Posts Tagged ‘News’

Can mindfulness help you shed those extra pounds?

Gastric band Surgery In France Can mindfulness help you shed those extra pounds? If you want to keep weight gain under control, you may want to consider taking up mindfulness meditation, new research suggests. Mindfulness techniques may be effective in maintaining weight loss and preventing a rebound. Can mindfulness really help with that extra weight? Recent research has concerned itself with the potential benefits of meditation and mindfulness practices, as more and more people become interested in exploring this avenue that claims to help free your mind of intrusive thoughts, make you calmer, and improve your willpower. Over the past few months, Medical News Today have covered a number of studies showing that meditation has various benefits for both mental and physical health. Mindfulness practices can enhance resilience and focus, help to reduce stress, increase energy, and protect against heart disease, to name but a few reported benefits. Now, researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, have published a systematic review of studies that have looked into how mindfulness can help people to lose excess weight and avoid a rebound. Kimberly Carrière, Prof. Bärbel Knäuper, and Bassam Khoury's analysis revealed that mindfulness training is a useful approach when it comes to improving long-term dietary practices. Carrière, a doctoral student in Prof. Knäuper's Health Psychology Lab at McGill University, says that the team's findings "highlight the potential of using mindfulness training to support weight loss." The researchers have published the results of their analysis in the journal Obesity Reviews, of the World Obesity Federation. Mindfulness 'largely effective' for diet The team analyzed 19 studies (totaling 1,160 participants between them) focused on mindfulness and its relevance to weight loss. These studies were all conducted in the past 10 years. In the research that they looked at, "mindfulness" referred to one of three approaches: formal meditation practice, casual mindfulness training targeting eating habits, and a combination of meditation and mindfulness strategies. It was found that, across the board, mindfulness was "moderately to largely effective in reducing weight loss and improving obesity-related eating behaviours." Although mindfulness interventions were not as effective in the short-term as regimes based only on dietary changes and exercise - which yielded better immediate outcomes - the researchers noted that participants who practiced some form of mindfulness beneftted from more stable long-term results. In the first instance, mindfulness practitioners lost 3.3 percent of body weight, compared to the 4.7 percent weight loss experienced by the participants who only dieted and exercised. However, at follow-up evaluations after several weeks from the interventions, participants who used mindfulness techniques continued to shed excess pounds steadily, bringing their mean weight loss to 3.5 percent.


'Alarming' rise in cancer rates driven by diabetes, obesity

Gastric band Surgery In France 'Alarming' rise in cancer rates driven by diabetes, obesity New research crunches the numbers on diabetes- and obesity-related cancers and projects a steep rise in diagnosed cases. Scientists' projections for diabetes- and obesity-related cancers worldwide are not at all encouraging. Researchers at several institutions worldwide - including Imperial College London in the United Kingdom and the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Lyon, France - have recently established that cancers related to metabolic diseases, especially diabetes and obesity, have an increasingly high incidence. According to the team's data, 5.6 percent of all cancer cases throughout the world in 2012 were linked to pre-existing diabetes and a high body mass index (BMI), which is defined as over 25 kilograms per square meter. Of this total, 3.9 percent of cases were attributable to diabetes - almost twice as many cases as were related to a high BMI. Lead study author Dr. Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard and colleagues also worked out the estimates for the probable incidence of cancers related to diabetes and other metabolic disease in the next few years, and their prognosis is not encouraging. The researchers' study findings were published yesterday in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal. Diabetes, high BMI increasingly dangerous According to reports published last year in The Lancet, around 422 million adults worldwide live with diabetes, and 2.01 billion adults are overweight or obese. These numbers are particularly concerning, since diabetes and obesity are established risk factors for many different types of cancer, such as colorectal and pancreatic cancer, as well as cancer of the liver and gallbladder, breast cancer, and endometrial cancer. The more prevalent these metabolic conditions, the more concerned specialists become that the risk of cancers related to them may also increase. "As the prevalence of these cancer risk factors increases, clinical and public health efforts should focus on identifying preventive and screening measures for populations and for individual patients." Dr. Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard "It is important that effective food policies are implemented to tackle the rising prevalence of diabetes, high BMI, and the diseases related to these risk factors," he adds. The new study took into account the increase in the incidence of 18 types of cancer related to diabetes and high BMI in 175 countries between 1980 and 2002. Using data provided by GLOBOCAN, the researchers studied the incidence of 12 types of cancer across 175 countries in 2012, taking into account patient age and sex. Dr. Pearson-Stuttard and colleagues noticed that the majority of cancer cases that were related to diabetes and a high BMI - that is, 38.2 percent of cases - could be pinpointed to high-income Western countries. The second highest occurrence was noted in east and southeast Asian countries,


