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July 11, 2006, 7:05 AM CT

How Group Dynamics Affect Fitness, Eating Habits

How Group Dynamics Affect Fitness, Eating Habits
Imagine break-room vending machines featuring fruit juice and vegetables instead of cookies and soda pop. Consider colleagues who insist on mid-morning group exercise breaks and applaud a lunchtime workout rather than criticizing the cut of the sweat suit. Ponder an organizational culture that encourages walking the stairs instead of riding the elevator.

A UCLA-evaluated study of a demonstration project led by Community Health Councils, Inc. (CHC) in Los Angeles shows how incorporating physical activity and healthy eating into an office or other organizational culture pays dividends for participants.

Published in the July 2006 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Health Promotion Practice, the study finds that a six-week wellness-training program significantly increases vigorous physical activity among participants. A 12-week curriculum, meanwhile, boosts fruit and vegetable intake while reducing feelings of sadness and depression, and can even reduce waistlines.

"Creating a culture of healthy living within an organizational framework requires buy-in by leadership, staff and clientele," said Dr. Antronette K. Yancey, lead author of the study and associate professor of health services at the UCLA School of Public Health. "Both the physical and social environment must change.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Permalink         Source

July 9, 2006, 8:29 PM CT

Win at Weight Loss

Win at Weight Loss
Americans trying to lose weight have plenty of company. As per a 1995 report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), tens of millions of Americans are dieting at any given time, spending more than $33 billion yearly on weight-reduction products, such as diet foods and drinks.

Yet, studies over the last two decades by the National Center for Health Statistics show that obesity in the United States is actually on the rise. Today, approximately 35 percent of women and 31 percent of men age 20 and older are considered obese, up from approximately 30 percent and 25 percent, respectively, in 1980.

The words obesity and overweight are generally used interchangeably. However, as per the IOM report, their technical meanings are not identical. Overweight refers to an excess of body weight that includes all tissues, such as fat, bone and muscle. Obesity refers specifically to an excess of body fat. It is possible to be overweight without being obese, as in the case of a body builder who has a substantial amount of muscle mass. It is possible to be obese without being overweight, as in the case of a very sedentary person who is within the desirable weight range but who nevertheless has an excess of body fat. However, most overweight people are also obese and vice versa. Men with more than 25 percent and women with more than 30 percent body fat are considered obese.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Permalink

June 27, 2006, 11:55 PM CT

Smoking, Obesity And Erectile Dysfunction

Smoking, Obesity And Erectile Dysfunction
Smoking and obesity could be linked to development of erectile disorder as per recent research findings from Harvard University. These researchers from Harvard University School of Public Health have found that obesity and smoking are strongly associated with a greater risk of erectile dysfunction (ED). Meanwhile, regular physical activity appeared to have a significant impact on lowering the risk of ED. This is the first large-scale prospective study to examine the links between ED and smoking, obesity, alcohol and a sedentary lifestyle. The study will appear in the July 2006 issue of The Journal of Urology.

The researchers, led by Constance Bacon, a former post-doctoral fellow at HSPH, and Eric Rimm , associate professor of epidemiology and nutrition at HSPH, surveyed 22,086 healthy subjects between the ages of 40 and 75 from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study who reported good or very good erectile function and no major chronic disease before 1986. Among the participants, 17.7 percent (3,905) reported new onset of ED between 1986 and 2000. The researchers adjusted the results to take into account those with and without prostate cancer during the follow-up period, since prostate cancer treatments, such as radiation or surgery, may lead to ED.

