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July 12, 2007, 5:54 AM CT

Could targeted food taxes improve health?

Could targeted food taxes improve health?
A daily pinta or a helping of dairy foods protect against the clustering of abnormal body chemistry known as the metabolic syndrome, suggests a study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

The syndrome has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes, coronary artery disease, and premature death.

The findings are based on a representative sample of 2375 men aged between 45 and 59, all of whom were part of a long term study on health, known as the Caerphilly Prospective Study.

Two or more out of high blood glucose, insulin, blood fats, body fat, and blood pressure defined the presence of the metabolic syndrome in the men studied.

The mens health was tracked over 20 years, during which time data from food questionnaires and weekly food diaries were used to assess how much milk and dairy foods the men consumed.

Around one in seven men (15%) had metabolic syndrome at entry into the study.

These men had almost double the risk of coronary artery heart disease and four times the risk of diabetes of those without the syndrome. They were also almost 50% more likely to die early.

But those who regularly drank milk and ate dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese, were significantly less likely to have the syndrome.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source


July 11, 2007, 4:53 AM CT

By 2015, 75% of Adults Will Be Overweight

By 2015, 75% of Adults Will Be Overweight
The U.S. obesity prevalence increased from 13 percent to 32 percent between the 1960s and 2004, as per scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Human Nutrition. The prevalence of obesity and overweight has increased at an average rate of 0.3-0.8 percentage points across different sociodemographic groups over the past three decades. Some minority and low socioeconomic status groups-such as non-Hispanic black women and children, Mexican-American women and children, low socioeconomic status black men and white women and children, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders-are disproportionately affected. The meta-analysis was published online on May 17, 2007, in advance of the 2007 issue of the journal Epidemiologic Reviews.

"The obesity rate in the United States has increased at an alarming rate over the past three decades. We set out to estimate the average annual increase in prevalence as well as the variation between population groups to predict the future situation regarding obesity and overweight among U.S. adults and children," said Youfa Wang, MD, PhD, lead author of the study and an assistant professor in the Bloomberg School of Public Health's Department of International Health. "Obesity is a public health crisis. If the rate of obesity and overweight continues at this pace, by 2015, 75 percent of adults and nearly 24 percent of U.S. children and adolescents will be overweight or obese".........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source


July 8, 2007, 10:32 PM CT

Fitness May Reduce Inflammation

Fitness May Reduce Inflammation
Eventhough many studies have suggested that regular exercise reduces inflammation - a condition that is predictive of cardiovascular and other diseases, such as diabetes - it's not yet clear whether there is a definitive link. And if such a link exists, the nature of the relationship is by no means fully understood.

A recent study by kinesiology and community health scientists at the University of Illinois provides new evidence that may help explain some of the underlying biological mechanisms that take place as the result of regular exercise. As per the researchers, that knowledge could potentially lead to a better understanding of the relationship between exercise and inflammation.

The objective of their research was to examine the independent effect of parasympathetic tone - in this case, determined by assessing heart-rate recovery after exercise - on circulating levels of C-reactive protein (CRP). Parasympathetic tone and its inverse function - sympathetic tone - are components of the autonomic nervous system. CRP, which is secreted by the liver, circulates in the bloodstream and is a biomarker for inflammation in the body.

"The sympathetic nervous system speeds things up, and the parasympathetic slows things down," said Victoria J. Vieira, a predoctoral fellow in kinesiology and community health and in nutritional sciences, and the primary author and designer of the study, published in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. "So when you're exercising, your sympathetic nervous system will be on, increasing your heart rate, your respiration, etc. Once you stop, your body always tries to get back to homeostasis. So the parasympathetic nervous system kicks in to get everything back down to baseline levels".........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source


July 8, 2007, 10:30 PM CT

Children Prefer Large Portions

Children Prefer Large Portions
Given the choice, Canadian fifth-graders prefer larger portions of snacks and fast foods and smaller portions of vegetables than the recommended amounts, as per scientists at Dalhousie University in Canada.

