According to new research conducted on animals, a diet that is high in carbohydrates given to babies, infants and young children could set them up for a lifetime of weight gain and obesity. The study was conducted in rats and it found that those that were given a diet featuring lots of carbohydrates became automatically ‘programmed’ to gain weight even if you calorie intake in limited during a period of adulthood. The US-based research published their results in the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism. They revealed that their animal data suggests that if human babies are given solid food later in the life they will be less prone to obesity. This is also the first time it has been shown with a rat model that there is a resistance to the reversal of this in-built programming effect in adult life. Even though the research was conducted in rats, it still has enormous implications for the obesity policy and infant nutrition in the Western world. Currently many of the earliest baby foods and juices are very high in simple sugars and carbohydrates. This research suggests that something needs to be done about that. The research team gave new born rats specially developed formulas that contained either a composition that is similar to rat milk, in that it derives most of its calories from fat, or a composition that is similar to enriched milk which derives most of its calories from carbohydrates. The rats that were given the high-carbohydrate formulas were more prone to obesity later in life, regardless whether they were put on a lower-calorie diet at some point in their adulthood.
Childhood obesity is a serious problem, affecting the wellness of millions of children across the world. It is very difficult to deal with weight issues in children, as they are at such a vulnerable age and any perceptions that they get about their bodies can have a serious effect on them throughout their lives. The effects of living with obesity, however, can have other serious effects on their wellbeing. Children who are overweight often have seriously negative feelings about themselves. These symptoms may include anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, feelings of emptiness and a fear of rejection. Due to the way that these symptoms make them feel, children often compensate by eating more, thus repeating the vicious cycle once again. Compulsive overeating may be an actual addiction, similar to hard drugs, alcohol or tobacco. Eating can stimulate the pleasure centres in the brain, and thus food causes children to feel happier and it becomes something that they seek out as part of their regular routine, but to excess. The relationship between overweight parents and children is more complex. Children often mimic their parents’ behaviour, and that can include overeating if they see their parents overeating, or indulging in unhealthy types of food if this is the food that they commonly observe being consumed. Children, who often fight for some semblance of power in an otherwise fairly powerless existence, may also use food as a weapon against their parents, and whilst some do this by depriving themselves of food, many do this by taking and eating all the food that they can. Breaking the unhealthy link between feelings and food can be hard work. Children must come to understand that food is merely fuel for the body and should not have any kind of emotional attachment. Parents who are aiming to help their children lose weight, really need to start on a psychological level, finding out why they overeat and making sure that they have their confidence built up in ways besides food, so that they can gradually stop needing food in this way.
A Leeds-based study has found that children are more likely to be obese if they come from middle-class areas. This is according to researchers from Leeds Metropolitan University, whose findings challenge the belief of many wellness experts that weight gain is a bigger problem among more ‘deprived’ children. For the three-year study, which was published in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Obesity, the investigators looked at the link between a measure of area-level deprivation and three measures of fatness in children; body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and waist-to-height ratio. The study’s authors pointed out that previous research, that indicates the prevalence of obesity is highest in more deprived groups, is limited by the fact that it relies on individual levels of deprivation (such as household income), rather than area-level deprivation (the proportion of households in a local area or community that are above or below a threshold for household income). The results of the study were that the three different measures of fatness provided difference statistics on the prevalence of obesity in the same 11 and 12 year-olds. Using BMI, the obesity levels were 18.6%, but they were 26.8% using waist circumference and 18.5% using waist-to-height ratio. The researchers also found no statistically significant linear relationship (a straight line on a graph) between area-level deprivation and obesity, but there was a non-linear pattern (more of a curve on a graph) between area-level deprivation and obesity across all three measures of fatness. This meant that middle-class children were the most likely to be obese, whereas obesity was the least probably in those in the highest and lowest areas of deprivation. There was also a distinct difference in the obesity-deprivation relationship between boys and girls, and the risk of being obese for girls peaked much higher in the middle deprivation range than it did for boys. The researchers also discovered that ‘non-white’ children were more likely to be obese than ‘White-British’ children. Based on the results, the researchers concluded there ‘are inconsistencies between the different measures of obesity’ and that ‘the relationship between obesity and deprivation does not seem to be linear’.
