Health Points: Friday

A study done by the doctors at Temple University in Philadelphia showed that music played during a colonoscopy procedure made some patients able to relax enough to require less sedation, without sacrificing comfort.
Researchers found that gaining weight during that interval — not during the pregnancy itself — raised the risk of such complications as diabetes and high blood pressure during the second pregnancy, and even stillbirth.
Believe it or not, it’s in her book, Confessions of an Heiress Paris Hilton her blonde girl teen diet advice. A die-hard fan of McDonald’s and Taco Bell, she recommends eating chocolate, fast food, lasagna, and Coca Cola.
The Culinary Institute [of America], which buys directly from about two dozen local farms, is among the many colleges providing healthier choices for their students while throwing a lifeline to farmers getting by on thin margins.
  • Do you know what “learned helplessness” is? Neither did I. Retired Doc discusses its origin and how its affecting doctors in The United Kingdom. Could it become a problem in the United States? Maybe:
Are U.S. physicians far behind in the areas of learned helplessness and diminishing professionalism? To not speak out against the practices and structures of managed care that clearly are detrimental to patient care, and to go along to get along would be about as antithecal to medical professionalism as anything I can think of.
The mumps outbreak at Wheaton College has grown to 37 cases, with three more under investigation, DuPage County health officials said Thursday.
At a press conference yesterday, he said, "If you want to eat fries, nobody's taking away your ability to eat fries. I love McDonald's fries." It's just that restaurants should use fatty oils that just don't have trans fats! We expect McDonald's to be sending a truck of fries to City Hall shortly.
A Craftster competition to produce edible, miniature food inspired a wife-and-husband team to prepare an incredibly tiny fast food meal, complete with miniscule fries and a tiny soft drink -- they also made a miniature tray, cup, and fries-bag.

Health Points: Wednesday

And it's not as predictable as you'd think. The survey of 2,500 people found, for example, that opera fans were as likely as other music lovers to try hallucinogenic drugs, and that many hip-hop fans had somewhat conservative views on a wide range of issues.

While other studies of musical taste have focused on broad demographics, "this research, as far as I am aware, is the first time that people have looked at these really specific aspects of people's day-to-day lives," said study author Adrian North, a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Leicester.
Nearly 42 percent of the French population older than 15 years has a weight problem, an ObEpi-Roche survey showed on Tuesday. Almost a third is overweight and 12.4 percent is obese.

Despite a notion that the French shun overeating and junk food, obesity is still on the rise, according to the study, which has been conducted every three years since 1997.

The closely watched survey is sponsored by drugs group Roche, which makes weight loss products, but it also mirrors growing concern in France on obesity and reflects other surveys which have shown trends such as rising average clothes sizes.
  • Cooking oil is no friend of this blog. But if you’ve ever wanted to know how many varieties of it there are, head over to Bitter Poison. Make note of differing fat contents.
Less than 10 percent of adults in the US has ever had some type of cosmetic surgery, yet almost twice as many hope to do so at some point in the future, a survey shows.

The results suggest that trends have changed significantly since the 1960s and 1970s when cosmetic surgery was "rarely talked about," Jeff Knezovich, executive vice president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS), which sponsored the survey, told Reuters Health. Today, the topic has become a "dinner table conversation," he said.

"People are becoming more aware of cosmetic surgery and its benefits," Knezovich said, noting that an individual's change in appearance may make them feel better, which can consequently lead to their increased performance.
The article’s strongest advocate for skipping breakfast is researcher Mark Mattson, a neuroscientist at the National Institute on Aging, whose work with rodents has shown it might be healthy to skip meals or occasionally fast.

Mattson’s main point is that skipping breakfast might be OK if you eat carefully the rest of the day.

But how many people do that? Studies show if you skip breakfast, you binge like mad at lunch. Or you stalk around the office, looking for food and eventually find chocolate or cake. Studies have also shown breakfast skippers have nutrient shortfalls and a greater risk of obesity.

Dealing With Snack Cravings

You know how it is. Your day started off great. You did your morning exercise, ate a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but the sun is setting, you’re lounging around the house, and from the depths of your stomach, the snack monster stirs. And he craves cookies, cake, salty food, greasy food—the crappier the better! What do you do? How do you quell the beast?

Dr. Fuhrman acknowledges how difficult cravings can be, it’s easy to succumb, but with the right mindset and preparations you can subdue the beast. In Eat to Live Dr Fuhrman offers up some advice to help you show the monster who’s boss:
Implement strategies to prevent temptation and exposure to sedentary activities or social eating. The most important stimulus-control technique is structuring your environment. This means removing temptation from your home and stocking your cupboards and refrigerator with the proper foods. Eat only at the kitchen table, not while watching television. When you finish dinner, clean up and leave the kitchen area, then brush and floss your teeth, so you are not tempted to return and snack again. Try not to make food the center of your life. Keep active with interests that keep you from thinking about eating.
Now if Dr. Fuhrman’s advice doesn’t strike your fancy. Get a load of these from The Wichita Eagle, they seem destined for success—insert tongue in cheek. I don’t know about the lottery ticket idea, but brushing your teeth sure seems like a good move. Kathy Manweiler reports:
Just breathe: The munchies like to attack when I'm stressed out. Taking slow, deep breaths for five minutes works as a good stall tactic and helps calm me down.

