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Weight related issues and binge eating, emotional eating, food addiction, obesity, diet and your physical, emotional and mental health

Weighing Words When Talking to Teens About Body Weight   Medscape (May 11, 2017) by Rebecca M. Puhl, PhD – Body shaming and weight stigma have become commonplace in our society. Decades of research evidence and high-profile examples highlighted in the media clearly demonstrate the presence of societal stereotypes and stigma against people who have a higher body weight. Unfortunately, youth who have a higher body weight are particularly vulnerable to weight stigma, most often in the form of teasing, victimization, and bullying. In fact, weight-based bullying has been documented as one of the most prevalent forms of bullying in youth and adolescents. … In our efforts to reduce societal weight stigma, the words that we use when talking about body weight are important. For example, adults report feeling stigmatized, negatively judged, and blamed when certain words, such as “obese,” “fat,” or “large” are used to describe their excess body weight. … more

Bullies and their victims obsessed with weight-loss  ScienceDaily (Mar 29, 2017) – School bullies and their victims are more obsessed with weight-loss than anyone else, according to new research … teenagers who are involved in bullying in any way — from bullies, to their victims, to those who both bully and get bullied — are more likely to develop concerns about their eating and exercise behaviours, and become preoccupied with losing weight. … more.

Brain thinks yo-yo dieting is a famine, causing weight gain  MNT Medical News Today  (Dec 5, 2016) by Marie Ellis – We are in the height of holiday season, when chocolate, cakes, and calorie-laden foods are in abundance. But after the feast has commenced, you may want to think twice before going on a low-calorie diet. According to new research, the brain interprets repeated dieting as short famines, prompting the body to store more fat for future food shortages – resulting in weight gain. … more

Weight loss yo-yo: How the gut reverses effects of dieting  CBC.ca (Nov 25, 2016) – Dieting seems to change the microorganisms in the gut so that people gain back weight quickly. Scientists studying yo-yo dieting in mice say the tendency for people to regain excess weight rapidly after successfully slimming may well be due to their microbiome — the trillions of microorganisms in the gut. The researchers found that changes in the gut microbiome that occur when an obese mouse loses weight can persist for many months, and that this contributes to accelerated weight regain later if the diet lapses. … more

Health Professional: Do You Have Hidden Weight Bias? Medscape (Nov 22, 2016) by Rebecca M. Puhl, PhD — Health professionals may harbor hidden weight bias. Test yourself for weight bias that exists outside of your conscious awareness and control. What are your implicit attitudes about body weight? Do you have hidden weight bias? To find out, take the free Implicit Associations Test online at Harvard’s Project Implicit website and then read our article to learn more about the harm caused by “fat shaming” in the healthcare system…. more

Weight Loss Bumps Up Appetite More Than Threefold  Medscape Medical News (Nov 4, 2016) by Marlene Busko — For every kg of weight they lost, patients in a new study consumed an extra 100 calories a day — more than three times what they would need to maintain the lower weight. This out-of-proportion increase in appetite when patients lost a small amount of weight “may explain why long-term maintenance of reduced body weight is so difficult,” said lead research David Polidori, MD, of Janssen Research & Development, in San Diego, California, and colleagues. … more

Want to lose weight? Train the brain, not the body. No more stress eatingScienceAlert (May 28, 2016) by Laurel Mellin, The Conversation – Despite massive government, medical and individual efforts to win the war on obesity, 71 percent of Americans are overweight. The average adult is 24 pounds (10.9 kilograms) heavier today than in 1960. Our growing girth adds some $200 billion per year to our health care expenditure, amounting to a severe health crisis….If there is ever to be a ‘pill’ – a solution to weight – it will be changing the brain, particularly the primitive areas of the brain, the ’emotional brain’ or mammalian and reptilian brain. … more

Overweight, obesity linked to poorer memory for young adults   MNT Medical News Today (Feb 29, 2016) by Honor Whiteman – It is well established that being overweight can raise the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. But according to a new study, it may also have consequences for cognitive health; researchers found that young adults who were overweight or obese had poorer episodic memory than their healthy-weight peers. … more

Brain wiring explains why weight loss is more challenging for women  MNT Medical News Today (Feb 3, 2016) by Honor Whiteman – Trying to lose weight can be a challenge at the best of times, but this challenge may be even harder if you’re female. According to a new study, women’s brains may be wired in a way that makes them less likely than men to shed the pounds. … more

Hormones make weight loss harder for women than men, study finds. WHO data shows that there are more obese women than men worldwide. Toronto Metro (Feb 3, 2016) – A new study has found that men and women might not be on equal ground when it comes to losing weight. Researchers at the Universities of Aberdeen and Cambridge in the UK, and Michigan in the USA have pinpointed the behavior of certain hormones, produced in the brain, which could make weight loss more difficult for women. … more

Heightened ability to imagine odors linked to higher body weight   ScienceDaily (Jan 18, 2016) – The ability to vividly imagine the smell of popcorn, freshly baked cookies and even non-food odors is greater in obese adults, new research suggests. Vivid mental imagery is a key factor in stimulating and maintaining food cravings, which can be induced by the thought, smell and sight of food, say authors of a new report on the work. … more

Weight-loss programs tailored to a person’s genome may be coming soon   ScienceDaily (Dec 23, 2015) – Some health experts predict that the next big advance in helping overweight people achieve a healthier weight will be to use an individual’s genetic data to customize diets and physical activity plans, an approach known as ‘precision weight loss.” … more

Mothers should be cautious when discussing weight with daughters   ScienceDaily (Dec 22. 2015) – How should a concerned mother discuss issues of diet and weight with her daughter? Very carefully, according to Erin Hillard, a developmental psychology doctoral student at the University of Notre Dame. … more

Kids Who Are Better at Tasting Sugar Are More Likely to Be Overweight, Study Finds   Time/Living (Dec 15, 2015) by Belinda Luscombe –Being more sensitive to sugar might not be a good thing. Some kids can taste as little as 0.005 teaspoons of sugar in a fluid ounce of water. Others need three teaspoons until they register it. Logic would suggest that the less sugar-sensitive—those who need to add more sugar to get the hit of sweetness—would be more likely to be obese, right? Not according to new research. … more

Why weight loss is harder when we carry more fat   MNT Medical News Today (Nov 25, 2015) – New research reveals why overweight people find it very hard to shed their excess pounds. An international team has identified a protein that blocks the body’s ability to burn off fat and discovered that the heavier we are, the more of this protein we produce. … more

Self-weighing may be a hazardous behavior among young women. Researchers found an association between frequent self-weighing and psychological state  ScienceDaily (Nov 9, 2015) – Self-weighing can be a useful tool to help adults control their weight, but for adolescents and young adults this behavior may have negative psychological outcomes. Researchers tracked the self-weighing behaviors of more than 1,900 young adults and found increases in self-weighing to be significantly related to increases in weight concern and depression and decreases in body satisfaction and self-esteem among females. … more

