Main page      Blog page      Weight talk      Weight watch news      Resources
weight-watch-blog-logo-3322.jpg
Back to the main page

Archives Of Weight Watch Blog




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: Evelyn      Permalink         Source


November 22, 2006, 4:22 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: Evelyn      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: Evelyn      Permalink         Source


November 7, 2006, 4:07 AM CT

Obesity Trends In The United States

Obesity Trends In The United States

During the last twenty years there was a very significant increase in obesity and overweight within in the United States. CDC is closely following this growing obesity problem utilizing a technique called Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. In 1985 just few states were actively participating in this Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) program and providing obesity data for analysis. In 1991, four states had obesity rates of 15-19% and no state had obesity prevalence rates at or above 20%.

In 1995, prevalence of obesity in each one of the 50 states was less than 20%. In 2000, twenty eight states had obesity prevalence rates less than 20%.

In 2005, conversely only four states had obesity rates less than 20%, while seventeen states had rates equal to or greater than 25%, with 3 of those states having prevalence rates equal to or greater than 30% (Louisiana, Mississippi, and West Virginia).

The data highlighted in these color maps were obtained from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Each year, health departments of states use standard methods to obtain information using a set of monthly telephone interviews with the American adults. Prevalence estimates created for showing on this map might vary slightly from those created for the states by the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System as slightly different slightly different analytic methods are used for this map creation.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Permalink


November 6, 2006, 4:32 AM CT

Children's Belly Fat Increases More Than 65 Percent

Children's Belly Fat Increases More Than 65 Percent
Abdominal obesity increased more than 65 percent among boys and almost 70 percent among girls between 1988 and 2004. The finding of growing girth is significant because abdominal obesity has emerged as a better predictor of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes risk than the more commonly used Body Mass Index, a weight to height ratio that can sometimes be misleading.

As the first nationally representative study to document the increase in children's belly fat, the study in today's Pediatrics paints a bleak picture for these children who have a higher risk of heart disease, adult-onset diabetes and metabolic syndrome. The good news is that, for children and adolescents, the health effects are often reversible through improved lifestyle for weight loss.

"Kids, teens and adults who have early stages of atherosclerosis in their arteries can have a healthy cardiovascular system again," said Stephen Cook, M.D., an assistant professor of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center's Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong and an author of the study about childhood abdominal obesity. "Older adults who have plaque build up have a much harder battle, especially if the plaque has calcified".

Measuring waist circumference is not a "vital sign" normally taken in a visit to the doctor. A BMI is commonly calculated at a well visit, but there are limitations to those measurements. A very muscular person may register a high BMI score, even if he is very healthy and has an average waist circumference. On the flip side, a sedentary child may not register a very high BMI score, but if he carries a lot of fat around his middle, he may be at a higher risk for health problems than other children with the same BMI score.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Permalink         Source


October 31, 2006, 4:42 AM CT

Teenage Girls' Use Of Diet Pills

Teenage Girls' Use Of Diet Pills
A study released recently by the University of Minnesota's "Project EAT" (Eating Among Teens) shows startling results of 2,500 female teenagers studied over a five-year period. The study observed that high school-aged females' use of diet pills nearly doubled from 7.5 to 14.2 percent. By the ages of 19 and 20, 20 percent of females surveyed used diet pills.

"These numbers are startling, and they tell us we need to do a better job of helping our daughters feel better about themselves and avoid unhealthy weight control behaviors," U of M professor and study researcher Dianne Neumark-Sztainer said.

Other results from the study include:.

62.7 percent of teenage females use "unhealthy weight control behaviors"

21.9 percent of teenage females use "very unhealthy weight control behaviors"

Very unhealthy weight control behaviors include the use of diet pills, laxatives, vomiting or skipping meals. Of the 2,500 teenage males studied, their rates were half of the females'.

"We have observed that teenage females who diet and use unhealthy weight control behaviors are at three times the risk of being overweight," said Neumark-Sztainer. "Teens who feel good about their bodies eat better and have less risk of being overweight. Parents can play a key role in helping their children to build a positive body image and engage in healthy eating and physical activity behaviors".........

Posted by: Evelyn      Permalink         Source


October 30, 2006, 8:46 PM CT

Brain's Response To Pleasing

Brain's Response To Pleasing
We all have tastes we love, and tastes we hate. And yet, our "taste" for certain flavors and foods can change over time, as we get older or we get tired of eating the same old thing.

Now, a new University of Michigan study gives new evidence about what's going on in the brain when we taste something we like, or develop a liking for something we once hated.

