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Mindfulness Improves Weight Loss

Posted By NWI, Monday, October 3, 2016

Surprising few in the wellness community, new research has found that a weight loss program that focuses on personal goals and mindful decision making is more effective than other diets that do not include mindfulness.


People in the study who used the mindful approach to weight loss averaged a loss of 13% of their initial weight, in comparison to the control group who lost an average of 5 – 8% of their initial weight. The researchers attribute this significant difference in outcome to bolstering the dieters’ abilities to resist temptation by making food choices consciously, compared to impulsively.


Find the full findings of this study in the online journal Obesity.



Tags:  health  Mindfulness  Obesity  Weight Loss  Wellness 

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UK National Obesity Forum Advises to “Eat Fat.”

Posted By NWI, Monday, June 6, 2016

The UK National Obesity Forum starts its report on healthy eating with “Eat fat, cut the carbs and avoid snacking to reverse obesity and Type 2 diabetes.”


This stance, attributed to Hippocrates’ advice to eat rich food to stay thin, states that there is more evidence against eating carbohydrates, dating back to studies in the 1600’s, to prevent obesity and diabetes than there is evidence against eating fat.


Predictably, as acknowledged by the UK National Obesity Forum, the response to this stance has been polarizing.


Against this stance, nutrition scientists have been appealing to the prevailing thought that eating fat can cause people to be fat. On the positive, however, nutrition scientists have been praising the idea that this is a shift toward eating more whole food, fat included, compared to processed products.  The prevailing thought among both camps however, seems to be “We need to learn more.”


To read the whole report from the UK National Obesity Forum, click here.

Tags:  Fat Study  Nutrition  Obesity 

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World population to reach 25% obesity by 2025

Posted By NWI, Tuesday, May 3, 2016

New research released in The Lancet shows that, if trends between 1978 and 2014 hold true, 25% of the world’s population will be severely or morbidly obese by the year 2025.


19.2 million subjects were studied in 186 countries since 1978. In this research, the global standardized BMI increased from 21.7 kg/m2 in 1975 to 24.2 kg/m2  in 2014 in men, and from 22.1 kg/m2 in 1975 to 24.4 kg/m2 in 2014 in women.


The percentage of people who are underweight has decreased during the same time period from 13.8% to 8.8% in men and from 14.6% to 9.7% in women.


The results of this study indicate that the likelihood of meeting the global obesity targets set by the United Nations in 2014 is nearly zero without serious intervention.


To read the study published by The Lancet, click here.

Tags:  fitness  Health  Obesity  wellness  world health 

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Will BMI be Replaced?

Posted By NWI, Monday, January 4, 2016

Computer scientists at West Virginia University have developed a formula they feel could replace the Body Mass Index (BMI).

Syed Ashiqur Rahman and Donald Adjeroh have created a formula they call the Surface-based Body Shape Index (SBSI) as an alternative to BMI for determining whether an person is overweight or obese. The SBSI takes four measurements: body surface area, vertical trunk circumference, height, and waist circumference. Note that weight is not one of the measurements.

In a direct comparison with BMI, the SBSI did a better job of predicting health problems and mortality.

Understandably, though, the SBSI will face issues being used by the average fitness expert, as determining body surface area and vertical trunk circumference are not something the average person has faced in the past.

To read more about the SBSI, click here.

Tags:  BMI  Health  Obesity  Wellness 

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Everything in Moderation: The Problem with Overeating Healthy Food

Posted By NWI, Monday, January 4, 2016

“Meden Agen” is inscribed at Apollo’s temple at Delphi. This translates to “Nothing in Excess,” or as we understand it: “Everything in moderation.” Even nearly 2500 years ago, people understood that you can have too much of a good thing.

Apparently we still haven’t learned the lesson, though, according to a study done by the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab.

According to the study, people associate “healthy” food with being unfilling, and in an effort to feel satiated, will often eat more of the “healthy food” than they need. This finding runs counter to the efforts of many people, who feel they are doing their bodies a favor by eating healthier options in an attempt to lose weight or be more fit. This overeating of “healthy food” instead contributes to further weight gain.

So what’s a wellness practitioner to do to help people keep from overeating their healthy food? The findings of the study indicate that when the healthy food is packaged in a way to enhance the message about the nourishing aspects of the food, peoples’ inclination to overeat was diminished.

To read the full study, click here.


Tags:  Food  Health  Nutrition  Obesity  Overeating  Wellness 

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How does the body adjust to a lack of sugar?

Posted By NWI, Monday, November 30, 2015

The journal Obesity published findings on the reactions of human bodies – specifically overweight and obese children – to the removal of  sugar in their diets. The results were dramatic.

Dr. Robert Lustig of the University of California, San Francisco, along with a team of researchers, tested 43 overweight and obese children to find out what would happen when they removed sugar from their diets.

The children, noted for having high-risk levels of LDL cholesterol and Triglicerides, indicators often linked to risk of diabetes, reverted back to normal levels in only 10 days. The childrens’ blood sugar and insulin levels, also high at the beginning of the study, normalized in the same time span.

This conclusion seems to go against an idea held by some nutritionists – “A calorie is a calorie, regardless of where it comes from.”

Lustig asserts that many sugars are bad for humans, but even within sugars some are e worse than others. Sucros (table sugar) is high on the list, but the worst seems to be fructose, found as an additive in many sweetened foods and drinks, especially soft drinks and sports drinks.

The reason fructose seems to inflict more harm upon a body is that it is only metabolized in one place: the liver. The liver can only handle a small amount of fructose at a time. The rest of the fructose spills over into the blood stream, quickly being turned into fat, clogging arteries and increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

This issue will be studied further in the future, but at present the prevailing wisdom seems to be to avoid fructose completely. Or at least as much as you can.

