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December 3, 2006, 9:08 PM CT

Treating obesity vital for public health

Treating obesity vital for public health
Physicians who once treated mainly elderly patients for health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke are seeing increasingly younger patients who have the same ailments.

A review in the recent issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings focuses on the increasing prevalence of metabolic syndrome, a state characterized by cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity, hypertension and abnormal levels of glucose (sugar) and fats in the blood. Authors Lewis Johnson, M.D., and Ruth Weinstock, M.D., Ph.D., of SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y., say physicians and public institutions must work in tandem to curb the obesity epidemic.

"Unfortunately, as the population becomes less active and more obese, we're seeing a rise in this constellation of risk factors for cardiovascular disease," says Dr. Weinstock, chief of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the university. "That's of great concern because of the increased risk for heart attack, stroke and diabetes, and we're seeing this occur in younger and younger individuals".

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and disability among adults in the United States. The number of U.S. adults who are overweight or obese increased from 47 percent of the adult population in 19761980 to 65 percent in 19992002.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


December 3, 2006, 8:32 PM CT

Parenting a child with an eating disorder

Parenting a child with an eating disorder
Parenting a child with an eating disorder - monitoring meals, friends and activities - can be a full-time job. But two new studies from scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital indicate a need for increased vigilance in two key areas: Internet use among adolescents with the condition, and pre-teen weight loss in seemingly healthy children.

One study, would be reported in the recent issue of Pediatrics, is the first to confirm that pro-eating disorder Web sites may promote dangerous behaviors in adolescents with eating disorders. The second, which appears in the recent issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, indicates that pre-teens with eating disorders tend to lose weight more quickly than adolescents with the condition and weigh comparatively less at diagnosis. Packard Children's adolescent medicine and eating disorder specialist Rebecka Peebles, MD, and Jenny Wilson, a Stanford medical student, collaborated on both studies.

"If parents wouldn't let their kids go out to dinner or talk on the phone with someone they don't know, they should ask themselves what their child might be up to on the computer," Peebles, a medical school pediatrics instructor, said of the findings in the first study. She pointed out that, unlike adults, teens make few distinctions between "real" friends and people they know only online.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


December 1, 2006, 4:43 AM CT

Varying Weight Training Intensity In Women

Varying Weight Training Intensity In Women
Women who undertake a long-term weight training program produce more biologically active growth hormone, a finding that allows physiologists to understand why weight training improves muscle tone and optimizes metabolic function.

A study reported in the recent issue of the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism looked at different forms of growth hormone, used different testing methods, and varied weight training regimens. The research observed that the role of growth hormone in women's muscle development may be more complicated than previously thought.

"We observed that growth hormone was responsive to moderate and heavy exercise regimens having 3-12 repetitions with varying weight loading," said the study's principal author, William J. Kraemer. "Women need to have heavy loading cycle or workout in their resistance training routines, as it helps to build muscle and bone."

The study, "Chronic resistance training in women potentiates growth hormone in vivo bioactivity: characterization of molecular mass variants," was carried out by Kraemer, Jeff S. Volek, Barry A. Spiering and Carl M. Maresh of the University of Connecticut, Storrs; Bradley C. Nindl, U.S Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, Mass.; James O. Marx, The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Lincoln A. Gotshalk, University of Hawaii at Hilo; Jill A. Bush, University of Houston, Texas; and Jill R. Welsch, Andrea M. Mastro and Wesley C. Hymer, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Penn. The The American Physiological Society published the study.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


November 28, 2006, 4:19 AM CT

First Robot-assisted Weight Loss Surgery

First Robot-assisted Weight Loss Surgery
UT Southwestern Medical Center surgeons are the first in North Texas to perform robotically assisted laparoscopic gastric-bypass and colon-resections surgeries.

The procedures were performed using DaVinci, a four-armed robot controlled by the surgeon via a joystick. DaVinci can provide better camera views and more precise surgical manipulations than are available in traditional laparoscopic surgeries.

The robot can offer easier access to some of the more inaccessible places in the body such as abdominal and gastrointestinal areas. As a result, laparoscopic surgeons expect the robotic procedures to grow in popularity for colon, gastric and esophageal operations, said Dr. Edward Livingston, chairman of GI/endocrine surgery.

