Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Gwyneth Paltrow Suffering from Osteoporosis Precursor

Source: News.com.au (Summary by NIM)

Extreme dieters take note: here's an example of what happens when you neglect certain important aspects of your diet (like vitamin D and calcium) in the name of 'beauty'. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who has followed a 'macrobiotic diet' for over 11 years has recently been told that, in a nutshell, she has the bones of an 80-year old.

Despite being only 37 years old, Gwyneth's blood vitamin D levels were so low that her bones started deteriorating, leaving her with a condition called osteopenia, which is a precursor for osteoporosis. According to Paltrow, "I suffered a pretty severe Tibial plateau fracture a few years ago (requiring surgery) which led the orthopaedic surgeon to give me a bone scan, at which point it was discovered I had the beginning stages of osteopenia,".

Gwyn is a huge fan of crash diets and cleanses, which she does regularly to maintain her weight, and she does not likely consume enough calories throughout the day in general in an effort to stay rail-thin! It has also been reported that Gwyn often exercises up to 3 times a day! Macrobiotic diets include plenty of fruit, veggies, whole grains and fish - which are all great things - but the star was not likely getting enough protein, nor was she getting enough calcium or vitamin D, which was made apparent by her blood work.

Find out more about Gwyneth's state by reading the article called "Fad diet leaves Gwyneth Paltrow with brittle bones" from News.com.au (June 27, 2010).

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Snacking Helps Teens Stay Slim

Source: Reuters Health (Summary by NIM)

Are you afraid to have snacks throughout the day for fear of overeating or gaining weight? Well, as long as you don't snack all day long or forego regular meals for snacks, snacking can help you manage your weight, according to a new study.

In the study, it was found that teens who snacked throughout the day were less likely to be obese or overweight when compared with their 3-meal-a-day counterparts. In fact, teens who snacked 4 times a day were actually 60% less likely to be carrying around excess weight! The results were not conclusive, but the researchers suggest that as long as kids are choosing healthy snacks, there's nothing wrong with snacking.

Eating 5 or 6 times a day, according to most experts, is better than having 3 larger meals a day since those larger meals take longer to digest and leave you with more fluctuation in your blood sugar levels. In other words, snacking is actually a great idea if you want to keep your blood sugar levels more stable and your metabolism supercharged all day long!

Find out more about this study by reading the article called "Teens who snack may weigh less" from Reuters Health (June 25, 2010).

Monday, June 28, 2010

More Evidence Added Sugar Makes us Sick, Fat

Source: Health Day (Summary by NIM)

We all know junk food is bad for us - after all, that's where it gets it's name from! Recent studies have pointed to the fact that added sugars in pop and junk food can increase our risk of cancer, diabetes and obesity, but a new study suggests that there's even more to the story.

Fructose, the main sugar that gets added to manufactured food and beverages, has now been found to increase the size and number of our fat cells, according to a new study. The study focused on childhood obesity by using fat cells from children, and found that exposure to large amounts of fructose caused the fat cells to multiply at a much faster rate. The researchers believe that this is a main cause of childhood obesity, leading to further health complications in adulthood.

Although the findings are intriguing, they are only based on one study, and a study of cells (not even on humans) at that! Caution needs to be exercised when interpreting such findings, and as a result, more research needs to be done before any conclusive evidence can be drawn.

Find out more about this study and what it might mean by reading the article called
"'Junk Food' Sugar May Help Some Fat Cells Proliferate" from Health Day (June 20, 2010).

Friday, June 25, 2010

She-Wolf Shakira is Crazy for Chocolate

Source: NDTVmovies (Summary by NIM)

Sexy Singer Shakira has a body that any woman would envy. She's got curves and she knows how to work them! But having a body that rock-hard takes work and oftentimes a strict diet, which has recently left the singing sensation "dreaming of chocolate and cake" and always waking up with tears in her eyes!

