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June 8, 2006, 0:10 AM CT

Where You Live Affect Weight

Where You Live Affect Weight
For years, scientists have been trying to document a correlation between obesity among the poor and the limited selection of healthy foods in their local grocery stores. Now, a new study suggests the relationship might be even more complicated than previously thought.

Where people live may influence their food choices as much or more than where they themselves shop, said study lead author Sanae Inagami, M.D., a researcher with the Rand Corporation in Los Angeles.

"My feeling is that your neighbors do influence your health," Inagami said. "Who you know and where you go shopping is correlation to your level of obesity".

Inagami and her colleagues examined census figures from 2000 and linked them to 2,144 Los Angeles County residents who were surveyed about their eating and health habits from 2000 to 2002. The scientists report their findings in the recent issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

As per the study, residents who lived in poor neighborhoods and shopped in even poorer neighborhoods were more overweight than those who shopped in grocery stores in wealthier areas.

The shopping habits of neighbors were also an important factor. A 5-foot-5-inch person who lived in a poor neighborhood whose neighbors shopped in a wealthier area would weigh an average 9.2 pounds less than if he or she lived in a poor neighborhood whose residents shopped in a poorer area.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 6, 2006, 11:40 PM CT

Cancer Patients Use Exercise To Feel Better

Cancer Patients Use Exercise To Feel Better
When individuals with breast or prostate cancer followed a moderate, home-based exercise program using resistance bands and walking, the patients had less fatigue during radiation therapys, greater strength and could walk farther and faster in only four weeks, scientists discovered in a pilot study.

"At the end of the study, the patients in the exercise program were averaging more than 12,000 steps a day - which is above the American College of Sports Medicine and Centers for Disease Control recommendations of 10,000 steps a day for healthy people without cancer," said principal investigator Karen Mustian, Ph.D., of the University of Rochester James P. Wilmot Cancer Center.

"The results of this study are extremely promising and I am hopeful this that this type of research is creating a body of knowledge that is focused on treating the whole patient and all of the complexities of cancer," Mustian said.

Mustian presented the results of her randomized, controlled study at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2006 annual meeting in Atlanta on June 5. ASCO awarded her an ASCO Junior Investigator Research Merit Award, given to outstanding early-career scientists to recognize their cancer prevention and control research.

Exercise is emerging as a new therapeutic weapon to help cancer patients manage and reduce side effects and improve quality of life. Studies are beginning to show that exercise is safe and feasible for a number of patients. In her clinical trial, Mustian found that the participants were enthusiastic and adhered well to the exercise program, even though they were older (average age was 60), half of them had received chemotherapy, and 84 percent had already endured a surgery. Still, 95 percent completed the prescribed exercise routine.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


June 6, 2006, 11:28 PM CT

Obesity Dominates In The Former Soviet Bloc

Obesity Dominates In The Former Soviet Bloc
Obesity is more prevalent in Central and Eastern European countries that formerly comprised the Soviet bloc than in Western European countries, a new Saint Louis University School of Public Health found.

The research - thought to beamong the first studies to focus on environmental risk factors for obesity in Europe - was reported in the June 2006 issue of the European Journal of Public Health.

"I've seen a number of changes in Central and Eastern Europe, which I had suspected could be linked to obesity," says Borsika Rabin, a doctoral student from Hungary at Saint Louis University School of Public Health and lead investigator. "We didn't have too a number of McDonald's before the Soviet bloc collapse began in 1989. So I wasn't surprised by the study results."

The obesity rates in all Western European countries were lower than rates in Central and Eastern European countries.

"This study shows the importance of environmental factors in shaping obesity," Rabin says. "The higher obesity rates in Central and Eastern Europe seem linked to political changes that influence the lifestyle of the inhabitants of those countries. The working environment changed and fast food became more popular."

The Saint Louis University study explored the relationship between the prevalence of obesity in 24 European countries and the economy, types of foods, urbanization, availability of cars and roads, and government characteristics. Scientists examined statistics from 1997 to 2002, after the end of the communist economy in the central and eastern part of Europe.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 5, 2006, 8:53 PM CT

Exercise In Childhood And Adolescence Prevent Osteoporosis

Exercise In Childhood And Adolescence Prevent Osteoporosis
Recent studies indicate that exercise can help build and maintain healthy bones. But just how early should one start? At the IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis in Toronto, Canada this week, several studies highlighted the importance of exercise in children and adolescents for building peak bone mass that will help protect against osteoporosis in later life.