The scientists showed nearly 5,000 children a variety of portion sizes of french fries, meat, cooked vegetables and potato chips and asked them to indicate their "usual portion sizes." More than 63 percent of the children chose french fry portions that were larger than American and Canadian dietary recommendations, with boys more than twice as likely as girls to select bigger portions. "Significantly larger" portions for meat and chips were selected by about 78 percent the children; for vegetables, 52 percent chose portion sizes smaller than or equal to dietary guidelines.

The study found kids who ate at fast-food restaurants more than once per week were more likely to consider large portions of fries and small portions of vegetables to be "usual," as did children from socioeconomically disadvantaged families and those who frequently ate while watching television.

"This study demonstrates that a great deal can be gained by expanding nutrition education with respect to moderation and choosing appropriate portion sizes," the scientists write.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source


July 5, 2007, 8:54 PM CT

Weight-loss Strategies

Weight-loss Strategies
Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have observed that a protein absorbs lipids in the upper part of the intestine, and they believe its key role in this process may provide a novel approach for obesity therapy in the future.

Principal investigator Nada A. Abumrad, Ph.D., the Dr. Robert C. Atkins Professor of Medicine and Obesity Research at Washington University School of Medicine, first identified the protein, CD36, that facilitates the uptake of fatty acids. The protein is located on the surface of cells and distributed in a number of tissues, including fat cells, the digestive tract, heart tissue and skeletal muscle tissue.

Her studies have shown that the intestine makes large amounts of CD36, and that it is important to the absorption of fatty acids. Initially when she compared normal mice that made the protein to genetically altered mice lacking CD36, she couldn't find any net difference in their fat absorption.

But the new study, published in the July 6 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, reveals the reason it was not possible to identify a difference. Apparently, the intestine has some built-in redundancy. Normally, CD36 absorbs fatty acids in the upper, or proximal part of the intestine, but when it is absent, lower, more distal, sections of the intestine compensate and absorb the fat.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source


Wed, 04 Jul 2007 02:29:40 GMT

Slimming and stomach banding

Slimming and stomach banding
Take a look at Michael Schumacher since he stopped racing.

Looking more relaxed

That lean, thin, angular pointed face has filled out. Much the same, and more, happened to Chris Oliver

Michael Schumacher is not obese yet, but it is early days. If problems arise, and there is need, he will be able to afford bariatric surgery, Chris Oliver could afford it too.

Most people cannot.

Bariatric surgery performed on suitable patients can transform their life and, on the long term, save the NHS a lot of money. As so often, entry into the NHS "shop" remains free, but once inside, the shelves are empty.Labels: bariatric surgery, Chris Oliver, diets, obesity, slimming

Posted by: Dr John Crippen      Read more     Source


July 2, 2007, 10:17 AM CT

Anti-obesity drug may prevent liver disease

Anti-obesity drug may prevent liver disease
A new study on the effect of the anti-obesity drug rimonabant on liver function in obese rats observed that it reduced markers of liver damage, decreased levels of pro-inflammatory proteins, and improved lipid profiles.

The results of this study appear in the July 2007 issue of Hepatology, the official journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hepatology is available online via Wiley InterScience at http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/hepatology.

Obesity is an inflammatory, chronic and progressive disease that is linked to dramatic changes in the tissue and blood levels of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory proteins and hormones. It is the main cause of several metabolic syndrome features and their complications, including hepatic steatosis (an accumulation of fat in the liver). There are currently no drugs that have both anti-obesity effects and reverse and prevent obesity-related steatosis and metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions such as high blood sugar and high triglycerides that can lead to cardiovascular disease.