According to the 33-year old Colombian-born beauty, "I love chocolate. I'm addicted to it." She said she realized this fact after filming her video for "She Wolf", where she leaves nothing to the imagination in skin-tight clothes. For the video, Shakira worked super-hard to look picture perfect, adding "I danced, worked out and had to stick to a strict diet - only fish, spinach and a specially-prepared dessert with tofu."

After shooting the video, Shakira says she went to a restaurant and ate 5 pieces of chocolate cake at once! You see, folks - in order to look as perfect as they do in videos and photo shoots, celebs pretty much put themselves through hell! Not realistic or sustainable at all! But entertaining, nonetheless...

Check out more about Shakira by reading the article called "Shakira addicted to chocolates
" from NDTVmovies (June 21, 2010).

Thursday, June 24, 2010

High-Antioxidant Diet May Improve Insulin Control

Source: The Globe and Mail (Summary by NIM)

Antioxidants are just about the hottest ticket in the health food industry these days. Consumers just can't seem to get enough of them, thanks to their cancer-fighting capabilities (and also the fact that they appear in some of the tastiest foods!). But now there's even more reason to enjoy a high-antioxidant diet - especially for people battling obesity, diabetes or metabolic syndrome.

A new study has uncovered another mechanism by which antioxidants are able to improve our health - by improving hormonal action, especially that of insulin, which helps control blood sugar levels. Obese individuals, by virtue of consuming a high-calorie diet which includes many pro-oxidants, could benefit from including a higher number of antioxidant-containing foods in their diets. The process of oxidation damages cells and tissues which leads to cancer and heart disease and also contributes to aging.

Antioxidants, including vitamins E and C, selenium and carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, are found in many brightly coloured fruits and veggies, as well as whole grains, nuts and seeds. Some good sources include blueberries, lemons, broccoli, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and sunflower seeds.

Find out more about antioxidants by reading the article called "
Antioxidants in diet help obese adults" from the Globe and Mail (June 22, 2010).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Jersey Shore's Snooki Pushes 'Cookie Diet'

Source: eCanadaNow (Summary by NIM)

As MTV's breakout hit 'Jersey Shore' may have already hit it's peak of popularity, one of it's 'stars', Snooki, is looking for another way to extend her 15 minutes of fame. No, she's not out promoting night clubs or tanning salons (at least not to my knowledge) - she's the new spokesperson for the 'Cookie Diet'.

On the show, Snooki, along with her cast mates indulge in copious amounts of not only tanning and bronzer, but alcohol and junk food, too. Now, it seems those calories have finally caught up with the barely 5-foot tall (with shoes on) star - it has been reported that she's put on up to 20 pounds! That's even a lot for a person of average height, but for Snooki, that's a monstrous amount of weight!

In order to battle her bulge, Snooki will follow the Cookie Diet on this season of Jersey Shore in order to shrink back to her previous weight of 90 pounds. This also means she has to cut out (or seriously limit) her alcohol intake, which is unlikely, being that alcohol seems to fuel the premise of the show. Nonetheless, Snooki now has some extra cash in the bank regardless of whether the diet works or not!

Find out more about Snooki's diet endeavours by reading the article called "Snooki & Cookie Diet Doc Strike a Bargain" from eCanadaNow (June 20, 2010).

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cartoon Characters Charm Kids into Eating Junk Food

Source: CNN.com (Summary by NIM)

They don't just have amazing powers and charm in the movies or on TV! Nope, kids' favourite cartoon characters like Dora the Explorer, Spongebob Squarepants and Shrek are also able to work their magic on kids in real life and it's not all fun and games. According to new research, kids' beloved cartoon characters are actually really good junk food salespeople.

The study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics found that foods slapped with images of cartoon characters made children 50% more likely to choose them. Whats more? They said those food items tasted better than the exact same foods presented in plain packaging!