Lean times: why was it easier to lose weight in the 80s? The Guardian.com (Oct 6, 2015) by Nic Fleming – A new study has found that those consuming the same calories and doing the same exercise were heavier in 2006 than in 1988 – another reason for millennials to resent their parents   more

Firstborn women more likely to be overweight, obese MNT-Medical News Today (Aug 27, 2015) by Honor Whiteman – While past studies have suggested firstborn children are smarter, new research brings some bad news for firstborn women with a younger sister: they are more likely to be overweight or obese. … more

Eating on the move may trigger weight gain in dieters MNT–Medical News Today (Aug 20, 2015) – While it may be a convenient way to fit lunch into a hectic work schedule, new research published in the Journal of Health Psychology suggests that eating while “on the go” could lead to weight gain and obesity in people who are dieting. The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Surrey in the UK, found that eating while walking could make dieters overeat later on in the day, triggering more overeating than other forms of distraction such as watching TV or chatting with a friend. “This may be because walking is a powerful form of distraction which disrupts our ability to process the impact eating has on our hunger …” more

Exercise alone does not help in losing weight ScienceDaily (Aug 17, 2015) – Physical activity has many health benefits, ranging from reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer to improving mental health and mood. But contrary to common belief, exercise does not help you lose weight, public health scientists report. …more

Benefits of weight loss surgery diminished after five years Reuters (Aug 5, 2015) by Lisa Rapaport – Five years after weight loss surgery, obese patients may regain many of the pounds they initially shed, a new study from Israel suggests. While surgery remains more effective for lasting weight loss than alternatives such as dieting and exercising, said lead study author Dr. Andrei Keidar, the study findings suggest that doctors still have more to learn about which patients will get the most benefit from operations and what strategies can make the initial results stick. more …

Odds of losing weight are stacked against obese people, study says  Medical News Today (July 17, 2015) – New research published in the American Journal of Public Health finds that the chance of an obese person attaining normal body weight is very low. In the study, conducted by researchers at King’s College London in the UK, just 1 in 210 obese men and 1 in 124 obese women were able to achieve normal weights. more …

Online computer game can help shed weight, reduce food intake  ScienceDaily (June 26, 2015) – A simple new computerized game could help people control their snacking impulses and lose weight. Psychologists report that participants lost an average of 0.7kg and consumed around 220 fewer calories a day whilst undergoing the week of training. more …

Weight-loss surgery could lead to alcohol abuse, suicidal thinking, researchers say   National Post (May 11, 2015) by Sharon Kirkey – Weight-loss surgery may have an unintended effect on the brain, possibly increasing the risk of suicidal thinking, alcohol abuse or other “impulse control” disorders, some researchers now believe. One theory is that surgery may set the stage for a controversial phenomenon known as cross addiction, psychologists say. more …

Teen brain scans reveal a key to weight loss   ScienceDaily (Feb 18, 2015) — MRI scans of teenagers who had successfully lost weight and kept it off show that they have higher levels of executive function — the ability to process and prioritize competing interests. Executive function is a trait that can be improved, scientists say. more…

How losing weight can be hard on a marriage   Toronto Star (Sept 20, 2014) by Nancy J. White —  When someone loses massive weight, it’s ‘life-changing,’ often causing friction with their partner. There’s even a word for the phenomenon: bariatric divorce.   more …

Artificial sweeteners linked to obesity epidemic, scientists say: Drinking diet soda could cause weight gain, research suggests   CBC News (Sept 17, 2014) — Artificial sweeteners may exacerbate, rather than prevent, metabolic disorders such as Type 2 diabetes, a study suggests. Calorie-free artificial sweeteners are often chosen by dieters in part because they are thought not to raise blood sugar levels. In Wednesday’s issue of the journal Nature, researchers report that artificial sweeteners increase the blood sugar levels in both mice and humans by interfering with microbes in the gut. Increased blood sugar levels are an early indicator of Type 2 diabetes and metabolic disease.   more …

Anorexia fueled by pride about weight loss   ScienceDaily (Aug 4, 2014)) — Those in a new study being treated for anorexia not only suffered with negative emotions but also felt emotionally positive, having a sense of pride over being able to maintain and exceed their weight-loss goals. “Being in control is important for many of these women,” one author said. “What we need to do is find a way to reconnect the positive emotions they feel in losing weight to other aspects of their lives that will lead to a more balanced sense of happiness.” more …

A Fresh Cry Of Pain: Fat-Shaming In Science   NPR (June 19, 2014) by Barbara J. King — One year ago here at 13.7, I wrote about fat-shaming carried out by a college professor of evolutionary psychology. Ever since, I’ve been more attuned than before to blatant discrimination based on weight and have spotted evidence of fat-shaming in multiple contexts. Recent examples range from the world of opera to popular TV shows (Fargo) and sports, in this case tennis. When people — women, often — are seen and judged primarily by their weight instead of by their talents and actions in the world, the result is often incredibly hurtful. None of us wants to be seen and judged so superficially. Now there’s a fresh cry of pain and it comes again from the world of science and higher education. more …

What Causes Weight Gain   New York Times (June 10, 2014) by Mark Bittman – If I ask you what constitutes “bad” eating, the kind that leads to obesity and a variety of connected diseases, you’re likely to answer, “Salt, fat and sugar.” This trilogy of evil has been drilled into us for decades, yet that’s not an adequate answer. We don’t know everything about the dietary links to chronic disease, but the best-qualified people argue that real food is more likely to promote health and less likely to cause disease than hyperprocessed food. And we can further refine that message: Minimally processed plants should dominate our diets. (This isn’t just me saying this; the Institute of Medicine and the Department of Agriculture agree.)   more …

Always Hungry? Here’s Why     New York Times (May 16, 2014) by David S. Ludwig and Mark I. Friedman – For most of the last century, our understanding of the cause of obesity has been based on immutable physical law. Specifically, it’s the first law of thermodynamics, which dictates that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. When it comes to body weight, this means that calorie intake minus calorie expenditure equals calories stored … The simple solution is to exert willpower and eat less. The problem is that this advice doesn’t work, at least not for most people over the long term … But what if we’ve confused cause and effect? What if it’s not overeating that causes us to get fat, but the process of getting fatter that causes us to overeat? more …

A number that may not add up     NYTimes/Well (Apr 14, 2014) by Jane E. Brody – In July 1998, the National Institutes of Health changed what it means to be overweight, defining it as a body mass index of 25 or greater for adults. The cutoff had been 28 for men and 27 for women, so suddenly about 29 million Americans who had been considered normal became overweight even though they hadn’t gained an ounce.   more …