Led by Mohammed Bensaid, of Sanofi-aventis Recherche (the company that manufactures rimonabant) in Montpellier, France, scientists studied the effect on the liver of rimonabant, which blocks the cannabinoid receptor CB1, and has been shown to reduce food intake, body weight, and fat mass, and to improve insulin sensitivity and lipid levels in obese rodents and humans. Male obese rats were given rimonabant orally daily for 8 weeks and had their food intake monitored; control animals received the same amount of food as those receiving rimonabant.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source


June 27, 2007, 5:37 PM CT

Dietary calcium is better than supplements

Dietary calcium is better than supplements
Women who get most of their daily calcium from food have healthier bones than women whose calcium comes mainly from supplemental tablets, say scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Surprisingly, this is true even though the supplement takers have higher average calcium intake.

Adequate calcium is important to prevent osteoporosis, which affects an estimated 8 million American women and 2 million American men. Another 34 million Americans have low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis. Calcium consumption can help maintain bone density by preventing the body from stealing the calcium it needs from the bones.

The researchers' conclusions about calcium intake, reported in the recent issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, came from a study of 183 postmenopausal women. The scientists asked the women to meticulously detail their diet and their calcium supplement intake for a week. "We assumed that this sample represented each woman's typical diet," says senior author Reina Armamento-Villareal, M.D., assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Bone and Mineral Diseases and a bone specialist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. "In addition to analyzing the volunteers' daily calcium intake, we tested bone mineral density and urinary concentrations of estrogen metabolites."........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source


June 27, 2007, 6:09 AM CT

Gene deficiency is a protective barrier to obesity

Gene deficiency is a protective barrier to obesity
A search for the molecular clues of longevity has taken Mayo Clinic scientists down another path that could explain why some people who consume excessive calories dont gain weight. The study, which was done in laboratory mouse models, points to the absence of a gene called CD38. When absent, the gene prevented mice on high-fat diets from gaining weight, but when present, the mice became obese.

The findings were published this month in the online issue of The FASEB Journal, the journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. The study will appear in the November 2007 print issue of the journal.

Obesity is a complex problem compounded by multiple factors, one of which is our genes. Genes play a role in about 50 percent of cases, and in this study, we demonstrate that CD38 regulates body weight, states Eduardo Chini, M.D., Ph.D., an anesthesiologist at Mayo Clinic and corresponding author of the study.

Identifying the signaling mechanisms that lead to obesity caused by a high-fat, high-calorie diet is a critical part of understanding and developing new therapys for obesity, Dr. Chini says.



THE ROLE OF CD38


Research in animal models has shown that caloric restriction can lower cholesterol and blood pressure -- often considered the biomarkers of aging. In addition, published research in animal models shows that caloric restriction, defined as consuming 30 percent to 40 percent less than your average daily intake, can turn on the SIRT1 gene, one of a family of seven genes associated with longevity.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source


June 25, 2007, 9:19 PM CT

helping obese diabetics lose weight

helping obese diabetics lose weight
A plate and cereal bowl with markers for proper portion sizes appear to help obese patients with diabetes lose weight and decrease their use of glucose-controlling medications, as per a report in the June 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Between 1960 and 2000, the proportion of U.S. adults who were obese increased from 13.4 percent to 30.9 percent, as per background information in the article. Most cases of type 2 diabetes can be attributed directly to obesity. Restricting calories has been shown to improve blood sugar control in diabetics, partially by contributing to weight loss. The increasing prevalence of obesity is paralleled by increasing portion sizes in the marketplace, the authors write. Portion sizes are an important determinant of energy intake; the number of calories ingested by subjects at a meal has been directly correlated with the serving size offered.

Sue D. Pedersen, M.D., F.R.C.P.C., and his colleagues at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, conducted a six-month controlled trial of commercially available portion control plates and bowls in 2004. The plates were divided into sections for carbohydrates, proteins, cheese and sauce, with the rest left open for vegetables. The sections approximately totaled an 800-calorie meal for men and a 650-calorie meal for women. The cereal bowl is designed to allow a 200-calorie meal of cereal and milk. Half of 130 obese patients with diabetes (average age 56) were randomly assigned to use the plate for their largest meal and the bowl when they ate cereal for breakfast. The other half of the participants received usual care, which consisted of dietary assessment and teaching by dieticians.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source


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