Scientists at Wright State University School of Medicine in Ohio, U.S.A., have found that leisure activity has a significant impact on the rate of bone mass increase in both girls and boys. Lead author Miryoung Lee and colleague followed a group of 99 children, aged 8 to 18, to determine how changes in physical activity affects their bone mineral density, a measure of bone strength. For both sexes, the rate of bone accumulation was found to be higher with increasing leisure activity level (see conference Abstract No. P191).

In girls, more intense physical activity that is associated with sports also leads to greater increases in bone density. Similar effects were not seen in boys taking part in sports. "During childhood and adolescence, children's bodies grow rapidly and bone mass is accumulated quickly. The amount of bone built during adolescence and early adulthood is one of the most important factors correlation to the risk of developing osteoporosis in later years. These findings confirm that physical activity is important for optimal bone accrual during childhood, consequently leading to higher peak bone mass," said Lee.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 4, 2006, 8:42 AM CT

Overweight And Obesity Enlarges Teenagers' Hearts

Overweight And Obesity Enlarges Teenagers' Hearts
The effects of excess weight on heart health can be seen even in adolescents, with abnormal enlargement and impaired pumping function evident in subjects by age 20, as per a new study in the June 6, 2006, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

"Heart damage starts very early in the natural history of obesity. We need to work on our young people, to prevent catastrophic effects later on," said Giovanni de Simone, M.D., F.A.C.C. from the New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York, New York and the Federico II University Hospital School of Medicine in Naples, Italy.

The Strong Heart study (SHS) is a longitudinal study of cardiovascular risk factors and cardiovascular disease that enrolled 4,549 people in American Indian communities in Arizona, Oklahoma, and North and South Dakota. This analysis included data from examinations of 460 participants age 14 to 20 years (245 girls and 215 boys). The scientists used ultrasound and other methods to measure the size, shape and pumping function of the teenagers' hearts.

The left ventricles of the hearts of both overweight and obese teenagers were larger and heavier than those of normal weight participants; but the obese teenagers also showed signs of impaired heart function. The changes were not entirely explained by changes by high blood pressure.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 1, 2006, 11:37 PM CT

Why do statistics about overweight and obesity differ?

Why do statistics about overweight and obesity differ?
The definitions or measurement characteristics for overweight and obesity have varied over time, from study to study, and from one part of the world to another. The varied definitions affect prevalence statistics and make it difficult to compare data from different studies. Prevalence refers to the total number of existing cases of a disease or condition in a given population at a given time. Some overweight- and obesity-related prevalence rates are presented as crude or unadjusted estimates, while others are age-adjusted estimates. Unadjusted prevalence estimates are used to present cross-sectional data for population groups at a given point or time period. For age-adjusted rates, statistical procedures are used to remove the effect of age differences in populations that are being compared over different time periods. Unadjusted estimates and age-adjusted estimates will yield slightly different values.

Prior studies in the United States have used the 1959 or the 1983 Metropolitan Life Insurance tables of desirable weight-for-height as the reference for overweight.[3] More recently, a number of Government agencies and scientific health organizations have estimated overweight using data from a series of cross-sectional surveys called the National Health Examination Surveys (NHES) and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES). The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted these surveys. Each had three cycles: NHES I, II, and III spanned the period from 1960 to 1970, and NHANES I, II, and III were conducted in the 1970's, 1980's, and early 1990's. Since 1999, NHANES has become a continuous survey.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


May 29, 2006, 9:19 PM CT

Fatty Diet Does Not Increase Skin Cancer Risk

Fatty Diet Does Not Increase Skin Cancer Risk
Eating fatty food does not appear to increase the risk of skin cancer. A study published recently in the open access journal BMC Cancer contradicts prior research that showed a link between high fat intake and certain types of skin cancer. The results of this latest study suggest that high fat intake might even play a protective role in the development of non-melanoma skin cancer.

Robert Granger and his colleagues from the Menzies Research Institute in Hobart, Australia and his colleagues from Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne studied 652 people who had been diagnosed with skin melanoma - the aggressive skin cancer that spreads to other tissues - or non-melanoma skin cancers - skin cancers that are less likely to spread to other tissues - between 1998 and 1999. They compared these patients with 471 individuals who did not have skin cancer. Both patients and control subjects were asked to fill in a questionnaire about their fat intake, history of sun exposure and other factors of interest. The data was analysed at that point, showing that the control subjects reported marginally higher levels of fat consumption. All subjects were subsequently followed for about 5 years to see if they developed any non-melanoma skin cancers.

