efficacy of a Ginkgo Biloba Containing Dietary Supplement on Cognitive Function, Quality of Life and Platelet Function in Healthy Cognitively Intact Older Adults.........

    Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


February 7, 2007, 5:04 AM CT

Double Whammy When It Comes To Body Fat

Double Whammy When It Comes To Body Fat
When it comes to body fat, today's elderly adults face a double whammy, as per new research from Wake Forest University School of Medicine and his colleagues. Up until age 80, elderly adults not only gain fat as they age -- but because of the obesity epidemic -- they actually begin their older years fatter.

The result is an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis and disability, as per Jingzhong Ding, M.D., Ph.D., lead author and a researcher on aging at Wake Forest Baptist.

The study, published in the current issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, focuses on changes in body composition correlation to aging and in the population over time. It is significant because the scientists used DEXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) to measure actual body fat to determine the proportion of fat versus lean mass (muscle and organs).

The measurements were made on 1,786 well-functioning elderly adults from Pittsburgh, Pa., and Memphis, Tenn., from 1997 to 2003. Participants were 70-79 at the time of enrollment, a critical period for the development of disability. Body composition -- particularly the combination of too much body fat and a decrease in muscle -- is believed to contribute to disability.

"This study provides a better picture of age-related changes in body composition and it's not a good picture," said Ding, an assistant professor of gerontology and geriatric medicine. "It demonstrates that up until age 80, both older men and women gained fat but lost lean mass each year. These age-related changes were compounded by the obesity epidemic".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 29, 2007, 5:10 AM CT

Major Link In Brain-obesity Puzzle

Major Link In Brain-obesity Puzzle
A single protein in brain cells may act as a linchpin in the body's weight-regulating system, playing a key role in the flurry of signals that govern fat storage, sugar use, energy balance and weight, University of Michigan Medical School scientists report.

And eventhough it's far too early to say how this protein could be useful in new strategies to fight the world's epidemic of obesity, the finding gives researchers an important system to target in future research and the development of anti-obesity medications.

In the recent issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, U-M researcher Liangyou Rui, Ph.D. and his team report their findings on a protein called SH2B1, and specifically on its activity in brain cells.

Using a variety of genetic, diet and hormone techniques, they were able to show that the action of SH2B1 regulates body weight, the action of the metabolic signaling molecules leptin and insulin, and the use of energy from food. It even moderated the impact of a high-fat diet on body weight.

The experiments were performed in mice, including two types of mice that the team altered genetically so that they only expressed a unique form of the SH2B1 protein in their brain cells. The protein occurs elsewhere in the body, but the scientists were able to zero in on its activity in the hypothalamus: the area of the brain that coordinates signals from the brain and body relating to food, hunger, and the balance of energy and nutrients in the body.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 15, 2007, 9:32 PM CT

Common Gut Microbes May Contribute To Obesity

Common Gut Microbes May Contribute To Obesity
A link between obesity and the microbial communities living in our guts is suggested by new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The findings indicate that our gut microbes are biomarkers, mediators and potential therapeutic targets in the war against the worldwide obesity epidemic.

In two studies published this week in the journal Nature, the researchers report that the relative abundance of two of the most common groups of gut bacteria is altered in both obese humans and mice. By sequencing the genes present in gut microbial communities of obese and lean mice, and by observing the effects of transplanting these communities into germ-free mice, the scientists showed that the obese microbial community has an increased capacity to harvest calories from the diet.

"The amount of calories you consume by eating, and the amount of calories you expend by exercising are key determinants of your tendency to be obese or lean," says lead investigator Jeffrey Gordon, M.D., director of the Center for Genome Sciences and the Dr. Robert J. Glaser Distinguished University Professor. "Our studies imply that differences in our gut microbial ecology may determine how a number of calories we are able to extract and absorb from our diet and deposit in our fat cells."........

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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