How can our health benefit from colder temperatures?

Gastric band Surgery In France How can our health benefit from colder temperatures? Winter's here now, temperatures are dropping, and chances are that it'll get even colder. All that most of us want to do is cozy up indoors with a mug of hot tea and a heartwarming movie, but do cold temperatures bring us any health benefits? If so, what are they? We investigate. Can the cold temperatures of winter do us any good? I don't know about you, but I'm definitely what you might rather unscientifically refer to as a "summer person." I thrive in hot weather, love wearing light clothes, and cherish the long, sunny days that make me feel productive. But in winter, I always complain about the cold, bundle up under five different layers of clothing, and grumpily wait it out until temperatures rise again. But am I wrong in being so dismissive of this season and the low temperatures it brings? Research has suggested that cool temperatures could bring a range of health benefits, and that we shouldn't always shun exposure to cold. In this article, we give you an overview of some of these reported benefits. The cold can boost sleep quality Our bodies follow a circadian rhythm that self-regulates eating, sleeping, and activity patterns according to day-night cycles, thereby allowing us to function normally. Researchers have found that a dysregulation of circadian rhythms can lead to a disrupted sleep, which, in turn, can lead to a number of health problems. Studies that were recently covered by Medical News Today have found that insomnia and other sleep disorders can impair our perception and cognitive function and heighten the risk of kidney disease and diabetes. Research has revealed that, when we fall asleep, our body temperature begins to drop. Insomniacs, however, seem unable to regulate body heat appropriately, leading to difficulties in falling asleep. This is where external temperatures come in. One study experimented with "cooling caps" - that is, headwear that keeps the sleeper's head at cooler temperatures - and found that insomniacs benefited from the exposure, which allowed them to enjoy a better night's sleep. Current sleep guidelines - supported by existing research - suggest that the ideal temperature in our bedrooms as we prepare to go to sleep should be somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit (around 15.5 to 19 degrees Celsius). The bottom line is that you shouldn't be freezing cold, of course - that won't really help your sleep - but moderately cool environments might do the trick. It gives you an appetite A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition seems to support the age-old claim that our appetite increases in winter, as the temperatures drop fast. "he present study revealed that small seasonal variations of daily caloric intake, diet composition, physical activity, and body weight are in fact present in normal individuals in the United States," the authors conclude. Another experiment carried out in pigs, which