And eventhough the study used rats instead of people, it has direct implications for understanding the way we perceive pleasure and the reasons why some people develop problems, such as drug abuse, depression or anorexia, that knock their pleasure response off balance.

In a new paper in the recent issue of the Journal of Neurophysiology, U-M neuroresearchers and psychology experts report the findings from direct monitoring of an area of the brain known as the ventral pallidum. Located deep in the brain, it's a kind of traffic center for signals from different areas of the brain that process tastes and pleasurable sensations.

The scientists were able to track the activity of brain cells in that area while the rats received water, salt water and sugar water directly into their mouths. They also recorded how the rats behaved while they tasted those different solutions, including signs that they liked or disliked the tastes. And, they repeated the tests when the rats had been treated with drugs that greatly reduced their bodies' salt levels.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Permalink         Source


October 27, 2006, 4:53 AM CT

Media And Body-image

Media And Body-image
New research explores the relationship between so called "thin-ideal" images in the media and body-image issues among young women. Female undergraduates who viewed advertisements displaying ultra-thin women exhibited increases in body dissatisfaction, negative mood, levels of depression and lowered self-esteem. These findings were particularly true for women who have negative views of their current body image and believe themselves to be overweight.

The study shows that women who possess these body image concerns are twice as likely to compare their own bodies to those of the thin models in the advertisements. They are also more likely to have those comparisons affect their self-worth, leading to feelings of depression, body dissatisfaction and preoccupation with diet and exercise. Conversely, women who are content with their bodies did not show any effects from viewing thin-ideal advertisements.

"Women who already have low opinions of their physical appearance are at an even greater risk for negative effects from media images," says Gayle R. Bessenoff, Ph.D., author of the study. "Understanding who will compare to media ideals and when this comparison will take place can help further our understanding of the role of the media in the development of eating disorders".........

Posted by: Evelyn      Permalink         Source


October 26, 2006, 4:44 AM CT

Exercise Protects From Colds

Exercise Protects From Colds
A moderate exercise program may reduce the occurence rate of colds. A study reported in the recent issue of The American Journal of Medicine, led by scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, observed that otherwise sedentary women who engaged in moderate exercise had fewer colds over a one year period than a control group.

Subjects in a group of 115 overweight and obese, sedentary, postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to either a moderate exercise program (45 minutes per day, five days per week and comprised of mostly brisk walking) or to a once-weekly 45 minute stretching session. Both the exercisers and the stretchers filled out questionnaires every 3 months on the number of episodes of allergies, upper respiratory tract infections (colds and flu) and other infections. Subjects were taught how to distinguish various forms of infections and were followed for one year.

Over 12 months, the risk of colds decreased modestly in exercisers and increased modestly in stretchers. In the final three months of the study, the risk of colds in stretchers was more than 3-fold higher than that of exercisers. More stretchers than exercisers had at least one cold during the 12-month study period (48.4% vs 30.2%), and among women reporting at least one cold, stretchers tended to report colds more frequently than exercisers.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Permalink         Source


October 22, 2006, 10:58 PM CT

Excalia Combination Therapy To Treat Obesity

Excalia Combination Therapy To Treat Obesity
OREXIGENTM Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held clinical-stage neuroscience company developing novel strategic approaches to the treatment of obesity, today announced that ExcaliaTM, a combination of two centrally-acting medications intended to provide and sustain clinically important weight loss, demonstrated significant weight loss in a six month, double-blind, phase IIa clinical study. The magnitude of weight reduction exceeded that seen with placebo. The findings showed that patients completing the blinded 24-week phase lost on average 9.2% of their weight from baseline using Excalia compared to an average of 0.4% weight loss from baseline for patients using placebo. The study results further demonstrate that weight loss continued through an additional 24 week open-label period achieving an average weight loss of 12% from baseline by 48 weeks. These top line phase IIa data for Excalia were presented at the annual meeting of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO) in Boston.

"Excalia is designed to achieve an aggressive weight loss trajectory and then to delay the typical weight loss 'plateau' by offsetting one of the body's natural compensatory pathways. These phase II data suggest a level of efficacy that exceeded our expectations in relation to existing approaches," said Gary Tollefson, M.D., Ph.D., OREXIGEN president and CEO. "Excalia is designed to act on a specific reciprocally paired group of hypothalamic neurons that we believe will yield a clinically meaningful weight loss trajectory among significantly overweight individuals. We believe that these positive data support our theoretical approach".........

Posted by: Evelyn      Permalink         Source


Older Blog Entries   Older Blog Entries   1   2   3   4   5