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January 20, 2006, 0:39 AM CT

Bariatric Surgery On The Rise

Bariatric Surgery On The Rise
As the rate of national obesity has steadily increased across all age groups, so has Americans' willingness to turn to an effective surgical intervention to address severe obesity: bariatric surgery.

From 1996 to 2002 the use of bariatric surgery has increased seven-fold nationally, and its use has more than tripled among youth. More than 80 percent of individuals in all age groups who underwent the procedure were female.

These findings, from scientists at the University of Michigan Health System, also reveal that in 2002 alone, hospitals charged more than $2 billion for bariatric surgery, with private insurers picking up more than 80 percent of the charges.

Results from this study, which also examine the most common medical conditions among youth who undergo bariatric surgery, are published in the recent issue of Archives of Surgery.

Bariatric surgery, which includes procedures such as gastric bypass, gastric banding and biliopancreatic diversion, aims to change the gastrointestinal tract so it restricts the amount of food a person is able to consume.

As the nation's waistline has continued to grow, so has the popularity of this weight loss procedure as more Americans work to combat their obesity after failed attempts at diet and exercise. The procedure is recommended only for individuals with severe obesity, or for those who are obese and suffering from other medical complications of obesity such as diabetes.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink

January 18, 2006, 0:33 AM CT

Losing Weight By Controlling Flavor

Losing Weight By Controlling Flavor
A major cause of overeating is eating too a number of flavors all at once, triggering the hypothalamus in the brain to ask for more food, according to David Katz, M.D., Associate Professor Adjunct in Public Health Practice at the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale.

This is the premise of his new book, "The Flavor Point Diet" (Rodale Press), based on a phenomenon he said is well studied, but is well known only to appetite researchers-sensory specific satiety.

"We stay hungry longer the more diverse the flavors in a meal or snack," said Katz, of the Prevention Research Center at Griffin Hospital. "If flavors are thoughtfully distributed, we fill up on fewer calories. This explains why, for instance, people can eat a holiday meal to the point of feeling unpleasantly full, yet still have room for dessert. No, that's not because you have a 'hollow leg!' It's because of sensory specific satiety; the hypothalamus is hard-wired to respond to flavors".

The Flavor Point Diet

A pilot study of Katz's eating plan was conducted with 20 men and women, and their families, for 12 weeks. Katz said the mean weight loss over that time was 16 pounds with persons losing from 10 to 31 pounds. The study participants also lost body fat and saw their cholesterol, blood sugar, insulin, and blood pressure decline.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink

January 15, 2006, 5:34 PM CT

Low-fat Diets And Weight Change

Low-fat Diets And Weight Change
In and accompanying editorial, Michael L. Dansinger, M.D., M.S., of the Tufts-New England Medical Center, and Michael L. Dansinger, M.D., M.S., of the Jean Mayer U.S.D.A. Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, comment on the study by Howard et al.

"Unfortunately, the public has become so entrenched in current obesity prevalence and therapy trends that a number of have come to view lifestyle modification as a mediocre means of preventing and reversing obesity, but this could not be further from the truth. A number of have accepted the belief that living in today's society is incompatible with what is mandatory to apply changes in lifestyle, or even worse-that they barely work. Inadequate lifestyle counseling by physicians might contribute to this perception. However, most able-bodied persons who can find a way to overcome the monumental logistical and psychological barriers that prevent the full application of lifestyle change can reverse obesity within months. It seems simplistic, but a potential solution for the obesity crisis depends directly on finding a means of properly dosing lifestyle change recommendations. The medical profession and society in general have underdosed this potent cure by a long shot."

"Even though the WHI Dietary Modification Trial was not a weight-loss study, the modest weight-loss findings somehow still seem dissatisfying. Much more work needs to be done on the obesity front, including a concerted collective effort focused on developing reliable methods of facilitating high long-term adherence levels to substantial lifestyle efforts-specifically calorie-reduced eating patterns and much more exercise. That is something on which health advocates and popular diet proponents can agree," the authors conclude.

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink

January 15, 2006, 5:25 PM CT

Low-fat, High-carbohydrate Diet Does Not Cause Weight Gain

Low-fat, High-carbohydrate Diet Does Not Cause Weight Gain
In a clinical trial of over 48,000 post-menopausal women, a low-fat diet that includes increased consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains is not associated with weight gain over an average of 7.5 years, according to a study in the January 4 issue of JAMA.

The prevalence of obesity in the United States has increased dramatically during the past several decades, according to background information in the article. A number of popular diet books have suggested that increasing obesity may be attributed to the diets recommended for chronic disease prevention by various national health organizations, specifically, diets that are lower in total and saturated fat and high in carbohydrates from vegetables, fruits, and whole grains or fiber-rich foods. Proponents of the popular alternative diets have claimed that the higher proportion of carbohydrates in the standard diets may promote weight gain.