BMI: A double-edged sword in your risk of dementia

Gastric band Surgery In France BMI: A double-edged sword in your risk of dementia An analysis of international data on more than a million people who were followed over time confirms two links between BMI and dementia - one ties midlife obesity to higher risk, and the other ties being underweight near disease onset to higher risk. New research clarifies how both obesity and lower-than-average BMI are linked to dementia. A report on the longitudinal study, which was conducted by researchers across Europe and led by University College London (UCL) in the United Kingdom, is published in the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia. The findings may explain the mixed evidence on the relationship between higher body mass index (BMI) and dementia risk; there is some that points to higher BMI being tied to raised risk, and there is some that suggests the opposite. The reason for the confusion is because there are two things going on, says lead study author Mika Kivimäki, who is a professor in UCL's Institute of Epidemiology & Health. "One is an adverse effect of excess body fat on dementia risk," he notes. "The other is weight loss due to preclinical dementia." This might explain why those who develop dementia tend to have above-average BMI two decades before disease symptoms appear, but nearer the time of onset, their BMI is lower than healthy counterparts who do not develop it. Dementia numbers rising Worldwide, there are around 47 million people living with dementia, an irreversible, deteriorating brain disease that progressively diminishes ability to remember, think, and live independently. The risk of developing dementia rises with age, and because of the rising number of elderly people in the world, global numbers of the disease are soaring. As there is currently no cure for dementia, or even treatments that slow it down, the already huge impact that the disease has on individuals, their families, communities, health systems, and costs will become overwhelming. Estimates suggest that by 2030, there will be 75 million people living with dementia worldwide, rising to 132 million by 2050. Alzheimer's disease - a condition that gradually destroys cells and tissue in the brain - is the main cause of dementia, accounting for around 65 percent of cases. While estimates vary, it is thought that there are around 5 million people living with Alzheimer's disease in the United States, where dementia is a leading cause of death among older people. High midlife BMI means higher dementia risk For their new study, Prof. Kivimäki and colleagues pooled and analyzed data from 39 longitudinal population studies. Altogether, the data covered a total of 1,349,857 individuals from France, Finland, Sweden, the U.K., and the U.S. All were free of dementia when they enrolled and underwent measurement of weight and height to assess their BMI. By searching hospital and prescription records and death registries, the studies had established that 6,894 of the participants developed


Battle of the sexes: Are women fitter than men?

Gastric band Surgery In France Battle of the sexes: Are women fitter than men? A new study shows that when women exercise, their body processes oxygen a lot faster than men's. This indicates superior aerobic fitness, explain the researchers. In other words, women may be naturally fitter than men. When it comes to aerobic fitness exercise - such as running - women may outperform men, suggests new research. As society is making more and more progress in the sociopolitical realm of gender equality, there are fields where, in addition to equality and fairness, physical differences between the sexes matter a great deal. Athletic training is one such field. But new research challenges the traditional belief that men are athletically superior to women. In fact, by measuring women's response to aerobic training, a new study suggests that the opposite may be true. The new study examined sex differences in the body's response to aerobic fitness; more specifically, it focused on how sex affects the body's ability to process oxygen once it starts to exercise. Thomas Beltrame, from the University of Waterloo in Canada, led the research, and the findings were published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. Women outperformed men by 30 percent As Beltrame and colleagues explain in their paper, the previous studies that have decreed men are capable of faster oxygen intake - a standard measure of fitness - than women were conducted in children and older adults. However, the matter had not been investigated in healthy young adults. So, the researchers hypothesized that in this population sample, too, the findings of previous research would hold true - men would have a faster oxygen turnover. Beltrame and team set out to test out their hypothesis. They recruited 18 healthy young participants; nine of them were male, nine female. All participants were highly active, with similar ages, weight, and levels of aerobic fitness. Participants were asked to engage in an "incremental cardiopulmonary treadmill exercise test," as well as in three treadmill exercise tests of moderate intensity. The tests revealed that "the peripheral and pulmonary oxygen extraction dynamics were remarkably faster in women." More specifically, women circulated oxygen in their body 30 percent faster than men, on a constant basis. In other words, women may be naturally more athletic. The hypothesis was disproven. Findings may change athletic training Richard Hughson, a professor in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences at Waterloo and a corresponding author of the study, explains the meaning of the test results. "We found that women's muscles extract oxygen from the blood faster, which, scientifically speaking, indicates a superior aerobic system," he says. Oxygen uptake is a standard measure of aerobic fitness, and it describes the amount of oxygen that the body can take in and use per minute. As the American College of Sports Medicine explain, our oxygen consumption


What are the possible benefits of MCT oil?

