Dieting for workplace dollars

By MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer Mike Stobbe, Ap Medical Writer

ATLANTA — How much money would it take to get you to lose some serious weight? $100? $500?

Many employers are betting they can find your price. At least a third of U.S. companies offer financial incentives, or are planning to introduce them, to get their employees to lose weight or get healthier in other ways.

“There’s been an explosion of interest in this,” said Dr. Kevin Volpp, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Health Incentives.

Take OhioHealth, a hospital chain whose workforce is mostly overweight. The company last year embarked on a program that paid employees to wear pedometers and get paid for walking. The more they walk, the more they win — up to $500 a year.

Anecdotal success stories are everywhere. Half of the 9,000 employees at the chain’s five main hospitals signed up, more than $377,000 in rewards have already been paid out, and many workers tell of weight loss and a sudden need for slimmer clothes.

But does will this kind of effort really put a permanent dent in American’s seemingly intractable obesity problem? Not likely. [Read more...]

  • Share/Bookmark

Gaining muscle rather than fat

From DrMirkin.com

If you think you’re too thin and want to gain weight, don’t just sit on the couch and stuff yourself with food. Weight gain should always be in the form of muscle, not fat.

To build muscle, start a weight-bearing exercise program. Go to a gym and learn how to do the weight training circuit. Build up those arms and legs! As you exercise, your appetite will respond to meet your needs. It only takes 15 extra grams of protein a day to build a pound of muscle a week — so you really won’t need to eat a lot more.

(Remember that muscle weighs more than fat and also burns calories while fat simply stores calories. Think of a car engine versus a car trunk — Lori)

It’s never too late to start a weight training program. Underweight older people look and feel frail because they have lost most of their muscles, not because of lack of fat.

If you are inactive, you lose muscle mass to the point where you are unable to carry out daily activities — climbing stairs, getting up out of a chair — because your muscles are not strong enough to move the weight of your own body. [Read more...]

  • Share/Bookmark

Gut bacteria may cause weight gain

The following article is one more bit of information explaining how amazing our bodies are but also points to the fact that our bodies can get out of balance because of the foods we eat, antibiotics we take or those that are in our food supply and by other environmental factors. This imbalance can start a domino effect leading to a multitude of health-related issues.

I know first-hand the ill effects of having a gut imbalance but also have found the solution to restoring my good health. Imbalances in the gut called dysbiosis can be hard to recognize if you don’t know the signs or symptoms for which to look. When the digestive system is out of balance, the following symptoms may occur:

* Bloating, belching, burning, flatulence after meals
* A sense of fullness after eating
* Indigestion, diarrhea, constipation
* Systemic reactions after eating
* Nausea or diarrhea after taking supplements
* Rectal itching
* Weak or cracked finger nails
* Dilated capillaries in the cheeks and nose in the non-alcoholic
* Post-adolescent acne or other skin irritations such as rosacea
* Iron deficiency
* Chronic intestinal infections, parasites, yeast, unfriendly bacteria
* Undigested food in the stool
* Greasy stools
* Skin that’s easily bruised
* Fatigue
* Amenorrhea (absence of menstruation)
* Chronic vaginitis (vaginal irritation)

(This list borrowed from Women to Women; accessed 3/7/10)

If your experiencing any of the above signs or symptoms, you might have dysbiosis of the intestinal tract. Some simple steps can help you restore your health. For the help you need, contact me at Lori@goodhealthconsulting.com to set up an appointment to help you find solutions and get back to good health.

By ALICE PARK of Time magazine

If you’re fighting the battle of the bulge, most of your attention – and frustration – is probably aimed at your midsection. It makes sense, since that’s where the extra pounds tend to gravitate, especially with the creep of middle age, piling on to form that dreaded spare tire.

But a growing body of research suggests there’s another, less visible reason to focus on your gut if you want to lose weight. Scientists led by Andrew Gewirtz at Emory University reveal that your intestines harbor a universe of bacteria – the so-called gut microbiota – that may play an important role in whether your body will store the food you eat as extra pounds. [Read more...]

  • Share/Bookmark

Do the math, prevent the gain

Here is a simple article to help you balance your bread intake with your weight management goals. You don’t need a genius IQ to manage this topic. Just some self-discipline since good bread is SO good to the taste.

Johns Hopkins University

By Margaret Furtado, M.S., R.D. 

Those super-heavy, “all-natural” loaves of bread may look and sound like they’re healthy, but their density signals that they probably contain more calories than most other loaves. Plus, they’re typically made with simple sugars like high-fructose corn syrup, dextrose, and maltose that will add even more calories.

