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No Excuses: Exercise Can Overcome the 'Obesity Gene'

Posted 13 hours ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 27, 2017 – Even if obesity is "in your genes," regular exercise can help keep extra pounds at bay, a new study suggests. Researchers found that when people carried a particular gene variant that raises obesity risk, regular exercise seemed to reduce the effects of their DNA – by about one-third. The gene in question is known as FTO. Studies show that people with a particular variant of the gene have a heightened risk of obesity. But the gene's effects are not huge, or written in stone. Research has found that people who carry two copies of the FTO variant (one inherited from each parent) weigh about 6.5 pounds more than non-carriers, on average. The new findings underscore one way to counter the gene's impact: Exercise. "There are genes that appear to directly impact weight, but the effects are small," said lead researcher Mariaelisa Graff, of the University of North ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Exercise Guidelines: How Much Is Enough?

Posted 1 day 14 hours ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 26, 2017 – When it comes to exercise, even a modest investment can pay off big time in terms of your health. The latest U.S. government guidelines say that most adults need at least two-and-a-half hours of moderate-intensity exercise each week to control weight and prevent some illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer. That's just a half-hour of exercise on most days of the week. And, hitting the gym isn't your only option. Choose activities you like. Go for a brisk walk, rake the yard or play with the kids. You can even divide up a block of exercise throughout the day. Getting active for 10 minutes at a time, three times a day, will do the trick. If you're able to exercise vigorously, you can cut the minimum workout time in half. Running, swimming laps or jumping rope will really get your heart pumping. Keep in mind, though, that the more ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss

Health Tip: Eat for the Right Reasons

Posted 2 days 14 hours ago by Drugs.com

-- You should eat when you're hungry, not out of boredom or stress, experts say. The American Heart Association has ideas that can help you meet this goal: Follow a consistent meal schedule, eating three times per day, to avoid getting too hungry. Don't buy binge foods, such as candy or chips. Create a list of things you can do instead of eating, such as going for a walk, talking to a friend, doing a craft or tackling household chores. Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Obesity, Weight Loss

Are You Raising an 'Emotional Eater'?

Posted 2 days 14 hours ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 25, 2017 – Soothing your kids with food may stop the tears in the short-term. But researchers warn it can lead to unhealthy eating patterns long-term. Parents who are "emotional feeders" can encourage "emotional eating" – a habit linked to weight gain and eating disorders, the Norwegian-British study found. "There is now even stronger evidence that parental feeding styles have a major influence on children's dietary habits and how children relate to foods and beverages when it comes to addressing their own emotions," said one expert, Rafael Perez-Escamilla. He's a professor of epidemiology and public health at Yale University's School of Public Health. "Emotional feeding" is "what parents do when they provide foods or beverages to their children to calm them down, such as when a child is having a tantrum," added Perez-Escamilla, who wasn't involved with the study. ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Obesity, Weight Loss

Waist Size, Not Weight, May be Key to Life Span

Posted 3 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 24, 2017 – That spare tire you're toting around could be increasing your risk of an early death, a new study suggests. What's more, the increased risk associated with having a larger waistline occurs even if a person's body-mass index (BMI) indicates a healthy weight, said lead researcher Emmanuel Stamatakis. He's an associate professor with the University of Sydney in Australia. People who carry extra weight around the middle – also called "central obesity" – but have a normal BMI have a 22 percent higher risk of death than people whose fat is stored elsewhere in their bodies, the study found. In folks with a BMI that indicates obesity, the risk of early death was 13 percent higher for those with central obesity. The study also found that a large gut poses an even greater hazard for heart health. The risk of heart-related death is 25 percent higher for someone with ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss

Timing of Lunch, Recess May Determine What Kids Eat

Posted 4 days ago by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, April 23, 2017 – Ask kids what their favorite part of the school day is and most will say lunch and recess. But the timing of these events matters when it comes to what children eat and how much physical activity they get, researchers report. The new findings could help schools develop policies to promote healthy eating and exercise habits for kids, the study authors said. "Overall, our findings suggest that recess and lunch behaviors are interrelated. However, the specific food choices and activity levels children engage in may be subject to the timing and duration of lunch and recess," researcher Gabriella McLoughlin said in an American Society for Nutrition news release. McLoughlin, a doctoral student at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, is scheduled to present the research Sunday at the society's annual meeting in Chicago. For the study, researchers analyzed ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss

Love Chocolate? Potato Chips? Your Genes Might Be to Blame

Posted 4 days ago by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, April 23, 2017 – Your tendency to indulge in chocolate, go heavy on salt, or eat veggies may be tied to certain gene variants, a new study suggests. The study, of more than 800 adults, found links between several genes and people's food likes and dislikes. The gene variants were already known. One, for example, is linked to obesity risk; others are involved in hormone regulation. It's not yet clear what the new findings mean, the researchers said. And they stressed that aversion to broccoli is not genetically determined: You might just need a better way of cooking it. But the findings add to evidence that food preferences are partly related to genetic variation. "Research is really beginning to look at the role of genes in food intake and nutrient use," said Lauri Wright, a registered dietitian in Florida who was not involved in the study. Some researchers believe that ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss, Diagnosis and Investigation

