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November 10, 2009, 8:37 AM CT

Diet switching can activate brain's stress system

Diet switching  can activate brain's stress system
In research that sheds light on the perils of yo-yo dieting and repeated bouts of sugar-bingeing, scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have shown in animal models that cycling between periods of eating sweet and regular-tasting food can activate the brain's stress system and generate overeating, anxiety, and withdrawal-like symptoms.

The research is being published in an advance, online Early Edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) the week of November 9, 2009.

"When a number of people diet, they try to avoid fattening foods that taste good, but ultimately end up going back to their regular eating habits," said senior author Eric Zorrilla, Ph.D., an associate professor and member of the Pearson Center for Alcoholism and Addiction Research and Harold L. Dorris Neurological Research Institute at Scripps Research. "We observed that rats cycled in this way between palatable food and less tasty, but otherwise acceptable, food, begin to binge on the sweet food, stop eating their regular food, and show withdrawal-like behaviors often linked to drug addiction. As in addiction to drugs or ethanol, the brain's stress system is involved in each of these changes".

"Our research suggests that this eating pattern leads to a vicious circle," explained Pietro Cottone, Ph.D., who is co-first author of the paper with Valentina Sabino, Ph.D.; both are former postdoctoral fellows at Scripps Research who are now assistant professors and co-directors of the Laboratory of Addictive Disorders at Boston University School of Medicine. "The more you cycle this way, the more likely it is you cycle again. Having a 'free day' in your diet schedule is a risky habit".........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source

November 5, 2009, 8:27 AM CT

TV commercials for kids promote unhealthy food

TV commercials for kids promote unhealthy food
Childhood obesity in the United States is reaching epidemic proportions. With more than one fourth of advertising on daytime and prime time television devoted to foods and beverages and continuing questions about the role television plays in obesity, a study in the November/recent issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior examines how food advertising aimed at children might be a large contributor to the problem.

Scientists at the University of California-Davis examined the types of food advertisements seen by children watching English- and Spanish-language American television programs on Saturday mornings and weekday afternoons, which are high viewing times for children. Recordings were made of programs on twelve networks including highly rated children's cable channels Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Kids' WB, networks that appeal to older youths (MTV, BET), mainstream English-language channels ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and UPN, and Univision and Telemundo, the two highest rated Spanish language channels.

Out of 5,724 commercials recorded, 1,162 were food-related, with 91.2% of food promotions in English, and 8.7% in Spanish. Only 1 commercial was bilingual. Overall, nearly 1 in 5 advertisements was for a food or nutrition-related product, with 5.2 food advertisements presented every hour. Fast-food restaurants, sugary food, chips/crackers, and sugar-added beverages collectively accounted for more than 70% of food commercials; 34% were for ''food on the run,'' fast-food restaurants and convenience food.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source

November 4, 2009, 8:18 AM CT

Lap band surgery for morbidly obese children

Lap band surgery for morbidly obese children
Evan Paul Nadler, MD
surgeon at Children's National Medical Center and colleagues from New York University have found laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (Lap band) to improve the health of morbidly obese adolescents.

The study, reported in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, involved nearly 50 girls and boys ages 14-17. The participants showed significant decreases in total and android fat mass 2 years after surgery. Android fat has been associated with the development of obesity-related illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, and insulin resistance.

"This study is the first to demonstrate the improvements in overall health and distribution of weight loss after Lap band surgery in adolescents," said Evan Nadler, MD, the main author and pediatric surgeon at Children's National. "While weight-loss surgery should always be a last resort for adults and adolescents, these findings show us that surgery in adolescents reduces the risk of significant health complications".

The study observed that Lap band surgery improved glucose metabolism, reducing the adolescents' risk of developing insulin resistance. Additionally, bone mineral density was not impacted by the surgery, suggesting that bone growth is not affected.

Dr. Nadler is the co-director of the Obesity Institute at Children's National Medical Center, which is comprehensively addressing the epidemic of childhood obesity. Staff includes pediatricians, nutritionists, psychology experts, heart specialists, gastroenterologists, and surgeons who treat patients and families in a clinical setting. The Obesity Institute also includes scientists looking at genetic differences and racial disparities, especially among children and adolescents, as well as community-based research among different ethnic groups.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source

October 28, 2009, 11:30 PM CT

Getting the Affordable Insurance Quotes at Insurancespecialists.Com

Getting the Affordable Insurance Quotes at Insurancespecialists.Com
There are a number of companies on the internet who provide excellent insurance deals for their customers. One of the best places on the internet to look for free insurance quotes is at They offer almost 50% savings on your insurance purchases. They provide guidance and information on all type of insurance policies.

