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June 18, 2006, 5:14 PM CT

Laberge Study Shows Benefits Of Exercise

Laberge Study Shows Benefits Of Exercise Suzanne Laberge
Secondary school students who are cramming for final exams this month can improve their concentration by adding physical activity to their schedule, as per a research studydone by a team under the direction of Suzanne Laberge, a professor in the Department of Kinesiology at Universite de Montreal.

Laberge had modest expectations when she embarked on her research. "The Comite de gestion de la taxe scolaire de l'île de Montreal wanted to know if exercise would boost academic results," she reports. "But since there are thousands of factors affecting success, most importantly socio-economic status, family life, age and life experience, we didn't believe that forty-five minutes of daily exercise would outweigh these overwhelming influences".

Laberge and Paula Bush, whose work on the project constituted her master's research, set up an eighteen-week program of activities, including aerobic dance, martial arts, weight training, team sports and Playstation, for volunteer Secondary Two students at ecole Saint-Germain in Saint-Laurent.

The study found a pronounced positive connection between involvement in the program and the students' ability to pay attention and concentrate. But closer analysis of the findings revealed that the difference was observable only in male students because, Laberge believes, growing teenaged boys need an outlet for their high levels of energy.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 18, 2006, 4:58 PM CT

What Is Standing In My Way?

What Is Standing In My Way?
Would you like to do more physical activity but do not know how to make it a part of your life? This booklet describes some common barriers to physical activity and ways to overcome them. After you read them, try writing down the top two or three barriers that you face. Then write down solutions that you think will work for you. You can make regular physical activity a part of your life!

Can you use any of these ideas to become more physically active?

Personal Barriers

Barrier: Between work, family, and other demands, I am too busy to exercise.

Solutions:

Make physical activity a priority

Carve out some time each week to be active and put it on your calendar. Try waking up a half-hour earlier to walk, scheduling lunchtime workouts, or taking an evening fitness class.

Build physical activity into your routine chores

Rake the yard, wash the car, or do energetic housework. That way you do what needs to get done and move around too.

Make family time physically active........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink


June 18, 2006, 4:54 PM CT

Physical Activity Key To Weight Control

Physical Activity Key To Weight Control
You know that physical activity is good for you. So what is stopping you from getting out there and getting at it? Maybe you think that working out is boring, joining a gym is costly, or doing one more thing during your busy day is impossible. Physical activity can be part of your daily life. This booklet can help you get moving by offering ideas to beat your roadblocks to getting active.

You may know that regular physical activity can help you control your weight. But do you know why? Physical activity burns calories. When you burn more calories than you eat each day, you will take off pounds. You can also avoid gaining weight by balancing the number of calories you burn with the number of calories you eat.

Regular physical activity may also help prevent or delay the onset of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and colon cancer. If you have one of these health problems, physical activity may improve your condition.* Regular physical activity may also increase your energy and boost your mood.

* If you are a man and over age 40 or a woman and over age 50, or have a chronic health problem, talk to your health care provider before starting a vigorous physical activity program. You do not need to talk to your provider before starting an activity like walking.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 15, 2006, 11:53 PM CT

Changes To Obesity Guidelines May Harm Children

Changes To Obesity Guidelines May Harm Children
New guidelines on obesity in the U.S. may end up harming children, says an article in this week's BMJ. And an accompanying article goes on to question the financial links between the organisation promoting these proposals and the pharmaceutical industry. If implemented, the proposals would see a number of more children classified as overweight or obese - and thus eligible for therapy with obesity drugs.

The article outlines how an influential expert committee of the American Medical Association has "tentatively decided" to reclassify obesity definitions. This will result in healthy children being categorized as medically overweight or obese, says the author, and mean that approximately a quarter of toddlers and two fifths of children aged 6-11 in America will be classed as having the disease.