Counting Your Way to Weight Loss

Posted 4 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 24, 2017 – The concept of counting calories to lose weight is based on a pound of fat being equal to 3,500 calories, so that cutting 500 calories a day means you should lose about one pound a week. That's not always true, however. Many diets limit daily calories to 1,200, but this may not be the magic number for everyone. It could be too low for a very active man or too high for a sedentary woman to net a pound-a-week loss. To determine the right calorie cap for you, it helps to know how many calories you're currently eating. That's your baseline number. Many people underestimate how much they eat each day, and dieters tend to underestimate this even more. To find your baseline number, keep a food journal for a week, recording the calories in everything you eat and drink. This will also make you more aware of just how much you're taking in. Calculate your daily average to ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss

Health Tip: Planning Your Walking Workout

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

-- If walking is your exercise of choice, reduce your risk of injury and split your trek into three stages: warming up, speeding up and cooling down. The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases suggests: Walking slowly to warm up. After a few minutes, speed it up to a brisk pace. You should feel your heart rate rise but you should still be breathing and speaking easily. Cool down by walking slowly for the last few minutes of your workout. Also practice slow, gentle stretches as part of your cool down. Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss

Health Tip: Concerned About Your Child's Weight?

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

-- Overweight children are at risk for a number of health problems from childhood into adulthood. Here are suggestions for discussing the subject with your doctor, courtesy of the American Heart Association: Prepare a list of questions and concerns. Ask the doctor if you may phone or meet privately if you don't want to discuss in front of a child. Before the visit, chat with your child about healthier living, and what that means for the family. Bring up your child's weight, even if your doctor doesn't. Focus on how the entire family can become healthier, rather than just on the child. Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss

Get to Know the Mediterranean Diet

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 17, 2017 – The diet followed by people who live in countries around the Mediterranean Sea has been shown to be more than just delicious. The so-called Mediterranean diet can help you limit daily calories so you can lose weight. Plus, it's a healthy long-term way of eating. The main focus of the Mediterranean diet is on eating plant-based foods. That means including fruits and vegetables in every meal, and eating them for snacks and dessert, too. Switch from refined to whole-grain foods, including breads, cereal, rice and pasta. Also add legumes like peas and beans. Try to eat a vegetarian dinner one or two nights a week. People who successfully lose weight while following a Mediterranean diet generally get about a third of their calories from healthy fats, including a small handful of nuts each day. Other tips: Switch from butter to olive oil. Limit red meat to just a ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss

Regular Phys Ed Builds More Than Fitness

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 17, 2017 – Rules requiring regular physical education for young teens stem from "good science," researchers say. Frequent "phys ed" classes not only improve fitness, they also encourage healthy living, finds a study from Oregon State University. Researchers looked at more than 400 students, ages 12 to 15. They found that more than one in five received no physical education, and only about 27 percent met federal government physical activity guidelines. Nearly 40 percent were obese or overweight. "Perhaps some were not meeting the guidelines because fewer than 35 percent actually knew what the guidelines were for their age group," said study co-author Brad Cardinal. He's a professor in the school of biological and population health sciences. The federal recommendation calls for at least 60 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity five days a week, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss

Water Outperforms Sports Drinks for Young Athletes

Posted 13 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 14, 2017 – Water is a better bet than sports drinks for young athletes, sports medicine specialists say. Most youngsters don't exert themselves at an intensity or duration that requires the extra sugar and salt contained in sports drinks, said Dr. Matthew Silvis. He is director of primary care sports medicine at Penn State Health Medical Center. "Sports drinks can replenish some of what you lost during exercise, but you really need to be exercising for more than 45 minutes to an hour before you would consider that," Silvis said. "Many of our kids are not doing enough to warrant it," he added in a university news release. Also, giving children sports drinks with extra sugar puts them at risk for weight gain and tooth decay, Silvis and his colleagues noted. Dr. Katie Gloyer is a primary care sports medicine physician at Penn State Medical Group, in State College. She agreed ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss

'Better Health' Argument Won't Always Work to Pass Soda Taxes

Posted 13 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 14, 2017 – Philadelphia lawmakers weren't able to get a soda tax passed on health benefits alone last year, researchers report. Instead, the legislators had to sweeten the deal with a pledge to fund young children's education, the study found. After two previous failed attempts, Philadelphia lawmakers last June approved a 1.5 cent-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, becoming the second city in the United States to do so. The new study took a behind-the-scenes look at how the tax was passed. "The tax was conceptualized and framed as a revenue-generation ordinance, not a public health ordinance," said study leader Jonathan Purtle. He's an assistant professor at Drexel University's School of Public Health in Philadelphia. "Thus, it appears it was rather easy to avoid health messaging. Pretty much everything was focused on how the revenue from the law would be used – ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss

A Healthier Weight May Mean Fewer Migraines

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 12, 2017 – Your weight just might influence your risk of migraine headaches, a new review finds. "Those with migraine and [their] doctors need to be aware that excessive weight and extreme weight loss are not good for [migraine sufferers], and that maintaining a healthy weight can decrease the risk of migraine," said study corresponding author Dr. B. Lee Peterlin. She is director of headache research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. "Healthy lifestyle choices in terms of weight management and diet and exercise are warranted," she added. Migraines affect about 12 percent of U.S. adults, according to background information from Johns Hopkins. These debilitating headaches are often accompanied by throbbing, nausea and sensitivity to light and sounds. Peterlin's team evaluated 12 previously published studies with nearly 300,000 people, a process ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Migraine, Weight Loss, Migraine Prevention, Migraine Prophylaxis

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