Tags:  diet  health  nutrition  obesity  Sugar  wellness 

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FDA Proposes a Recommended Daily Percantage of Sugar Labeling

Posted By NWI, Monday, August 3, 2015

The FDA recently proposed including added sugar, and its corresponding percent daily value, to the Nutrition Facts labeling on food and drinks.

In the FDA’s press release announcing the change, Susan Mayne, Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition stated, “the FDA has a responsibility to give consumers the information they need to make informed dietary decisions for themselves and their families.For the past decade, consumers have been advised to reduce their intake of added sugars, and the proposed percent daily value for added sugars on the Nutrition Facts label is intended to help consumers follow that advice.”

This change to the nutrition label could take long strides to educating people about their added sugar intake.  As of a 2008 study, the average American’s daily intake of added sugar was 76 grams – roughly 19 teaspoons and 306 calories.  This amount did constitute a drop of 23% since 2000, but still represents double to triple the maximum amount of added sugar nutritionists recommend. The high consumption of added sugar has been linked to heart disease and weight gain, resulting in a higher mortality rate.

To read the FDA’s proposal to include Recommended Daily Percentage of added sugar on Nutrition Facts labels, click here.

Tags:  American Obesity  FDA  Food Labeling  Nutrition Facts  Obesity  Sugar  wellness 

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The Big Shrink: Americans Start To Eat Less

Posted By NWI, Monday, August 3, 2015

Between 2003 and 2011, Americans across categories have begun to purchase and consume less food resulting in declining obesity levels in young children and stalled obesity levels in school-age children and adults.

A study released by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is indicating that, though these trends are indeed occurring, there is not currently any concrete indication as to why.

Researchers are split as to whether the Great Recession from 2007 to 2009 played an important role in changing Americans’ eating habits. Some research seems to indicate that an economic downturn tends to push healthier eating habits, while other research indicates that the exact opposite is true.

One positive result of this study is the indication that media coverage, discussion and actions in the US surrounding obesity and the role of sugar-sweetened beverages playing a role in the slowing of obesity rates.  The study showed consumption of sugar-added drinks making a marked decline from 1999 on.  This change I consumption could be attributed to changes in consumer education due to public policy, though the researchers focused on economic impacts on consumption instead of social impacts, and therefore have not been able to make conclusive findings.

Tags:  American Obesity  Health  Obesity  Wellness 

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Obesity Hits a New Record High

Posted By NWI, Monday, June 1, 2015

US obesity rates hit a national average of 27.7%, according to a new poll released by Gallup. This is the highest obesity rate since Gallup started tracking the figures in 2008. 

The poll ranks all US states in order of least obese to most obese. Leading the US in being most fit is Hawaii, with an obesity rate of 19%.  In last place is Mississippi, coming in at 35.2% obesity.

The Gallup poll did, however, correlate obesity rates  to greater issues with finding purpose, social anxieties, financial problems, and lack of community support. These findings suggest that the obese are aware that the two most controllable factors in controlling weight are calorie intake and exercise, but other issues in their lives are sabotaging their efforts to lose weight.

For more information on the findings in Gallup’s obesity poll, as well as learning where your state ranks between Hawaii and Mississippi, view the report on gallup.com.

Tags:  American Obesity  Fat Study  Health  NWI  Obesity  Obesity research  Study  Wellness 

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Summary: How Early Should Obesity Prevention Start?

Posted By NWI, Sunday, December 1, 2013
Updated: Thursday, November 21, 2013

Baby!An article published November 2013 in the New England Journal of Medicine looks at the issues surrounding obesity and when its treatment is most effective.

The article’s authors make the following observations:

  • Obesity is linked to Type 2 diabetes, which will affect at least half a billion people worldwide by 2030.
  • A majority of U.S. women of childbearing age are overweight or obese (a body-mass index of more than 25). The weight these women gain during pregnancy is often more than non-obese women, often does not come off, and increases the initial weight of these women prior to subsequent pregnancies.
  • Weight of the mother is a risk factor that can alter fetal growth and metabolism.
  • Research on animals shows that the time to treat obesity is the prenatal period and the first postnatal year.
  • After birth, rapid weight gain in the first 3 to 6 months of life is a potent predictor of later obesity and cardiometabolic risk.
  • Perinatal Risks: Research on humans also shows a critical perinatal period for treating obesity. Perinatal weight gain and smoking are the largest risk factors for an obese child.
  • Postnatal Risks: Among formula-fed infants, the introduction of solids before 4 months was associated with a six-fold increase in the odds of obesity three years later. In addition, infants who get less than 12 hours of sleep a day are more prone to obesity later in life.
  • Due to when the development of microorganisms occurs in infant guts (in transit through the birth canal), cesarean sections may be linked to elevated risks of obesity in children.
  • Other factors that make the prenatal and postnatal periods the best time to address obesity:
    • Women tend to be more willing to change behaviors if it will benefit their children.
    • Pregnant women and newborns go to the doctor more often than other general populations which increases the possibility of interventions.
    • The prenatal and postnatal periods are short. Behavior change interventions are most successful in the short term.
    • If interventions begun during pregnancy are maintained after birth, maternal obesity risks for future pregnancies will be reduced and the cycle might be broken.


Reference: Gillman, M.D.,M.W., and Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D., D.S. (2013, November 13) How Early Should Obesity Prevention Start? New England Journal of Medicine. Retrieved from DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1310577


Tags:  December 2013  Diet  Exercise  Nutrition  Obesity  Physical  Pregnancy 

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