Granger and his colleagues found no evidence that high fat intake increases the risk of developing melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. Patients who had previously been diagnosed with a skin cancer other than melanoma even had a lower risk of getting a further non-melanoma skin cancer if they reported consuming more fat. Statistical analyses reveal a lowered risk of non-melanoma skin cancer in people who consumed the most fat.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


May 25, 2006, 10:03 PM CT

Want To Lose Weight? Sleep More

Want To Lose Weight? Sleep More
You may be spending very few hours for sleep, now stop this and try to relax and avoid gaining weight, that's the message from a recently published study. This interesting study shows that women who sleep 5 hours or less are more prone to weight gain compared to women who sleep 7 hours. Researchers presented this study in the American Thoracic Society International conference in May 2006.

The study was interesting because it showed that women who sleep 5 hours or less per day were 32 percent more at risk of developing significant weight gain compared to women who sleep for 7 hours per day. The definition of significant weight gain was a gain in weight amounting to 33 pounds ore more. The results of this study also indicated that women who sleep 5 hours or less have 15 percent higher risk of becoming obese during the 16 year study period, compared to women who get 7 hours of sleep. The group in between, who had only 6 hours of sleep per day, had 12 percent higher chance of developing major weight gain and 6% increased risk of obesity when compared to women who regularly get 7 hours of sleep.

These conclusions are from a large study, comprising of a total of 68,183 middle-aged women, who were part of the Nurses health study. Women who participated in the study were required to state their sleeping habits and asked to report their weights every couple of years of the span 16 years covered by the study. Even at the beginning of the study women who slept 5 hours or less per day on an average had 5.4 extra pounds in their body in comparison to women who had 7 hours of sleep. The principle investigator of this study, Sanjay Patel MD, who an Associate Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University located in Cleveland, Ohio, says that this is the largest study of sleep habits and weight gain. Dr. Patel says that, this is the first study to show that reduced sleeping is associated with increased risk of weight gain over time.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink


May 25, 2006, 0:24 AM CT

Super-sizing Your Food Takes Toll

Super-sizing Your Food Takes Toll
From a soft drink in a mega-size cup to a jumbo order of fries, a number of fast food restaurants let you upsize your meal for pennies -- seemingly a great value.

But there's a hidden cost to those larger portions, even beyond the health consequences of gaining weight. A team of University of Wisconsin-Madison nutritional researchers has calculated how much money a single bout of overeating can cost over the following year, as per a research studywould be published in June 2006 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

"When confronted with the overwhelming costs of obesity to society as a whole, people don't always take the statistics personally," says Rachel Close, who completed the study with professor of nutritional science Dale Schoeller as part of her master's thesis. "This is another way to present the costs associated with weight gain, and might help convince people that upsizing a meal is no bargain after all. With obesity projected to rise from the current 30 percent to 40 percent of the American population by 2010, this is an important message."

Schoeller and Close were interested in how additional weight affected the amount of money spent on medical care and a vehicle's gasoline mileage, as well as the cost of the additional caloric energy mandatory to support increased body weight. The pair anchored their study on two key assumptions: that the additional calories from upsizing a fast-food meal would be stored as excess energy -- in other words, that they would lead to weight gain -- and that diners would not compensate for the excess calories during subsequent meals. Close notes that the results of this study apply to overeating regardless of the type of food consumed -- fast-food or a home-cooked meal -- as long as the diner does not compensate for the calories at a later meal.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


May 17, 2006, 9:44 PM CT

The Strangest, Easiest Way To Lose Weight

The Strangest, Easiest Way To Lose Weight
You have a legacy brain. We've talked about that a lot on this blog, and in my presentations. Your brain thinks you're still living in a cave. Although your mind knows you're in the 21st centry, your brain never got the memo.

A big part of the learning theory we use in the Head First books is figuring out how to "trick" your brain into thinking that learning Java is as important as watching for tigers. We pay a great deal of attention to what your brain cares about, especially when the concerns (tigers-but-not-java) are in direct conflict with what your mind cares about (java-but-not-tigers).

Besides caring about tigers-and-not-java--and the problems that creates when we're trying to pay attention, learn, and remember--our legacy brain does something else we all struggle with--it thinks you won't get much to eat all winter, so it better store it up while it can.

Your brain thinks that food is scarce for you, so it better hang on to it. In other words, for almost all adults (especially in the US), our brain wants us to be weigh more than our conscious mind wants. The brain never got the memo about how you probably aren't going to starve this winter.

Given how interested we are here into hacking and creating workarounds for the legacy brain issues, a new diet book that claims to take this approach got my attention. The claims are outrageous, the "plan" is absurd and counter-intuitive, but when the publisher sent me a copy of the book I figured it wouldn't hurt to try it. I say "wouldn't hurt" because it is ridiculously easy to try. And since the Freakonomics guys were recommending it, I figured there had to be something interesting. Plus. I loved the name: the Shangri-La Diet.........

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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