Childhood abuse may impair weight-regulating hormones.  ScienceDaily  (Mar 20, 2014) – Childhood abuse or neglect can lead to long-term hormone impairment that raises the risk of developing obesity, diabetes or other metabolic disorders in adulthood, according to a new study. The study examined levels of the weight-regulating hormones leptin, adiponectin and irisin in the blood of adults who endured physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect as children. The study found dysregulation of certain hormones in people who had been abused or neglected as children.  More …

Excess weight linked to brain changes that may relate to memory, emotions, and appetite   ScienceDaily (Feb 11, 2014) – Being overweight appears related to reduced levels of a molecule that reflects brain cell health in the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in memory, learning, and emotions, and likely also involved in appetite control, according to a new study.  More

Two in three 13-year-old girls afraid of gaining weight   ScienceDaily (Dec 16, 2013) – Six in ten 13-year-old girls, compared to four in 10 boys the same age, are afraid of gaining weight or getting fat according to new research on eating disorders from the UCL Institute of Child Health (UK) in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (UK).   Link

Social media fuel dangerous weight-loss goal   AP (Oct 4, 2013) by Jim Salter – Experts in eating disorders are concerned about an Internet-fueled trend in which teenage girls and young women pursue an elusive and possibly dangerous weight-loss goal: to become so slender that their thighs don’t touch even when their feet are together.  Specialists say achieving a so-called thigh gap is risky and virtually impossible   Link

Eating disorder specialists not immune to weight bias   Reuters  (Oct 3, 2013) by Kathryn Doyle – Even some mental health professionals that treat eating disorders harbor prejudice against the obese, a new study suggests.  “Weight bias has been documented among different groups of health providers like doctors, nurses and medical students, so there is no reason to expect that professionals who treat eating disorders would be immune to the same bias,” lead researcher Rebecca Puhl of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, said.   Link

So-called ‘healthy’ toppings and side dishes sabotage weight loss efforts: Ontario study   National Post (July 25, 2013) by Misty Harris, Postmedia News –  You’ve just been served a large slice of chocolate cake — the kind so unapologetically decadent, you feel your thighs expand just looking at it. Thankfully, though, this particular cake is topped with fresh fruit, which reduces the calorie content and makes it a more healthful choice.  Absurd, right? A new Canadian study, however, shows that’s exactly how we’re approaching eating: thinking that a bad food choice can be cancelled by a good one. In fact, researchers find that people reduce their calorie estimation of an unhealthy indulgence by 16% to 25% when it’s topped with something healthy.  Link

‘Weightism’ increases risk for becoming, staying obese   ScienceDaily (July 24, 2013) — Weight discrimination may increase risk for obesity rather than motivating individuals to lose weight, according to research published July 24 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Angelina Sutin and Antonio Terracciano from the Florida State University College of Medicine.   The researchers compared the height and weight of over 6000 participants, measured in 2006 and 2010. They found that participants who experienced weight discrimination earlier were 2.5 times more likely to become obese by the follow-up assessment in 2010. Link

Are happy gut bacteria key to weight loss?    Mother Jones (Apr. 22, 2013) by Moises Velasquez-Manoff – Imbalances in the microbial community in your intestines may lead to metabolic syndrome, obesity, and diabetes. What does science say about how to reset our bodies?  … Dr. Paresh Dandona, a diabetes specialist in Buffalo, New York, set out to measure the body’s response to McDonald’s—specifically breakfast. Over several mornings, he fed nine normal-weight volunteers an egg sandwich with cheese and ham, a sausage muffin sandwich, and two hash brown patties … what he observed has informed his research ever since. Levels of a C-reactive protein, an indicator of systemic inflammation, shot up “within literally minutes.” “I was shocked,” he recalls, that “a simple McDonald’s meal that seems harmless enough”—the sort of high-fat, high-carbohydrate meal that 1 in 4 Americans eats regularly—would have such a dramatic effect. And it lasted for hours.   Link

Obese patients trust diet advice from overweight physicians more than normal weight physicians   ScienceDaily (June 4, 2013) — When it comes to taking diet advice from a physician — size matters. This is according to a new study led by a team of researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who examined the impact of primary care physician BMI (body mass index) on their patients’ trust and perceptions of weight-related stigma. They found that overweight and obese patients trust weight-related counseling from overweight physicians more than normal weight physicians and patients seeing an obese primary care physician were more likely to perceive weight-related stigma.   Link

Sexually harassed men undergo extreme measures to control weight   Medical News Today (May 14, 2013) – Surprisingly, researchers at Michigan State University found that men who suffer from sexual harassment are more likely to try and control their weight with extreme measures like taking laxatives or vomiting, compared to women.  As one of the first studies of its kind to examine what kind of effect sexual harassment has on body image and eating behaviors in men and women, the study revealed some very interesting information.   Link

People eat more, gain weight with less sleep   Medical News Today (Mar. 12, 2014) by Catharine Paddock, PhD – When people don’t get enough sleep they tend to eat more, causing them to gain weight. This was the conclusion of a new study led by University of Colorado Boulder in the US that was published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.   Link

Sticking with smaller goals keeps weight loss on track   ScienceDaily (Jan. 17, 2013) — Losing weight — especially when the goal is to lose double-digit amounts — can seem like a daunting task, but a health and wellness expert at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) said the key is to take it one step at a time.  “If we set lofty weight loss goals, like 10, 20 or 30-plus pounds, and we don’t make progress quickly enough, it’s too easy to get distracted and have our emotions convince us that the goal is not achievable,” … breaking down goals into smaller, more manageable short-term targets, like losing one to two pounds per week, can lead to better chances of success.      Link

Poll of psychologists cites emotions as top obstacle to successful weight loss     ScienceDaily (Jan. 9, 2013) — When it comes to losing weight, a popular New Year’s resolution for many, people often focus on eating less and exercising more. But results of a new survey of psychologists suggest dieters should pay attention to the role emotions play in weight gain and loss if they hope to succeed.   Link

Mastering weight-maintenance skills before embarking on diet helps women avoid backsliding   ScienceDaily (Oct. 30, 2012) — Would you take part in a weight-loss program in which you were explicitly asked not to lose any weight for the first eight weeks?  Although the approach sounds counterintuitive, a study from researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine found that women who spent eight weeks mastering weight-maintenance skills before embarking on a weight-loss program shed the same number of pounds as women who started a weight-loss program immediately. More importantly, the study showed that the “maintenance-first” women had regained only 3 pounds on average a year later, compared to the average 7-pound gain for the immediate dieters.   Link

