the binge-eating files » Diet

Articles related to diet and binge eating, emotional eating, food addiction, obesity, weight, fat, emotions and mental wellness

Mecca Jamilah Sullivan: ‘The culture of disordered eating and dieting is still thriving’   The Guardian (July 29, 2023) by Kadish Morris — The American writer on her debut novel about weight and womanhood set in 90s Harlem, how her mother’s Black feminist books changed her life and writing a work of hip-hop magic realism … more

Are most diets doomed to fail? Here’s what experts say actually works for weight loss  Toronto Star (June 30, 2023) by Kevin Jiang — Despite the hype around so-called “yo-yo diets,” experts tell the Star only the rare exception will see long-term results … Here’s what you need to know about these so-called “yo-yo diets” and what experts say will work when it comes to losing weight. … more

Diet tracking: How much is enough to lose weight?  ScienceDaily (June 8, 2023) — ‘You don’t need to have perfect tracking every day to lose a clinically significant amount of weight. Keeping track of everything you eat and drink in a day is a tedious task that is tough to keep up with over time. Unfortunately, dutiful tracking is a vital component for successful weight loss, however, a new study finds that perfect tracking is not needed to achieve significant weight loss. … more

How the ‘almond mom’ trend is sparking conversations about the impact of diet culture   ABC News (Apr 28, 2023) by Sarah Prazmark , Knez Walker, Nicole Mastrangelo, Rachel Wenzlaff, and Allie Weintraub – …  Tyler Bender began making TikTok videos spoofing the behaviors and axioms of so-called “almond moms” … “An almond mom is a mom who is a little bit bought into diet culture. A little bit of an obsession with healthy eating, with her body image, with her daughter’s body image. Maybe a little bit of an obsession with fitness. But it tends to veer on the side of overdoing it … more

Opinion: It’s time to cancel diet culture — if not for ourselves, for our kids  Washington Post (Apr 17, 2023) by Kate Cohen – American diet culture teaches us at an early age that fat is bad and thin is good. Fat is ugly and thin is pretty. Fat is unhealthy and thin is healthy. Fat is irresponsible and thin is virtuous. This cultural bias is so pervasive and insidious that it turns almost everyone into either victim or collaborator. Or, if you’re like me, into both. … more

Dieting: Brain amplifies signal of hunger synapses: Possible target for drugs to combat the yo-yo effect   ScienceDaily (Mar 24, 2023) — Many people who have dieted are familiar with the yo-yo effect: after the diet, the kilos are quickly put back on. Researchers have now shown in mice that communication in the brain changes during a diet: The nerve cells that mediate the feeling of hunger receive stronger signals, so that the mice eat significantly more after the diet and gain weight more quickly. In the long term, these findings could help developing drugs to prevent this amplification and help to maintain a reduced body weight after dieting. … more

Weight Watchers wins when our diets fail – it won’t change society’s broken thinking around food   The Guardian (Mar 16, 2023) by Susie Orbach — The diet industry benefits if you become a customer for life: its profits soar with our failures. It’s no surprise that shares in Weight Watchers International surged more than 70% earlier this month after its acquisition of Sequence, a US telehealth service linking patients with doctors who can prescribe semaglutide medications, which suppress appetite and are being used for weight loss. … Repeat customers and subscription customers fuel business. Studies have shown that 97% of dieters regain everything they have lost within three years … more

Intermittent fasting warning: Experts say diet routine not as safe as generally believed   StudyFinds.org (Nov 10, 2022) by John Anderer — Intermittent fasting continues to be heralded by dieters, nutrition experts, and doctors alike as a highly effective eating routine for overall health. Defined as forgoing food for more than eight hours at a time, the technique is touted as an effective way to control or lose weight and positively affect both long and short-term health. Despite a strong body of research pointing to these health benefits, very few research projects, however, have investigated the darker side of intermittent fasting. Now, new findings from the University of Toronto link intermittent fasting to dangerous eating disorder attitudes and behaviors among both adolescents and young adults. … more

The ‘dirty bulk’ and ‘quick cut’ are both crash diets. Neither work.  The Globe and Mail (Oct 10, 2022) by Paul Landini — … Whether it’s boxing, mixed martial arts or bodybuilding, crash dieting is the not-so-secret shame of all weight-sensitive sports. The idea is to be the biggest-yet-leanest in your particular weight class in order to have a size and/or strength advantage over your opponents; to achieve this, athletes often go to extremes … more

Time-restricted eating no better than counting calories, study finds CNN Health (Apr 21, 2022) by Sandee LaMotte — In a blow to believers in time-restricted eating — a form of intermittent fasting where people only eat during a restricted window during the day — researchers in China have found the method has no significant benefits compared with simple calorie restriction in battling obesity. … more

