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Why to Lose Weight?

 

What a Waist ! – The Hindu


Even if you don't need to watch your weight, you still need to watch your waist.


That's the conclusion of a new study from the American Cancer Society, which tracked the health of more than 1,00,000 people over nine years.


Having a large waist doubled the risk of dying from any cause during the study period compared to those with smaller waists, according to the report. Having a larger waist was associated with a higher risk of death whether the person was of normal weight, overweight or obese.
The researchers reported a particularly striking finding for women. They noted that the association between waist size and mortality risk was strongest among women who were at a normal weight.


“The take-home is that it's important to watch your waist as well as your weight,” said Eric J. Jacobs, an epidemiologist with the American Cancer Society in Atlanta. “Even if your weight is normal for your height, if your waist size is increasing, if you're moving to a bigger pant size, that's a warning sign that it's time to start eating better and exercising more.”


A thick waist has long been considered a risk factor for heart disease, but the new study found it also increases risk of dying from cancer, respiratory failure and other causes.


Having a large waist is associated with large amounts of visceral fat around the abdominal organs, which can cause inflammation, high cholesterol, insulin resistance and other problems linked with poor health. In the study, Jacobs and colleagues tracked 48,500 men and 56,343 women over 50 from 1997 to 2006. A total of 9,315 men and 5,332 women died during the study period.


A waist size of 47 inches or larger for men and 42 inches or larger for women doubled the risk of dying during the study period, compared to those with smaller waists (35.4 inches for men and 29.5 inches for women).


Among normal-weight women, the risk of dying increased about 25 per cent for each additional four inches of waist size.


For the study, waist size was measured by taking a tape measure and running it around the waist just above the navel. Jacobs notes that while it can be difficult to reduce waist size, small changes can have a meaningful effect on health.


“There is clear evidence that eating better and exercising more will reduce waist size, and burn off belly fat,” he said. “Even a modest reduction in waist size, an inch or two, could be quite helpful.”


http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/metroplus/article672852.ece#.UAEID_SarSQ.email


Obesity kills more people than AIDS

 

Obesity kills more people than AIDS and is emerging as a serious threat, said health experts here Friday.
Dr. Shashank Joshi, president of the governing council of the All India Association of Advanced Research in Obesity (AIAARO), said obesity was not a new problem in India.


Speaking on Obesity in 2011, on the first day of the two-day national conference, the expert said that obesity was described in the ancient Indian texts such as the ‘CharakSamhita’. The health condition was emerging as a serious threat with 24 million people in India being obese.


“The Indian population is at a special risk because of the tendency to develop central obesity. The ‘thin fat Asian Indian phenotype’ is now well established,” said Dr. Joshi adding that Indians had a higher proportion of fat in their body composition and more so in the abdominal area.
“Obesity kills more people than AIDS and often underlines problems such as diabetes and heart diseases. It is also associated with accelerated ageing,” he added.


Listing sedentary lifestyle, watching of too much TV, use of internet and other gadgets of comfort as contributing factors in the rise of obesity among Indian children, Dr. Joshi underlined the need for taking proper nutrition, brisk walks, proper yogic practices and de-stressing as ways in managing obesity.


Focusing on obesity as “the emerging Indian epidemic”, the inaugural session was opened by ParimalTrivedi, Vice Chancellor of Gujarat University, and Mrunalini Devi Puar, of the Maharaja Sayajirao University.


Speaking on the occasion, ParimalTrivedi said that case studies in obesity needed to focus on age, food habits, lifestyle and human behaviour too. MrunaliniPuar emphasized on the need to interlink nutrition and obesity and said that nutrition along with yogic practices should be made the mainstay in controlling obesity.

 

http://www.thehindu.com/health/policy-and-issues/article1553191.ece#.UAEG5gicLZo.email


Healthy eating prevents obesity in teens – The Times of India

 

It is said that maintaining healthy eating habits is the key to preventing obesity.

 

But now, a new study headed by the Institute of Food Science and Technology and Nutrition (ICTAN) of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) goes one step further.