Barbara V. Howard, Ph.D., of the MedStar Research Institute, Washington, D.C., and colleagues examined long-term data on the relationships between weight changes and specific changes in dietary components and macronutrient composition. The data were from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Dietary Modification Trial, which was designed to examine the long-term benefits and risks of a dietary pattern low in fat, with increased vegetable, fruit, and grain intake, on breast and colorectal cancers and cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women. Between 1993 and 1998, 48,835 postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to either a low-fat dietary intervention or self-selected dietary control group. The data included body measurements and nutrient data through August 31, 2004, with an average follow-up of 7.5 years. Forty percent (19,541) of the participants were randomized to the intervention and 60 percent (29,294) to a control group. The intervention included group and individual sessions to promote a decrease in fat intake and increases in vegetable, fruit, and grain consumption and did not include weight loss or caloric restriction goals. The control group received diet-related education materials.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink

January 13, 2006, 0:07 AM CT

Children's Weight And Neighborhood Safety

Children's Weightand Neighborhood Safety
Children who live in neighborhoods that their parents believe are unsafe are more likely to be overweight than those in neighborhoods perceived as safe, as per a studyin the recent issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Almost 16 percent of 6- to 11-year-old children in the United States are overweight, defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of greater than or equal to the 95th percentile of national norms for age and sex, according to background information in the article. Children who are African-American or Hispanic, who watch large amounts of television or who have parents with high BMIs are more likely to be overweight, but little is known about how a child's neighborhood affects his or her risks. Few prior studies have looked specifically at the relationship between neighborhood safety and children's risk of being overweight.

Julie C. Lumeng, M.D., of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and his colleagues collected data from 768 children and families participating in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, a study of families in 10 diverse regions of the United States. The parents completed questionnaires that assessed how safe they thought their neighborhoods were at the time their children were in first grade. The ratings were divided into quartiles, with the first quartile perceived as the least safe and the fourth as safest. Their children's height and weight were measured in the laboratory when they were 4 ½ years old and again the spring of their first-grade year in school, when their mean (average) age was 7. BMI was calculated by dividing their weight in kilograms by the square of their height in meters.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink

January 11, 2006, 8:00 PM CT

Link Between High-Fat Diet and Type 2 Diabetes

Link Between High-Fat Diet and Type 2 DiabetesJamey D. Marth, Ph.D.
Howard Hughes Medical Institute scientists have discovered a molecular link between a high-fat, Western-style diet, and the onset of type 2 diabetes. In studies in mice, the researchers showed that a high-fat diet interferes with a genetic mechanism they discovered that promotes insulin production, resulting in the classic signs of type 2 diabetes.

In an article published in the December 29, 2005, issue of the journal Cell , the scientists report that knocking out a single gene encoding the enzyme GnT-4a glycosyltransferase (GnT-4a ) disrupts insulin production. Importantly, the researchers showed that a high-fat diet suppresses the activity of GnT-4a and leads to type 2 diabetes due to failure of the pancreatic beta cells.

"We have discovered a mechanistic explanation for beta cell failure in response to a high-fat diet and obesity, a molecular trigger which begins the chain of events leading from hyperglycemia to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes," said Jamey Marth, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Marth and first author Kazuaki Ohtsubo at UCSD collaborated on the studies with scientists from the Kirin Brewery Co. Ltd., and the University of Fukui, both in Japan.

The discovery of the link between diet and insulin production offers new information that may aid in the development of therapys that target the early stages of type 2 diabetes. In its earliest phases, the disease causes failure of insulin-secreting beta cells in the pancreas, which leads to elevated blood glucose levels. As the disease progresses, the insulin-secreting beta cells overcompensate for the elevated blood glucose, and eventually pump out too much insulin. This leads to insulin resistance and full-blown type 2 diabetes.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink

January 7, 2006, 3:15 PM CT

Lifestyle Changes Improve Health Even Without Major Weight Loss

Lifestyle Changes Improve Health Even Without Major Weight Loss
Obese and overweight individuals suffering metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes showed significant health improvements after only three weeks of diet and moderate exercise even though the participants remained overweight.

"The study shows, contrary to common belief, that Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome can be reversed solely through changes in lifestyle," according to lead researcher Christian Roberts of University of California, Los Angeles.

"This regimen reversed a clinical diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome in about half the participants who had either of those conditions. However, the regimen may not have reversed damage such as plaque development in the arteries," Roberts said. "However, if Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome continue to be controlled, further damage would likely be minimized and it's plausible that continuing to follow the program long-term may result in reversal of atherosclerosis".

