"Obesity and excess weight is an expanding health problem for more than 60 percent of Americans, and a new study by Hugh Waters and Ross DeVol finds that it's a tremendous drain on the U.S. economy as well. The total cost to treat health conditions related to obesity—ranging from diabetes to Alzheimer's—plus obesity's drag on attendance and productivity at work exceeds $1.4 trillion annually. That's more than twice what the U.S. spends on national defense. The total, from 2014 data, was equivalent to 8.2 percent of U.S. GDP, and it exceeds the economies of all but three U.S. states and all but 10 countries. The report also highlights how this public health challenge can best be addressed."
Is obesity something that we should be tackling? My gut (no pun intended) says OMG OF COURSE YES, because we are looking at some very preventable disesases. Those are some cah-razy numbers. However, does the pharmaceutical industry care? I mean: obesity is Big. Money.
Something I feel like we already knew? Sigh. Please read.
PR from The Obesity Society -
Alcohol Sensitizes Brain Response to Food Aromas and Increases Food Intake in Women, Research Shows
First study of its kind ties hypothalamus, in addition to the gut, to the aperitif phenomenon
SILVER SPRING, MD – The first study of its kind measuring the brain's role in mediating caloric intake following alcohol consumption among women shows that alcohol exposure sensitizes the brain's response to food aromas and increases caloric intake. The research, led by William J. A. Eiler II, PhD, of the Indiana University School of Medicine's Departments of Medicine and Neurology, adds to the current body of knowledge that alcohol increases food intake, also known as the "aperitif effect," but shows this increased intake does not rely entirely on the oral ingestion of alcohol and its absorption through the gut. The study is published in the July issue of the journal Obesity published by The Obesity Society (TOS).
"The brain, absent contributions from the gut, can play a vital role in regulating food intake. Our study found that alcohol exposure can both increase the brain's sensitivity to external food cues, like aromas, and result in greater food consumption," said Dr. Eiler. "Many alcoholic beverages already include empty calories, and when you combine those calories with the aperitif effect, it can lead to energy imbalance and possibly weight gain."
Researchers conducted the study in 35 non-vegetarian, non-smoking women at a healthy weight. To test the direct effects of alcohol on the brain, researchers circumvented the digestive system by exposing each participant to intravenously administered alcohol at one study visit and then to a placebo (saline) on another study visit, prior to eating. Participants were observed, and brain responses to food and non-food aromas were measured using blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) response via fMRI scans. After imaging, participants were offered a lunch choice between pasta with Italian meat sauce and beef and noodles.
When participants received intravenous alcohol, they ate more food at lunch, on average, compared to when they were given the placebo. However, there were individual differences, with one-third of participants eating less after alcohol exposure when compared to the placebo exposure. In addition to changes in consumption, the area of the brain responsible for certain metabolic processes, thehypothalamus, also responded more to food odors, compared to non-food odors, after alcohol infusion vs. saline. The researchers concluded that the hypothalamus may therefore play a role in mediating the impact of alcohol exposure on our sensitivity to food cues, contributing to the aperitif phenomenon.
"This research helps us to further understand the neural pathways involved in the relationship between food consumption and alcohol," said Martin Binks, PhD, FTOS, TOS Secretary Treasurer and Associate Professor of Nutrition Sciences at Texas Tech University. "Often, the relationship between alcohol on eating is oversimplified; this study unveils a potentially more complex process in need of further study."
Study authors agree and call for further research into the mechanism by which the hypothalamus affects food reward.
"Today, nearly two-thirds of adults in the U.S. consume alcohol, with wine consumption rising, which reinforces the need to better understand how alcohol can contribute to overeating," continued Dr. Binks.
Lose weight without worrying about food? Imagine this?!
Via Popular Science "Safe and effective weight loss doesn't yet come in a pill, but maybe one day it will. A new study has found a chemical that keeps mice from gaining weight through overeating. The drug also seemed to protect lab mice from some of the harmful effects of obesity: When researchers measured the mice's blood, they found reduced levels of insulin, cholesterol, and other molecules, compared to obese mice who didn't get the drug."
“This pill is like an imaginary meal,” says Ronald Evans, director of Salk’s Gene Expression Laboratoryand senior author of the new paper, published January 5, 2014 in Nature Medicine. “It sends out the same signals that normally happen when you eat a lot of food, so the body starts clearing out space to store it. But there are no calories and no change in appetite.”
