There are less invasive options becoming available for weight loss surgery. There are over 200,000 Americans who undergo the major operation called bariatric surgery to try to least weight.
40 Facts about sleep you probably didn’t know; some examples are ………..
– To drop off we must cool off; body temperature and the brain’s sleep-wake cycle are closely linked. That’s why hot summer nights can cause a restless sleep.
– Anything less than five minutes to fall asleep at night means you’re sleep deprived. The ideal is between 10 and 15 minutes, meaning you’re still tired enough to sleep deeply, but not so exhausted you feel sleepy by day.
-Elephants sleep standing up during non-REM sleep, but lie down for REM sleep.
– Ducks at risk of attack by predators are able to balance the need for sleep and survival, keeping one half of the brain awake while the other slips into sleep mode.
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Fun toy to track your moves and monitor your fitness
Fitbit launched a .028 ounce wireless monitor to track your moves. Its available at Fitbit.com $60
Researchers are discovering more ways obesity can damage one’s body. These include an individual’s sense of smell, disrupting sleep and seual life and cancerous tumors can grow faster. Read more at
Timing is everything in life….especially when it comes to weight loss. A timely study just released from the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reminds us that the calorie density, or the amount of calories per bite of food that you eat, may make all the difference in helping you painlessly shed some of that extra winter weight.
Just ask Barbara Rolls, PhD, researcher, and author of the just released, The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet, an updated and expanded version of her bestseller book published in 2004. According to research, much of which was conducted by Rolls, it is the volume of food rather than the calories that is the key to helping you feel satisfied or satiated when you eat. Translation: When it comes to weight loss, you need to outsmart your stomach by filling it up with a large volume of low calorie-dense foods to satisfy your hunger, which will enable you to cutback on daily calories. In this case, size does matter.
For example, an apple that would fit in the palm of your hand (about 3 inches) is a mere 75 calories. Because over 85 percent of its weight is from water (0 calories) and fiber (0 calories), it is considered a low-density food as it is low in calories per bite. However, a slice of apple pie, which could also fit in the palm of your hand, has calorie-dense fat and sugar added, along with the apples, so will serve up about 300 calories a slice. (That’s without the a la mode part.) You would have to eat four apples to consume the equivalent of the calories in the pie slice. Because of the apple’s volume, you would likely get “full” after chomping on an apple or two, and thus, consume less calories overall.
Compare these two meals:
Volume-wise, the more colorful dinner plate of grilled chicken, which is loaded with tons of low calorie, high-volume veggies is going to fill you up for less calories compared to the higher fat, more caloric-dense fried chicken meal. In fact, the puny portions in the fried chicken dinner may cause you to go back for seconds (adding more calories to your meal) in order to obtain the volume of foods you need to eat to feel full.
The same strategy goes for soups. By ladling a low-calorie dense, veggie-based soup rather than a high calorie-dense fatty chowder in your bowl, you will end up consuming the same volume of soup but for less calories:
This is actually part of the logic behind the new MyPlate. By devoting half of your plate to low- calorie, high-volume fruits and veggies, you will crowd out the higher, calorie-dense items on your plate while feeling satisfied.
Need help in planning meals that are voluminous but not high in calories? The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet also contains over 100 new recipes developed by registered dietitian and culinary wizard, Mindy Hermann, as well as advice for when you are food shopping and dining out.
You can eat more and weigh less.
Exercise could counter
the effects of the ‘obesity gene’
Having a so-called obesity gene doesn’t necessarily doom you to being fat, a study finds — if you stay active.
A meta-analysis that included 45 studies of 218,166 adults looked at the effect physical activity had on being saddled with a gene associated with fat mass and obesity, otherwise known as the FTO gene or obesity gene. Researchers found that having the gene upped the risk of being overweight or obese, as well as having a higher body mass index, a larger waist circumference and higher body fat percentage.
In analyzing the studies, researchers set the bar fairly low for what they considered physical activity. People were deemed inactive if they had a sedentary job and did less than one hour of moderate to vigorous activity per week, or their level of physical activity was in the lowest 20% among that group of study participants.