Surgeries for colon cancers are on the rise, while gastric bypass procedures also are becoming more common.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in America with more than 106,000 new cases in 2006.

Gastric bypass has become more popular as obesity among the nations population increases. More than 140,000 gastric bypass procedures are performed annually in the United States.

Laparoscopic surgeries, also called minimally invasive surgeries, are performed via several tiny holes rather than one long incision. This commonly results in fewer complications, shorter recovery times and less post-operative pain.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


November 23, 2006, 5:26 AM CT

The 'Freakonomics of food'

The 'Freakonomics of food'
Do you hate Brussels sprouts because your mother did" Does the size of your plate determine how hungry you feel" Why do you actually overeat at healthy restaurants".

"You can ask your smartest friend why he or she just ate what they ate, and you wont get an answer any deeper than, 'It sounded good,'" says Brian Wansink, Ph.D.), author of "Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think," and Professor and Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.

Dubbed the "Freakonomics of food" by the Canadian Broadcasting Commission, Mindless Eating, uses hidden cameras, two-way mirrors, and hundreds of studies to show why we eat what and how much we eat. "The unique thing about his work is that it cleverly answers everyday questions about food and shows translates them into Good News how we can improve it," said Seth Roberts, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

Take how much we eat. Wansink claims we typically dont overeat because we are hungry or because the food tastes good. Instead we overeat because of the cues around us family and friends, packages and plates, shapes and smells, distractions and distances, cupboards and containers.

Consider your holiday ice cream bowl. If you spoon 3 ounces of ice cream onto a small bowl, it will look like a lot more than if you had spooned it into a large bowl. Even if you intended to carefully follow your diet, the larger bowl would likely influence you to serve more. This tricks even the pros.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


November 22, 2006, 4:21 AM CT

New Year Without Putting On Pounds

New Year Without Putting On Pounds
Your leftover Halloween candy is almost gone from your cupboards, and the holiday season with all its sweet temptations has begun.

However, all those holiday parties and office gatherings laden with scrumptious food and drink don't have to mean the end of your weight loss plan. It's still possible to enjoy the bounty and not feel deprived of your favorite holiday dishes, says Connie Diekman, director of University Nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis.

"The first rule of thumb for eating at holiday gatherings," Diekman says, "is never go to the party hungry. Have a little something healthy before you go - a piece of fruit, half a sandwich or a glass of milk. Be sure when you arrive you aren't overly hungry."

Then when you arrive at the party, Diekman suggests doing a survey of the situation and figure out how you want to approach the buffet table, if there is one.

"Plan on getting your food off the buffet table and then moving away from the table to eat," she says. "Use a plate, and don't stand at the table and pick at the food. Seeing what is on the plate begins the process of realizing how much food is enough for you."

When you do fill your plate, keep in mind that two thirds of the food on it should come from whole grains, fruits and vegetables, Diekman points out. The remaining third can be meats, sauces, and high-fat and high-calorie foods. "Try to concentrate on loading up on those things that are going to fill you up as opposed to the high-calorie, empty foods."........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


November 21, 2006, 5:22 AM CT

Holiday Gluttony Can Spell Disaster For Undiagnosed Diabetics

Holiday Gluttony Can Spell Disaster For Undiagnosed Diabetics
Hearty feasts and couch-potato marathons are holiday traditions, but UT Southwestern Medical Center experts warn that packing on pounds and not exercising could be deadly for the 6 million Americans who have diabetes and don't even know it.

Diabetes, a metabolic disorder linked with obesity, can be a silent killer because its symptoms aren't sudden, but build up over time and lead to heart disease or other maladies.

That's bad news for those with undiagnosed diabetes.

"The obesity epidemic is surging and people don't realize they're setting themselves up to develop diabetes. They're like ticking time bombs," said Dr. Manisha Chandalia, an endocrinologist at UT Southwestern. "Without therapy, high levels of blood sugars in the body can damage blood vessels and nerves over time, leading to high cholesterol, hypertension, stroke, kidney disease and amputations".