In the United States, more than a third of adults are obese and 29.1 million people have diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both obesity and diabetes lead to an increase in health spending, a greater risk of health complications and a shorter lifespan.
The OAC is proud to announce that we are debuting a NEW pilot Your Weight Matters Local Events program with YWMLocal - Boston 2014! In less than a month, we will bring the Your Weight Matters message to Boston and the local surrounding community.
We invite you to join us in Boston for this groundbreaking FREE educational event at the Westin Boston Waterfront on November 2, 2014, from 11:30 am – 4:00 pm.
The OAC welcomes our members and their family members, friends and colleagues from all throughout the northeast to this opportunity to experience a local OAC Event! We have secured an amazing line-up of topics and presenters who are ready to arm attendees with knowledge to get you started or back on your journey to improved weight and health. To view the educational topics presented, along with the speakers, please CLICK HERE.
As part of our commitment to bringing our OAC members the best education and right tools for improving your weight and health, we are proudly producing this first YWMLocal Event, and hope to continue spreading the Your Weight Matters message with YWMLocal Events in other communities across the Nation. This is your chance as a valued OAC Member to connect with the OAC and your fellow OAC members in-person!
Any individual who wishes to benefit from this evidence-based education is welcome to attend, so pleaseshare the news with any family or friends you know in the Boston area! For all OAC members and ANYONE wishing to attend this great FREE event in Boston on November 2, please register now by CLICKING HERE!
Deciphering between the truths of others can cloud our ability to see our own reality.
Holding onto the things that weigh us down can create debilitating physical FAT and emotional Falsely Acquired Thoughts (F.A.T.) Change the brain, change the body, and find out how to fight F.A.T. for real. Presented by Merrill Littleberry, LCSW, LCDC, CCM, CI-CPT, a licensed psychotherapist and understands the debilitating effects of emotional and physical weight.
This is the Obalon system. It is a pill that has a balloon inside. Obalon is a weight-loss device, marketed as an alternative to bariatric surgery, that claims to help people eat less and "push back from the table sooner."
Obalon begins to work when you swallow Obalon and it lands in your stomach. Obalon remains temporarily attached to a thin tube, through which doctors can inflate it. They then remove the thin tube, and the balloon stays in your stomach for up to three months, bobbing around like buoy in gastric waters. You can take up to three at a time, the manufacturers say. The idea is that balloons partly fill your stomach to make you feel full, so you eat less. They are too big and buoyant to pass beyond the stomach. After twelve weeks, a doctor deflates the balloons and pulls them back out through your mouth.
“This balloon will act to educate [people] about portion size and retrain their brain and their mindset a little,” Dr. Sally Norton, a U.K. bariatric surgeon, told CBS News.
The Obalon balloon pill is approved for investigational use only in the U.S. However, it is approved in the E.U. and is available in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Spain. What better way to see Europe than with expensive stomach balloons?
Would you do it -- would you swallow a belly balloon for twelve weeks for weight loss and have it removed?
I suppose I'd have to see the size of the "pill" first. I kid you not. (Hey -- I had my stomach and intestines realigned, I cannot judge one who chooses something LESS invasive.)
I talk all the time about having enough money to open gyms for all-sizes-and-levels. Regardless of my size, I am still 320 lbs in my head and I am more comfortable surrounded with women of size.
It's one of a number of companies and organizations that are marketing fitness to people who are overweight or obese. It's not a bad business strategy, considering that 69 percent of American adults fit in that category, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Planet Fitness chain touts its "Judgment Free Zones". In Omaha, Neb., Square Onepromises you won't find "size 2's in sports bras sprinting on treadmills." This gym, started by Marty Wolff, who competed on NBC's "The Biggest Loser," says it is for "people of size." And many YMCA facilities feature photos of the faces and bodies of actual members – "real people" – instead of supermodels or body builders.
Schrantz used to be a chronic gym quitter. She'd sign up, go once and never return. The looks she got at other gyms made her uncomfortable.
"My thought on that is why are you looking at me when I got off of the couch, I got off of my bed and I'm actually doing something about it?" Schrantz said, during an interview at the gym. Still, she says, "It's hard."