Is obesity irreversible? Timing is key in weight loss   ScienceDaily (Oct. 24, 2012) — Joint research between the University of Michigan and the Argentina-based National Council of Science and Technology (CONICET) has shed light on one of the most frustrating mysteries of weight loss — why the weight inevitably comes back.  A novel animal model showed that the longer mice remained overweight, the more “irreversible” obesity became, according to the new study that appeared online ahead of print Oct.24 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.   Link

Obese brain may thwart weight loss: diets high in saturated fat, refined sugar may cause brain changes that fuel overconsumption   ScienceDaily (Oct. 1, 2012) — “Betcha can’t eat just one!” For obese people trying to lose weight, advertising slogans such as this one hit a bit too close to home as it describes the daily battle to resist high calorie foods.  But new research by Terry Davidson, director of American University’s Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, indicates that diets that lead to obesity — diets high in saturated fat and refined sugar — may cause changes to the brains of obese people that in turn may fuel overconsumption of those same foods and make weight loss more challenging.   Link

Do less exercise, lose more weight: Is it really that easy?    The Globe and Mail (Sep. 19 2012) by Carly Weeks – In  the world of weight loss and exercise, the age-old adage states that if you don’t feel pain, you won’t see a gain. In other words, losing weight means work. Hard work.  However, a new study is questioning that truism and highlighting the fact many of us may be unwittingly sabotaging our efforts.  The study, by researchers at the University of Copenhagen, found that moderate amounts of exercise may actually lead to greater weight loss.    Link

Adequate sleep helps weight loss   ScienceDaily (Sep. 17, 2012) — Adequate sleep is an important part of a weight loss plan and should be added to the recommended mix of diet and exercise, states a commentary in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).  Although calorie restriction and increased physical activity are recommended for weight loss, there is significant evidence that inadequate sleep is contributing to obesity. Lack of sleep increases the stimulus to consume more food and increases appetite-regulating hormones.  Link

When psychology trumps anti-obesity drugs   ScienceDaily (Sep. 5, 2012) — Patients who fail to lose weight while taking anti-obesity drugs do so because of their beliefs about themselves and about the difficulty of losing weight.  Link

Is long-term weight loss possible after menopause?   ScienceDaily(Aug. 28, 2012) — Many people can drop pounds quickly in the early phases of a diet, but studies have found that it is difficult to keep the weight off in the long term. For post-menopausal women, natural declines in energy expenditure could make long-term weight loss even more challenging. A new study finds that in post-menopausal women, some behaviors that are related to weight loss in the short term are not effective or sustainable for the long term. Interventions targeting these behaviors could improve long-term obesity treatment outcomes.   Link

Manipulating the microbiome could help manage weight    ScienceDaily (Aug. 26, 2012) — Vaccines and antibiotics may someday join caloric restriction or bariatric surgery as a way to regulate weight gain, according to a new study focused on the interactions between diet, the bacteria that live in the bowel, and the immune system.   Link

30 minutes of daily exercise as good as 60 for weight loss    Medical News Today (Aug 23, 2012) – A new study from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark found that sedentary, slightly overweight healthy young men who worked up a sweat exercising 30 minutes daily for three months lost a similar amount of weight and body fat as those who did 60 minutes of daily exercise.   Link

Antibiotic use in infants before six months associated with being overweight in childhood  ScienceDaily (Aug. 21, 2012) — Treating very young infants with antibiotics may predispose them to being overweight in childhood, according to a study of more than 10,000 children by researchers at the NYU School of Medicine and the NYU Wagner School of Public Service and published in the online August 21, 2012, issue of the International Journal of Obesity. Link

New drug could help maintain long-term weight loss   ScienceDaily (July 26, 2012) — A new drug could aid in losing weight and keeping it off. The drug, described in the journal Cell Metabolism on July 26, increases sensitivity to the hormone leptin, a natural appetite suppressant found in the body. Although so far the new drug has only been tested on mice, the findings have implications for the development of new treatments for obesity in humans.   Link

Keep a journal, don’t skip meals to shed weight: study   Reuters (July 13, 2012) by Patricia Reaney – Want to drop those extra pounds without starving yourself? Keeping a food journal, not skipping meals and eating out less often, particularly for lunch, will help, according to new research released on Friday.  Link

Above-normal weight alone does not necessarily increase short-term risk of death, U.S. data suggest   ScienceDaily (July 6, 2012) — An evaluation of national data by UC Davis researchers has found that extra weight is not necessarily linked with a higher risk of death.  When compared to those with normal weight, people who were overweight or obese had no increased risk of death during a follow-up period of six years. People who were severely obese did have a higher risk, but only if they also had diabetes or hypertension.   Link

Group program helps teens keep weight down    Reuters Health (July 3, 2012) by Kerry Grens – Four  months of weekly group discussions and physical activity sessions helped overweight teens lose weight and keep some of it from coming back, in a new study.  The changes – seven or eight pounds, on average – were “modest,” but the study program represents one of the few weight-loss strategies shown to be successful among adolescents, researchers said.  Link

Low-fat, low-carb, or low-glycemic?  Study shows which is best to keep weight off   msnbc.com Health on Today (June 29, 2012) by Joy Bauer – Cutting-edge research from Boston Children’s Hospital suggests that the type of diet you eat may affect your metabolism, a finding that has important implications for weight maintenance. Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association this week, the study looked at three popular diets (low-carb, low-glycemic, and low-fat) to see which combination of fat, carbs, and protein was the best for people trying to maintain a previous weight loss.  Because decreases in metabolism can contribute to weight regain, the researchers aimed to see which eating plan worked best with the body’s internal mechanisms to rev up dieters’ calorie burn and help them keep the weight off.   Link

Eating disorders, weight worries still stalk women after 50, study finds msnbc.com: Today Health (Jun. 21, 2012) by JoNel Aleccia – Women’s worries about weight and shape and the frustration of gaining five — or more — pounds don’t disappear in middle age, according to a new study that finds that body image problems and eating disorders persist at age 50 and well beyond.  Link

Alcohol abuse up after weight loss surgery: study    Reuters Health (Jun. 18, 2012) by Frederik Joelving – For some obese people, drinking problems may become a new burden following weight loss surgery, according to a new study out Monday.   Although the rate of alcohol abuse climbed only two percent after the procedures, researchers say this translates into more than 2,000 new cases of abuse every year in the U.S.  Two years following their surgery, patients described more symptoms of dependence — such as needing a drink in the morning or failing to meet normal expectations — and more alcohol-related harms, such as black-outs, feelings of guilt or injuring someone.   Link

Complex world of gut microbes fine-tune body weight    ScienceDaily (June 6, 2012) — Microorganisms in the human gastrointestinal tract form an intricate, living fabric made up of some 500 to 1000 distinct bacterial species, (in addition to other microbes). Recently, researchers have begun to untangle the subtle role these diverse life forms play in maintaining health and regulating weight.  In a new study appearing in the journal Nutrition in Clinical Practice, researcher[s]… review the role of gut microbes in nutrient absorption and energy regulation…”Malnutrition may manifest as either obesity or undernutrition, problems of epidemic proportion worldwide. Microorganisms have been shown to play an important role in nutrient and energy extraction and energy regulation although the specific roles that individual and groups/teams of gut microbes play remain uncertain.” Link