Women losing their periods because of restrictive diets and excessive exercise. UK eating disorder charity Beat says problem, fuelled by social media, increasing even among those who are not underweight   The Guardian (Jan 6, 2022) by Sarah Marsh –  An increasing number of women are losing their monthly periods because they are following a social media trend for restrictive diets and excessive exercise, experts say. Charity heads and nutritionists have raised the alarm about the increase in hypothalamic amenorrhea, a condition where the body enters survival mode because it is under-fuelled, causing menstruation to stop. It is a reversible disorder caused by stress related to weight loss, excessive exercise and trauma. … more

Has gen Z really killed off dieting – or has it just changed its name?   The Guardian (Jan 12, 2022) by Arwa Mahdawi — Body positivity is all the rage and soft drinks are being repackaged as ‘zero sugar’. But is ‘clean eating’ just dieting in disguise? … more

The Worst Dieting Red Flags And Buzzwords To Watch Out For    Huffpost (Jan 5, 2022) by Alexandra Emanuelli — From detoxes to superfoods, beware of these terms thrown around in diet culture. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight, don’t fall for the bogus claims and red flags that so many internet diets tout. Here’s what dietitians advised to watch out for ― the marketing buzzwords and red flags ― plus some advice on what a sustainable diet should look like. … more

Diets Make You Feel Bad. Try Training Your Brain Instead.  New York Times (Jan 3, 2022) by Tara Parker-Pope – The new Eat Well Challenge will show you how to reshape your eating habits without dieting. Here’s a New Year’s resolution you can keep: Stop dieting and start savoring your food instead. …  there’s mounting scientific evidence to suggest that diets don’t work … that food restriction just makes you want to eat more … dieting can backfire, triggering your body’s survival defenses, slowing your metabolism and making it even harder to lose weight in the future. A resolution to quit dieting doesn’t mean giving up on having a healthier body. … more

Is a personalised diet the secret to long-term health?  BBC Radio 4 (October, 2021) by Tim Spector and Jim Al-Kalili — Many of us take dietary rules for granted. Like eating little and often, not skipping meals and keeping a check on our calorie intake. But genetic epidemiologist, Professor Tim Spector, argues we need to re-evaluate what we think we know about a good diet. … more

Ranking healthfulness of foods from first to worst   ScienceDaily (Oct 2021) — New nutrient profiling system, most comprehensive and science-based to date, clears up confusion to benefit consumers, policymakers.  … more

Dieting and its effect on the gut microbiome.  ScienceDaily (June 23, 2021) – Bacterium associated with antibiotic-induced colitis plays a role in weight control. Researchers were able to show for the first time that a very low calorie diet significantly alters the composition of the microbiota present in the human gut. The researchers report that dieting results in an increase of specific bacteria – notably Clostridioides difficile, which is associated with antibiotic-induced diarrhea and colitis. … more

Western high-fat diet can cause chronic pain, according to new study.   ScienceDaily (June 23, 2021) – A typical Western high-fat diet can increase the risk of painful disorders common in people with conditions such as diabetes or obesity, according to a new study. … more

How Food May Improve Your Mood   New York Times (May 6, 2021) by Anahad O’Connor – The sugar-laden, high-fat foods we often crave when we are stressed or depressed, as comforting as they are, may be the least likely to benefit our mental health. As people across the globe grappled with higher levels of stress, depression and anxiety this past year, many turned to their favorite comfort foods …  But studies in recent years suggest that the sugar-laden and high-fat foods we often crave when we are stressed or depressed, as comforting as they may seem, are the least likely to benefit our mental health. … The findings stem from an emerging field of research known as nutritional psychiatry, which looks at the relationship between diet and mental wellness. … more

Less inflammation with a traditional Tanzanian diet than with a Western diet. Study shows differences between western and traditional diet   ScienceDaily (Mar 4, 2021) – Urban Tanzanians have a more activated immune system compared to their rural counterparts. The difference in diet appears to explain this difference: in the cities, people eat a more western style diet, while in rural areas a traditional diet is more common. A team of researchers believe that this increased activity of the immune system contributes to the rapid increase in non-communicable diseases in urban areas in Africa. …more

Childhood diet has lifelong impact. Effects of unhealthy food followed young mice into adulthood   ScienceDaily (Feb 3, 2021) – Eating too much fat and sugar as a child can alter your microbiome for life, even if you later learn to eat healthier, a new study in mice suggests. The study by UC Riverside researchers is one of the first to show a significant decrease in the total number and diversity of gut bacteria in mature mice fed an unhealthy diet as juveniles. … more

Is American Dietetics a White-Bread World? These Dietitians Think So   New York Times (Dec 7, 2020) by Priya Krishna —  A new generation of practitioners says the profession pays inadequate attention to different kinds of diets, body types and lives. Long before she decided to help others eat better by becoming a dietitian, Jessica Wilson learned that the profession was unlikely to offer much to people like her. … more

