Fat may seem like the enemy of civilized people—especially sedentary ones. Yet we cannot live without it.
Fat plays a key role in the structure and flexibility of cell membranes, and it helps regulate the movement of substances through those membranes. Special types of fat, known as eicosanoids, send hormone-like signals that exert intricate control over many bodily systems, mostly those affecting inflammation or immune function.
The Internet offers plenty of opportunity to share helpful, positive content. However, it’s also a hotbed of negativity, especially when it comes to discussions on weight.
A study facilitated by researchers at the National Institutes of Health in Rockville, Maryland, wanted to understand the types of conversations that are taking place on this subject. Using a commercial Web-crawling tool, the investigators explored popular social media sites and pulled posts that included fat, obese/obesity and/or overweight. The process lasted 60 days and culminated in 1.37 million posts.
Most people are aware that children in developed nations are experiencing epidemic levels of obesity, and that this problem is, in large part, associated with physical inactivity. However, the standard fitness recommendation to get more cardiovascular exercise may not be the best advice for overweight, underactive children. The fact is, very few childr...
Experts often suggest that in order to reduce childhood obesity levels, healthy habits must begin in the home. However, a recent study shows that many parents miss the mark— even when their child is considered clinically obese.
It’s often said that good health begins in the gut, an aphorism that is well supported by two studies published in the August 29 issue of Nature (2013; 500, 541-46). In short, individuals with low bacterial richness in their gut have more obesity and inflammation--and weight loss can improve the richness of their bacterial genes.
Here is another reason to encourage children to maintain a healthy weight: According to a Kaiser Permanente Southern California study, children who are overweight or obese are at significant risk for developing hyper- tension.