We cannot just think about living in this world filled with uncertainties without the insurances. The climate change is seen all across the world and serious disasters are predicted. A number of businesses have closed down due to the global economic meltdown.

The cost of the healthcare keeps climbing sky high all the time and a lot of people around the world are unable to afford their healthcare costs.

It is imperative for us to protect ourselves from the wrath of the nature and the negative consequences of living in the modern world. Insurances are the best possible options for protecting ourselves and our families.

You might want to check out if you are thinking about getting good insurance deals for great prices.

They offer a wide range of features along with the free insurance quotes for all type of insurances. You could also look up the insurance quotes by the zip codes. It would be wise for you to even compare your existing insurance expenses with the deals offered by them. By doing this, you will be saving hundreds of dollars in the long run.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source

September 22, 2009, 10:18 PM CT

Compression Stockings: A Simple Solution for Many Disorders

Compression Stockings: A Simple Solution for Many Disorders
Compression stockings are used to treat disorders like varicose veins, venous ulcers, blood clots, and lymphedema. These stockings apply pressure on veins and tissues that are close to the skin. The pressure ensures that the amount of blood that the veins can carry is restricted. This prevents the veins from swelling beyond a limit. Since the pressure applied by these stockings is highest at the ankle and lesser towards the upper parts of the leg, the blood is forced back to the heart. They also apply pressure on the tissues below the skin. These tissues transfer the pressure to the blood which gets pumped into the capillaries that go into the deeper tissues of the leg.

Effect on Varicose veins

Varicose veins are veins that cannot properly send blood to the heart because of the malfunctioning of the valves that are supposed to prevent the blood from flowing backwards. Veins of legs tend to be more susceptible to this condition because they have to withstand the pressure of standing and walking. Compression stockings artificially reduce the diameter of the veins and the blood circulation is partially normalized.


These stocking are also used to treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT). In this case blood is forced into the deeper veins where the blood has clotted. This usually happens to passengers who travel for long periods in planes that do not have properly adjusted humidity levels. Low humidity leads to DVT. The condition is commonly referred to as 'economy class syndrome'. Often patients who have DVT develop Post Thrombotic Syndrome (PTS). This disorder can be prevented by the use of compression stockings. Thus patients with DVT are suggested to wear them for two years after they have had DVT. ........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source

Thu, 27 Aug 2009 05:21:11 GMT

Melon Extract Against Obesity

Melon Extract Against Obesity
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In a study of hamsters fed a high fat diet, it was found that daily consumption of an antioxidant-rich melon extract may prevent obesity.

The said melon extract is commercially available as Extramel and is produced by France's Bionov.

Consumption of the commercially-available extract Extramel, produced by France's Bionov, in combination with a high-fat diet resulted in 29 per cent lower body weight compared to animals fed only the high-fat diet, according to findings published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

"The major novel finding in our experimental conditions, and in comparison to HF, is that Extramel prevented obesity in high-fat fed hamsters by decreasing body weight, abdominal fat, triglyceridemia, insulinemia, insulin resistance, liver lipids, and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and preventing adipokine imbalance," wrote the researchers, led by Jean-Max Rouanet from the University of Montpellier.

First discovered in 1968, Extramel is a rich source of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) and is dubbed 'the enzyme of life'.

Posted by: Gloria      Read more     Source

July 20, 2009, 11:46 PM CT

Ads work better if all senses are involved

Ads work better if all senses are involved
Corporations spend billions of dollars each year on food advertising. For example, Kraft Foods, PepsiCo, and McDonald's each spent more than $1 billion in advertising in 2007. A newly released study in the Journal of Consumer Research suggests those advertisers are missing out if their ads only mention taste and ignore our other senses.

Naturally, most food ads mention the taste of the food being marketed. But authors Ryan S. Elder and Aradhna Krishna (both University of Michigan) demonstrate that tapping into our other senses can actually increase consumers' taste perceptions.