Fewer food choices don’t help weight loss: study    Reuters (May 31, 2012) – Reducing people’s options for junk foods helps them to cut back on the amount of calories they take in, but it doesn’t reduce their overall calorie load or help them lose weight, according to a U.S. study.  Link

Why exercise may not lead to weight loss   The Globe and Mail (May 13, 2012) by Alex Hutchinson — There’s no doubt that exercise burns calories. So why has study after study found such modest average weight loss even after subjects follow relatively vigorous, well-designed exercise programs? … Break down the study results, and you find that exercise is highly effective at melting off pounds for some people, and ineffective for others. Scientists are now teasing out the factors that explain these different responses – and poking holes in weight-loss plans that promise one-size-fits-all success.  Link

Treating childhood obesity: A family affair   ScienceDaily (May 1, 2012) — With nearly one-third of American children being overweight or obese, doctors agree that there is an acute need for more effective treatments. In many weight management programs, the dropout rate can be as high as 73 percent, and even in successful programs, the benefits are usually short term. Although family-based approaches to pediatric obesity are considered the gold standard of treatment, theories of the family and how it functions have not been incorporated into effective interventions…  Link

Obesity affects job prospects for women, study finds   ScienceDaily (Apr. 30, 2012) — Obese women are more likely to be discriminated against when applying for jobs and receive lower starting salaries than their non-overweight colleagues, a new study has found.  Link

Familiarity with television fast-food ads linked to obesity    ScienceDaily (Apr. 29, 2012) — There is a long-held concern that youths who eat a lot of fast food are at risk for becoming overweight. New research presented April 29, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Boston shows that greater familiarity with fast-food restaurant advertising on television is associated with obesity in young people.  Link

Big girls don’t cry: Overweight teens who are satisfied with their bodies are less depressed, less prone to unhealthy behaviors  ScienceDaily (Apr. 28, 2012) — A study to be published in the June 2012 issue of Journal of Adolescent Health looking at the relationships between body satisfaction and healthy psychological functioning in overweight adolescents has found that young women who are happy with the size and shape of their bodies report higher levels of self-esteem. They may also be protected against the negative behavioral and psychological factors sometimes associated with being overweight.    Link

Brain scans show why some can’t resist temptation    msnbc.com: Vitals (Apr. 23, 2012) by Brian Alexander – Jill, Ann, and Kimberly go off to college with warnings from their parents about sex and the “Freshman 15” ringing in their ears. Months later, Jill has gained 15 pounds and Ann has become a sexual adventurer. Kimberly, on the other hand, has not only maintained her weight, she’s been too busy studying in the library stacks to hook up. What accounts for the differences?  Link

Ryerson study finds preschoolers think overweight kids are ‘mean’  Toronto Star (Apr. 5, 2012) by Katie Daubs – The world is a judgmental place, and it starts at preschool. A Ryerson University study published in the latest edition of the Journal of Early Childhood Research showed that Toronto preschoolers are likely to assume overweight children are mean.   Link

For many girls, slimming down doesn’t help self-esteem:  Teens who were formerly obese often still view themselves as fat, study finds    US News & World Report: Healthday News (Apr. 3, 2012) – Weight loss doesn’t necessarily lead to a boost in obese teenage girls’ self-esteem, according to a new study.  “We found that obese black and white teenage girls who transitioned out of obesity continued to see themselves as fat, despite changes in their relative body mass,” study author Sarah Mustillo, an associate professor of sociology at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., said in a university news release.  Link

Sleep more, weigh less over the long term:  The wrong amount of sleep could cause weight gain     Psychology Today (Apr. 2012) by Michael J. Breus  (fromSleep Newzzz, Aug. 2011) – The link between sleep and weight loss recently received a big boost: a long-term, large-scale study has confirmed that both too little sleep and too much sleep leads to weight gain…Adults who slept fewer than 6 hours per night or more than 8 hours per night gained more weight than those whose nightly sleep fell within the recommended 6-8 hour range.   Link

Dieting companies now targeting men    cnn.com (Mar 23, 2012) by Emma Lacey-Bordeaux & Gavin Godfrey – Jeff Romig kept putting it off.  He knew the doctor would give him bad news. He’d known it for years; he needed to lose weight.  But as he sat in the doctor’s office a few weeks ago and listened to his numbers — cholesterol and blood pressure, both too high — he resolved to change. This time, he decided to do something different, something drastic.  After 10 years of talking about losing weight without much success, Romig decided to put his health and family first by leaving his high-pressure politics job.   Link

Israel bans use of ultra-skinny models.  Doctors must sign off on model’s weight:  Advertisers obliged to come clean on “photoshopping”    Reuters (Mar 20, 2012) – Israeli lawmakers have banned underweight models from catwalks and commercials, a measure they hope will reduce eating disorders and promote a healthy body image.  The law, passed late on Monday, says women and men cannot be hired for modeling jobs unless a doctor stipulates they are not underweight, with a body mass index (BMI) — a measure expressing a ratio of weight to height — of no less than 18.5.   Link

Calories are everywhere, yet hard to track    New York Times: Health (Mar. 19, 2012) by Jane E. Brody – Americans are having a passionate love affair with something they cannot see, hear, feel, touch or taste. That something is calories, billions upon billions of which are consumed every day, often unwittingly, at and between meals. .. two experts… have written a new book, Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics, to be published April 1, which explains what calories are, where they come from, how different sources affect the body, and why it is so easy to consume more of them than most people need to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.   Link

A daily walk can reduce the power of weight-gaining genes:  Why walking works: it not only burns calories, but it also counteracts the effects of your fattening genes    Time.com: Healthland (Mar. 15, 2012) by Alice Park – Body weight, like so many of our individual characteristics, is the combined result of the genes we’re born with and the way we live our lives — how much and what we eat, and whether we exercise. The question is, how much does one influence the other?  In a new study … researchers offer evidence that lifestyle can actually change the effect our genes have on the number on the scale.    Link

Most weight loss supplements are not effective     ScienceDaily (Mar. 6, 2012) — An Oregon State University researcher has reviewed the body of evidence around weight loss supplements and has bad news for those trying to find a magic pill to lose weight and keep it off — it doesn’t exist.  Melinda Manore reviewed the evidence surrounding hundreds of weight loss supplements, a $2.4 billion industry in the United States, and said no research evidence exists that any single product results in significant weight loss — and many have detrimental health benefits.  Link