Sweet as: The science of how diet can change the way sugar tastes   ScienceDaily (Apr 9, 2020) – Learning and tasting are controlled by the same molecules, animal studies show. Researchers have discovered the basic science of how sweet taste perception is fine-tuned in response to different diets. While it has long been known that food can taste different based on previous experience, until now we didn’t know the molecular pathways that controlled this effect. … more

Diet soda by itself may not cause weight gain, study says, but combining with carbs can  CNN (Mar 3, 2020) by Sandee LaMotte –  In the black hole of bad news for diet soda lovers, there’s a tiny glimmer of light. The gloom set in when science showed drinking diet soda could lead to metabolic syndrome, a nasty mix of higher blood pressure and blood sugars that leads to weight gain and increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. But a new study has found that it’s when you pair the common artificial sweetener sucralose with a carbohydrate — not the sweetener alone — that the body’s metabolism changes in a way that can lead to metabolic syndrome. … more

Global diets are converging, with benefits and problems   ScienceDaily (Jan 14, 2020) – Research has shown that diets are changing in complex ways worldwide. International food supply patterns are supporting healthier diets in parts of the world, but causing underweight and obesity elsewhere. They are also having important effects on environmental sustainability, with potentially worrying consequences. … more

How diet may lead to insomnia   MNT Medical News Today (Dec 13, 2019) by Maria Cohut — Insomnia can have a serious impact on a person’s health and well-being. Now, a study of females aged 50 and over has found that some parts of the diet most likely contribute to this sleep disorder. … more

Why It Is So Hard to Figure Out What to Eat: Most diet trials in the best journals fail even the most basic of quality control measures. New York Times (Nov 13, 2019) by David S. Ludwig and Steven B. Heymsfield — Most diet trials in the best journals fail even the most basic of quality control measures. That’s the finding of a study by us published today on JAMA Network Open. Investigators receiving funding for any clinical trial from the National Institutes of Health must register in advance what they plan to test, among other design features, to ensure that the data are fairly analyzed. Comparing the original registries with the final published studies, we found that diet trials in the past decade were about four times as likely as drug trials to have a discrepancy in the main outcome or measurement — raising concern for bias. … more

High-fat diets affect your brain, not just your physical appearance  ScienceDaily (Sept 9, 2019) – Much research has pointed to how an unhealthy diet correlates to obesity, but has not explored how diet can bring about neurological changes in the brain. A recent study has discovered that high-fat diets contribute to irregularities in the hypothalamus region of the brain, which regulates body weight homeostasis and metabolism. … more

High-fat diets affect your brain, not just your physical appearance   ScienceDaily (Sept 9, 2019) – Much research has pointed to how an unhealthy diet correlates to obesity, but has not explored how diet can bring about neurological changes in the brain. A recent study has discovered that high-fat diets contribute to irregularities in the hypothalamus region of the brain, which regulates body weight homeostasis and metabolism. … more

Obesity: How diet changes the brain and promotes overeating   MNT Medical News Today (June 28, 2019) by Yella Hewings-Martin PhD – Scientists have implicated specific neurons in the lateral hypothalamic area, a region involved in survival mechanisms such as food intake, in signaling to the brain when to stop eating. This mechanism is impaired in obese mice. … more

Can you eat your way to better mental health? Study says yes   CNN (Feb 18, 2019) by Neel Ocean and Peter Howley, The Conversation – It  is well known that eating lots of fruit and vegetables is good for your physical health, but our latest research suggests that it might be good for your mental health too. A study from Australia in 2016 found improvements in psychological well-being after increases in fruit and vegetable consumption. We wanted to know if this finding held true using a larger sample (more than 40,000 participants) from the UK Household Longitudinal Study. … more

Intermittent fasting: No advantage over conventional weight loss diets  ScienceDaily (Nov 26, 2018) – Intermittent fasting helps lose weight and promotes health. However, it is not superior to conventional calorie restriction diets, scientists have found out in the largest investigation on intermittent fasting to date. The scientists conclude that there are many paths leading to a healthier weight. Everybody must find a diet plan that fits them best and then just do it! … more

Even when families have issues, eating together can improve teen diets   Reuters Health  (Nov 23, 2018) by Linda Carroll — Teens whose families eat dinner together are more likely to make healthy food choices, even when kids and parents have issues with communicating and connecting emotionally, a new study finds. … more

Diet and weight may affect response to bipolar disorder treatment   ScienceDaily (Oct 7, 2018) – Data from a clinical trial has shown that how people respond to treatment for Bipolar Disorder may be influenced by their weight and the overall quality of their diet, including whether they are eating a diet high in foods thought to contribute to general inflammation. These are early results, but if replicated may mean that treatment of some mental health problems could benefit from the inclusion of dietary advice. … more

