It’s been said that with even modest efforts we can reap substantial rewards. This applies to fitness as well as to our other endeavors. According to a study published in The Lancet (doi:10.1016/S0140-673660749–6), even minimally active people exhibit more positive health outcomes than do completely inactive ones. The study included 416,175 men and women in Taiwan who participated in a medical screening between 1996 and 2008. The individuals completed a questionnaire and were placed into categories based on self-reported physical activity levels.
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?
Here’s another bit of news to help encourage overweight men to drop the extra pounds. A link has been found between excess weight in 18-year-old males and increased risk of cancer-related death later in life. The Harvard Alumni Health Study cohort involved 19,593 males who had had physical examinations when they were 18. The men then submitted follow-up questionnaires at age 45, with a final vital status follow-up at a maximum of 82 years. After analyzing the data, researchers learned that 2,395 of the men had died of some form of cancer.
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.
A telephone-based weight management program, as part of a worksite wellness program, helped overweight and obese individuals to become more active, eat better, lose weight and improve their overall health, according to research published in the American Journal of Health Promotion (2011; 25 , 186–89). Other studies have shown that telephone coaching is successful in producing initial weight loss, but few researchers have tracked subjects for more than 6 months after a program has ended.
There’s really nothing new about the long-standing weight loss tip to drink more water—except that now it’s backed up by pretty compelling research. New, unpublished clinical evidence shows that drinking water prior to eating can be an effective weight loss tool. Findings of the study, led by Brenda Davy, PhD, RD, associate professor in the department of human nutrition, foods and exercise at Virginia Tech, were presented at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemistry Society in late August.
Little is known about the effectiveness of behavioral strategies to prevent long-term weight gain in female adolescents and young adults. That’s why researchers set out to assess the connection between diet and physical activity in weight-control strategies (alone and together)
and in subsequent weight gain.
A recent study published by The Journal of the American Medical Association (2010; 303 , 1173–79) announced that women should average 60 minutes of moderate-intensity activity daily in order to avoid long-term weight gain. Researchers from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston investigated activity levels and weight change among 37,079 women for 13 years. The subjects were said to have consumed a “usual diet” during the intervention period; no details were provided about diet.
Imagine this: you’re staring at your favorite forbidden food—the one thing that threatens to topple your diet. You pick it up, studying its color, shape and texture. You lift it to your nose and welcome its tempting aroma. Finally, you take a bite and savor its taste. newsletter_teaser: Imagine this: you’re staring at your favorite forbidden food—the one thing that threatens to topple your diet. You pick it up, studying its color, shape and texture. You lift it to your nose and welcome its tempting aroma. Finally, you take a bite and savor its taste.