The majority of women with bulimia reach highest-ever weight after developing the disorder     MNT: Medical News Today (Mar 1, 2012) – Researchers at Drexel University have found that a majority of women with bulimia nervosa reach their highest-ever body weight after developing their eating disorder, despite the fact that the development of the illness is characterized by significant weight loss. Their new study, published online last month in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, adds to a body of recent work that casts new light on the importance of weight history in understanding and treating bulimia.  Link

Is fructose being blamed unfairly for obesity epidemic?      ScienceDaily (Feb. 21, 2012) — Is fructose being unfairly blamed for the obesity epidemic? Or do we just eat and drink too many calories?  Researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital reviewed more than 40 published studies on whether the fructose molecule itself causes weight gain…”Fructose may not be to blame for obesity…It may just be calories from any food source. Over consumption is the issue.”   Link

Study: Doctors over-estimate patients’ ability to lose weight     msnbc.com (Feb 21, 2012) by Karen Rowan – If you want to know whether you’ll lose weight or not, don’t ask a doctor.  In a new study, physicians predicted about 55 percent of patients would be “likely” or “very likely” to follow their recommendations for losing weight, eating healthier or getting more exercise. But three months later, only 28 percent of patients had lost at least two pounds, 34 percent were eating less fat and more fiber, and 6 percent were getting in one more hour of brisk walking each week.  Link

The new weight-loss math    The Globe and Mail (Feb. 21, 2012) by Leslie Beck – If you’ve ever followed a weight-loss diet, you might be familiar with the 3,500-calorie rule.  It’s pretty simple: Since there are 3,500 calories in a pound of body fat, eating 500 fewer calories each day – or burning them off exercising – will lead to a slow and steady weight loss of a pound a week. (The math: 500 x 7 days = 3,500).  According to U.S. researchers, this ubiquitous weight-loss rule is overly simple and overly optimistic. And it can lead to unrealistic expectations about how quickly you can achieve a weight-loss goal.  Link

Heavy doctors avoid heavy discussions about weight    NPR’s Health Blog: Shots (Jan. 27, 2012) by Judith Graham – Research already demonstrates that physicians are sometimes uncomfortable talking about weight with their obese patients. Now, a new study shows that the doctors’ weight makes a difference too. Physicians who pack on the pounds discuss weight loss less frequently with obese patients than doctors who have normal body mass indexes.    Link

The naked truth: I let my weight limit my pleasure     Huffpost Women (Jan. 4, 2012) by Rebecca Jane Weinstein – “No man will ever love you,” proclaimed my grandmother in what she considered her infinite wisdom. I was nine or ten — old enough to know exactly what she was talking about, and young enough that I believed her. Thirty-five years later, undergoing the kind of therapy usually prescribed for veterans of war, I understood that she wasn’t entirely right… Growing up overweight, forced to diet early and listen to forecasts of my own spinsterhood, it took me years — years — to say the word “fat.” So you can imagine the complete shift in perspective it took for me to say the words “fat sex.”  Link

A simple weight loss strategy. Really. Maybe.     Huffpost Healthy Living (Jan. 2, 2012) by Wray Herbert – Dieting and weight control are really pretty simple. We gain weight and have trouble losing it because we eat too much and move too little. If we can switch that around, most of us should be able to maintain a sensible weight without resorting to unhealthy gimmicks.  But that’s just the biology of weight control. What about the psychology?    Link

The fat trap    New York Times: Well (Dec. 28, 2011) by Tara Parker-Pope – For 15 years, Joseph Proietto has been helping people lose weight. When these obese patients arrive at his weight-loss clinic in Australia, they are determined to slim down. And most of the time, he says, they do just that, sticking to the clinic’s program and dropping excess pounds. But then, almost without exception, the weight begins to creep back. In a matter of months or years, the entire effort has come undone, and the patient is fat again.  Link

Could obesity change the brain? NPR’s Health Blog: Shots (Dec.28, 2011) by Nancy Shute – The standard advice for losing weight often comes up short for people who are obese. If they switch to a healthful diet and exercise more, they might lose a bit. But the pounds have a way of creeping back on. Now some provocative research suggests that a part of the problem might be that obesity could change the area of the brain that helps control appetite and body weight. Link

Overweight people eat less often. True or false?    Reuters (Nov. 21, 2011) – Overweight adults eat less often than people in the normal body weight range, but still take in more calories and are less active over the course of the day, according to a U.S. study.   Link

Can’t keep the pounds off? It’s your hormones:  Australian study shows that dieters are struggling against a persistent biological urge   msnbc.com: Associated Press (Oct. 26, 2011) by Malcolm Ritter – Any dieter knows that it’s hard to keep off weight you’ve lost. Now a study finds that even a year after dieters shed a good chunk of weight quickly, their hormones were still insisting, “Eat! Eat! Eat!”  The findings suggest that dieters who have regained weight are not just slipping back into old habits, but are struggling against a persistent biological urge.  “People who regain weight should not be harsh on themselves, as eating is our most basic instinct,” Joseph Proietto of the University of Melbourne in Australia, an author of the study, said in an email.  Link

Get the skinny on shut-eye:  Lack of sleep actually increases appetite and drives people to binge on unhealthy foods    Macleans.ca (Sept. 15, 2011) by Kate Lunau – Over 13 million Canadians are overweight or obese, but for those trying to shed pounds, giving up on a full night’s sleep for a 5 a.m. gym session might do more harm than good. Lack of sleep actually increases appetite and drives people to binge on unhealthy “comfort foods,” according to Dr. Charles Samuels, medical director of the Calgary-based Centre for Sleep and Human Performance.  Link

‘Gene overdose’ causes extreme thinness    ScienceDaily (Aug. 31, 2011) — Scientists have discovered a genetic cause of extreme thinness for the first time, in a study published August 30 in the journal Nature. The research shows that people with extra copies of certain genes are much more likely to be very skinny. In one in 2000 people, part of chromosome 16 is duplicated, making men 23 times and women five times more likely to be underweight.  Link

Why some obese people are healthier than skinny people    Healthzone.ca (Aug. 15, 2011) by Debra Black – Being fat doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re in poor health.  Or so suggests a study done by Jennifer Kuk, a York University assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science in the Faculty of Health.  “Not all obese individuals have poor health,” Kuk told the Star. “Conversely not all normal weight individuals have good health. You can have normal weight individuals who have high blood pressure, diabetes and poor lifestyle.”  Kuk and her team looked at 6,000 obese Americans comparing them to 23,000 healthy individuals.   Link