The researchers used both healthy items such as carrots and some unhealthy food items such as gummies and graham crackers in their study. This study, as well as previous studies, found that using the likeness of 'licenced characters' on food products, regardless of what they are, made kids more likely to choose them and like them. This is great news when it comes to healthy items like carrots, but not so great in other cases. Scientists warn that since these cartoon characters often appear on the packages of chips and candies, kids associate these foods with 'good feelings' and positive memories.

Find out more about Dora's 'other' job by reading the article called "Study: Cartoon characters attract kids to junk food" from CNN health (June 21, 2010).

Monday, June 21, 2010

Choose Brown Rice to Bust Diabetes Risk: Study

Source: CNN Health (Summary by NIM)

Still stuck on white rice? Here's a piece of news that might just finally persuade you to switch to the healthier, brown variety.

According to a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston, Massachusetts, switching from white to brown rice at least twice a week can help cut your risk of diabetes by nearly 20%. What's more, if you include more whole grains other than just brown rice in your diet, you can double those odds, and reduce your risk of diabetes by close to 40%!

As mentioned in our previous posts, whole grains have so much more to offer than their white counterparts. White grains are produced by removing the outer husk of the grain, which contains the fibre and B vitamins that are so essential to our health. Furthermore, a lot of processed grains also have their 'germ', or the inner fatty acid- and fat-soluble vitamin-containing portion of the grain, removed.

By consuming whole grains, you not only up the fibre, vitamin and mineral content of the foods you're consuming, but you're also decreasing your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and a slew of cancers. It's time to make the switch!

Find out more about this study by reading the article called "Brown rice instead of white may lower diabetes risk" from CNN health (June 14, 2010).

Friday, June 18, 2010

Give Dad the Gift of Health on Father's Day

Source: Newswise.com (Summary by NIM)

Running out of time and gift ideas for Dad this year? Skip the ties, cuff links or DVD's - he's got enough of those. This year, be a little more creative and give Dad something that many men tend to be negligent of, especially as they get a bit older - give him the gift of health.

As you may or may not know, according to statistics, women tend to be far more conscious of their health and tend to outlive men perhaps as a result. This Father's Day, urge your Dad to take good care of himself - he may need some help - so that he's around for many more Father's Day's to come! In addition to preparing a healthy dinner and taking a relaxing stroll around the block, be sure to encourage your dad to make an appointment to see his doctor ASAP. He'll thank you later.

While some companies are offering Father's Day deals on Body fat monitors to help improve Dad's physique, others, like Wendy's are allowing Dad to indulge in a bit of a treat while engaging in a little philanthropy to help his soul. But if you're looking to spoil dad with all the foods he loves, while improving his health at the same time, why not treat him to NIM's Father's Day special, so he continues to eat like a King all week long!

Find out more about why you should send Dad to the Doc this Father's Day by reading the article called "This Father's Day, Make Sure Dad is Watching His Health" from Newswise.com (June 14, 2010).

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Diet Drug Sells Out inThree Days

Source: The Daily Mail (Summary by NIM)

As long as there are people struggling to shed a few pounds, someone else will come up with a supposedly 'magical' pill that promises to cure their diet woes and solve their weight problems. Well, it appears that there are lots of desperate people searching for a miracle cure in the UK since a new diet drug has sold out completely in a mere three days.

The drug, called Capsiplex, contains a compound called Methylcellulose, which has been clinically proven to help combat weight problems. Methylcellulose was previously only available in the UK by prescription, but is now available on drug store shelves in Capsiplex.

Capsiplex supposedly increases the user's metabolism to burn calories 12 times faster than normal. As a result of pre-release hype, Capsiplex sold out across the UK in just 3 days; over 50,000 units flew off the shelves of shops like Harrods, Selfridges and Lloyds Pharmacy in a matter of hours.

The drug sounds as if it may have some good qualities to it, however no pill can substitute the positive effects of a healthy, balanced lifestyle that includes exercise and all the nutrients one needs to sustain life!

