Archive for Obesity
What can you do about your health and weight if you come from a family where obesity, or being overweight, is the norm? Is it inevitable that you will be obese also, pre-destined to gain weight as you age?
Years ago, researchers found the fat gene, called the Fat Mass and Obesity Association Gene (FTO). They project that an astounding 65% of people from European or African descent have this gene, as well as upwards of 44% of people of Asian descent carry some form or part of this gene. The presence of this fat gene increases the risk of obesity or being overweight, by 12%.
If you feel that obesity is your future, what are you capable or willing to do in order to avoid this? Will you throw in the towel and eat to your hearts content, and would it even make a difference?
According to some recent studies, physical activity can decrease the effect of FTO by almost 30%. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22069379
Researchers theorize that the FTO gene is most active in the brain and affects appetite and behavior-both eating and exercising. It appears to be active in areas of brain that regulate the balance of energy intake and energy expenditure, and it is the loss of this energy balance that can cause weight gain.
Researchers are not certain how exercise attenuates the expression of the FTO gene, but analysis of data from multiple studies reveal an almost 30% reduction of gene expression (not 30% of weight!) as measured by body fat percentage and waste circumference. This indicates that even a small amount of exercise have helped people control their weight.
So what does this mean for you?
It means that physical activity will help you regardless of your genetic code and family body type. This knowledge can give you the power to change what you may now believe to be your “health destiny”, by making changes to avoid diabetes, hypertension, joint problems. It gives you the reason to take action so that you can achieve your goals of fitness and health.
We have many articles within Female Menopause Mentors that can help and guide you on making changes and initiating an exercise program. We will have a special program within the next few months,that will help guide you step by step through initiating and maintaining these changes. As a result of the many years of medical experience in family practice, I have seen the damage that poor health can cause to women, in the form of onset of diseases and loss of mobility and independence. I am committed to helping women through the process of health improvement and I am certain our program can help you!
I have created a video on this subject. It is posted to YouTube but can only be accessed via this link Control Menopause Weight Gain. If you want to have access to videos as I produce them you need to sign up for a membership on the home page. I give memberships away so that ability to pay is not a factor in receiving my information.
How many of us depend on news reports to give us the information we need? Many of us scan the headlines daily, and if a topic catches our interest, we read the article. For the most part, we probably take what we read at face value. We believe what we read to be unbiased and true. Be careful what you believe to be true!
A recent article published about the cost benefit analysis of gastric bypass surgery caught my eye. As I read the article, I heard my inner voice saying “now wait a minute… I am not so sure about that“. This article was published in the journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases and reviewed in Medical News. The author states that a recent study revealed that the cost of surgery was re-couped for diabetic patients after 2.5 years through savings in medication and the cost of care when gastric banding was the procedure used. Here is link to the article: Gastric Band Surgery
So on the face of this article, it sounds great. Pay your money, get your gastric banding done and you or your insurance company will recover your costs within 2.5 years. While I agree that gastric banding and other forms of gastric bypass grafting have their place in the treatment of obesity, it should not be taken lightly! This procedure results in a MAJOR change of lifestyle, and it should be considered seriously and thoroughly. It does not always work for the long term either! To maintain any weight that is lost, you must continue with calorie restriction and exercise. It may very well result in significant cost reduction of medical care in some people, but I have seen plenty of patients that would not come under this characterization.
The problem with these studies are that they are often funded by groups in which there may be a conflict of interest. In the case of this article, the study looks to be funded by Duke University researchers. Duke University Medical Center has begun to perform many gastric bypass surgeries, although I will admit that gastric banding is not the procedure used most frequently by their surgeons. The article linked here, is written by the manufactorer of the gastric banding device! Hence, the possible issue with veracity.
Obesity is a problem in our country and the world, no doubt about it. Many people are desperate for help to gain control over their weight and it can be frustrating and even frightening for some. It is important to keep in mind that there really are no short cuts that work. Whatever you utilize to help you lose weight, proper diet with help and guidance if needed, as well as a program of activity is the cornerstone of achieving control.
There are many programs such as Weight Watchers available to help people gain control over their choices. We have designed a program here that can be used in conjunction to other programs. I would like to help people learn to make good decisions, learn to combat stress related choices, and how to put a program in place and keep it in place. Try it out and see if it helps, just click on The Menopause Guide above….and please give me your feedback!
MEASURES TO REDUCE WEIGHT GAIN DURING THE HOLIDAYS-AND WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT
So the holiday season is upon us and many people feel
it is an impossible task to remain on a healthy
program of eating and exercising during the holidays.
While this is probably not the time to attempt
weight loss, there are many measures you can take to
remain at your current weight and not gain
Many people wonder why they should even bother.
A recent analysis of several studies performed in
past years concerning obesity and its effects on longevity of life
has indicated that obesity does shorten life.
Past studies have been inconclusive regarding this supposition.
A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine addresses link between the increase
of early death and obesity. The study found that a BMI of 25 or above was associated with an increase in
early death from all causes including cancer, heart attack or stroke.
What is BMI? BMI stands for Body Mass Index and it is a measurement which combines weight to
height. Normal is felt to be 18.5 to 24.9, overweight is 24.9 to 29.9, obese is 30 to 35 and severely obese
is over 35.
Currently, 17% of American women are obese and 11% of American men. This is a major health
problem for our country and the question is whether you are a part of this health epidemic and do you
want to do something about it on a personal level.
Are you an overweight woman with a BMI of 25 to 30? Your risk of early death is increased by 13%. If
you have a BMI of 30 to 35 your risk is increased 88% and 250% of your BMI is over 40. So what does
this mean to you?