Gastric band Surgery In France What are the possible benefits of MCT oil? Medium-chain triglycerides are a type of fat that is found in certain oils and dairy products. MCT oil is a supplement made of these fats. But what are the potential health benefits of MCT oil?Many articles in circulation recommend the use of MCT oil. They claim that it can help people lose weight and that it has several other benefits. This article explores the health benefits of MCT oil, as supported by scientific evidence. It also considers the risks around the use of MCT oil, as well as where to source it and how it can be used. Overview MCT oil can be derived from coconuts, and is often used to aid weight loss or improve stamina. MCT oil is a dietary supplement that is made up of MCT fats, which are fats that can be found in coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and dairy products. MCT oil is mainly used by people looking to lose weight, or boost their endurance during a workout. Some supporters of MCT oil also claim it can improve the ability to think, as well as help with various forms of dementia. What are MCTs and why are they different from other fats? Fats are made up of chains of carbon atoms, and most of the fats in a person's diet are made up of 13 to 21 of these atoms. These are called long-chain fatty acids. In contrast, short-chain fatty acids are made up of 6 or fewer carbon atoms. MCTs refers to medium-chain triglycerides that sit in the middle of the other two types. They are of medium length and made up of 6 to 12 carbon atoms. MCTs are found in coconut oil and are processed by the body in a different way to long-chain fatty acids. Unlike other fats, they go straight from the gut to the liver. From here, they are used as a source of energy or turned into ketones. Ketones are substances produced when the liver breaks down a lot of fat, and they can be used by the brain for energy instead of glucose or sugar. As the calories in MCTs are used straightaway, they are less likely to be stored as fat. This principle is the basis of the ketogenic diet, which many people believe is an effective way to lose weight. Potential health benefits of MCT oil There are several potential health benefits of MCT oil. Some of these are supported by scientific evidence, while others are yet to be proven. Each potential benefit and its available evidence is explored below: 1. Better brain and memory function The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation have reported the pros and cons of MCTs in respect of brain and memory function, as well as their potential benefits for those with Alzheimer's disease. But to what extent are the claims surrounding MCTs backed up by scientific evidence? A 2016 review notes that in three studies, the brain's take-up of ketones in people with Alzheimer's was the same as in healthy people. In contrast, the brain's take-up of glucose was poorer in those with Alzheimer's than healthy people. The reviewers also note that ketosis has a slight beneficial


Is this the formula for reversing type 2 diabetes?

Gastric band Surgery In France Is this the formula for reversing type 2 diabetes? The first-year results of a clinical trial have shown that almost half of people partaking in an intensive weight management program delivered through primary care achieved remission of their type 2 diabetes without medication. A trial has shown that type 2 diabetes is reversible if weight is lost and kept off. The trial, which is called the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT), builds on earlier work by co-lead investigator Prof. Roy Taylor, director of the Magnetic Resonance Centre at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom. The earlier work showed that a radical change in diet can reverse type 2 diabetes. The results of the trial, recently reported in The Lancet, suggest that remission of type 2 diabetes may be achievable through intensive weight management programs supported by routine primary care. The team's findings revealed that after 12 months of radical weight management, participants lost an average of 10 kilograms (22 pounds), and that 45.6 percent of them went back to being non-diabetic without medication. 'Long-term maintenance of weight loss' focus Prof. Taylor says that significant weight loss reduces the amount of fat in the liver and pancreas so that they can start working normally again. "What we're seeing from DiRECT," he remarks, "is that losing weight isn't just linked to better management of type 2 diabetes: significant weight loss could actually result in lasting remission." "Our findings suggest that even if you have had type 2 diabetes for 6 years," adds trial co-leader Prof. Michael Lean, chair of Human Nutrition at the University of Glasgow in the U.K., "putting the disease into remission is feasible." He says that their approach differs from the conventional way of managing type 2 diabetes in that it focuses "on the need for long-term maintenance of weight loss through diet and exercise and encourage flexibility to optimize individual results." Diabetes is a global health problem Diabetes is a disease in which the body either does not make enough or cannot effectively use insulin, which is a hormone that helps cells to absorb and turn blood sugar into energy. In type 2 diabetes, the body's cells do not react to insulin as they should, which is known as insulin resistance. The pancreas - an organ that produces insulin - tries to compensate by producing more insulin, but eventually it cannot make enough, and blood sugar levels go up. High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, damages many parts of the body and can lead to severe health problems, including heart disease, vision impairment, and kidney disease. Of the hundreds of millions of people worldwide who have diabetes, the vast majority have type 2, which results largely from carrying too much weight and not being physically active. In the United States, around 90-95 percent of the 30 million people with diabetes have type 2. And while it normally strikes people aged 45 and