If you are age 40 or older, obese, lack physical activity or have a family history of diabetes, Dr. Chandalia recommends making time during the holidays to visit a doctor for a diabetes test. Symptoms include excessive thirst or hunger, dramatic weight loss, fatigue, frequent urination or blurry vision.

The holidays also are a perfect time to start getting healthy, she said, offering these tips:........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


November 21, 2006, 5:12 AM CT

Clues From Dragonfly About Human Obesity

Clues From Dragonfly About Human Obesity Among dragonfly (Libellula pulchella) a supposedly harmless parasite triggers metabolic disorders similar to those found in humans afflicted with insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Parasite-infected dragonflies suffer the same metabolic disorders that have led to an epidemic of obesity and type-2 diabetes in humans, reveal the findings of research conducted at Penn State University that are due would be reported in the 5 December 2006 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science and also in the PNAS early online edition at www.pnas.org on 21 November. The discovery expands the known taxonomic breadth of metabolic disease and suggests that the study of microbes found in human intestines may provide a greater understanding of the root causes of human metabolic dysfunction.

James Marden, professor of biology and an insect physiologist at Penn State, and Ruud Schilder, who in August 2006 earned his doctorate in biology at Penn State and is now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Nebraska, are the first to show a non-mammalian species suffering from metabolic dysfunction in ways similar to humans. "Metabolic disease isn't some strange thing having just to do with humans," said Marden. "Animals in general suffer from these symptoms".

The work is also novel because it links metabolic disease to a supposedly harmless parasite living in the dragonfly's gut. The parasites, known as gregarines, belong to the Apicomplexa, a group of microorganisms that includes protozoa, which cause diseases like malaria and cryptosporidiosis. The dragonfly species that Marden and Schilder studied is Libellula pulchella. The microbes disrupting the dragonfly metabolism may hold clues for researchers looking for the root causes of metabolic diseases in humans, as per Marden and Schilder's paper.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


November 20, 2006, 5:01 AM CT

Confusion About Calories Is Nothing New

Confusion About Calories Is Nothing New
While enjoying a Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family, most try to avoid thinking about the seemingly unending number of Calories they're consuming.

It probably never crosses their minds, however, to think about why food is measured in Calories.

James L. Hargrove, associate professor of foods and nutrition in the University of Georgia's College of Family and Consumer Sciences, said a number of nutritionists aren't even sure of the true origin of the Calorie (or why it's supposed to be capitalized).

"We all teach this unit, and nobody knows where it came from, not even the historians of nutrition," he said.

After this realization, Hargrove began studying the origins of the Calorie. He details his findings in a study would be reported in the recent issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

Formally, a Calorie is a measure of the amount of energy mandatory to heat one kilogram of water one degree Celsius. It was first used in engineering and physics, but eventually found its niche in nutrition, where it is used to measure the amount of energy food contains.

Hargrove observed that there's some controversy about who "invented" the Calorie. Some references show that two Frenchmen, P.A. Favre and J.T. Silbermann, invented the Calorie in 1852. Other texts state that a German physician, Julius Mayer, effectively invented the Calorie in a study he published in 1848.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


November 16, 2006, 7:09 PM CT

Dieting Vs Exercise

Dieting Vs Exercise
Those in their 50s and 60s who want to lose weight might consider heading to the cardio workout room instead of counting calories, suggests new research out this month.

Both those who dieted and those who exercised lost a significant amount of weight, as per findings from an NIH-funded study on whether a calorie-restriction diet can extend lifespan. However, while exercisers maintained their strength and muscle mass and increased aerobic capacity, those who dieted lost muscle mass, strength and aerobic capacity.

"Exercise-induced weight loss provides the additional benefit of improving physical performance capacity," says Edward Weiss, Ph.D., lead author and assistant professor of nutrition and dietetics at Saint Louis University's Doisy College of Health Sciences.

"If push comes to shove and somebody wants to know if they should diet or exercise to lose weight, I would suggest exercise, provided they are willing to put in the extra time and effort and not offset the gains they make by eating more".

Weiss is a part of a Washington University team of researchers who studied healthy 50- to 60-year olds whose body mass index was between 23 and 30, placing them at the high end of normal weight or overweight.

Of the 34 study participants, 18 dieted and 16 exercised to lose weight.........

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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