"The results are all the more interesting because the changes occurred in the absence of major weight loss, challenging the usually held belief that individuals must normalize their weight before achieving health benefits," Roberts said. Participants did lose two to three pounds per week, but they were still obese after the 3-week study.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink

December 28, 2005

Dramatic Increase Bariatric Surgeries

Dramatic Increase Bariatric Surgeries
The number of bariatric surgeries performed in the U.S. increased by 450 percent between 1998 and 2002, a growth the scientists say could be linked with use of the minimally invasive laparoscopic technique, according to an article in the recent issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Currently, surgery is the only effective sustained weight loss option for patients with morbid obesity, according to background information in the article. "The increased enthusiasm for bariatric surgery coincides with the development and dissemination of the laparoscopic approach to bariatric surgery," the authors write. The American Society for Bariatric Surgery (ASBS) estimated that approximately 140,000 bariatric procedures would be performed in 2004.

Ninh T. Nguyen, M.D., and his colleagues from the University of California, Irvine Medical Center, Orange, evaluated Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) data for patients who underwent bariatric surgery for the therapy of morbid obesity from 1998 through 2002 to see if the recent growth in bariatric operations correlated with the widespread use of laparoscopic bariatric surgery.

Between 1998 and 2002, the number of bariatric operations performed in the U.S. increased by 450 percent, from 12,775 to 70,256 cases. Most of the bariatric operations consisted of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, which increased from 78 percent of bariatric surgeries in 1998 to 92 percent in 2002. Laparoscopic bariatric surgery also increased, from 2.1 percent to 17.9 percent of bariatric surgeries from 1998 to 2002. The number of institutions that perform bariatric surgery increased from 131 to 323. The scientists also saw an increase in the number of bariatric surgeons with membership in the American Society for Bariatric Surgery, from 258 to 631 members.........

Sue      Permalink

December 27, 2005

Daily Weighing Helps People Lose Weight

Daily Weighing Helps People Lose Weight
People who are trying to either lose weight or avoid gaining do better by weighing themselves daily, according to a new study in the recent issue of Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

The research team evaluated self-weighing practices of more than 3,000 people participating in either a weight-loss or a weight-gain prevention program. The study's key finding: "Higher weighing frequency was associated with greater 24-month weight loss or less weight gain".

When people weigh themselves daily, "something is going on. It's independent of things such as diet and exercise, so it may be worth recommending," said lead researcher Jennifer Linde, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota. "If people see that their number has gone up they may realize it's time to do something. It's probably easier to make that small correction," Linde said, than to try to compensate after gaining a lot of weight.

The first study group consisted of 1,800 obese or overweight adults enrolled in a weight-loss program. Participants all had a body mass index (BMI) of at least 27. They were randomly divided into three groups: a telephone-based weight-loss intervention, a mail-based weight loss intervention or a usual-care control condition. The scientists weighed them every six months for two years.

"The average 12-month and 24-month weight losses of 1.3 and 2 BMI units respectively ..... were in the clinically significant range," reported the researchers.

The other group consisted of 1,226 overweight adults - BMI above 25 - enrolled in a weight-gain prevention program. They were randomly divided into either an educational weight-control intervention, the same educational intervention plus a reward for returning self-monitoring postcards or a minimal-contact control condition. The scientists weighed the participants at the study's outset and every year for three years.........

JoAnn      Permalink

December 27, 2005

Alcohol Over-consumption By Glass Shapes

Alcohol Over-consumption By Glass ShapesKoert van Ittersum
Your eyes can play tricks when it comes to pouring drinks. People - even professional bartenders - inadvertently pour 20 to 30 percent more alcohol into short, wide glasses than tall, slender ones of the same volume, according to a new research study published in the BMJ (British Medical Journal).

"People focus their attention on the height of the liquid they are pouring and insufficiently compensate for its width," explains Koert van Ittersum, an assistant professor of marketing at Georgia Tech College of Management.

Even educating people about this human perceptual tendency and encouraging them to be careful doesn't eliminate alcohol over-pouring, find van Ittersum and Brian Wansink, a professor of marketing, applied economics and nutrition science at Cornell University, in their study, "Reducing Alcohol Over-pouring and Underreporting".

They consider their findings relevant to policymakers and law-enforcement officials who want to increase public safety, groups wanting to promote responsible drinking and decrease alcohol abuse, and people in the hospitality industry who want to cut costs (via serving size) without decreasing customer satisfaction.

"If short tumblers lead people - even bartenders - to pour more alcohol than highball glasses, then there are two easy solutions," van Ittersum says. "Either use tall glasses or ones with alcohol-level marks etched on them as is done in some European countries".

The scientists conducted their study using 198 students of legal drinking age at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who poured mock mixed drinks into both tall and short glasses from liquor bottles filled with water or tea instead of alcohol. Study subjects also included eighty-two bartenders in Philadelphia who had an average of 6.3 years of bartending experience.........

Janet      Permalink

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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.". Archives of weight watcher's blog

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