The thins versus the fats: Is obesity really a health, and a health care, issue?   New York Times: Opinionator (July 30, 2011) by Eric Etheridge – Though the now-twinned issues of race and beer have dominated the week’s storyline, Paul Campos wants you to think about another form of discrimination — fatism. It’s time we “stop harassing people about their weight,” says Campos, author of the “Obesity Myth,” in an interview with Megan McArdle for her Atlantic blog.  It appears that focusing on the idea that being fat actually makes people fatter. At least there’s an extremely strong correlation there. I bet if we stopped demonizing fatness people would actually be a bit thinner. They’d certainly be happier and healthier.  Link

Obese people can suffer from social anxiety disorder due to weight alone    ScienceDaily (July 1, 2011) — A new study from Rhode Island Hospital researchers shows that obese individuals with social anxiety related only to their weight may experience anxiety as severe as individuals with social anxiety disorder (SAD). The findings directly conflict with the criteria for SAD in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV). The study is now published online in advance of print in the journal Depression and AnxietyLink

Belly fat in men: Why weight loss matters    Mayo Clinic (June 9, 2011) by Mayo Clinic staff – Belly fat is nothing to joke about. Find out what causes belly fat, the health risks it poses for men and what you can do to lose the extra pounds.  If you’re carrying a few extra pounds, you’re not alone. But this is one case where following the crowd isn’t a good idea. Carrying extra weight — especially belly fat — can be risky.  Michael Jensen, M.D., an endocrinology specialist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., answers common questions about belly fat in men.   Link

Surgery-related weight loss in men reverses testosterone deficiency, study finds ScienceDaily (June 4, 2011) — Low testosterone levels and symptoms of male sexual dysfunction due to obesity may be reversible with weight loss after bariatric surgery, a new study finds.  The results were presented at The Endocrine Society’s 93rd Annual Meeting in Boston.  “Morbidly obese men have a high prevalence of hypotestosteronenemia, or low testosterone, and of sexual dysfunction,” said study co-author Jean-Paul Thissen, MD, PhD, a professor at the University of Louvain in Brussels. “It is reassuring that these problems are potentially curable by weight loss.”   Link

Food addiction works like drug addiction in the brain     Huffington Post (Apr. 5, 2011) – Seeing a milkshake can activate the same areas of the brain that light up when an addict sees cocaine, U.S. researchers said on Monday. The study helps explain why it can be so hard for some people to maintain a healthy weight, and why it has been so difficult for drug makers and health experts to find obesity treatments that work.  Link

Women with eating disorders draw a different picture of themselves than women without, study suggests    ScienceDaily (Feb. 15, 2011) — Women suffering from anorexia or bulimia draw themselves with prominently different characteristics than women who do not have eating disorders and who are considered of normal weight. This has been revealed in a new joint study from the University of Haifa, Soroka University Medical Center and Achva Academic College, Israel, published in The Arts in Psychotherapy.   Link

Drop that cookie! Even briefly overeating has lasting effects:  Those in study who ate extra for month experienced physiological changes    msnbc.com (Aug. 24, 2010) by Jeanna Bryner – The effects of a sedentary, gluttonous lifestyle are hard to shake, even after the person has become an upstanding, healthy individual, a new Swedish study suggests.   Researchers found that even a short period of overeating and a lack of exercise can have lasting effects on a person’s physiology and make it harder to lose weight and keep it off.   Link

Drink water to curb weight gain? Clinical trial confirms effectiveness of simple appetite control method    ScienceDaily (Aug. 23, 2010) — Has the long-sought magic potion in society’s “battle with the bulge” finally arrived? An appetite-control agent that requires no prescription, has no common side effects, and costs almost nothing? Scientists report results of a new clinical trial confirming that just two 8-ounce glasses of the stuff, taken before meals, enables people to shed pounds. The weight-loss elixir, they told the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), is ordinary water.  Link

4 surprising reasons women can’t lose weight    cnn.com: Health (Aug. 11, 2010) by Jennifer Benjamin – Most of us already know that eating less and moving more are the keys to dropping extra pounds. But if you’re already doing everything “right” and can’t seem to lose weight — or are even gaining it — you may have a hidden health condition that’s sabotaging your efforts. And the symptoms may be so subtle that even your doctor can miss them. Here, some possible weight-loss blockers — and how to get the help you need  Link

Obesity gene, carried by more than a third of the us population, leads to brain tissue loss  ScienceDaily (Apr. 20, 2010) — Three years ago, geneticists reported the startling discovery that nearly half of all people in the U.S. with European ancestry carry a variant of the fat mass and obesity associated (FTO) gene, which causes them to gain weight — from three to seven pounds, on average — but worse, puts them at risk for obesity.   Link

Don’t blame fast food for making you fat:  Fat epidemic linked to chemicals run amok   msnbc.com  (Mar. 8, 2010) – by Stephen Perrine with Heather Hurlock.   It’s not just about calories in versus calories out.  If that were all it took to lose weight — eating a little less and exercising a little more — then weight loss would be as simple as grade-school math: Subtract Y from Z and end up with X.  But if you’ve ever followed a diet program and achieved less than your desired result, you probably came away feeling frustrated, depressed, and maybe a bit guilty. What did I do wrong?    Link

High-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain, researchers find   ScienceDaily (Mar. 22, 2010) — A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.  Link

Discovery of ‘fat’ taste could hold the key to reducing obesity   ScienceDaily (Mar. 10, 2010) — A newly discovered ability for people to taste fat could hold the key to reducing obesity, Deakin University health researchers believe.  Deakin researchers…have found that humans can detect a sixth taste — fat. They also found that people with a high sensitivity to the taste of fat tended to eat less fatty foods and were less likely to be overweight. The results of their research are published in the latest issue of the British Journal of Nutrition.  Link

Heavy kids, heavy emotions:  Shame, stress and depression often spur further weight gain   msnbc.com (Feb. 14, 2010) by Jeanna Bryner  – The ballooning waistlines of children hit the spotlight when Michelle Obama admitted publicly her daughters had an unhealthy body mass index. And while many urge kids to slim down to avoid heart disease and other physical ailments, the emotional consequences from teasing and low self-esteem could be just as debilitating, scientists say.  Link

Some morbidly obese people are missing genes, shows new research   ScienceDaily (Feb. 4, 2010) — A small but significant proportion of morbidly obese people are missing a section of their DNA, according to research published February 3 in Nature. The authors of the study, from Imperial College London and ten other European Centres, say that missing DNA such as that identified in this research may be having a dramatic effect on some people’s weight.  Link

When parents try to control every little bite:  Being too restrictive about your child’s diet can backfire, experts say    msnbc.com: Health (Sept . 3, 2009) by Bridget Murray Law — Driven by concern about childhood obesity or other food anxieties, more nutrition-focused parents are turning into food cops, monitoring every morsel their children eat…In fact, a recent study found that being too restrictive about the foods children eat can cause more weight gain. Researchers from the Center for Childhood Obesity Research at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, found the highest weight gain among girls who considered their parents most restrictive about eating certain foods. The study tracked 200 girls for 10 years from age 5.   Link