“Our findings are highly relevant for public health,” the authors wrote in the study, released Tuesday in the journal PLoS Medicine. “They emphasize that [physical activity] is a particularly effective way of controlling body weight in individuals with a genetic predisposition towards obesity,” and it goes against the belief that genetics are unchangeable.
Getting people to understand the link between genes and lifestyle is important, they added, and could give people a sense of control in determining their health.
This finding comes on the heels of another PLoS Medicine study that found that eating a diet high in raw fruits and vegetables may have a protective effect against a gene that’s linked to a higher risk of heart attack and cardiovascular disease.
By RON WINSLOW
About 200,000 Americans undergo surgical procedures to shrink their stomachs each year in the hope that the resulting weight loss will prevent heart attacks and other consequences of obesity.
Now, a new study that tracked more than 4,000 Swedish patients for a median follow-up of nearly 15 years found the procedures were associated with significant relative reductions in risk of heart-related death, heart attacks and strokes.
Those benefits weren’t associated with the degree of weight loss.
The findings support growing evidence that the benefits from the surgery—one of the few effective remedies against extreme obesity—come from a variety of biological changes that often occur independently of weight loss.
“Given the known association between obesity and cardiovascular disease, intuition would have predicted that the reduced incidence of cardiovascular events would be related to weight loss,” write the research team, led by Lars Sjöström of Sweden’s University of Gothenburg. But the researchers failed to find a significant link between the two.
The findings challenge the practice of using a measurement called body mass index, or BMI, as the key criterion for eligibility for the procedure, some researchers say.
The new study found that the absolute benefit in reducing risk of serious heart events was small: There were 28 heart-related deaths over the study period among 2,010 patients who underwent surgery, compared with 49 deaths among 2,037 who were in a matched control group.
Reports from the same patient group, including one published in 2007, found surgery was associated with a reduction in death from any cause, and favorable outcomes for cancer, diabetes and other conditions.
U.S. guidelines say candidates for surgery should have a BMI, a calculation based on height and weight, of 40 or more, or 35 or more with a obesity-related disease such as diabetes. Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration lowered the requirements for a less invasive bariatric strategy called gastric- banding to patients with a BMI between 30 and 40 who have at least one complicating disease.
The new study wasn’t a randomized trial—patients between 37 and 60 years old who underwent one of three different approaches to surgery were matched with patients of a similar gender, age and BMI.
Average weight loss among bariatric patients ranged between 16% and 23% for up to 20 years of follow-up, compared with about zero in the non-surgical patients.
Robin Blackstone, president of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery said recent research shows biological effects of surgery, including lower levels of a hormone called leptin, appear to explain benefits not associated with weight loss.
Write to Ron Winslow at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Deborah Kotz, Globe Staff
Every year the American Psychological Association releases its “Stress in America” survey — the latest was released yesterday — warning us that we’re frazzled beyond belief, especially if we’ve got health problems or are caring for someone who does. No surprise there.
Yet I wonder just how much the survey of 1,200 reflects the national psyche of 300 million. Or whether it’s even relevant to try to summarize what the collective mass is feeling. Those who are unemployed, facing foreclosure or going through a divorce have a different set of stresses than a frazzled working mother who’s caring for a mother-in-law with back problems. (Okay, that last example was me.)
The stress survey found that more than 1 in 5 Americans report feeling chronic “extreme stress” but also found that, on average, our stress levels have dipped a smidgen since last year’s survey.
Oddly, the APA expressed alarm that only about 31 percent of the survey respondents thought that their stress level was having an impact on their health even though the vast majority said they knew that stress can contribute to major health problems like heart disease, depression, and obesity.
“When considered alongside the finding that only 29 percent of adults believe they are doing an excellent or very good job at managing or reducing stress,” the survey report stated, the “APA warns that this disconnect is cause for concern.”
I’m not really sure why it would be, if there was a lot of overlap among the 31 percent who reported that stress wasn’t affecting their health and the 29 percent who reported that they were managing their stress well.
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