When Parents Encourage Children and Teens to Diet   Eating Disorders Review (Vol 29/No 2) – Parents who tell a child or teen they need to go on a weight loss diet might be surprised at the long-term outcome. According to Dr. Jerica M. Berge and researchers at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, encouraging children and teens to diet can have harmful long-term weight, weight-related and emotional health effects in adulthood and can even be transmitted to the next generation (Pediatrics. March 2018) … more

Little difference among diet plans’ long-term effectiveness  ScienceDaily (Mar 6, 2018) – Whether you pick low-carb, low fat or another diet plan, scientific research indicates each can help some people achieve modest long-term weight loss with potential improvement in health risks, according to a statement on managing obesity. … more

The Key to Weight Loss Is Diet Quality, Not Quantity, a New Study Finds   New York Times (Feb 10, 2018) by Anahad O’Oconnor – Anyone who has ever been on a diet knows that the standard prescription for weight loss is to reduce the amount of calories you consume. But a new study, published Tuesday in JAMA, may turn that advice on its head. It found that people who cut back on added sugar, refined grains and highly processed foods while concentrating on eating plenty of vegetables and whole foods — without worrying about counting calories or limiting portion sizes — lost significant amounts of weight over the course of a year. … more

Paleolithic diet healthier for overweight women   ScienceDaily  (Jan 18, 2018) – Overweight women after menopause who eat a Paleolithic diet can maintain weight loss in the long term. The levels of risk factors of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases also decrease. … more

Diet success may depend on your DNA   ScienceDaily  (Nov 30, 2017) – Who we are may be as important as what we eat when it comes to weight and health, research says. We can add one more thing to the list of traits affected by genetics: how our bodies respond to a particular diet. Research in animal models with different genetics shows that one diet really doesn’t fit all, and what works for some may not be best for others, according to a new study. … more

Urine Test Can Determine If Diet Is Healthy   Medscape/WebMD (Jan 13, 2017) – Telling fibs about the quality of our diet may be about to get harder. Scientists in the UK say they’ve developed a simple test to show whether we’ve eaten a healthy meal or loaded up on junk food. The secret is in our urine. But a 5-minute test can unlock the biological markers created when different foods are broken down in the body. … 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

Western-style diet linked to state-dependent memory inhibition  ScienceDaily (July 12, 2016) – Obesity may ultimately be a disease of the brain, involving a progressive deterioration of various cognitive processes that influence eating. Researchers have now shown that memory inhibition — the useful ability to ‘block out’ memories that are no longer useful, which depends on a brain area called the hippocampus — is linked to dietary excess. … more

A Neuroscientist Tackles ‘Why Diets Make Us Fat’  NPR National Public Radio (June 7, 2016) by Jean Fain – When Sandra Aamodt talks about dieting, people listen … or, they stick their fingers in their ears and go la, la, la. Aamodt’s neuroscientific take on why diets backfire is that divisive. Aamodt is a neuroscientist, book author and former editor of a leading brain research journal. She also has become a prominent evangelist of the message that traditional diets just don’t work and often leave the dieter worse off than before. And she’s an enthusiastic proponent of mindful eating. … more

High-fat diet can alter the cellular body clock  MNT Medical News Today (Apr 6, 2016) by Yvette Brazier – “It’s not just what you eat, but also when you eat it,” say researchers who suggest that consuming saturated fats at particular times may put internal body clocks out of synch, also causing inflammation. … more

Diverse diets enrich gut microbes  MNT Medical News Today (Mar 17, 2016) by Catharine Paddock – In a paper published in the journal Molecular Metabolism, scientists describe how health is compromised when we reduce the diversity of nutrients in our diet – because of the effect this has on the richness of our gut microbe population. … more

‘Healthy’ foods differ by individual   ScienceDaily (Nov 19, 2015) – Ever wonder why that diet didn’t work? A new study tracking the blood sugar levels of 800 people over a week suggests that even if we all ate the same meal, how it’s metabolized would differ from one person to another. The findings demonstrate the power of personalized nutrition in helping people identify which foods can help or hinder their health goals. … more

Diet beverage drinkers make up the calories by snacking on unhealthy foods   MNT – Medical News Today (Sept 14, 2015) — People who think they are doing the right thing by choosing a diet beverage then do the wrong thing by snacking on sodium, sugar and high-carbohydrate goodies like cookies, ice cream, fries and pastries, new research finds. … 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

The Real Reason You Sabotage Your Diet  Huffington Post (July 9, 2015) by Dr. Christian Turbide – “I’ve heard it all before!” That’s most probably the response you would give me if I were to address diet and lifestyle changes with you. And yes, I believe you have. In order to be healthy, you need to eat right, move right and manage your weight. Same old rhetoric right? more …