 

The study showed that certain healthy habits, like eating more than four scheduled meals a day or not eating too fast, are associated with lower body fat levels independently of exercise habits during free time.

 

Data on fat levels were obtained by taking the sum of six skin folds and the waist circumference of 1,978 adolescents (1,017 girls) between the ages of 13 and 18 years from five Spanish cities (Granada, Madrid, Murcia, Santander and Zaragoza). The role that physical activity during free time plays on fat levels was also assessed.

 

"To clarify the effects of dietary habits on obesity it is vital to study them along with other lifestyle habits such as physical activity," Sonia Gomez Martinez, lead author of the study and researcher at the ICTAN's department of Metabolism and Nutrition, explained to SINC.

 

The young men were taller, weighed more, had a larger waist circumference, and ate faster during meals. However, according to the study their accumulated fat rate was lower.

 

Furthermore, the researchers observed that eating breakfast on a daily basis is especially beneficial in the case of young men who do not do any exercise since those who skipped this meal showed higher body fat values.

 

Gomez Martinez stated that "the results obtained have shown that one in every four girls and one in every three boys in Spain are overweight or obese." However, only 18.5 per cent of the boys did not do some form of sport as opposed to 48.5 per cent of the girls.

 

Sexual maturity and the increase in size and weight determine the nutritional needs of adolescents, who grow by approximately 20 per cent of their adult height and 50 per cent of their muscle and bone mass during puberty.

 

Such processes require a high amount of energy and nutrients and so the diet should be designed to meet such requirements. During adolescence, the three most important minerals are calcium, iron and zinc.

 

Whereas calcium is essential for bone growth, iron is involved in haematologic tissue (red blood cells) and muscle tissue growth, and zinc plays a part in bone and muscle growth. It is also linked to hair and nail growth.

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health/Healthy-eating-prevents-obesity-in-teens/articleshow/14335077.cms?intenttarget=no#.UAEGDy9b8GA.email


Low-carb diet may help overweight girls beat obesity risk – The Indian Express


Diet low in carbohydrates may help prepubescent girls beat risks associated with obesity including diabetes and heart diseases, a new study has suggested.


According to research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, a reduction in dietary carbohydrates improved various metabolic indicators in overweight African-American girls even in the absence of weight-loss.


The research team placed 26 obese African-American girls ages 9-14 on one of two diets.


One diet drew 43 per cent of its calories from carbohydrates, and the other drew 57 per cent of calories from carbohydrates.


After five weeks, the lower-carb group showed a reduction in lipids, such as triglycerides and cholesterol, along with better glucose control and insulin response and an improvement in reproductive hormones.


“Our goal was to understand better the effects of a low- or high-carbohydrate diet on girls before puberty, an important time in a young girl’s physical development,” said Krista Casazza, Ph.D., R.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences in the UAB School of Health Professions and first author on the study.


“There is evidence that the prepubescent years are vitally important for young girls in terms of body composition and the development of good bone density.”


Casazza said that a diet high in carbohydrates sets off a metabolic cascade of events, such as an increase in blood serum glucose and insulin and an increase of lipids.


These events are associated with an elevated risk of obesity, with all of its implications of increased risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.


“Understanding the role carbohydrates play in children’s development is important.”


“If we can decrease exposure to the risk factors for disease at an early age, perhaps we can reduce the cumulative risk associated with these diseases over time,” Casazza added.


The study has been recently published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.

 

Low carb diets are a popular method of dieting. High in meat and vegetables and low in starches and grains, low carb diets restrict the amount of glucose entering the bloodstream and lowers insulin levels, thereby forcing the body to use fat as a primary source of energy. But low carb diets have not been completely accepted by the scientific community so there may be potential risks with following a low carb diet.

 

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/lowcarb-diet-may-help-overweight-girls-beat-obesity-risk/883899/0


Obese kids at increased cancer risk – The Times of India

 

Overweight and obese kids are at an increased risk of developing cancer in later life, according to experts.

