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.
When a person loses weight, have you ever wondered where it goes? Scientists at the University of New South Wales in Australia have put together a calculation to explain the process. And it turns out most expert theories are wrong.
Seated desk work has come under fire these past several years as countless studies have linked it with a variety of health problems. But not all associations affect all people. When it comes to weight, a new study shows that the effects of regular sitting differ by gender and race.
People often begin a weight loss journey with high hopes that once they reach their goal, their quality of life will improve. A new study suggests that losing weight isn’t necessarily a ticket to a happier life.
Like many athletes, I was recently looking for a leg up on the competition. I was preparing for a fall marathon and already working hard on my running and speed work, but I wondered if by tweaking my diet, I could gain an edge. As a registered dietitian and sports nutrition coach, I was aware of several successful elite athletes who practiced vegetarianism.
As a registered dietitian who sees a wide range of clients—from Olympic-caliber athletes to gastric-bypass candidates—
I occasionally field questions about the
efficacy and safety of detoxification (detox) diets. Never having been a fan of any diet or pattern of eating that promises excessively accelerated weight loss, I usually answer these questions with great concern because of the potential dangers of extreme fasting.
In his research paper, Hill notes that body weight and obesity are increasing in all segments of the population in most, if not all, countries around the world. Further, although most people are aware that
a sedentary existence, combined with overeating, has negative health consequences, many are not able to make and sustain the changes to combat this way of life. Moreover, most people who do achieve weight loss goals regain the weight over time. Is it inevitable that our society will eventually be obese?
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?
As the economy slumps, health experts expect more Americans to develop paunchy guts and bigger butts by packing on “recession pounds.” Plunging personal earnings lead to tighter spending; and many people ditch their gym memberships and buy fewer fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and low-fat meats in favor of cheaper edibles loaded with sugar and fat. Couple that with the specter of unemployment and stress and we have the perfect recipe for weight gain.