Health and Fitness

The Effectiveness Of MEND Program In Prevention And Treatment Of Pediatric Obesity

Ground-breaking results from a study to evaluate the effectiveness of the MEND Program (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do it! ), a multi-component community-based childhood obesity intervention ( http://www.mendcentral.org ), are published in the US journal Obesity ( http://www.nature.com/oby/journal/v18/n1s/abs/oby2009433a.html ). The results coincide with the launch of Michelle Obama's initiative to reduce childhood obesity announced in the State of the Union speech. The independent study conducted by a team at University College London Institute of Child Health (ICH) demonstrates the success of the weight management program MEND for overweight and obese children and their families. The MEND Program supports recent international recommendations calling for pediatric obesity programs to involve the whole family and include nutrition education, behavior modification and promotion of physical activity. 116 children aged between 8 and 12 years took part in the study, which involved attending a nine week MEND program, followed by the provision of 12 weeks of free family swimming between January 2005 and January 2007.

New Way To Lose Fat, Keep The Lean

Researchers reporting in the February 3rd issue of Cell Metabolism may have a new way to trick the body into consuming more energy. The target in this case is an enzyme that indirectly controls the activity of what the researchers refer to as the "energy master switch." It boils down to this: When you give mice a chemical that blocks the function of the enzyme known as Fyn kinase, they almost immediately begin burning more fat. "When there is an imbalance between what we eat and what we burn, " the outcome is obesity, said Claire Bastie of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Neuroscience. "And the problem of obesity is not going away. This is a new mechanism to help the body to burn extra energy." Bastie's team earlier showed that mice lacking Fyn kinase altogether burn more fatty acids and expend more energy to become leaner. They also showed other metabolic improvements, including increased insulin sensitivity. Those effects were the result of higher levels of the master energy switch AMPK in their fat and muscle tissue.

Obese Women Undergoing Infertility Treatment Advised Not To Attempt Rapid Weight Loss

Obese women who undergo rapid weight loss to get pregnant may harm rather than improve their chances of having a healthy baby, a leading researcher suggested this week. Professor Richard Legro of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Penn State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA, said the subject was under-researched and outcomes unknown. But he pointed out that sudden and dramatic reductions in calories and increases in activity during the periconceptual period in all women, including those undergoing assisted reproduction techniques (ART), could have potentially adverse effects. Weight-loss interventions put stress on the reproductive system that could lead to failure through a variety of mechanisms, he warned. Apart from disruption to normal physiological mechanisms, an additional concern hypothesised is that environmental pollutants stored in fat such as DDT and organochlorine, released into the blood circulation when fat is metabolised during lifestyle interventions, could have potentially adverse effects on the pregnancy.

New Tools And Systems May Help Patients, Primary Care Clinicians Manage Obesity

Using combined and intensive treatments and restructuring care to treat obesity like other chronic diseases may help primary care clinicians and patients better address the condition, according to a commentary and three articles published in the January 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Data suggest an extensive gap exists between recommended obesity care and current practice by primary care clinicians, notes Robert F. Kushner, M.D., of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, in the commentary. "The reasons for the gap are complex owing to multiple physician, patient and medical system factors, " he writes. "Cited barriers include a lack of reimbursement, limited time during office visits, lack of training in counseling, competing demands, low confidence in the ability to treat and change patient behaviors, limited resources, the perception that patients are not motivated and a paucity of proven and effective interventions to treat obesity.

Non-Surgical Program Helps Some Extremely Obese Adults Lose Weight

About one-third of adults with extreme obesity benefited after two years of an intensive medical management program conducted by primary care clinicians. Donna H. Ryan, M.D., of Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, La., and colleagues trained seven primary care physicians and one research clinic in obesity management. A group of 200 adults with extreme obesity (body mass index of higher than 40) were randomly assigned to participate in the intervention, which involved a short-term liquid diet, group behavioral counseling, a longer-term maintenance diet and one of several medications. After two years, 51 percent remained on the program, 31 percent lost 5 percent or more of their body weight and 7 percent lost 20 percent or more. Comparatively, in the group of 190 control participants assigned to follow their usual diet, 46 percent remained in the study, 9 percent lost 5 percent or more of their body weight and 1 percent lost 20 percent or more after two years.