The results showed that both smoking and obesity were associated with a higher risk of the development of ED among previously healthy men with good erectile function. The researchers also found that regular physical activity showed a strong inverse association with ED risk. "We found a 2.5-fold difference in risk of ED when we compared obese men who did little exercise with men who were not overweight and averaged 30 minutes of vigorous exercise a day. (Obesity was defined as a body mass index of more than 30 kilograms in weight divided by the square of height in meters.) For men younger than 55 there was a 4-fold difference in risk for the same comparison," said Rimm. Alcohol consumption did not increase the risk of ED. In general, men without prostate cancer showed stronger associations with these lifestyle factors than those with prostate cancer.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Permalink         Source

June 26, 2006, 9:00 PM CT

Diet Supplement Reduces Abdominal Fat But Fails to Help Insulin Sensitivity

Diet Supplement Reduces Abdominal Fat But Fails to Help Insulin Sensitivity
Overweight and obese patients who used a conjugated linoleic acid supplement for six months reduced abdominal fat, but that reduction failed to increase insulin sensitivity, scientists reported here.

Overweight and obese volunteers who took 3.5 grams/day of conjugated linoleic acid reduced waist circumference by a little less than 1.5 inches (P<0.001) and waist-hip ration was reduced by -0.024 (P=0.017), said Sandra Einerhand, Ph.D., research director at Lipid Nutrition, a division of Loders Croklaan in Wormerveer, The Netherlands.

Conjugated linoleic acid is sold under many brand names as an over-the-counter supplement.

Working with independent research centers in Norway, Dr. Einerhand recruited 118 obese and overweight adults, who were evenly randomized to conjugated linoleic acid supplementation or olive-oil capsule placebo, she reported at Digestive Disease Week sessions here.

In addition to height and weight measurements, Dr. Einerhand and his colleagues assessed insulin sensitivity by use of euglycemic clamp.

After six months, patients in the conjugated linoleic acid group had reduced body fat mass by 5.6% (P=0.004 compared with placebo) and the reduction in fat mass was observed beginning at three months, she said.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Permalink         Source

June 26, 2006, 8:51 PM CT

Diet Mixers Make People Drunk Faster

Diet Mixers Make People Drunk Faster
DIET mixers in alcoholic drinks get people drunk quicker than full-sugar alternatives, researchers have found.

Taking a drink with sugar-free versions of mixers, such as tonic water, cola, bitter lemon and lemonade, produces higher blood-alcohol levels.

The findings were revealed by Dr Chris Rayner, of the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia, at a conference in the United States. Dr Rayner, the lead author of the study, found that combining alcohol with a mixer containing artificial sweeteners resulted in significantly higher levels of blood-alcohol than the same drink taken with an ordinary mixer.

The blood-alcohol concentration peaked at 66 per cent higher, as per a research studyin which volunteers were given an orange-flavoured vodka drink made with either a diet or non-diet mixer.

An alcohol counselling organisation warned that people choosing to have a diet mixer should be aware of the effect.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Permalink         Source

June 26, 2006, 8:49 PM CT

Picture-perfect Diet

Picture-perfect Diet
BEFORE I dug into the plate of steak poivre, crispy-edged hand-cut fries and a side of grilled asparagus at the East Village's Counter the other night, I flipped open my cellphone and snapped a picture.

Then I artfully set up a glass of wine against a candle and shot that, too. Finally I took a photo of our table's shared half-eaten chocolate tart.

It wasn't for some foodie art project. It was for My Food Phone, a new Sprint service that, for $9.99 a month, monitors your diet and nutrition.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Permalink         Source

June 21, 2006, 10:57 PM CT

Five Steps To Help Curb Child Obesity

Five Steps To Help Curb Child Obesity
Weight problems among children have now reached epidemic proportions. And it's no wonder. High-calorie fast foods and soft drinks are everywhere, and they are heavily promoted in many of the 40,000 television commercials that kids watch every year.

In Child Obesity: A Parent's Guide to a Fit, Trim, and Happy Child, nationally recognized expert on child obesity Dr. Goutham Rao uses the latest and best medical evidence available to show you how to help your child avoid or overcome this prevalent and dangerous health problem.

In the first part of his easy-to-read and informative book, Dr. Rao gives you the knowledge you need to understand the scope of the problem. He identifies the five principal culprits for obesity among children: soft drinks ("liquid candy"); fast food; television and video games; the inactivity of youngsters both at school and at play; and the changing patterns of family behavior, which have led to irregular meal times and the over-consumption of "convenience" foods.

