February 22, 2018

Category Archives: Nutrition & obesity

Flexible Restraint: A Healthy Lifestyle Beats Complex Diet Rules

Flexible Restraint: A Healthy Lifestyle Beats Complex Diet Rules

(CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) Nikol Lohr/Flickr I’ve worked with many patients over the years who have gone on diets with strict rules but end up gaining the weight back. These clients were afraid that without a lot of rules, they will eat uncontrollably. With so much high-calorie food available it can be easy to overeat, especially if you are highly responsive to the sight or smell of food. Although relying on rigid rules to control eating can help weight loss in the short run, people often find they can’t continue long term. Then they relapse and their eating feels more out-of-control than ever. There’s another way Fortunately, there are alternative …Continue Reading

California Couple Go to Extremes to Avoid Sugar by Rowing across the Pacific

California Couple Go to Extremes to Avoid Sugar by Rowing across the Pacific

Courtesy FatChanceRow.org I think it’s safe to say that Sami Inkinen and Meredith Loring are not like you and me, even though I don’t know anything about you. Sami is Finnish, and co-founded the online real estate site Trulia, which enabled him to retire quite comfortably to pursue his favorite activities, all of which are exhausting, and to become one of the top-ranked amateur triathletes in the country. Meredith, who is married to him, was a competitive gymnast before she became a Silicon Valley software product manager. Along with a fondness for grueling tests of endurance, they share a serious antipathy toward unhealthy foods and beverages, …Continue Reading

Annals of marketing: Protein cereals

Annals of marketing: Protein cereals

Hoping to cash in on the current protein craze, General Mills has come up with this (thanks to Kasandra Griffin of  Upstream Public Health in Portland, OR,  for sending): Cheerios Protein has 7 grams of protein per serving.  But it also has 17 grams of sugars. I use sugars, plural, for good reason.  Here’s the ingredient list: In case you can’t read this: Whole grain oats, cluster (whole grain oats, brown sugar, soy protein, lentils, sugar, corn syrup, natural flavor, molasses, rice starch, caramel (sugar, caramelized sugar syrup), salt, calcium carbonate, baking soda, color added, BHT added to preserve freshness), sugar, corn starch, …Continue Reading

Time Magazine: “Eat Butter.”  Maybe in moderation, please?

Time Magazine: “Eat Butter.” Maybe in moderation, please?

I love butter as much as the next person, but when I went to New York’s Food Fest yesterday, the butter makers were all proudly displaying Time Magazine’s provocative June 23 cover. The cover story is by Bryan Walsh. It comes with an even more provacative video–one of those “everything you thought you knew about diet is wrong” things. I’m quoted in his article, but I wish he had quoted more of my comments about context. He says saturated fat consumption is down, but heart disease is still the number one killer of Americans. Yes it is, but not nearly as much as it used to be (as I discussed in a previous post): Americans must be doing …Continue Reading

A PE Teacher Reaches Out

A PE Teacher Reaches Out

Some kids are more sensitive than others and have a lower tolerance for teasing and bullying. This kind of persecution is bad enough when it originates from peers, but when a teacher or a coach says cruel things, many overweight children react by sliding into disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. A report from the National Institutes of Health mentioned how interpersonal difficulties in school can lead to the abuse of food, including the obsessive need to control eating, as a coping mechanism. It goes on to say: In addition, history of depression and history of teasing by a teacher or coach have been linked to the onset of an eating disorder. So, imagine a situation the radical …Continue Reading

PATHS and Pathways to Health

PATHS and Pathways to Health

The school-based program called Pathways to Health, which is concerned with obesity prevention, developed out of an earlier program called PATHS that was designed to prevent violence and substance abuse. While they may appear to be very different problems, at the most elemental level violence, substance abuse, and obesity all qualify as risk behavior, and they all are rooted in Executive Cognitive Function (ECF). Poor ECF, plus a dysregulation of emotion, contribute to undesirable behavior patterns. In obesity, the behavior patterns have to do with eating and physical activity, which at first blush don’t seem similar to drug abuse or violence. But drugs and hyperpalatable foods both affect the brain’s…Continue Reading

New Study: High Levels of Air Pollution Associated with Lower Levels of Physical Activity

New Study: High Levels of Air Pollution Associated with Lower Levels of Physical Activity

Today’s post comes from Dr Jennifer D Roberts.  You can find more on Jennifer at the bottom of this post. Physical inactivity, ambient air pollution and obesity are modifiable risk factors for non-communicable diseases, with the first accounting for more than three million annual deaths.  Recently, we identified an association between increased ambient air pollution, specifically particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5), and reduced leisure-time physical activity within the U.S.  Numerous scientific studies have linked PM2.5 exposure to a variety of health problems including irregular heartbeat, aggravated asthma, and premature death.  However, many of these studies have illustrated these effects in a resting, inactive state, or among elite athletes and the data examining the effects of poor air quality …Continue Reading

Sorry everyone – LeBron’s muscle cramps were NOT caused by dehydration or salt loss

Sorry everyone – LeBron’s muscle cramps were NOT caused by dehydration or salt loss

LeBron James (Image by Steve Jurvetson) Last week during game one of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs, the air conditioning system in the AT&T Center wasn’t working properly. As a result, the normally cool arena was a sweltering 90 degrees fahrenheit (~30 degrees Celsius). Miami’s LeBron James suffered a debilitating bout of muscle cramps, and had to leave the game. LeBron James is the single most dominant basketball player of his generation. So when he misses a significant portion of one of the most important games of the year, it is a Big Deal. Miami went on to lose the game 110 to 95. Almost immediately, commentators went into a frenzy discussing how the …Continue Reading

Too much sitting may increase cancer risk

Too much sitting may increase cancer risk

You’ve heard it here more than once: sitting too much is bad for you. Unfortunately, much of our everyday life is comprised of prolonged sitting – from your car, to your desk, to your dining table, to your couch. There’s just no escaping the temptation to sit. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, sitting is the only socially acceptable option. (Ever tried standing in a movie theatre or at dinner in a restaurant? This guy has) Sitting too much increases your risk of a variety of diseases and early mortality even if you are at a healthy weight and you regularly exercise. For instance, as Travis previously summarized, a “longitudinal study from Australia reports that each hour of daily television viewing is associated with…Continue Reading

Do antihistamines make you gain weight?

Do antihistamines make you gain weight?

“Achoo!!” Some folks have allergies that flare up on a seasonal basis. This spring has certainly not been kind to this group. But if you’re like me, battling your allergies is a year-round affair. The common antihistaimnes available at every drug store, including Cleratin, Reactine, and Aerius, have all at one point or another helped me breathe. More recently, I’ve also been using saline nasal rinses as well as intranasal corticosteroid sprays. However, the off-the-shelf antihistamines many of us take to get us through allergy season have an additional effect: they may increase appetite. Despite the fact that increased appetite is a fairly well-known side-effect of antihistamines, the packaging of …Continue Reading