Find out more by reading the article called "Diet pill containing NHS anti-obesity drug is sold out in just THREE days" from the Daily Mail (June 14, 2010).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

More Canadians in a Time Crunch, Stressed Out, Report Finds

Source: CTV News (Summary by NIM)

Do you ever feel like you just don't have the time to do everything you have to do or want to do? Sure, we all want to eat well and exercise, plus cross off everything else on our to-do lists, but sometimes it seems as though there just aren't enough hours in the day. Well, if this sounds like your daily life, you're not alone.

According to a new Canadian Index of Wellbeing report, Canadians are getting increasingly stressed out in an effort to balance their personal, family and work obligations. The report highlights the fact that most of us are so busy with our work schedules, that we simply don't have the time to take care of all the other things we want or need to do. For example, the report points out that we have less and less time available for social activities, attending arts performances or volunteering.

The chair of the CIW advisory board, Roy Romanow, said "Not being able to relate to family to friends, to have time to regenerate yourself intellectually, emotionally, physically -- those are the impacts of working all the time. I think we get desensitized, we're remote from each other,".

The sad thing I've come to realize is that even if we do set aside some time for these activities, (in other words: having a balanced life), oftentimes there's a stigma associated, suggesting we have 'too much free time'. When will it become OK to take the time to meditate, help others out and relate to our families and peers without being looked down upon? At least these days there is research to back up the negative effects of stress and overworking oneself, and even more research pointing to the health benefits of relaxation, de-stressing and partaking in activities such as exercise. So do yourself a favour, schedule some time to relax, just as you would an important meeting, and just switch off - for your own health!

Find out more about this report by reading the article called "More Canadians crunched for time: well-being report" from CTV News (June 15, 2010).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Frozen Appetite Control? Introducing: The Ice Cube Diet

Source: Click On Detroit (Summary by NIM)

Every once in a while a new so-called ‘diet’ comes out that quickly garners popularity, but seriously leaves me scratching my head. A few memorable ones for me are the “cookie diet”, the “grapefruit diet” and now there's the “ice cube diet”? Yes, someone really did come up with this.

No, the diet doesn’t consist of just eating plain old ice cubes – these ones are spiked! With Hoodia, that is. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Hoodia is a natural, herbal remedy for appetite suppression. So the theory goes that you suck on these ice cubes and don’t get hungry. As a result, you don’t eat and you lose weight. Clever. Except you’re starving yourself!

According to one expert, there are a number of concerns with consuming Hoodia, in that it’s not regulated by the FDA (or Health Canada, for that matter). Some drug companies have tried to use Hoodia in their products but inexplicably pulled them off the shelves, raising some questions and concerns.

Remember, if it sounds too good to be true (or flat-out crazy), it probably is.

For a list of some other crazy diets that have made appearances throughout history, click here. http://www.neatorama.com/2009/03/30/10-craziest-diets-in-history/

To find out more about the Ice cube diet, check out the article called “New Diet Claims Ice Cubes Aid Weight Loss” from Click On Detroit (June 15, 2010).

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Mediteranean Diet: More than Just Prevention

Source: Reuters Health (Summary by NIM)

It is often reported that following a dietary pattern that includes lots of fish, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and olive oil, with little red meat – also known as the Mediterranean Diet – is great for preventing all sorts of diseases and ills. Now, new research has found that this pattern of eating does more than just prevent sickness, it helps maintain health as well.

In a new study from Greece, the dietary patterns of individuals who had suffered heart attacks were investigated and it turned out that people who stuck closely to the Mediterranean diet were less likely to suffer a second heart attack compared to those who ate different foods. In fact, within a month of leaving the hospital, individuals who followed the diet the most closely were 31% less likely to suffer another heart attack or experience chest pain versus their non-adhering counterparts.

According to the researchers, everyone can benefit from a Mediterranean-style diet, especially those who have suffered from heart disease. With such amazing health benefits, it’s time to ditch those hamburgers and start eating like the Greeks!