With obesity rates rising, doctors have been scratching their heads over the best – and safest way – to combat the disorder that seems to claim so many. Around the corner however, a new and mercifully-inexpensive augmentation may be key to curbing misbehaving appetites. You may be used to science fiction telling you the wonders (or the dilemmas) of microchips, but a small (“smaller-than-the-tip-of-your-finger” small!) one attached to your nerve may be key to quelling your need to over-eat. "This is a really small microchip and on this chip we've got the intelligence which can actually model the neural signals responsible for appetite control," Chris Toumazou, professor at Imperial College London and one of the inventors of the chip, told the BBC. The microchip would be attached to your vagus nerve – this is the nerve that controls your desire to eat, digest, heart rate and more. It's a very extensive range. In hindsight, Toumazou explained that the project was originally designed for children suffering from disorders such as cerebral palsy and epileptic seizures. The microchip in this case, used a piece of technology called MIMATE, which reads chemical signatures in the brain. Taking that very same technology, the microchip was then developed into something that could be beneficial for weight loss. What changed about the weight-loss microchip was that the chip didn't send stimulating impulses, but rather submits readings and signals to suppress the urge to eat. "As a result of monitoring these signals we can stimulate the brain to counter whatever we monitor," Toumazou said. "It will be control of appetite rather than saying don't eat completely. So maybe instead of eating fast you'll eat a lot slower." That's right – whether you know it or not, your body would be telling your brain off for eating more than you should! Creepy or creative? Inspiring or frightening? The microchip is still in development, but for many suffering from obesity, it may be the next best thing.
Obesity is considered a ticking health time bomb in the developed world with worldwide obesity having more than doubled since 1980. In Australia, around 14 million people (or 63% of the population) are considered overweight or obese, according to figures from the Australian Health Survey. Being overweight increases your risk of developing heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and osteoarthritis. In keeping with weight loss awareness campaigns, more than 100,000 Australians have so far downloaded a free calorie counter app, making the Easy Diet Diary the most popular diet app for iPhones in Australia. Developed by Brisbane company Xyris Software with the help of dieticians, the app helps users track their food intake daily and log their exercise and fitness. As smartphone users know, many apps are designed with weights and measures that are specific to their country of origin but don’t translate easily elsewhere. It was with that in mind that Xyris Software designed its app specifically for use in Australia, uploading up-to-date data and information on Australian foods. The app also allows savvy users to switch between calories and kilojoules. The app is useful for those who want to record their weight loss and fitness regime, and is also proving a useful tool for athletes who need to take note of everything they consume on a daily basis for their coaches and dieticians to monitor. The app works seamlessly with FoodWorks, nutritional analysis software that has also been developed and produced by Xyris Software. The Easy Diet Diary has a barcode scanner that works with more than 30,000 Australian food products. Users can track their intake of energy, nutrients and calories.
Walking is fantastic exercise for three main reasons. It’s our primary way of getting about so you’ll walk every day anyway, it doesn’t require any special training and it’s not going to cost you a bomb in equipment expenses. You’ll lose more weight than you’d expect if you take up walking and even doing a little bit of extra exercise a day will help boost your weight loss potential! Essentially, all exercise is good exercise. If you’re interested in taking up walking then there are a couple of important things to remember and bits of kit you should make sure you have: Pedometer – Your constant companion throughout the day. How are you going to know how far you’ve gone and then beat that record if you don’t have a way to record it? Invest in a better quality pedometer but don’t break the bank. Some of the more advanced versions work with your smart phone to help chart your progress! Decent Shoes – Walking shoes ideally but trainers will do. You want comfortable footwear which isn’t going to rub against your feet and cause blisters or discomfort over longer periods of time. Hydrate – While exercising there’s nothing more important than keeping hydrated. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times while walking and remember to keep swigging from it to help maintain your stamina! Enjoy - Pick a route that you like and only do as much as you want to. If you enjoy the exercise then you’re more likely to keep doing it! It can be exhilarating to be out in the open air and experiencing the world, it can also be a fantastic way to relieve the tension of a long day. Stretch – To make sure you don’t strain yourself make sure you stretch before and after any exercise. Hamstrings, calves and upper body should be stretched out before and after you do anything.
There can be no doubt about it: many people are completely obsessed with their weight and their body image. Many of these people will do almost anything to lose weight and are constantly trying diets and other forms of shedding the pounds. This means that dieting is big business with desperate people always willing to spend money on the next big thing in weight loss.
One of the newest crazes is known as the lemonade diet. It is based on the principle of detoxing by fasting. The lemonade diet claims that it works by dissolving as well as eliminating toxins that may have formed in any parts of the body. It is reported to cleanse the digestive system and help to purify the cells that run through the entire body. This is done by eliminating all of the unusable waste and relieving pressure in the nerves and blood vessels. This way it can help to keep one youthful too.
