Researchers have previously identified a gene—FTO—that seems to predispose individuals to obesity. A recent study published in PLoS Medicine (2011; 8 , e1001116) contends that exercise can reduce the effects of the FTO gene. The researchers analyzed 45 studies from Europe, North America and Asia that encompassed data from more than 218,000 adults along with a meta-study of 19,286 children. The data included body mass index, waist circumference, body fat percentage, self-reported levels of physical activity and genotypes.
Overweight women aged 65–80, take heed: Excess fat significantly impairs ambulation and leg strength, say researchers from the University of New Hampshire. The researchers separated 25 women into a normal-weight group and an overweight group. The women were tested for strength and rate of torque development in the knee extensors and flexors and the ankle plantarflexors and dorsiflexors. Then, during walking tests at standard and maximal speeds, the scientists measured muscle-activation, spatiotemporal and kinetic-gait variables.
Losing weight could save the United States a lot of money. Enrolling overweight adults aged 60–64 in a “proven weight loss program” if they are prediabetic or at risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) could save billions of dollars in lifetime Medicare costs, according to a report published in the September issue of Health Affairs (2011; 30 , 1673–79). Depending on eligibility parameters and program participation, “Medicare savings could range from approximately $7 billion to $15 billion . . .
Many fitness professionals employ behavior change strategies to help clients drop fat. However, according to researchers from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, lifestyle improvements are more effective when the focus is on upgrading neurobehavioral processes.
Looking at her, you probably wouldn’t guess that newly crowned Miss South Carolina Bree Boyce ever struggled with her weight. The truth is that in the 3 years before winning the crown, she carried an extra 110 pounds of body weight. As a teenager, Boyce topped out at 234 pounds. During a routine medical appointment, her family physician warned her about knee and joint problems due to her excessive weight. “I wanted to be a Broadway star and go to college and have a family one day,” the pageant winner told ABCNews.com. “My weight was hindering all those things.
If obesity trends continue, by 2030 nearly half of all Americans will be obese, say authors of a report published in The Lancet (2011; 378, 815–25). The researchers used a “simulation model” to predict health and economic outcomes associated with growing waistlines in the United States and the United Kingdom. “These trends project 65 million more obese adults in the U.S. and 11 million more obese adults in the U.K.
Since 1980, global obesity has more than doubled. Sixty-five percent of the world’s people now live in countries where overweight and obesity cause more deaths than underweight. In 2010, nearly 43 million children below the age of 5 were overweight (WHO 2011). In spite of global awareness and isolated attempts to face this crisis head-on, the fact remains that our kids are fat and getting fatter.
Obesity is preventable. If we don’t help our children find their way out of the downward spiral of obesity, what will their world be like when they grow up?
Weight problems may be all in your head—or at least in your brain, according to an emerging body of brain-imaging work and related research on cravings, overeating and addictive responses to food. Daniel Amen, MD, one of the world’s best-known neuropsychiatrists, has worked with tens of thousands of patients from 90 countries for more than 20 years and has recently gathered results and insights related to the brain-fat connection in his best-selling book, The Amen Solution: The Brain Healthy Way to Lose Weight and Keep It Off (Crown 2011).
Pilates instructors working with an overweight clientele are passionate about their work. As with any special population, there needs to be a deep sense of compassion and understanding, great patience and a willingness to shift one’s approach to meet a client’s needs. Instructors must walk their talk by staying grounded and being present and attentive during their work; they must also create an energetic connection to clients that assures them they are safe.
newsletter_teaser: Pilates instructors working with an overweight clientele are passionate about their work. As with any special population, there needs to be a deep sense of compassion and understanding, great patience and a willingness to shift one’s approach to meet a client’s needs.
In the July–August issue of IDEA Fitness Journal, we listed the top five most fit and active states in the nation. This month we present another list—from the other end of the spectrum. This list comes from the eighth annual F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2011 report and is developed by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. According to the report, 16 states saw a significant increase in obesity rates; 12 states have adult obesity rates over 30%.