As she said that, she began to tear up. Other members of the gym came to comfort her. They put their arms around her while she cried.
Here, members sweat together – and shed tears together.
Kishan Shah is the CEO of Downsize, which has hundreds of members across the U.S. They weigh anywhere from 200 to 700 pounds. Shah used to weigh 400 pounds and have a 62-inch waist. Today, he's half that weight and always finds time for a yoga or cardio class in between business meetings.
Fitness is about a lot more than just looks, Shah says.
Wendy Williams is not a nice person. That's all I have to say about THAT.
Ruben, thank you for being classy and not tearing this woman's FACE OFF.
However - Ruben... DEAR.
"I was raised to believe that I can do anything. I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me and I have to stand firm on that belief. I feel like taking the easy route out is not something I should do. I should make sure I take responsibility for my health, and get in the gym and work it out."
WLS is not a easy route out, WLS is taking responsibility of ones health.
Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian and nutritionist for the Chicago Cubs, is trying to
change the meaning of the phrase, "Treat yo'self."
Most people treat themselves by indulging in a gallon of ice cream or by lounging around the house,
watching TV. Blatner wants "treat yourself" to mean exactly the opposite. Her definition is designed to give
you more energy, help you lose weight and keep your body healthy.
"It's preplanning your grocery list. It's being in the grocery store and buying foods that nourish your body.
It's eating mindfully," she told the audience at the Obesity Action Coalition's annual Your Weight Matters
convention. "Those are really good things that when you do them, it's treating yourself right."
In other words, you deserve to feel good and look good, Blatner says. So putting in five or 10 minutes to
plan your meals for the upcoming week or spending 30 minutes at the gym is the ultimate act of self-love.
"There's no bigger gesture in this world that says, 'You know what, Dawn? You matter.'"
Follow these 10 tips to "treat yourself" to a healthier, slimmer body:
These three items ensure you're not sneaking snacks from the
refrigerator late at night or gulping down 1,000 calories in your
car from a fast food joint. And having them probably means
you're consuming more nutrients than a bag of potato chips
would offer -- unless you're one of those weird people who
puts potato chips on a plate.
"It's my answer to eating mindfully," Blatner says.
Eating mindfully, research shows, helps people pay closer attention to the enjoyment of eating and to
feelings of fullness. Studies suggest people who eat mindfully consume fewer calories at meals, no matter
how much is on their plate.
2. Willpower is a mental muscle. Exercise it.
Every time you
put food in your
mouth, you should
have three things,
Blatner says: a
table, a plate and
Willpower is a limited resource, psychologist Sean Connolly of San Antonio says, but we all have it. The
trick is in knowing how to use it efficiently.
"People list lack of willpower as the No. 1 reason holding them back from improving their lives in some
way," says Connolly, who works regularly with bariatric patients. "Willpower is not a gene. It's a tool that
we all have that we have to learn to use, develop and manage."
Like any muscle, your willpower gets tired. So you have to plan, Connolly says, and know what you will do
in situations that offer a healthy choice and an unhealthy choice. You also have to be prepared for
emergencies, such as at the end of a long work day, when your willpower is exhausted and the drive thru
Willpower also needs to be replenished daily. The best way to do this? Get enough sleep.
3. Be realistic.
Let's be honest, most of us want to lose a lot of weight. And when we don't -- when we drop 5 or 10 and
then hit a wall -- we get discouraged and jump back on the fried food wagon.
One of the biggest obstacles to losing weight is unrealistic expectations, says psychologist Gary Foster,
director of the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University.
"The less you weigh, the less you need to eat and the more you need to move (to lose weight)," Foster
says. "And that's not fair."
It's nice to aim high, but successful losers drop an average of 8.4% of their body weight. If you weigh in at
200, that's about 16 pounds. And losing those 16 pounds improves your health dramatically.
In other words, hoping to weigh what you did in high school will derail your plan before it starts.
"Life changes, and that's not an apology or a cop out. It's a realistic assessment," Foster says. "What else
in your life is the same at 45 as it was at 20?"
4. Find better friends.
It's known as the "socialization effect." Cigarette smokers hang out with other cigarette smokers. Drinkers
hang out with other drinks. And overweight people hang out with other overweight people, says Dr. Robert
Kushner of Chicago.