High fat diet changes gut microbe populations and brain’s ability to recognize fullness ScienceDaily (July 7, 2015) – Have you ever wondered why eating one good-tasting French fry may lead you to eat the whole batch and leave you wanting more? According to a new study with rats, that high-fat indulgence literally changes the populations of bacteria residing inside the gut and also alters the signaling to the brain. The result? The brain no longer senses signals for fullness, which can cause overeating–a leading cause of obesity. more …

Thoughts drive dieting plans but feelings drive dieting behavior, study finds ScienceDaily ( May 5, 2015) – Dieting is a process that involves a plan to change eating behavior and behaving according to that plan. But the factors that guide diet planning differ from those that guide actual diet behavior, according to the results of a new study.  more …

Five days of eating fatty foods can alter how your body’s muscle processes food ScienceDaily (Apr 14, 2015 ) – After just five days of eating a high-fat diet, the way in which the body’s muscle processes nutrients changes, which could lead to long-term problems such as weight gain, obesity, and other health issues, a new study has found. “Most people think they can indulge in high-fat foods for a few days and get away with it,” said one investigator. “But all it takes is five days for your body’s muscle to start to protest.”  more …

High-fat diet alters behavior and produces signs of brain inflammation ScienceDaily (Mar 26, 2015) – Can the consumption of fatty foods change your behavior and your brain? High-fat diets have long been known to increase the risk for medical problems, including heart disease and stroke, but there is growing concern that diets high in fat might also increase the risk for depression and other psychiatric disorders. A new study raises the possibility that a high-fat diet produces changes in health and behavior, in part, by changing the mix of bacteria in the gut, also known as the gut microbiome. more…

Dieting young may lead to poor health outcomes later: Trends in dieting strategies in young adult women from 1982 to 2012   ScienceDaily (July 29, 2014) — The younger a woman is when she goes on her first diet, the more likely she is to experience several negative health outcomes later in life.   more …

New treatments for binge eating, how our diet impacts brain function, and the connection between marijuana and obesity   Medical News Today (Nov 14, 2013) – A growing body of evidence shows the impact of diet on brain function, and identifies patterns of brain activity associated with eating disorders such as binge eating and purging. The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2013, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world’s largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.   Link

Obese stomachs tell us diets are doomed to fail   ScienceDaily (Sept 16, 2013) – The way the stomach detects and tells our brains how full we are becomes damaged in obese people but does not return to normal once they lose weight, according to new research from the University of Adelaide.   Link

A maternal junk food diet alters development of opioid pathway in the offspring  ScienceDaily (July 30, 2013) – Research to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior, shows that eating a junk-food diet during pregnancy changes the development of the opioid signalling pathway in the baby’s brain and permanently alters the way this system operates after birth.   Link

Diet products contain dangerous drugs, FDA warns   NBC News: Health (June 18, 2013) by Maggie Fox – Fat Zero sounds like a safe, natural product, containing bee pollen and other ingredients like green tea and lotus seed. But it also contains sibutramine, a prescription diet drug that was so dangerous it’s been pulled off the U.S. market, the Food and Drug Administration says.  The FDA issued warnings about a batch of similar slimming products – all claiming to be natural, and all containing not only sibutramine, but phenolphthalein, a laxative that’s also been pulled out of pills because it might cause cancer.  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

Dieting youth show greater brain reward activity in response to food   ScienceDaily (May 2, 2013) — The story is a familiar one: most people are able to lose weight while dieting but once the diet is over, the weight comes back. Many of us can personally attest that caloric deprivation weight loss diets typically do not produce lasting weight loss. Oregon Research Institute (ORI) senior scientist Eric Stice, Ph.D., and colleagues provide results in a recent issue of NeuroImage that further our understanding of how and why most weight loss diets fail and provide a more comprehensive description of the impact of caloric restriction.    Link

Top four reasons why diets fail    ScienceDaily (Jan. 3, 2013) — The battle of the bulge is on — any movement on the scale yet? “Losing weight is one of the top resolutions made every year, yet only 20 percent of people achieve successful weight-loss and maintenance,” says Jessica Bartfield,MD, internal medicine who specializes in nutrition and weight management at the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery & Bariatric Care.   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

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

Is Alzheimers caused by too much sugar? How the American diet is as bad for our brains as our bodies   AlterNet (Sep. 14, 2012) by Tom Philpott  (Article first appeared in Mother Jones) – Yet  another reason to load up on fruit and veggies—and work to wrest federal farm policy (which encourages the production of cheap sweeteners and fats)—from the grip of agribusiness.    Egged on by massive food-industry marketing budgets, Americans eat a lot of sugary foods. We know the habit is quite probably wrecking our bodiess, triggering high rates of overweight and diabetes. Is it also wrecking our brains?   Link

Eating right between meetings   New York Times (Sept. 3, 2012) by Julie Weed – The stereotype of business trip dining consisted of an artery-clogging succession of meeting-room pastries, oversize restaurant portions and fast food snagged at the airport. Anyone on a vegetarian or gluten-free diet had an especially hard time.   But mobile applications and Web sites can now help travelers eat more healthfully on the road.   Link

