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Obesity Blog

Related terms: Weight Gain, Overweight

Minorities More Likely to Gain Weight in Childhood, Report Shows

Posted 24 hours ago by

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 – Minorities may be more prone than whites to gaining weight during childhood, which puts them at greater risk for becoming overweight or obese adults, new research says. In the study, blacks, Hispanics and American Indians were more likely to surpass a normal weight at age 18 than whites were, the study found. All of this "likely reflects complex relationships between physiology, culture, socioeconomic status, genetics and the environment," said study lead author Christy Avery, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She stressed that "once a person is classified as overweight or obese, it is very difficult for him or her to re-attain normal body weight. However, because excess weight is tied to "so many chronic diseases, this is another example where an ounce of prevention is literally worth a pound of cure," ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity

Mouse Study Points to Potential Weight-Loss Agent

Posted 1 day 4 hours ago by

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 – A molecule found in certain tree leaves helped female mice avoid weight gain, a new study claims. The molecule is found in the leaves of several types of trees in Central and South America. It binds to a receptor in muscle cells and speeds up energy metabolism in female mice. This allowed the female mice to eat high-fat foods without gaining weight or accumulating fat, researchers found. However, it's important to note that findings from animal studies don't always translate to humans. Male mice didn't get the same benefit from the molecule that females did, but it's not clear why. Sex-specific hormones may be a factor, the researchers suggested. The different responses between female and male mice highlight the need to include both sexes when developing drugs for obesity and other conditions, the researchers said. The findings were published online March 5 in ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss

Health Tip: Count Your Calories

Posted 3 days ago by

-- Whether your plan is to maintain a healthy body weight, gain or lose a few pounds, it's important to know your calorie intake and how to adjust it. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises: You are in caloric balance (you are consuming about the same number of calories that your body is using) if you are maintaining a steady body weight. You are in caloric excess (consuming more calories than your body is using) if you are gaining weight. You are in caloric deficit (consuming fewer calories than your body is using) if you are losing weight. Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss

Any Exercise Is Good, But Higher-Intensity May Be Better

Posted 4 days ago by

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 – For people who are obese and sedentary, any exercise can help trim belly fat, but it may take a bit more effort to get other health benefits, a new study suggests. Researchers found that when they got middle-aged, obese adults regularly moving – even with a half-hour of slow walking – it helped them shed a little bit of weight and a couple of inches from their waistlines. However, it took higher-intensity exercise to lower people's blood sugar levels – which, over the long term, might reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes. While "higher-intensity" might sound daunting, experts stressed that it's within reason for even dedicated couch potatoes. "The people in this study were middle-aged, sedentary and abdominally obese," said lead researcher Robert Ross, an exercise physiologist at Queen's University in Ontario, Canada. "We didn't have them running. ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Diabetes, Type 2, Weight Loss, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Severely Obese Kids May Face Higher Heart Risks Than Thought

Posted 4 days ago by

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 – Extremely obese children – such as those at least 100 pounds overweight – are in deeper trouble in terms of heart disease risks than doctors have thought, new research suggests. In the study, about half the children suffered from high blood pressure, and almost 15 percent were diabetic. Seventy-five percent had high levels of a protein that's linked to heart disease. "Severe obesity in the adolescent age group is associated with numerous cardiovascular risk factors that were previously thought to only affect adults," said study author Dr. Marc Michalsky, an associate professor of clinical surgery and pediatrics at Ohio State University College of Medicine, in Columbus. The study didn't examine whether the children – with an average age of 17 – faced a higher risk of premature death. But it did show that the risk factors for heart disease are more severe in ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Diabetes, Type 2, Hypertension, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Health Tip: Offer Kids the 5 Food Groups

Posted 7 days ago by

-- Making sure your kids eat a variety of healthy foods can be daunting, but it helps to have a list of healthy options in each of the five basic food groups. The American Academy of Healthy Children mentions these preferred choices: Healthy choices from the grains group include brown rice, unbuttered popcorn, oatmeal, buckwheat, whole wheat bread, cereal, tortillas, pasta, whole-grain barley, cornmeal and wild rice. Healthy vegetable choices include bok choy, spinach, acorn and butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, red and orange peppers, tomatoes, pumpkin, potatoes, green peas and corn. Healthy fruit choices include starfruit, apples, applesauce, berries, bananas, mangos, papayas and plums. Healthy protein choices include lean beef, pork, ham, skinless or ground poultry, tuna, salmon, scallops, crab, beans, nuts and eggs. Healthy dairy choices include low-fat milk, yogurt, ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss

Good Supermarkets in Poor Areas May Not Prompt Better Eating

Posted 8 days ago by

THURSDAY, Feb. 26, 2015 – Having good full-service supermarkets in poor neighborhoods doesn't mean children will have healthier diets, a new study suggests. "Low-income and ethnic minority neighborhoods are underserved by supermarkets relative to their higher-income counterparts, and it would appear to be logical that increasing availability of healthful foods could improve diets," said study author Brian Elbel, an associate professor of population health at New York University in New York City. "However, we do not yet know whether or under what circumstances these stores will improve diet and health," Elbel explained in an NYU Langone Medical Center news release. "Food choice is complex, and the easy availability of lower-priced processed foods and pervasiveness of junk food marketing have implications for behavior change as well." The researchers surveyed parents and other caregivers ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity

