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Obesity

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Crunch Your Way to a Six-Pack

By Matthew Kadey, MS, RD | February 11, 2019 |

Calorie counts notwithstanding, research keeps showing that nuts can help in the battle of the bulge. One example was a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2018 in Chicago. In that experiment, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that eating a daily 1-ounce serving of any type of nut—including peanuts and nut butters—in place of calories from low-nutrition foods was associated with a lower risk of long-term weight gain and obesity in more than 125,000 adult men and women.

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An Action Plan to Combat Adolescent Obesity

By Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD | September 21, 2018 |

Weight Watchers® set off a furor early this year when it announced plans to launch a free program for teens.

As we are in the midst of a childhood obesity epidemic, critics pounced: Is a company named “Weight Watchers” that encourages weekly weigh-ins the proper vehicle for helping teens improve their health? Will the company trigger the development of an eating disorder in some teens? Is this just a ploy to lure new lifelong customers?

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Obesity Boosts Melanoma Risk

By Ryan Halvorson | September 20, 2018 |

Add this to the list of dangers associated with obesity: New research from Sweden suggests obesity is a risk factor for developing skin cancer, and weight loss—in this case via bariatric surgery—could reduce the risk of malignant melanoma skin cancer, in particular, by 61%.
The study included 2,007 bariatric surgery patients and 2,040 nonsurgery controls whose skin cancer incidence was monitored for 18 years. Aside from the significantly lower risk of developing malignant melanoma, the surgery group saw a 42% reduction in skin cancer risk in general.

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Question of the Month

By Matthew Kadey, MS, RD | September 20, 2018 |

It will soon be easier for consumers to make better food and beverage decisions when eating out or on the go. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has moved forward with a food labeling law that requires restaurants, grocery stores and convenience stores with 20 or more locations to post calorie counts for standard menu items. Proponents say calorie disclosures on everything from muffins to lattes to Happy Meals will offer more transparency and will likely encourage diners to downsize their consumption.

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Plant Foods Are Good for Our Gut Bugs

By Matthew Kadey, MS, RD | September 20, 2018 |

Our bodies host a huge population of microorganisms, dubbed the human microbiome. In recent years, the makeup of critters in our guts has been linked to a plethora of conditions, including depression, heart disease and obesity. And now bug-friendly scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have presented initial findings from the American Gut Project, a crowdsourced initiative that analyzes people’s survey responses and fecal samples to better understand how things like diet, lifestyle and disease affect the human microbiome.

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Time to Snub the Clubs?

By Matthew Kadey, MS, RD | September 19, 2018 |

The prospect of getting extra bang for their food buck has more people perusing
warehouse-style club stores like Costco and Sam’s Club. But the urge to stockpile large amounts of food in the house may lead to calorie overload.

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Exercise and the Gut Microbiome

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | August 23, 2018 |

New research suggests that endurance exercise positively affects the gut microbiome, but only for lean individuals and only for as long as exercise continues. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign conducted the study with 32 sedentary men and women—some lean, some obese. The purpose was to explore the impact of endurance exercise on the composition, functional capacity and metabolic output of gut microbiota. Investigators collected samples from the subjects before and after 6 weeks of exercise, then after 6 weeks of no exercise.

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Obesity Linked to Lack of Sleep in Childhood

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | August 23, 2018 |

Enforcing bedtime rules may be an important factor in helping kids maintain healthy weight levels. A comprehensive research review of 42 studies with 75,499 participants, conducted by University of Warwick researchers in Coventry, England, found that short sleep durations in infants, children and adolescents were a risk factor for gaining weight and developing obesity. Data analysis showed that children and teens who slept less than others of the same age gained more weight as they grew older and were more likely to become overweight or obese.

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Comprehensive Research Project on How to Create an Exercise Habit

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | August 23, 2018 |

24 Hour Fitness® is partnering with the University of Pennsylvania Behavior Change for Good Initiative [BCFG] to support research into what works best for creating lasting exercise habits. With an interdisciplinary team of world-renowned researchers, the BCFG addresses the broader question of how to make positive behavior change stick in aspects of life related to health, education and savings.

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The Connection Between Inactivity and Obesity

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | August 22, 2018 |

Can we say that inactivity and obesity are directly related? Scientists are still addressing this issue. The 2018 Physical Activity Council Participation Report shows that 82.4 million people—28% of the American population—are inactive. At the same time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than one-third (36.5%) of U.S. adults are obese (NCHS Data Brief, No. 219, November 2015).

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Exergaming May Improve Independence Among Older Adults

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | August 22, 2018 |

Maybe you’ve thought about integrating exergaming—exercise combined with video games and other elements of technology—into some of your classes or sessions. Don’t forget to include older adults. A recent study found that seniors with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a precursor to Alzheimer’s, showed significant improvement in certain complex thinking and memory skills after exergaming.

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Equal Calories Burned ≠ Same Results

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | August 22, 2018 |

Many people fixate on the number of exercise calories they burn. New research, sponsored by Les Mills International, shows that even when two group fitness activities (indoor cycling and a resistance workout) were matched for duration and caloric expenditure, they did not have equivalent metabolic effects—which could influence long-term training results. Lead study author Nigel Harris, PhD, said, “The type of exercise used to burn those calories . . . impacts the long-term positive effects that exercise has on the body.”

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To Grow Healthier, Happier Adults, Raise Fit Kids

By Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD | August 13, 2018 |

Today’s inactive kids are tomorrow’s unhealthy adults. Our society will pay the price for young people’s profound lack of exercise if we fail to turn this trend around. Few behaviors more significantly influence child health than physical activity. Yet children and adolescents are not moving enough, at the expense of their own health as well as that of their communities. More needs to be done to support families and society in raising fit kids.

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Is It Time to Eat Yet?

By Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP | June 14, 2018 |

In life, timing is everything. We’re ruled by the clocks on our collective wrists, walls and smart devices. We count minutes on treadmills and then calories afterward. We race to business meetings, doctor’s appointments, trains and dinner dates. Time-starved, we somehow manage to crowbar in a quick power walk or a brief call with a friend. Sitting down to eat becomes mission impossible in our category 5 “hurry-cane” of mindless grabbing and going, dashboard dining, stuffing our face on the job, skipping meals, guzzling gallons of sugary caffeine, and nighttime binging.

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Understanding the Human Microbiome

By Joe Weiss, MD | June 14, 2018 |

Humans are never alone. Each of us co-exists with trillions of microscopic organisms that form the human microbiome, a complex web of life that’s analogous to earthly biomes such as deserts, tundra and rainforests.
The microbiome extends from deep within our bodies—even inside individual cells—to the skin and to all surfaces exposed to the external environment. It includes bacteria, viruses, yeasts and fungi that interact with the body’s systems, helping with digestion, immune response and a vast array of less-well-known bodily functions.

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