Will starving yourself help you live longer? Maybe not   Reuters (Aug 29, 2012) by Sharon Begley – The longevity diet’s premise is seductively simple: cutting your calorie intake well below your usual diet will add years to your life.   New research published on Wednesday, however, shows the extreme, emaciating diet doesn’t increase lifespan in rhesus monkeys, the closest human relatives to try it in a rigorous, long-running study. While caveats remain, outside experts regarded the findings as definitive, particularly when combined with those from a similar study.   Link

In dieting, magic isn’t a substitute for science   The New York Times: Fitness & Nutrition (July 9, 2012) by Gina Kolata –  Is a calorie really just a calorie? Do calories from a soda have the same effect on your waistline as an equivalent number from an apple or a piece of chicken? … We asked Dr. Jules Hirsch, emeritus professor and emeritus physician in chief at Rockefeller University, who has been researching obesity for nearly 60 years, about the state of the research. Dr. Hirsch, who receives no money from pharmaceutical companies or the diet industry, wrote some of the classic papers describing why it is so hard to lose weight and why it usually comes back.   Link

Low-fat, low-carb, or low-glycemic?  Study shows which is best to keep weight off   nbc.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

Low-carb diets may burn the most calories     nbcnews.com: Health on Today  (Jun. 26, 2012) by Lauren Cox  – “Burn  more calories than you eat” remains the golden rule of weight loss, but a new study finds that the human body burns calories more efficiently while on certain diets than on others.   Researchers found that overweight people burned 350 more calories a day, on average, when they ate a low-carbohydrate diet, than when they ate a low-fat diet.    Link

Why your diet tanks at night   nbcnews.com: Today Health: Prevention (Jun. 22, 2012) by Markham Heid – It’s the same old story: You start out your day with the best of eating intentions but, by lunchtime, that candy bar’s starting to sound really good. And dinner?  Well … your healthy-eating habits tend to break down as the day wears on, finds a new survey by the digital health company Massive Health. Using an app that lets users send in photos of their meals, Massive Health tracked the eating habits of thousands of people over five months. The results? Most of us hit the wall in our daily race to eat well. In fact, the foods you eat for dinner are nearly 16 percent less healthy than what you ate for breakfast. And get this: For every hour that passes during the day, the healthfulness of the foods you eat drops 1.7 percent.  Link

The gut-wrenching dangers of the Western diet    The Globe and Mail (Jun. 14 2012) by Paul Taylor – The human gut is literally teeming with billions of “friendly” bacteria that aid digestion and help ward off dangerous pathogens.  But a new study suggests the modern Western diet, which is high in saturated fats, could disrupt this delicately balanced microbial community and set the stage for certain diseases.   Link

A trained palate: Understanding complexities of taste, smell could lead to improved diet  ScienceDaily (May 30, 2012) — Researchers at Oregon State University have made some fundamental discoveries about how people taste, smell and detect flavor, and why they love some foods much more than others… As an evolutionary survival mechanism, humans are wired to prefer sweet-tasting foods and avoid bitter substances. In the distant past, that helped us avoid poison and find food that provided energy. Now, it just makes us fat.  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

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. researches, 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

Mindful eating as food for thought  New York Times (Feb. 7, 2012) by Jeff Gordinier – Mindful eating is not a diet, or about giving up anything at all. It’s about experiencing food more intensely — especially the pleasure of it. You can eat a cheeseburger mindfully, if you wish. You might enjoy it a lot more. Or you might decide, halfway through, that your body has had enough. Or that it really needs some salad.  Link

Preference for fatty foods may have genetic roots  ScienceDaily(Feb. 3, 2012) — A preference for fatty foods has a genetic basis, according to researchers, who discovered that people with certain forms of the CD36 gene may like high-fat foods more than those who have other forms of this gene.  The results help explain why some people struggle when placed on a low-fat diet and may one day assist people in selecting diets that are easier for them to follow.  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

Can’t keep the pounds off? It’s your hormones   nbcnews.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

Why even resolute dieters often fail  New York Times (Sept. 19, 2011) by Jane E. Brody – If you’ve been trying for years to lose unwanted pounds and keep them off, unrealistic goals may be the reason you’ve failed. It turns out that a long-used rule of weight loss — reduce 3,500 calories (or burn an extra 3,500) to lose one pound of body fat — is incorrect and can ultimately doom determined dieters.  Link

Free radicals crucial to suppressing appetite  ScienceDaily (Aug. 29, 2011) — Obesity is growing at alarming rates worldwide, and the biggest culprit is overeating. In a study of brain circuits that control hunger and satiety, Yale School of Medicine researchers have found that molecular mechanisms controlling free radicals — molecules tied to aging and tissue damage — are at the heart of increased appetite in diet-induced obesity.  Link

