Older adults tend to feel that the younger generation has it “easier” than they did. However, when it comes to weight, the tables may be turned. A recent study from York University’s Faculty of Health concluded that for Millennials to maintain the same weight as people in the generation before them, they would need to eat less and exercise more.
Researchers reached this conclusion by analyzing diets of 36,400 adults from 1971 to 2008, and the physical activity of 14,419 adults from 1988 to 2006. According to Ruth Brown, lead researcher of the study, “for a given amount of self-reported food intake, people will be about 10 percent heavier in 2008 than in 1971, and about five percent heavier for a given amount of physical activity level in 1988 than 2006.”
What does this mean? Although maintaining a healthy diet and getting enough physical activity are imperative to the overall health of a person, there are other determining factors that are possibly leading to weight gain and contributing to the obesity epidemic. What factors? According to Professor Jennifer Kuk in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science, these may include, “medication use, environmental pollutants, genetics, timing of food intake, stress, gut bacteria, and even nighttime light exposure.”
Further research has shown that genetics may play more of a role in our weight than originally thought; however, many external factors possibly contributing to weight gain can be linked to environment and circumstantial necessity. For example, prescription medications can have multiple side effects — including weight gain — that one can reasonably question if the adverse effects are outweighed by the benefits. And we recently wrote about how certain chemicals we are all exposed to in everyday life are linked to obesity.
“Ultimately, maintaining a healthy body weight is now more challenging than ever,” says Kuk. She may be right. But challenging doesn’t mean impossible. If we all have to work a little harder to strive for a healthier lifestyle then that’s simply the reality of the new world we live in.
Source: York University
Your cash register receipts are making you fat. OK, that may not be exactly the case — but a chemical used in those receipts as well as many other common items has been found to have a link to obesity and diabetes. The chemical is called endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), and it’s everywhere.
According to the executive summary of a Scientific Statement issued by the Endocrine Society, “Known EDCs include bisphenol A (BPA) found in food can linings and cash register receipts, phthalates found in plastics and cosmetics, flame retardants and pesticides. The chemicals are so common that nearly every person on Earth has been exposed to one or more.” It’s believed that EDC exposure has cost the European Union 209 billion dollars a year in health care expenses and earning potential.
The threat from these chemicals is that they block or interfere with the body’s natural hormones and create an adverse effect on cell development as a result. Exposure can lead to obesity, diabetes, infertility, hormone-related cancers, neurological issues and other disorders.
“The evidence is more definitive than ever before,” says Andrea C. Gore, Professor and Vacek Chair of Pharmacology at the University of Texas at Austin and chair of the task force that developed the statement. “EDCs disrupt hormones in a manner that harms human health.”
The Endocrine Society researchers consider the situation dire and have come up with a plan to combat it. The plan consists of initiatives suggesting further research about potential exposure effects, regulation on the use of the chemicals, and calling upon “green chemists” to provide possible alternatives or solutions to stop EDC usage, among other things.
A recent study showed that people today are eating and exercising the same amount as people 20 years ago (we’ll feature that in an upcoming blog), but the United States is collectively more overweight than ever. One of the reasons could include toxins that we are exposed to — and research such as this adds validity to such claims.
Source: The Endocrine Society
Robard Corporation, a leading developer and provider of obesity treatment programs and products, announced today that it has acquired DiabetesCare.net, an online educational source for diabetes related news, interviews, blogs, and free-to-use tools. With this acquisition, Robard aims to further diversify the information and resources it offers to healthcare professionals in the field of obesity treatment while augmenting the online presence and value of www.Robard.com for customers.
“Diabetes is a worldwide epidemic that causes significant morbidity and mortality, and obesity is a major risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes,” said Robert Schwartz, President, Robard Corporation. “The prevention and treatment of obesity is of utmost importance to help control or minimize the effects of type 2 diabetes. The comprehensive obesity treatment programs, services and protocols offered by Robard are significantly enriched by the educational components of DiabetesCare.net.”
About Robard Corporation
For 40 years, Robard Corporation’s comprehensive medical and non-medical obesity treatment programs and state of the art nutrition products have enabled a vast network of physicians, large medical groups, hospital systems and clinics to maximize profit, grow their business and successfully treat thousands of overweight and obese patients. For more information, please visit www.Robard.com.
The rise of obesity around the world is seemingly running parallel with another global trend that might be directly linked: The food energy supply. Food available for human consumption has seen a dramatic increase in quite a few countries, many of which have also had an explosion in obesity during the same time span, including the United States. The U.S. has seen one of the highest food energy supply spikes with a 768 calorie increase from 1971 to 2010.