"What do you do if you're hanging out with a group of people who are overweight?" he asks. You pick a
restaurant. You go out for burgers and a beer. "You're probably not talking about going rollerblading."
We tend to pick up the habits of those we hang out with the most. So find some friends with healthy
habits, and you'll become healthier yourself.
5. Do a cart check.
You know the MyPlate diagram -- the one that shows how your plate should be split into fruits, grains, vegetables and proteins? Your cart should look the same, Blatner says. When you think you're finished
shopping, do a quick eye check to make sure it's filled with about 25% protein, 25% whole grains and 50%
"Choice is the enemy of weight loss," Blatner says. She recommends planning out two healthy breakfasts,
two healthy lunches, two healthy snacks and two healthy dinners for the week. Buy the ingredients you
need for each and then rotate them throughout the week.
This gives you enough choice that you won't get bored but not enough choice that you're overwhelmed
and end up looking for the nearest vending machine.
6. Do not eat in response to that thing.
You're at the movies. It's your cousin's bachelorette party. Your son is at the top of his graduating class.
It's a ball game -- and what's a ball game without a hot dog? If you want to lose weight, avoid eating in
response to "that thing," Foster says.
Plan what you're going to eat at these special -- or not so special -- occasions so you don't have to rely on
your willpower. And only eat when you're hungry. There will be more food at the next thing.
7. Tell yourself: "I have the right to be thin."
Self-sabotage is a real problem in weight loss, Connolly says. A lot of times his clients say they want
something and then go out of their way to make sure it doesn't happen.
It's not a lack of desire or motivation. "Something holds us back," he says.
We have to learn to validate ourselves, Connolly says, because we'll never get everything we need from
other people. Tell yourself daily that you deserve to be healthy. You deserve to look and feel good. Then
8. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals.
If you haven't heard this acronym before, memorize it now. Any goal you set should be specific,
measurable, attainable, realistic and timely, says Eliza Kingsford, psychotherapist and director of clinical
services for Wellspring. If it meets these qualities, you'll be much more likely to achieve it.
For instance, "I'm going to be more active" is a goal. "I will walk for 30 minutes every day for the next
month" is a S.M.A.R.T. goal.
It's specific in that you know how much activity you're going to do. It's measurable -- did you walk today or
It's attainable and realistic; everyone can find 30 minutes in their day, and walking doesn't require a lot of
equipment or special training. And it's timely because you'll be able to see at the end of the month if you
hit your goal.
9. Stand up.
Most of us now spend eight hours a day sitting at our desks at work, and two to three hours sitting at
home. That kind of sedentary lifestyle is nearly impossible to counteract, Dr. Holly Lofton of New York
says, even if you hit the gym for two hours a day (and who does that?).
She suggests wearing a step counter that will keep you aware of the movement -- or lack of movement --
you're making throughout the day. Try standing up at your desk while on a conference call, or walking to a
colleague's desk instead of e-mailing him. Take the stairs. Park farther away. Everything counts!
10. Life will never be stress-free. Learn to cope.
Scientists disagree about whether stress itself produces a physical change in your body that can lead to
significant weight gain. But we all know the effect a stressful day can have on our willpower.
The problem, Kushner says, is that there never will be a long period in your life without stress. And if we
cope with everyday stress by indulging in brownies and vodka, the weight will continue to pile on.
"Life happens. It's not so much stress that causes weight gain, it's the coping, the push back," he says.
The key is to learn positive coping skills. If work is stressing you out, take a 10-minute walk instead of
hitting up the cookie tray in the breakroom. Take a yoga class at the end of a long week. Use deep
breaths to get through a phone call with your mother.
Absolutely worth the watch if you like good brain food.
Dr. Nicole Avena is a research neuroscientist and expert in the fields of nutrition, diet and addiction. She received a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Psychology from Princeton University, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular biology at The Rockefeller University in New York City. She has published over 50 scholarly journal articles, as well as several book chapters and a book, on topics related to food, addiction, obesity and eating disorders. She also edited the book, Animal Models of Eating Disorders (2012) and has a popular book of food and addiction coming out in 2014 (Ten Speed Press). Her research achievements have been honored by awards from several groups including the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Psychological Association, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Eating Disorders Association. She also maintains a blog, Food Junkie, with Psychology Today.