It means that being significantly overweight does more than makes you tired, hurts your joints, and
causes you to feel bad about how you look. It means that there is a very good chance you will die early.
The studies recently published illustrate the need to control weight for overweight and obese people
in this country. The increased rate of heart disease and diabetes will create a health burden in coming
years that could prove difficult for our country and health care system to sustain.
So what measures can you employ to avoid weight gain?
- Plan your meals so that you can control your calories while not socializing.
- If you are going to a party or a dinner, eat very lightly for your other meals that day
- Have a stock of healthy meals you have cooked, frozen, so that you may pull these out when you get home late after shopping.
- Try shopping in a place where you will park once and walk quite a bit between stores, instead of making frequent short trips.
- Bring healthy snacks with you as well as a water bottle, so that you are not tempted to buy fast foods.
Ramit Sethi is author of the blog I will Teach You to be Rich and author of the NYTimes best seller of the same name has something to say about how our attitude about money and food are much the same. We would rather spend an hour doing research about the best thing to do to get the weight off rather than actually take action on the problem. We would rather see a documentary with very thin science than read and apply principles that have been proven over and over. The Key: Do something that is right now! Don’t wait until you are an expert. Don’t wait until you know everything perfectly. DO SOMETHING NOW AND REPEAT IT REGULARLY! It does not have to be a lot, or really intense, or extreme, just a little regular exercise and a little less food each and every day. This video is not great. It does give you the visual message. You really ought to ask Anne in the comments section for examples and then take those examples and do something with them. Enjoy this 5 minute video.
There are costs to OBESITY! Many of those are hidden costs and are paid by employers or the government. Eventually, all those costs are paid by you and me in higher fees and taxes. This nothing compared to the cost to the obese person in self-esteem, health related problems and lost wages. There has been anecdotal evidence of this phenomenon but now there is solid research on this subject.
Guess what – women lose more financially when they are obese. George Washington University’s Department of Health Policy did a study on this subject. They found that:
The overall, tangible, annual costs of being obese are $4,879 for an obese woman and $2,646 for an obese man. The overall annual costs of being overweight are $524 and $432 for women and men, respectively. For both genders, the incremental costs of obesity are much higher than the incremental costs of being overweight.
Adding the value of lost life to these annual costs produces even more dramatic results. Average annualized costs, including value of lost life, are $8,365 for obese women and $6,518 for obese men.
The study is easy to read but more difficult to understand. If you would like to read it I have included a link to download it at the very end of this article.
It is no surprise that obesity costs women more. They have generally earned less and with lower self esteem and being perceived in our society as less attractive – are offered lower wages and do not seek out higher wage jobs. They feel less worthy of reward. This is bunk, but we usually get paid what we think we are worth because we go after jobs at our level or above. Obese people are less likely to compete and less likely to be picked for these positions.
You are obese if your are more than 20% above your ideal body weight. A better measure, if you are a women,is a relaxed waist measurement at the umbilicus (belly button) of more than 35 inches (90 cm). If this is you, then you need a team to help you improve your health. I would suggest you get a coach, a health care provider familiar with patients who make weight changes and a dietitian with similar experience. You need a team, a written plan and someone – the coach – to keep you real and help you not be discouraged. Habit got you where you are. Habits are caused by thinking and you have to change your core beliefs about you, food and your potential. Look at those costs above – 4-8 thousand dollars per year in extra expenses and lost wages.
If you need a place to start, begin with becoming a member of our site – its free – and get our free report on controlling your weight. Begin to implement some of those strategies and then think about what you want and how you are going to get it. You don’t need to and should not try to do this all alone.
OK, time to take up to three actions. First tell me your story or comment on this post. Do it in the comments section. Second, get the report and look it over. The link is at the bottom of the page. It is labeled “Heavy Burden Report”. Third, join our community and get our Tips Booklet on Controlling Your Weight. Both are free, you just use the form on the home page to sign up
Obesity and health risks associated with it is at an epidemic level in the US. The risks of hearth disease and diabetes, as well as joint disease are frequently discussed in medical society meetings as well as medical offices through out the country. Most people who are obese would dearly love not to be, and in my medical experience, obese people are often the most sophisticated of dieters. So why is our country getting fatter and more unhealthy with each passing year? Much research is currently being done to look at the issues which cause obesity and the issues which seem to prevent so many people from loosing weight.
Research at the Center for Integrated Systems and Biology of Aging and Nutrition at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom has published a study on how a low calorie diet can extend a persons’ lifespan. This study is purported to provide new insight into why this can occur even if adopted later in life. The research looks at how a restricted diet affects the senescence (point at which a cell can no longer replicate) if cells in mice. Demonstrated were reduced accumulation of senescent cells in liver and intestines, both organs which can demonstrate aging in this fashion. Also noted were protection on the ends of chromosomes, thereby having increased protection from errors of replication. Theoretically then, not overeating can protect the healthy maintenance of our bodies tissues.
Next of interest, a study recently published in the Journal of American Geriatric Society evaluated data from the Women’s Health Initiative regarding the association of weight and cognitive decline. 8,745 women between ages 65-79 were included in this evaluation. They found there was a 1 point drop in memory score as measured by the Modified Mini-Mental Status Exam, with each point increase in BMI. The pattern of fat deposition also had an impact, with pear shaped deposition (hip) having more of an impact on memory. It is speculated that different types of fat produce different cytokines, which cause inflammation. This inflammation may very well affect cognitive decline, more so than fat deposited around the waist.
Studies continue to evaluate the deleterious effects of obesity on health and longevity.
While “getting thin” may be a goal for many women, it is often not a reasonable goal. Medical studies have shown that, in certain situations, a mere 10% loss of weight can extend life for up to a decade. Anything you can do to improve health and life style habits are well worth the effort.