How to reduce Christmas stress

Gastric band Surgery In France How to reduce Christmas stress "It's the most wonderful time of the year," but also a time when stress levels soar. We have put together some top tips to stop stress in its tracks and make the season of goodwill more enjoyable. The holidays can be a time of high stress levels, but managing stress can help you to have a happy and healthy Christmas. While Christmas is known as "the season to be jolly," it can be a significant source of stress, pressure, and conflict for many of us. Some people can feel overwhelmed by the excess, expectations, and exchange and become depressed during the holidays. A lack of time and money, credit card debt, and the pressure of gift giving can often contribute to stress during the holiday season. Most of us are aware of the adverse effects that stress can have on our body. It can impact our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and it can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity if left unchecked. In fact, research has shown that there is an increase in the occurrence of heart attacks and heart-related deaths during the festive season, which may be due to stress, heavy alcohol consumption, a fatty diet, or all three. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that holiday stress is dealt with - pronto. With all the cooking, decorating, visiting, and gift giving, the holidays can seem more like trying to meet a high-pressure deadline than a vacation. So, try these Christmas stress-busting strategies to ease the strain and help stress melt away. 1. Limit spending Money issues are one of the leading causes of stress during the holiday season, according to a poll conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 2004. Recent data collected in the APA's annual Stress in America survey reflect this finding and report that 62 percent of us feel stressed about money. Avoid overspending by setting a budget. Holiday retail sales in November and December 2017 are expected to increase between 3.6 and 4 percent and total between $678.75 billion to $682 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. These figures are up from $655.8 billion last year. Gift buying, entertainment, and travel can all fuel financial burden, even for the savviest shoppers. However, here are some steps that you can take to limit financial stress. Set a budget. First of all, make sure that all your usual expenses are accounted for so that you do not fall short on bills such as rent. Plan for any other spending over the holidays, including any parties you may be hosting or traveling to visit friends or family. Once these items have been subtracted from your budget, you can then work out how much you can spend on gifts. Being organized and realistic about your budget will help you to ensure that you do not overspend. Make one financial decision at a time. Make sure that you space spending-related decisions out. Trying to make too many decisions at once can be overwhelming, which can lead