 

Professor Ian Olver, Chief Executive of Cancer Council Australia, points out that overweight and obese kids often become the next generation of overweight and obese adults who, in turn, have a "significantly increased" risk of developing cancer.

 

"Put these together and we're facing a potential spike in obesity-related cancers, including breast and bowel cancer, over the next few decades," The Age quoted Prof Olver as saying.

 

He urged to adopt comprehensive steps to deal with the increasing rates of obesity.

 

Olver highlighted the urgency for the Australian Government to adopt its own Preventative Health Taskforce's recommendations for tackling obesity.

 

"The test will be the government's willingness to implement the taskforce's recommendations, which will require tough decisions around food marketing, production and labelling, and building communities that support physical activity," Prof Olver added.

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health/Obese-kids-at-increased-cancer-risk/articleshow/4066382.cms?intenttarget=no#.UAEA_iLEjcg.email


Low-cal, low fat diet better for your mood – The Times of India

 

A low-calorie, low-fat diet does more good to a dieters' mood than a low-carbohydrate plan with the same number of calories, says a new study.

 

Obese individuals who lose weight tend to have an improved psychological state, including a better mood, according to the study report.

 

Grant D. Brinkworth of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and colleagues conducted a randomised clinical trial involving 106 overweight and obese participants who aged 50.

 

Of these, 55 had been randomly assigned to follow a very low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet and 51 to a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet for one year.

 

Changes in body weight, mood and well-being, and cognitive functioning (thinking, learning and memory skills) were assessed periodically during and following the one-year intervention.

 

After one year, the overall average weight loss was 13.7 kg, with no difference between the two groups. Both groups initially (after the first eight weeks) experienced an improvement in mood.

 

However, most measurements of mood revealed a lasting improvement in only those following the low-fat diet, while those on the high-fat diet returned to their initial levels (mood turned towards more negative baseline levels).

 

"The obesity epidemic has led to widespread interest in alternative dietary patterns for weight management," the authors write.

 

"While recent clinical studies have shown that low-carbohydrate diets can be an effective alternative dietary approach for weight loss, their long-term effects on psychological function, including mood and cognition, have been poorly studied.

 

"This outcome suggests that some aspects of the low-carbohydrate diet may have had detrimental effects on mood that, over the term of one year, negated any positive effects of weight loss," the authors write, according to a CSIRO release.

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/diet/Low-cal-low-fat-diet-better-for-your-mood/articleshow/5234972.cms?intenttarget=no#.UAEAR360oJA.email


Obese teens already have heart damage – The Times of India

 

Overweight adolescents without symptoms of heart disease may already be suffering from cardiac damage, according to a new research.

Obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and previous research has shown that obese adults have structural and functional changes to their hearts.

 

The current study has investigated the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and cardiac function in overweight and obese adolescents with no symptoms of heart disease.

 

97 healthy teenagers had their weight, height, waist circumference and hip circumference BMI measured and calculated.

 

Based on their BMI, patients were divided into three groups: lean (L=32 patients), overweight (Ov=33 patients) and obese (Ob=32 patients). Also, several measures of heart size were made using information from the echocardiogram.

 

The analysis of data collected revealed that Interventricularseptal and left ventricular posterior wall thickness increased as BMI increased. When the heart function were measured, it was found that left ventricular early diastolic lateral and septal velocities were reduced only in obese adolescents.

 

Besides this, systolic velocities were also only reduced in obese adolescents

It was discovered that obese adolescents with no symptoms of heart disease had damaged hearts with thicker walls.

 

The systolic and diastolic functions of their hearts were also found to be impaired.

 

Also, the relative wall thickness and left ventricular mass index increased in parallel to BMI. Moreover, both structural and functional measures correlated with BMI. This is why these findings may explicate why obesity is a risk for heart disease.

 

"Education on healthy food and exercise is needed in schools to prevent obesity and early cardiovascular disease in adolescents," said lead author Professor GaniBajraktari, professor of internal medicine and cardiology at the University of Pristina in Kosovo.

 

"This is an important step in preventing obesity and cardiovascular disease in adults," he added.