The author of the articles is Ray Moynihan, who has previously written about drug companies promoting an increasing reliance on medications to the public. His report reveals that the U.S. proposals have been greeted with alarm by some senior public health academics who have written to the committee. Dr. Jenny O'Dea from the University of Sydney, for instance, warned that labelling children as overweight or obese can lead to stigmatization, eating problems and avoidance of exercise.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 15, 2006, 0:02 AM CT

Calorie Restriction May Prevent Alzheimer's

Calorie Restriction May Prevent Alzheimer's Image courtesy of Time
A recent study directed by Mount Sinai School of Medicine suggests that experimental dietary regimens might calm or even reverse symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease (AD). The study, which appears in the July 2006 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, is the first to show that restricting caloric intake, specifically carbohydrates, may prevent AD by triggering activity in the brain associated with longevity.

"Both clinical and epidemiological evidence suggests that modification of lifestyle factors such as nutrition may prove crucial to Alzheimer's Disease management," says Giulio Maria Pasinetti, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Director of the Neuroinflammation Research Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and lead author of the study. "This research, however, is the first to show a correlation between nutrition and Alzheimer's Disease neuropathy by defining mechanistic pathways in the brain and scrutinizing biochemical functions. We hope these findings further unlock the mystery of Alzheimer's and bring hope to the millions of Americans suffering from this disease."

Alzheimer's Disease is a rapidly growing public health concern with potentially devastating effects. An estimated 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimer's Disease and the number of Americans with Alzheimer's has more than doubled since 1980. Presently, there are no known cures or effective preventive strategies. While genetic factors are relevant in early-onset cases, they appear to play less of a role in late-onset-sporadic AD cases, the most common form of AD.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 13, 2006, 11:40 PM CT

Link Between Obesity And Memory

Link Between Obesity And Memory
Researchers have wondered why obese patients who have diabetes also may have problems with their long-term memory. New Saint Louis University research in this month's Peptides provides a clue.

"Leptin is a hormone secreted by fat cells that tells us to stop eating. In obese people, it doesn't cross into the brain to help regulate appetite," says Susan A. Farr, Ph.D., principal investigator and associate research professor in the division of geriatric medicine at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

"We've now found leptin affects the brain in other ways, compromising learning and memory. Low levels of leptin also could be correlation to cognitive deficits in disorders like type two diabetes."

Farr and her research team tested the role of leptin in learning and memory using an animal model. They found that mice navigated a maze better after they received leptin.

"We found that this drug affected the processes going into the brain," says Farr, who also is a researcher at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in St. Louis. "The mice that got the drug at the appropriate dose had improved learning and long-term memory."

Mice with elevated levels of amyloid-beta protein, the brain plaques believed to cause Alzheimer's disease, and impaired learning and memory were "super sensitive" to leptin, Farr adds.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 13, 2006, 9:39 PM CT

Vitamin A Deficiency And Intestinal Surgery

Vitamin A Deficiency And Intestinal Surgery
Major intestinal surgery, including stomach reduction for obesity, may boost the chances of subsequent vitamin A deficiency, suggests a small study published ahead of print in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

The scientists base their findings on three patients with increasingly poor eyesight or night blindness, who attended a specialist eye clinic within the space of a year. None of the patients had a family or personal history of eye problems.

All three patients, who were all over the age of 65, had had extensive intestinal surgery between 20 and 35 years earlier.

The operations included intestinal bypass, surgical removal of diseased tissue as a result of inflammatory bowel disease, and gallbladder removal.

All the patients were diagnosed with vitamin A deficiency, and this was in spite of them having taken vitamin supplements.

One of the patients refused injections of vitamin A into the muscles. But the other two went ahead with this therapy, which prompted an improvement in their vision within days.

Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of childhood blindness in developing countries, and is caused by malnutrition. It is rare in affluent, developed countries, where it is mainly caused by poor absorption or abnormal metabolism.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source


June 11, 2006, 11:17 AM CT

Obesity Spreading Out To All Income Levels

Obesity Spreading Out To All Income Levels
Once considered primarily a problem of the poor, obesity is growing fastest in among those making more than $60,000 a year, as per a research studypresented at the American Heart Association's 45th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention.