Kids' movies promote poor diet and stigmatize obesity

Gastric band Surgery In France Kids' movies promote poor diet and stigmatize obesity As innocent as children's movies may seem to be, new research investigated whether or not they promote positive attitudes toward healthful food and the issues surrounding obesity. However, the opposite seems to be the case. A new study assesses attitudes to food and obesity in children's movies. Childhood obesity is a growing problem. Recent studies have discovered that 32 percent of 2-19-year-olds are overweight, and 17 percent are obese. Some estimate that by 2025, around 268 million children aged 5-17 will be overweight, globally. This is a huge public health concern. There are many factors involved in the weight gain we see in children in the United States, and these include parenting style, peer influence, advertising, and the fact that we are more sedentary now than we have ever been. Another factor that has consistently been linked with obesity is screen time. The length of time that a child spends looking at a screen is associated with a greater body mass index (BMI). Screen time, BMI, and movie content The link between screen time and BMI may be due to several factors: advertising; "mindless" eating while watching shows; and because it replaces physical activities. A new study - published in the journal Pediatrics - looks at another possible factor: the way that movies influence perceptions of body image and diet. The study asks how frequently obesity-promoting content and weight-stigmatizing messages appeared in children's movies. It is not yet clear if or how these types of depictions affect children who view them. But earlier work has shown that exposure to sexual themes and depictions of alcohol consumption in the media impacts adolescent behavior, so it is fair to consider that some kind of influence is plausible. In a previous study, the current research group found that: "tigmatizing and obesity-related content was not only present but also prevalent in the majority of the top children's movies from 2006 to 2010." Specifically, they found that children's movies regularly presented sedentary activities and unhealthful foods as the norm, as well as stigmatized obesity. With a steadily increasing public focus on obesity and a reported rise in discrimination, the new study aims to update the previous findings and see whether anything has changed - be it for better or worse. Watching and rating children's movies The group identified the top-grossing G- and PG-rated movies from 2012 through to August 2015 and asked more than 100 children (aged 9-11) which movies they had watched. The team analyzed 31 movies. Each film was broken down into 10-minute segments and marked by raters. They logged any incidence of "items, behaviors, or activities shown to be associated with adiposity and weight status in children, such as oversized portions, drinking sugar-sweetened beverages, and eating while watching screens." They also looked out for negative portrayals


How a single bout of exercise instantly protects the heart

Gastric band Surgery In France How a single bout of exercise instantly protects the heart A new review of existing studies examines the evidence behind the idea that an acute bout of exercise is able to offer immediate protection for the heart against cardiovascular disease through a mechanism called "cardiovascular preconditioning." An acute episode of exercise can 'train' the heart and protect it against future damage. The results of the new research - led by Dick Thijssen, who is a professor of cardiovascular physiology and exercise at the Liverpool John Moores University in the United Kingdom - have been published in the journal JAMA Cardiology. As Prof. Thijssen and colleagues explain, it is a widely accepted fact that exercise protects the heart over time. However, it is less known that it can also do so within hours, and that a single workout episode is enough to yield clinically significant benefits. This under-appreciated advantage of exercise may be due to a phenomenon called ischemic, or cardiovascular, preconditioning. The team explains the reasoning behind the theory of cardiovascular preconditioning: repeatedly exposing the heart to short, non-life-threatening episodes of ischemia - an inadequate supply of blood to the heart - makes the heart more resistant to a more serious, future ischemia episode. The "paradox" of ischemic preconditioning is a concept first introduced in the mid-1980s, and it has been suggested that one of the ways to induce this cardioprotective effect is through exercise. So, the review by Prof. Thijssen and colleagues aimed to examine the evidence for this theory in existing preclinical studies. Protection through exercise preconditioning The review found that between one and three workout sessions per week can provide "strong" protection for the heart. Moreover, one single workout episode can provide cardioprotection for 2-3 hours, and even stronger and longer-lasting benefits emerge 24 hours after the exercise session has finished. "Importantly," the authors write, "these associations are present on the first episode of exercise, with subsequent exercise sessions reactivating protective pathways and leading to ongoing beneficial effects." This cardioprotective effect could be explained by ischemic preconditioning, write the researchers, given that an intense episode of exercise can have systematic effects such as inducing myocardial ischemia. Although factors such as obesity and age may interfere with some of these immediate protective effects of exercise, regular training can restore these benefits. The authors explain: "Taken together, cardioprotection through exercise preconditioning is a facile, inexpensive, and potent therapy that deserves greater recognition and further resources to establish the optimal dose." "Nonetheless," they continue, "as is so often the case with the benefits of exercise, its prescription follows the cardinal rule: use it or lose it." Prof. Thijssen comments on the results


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