Weight-Loss Surgery May Lower Some Pregnancy Complications, Raise Others

Posted 8 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25, 2015 – After undergoing weight-loss surgery, women are significantly less prone to diabetes during pregnancy but twice as likely to deliver smaller-than-normal infants, a new study suggests. Swedish scientists found that weight-loss (or "bariatric") surgery before pregnancy lowers the chances of certain complications for mothers and babies but raises the odds for others. They recommended any pregnancy after weight-loss surgery be considered high-risk and receive stricter monitoring. "The number of women who are obese in early pregnancy has increased dramatically over the last decades," said study author Kari Johansson, a postdoctoral researcher and nutritionist at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. "Consequently, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of women becoming pregnant after bariatric surgery," she added. "The positive effects of bariatric surgery on ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss, Prematurity/Underweight in Infancy, Gestational Diabetes

Additives in Processed Foods May Alter Gut Bacteria

Posted 9 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25, 2015 – A common ingredient in many processed foods might increase the risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and metabolic syndrome, a new study in mice suggests. Emulsifiers are used to improve food texture and to extend shelf life. In experiments with mice, researchers found that emulsifiers can alter the make-up of bacteria populations in the digestive tract. This can lead to inflammation that may contribute to the development of IBD and metabolic syndrome, the researchers said. IBD – which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis – affects millions of people and is often severe and debilitating, according to the researchers. Metabolic syndrome is a group of obesity-related conditions that can lead to diabetes, as well as heart and/or liver diseases. But, it's important to note that this study was conducted in mice, and research done in mice doesn't ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Insulin Resistance, Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Could a Bad Night's Sleep Make You Eat More Fatty Food?

Posted 9 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25, 2015 – Skipping just a single night of sleep leads to a shift in brain activity that seems to spark a desire to consume more fat the following day, a new study suggests. The study offers potential insights into the relationship between lack of sleep and the risk of obesity, researchers said. "The main finding of this study is that one night of sleep loss altered function within the brain's 'salience network,' " explained study senior author Hengyi Rao. The salience network is a pathway in the brain thought to guide decision-making, according to Rao. He is an assistant professor of cognitive neuroimaging in neurology and psychiatry within the division of sleep and chronobiology at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine. What's more, Rao added, a brain scan analysis revealed exactly how the network changed in response to sleep loss, which ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Obesity

Health Tip: Maintaining Healthy Habits

Posted 10 days ago by

-- Losing those extra pounds represents only half of the challenge – the other half is keeping the weight off. The Weight-control Information Network offers these maintenance tips: Make sure you vary your routine with new exercises and activities, a new workout buddy, and new recipes and foods. Reward yourself for keeping the lost weight off. Create a plan to help you deal with setbacks, such as by creating an alternate exercise plan if weather is bad or you're injured. Pack healthy snacks and choose healthier restaurant options if you're traveling or dining out. Don't give up if you do have a setback. Re-evaluate your goals and challenge yourself in new ways, such as by cutting down on unhealthy foods or adding more exercise to your week. Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss

A Little Fat, Sugar OK for Kids If Diet Is Healthy: Study

Posted 11 days ago by

MONDAY, Feb. 23, 2015 – Cutting junk food from kids' diets is important, but if a little sugar and fat helps them eat their veggies, that's a good trade-off, a leading group of pediatricians says. New recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics emphasize the importance of introducing kids to a wide variety of "whole foods" – from fruits and vegetables, to whole grains and nuts, to fish and low-fat dairy. And to do that, parents need to make the foods palatable, say the guidelines published online Feb. 23 in the journal Pediatrics. In the last decade, "tremendous progress" has been made in improving the nutritional quality of meals and snacks available in U.S. schools, said Dr. Robert Murray, a professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University and co-author of the academy recommendations. Still, Murray said, there is work to be done in revamping U.S. kids' overall diet ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss

U.S. Dietary Guidelines Take Aim at Sugar

Posted 14 days ago by

FRIDAY, Feb. 20, 2015 – Stop chugging sugary soda and munching sweet treats. Cut back on red meats, butter and other sources of saturated fat. Lay off the salt shaker. Eat plenty of fruits and veggies. And don't worry about having an egg and an extra cup of coffee with your breakfast. These are the conclusions of the advisory panel that helps shape America's official dietary guidelines, and they appear to be about the same as they were back in 2010, the last time the guidelines were updated, dietitians say. "What's good about the report is that much of it is reinforcing what we saw in 2010," said Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee's report this year concludes that Americans are still eating far too much sugar, salt and saturated fat, increasing their risk of chronic and deadly illnesses. ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss, Dietary Supplementation, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Healthy Eating Up Worldwide, But Unhealthy Eating Up Even More: Study

Posted 16 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18, 2015 – Although people around the world are eating more healthy foods, that positive trend has been outpaced by a rising consumption of unhealthy foods, a new study finds. Researchers analyzed the diets of nearly 4.5 billion adults in 187 countries and found that the intake of healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, rose between 1990 and 2010. However, there was an even greater increase in consumption of unhealthy fare such as processed meats and sugar-sweetened drinks. The findings were published Feb. 18 in The Lancet Global Health. "By 2020, projections indicate that non-communicable diseases will account for 75 percent of all deaths. Improving diet has a crucial role to play in reducing this burden," study leader Fumiaki Imamura, of the Medical Research Council epidemiology unit at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, said in a journal news ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity

Study Questions Benefits of Treadmill Desks

Posted 16 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18, 2015 – With increasing evidence that sitting for long periods isn't good for your waistline or your health in general, efforts have begun to focus on ways to shake up the traditional American workplace. One such innovation that's been touted as a possible solution is the treadmill desk. But a new study may dampen some of the enthusiasm about these devices. Researchers found that the desks are expensive, challenging to incorporate into an office setting, and may do little to boost meaningful activity levels. "This is still a very green area of research and exploration in terms of identifying what works and how best to implement changes," said study lead author John Schuna Jr. He is an assistant professor in the exercise and sport science program at Oregon State University (OSU) School of Biological and Population Health Sciences in Corvallis. "These treadmills do get ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

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