Find out more by reading the article called “Mediterranean diet helps existing heart disease, too” from Reuters Health (June 3, 2010).

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Chocolate Might Lower Cholesterol Levels

Source: Reuters Health (Summary by NIM)

Ah, chocolate. So hard to resist yet so easy to go overboard! But if you’re looking for health benefits including lowering your cholesterol levels, chocolate might just be the medicine you’ve been looking for, according to a new study.

Chocolate, in moderation, has already been shown to help reduce the risk of stroke, lower blood pressure and help prevent heart disease. Now, based on an analysis of 8 other studies, Chinese researchers have found that people with existing risk factors for heart disease can benefit from enjoying chocolate daily. In the study, the researchers found that cocoa is able to cut LDL levels (“bad cholesterol”), when consumed in small amounts, thanks to the antioxidants it contains.

Now, before you consider this an excuse to dig in to that chocolate bar, it should be noted that we’re only talking about a very small amount here- just over an ounce each day. Not to mention, it should ideally be the dark kind! According to the researchers, future studies need to be done to pinpoint the finer details of why and how much chocolate is good for us, adding “Then we can really eat chocolate without feeling guilty."! Nonetheless, what better medicine is there than chocolate?

Find out more by reading the article called “A little chocolate might help cut cholesterol” from Reuters Health (June 1, 2010).

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Burgers May Lead to Asthma in Kids

Source: Reuters Health (Summary by NIM)

It’s no surprise that eating burgers too often is not good for the health of children (or anyone!), but now there’s even more reason to cut back on those happy meals. According to a new study, kids who eat burgers 3 times or more per week are at a higher risk of developing asthma! Good news though, a healthy diet can help remedy the negative effects of this unsound diet.

According to the researchers, burgers themselves are not necessarily the culprits, but consuming them too often is representative of a host of other lifestyle factors that contribute to poor health. The study leader, Nagel of the Institute of Epidemiology at Ulm University, Germany, said "This is a sign that the link is not strongly related to the food itself, but that burgers are a proxy for other lifestyle and environmental factors like obesity and lack of exercise,".

The researchers also found that children who swapped burgers for fish, fruits and veggies were less likely to suffer the negative effects of an unhealthy lifestyle, noting that "Overall, more frequent consumption of fruit, vegetables and fish was associated with a lower lifetime prevalence of asthma, whereas high burger consumption was associated with higher lifetime asthma prevalence,".

So do your kids (and yourself!) a favour by serving up all kinds of different fish, nuts, seeds, fruits and veggies for a healthy mind and body, and a lower risk of disease and illness.

For more details, check out the article called “Burger diet linked to higher childhood asthma risk” from Reuters Health (June 2, 2010).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

For Regular Coffee Drinkers, Caffeine May Not Boost Alertness

Source: Health Day (Summary by NIM)

For many of us, coffee makes a regular appearance on our morning menus, as well as during times of fatigue or whenever we need a little boost throughout the day. The general thinking of most people is that coffee provides us with energy and helps us focus, but according to researchers, it may all be a sham!

Researchers from the University of Bristol in England are now saying that for regular coffee drinkers, the consumption of caffeine may simply bring them back to a normal ‘baseline’ of alertness, similar to people who don’t dink coffee at all. Furthermore, abstaining from drinking coffee can lead to symptoms of withdrawal – namely headache and irritability.

The study, published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, suggests that when regular coffee drinkers miss out on their coffee fix, they tend to develop symptoms of a “coffee hangover”. Not to worry, though – this is quickly and easily remedied by drinking a cup of Joe, which can bring coffee drinkers back to “baseline”.

Now, if you’re thinking you should quit drinking coffee since you might be ‘addicted’, consider the fact that coffee has many other great health benefits. Since it contains antioxidants, it may help prevent all kinds of diseases, plus the caffeine it contains can rev up your metabolism and help you lose weight!