Insufficient Counseling For Obesity And Smoking Due To Cost To Patients

Reducing obesity and smoking have become national priorities in the United States. Research has shown that intensive counseling can positively impact each problem. However, because such counseling is typically not covered by medical insurance, cost can be a barrier. In a study published in the March 2010 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, found that when primary care clinicians and community counselors collaborated to offer free counseling services to patients, there was an overwhelming positive response. Yet, when the same services were offered at a cost to the patient, there was a significant drop in participation. An electronic linkage system (eLinkS) was used to prompt healthcare providers to suggest intensive healthcare counseling for adult patients with unhealthy behaviors. eLinkS then helped to facilitate and automate referrals and communication between primary care practices and community programs.

Appetite Suppressed By 'Starving' Fat

Peptides that target blood vessels in fat and cause them to go into programmed cell death (termed apoptosis) could become a model for future weight-loss therapies, say University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers. A research team led by Randy Seeley, PhD, of UC's Metabolic Diseases Institute, has found that obese animal models treated with proapoptotic peptide experienced decreased food intake and significant fat loss. The study was published online ahead of print Jan. 26, 2010, in Diabetes, the official journal of the American Diabetes Association. White adipose (fat) tissue is vascularized, much like a tumor, and growth of fat tissue is highly dependent on the tissue's ability to build new blood vessels - a phenomenon called angiogenesis. Inhibiting adipose angiogenesis - essentially "starving" fat tissue - can reverse the effects of a high-fat diet in mice and rats, says Seeley. "The body is extremely efficient at controlling energy balance, " says Seeley, a professor in UC's internal medicine department and recipient of the 2009 Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award from the American Diabetes Association.

Young Adults With Type 2 Diabetes Could Benefit From New Research

New research on Type 2 diabetes by Trinity College Dublin researchers could benefit young adults (aged 18-25 years) with the condition. The research led by Professor John Nolan of Trinity College Dublin and St James's Hospital, Dublin, has just been published online in the leading international journal, Diabetes CareВ. The study findings demonstrate new mechanisms in muscle cells that may explain severe insulin resistance which is the body's decreased ability to respond to the effects of insulin, and a reduced response to aerobic exercise in young obese patients with Type 2 diabetes. These important findings will contribute in the longterm to the development of more specific treatments for young people with Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. It occurs because the body produces too little insulin and is unable to properly use the insulin that is secreted. It usually occurs in older people although it is becoming more common among younger people, partly due to lifestyle factors such as diet, lack of physical activity and obesity.

Childhood Obesity May Contribute To Later Onset Of Puberty For Boys

Increasing rates of obese and overweight children in the United States may be contributing to a later onset of puberty in boys, say researchers at the University of Michigan. In a new study published in the February issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, researchers show that a higher body mass index during early and mid-childhood for boys is associated with later onset of puberty. This is one of the first longitudinal studies in the U.S. to examine the association between weight status and timing of puberty in boys. "We found that increased body fatness is associated with a later onset of puberty in boys, the opposite of what we have seen in girls, as heavier girls tend to develop earlier, rather than later. Our study shows that the relationship between body fat and timing of puberty is not the same in boys as it is in girls, " says U-M pediatric endocrinologist Joyce M. Lee, M.D., M.P.H., the study's lead author. With childhood obesity rates more than doubling in the U.

New Study Shows Effectiveness Of The MEND Program Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do It! In Prevention And Treatment Of Pediatric Obesity

Ground-breaking results from a study to evaluate the effectiveness of the MEND Program (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do it! ), a multi-component community-based childhood obesity intervention ( http://www.mendcentral.org ), are published today in the US journal Obesity. The results coincide with the launch of Michelle Obama's initiative to reduce childhood obesity announced in the State of the Union speech. The independent study conducted by a team at University College London Institute of Child Health (ICH) demonstrates the success of the weight management program MEND for overweight and obese children and their families. The MEND Program supports recent international recommendations calling for pediatric obesity programs to involve the whole family and include nutrition education, behavior modification and promotion of physical activity. 116 children aged between 8 and 12 years took part in the study, which involved attending a nine week MEND program, followed by the provision of 12 weeks of free family swimming between January 2005 and January 2007.

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