Does food act physiologically like a ‘drug of choice’ for some?  ScienceDaily (July 20, 2011) — Variety is considered the “spice of life,” but does today’s unprecedented level of dietary variety help explain skyrocketing rates of obesity? Some researchers think it might…”We’ve known for years that foods – even eating, itself – can trigger release of various brain chemicals, some of which are also involved in what happens with drug addiction and withdrawal. And, as can happen with substance abusers, tolerance or “habituation” can occur, meaning that repeated use (in this case, exposure to a food) is sometimes accompanied by a lack of response (in this case, disinterest in the food). The results of the study… provides a very interesting new piece to the obesity puzzle by suggesting that meal monotony may actually lead to reduced calorie consumption. The trick will be balancing this concept with the importance of variety to good nutrition.”  Link

Pass the spinach? Hardly, if it’s lean muscle you’re after  National Post (May 16, 2011) by Jennifer Sygo – If you’re over 50, do you need more protein in your diet? According to the Canadian Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs), older adults have the same protein needs as younger ones. But the more we learn about protein’s importance for building and maintaining lean muscle as we age, the more some experts feel the guidelines need a second look.  Link

Lost pounds lead to burst fantasy   nbcnews.com (April 27, 2010) by Joan Raymond – If thin equals happy, Jen Larsen should be on cloud nine. Larsen, 36, of Ogden, Utah, was the fat child. The fat teen. The fat adult. Four years ago, Larsen hit a high of 316 pounds and when diet after diet failed she opted for bariatric surgery. By all measures, the procedure was textbook perfect. The 5-foot-7-inch Larsen is now a slim 140 pounds.  Life, she says, is simpler: she has more energy; her knees feel better; her back doesn’t hurt. And study after study shows she has slashed her risk for life-threatening health conditions like heart disease, cancer and diabetes. But a funny thing happened on the way to becoming a size 8: No matter how much Larsen shrank, her troubles stayed the same size.  Link

Fat epidemic linked to chemicals run amok  nbcnews.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

‘Spoonful of sugar’ makes the worms’ life span go down  ScienceDaily (Nov. 5, 2009) — If worms are any indication, all the sugar in your diet could spell much more than obesity and type 2 Diabetes. Researchers reporting in the November issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication, say it might also be taking years off your life.  Link

Alzheimer’s researchers find high protein diet shrinks brain  ScienceDaily (Oct. 21, 2009) — One of the many reasons to pick a low-calorie, low-fat diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and fish is that a host of epidemiological studies have suggested that such a diet may delay the onset or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Now a study published in BioMed Central’s open access journal Molecular Neurodegeneration tests the effects of several diets, head-to-head, for their effects on AD pathology in a mouse model of the disease. Although the researchers were focused on triggers for brain plaque formation, they also found that, unexpectedly, a high protein diet apparently led to a smaller brain.  Link

Do high-fat diets make us stupid and lazy? Physical and memory abilities of rats affected after 9 days  ScienceDaily (Sep. 5, 2009) — Rats fed a high-fat diet show a stark reduction in their physical endurance and a decline in their cognitive ability after just nine days, a study by Oxford University researchers has shown.  The research, funded by the British Heart Foundation and published in the FASEB Journal, may have implications not only for those eating lots of high-fat foods, but also athletes looking for the optimal diet for training and patients with metabolic disorders.  Link

Mice can eat ‘junk’ and not get fat: researchers find gene that protects high-fat-diet mice from obesity  ScienceDaily (Sep. 4, 2009) — University of Michigan researchers have identified a gene that acts as a master switch to control obesity in mice. When the switch is turned off, even high-fat-diet mice remain thin.  Link

When parents try to control every little bite:  Being too restrictive about your child’s diet can backfire, experts say  nbcnews.com  (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

Reduced diet thwarts aging, disease in monkeys  ScienceDaily (July 10, 2009) — The bottom-line message from a decades-long study of monkeys on a restricted diet is simple: Consuming fewer calories leads to a longer, healthier life.  Link

Sip ’n starve: dangerous diets in disguise:  scary cleanses, detoxes and fasts are wrongly touted as healthy   nbcnews.com  (July 2, 2009) by Janelle Brown — Some women in Los Angeles are forswearing dieting and embracing a new euphemism for it: cleansing. In reality, however, lemon juice is not a meal, and taken to extremes, cleansing is anything but healthy.  Link

Avoiding the midlife diet crisis: Beat a slowing metabolism with some easy nutrition fixes  nbcnews.com (May 29, 2009) by Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D. — While time may adorn you with new lines on your face, a new color hair (gray) and a new waistline, the passing decades are not to blame for all of the changes in your body. Your eating habits, your attitude and your approach to everyday experiences also play key roles.  Link