This diet is recommended to be followed for at least ten days or even up to 40 days. It has been suggested that this regime can be repeated three to four times in a year and will still be effective. The basis of this diet is the intake of only citrus fruits that contain vitamin C but might put you at the risk of malnutrition due to a lack of various nutrients that is gotten from other sources.
As far as the concept detoxification is concerned, medical experts argues that the capacity of the body to detoxify will be greatly reduced due to lack of essential nutrients such as those that you can get from other foodstuffs.
Losing weight and maintaining that weight loss is a matter of watching what you eat and doing more exercise than before. But often dieters struggle to stick to their weight loss program without a little support and that’s where a new smartphone app is stepping in. The NHS in the UK has set up My Meal Mate, an app that allows dieters to monitor their exercise and food intake, and a trial shows that the app is helping them lose weight and keep that weight off. My Meal Mate can be downloaded from the NHS Choices website for free. It sets a weight loss target for the user and sends a text message weekly to update the user on their progress. A trial run by Leeds University’s School of Food Science & Nutrition involved 128 slimmers who were split into three groups to monitor their food intake and weight loss over a six-month period. Group one used the My Meal Mate app; group two used an online diary; and group three used a paper diary. The slimmers who used the app lost an average of 10lbs while the dieters using the other forms of a diary lost 6.5lbs on average over the same period. The app was used on average every other day during the trial while those using the paper diary only wrote in it on average once a week. Obesity is a growing health problem in the developed world – in the UK, it is estimated that the annual cost of treating obese and overweight people for the related health conditions is £1.5billion. The Leeds trial demonstrates that the latest technology can be put to good use in helping people shed the pounds. Calorie counting can be done more effectively using the smartphone app while keeping a food diary that can be updated in a few keystrokes allows users to track their food intake quickly. My Meal Mate can be downloaded for Android smartphones from NHS Choices.
Coconut water is one of the most undervalued food stuffs on the earth, even by those who are very in tune with their diet and nutrition. It is actually one of the most important and useful super foods that there is, as well as being a naturally refreshing drink. Consumed all over the world, coconut water is absolutely packed full of benefits for your wellness. Second only to water itself, water is one of the most pure liquids known to man, and a regular intake is essential for your wellbeing. Naturally refreshing, coconut water is a great drink for a summer’s day, as it is filled with electrolytes, which the body often uses through perspiration in warmer weather. This includes potassium, which is essential for the function of the human body, and so a simple drink can help to replenish stores and make you feel better than any energy drink, fruit juice or soda. Unlike most drinks on the market, it is pure and natural, containing absolutely no additives and preservatives. Many drinks also include artificial sweeteners, but coconut water is naturally sweet without the need to resort to any of these chemicals. Coconut water can also be a natural weight loss aid, as it is a nourishing drink that allows people to feel full for longer, but is actually low in fat, chlorides and cholesterol. Diabetics may be particularly interested in trying coconut water, as it is naturally sweet but contains no sugar, and also contains many of the nutrients that actually help diabetics to keep their sugar levels under control. Drinking coconut water can also help to ward off some health complaints, such as kidney stones, because it works as a natural diuretic and helps to improve urine output, keeping the kidneys working and flowing.
Spring has arrived, and that means that there is no longer any excuse for not getting out of the house and enjoying the weather whilst improving your fitness at the same time. The benefits of exercise are well proven, and if you are seriously committed to improving your wellness and taking care of your wellbeing, you really need to get started on an exercise programme soon – and soon means today! Fitness doesn’t come for free – it requires lots of hard work and dedication, but we fully recognise that it is difficult to get started on a new exercise regime, particularly after such a long and cold winter as the one that we have just experienced. By following our simple steps, you will soon find that your fitness is increasing, your mood is improving, and your wellness is significantly altered.
Some recent newspaper reports have claimed that running is not as healthy for your body as walking, whilst others suggest that walking is as good as a run when it comes to reducing the risk of heart disease. So, how healthy is running for your body? Studies have found that both running and walking provide similar benefits for the body, such as lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, reducing the risk of diabetes and possibly lowering the risk of coronary heart disease. While there are limitations to the studies that have taken place, the moderate intensity of the exercises can really offer great benefits for your body and wellbeing. There are some downfalls to this theory. To start with, the study compared the risks in association with the same amount of energy expenditure, from walking or running. Of course, running is an intense and vigorous exercise which means that runners use more energy than walkers. If you intend to burn the same amount of energy from walking, you'd need to cover more ground. Participants in the study comprised of over 33,000 runners and nearly 16,000 walkers. These people were aged between 18 and 80 years old and were asked to complete a questionnaire about their height, weight, medical background and lifestyle. Other risk factors were taken into account, such as alcohol consumption and smoking. Researchers found that moderate exercise such as brisk walking helps to improve your wellbeing. While there are limitations, exercise such as this help to increase your metabolism, burn calories and increase your heart rate, which helps boost your circulatory system. Doctors and medical experts recommend regular exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle, so this could be a great way to boost your wellbeing and lower your risk of health concerns. It's advised that adults get around 150 minutes of physical activity each week, or walking 10,000 steps a day, in order to stay fit.
