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.
If someone in your social circle is making specifically healthy or unhealthy food choices, does it influence your behavior?
It’s likely, say researchers in the United Kingdom who have reported on a meta-analysis of several experimental studies that all examined whether access to information about the eating habits of others influences food intake or choices.
newsletter_teaser: If someone in your social circle was making specifically healthy or unhealthy food choices, would it influence your behavior?
In 1988, Joan Darragh tipped the scales at 288 pounds. During a trip to Japan, she had a defining moment. “I was in a bar, and I sat on a stool built for the slighter Asian frame,” says the New York City resident. “Suddenly, the bolts on my metal stool started to pop.” She tried to pretend it wasn’t her stool making that noise, but she still kept one foot on the floor.
The top titans of exercise—resistance exercise and cardiovascular exercise—continue to duke it out for the title of best fitness protocol. When it comes to obese girls, researchers believe they have a champion: cardio.
To determine this outcome, the researchers recruited 44 obese girls, aged 12–18, and assigned them to RE, CE or a nonexercise control group for 3 months. Measures included body weight, waist circumference, oral glucose, insulin sensitivity, body fat, cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular fitness and more.
Childhood obesity, inactivity and poor food choices are taking a toll on today’s youth. In some cases, structured exercise is encouraged for weight management. Unfortunately, this approach doesn’t seem to be working.