Exercise not likely to rev up your metabolism:  Studies bust myth that working out gives you a fat-burning boost   nbcnews.com (May 26, 2009) by Jacqueline Stenson  — Start exercising and you’ll become a round-the-clock, fat-burning machine, right? That’s long been a commonly held belief among exercisers and fitness experts alike. But a new report finds that, sadly, it’s not very likely.  The notion that exercise somehow boosts the body’s ability to burn fat for as long as 24 hours after a workout has led to a misperception among the general public that diet doesn’t matter so much as long as one exercises…  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

Feeding behaviors in monkeys and humans have ancient, shared roots, Bolivian Rainforest study suggests  ScienceDaily (May 20, 2009) — Behavioural ecologists working in Bolivia have found that wild spider monkeys control their diets in a similar way to humans, contrary to what has been thought up to now. Rather than trying to maximize their daily energy intake, the monkeys tightly regulate their daily protein intake, so that it stays at the same level regardless of seasonal variation in the availability of different foods.  Tight regulation of daily protein intake is known to play a role in the development of obesity in humans, and the findings from this research suggest that the evolutionary origins of these eating patterns in humans may be far older than suspected. Until now it was thought human eating patterns originated in the Palaeolithic era (between 2.4 million and 10,000 years ago).  Link

Blow your diet? Blame your brain:  Low-fat labels and encouraging exercise can backfire nbcnews.com (May 13, 2009) by Linda Carroll — Ever make a resolution to go out and exercise and end up grabbing a gooey chocolate cupcake instead?  No matter how good our intentions are, sometimes it seems like our stomachs are out to sabotage us. Scientists are now starting to understand why this happens.   Link

Eating for eye health  New York Times: Well (May 7, 2009) by Tara Parker-Pope – Eating a diet rich in leafy vegetables, nuts and fish and low in starchy carbohydrates appears to lower risk for age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over 50.  The findings, published this month in the journal Ophthalmology, is the first to calculate the combined effect of certain dietary nutrients and eating habits on a person’s risk for age-related macular degeneration. The data were collected from 4,003 participants in the ongoing Age-Related Eye Disease Study led by researchers … Link

Dietary fats trigger long-term memory formation  ScienceDaily (May 3, 2009) — Having strong memories of that rich, delicious dessert you ate last night? If so, you shouldn’t feel like a glutton. It’s only natural.  UC Irvine researchers have found that eating fat-rich foods triggers the formation of long-term memories of that activity. The study adds to their recent work linking dietary fats to appetite control and may herald new approaches for treating obesity and other eating disorders.  Link

Dieters’ best intentions hijacked by their brains  nbcnews.com (Apr. 20, 2009) — New research suggests millions have their best intentions foiled by “conditioned hypereating” – the drive to eat high-fat, high-sugar foods even when they’re not hungry.  Link

New sweetener not so sweet for your diet  nbcnews.com (Apr. 17, 2009) — Stevia, an extract nearly 300 times more potent than sugar, the no-fat, no-calorie sweetener that soda and juice lovers have been thirsting for? No, say nutritionists.  Link

Young vegetarians may have healthier diets but could be at risk for disordered eating behaviors  ScienceDaily (Apr. 2, 2009) — Although adolescent and young adult vegetarians may eat a healthier diet, there is some evidence that they may be at increased risk for disordered eating behaviors.   Link

High fructose corn syrup: How dangerous is it?  nbcnews.com (Mar. 18, 2009) — In the grand tradition of nutritional scapegoating, high fructose corn syrup has stepped into the spotlight as dietary enemy number one. It’s an easy target. What’s the real story?  Link

10 nutrition myths: balanced eating tips  cbc.ca  (Mar. 11, 2009) — We’d all like to eat a little better. Maybe pack a few more fruits and vegetables into our diet while cutting back on the stuff that’s not so good for us. But what do you cut out of your diet and what do you keep in? There’s a lot of information out there, and it’s not always easy to figure out what’s fact and what’s fiction.  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

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 ObesityLink

Monkey diets offer new clue on binge eating:  Monkeys under stress more likely to binge on banana chips  abc News (May 21, 2008) by Sharyn Alfonsi, Kiran Khalid and Stephanie Dahle  — Many believe the worst day at work can be curbed by inhaling a big tub of ice cream, but now scientists have found new evidence suggesting that bingeing isn’t our fault — it’s biology.    Link

Weighty matters: We know that the trend toward super-thin models is pushing some of them to go on potentially deadly diets. What’s it doing to the rest of us? The Daily Beast: Newsweek (Feb 20, 2008) by Jessica Bennett, Sarah Childress and Susanna Schrobsdorff  — The specter of dangerously thin models has raised its beautiful, lolling head once again, this time at New York’s Fashion Week, which ends Friday. Stung by negative publicity about boney apparitions on the catwalks, the fashion industry invited eating-disorder experts to an unprecedented symposium on the subject in the tents at Bryant Park. It was quite a spectacle.   Link

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