For any sufferer of Fibromyalgia, every painful muscle may cringe at the concept of exercise for fears that it may worsen the condition. Fibromyalgia symptoms are one of the grey areas of muscular disorders, with very few doctors able to tell who has it or whether it is “all in the mind”. Painfully misunderstood, the disorder causes joint pains, depression, tenderness and severe sleep disorders. The harsh reality of Fibromyalgia is that often, sufferers are treated like mental cases, rather than genuine sufferers of a debilitating illness. If diagnosed at all, the treatment can be just as severe as the disorder, with drugs such as Co-Codamol bearing some severe side-effects – of which also have to be combated by a further amount of drugs. With no known cure and no universal reason as to why it happens in the first place, sufferers are faced with an uphill struggle where everything and anything can cause a painful disturbance for their bodies. It's natural that as a result, their physical activity would hit a low. As such, the concept of exercise can become something of a morbid joke – but what if exercise was the answer? At first, many sufferers of Fibromyalgia may flinch at the idea of vigorous exercise – the concept is daunting because, understandably, they don't want to suffer pain. Depending on their current fitness levels, it has been suggested that Fibromylalgia sufferers can benefit from a “prescription” of aerobics, which can last between twice-weekly 10 minute to four-times weekly, 30 minute sessions. The intensity isn't high-level, but low to medium, which means that whilst earning a 60% maximum heart-rate, the body can still benefit without causing too much agony. Vigorous exercise means that the body benefits in the long-run. Starting off too harshly will cause more pain, but starting low and gradually building up is key to muscular improvement. In doing so, it is noted that pain doesn't increase, but that there were positive changes in symptoms that could suggest a lessening of a pain-killing cocktail of drugs.
NLP stands for Neuro Linguistic Programming. For the uninitiated, a brief explanation of what that means may be in order. Neuro deals with how we take in information whether it be from sight, hearing, taste, touch or smell; Linguistic refers to the language patterns we use and our thought processes; Programming is how the former combine to influence our behaviour. NLP is essentially an understanding of how our minds function, what makes us tick, and it’s been used with great success for decades as a powerful personal and professional development tool which has been exploited in business and in sport. But it has wider applications which are now beginning to be recognised. So could NLP help you lose weight? For many of us, food is both an emotional and emotive experience. How many of us have felt something akin to despair as the pounds creep on, leading us to embark on one diet or exercise regime after another? And yet we continue to eat when we’re not really hungry and crave foodstuffs that we know very well will do nothing to address our weight issues to get the short-lived high this indulgence gives us. Our love of “comfort food” is such a deep-seated habit for so many people that it can be a very difficult one to break. In order to do so, we need to fundamentally change our relationship with food and remove the emotional factors that lead us into cycles of yoyo dieting. NLP weight loss techniques can alter the way you relate to food, removing the emotion from eating, helping you to control your weight loss and, most importantly, to maintain it once you reach your target. So many of us become entrenched in our own negative body image that we begin to believe that effecting such a change would be nothing short of a miracle, and we simply give up trying. But with a better understanding of what makes us eat emotionally and when we’re in greatest danger of doing so, we can start to make positive changes. So how does NLP work when it comes to weight loss? In order to change your relationship with food, you first have to understand it. A qualified NLP practitioner can help you to recognise the emotional triggers that lead you to comfort eating, enabling you to replace them with logical, objective steps which can help change those habits. They’ll help you to examine your attitudes to diet and exercise and demonstrate how these can be modified to leave you feeling more positive and able to move forward. NLP can help you to do away with your negative body image and the idea that you simply have to settle for the body you’ve got. It does so by giving you a defined plan to address your weight, health and fitness issues, effectively reprogramming those triggers that have repeatedly led you to revert to bad habits in the past. Once you’re able to process your thoughts and feelings in relation to food and exercise in a more dispassionate way, you’ll find that weight is no longer the obsession it once was and you could find yourself heading towards your target weight more easily than you’d ever imagined possible. So if you’re fed up of endless diet fads that have simply left you feeling worse than before when you put back on all the weight you’d lost and more, and you would like calorie counting to be a thing of the past, explore how power of NLP could put you back in control – for good.