"Because taste is generated from multiple senses (smell, texture, sight, and sound), ads mentioning these senses will have a significant impact on taste over ads mentioning taste alone," write the authors.

In the experiments, participants were randomly assigned to view one of two ads. One ad was designed to appeal to multiple senses (for example, a tagline for a chewing gum read "stimulate your senses"), while the other ad mentioned taste alone ("long-lasting flavor"). After sampling the gum, the participants listed thoughts they had regarding the item and then rated the overall taste.

"The multiple-sense ad led to more positive sensory thoughts, which then led to higher taste perception than the single-sense ad," the authors write. "The differences in thoughts were shown to drive the differences in taste." The results were repeated with potato chips and popcorn.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source

May 8, 2009, 5:15 AM CT

Increased food intake alone explains the increase in body weight

Increased food intake alone explains the increase in body weight
New research that uses an innovative approach to study, for the first time, the relative contributions of food and exercise habits to the development of the obesity epidemic has concluded that the rise in obesity in the United States since the 1970s was virtually all due to increased energy intake.

How much of the obesity epidemic has been caused by excess calorie intake and how much by reductions in physical activity has been long debated and while experts agree that making it easier for people to eat less and exercise more are both important for combating it, they debate where the public health focus should be.

A study presented on Friday at the European Congress on Obesity is the first to examine the question of the proportional contributions to the obesity epidemic by combining metabolic relationships, the laws of thermodynamics, epidemiological data and agricultural data.

"There have been a lot of assumptions that both reduced physical activity and increased energy intake have been major drivers of the obesity epidemic. Until now, nobody has proposed how to quantify their relative contributions to the rise in obesity since the 1970s. This study demonstrates that the weight gain in the American population seems to be virtually all explained by eating more calories. It appears that changes in physical activity played a minimal role," said the study's leader, Professor Boyd Swinburn, chair of population health and director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention at Deakin University in Australia.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source

April 29, 2009, 5:27 AM CT

Reducing Health Risks for Women and Children

Reducing Health Risks for Women and Children
Diet and nutrition counseling for virtually all overweight and obese women of childbearing age can reduce health risks linked to excess weight for mothers and children alike, as per a newly released position paper from the American Dietetic Association and the American Society of Nutrition.

The position, reported in the recent issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, represents the associations' official stance on obesity, reproduction and pregnancy outcomes:

Given the detrimental influence of maternal overweight and obesity on reproductive and pregnancy outcomes for the mother and child, it is the position of the American Dietetic Association and the American Society for Nutrition that all overweight and obese women of reproductive age should receive counseling previous to pregnancy, during pregnancy and in the interconceptional period on the roles of diet and physical activity in reproductive health, in order to ameliorate these adverse outcomes.

The joint ADA/ASN position and accompanying paper were written by Anna Maria Siega-Riz, PhD, RD, LDN, assistant professor of maternal and child health at the University of North Carolina; and Janet C. King, PhD, senior scientist at Children's Hospital and Research Center, Oakland, Calif.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source

April 7, 2009, 5:24 AM CT

Children with low self-control more likely to become overweight

Children with low self-control more likely to become overweight
Young children who do not display an ability to regulate their behavior or to delay gratification in exchange for a larger reward appear predisposed to gain extra weight by their pre-teen years, as per two reports reported in the recent issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

"Obesity in childhood and adolescence appears to track into adulthood, increasing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus and certain cancers in adulthood," the authors write as background information in one of the articles. "To mount effective preventive efforts, we need better information regarding the factors involved in the etiology of childhood overweight and obesity".

In one study, Lori A. Francis, Ph.D., and Elizabeth J. Susman, Ph.D., of Pennsylvania State University, State College, assessed self-regulation behavior in 1,061 children. Data were collected when children were ages 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 12 years old. At age 3, the children participated in a self-control evaluation that involved sitting alone in a room with a toy for 150 seconds. Those who waited at least 75 seconds to play with the toy were classified as high in self-regulation. At age 5, the children participated in an exercise in delayed gratification that involved choosing a smaller portion of a favorite food immediately or a larger portion several minutes later. High self-regulation was defined as waiting at least 210 seconds to eat the food.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source

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