As if the oversaturation of available calories wasn’t enough, many of those calories come from highly-processed foods. The convenience, accessibility and high palatability of processed foods has resulted in the unencumbered rise of their overconsumption. The increased food energy supply, combined with additional environmental factors such as increased urbanization, car dependence and sedentary occupations, created a recipe for a substantial surge in obesity. Other countries may not have the same environmental hurdles, but the additional food energy supply “can readily explain the weight gain seen in most countries,” according to Stefanie Vandevijvere, senior research fellow in global health and food policy at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.
What can be done about this situation is the source of much debate. The World Health Organization and some researchers believe the answer comes in additional government policies such as mandating a “restriction of the marketing of unhealthy foods to children, front-of-pack supplementary nutrition labelling, food pricing strategies, and improving the nutritional quality of foods in schools and other public sector settings.”
However, while U.S. school food programs have made some strides in improving, we recently learned that children in daycare are actually eating healthier at daycares than at home. Childhood obesity is certainly a significant issue, but the numbers that substantiate the rise in obesity is America primarily comes from adults. Knowing that, the question becomes how can we make adults healthier eaters? Would additional policies like the ones mentioned above help?
Source: Bulletin of the World Health Organization
Diet beverages rose in popularity primarily because they contain little to no calories. However, the calories that aren’t being consumed in these kinds of beverages are being consumed elsewhere. According to Dr. Ruopeng An, a University of Illinois Kinesiology and Community Health Professor, those calories are being consumed in the form of unhealthy foods.
Dr. An measured the caloric intake of over 22,000 individuals including their amount of consumption of five types of beverages: diet or sugar-free drinks, sugar-sweetened beverages, coffee, tea, and alcohol. An also cross-referenced people’s diets with a database created from the U.S. Department or Agriculture which included 661 foods categorized as “discretionary” — foods that aren’t important to one’s diet, such as cookies, ice cream and pastries. In other words, foods that should be avoided as part of a healthy diet.
What An found is that almost everyone from the study consumed one of the five types of beverages. Forty-three percent drank at least two. Even though coffee and diet-beverage drinkers consumed the least amount of daily calories, they also had the highest percentage of calories that came from the list of discretionary foods. What does that mean? It means that even though some of the study’s subjects had consumed less calories than some of the other study’s participants, those calories were more likely to cause someone to gain weight. Think of it like this: One person is eating donuts or cookies and another person is eating the same amount of calories (or even more) in vegetables and lean protein. Who’s more likely to gain weight quicker? Most likely the person eating the donuts and cookies.
There are times that you will see someone consuming a fast food meal that includes a double cheeseburger, medium French fries and a diet soda. That speaks directly to what the study states. It’s an illusion. Diet beverages do not allow you to eat more. Remember, it will always be a matter of what you eat or drink just as much as how much you consume.
Source: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
What is a healthcare provider’s role in helping a patient lose weight? How about the general health of the patient? Ultimately, healthcare providers are best equipped to diagnose what is ailing a person and, perhaps more importantly, they are well educated in recommending and administering the correct procedures and advice to alleviate ailments.
This is well illustrated in a recent study conducted by Johns Hopkins researchers where 300 overweight people partook in a medically supervised weight loss clinical trial. At the end of the trial, regardless of how much weight was lost, the sentiment of the participants was overwhelming: The support of the provider was extremely helpful.
There can be a push/pull relationship between the patient and the provider, and when discussing weight, it could become an arduous one. However, in this study, once that barrier was broken and the patient was accepting of the provider’s tutelage, there were better results in medication schedules, appointment keeping, and improved outcomes in overall weight loss.
What does all of this mean? With many things in life, people are willing to help you along the way. For some, it’s what they do for a living. Healthcare providers are more than willing to help; it’s an oath that they took. Are you, the dieter, willing to accept their assistance?
Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine
Controlling your appetite is essential to maintaining a healthy diet and weight. A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Missouri shows that protein in the afternoon can reduce your appetite for the rest of the day and reduces unhealthy snacking among teenagers.
“Our research showed that eating high-protein snacks in the afternoon helps teens improve the quality of their diets as well as control appetite,” says Heather Leidy, an assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at MU.
The study observed male and female teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19. The snack of choice for the study was a soy-protein pudding. Their findings indicated that including more protein throughout the day helped people consume less fat and improved certain facets in mood and cognitive function.
The study confirms the tangible benefits of snacking healthy as opposed to grabbing the more “convenient” treats, which are often high in fat and sugar. The study also reinforces how protein is immensely beneficial to a healthy diet, showing marked improvements in mood, appetite, and the overall management of weight.
“Our study demonstrated that the positive effects on appetite and satiety can be extended to consuming soy-protein products,” says Leidy. Protein’s role in snacking is similar to its role in weight loss; it can provide satiety for a dieter and be a deterrent from less healthy alternatives.
Source: University of Missouri