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health/Obese-teens-already-have-heart-damage/articleshow/13384590.cms?intenttarget=no#.UAED3xUHKTI.email


Low carb diets for lasting weight loss – The Times of India

 

A new study has found diets that reduce the surge in blood sugar after a meal--either low-glycemic index or very-low carbohydrate-may be preferable to a low-fat diet for those trying to achieve lasting weight loss.

 

Furthermore, the study led by Cara Ebbeling, PhD, associate director and David Ludwig, MD, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center Boston Children's Hospital, revealed that the low-glycemic index diet had similar metabolic benefits to the very low-carb diet without negative effects of stress and inflammation as seen by participants consuming the very low-carb diet.

 

Weight re-gain is often attributed to a decline in motivation or adherence to diet and exercise, but biology also plays an important role. After weight loss, the rate at which people burn calories (known as energy expenditure) decreases, reflecting slower metabolism. Lower energy expenditure adds to the difficulty of weight maintenance and helps explain why people tend to re-gain lost weight.

 

Prior research by Ebbeling and Ludwig has shown the advantages of a low glycemic load diet for weight loss and diabetes prevention, but the effects of these diets during weight loss maintenance has not been well studied. Research shows that only one in six overweight people will maintain even 10 percent of their weight loss long-term.

 

The study suggests that a low-glycemic load diet is more effective than conventional approaches at burning calories (and keeping energy expenditure) at a higher rate after weight loss.

 

"We've found that, contrary to nutritional dogma, all calories are not created equal," said Ludwig, also director of the Optimal Weight for Life Clinic at Boston Children''s Hospital.

 

"Total calories burned plummeted by 300 calories on the low fat diet compared to the low carbohydrate diet, which would equal the number of calories typically burned in an hour of moderate-intensity physical activity," he stated.

 

Each of the study's 21 adult participants (ages 18-40) first had to lose 10 to 15 percent of their body weight, and after weight stabilization, completed all three of the following diets in random order, each for four weeks at a time. The randomised crossover design allowed for rigorous observation of how each diet affected all participants, regardless of the order in which they were consumed:

 

A low-fat diet, which reduces dietary fat and emphasizes whole grain products and a variety of fruits and vegetables, comprised of 60 percent of daily calories from carbohydrates, 20 percent from fat and 20 percent from protein.

 

A low-glycemic index diet made up of minimally processed grains, vegetables, healthy fats, legumes and fruits, with 40 percent of daily calories from carbohydrates, 40 percent from fat and 20 percent from protein.

 

Low glycemic index carbohydrates digest slowly, helping to keep blood sugar and hormones stable after the meal.

 

A low-carbohydrate diet, modelled after the Atkins diet, comprised of 10 percent of daily calories from carbohydrates, 60 percent from fat and 30 per cent from protein.

 

The study used state-of-the-art methods, such as stable isotopes to measure participants'' total energy expenditure, as they followed each diet.

 

Each of the three diets fell within the normal healthy range of 10 to 35 percent of daily calories from protein. The very low-carbohydrate diet produced the greatest improvements in metabolism, but with an important caveat: This diet increased participants' cortisol levels, which can lead to insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease. The very low carbohydrate diet also raised C-reactive protein levels, which may also increase risk of cardiovascular disease.

 

Though a low-fat diet is traditionally recommended by the U.S. Government and Heart Association, it caused the greatest decrease in energy expenditure, an unhealthy lipid pattern and insulin resistance.

 

"In addition to the benefits noted in this study, we believe that low-glycemic-index diets are easier to stick to on a day-to-day basis, compared to low-carb and low-fat diets, which many people find limiting," said Ebbeling.

 

"Unlike low-fat and low-very-carbohydrate diets, a low-glycemic-index diet doesn't eliminate entire classes of food, likely making it easier to follow and more sustainable," she added.

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/diet/Low-carb-diets-for-lasting-weight-loss/articleshow/14429190.cms?intenttarget=no#.UAD_lCMzb8g.email


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