If you’re watching your weight and wondering, “Can I eat bread?”–don’t despair. I’m here to tell you that you really can have your bread and eat it too without automatically putting on weight. There’s a simple rule–the weight and starch connection–that will help you choose a loaf wisely.

What’s the weight and starch connection?  [Read more...]

  • Share/Bookmark

Diabetes rate to double, costs to triple

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The number of Americans with diabetes will nearly double over the next 25 years, rising from 23.7 million in 2009 to 44.1 million in 2034, according to a study by the University of Chicago.

In the same period, medical costs associated with treating the disease will triple from 113 billion dollars to 336 billion dollars, even without a rise in the incidence of obesity, according to the study published in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

“If we don’t change our diet and exercise habits or find new, more effective and less expensive ways to prevent and treat diabetes, we will find ourselves in a lot of trouble as a population,” said lead author Elbert Huang.

The study said its projections, despite being significantly higher than other recent estimates, may be too conservative because they assume the rate of diabetes and obesity, a risk factor for the disease, will remain stable. [Read more...]

  • Share/Bookmark

Living lazy = living large

Teen Obesity: Lack of Exercise May Not Be to Blame
By Alice Park of TIME magazine

You don’t have to spend much time with teenagers to know that the average adolescent would rather devote an afternoon to sitting in front of the TV, computer or video-game console than working out in a gym. And in recent years, as physical-education classes have been progressively cut from cash-strapped public-school curriculums, teens have had even more time to lounge, slouch, hang out or do anything but break a sweat.

It’s no surprise, then, that obesity rates among U.S. youngsters have skyrocketed, tripling from 1976 to 2004. Public-health experts and obesity researchers attribute the trend in part to kids’ increasingly sedentary lifestyles. As teens spend more and more time anchored before a screen — burning fewer and fewer calories each day — they’re storing more of that unused energy as fat. Hence, the ballooning rates of obesity. (See TIME’s video “Obesity and Social Networks.”) [Read more...]

  • Share/Bookmark

Key health care reform? Cut obesity

By Karen Pallarito
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Sept. 11 — A diverse alliance of payer, provider and consumer organizations, girded by two former U.S. Surgeons General, on Wednesday urged policymakers to address the nation’s obesity epidemic as part of federal health care reform legislation.

Former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher, whose 2001 report on obesity recognized the problem as an “epidemic,” emphasized the need to invest in health promotion and disease prevention, particularly for the health of the nation’s youth.

“We are in essence addicting our children to sedentary lifestyles; we’re addicting them to high-salt, high-sweet, high-fat diets,” he said, “and then we pay for it later on when they come to us with cancer, heart disease, [and] diabetes.” [Read more...]

  • Share/Bookmark

‘Supersize me!’ – a major wake-up call

Few movies have opened as many eyes about health habits as has the movie Supersize me! I’ve encouraged many people to watch this frightening account of a young man who ate nothing but fast food for 30 days and nearly died.

I continue to be shocked at the number of people who eat poor-quality fast food, seemingly oblivious to the fact that years of life expectancy are likely melting away as they consume grease-laden, salt-permeated and synthetics-laced food.

You can watch the movie in the YouTube window below. Please encourage others to watch this movie. Perhaps some will change their eating habits and enjoy longer lives as a result.
YouTube Preview Image

  • Share/Bookmark

Sour news about too much sugar

For research documentation, click here

DALLAS (Associated Press)– A spoonful of sugar? Americans are swallowing 22 teaspoons of sugar each day, and it’s time to cut way back, the American Heart Association says.

Most of that added sugar comes from soft drinks and candy — a whopping 355 calories and the equivalent of guzzling two cans of soda and eating a chocolate bar.

By comparison, most women should be getting no more than 6 teaspoons a day, or 100 calories, of added sugar — the sweeteners and syrups that are added to foods during processing, preparation or at the table. For most men, the recommended limit is 9 teaspoons, or 150 calories, the heart group says.
[Read more...]

  • Share/Bookmark

Study: weight gain shrinks brain

A new Livescience.com article reports that obese people have 8 percent less brain tissue than normal-weight individuals. Their brains look 16 years older than the brains of lean individuals, researchers said.

Those classified as overweight have 4 percent less brain tissue and their brains appear to have aged prematurely by eight years.

The results, based on brain scans of 94 people in their 70s, represent “severe brain degeneration,” said Paul Thompson, senior author of the study and a UCLA professor of neurology.

“That’s a big loss of tissue and it depletes your cognitive reserves, putting you at much greater risk of Alzheimer’s and other diseases that attack the brain,” said Thompson. “But you can greatly reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s, if you can eat healthily and keep your weight under control.” [Read more...]

  • Share/Bookmark