See if it’s worth your while to drink coffee by reading the article called “Coffee's Jolt Just an Illusion?” from Health Day (June 2, 2010).

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Study Checks Out ‘TV Ad Diet’ for Soundness

Source: New York Times (Summary by NIM)

Ever wonder what you’d look or feel like if your diet consisted of all the foods advertised during your favourite TV program? Maybe not, but some clever researchers did, and the results were not pretty!

Published in The Journal of the American Dietetic Association, the study consisted of examining TV advertisements during 28 days of prime time TV as well as Sunday morning shows, identifying 800 key foods that were in 3,000 ads. Limiting these foods to a reasonable 2000-calorie intake, the researchers concluded that the outcome would be disastrous for most people. Based on this diet, individuals would consume 25 times the recommended amount of sugar and 20 times the amount of fat they need each day, but less than half the dairy, fibre, fruits and vegetables as outlined by the food guide. This diet would also seriously exceed the daily recommendation for cholesterol and salt, but don’t come close to providing enough iron, calcium or key vitamins like A, D and E.

According to the lead author of the study, “Just one advertised food item by itself will provide, on average, three times your daily recommended servings of sugar and two and half times your daily recommended servings of fat,” he said. “That means one food item could give you three days’ worth of sugar.”. And the worst part? In being such visual creatures, most of us crave the stuff we see in those commercials while watching TV!

Find out more by reading the article called “Nutrition: Study Examines a Diet From TV Ads" from the New York Times (June 4, 2010).

Monday, June 7, 2010

Study: Fitter People Burn More Calories with Exercise

Source: Health Day (Summary by NIM)

Physical activity is one of the greatest ways to improve our health and stay healthy in the long run. There are so many reasons why regular exercise is good for us, but new research is finding that physical fitness is even more beneficial to our health, down to a molecular level.

According to a new study, people who exercise regularly have higher levels of metabolites - the breakdown products of fats, carbohydrates and proteins - circulating in their blood. Following a period of running on a treadmill for 10 minutes, fitter people had a 98% increase in the breakdown of stored fat, sugar, and amino acids, while less-fit people had only a 48% increase. These metabolites, according to researchers, are able to break down even more fat, can help
boost athletic performance, and also help prevent or treat chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

These new findings are helping solve the mystery as to exactly how and why exercise is good for our health, and can perhaps help prevent the incidence of all kinds of diseases. And if you're waiting for these specific metabolites to come out in pill form in lieu of actually partaking in physical activity, you'll be waiting an awfully long time. According to one of the researchers, "We can't just make these metabolites and gobble them down...It's not as simple as that". Sorry folks!

Find out more about this study by reading the article called "
Fit People Release More Fat-Burning Molecules During Exercise" from Health Day (May 27, 2010).

Friday, June 4, 2010

Spicing Up Grilled Meat Can Lower Cancer Risk

Source: Science Daily (Summary by NIM)

Red meat always seems to be the 'bad guy' when it comes to selecting a source of protein. Not only does it tend to have the highest amount of saturated fat and the greatest association with heart disease (and other illnesses) compared to other meats, but research also shows that when it is cooked before consumption, red meat also increases our risk of cancer. Thankfully, new research has found that certain spices applied to meats such as beef not only add flavour, but can significantly cut our cancer risk as well.

When high-protein foods, especially meats, are cooked to high temperatures through broiling, frying or barbecuing, cancer-causing compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are naturally formed. According to one of the researchers in a new study, "Cooked beef tends to develop more HCAs than other kinds of cooked meats such as pork and chicken....Cooked beef patties appear to be the cooked meat with the highest mutagenic activity and may be the most important source of HCAs in the human diet." Researchers have been looking for ways to reduce or eliminate this problem, and spices may just be the answer for now!