This time-out gives me a chance to try to talk some sense back into my taste buds.

Give extra calories the brush-off: To reduce the risk of late-night snacking, I brush and floss my teeth and use Listerine as soon as I've hit my calorie limit for the day. It's rarely worth it to me to mess up my squeaky-clean teeth with a snack. Besides, no food on Earth tastes good with the aftertaste of Listerine.

Find a payoff: Every now and then, I buy myself a Powerball ticket when I win a battle against the munchies.

Who knows, maybe someday I'll become an instant millionaire just by passing up a plate of nachos.

My odds of hitting that jackpot are one in a gazillion, but even if I never win the lottery, I know that it still pays off to put up a fight against cravings.

Wakame What?

More magic beans for sale! If you’re a fan of the obesity-fighting Korean pine nut, then you’ll love Wakame. What the hell is Wakame? According to Reuters, brown seaweed that could promote weight-loss and have anti-diabetes effects:
At the 232nd American Chemical Society National Meeting in San Francisco today, Dr. Kazuo Miyashita from Hokkaido University reported seeing significant reductions in fat tissue in rats and obese mice fed the edible seaweed carotenoid fucoxanthin.

"The mechanism for this effect is a new one," Dr. Miyashita points out in a statement, explaining that fucoxanthin induces expression of the fat-burning protein UCP1 that accumulates in fat tissue around the internal organs. Mice fed fucoxanthin showed clear signs of UCP1 expression in fat tissue, whereas mice fed a control diet showed little expression of this protein.

NY Times: The Skinny On Exercise

Do you exercise? Got a gym membership? If you do you’re not alone, millions of Americans workout everyday in hopes of losing weight and staying fit. But exactly how effective is it? Jane E. Brody of The New York Times reports on new research compiled to help answer this question:
In the August/September issue of ACE Certified News (published by the American Council on Exercise), Ralph La Forge, managing director of the Duke Lipid and Disease Management Preceptorship Program at Duke University Medical Center, compiled a detailed analysis of the various factors that influence the effect of exercise on weight loss.

Mr. La Forge started by refuting the prevailing belief that since a pound of fat (when burned) gives off 3,500 calories and since running or walking a mile burns 100 calories, a person should lose a pound for every 35 miles. In other words, if a previously inactive person starts running or walking five miles a day, that person should lose a pound a week, all other things being equal.
La Forge doesn’t appreciate this brushstroke explanation:
This estimate fails to subtract the number of calories that person’s body would have used had it just sat still for those hours. Rather, for a 154-pound person, the net caloric cost would be 54 calories per mile when walking up to 3.5 miles per hour, 97 calories speed-walking at 3.5 to 5 m.p.h., and 107 calories jogging or running.

In other words, running uses nearly twice the calories used when walking at a moderate pace over the same distance. Your starting weight is also a factor: if you weigh less than 154 pounds, the caloric burn is proportionately less; if you weigh more than 154, it is higher.

Furthermore, if you walk or run on a treadmill, the aid of the machine diminishes the number of calories your body uses by about 10 to 15 percent of what the machine says you are burning. But, Mr. La Forge noted, there is a positive side: “The mechanical advantage of some machines enhances exercise comfort and reduces impact and musculoskeletal stress.”
The article is worth a read, La Forge goes to explain other factors associated with how people lose weight through exercises, like bodyweight and gender. In Eat to Live Dr. Fuhrman explains exercise’s role in weight-loss and superior health:
Exercise is important, but if your ability to be active and exercise is limited, do not despair. My more aggressive menu plan will still enable you to lose weight. Obviously, those unable to exercise require a stricter diet. Some people have health conditions that preclude them from exercising much. However, you should till try to devise an exercise prescription to fit your capabilities. Almost everyone can do something; even those who cannot walk can do arm exercises with light weights and use an arm cycle.

Exercise will facilitate your weight loss and make you healthier. Vigorous exercise has a powerful effect on promoting longevity. If you have the will to adopt this plan and take good care of yourself, you will find the will exercise. “No time to exercise” is not an excuse. If you have time to brush your teeth, take a shower, or go to the bathroom, you can make some time to exercise. Take frequent five-minute exercise breaks—walk stairs or stand up then sit down slowly in your chair twenty times. Lots of people with no time to exercise or join a health club can usually go up and down stairs in their home or place of work. Try doing as many flights as you can two or three times a day. Walking twenty or more flights a day is an effective way to achieve your goal. Most of my patients have a health in their house—that is, a stairway leading to the upstairs floor, and most have one going down to the basement as well. I ask them to walk up and down the two flights ten times in the morning before they shower and ten times at night. It takes only five minutes, but it really works.

I also encourage patients to join a real health club and use a variety of equipment to utilize many body parts for maximum results. The more muscle groups that are exercised, the more metabolically active players you have on your team to help you meet your goals. It is definitely helpful to have access to an assortment of exercise equipment, such as ellipse machines, treadmills, steppers, recumbent bicycles, and numerous resistance machines. When you tire of one machine, you can move on to a new one.