Psychological link between ‘weight’ and ‘importance’    ScienceDaily (Aug. 31, 2009)  —  Weighty.  Heavy. What do these words have to do with seriousness and importance? Why do we weigh our options, and why does your opinion carry more weight than mine?  New research suggests that we can blame this on gravity. Heavy objects require more energy to move, and they can hurt us more if we move them clumsily. So we learn early on in life to think more and plan more when we’re dealing with heftier things. They require more cognitive effort as well as muscular effort.  This leads to the intriguing possibility that the abstract concept of importance is grounded in our very real experience of weight.  Link

The fat wars: America’s weight rage—America’s war on the overweight   Newsweek (August 26, 2009) by Kate Dailey and Abby Ellin — Anti-fat rhetoric is getting nastier than ever. Why our overweight nation hates overweight people.  Link

Get fat, live longer: What the obesity industry doesn’t want you to know    The Globe and Mail: Opinion (July 25, 2009) by Margaret Wente  — A new study based on Statistics Canada population data reaches an exceedingly awkward conclusion: People who are overweight live longer than people who are classified as “normal” weight. Not only that, people who are classified as significantly overweight also live longer.  Link

8 ways the food industry hijacks your brain:  Overeating doesn’t only affect people who are overweight    msnbc.com (July 10, 2009) — In the 21st century the food industry is creating and marketing unhealthy food in much the same way that tobacco companies manufactured and sold cigarettes in the 20th century… more than 70 million Americans have become conditioned to overeat, and it affects people of all different weights. Dr. David A. Kessler, the dynamic and controversial former head of the Food and Drug Administration who took on big tobacco in the 1990s, now takes on the food industry …[and] pulls back the curtain to reveal how the food industry and its scientists really operate.   Link

When eating disorders strike in midlife    New York Times: Health (July 13, 2009) by Randi Hutter Epstein — No one has precise statistics on who is affected by eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia, often marked by severe weight loss, or binge eating, which can lead to obesity. But experts say that in the past 10 years they are treating an increasing number of women over 30 who are starving themselves, abusing laxatives, exercising to dangerous extremes and engaging in all of the self-destructive activities that had, for so long, been considered teenage behaviors.    Link

Study offers clues to why people overeat      New York Times: Health (June 10, 2009) by Roni Caryn Rabin – People usually gain weight because they overeat, but what makes them overeat? A new study suggests that obese people have a different physiological response to food: they continue to salivate longer in response to a new taste than do people of normal weight.   Link

Molecular link between sleep and weight gain     ScienceDaily (May 23, 2009) — There appears to be a link between sleep and weight control, with some studies indicating that sleep disruption can increase weight gain and others that diet affects sleep. Victor Uebele and colleagues, at Merck Research Laboratories, West Point, have now provided further evidence to support this association by showing that T-type calcium channels regulate body weight maintenance and sleep in mice.  Link

Teens who think they’re overweight more likely to try suicide     ScienceDaily (May 21, 2009) — Being overweight — or simply believing they are overweight — might predispose some U.S. teens to suicide attempts, according to a new study.  The study looked at more than 14,000 high school students to determine the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and suicide attempts, as well as the relationship between believing one is overweight — whether true or not —and suicide attempts.  Link

Does mom know when enough is enough? Missed satiety cues from infants linked to obesity     ScienceDaily (May 12, 2009) — As the childhood obesity epidemic in the United States continues, researchers are examining whether early parent and child behaviors contribute to the problem. A study from the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Rutgers University, published in the May/June 2009 issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior reports that mothers who miss signs of satiety in their infants tend to overfeed them, leading to excess weight gains during the 6 month to 1 year period.  Link

Poll: Women value weight over physical health:  Half dislike their weight, a third unhappy about body condition, survey finds     Associated Press (May 11, 2009) — Scan the breathless headlines at any magazine rack — Fight Flab in Minutes! Get Beach Ready! Add the skinny yet buxom model, and it should be no surprise that the average woman feels insecure if not downright unhappy with her real-world figure.  Link

Think 30 minutes of exercise cuts it? Try 50      msnbc.com (Feb. 10, 2009) — Greater amounts of physical activity than currently recommended may be necessary to prevent people from gaining weight, according to updated guidelines.  Link

Another reason to avoid high-fat diet: it can disrupt our biological clock, say researchers     ScienceDaily (Dec. 31, 2008) — Indulgence in a high-fat diet can not only lead to overweight because of excessive calorie intake, but also can affect the balance of circadian rhythms – everyone’s 24-hour biological clock, Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers have shown.   Link

Brain enzyme may play key role in controlling appetite and weight gain     ScienceDaily (Dec. 16, 2008) — Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have found that overactivity of a brain enzyme may play a role in preventing weight gain and obesity. The findings were reported in Cell Metabolism.   Link

Keeping the weight off: which obesity treatment is most successful?     ScienceDaily (Dec. 12, 2008) — Severely obese patients who have lost significant amounts of weight by changing their diet and exercise habits may be as successful in keeping the weight off long-term as those individuals who lost weight after bariatric surgery, according to a new study published online by the International Journal of Obesity.   Link

Gene may explain why some go for fatty foods      msnbc.com (Dec 10, 2008) – A study of children found those with a common gene variation tends to overeat high-calorie foods. They ate 100 extra calories per meal, which over the long term can put on weight.  Link

Eating quickly and until full triples risk of being overweight ScienceDaily (Oct. 22, 2008) — The combination of eating quickly and eating until full trebles the risk of being overweight, according to a study published on the British Medical Journal website.  Until the last decade or so most adults did not have the opportunity to consume enough energy to enable fat to be stored. However, with the increased availability of inexpensive food in larger portions, fast food, and fewer families eating together and eating while distracted (e.g. while watching TV), eating behaviours are changing, and this may be contributing to the obesity epidemic.  Link

Losing the weight stigma   New York Times: Magazine (Oct. 05, 2008) by Robin Marantz Henig — A social movement argues that you can be healthy no matter how fat you are.    Link

For the overweight, bad advice by the spoonful     New York Times: Health Guide (Aug. 30, 2007) by Gina Kolata —Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. For most, research shows, neither diets nor moderate exercise brings significant long-term weight loss.  In brief:  weight control is not simply a matter of willpower; genes help determine the body’s “set point,” which is defended by the brain; dieting alone is rarely successful, and relapse rates are high; moderate exercise, too, rarely results in substantive long-term weight loss, which requires intensive exercise.     Link

Is it ok to be pudgy?    Time (May 2, 2005) by Christine Gorman — Millions of pleasantly plump Americans were stepping a little lighter. A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had just concluded that folks who are overweight but not obese are at no greater risk of dying prematurely than people of normal weight.   Link

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