"There has been a perception that poor people are more likely to be fat," said presenter Nidhi Maheshwari, M.B.B.S., a graduate research assistant in epidemiology in the University of Iowa College of Public Health at Iowa City. "However, obesity is growing at a much faster rate in those with the highest incomes".

The scientists compared data collected in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys in 1971-74 and 2001-02. It included data from Americans ages 20 years and older in five surveys, and defined obesity as a body mass index, derived from a formula that accounts for height and weight, of 30 or above. Scientists used a mobile van to reach the neighborhoods to measure individuals' heights and weights. Family income was adjusted to 2000 U.S. dollars and was divided into income quartiles of below $25,000, $25,000-$39,999, $40,000 to $60,000 and above $60,000. The same income categories were used for both surveys.

They found that the highest income category, above $60,000, had the greatest increase (276 percent) in obesity prevalence from 9.7 percent in 1971-1974 to 26.8 percent in 2001-2002. Obesity prevalence in those making less than $25,000 was 22.5 percent in 1971-1974 and was 32.5 percent in 2001-2002, an increase of 144 percent. For those earning $25,000-$39,999, the prevalence was 16.1 in 1971-1974 and 31.3 in 2001-2002, a 194 percent increase. For those earning $40,000-$60,000, the increase was about 209 percent.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 9, 2006, 7:06 AM CT

Avoid Short-cut Methods To Lose Weight

Avoid Short-cut Methods To Lose Weight
When athletes, especially wrestlers, use short-cut methods to lose weight fast, they both endanger their health and hurt their performance.

Severely restricting the intake of food and fluids can cause dehydration and the loss of minerals essential for metabolism, notes the recent issue of the Penn State Sports Medicine Newsletter.

High school and college wrestlers, as well as other athletes, usually use a practice called "weight cutting" for rapid weight loss so they can meet requirements for competing in a particular weight class.

An American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) report says that a number of athletes not only decrease their consumption of foods and fluids but use diuretics, laxatives and saunas to shed pounds quickly. These methods can leave the athlete "ill prepared to compete," the report adds.

As per the ACSM, one-third of high school wrestlers go through a weight-cutting process more than 10 times in a season. College and high school wrestlers lose an average of 4.5 pounds during the week to "make weight." In 20 percent of the wrestlers, the weekly weight loss may exceed 5.9 pounds.

"From my experience as a high school and college wrestling coach, the average number of pounds lost is considerably more than 4.5 to 5.9 pounds," says William J. Kraemer, Ph.D., a member of the Penn State Sports Medicine Newsletter editorial board. "I would estimate that more than half of college wrestlers lose probably 8 to 10 pounds during the week before a match. I've seen some wrestlers lose as a number of as 15 pounds".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink


June 8, 2006, 0:14 AM CT

Blacks With Diabetes Are Under-Diagnosed for Obesity

Blacks With Diabetes Are Under-Diagnosed for Obesity
Obesity is under-diagnosed in people with diabetes overall and particularly in African-Americans, even though both conditions are more prevalent in African-Americans than whites, a new study finds.

The data were gleaned from a community health study conducted in Charleston, S.C., part of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Healthy People 2010, a large-scale initiative to track and improve the health of people in the United States.

The authors, led by Diane Neal, Ph.D., an epidemiologist at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, analyzed the records of 265 people with diabetes and a body mass index of 30 or greater, which is classified as obese. Three times as a number of obese whites had been given a diagnosis of obesity as had obese African-Americans.

The authors concluded that "there is under-diagnosis of obesity among people with diabetes mellitus" in their study population. "Further, we think that there exists racial disparity in both the prevalence of obesity and its diagnosis," they wrote in the CDC's REACH 2010 supplement to the current issue of the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.

Obesity places people who are at risk for a variety of diseases and disorders, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, sleep and respiratory problems and certain cancers. People with diabetes who are obese are at even greater risk than the general population of obese people. Diagnosing obesity is important because it leads physicians to encourage and assist patients with weight-loss strategies.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         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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