Most people are familiar with the eating disorders of anorexia and bulimia, but if asked the majority would probably associate these disorders mainly with women. A new study has revealed that men are also increasingly suffering from these same eating disorders. Anorexia and bulimia are eating disorders that have been in the collective consciousness for at least the last twenty years. Newspapers and magazines often report on the terrible and harrowing effects that these disorders can have on women and young girls, but less is reported about the same conditions when they affect men. A new study from King’s College London and the UCL Institute of Child Health has revealed that there has been a 15% leap in the number of eating disorders that have been diagnosed by GPs in the last ten years. While this increase is high in itself, it is almost doubled when broken down into the cases affecting men, with the figure jumping to 27%. The findings of this study have also been backed up by figures released by the NHS who have reported a 66% increase in the number of males being admitted to hospital suffering from some form of eating disorder in the last decade. These disorders which have traditionally been considered to mainly affect women are now becoming more prevalent in males as men are said to be becoming increasingly conscious of their bodies. Whereas women often feel under pressure to imitate the skinny images of models, movie stars and celebrities, it appears as though men are also feeling the pressure to achieve the perfect body of sick-pack and bulging biceps. It is this pressure which a spokesman from the charity Beat believes is the main cause for the rapid rises that have been reported. She said: “The pressure these days on guys to have the perfect figure is very similar to that which has and continues to affect women. 'It's all about losing body fat and getting a six pack, and it comes from the way the male shape is portrayed.” One of the main reasons why this problem has not been fully appreciated in males up until now is because men are more likely to suffer from bulimia rather than anorexia. Whilst both disorders can be equally destructive, bulimia is harder to recognise as the sufferer may not show such obvious signs of ill-health as somebody who is clearly losing a lot of weight due to anorexia. Another factor that could attribute to the sudden rise in the number of male cases is the simple fact that GPs have also been slow to recognise these problems in men as they are so heavily associated with females. The spokesman from Beat added: “We need GPs to be much more aware of the fact that males also these days are experiencing problems with eating disorders. They are not as good at recognising the symptoms in men as they should be. 'It can be because men are much more reluctant to talk about these issues or to admit there is a problem. 'There is a stigma about it - it is seen as a teenage girls' disease. But eating disorders are serious psychological conditions which can kill. Beat estimates that there over 1.5 million people suffering with eating disorders in the UK, with one in 5 of these being men. A lot of hard work may have already been done to counter this problem, but it is clear from these findings that there is still clearly a very long way to go. By Alisha Webb. Alisha is a British writer and content developer for Forest Healthcare – providing various types of care from stroke to dementia.
The chances are that, in your adult life, you have, or will have one day, actively tried to lose or manage your weight. Once you have attempted this, you know just how difficult weight loss or a better wellness lifestyle can be to maintain. The nation’s current weight struggles have been attributed to a range of biological, societal and personal problems, but what’s really getting in the way of your ability to lose weight? According to a new survey of psychologists, your emotional wellbeing plays a central role in how much weight you gain or lose, and may be the primary obstacle to weight loss. If we humans were simply rational, cognitive beings, we’d eat a biscuit, evaluate how it affects our daily calorie intake, and make adjustments to get back on track. However, as we’re not just a load of thoughts, but emotions too, we can eat a biscuit and then look down ten minutes later to discover that the whole packet has been devoured – how did that happen? Conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Centre, over 1,300 licensed psychologists were surveyed, with many reporting that managing the behaviours and emotions related to weight management is essential to weight loss. Emotional eating was considered a weight management-barrier to 43% of people, and emotions were also reported to interfere with maintaining a regular workout routine and making healthy food choices. To tackle emotional eating, and its grip on your life, more than 70% of the psychologists who provide weight loss treatment gave ideas for treatments and strategies to help. Firstly, cognitive therapy is a treatment that can help you identify and address the negative thoughts and emotions that lead to your unhealthy behaviour. The psychologists also recommended a strategy of problem-solving, in which you look for alternative solutions to setbacks, changes and obstacles. Mindfulness was also highly recommended, as it teaches you to allow thoughts and emotions to come and go without judging them, and concentrate on being aware of the moment instead. However, if that doesn’t help, the psychologists also said that they considered motivational strategies, keeping behavioural records and goal-setting as important tools in helping clients to lose weight and keep it off.