According to the study, certain spices have natural antioxidant properties, and in testing, they have been shown to reduce the HCA levels in cooked meats by up to 40%. The spices with the highest antioxidant properties appear to be finger root, rosemary and turmeric. Of the group, rosemary was found to be the most powerful source of antioxidants.

Find out more about this study by reading the article called "Spicing the Meat Also Cuts the Cancer Risk, Research Suggests" from Science Daily (May 18, 2010).

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Rapper 50 Cent Drops over 50 Lbs for Movie Role

Source: The National Post (Summary by NIM)

Oftentimes, when celebrities or other public figures lose a lot of weight, they tend to look healthier and better than ever. Not so in the case of rapper and actor Curtis Jackson, better known as 50 Cent.

Jackson, who is best known for his strong, muscular build, had to lose the weight in order to play the role of a cancer-stricken football player undergoing chemotherapy in the film Things Fall Apart
. In a far cry from his regular 214 pound figure, new photos show an emaciated and sick-looking version of Jackson who reportedly went on a liquid diet and walked for 3 hours per day in order to get down to 161 lbs. In essence, his muscles and other bodily tissues were wasted away as his body was starved for energy.

According to Jackson, who once lost even more weight due to recovering form a gunshot wound, "This time it was a lot tougher for me. I had to discipline myself not…to actually have myself be in the physical to convey the energy I felt. It’s a passion project for me". Well, I hope he regains his passion for eating solid foods again soon because he's looking scarier than ever!

Find out more about 50 Cent's transformation by reading the article called "Fiddy loses over 50 pounds for movie role" from the National Post (May 31, 2010).

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Obesity's Damage Shows After 40

Source: New York Times (Summary by NIM)

Individuals who are carrying a few (or a lot of) excess pounds may not end up making some necessary lifestyle changes until 'something bad' happens. Heart disease, diabetes, respiratory troubles, joint problems, you name it - obesity can cause all of these ailments. Some people, however, may be waiting a while for these issues to come about as new research has found that many symptoms of obesity do not show up until after the age of 40.
The study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, found that overweight and obese people over the age of 40 take a lot more medication than their normal weight counterparts, signifying a decline in their health. Healthy people over the age of 40 took about 2/3 the amount of medication that obese people took. This discrepancy only came about after the 40-year old mark.

Despite these findings, the authors of the study caution that the use of the body mass index (BMI) is not the greatest measure of obesity, and the findings should be taken with a grain of salt until more research is done. One way or another, folks, the bottom line is that you should not be waiting around until you are 40 to take your health into your own hands! Take control of your health and enjoy a happier life for longer.

Find out more about this study by reading the article called "Risks: Obesity Is Found to Take Toll After Age 40" from the New York Times (May 31, 2010).

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Extra Omega-3's May Not Be Helpful

Source: Reuters.com (Summary by NIM)

Omega-3 fatty acids are amazing when it comes to helping prevent diseases. They help keep our hearts, skin, nails and hair healthy and they are absolutely essential in our diets. Since we are unable to produce these healthy fats on our own, we have to include them in our diets - the best sources being fish. Now, for those of us who simply can't bear the idea of eating fish, there are, thankfully, omega-3 supplements, but these days, it seems we're taking in even more than we need. According to a new study, taking more may not necessarily be better.

Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the new study of 2,400 Norwegian adult heart patients followed for 5 years found that taking some omega-3 supplements may indeed be helpful, but taking more has not been shown to give even greater benefits. This was especially true in those adults who already eat some fish during the week.

The authors caution, however, that the average diet in Norway tends to include a lot more fish than we consume here in North America, so the results may not necessarily be applicable to everyone. In the study, only two percent of patients consumed levels of omega-3s below the recommended level! So unless we start eating a lot more fish, it's probably a good idea to keep taking those omega-3 supplements (just don't go crazy with them!)!

Find out more about this study in the article called "After a point, more omega-3s don't help the heart" from Reuters.com (May 31, 2010)