In the second half of the book, Dr. Rao carefully explains a rational approach to helping your child achieve or maintain a healthy weight, including the science of changing people's behavior. You will also find several typical stories of overweight children, ranging from a heavy thirteen-month infant boy to a sixteen-year-old obese and self-conscious girl. With the help of their parents these children managed to achieve a healthy weight by following simple, practical advice without resorting to gimmicks or "miracle cures".........

Posted by: Evelyn      Permalink         Source

June 18, 2006, 4:59 PM CT

What Is Standing In My Way?

What Is Standing In My Way?
Would you like to do more physical activity but do not know how to make it a part of your life? This booklet describes some common barriers to physical activity and ways to overcome them. After you read them, try writing down the top two or three barriers that you face. Then write down solutions that you think will work for you. You can make regular physical activity a part of your life!

Can you use any of these ideas to become more physically active?

Personal Barriers

Barrier: Between work, family, and other demands, I am too busy to exercise.


Make physical activity a priority

Carve out some time each week to be active and put it on your calendar. Try waking up a half-hour earlier to walk, scheduling lunchtime workouts, or taking an evening fitness class.

Build physical activity into your routine chores

Rake the yard, wash the car, or do energetic housework. That way you do what needs to get done and move around too.

Make family time physically active

Plan a weekend hike through a park, family softball game, or an evening walk around the block.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Permalink         Source

June 16, 2006, 6:59 AM CT

Walk During Breast Cancer Chemotherapy

Walk During Breast Cancer Chemotherapy
A number of breast cancer patients may not be inclined to do much of walking, particularly while having chemotherapy, but research has shown that mild exercise can help women feel better while undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. This finding comes from Australian researchers.

In a study of Queensland and Victorian women scientists found that a 20 minute walk two or three times a week was well worth the effort. Patsy Yates, Queensland University of Technology nursing researcher Patsy said that a number of women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer reported they felt so tired they did not want to get out of bed or even to concentrate on the usual day to day activities.

"One woman told me what a process it was to make sandwiches for her children to go to school because of her fatigue," Prof Yates said.

But contrary to traditional medical advice and the women's intuitive desire to rest, some regular light exercise actually improved their sense of wellbeing and gave them more energy for the things they enjoyed, she said.

"There's some good research which tells us that probably over the years we may have been giving women the wrong advice about resting and that sort of thing," Prof Yates said.

"We are not sure why exercise works but it could be because it keeps your body conditioned so the effort to do other things is less".........

Posted by: Evelyn      Permalink         Source

June 15, 2006, 0:02 AM CT

Calorie Restriction May Prevent Alzheimer's

Calorie Restriction May Prevent Alzheimer's Image courtesy of Time
A recent study directed by Mount Sinai School of Medicine suggests that experimental dietary regimens might calm or even reverse symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease (AD). The study, which appears in the July 2006 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, is the first to show that restricting caloric intake, specifically carbohydrates, may prevent AD by triggering activity in the brain associated with longevity.

"Both clinical and epidemiological evidence suggests that modification of lifestyle factors such as nutrition may prove crucial to Alzheimer's Disease management," says Giulio Maria Pasinetti, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Director of the Neuroinflammation Research Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and lead author of the study. "This research, however, is the first to show a connection between nutrition and Alzheimer's Disease neuropathy by defining mechanistic pathways in the brain and scrutinizing biochemical functions. We hope these findings further unlock the mystery of Alzheimer's and bring hope to the millions of Americans suffering from this disease".

Alzheimer's Disease is a rapidly growing public health concern with potentially devastating effects. An estimated 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimer's Disease and the number of Americans with Alzheimer's has more than doubled since 1980. Presently, there are no known cures or effective preventive strategies. While genetic factors are relevant in early-onset cases, they appear to play less of a role in late-onset-sporadic AD cases, the most common form of AD.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Permalink         Source

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