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Category Archives: Weight Loss
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over one-third of the adult population in the U.S. is obese. This comes out to around 78.6 million people, all of which are at much higher risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancer, and stroke. Because of these high risk factors, it’s believed that obesity is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the U.S. This also means that there are millions of people who should be taking active steps to reduce their body weight if they aren’t doing so already. Unfortunately, losing large amounts of weight can be an incredibly daunting task – so daunting, in fact, that it can prevent people from even making an attempt. However, a new study published this week in the medical journal Cell Metabolism could give many the hope they need to at least get started on the path to weight loss.
There are many factors that come into play when considering why you or someone you know may be overweight. Unhealthy lifestyle choices like smoking or not getting enough sleep can contribute to a high body weight, while medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure can enable obesity as well. Of course, the most well-known factors for maintaining a healthy body weight involve getting enough exercise and regularly consuming a healthy diet. Apart from all of these, however, there’s one factor that is often overlooked when it comes to weight loss: the brain. Although it’s not widely understood, mental health issues such as depression have been linked to weight gain. This causes some to ask: could it be possible that the opposite is true as well? In other words, is a positive, in-the-moment mental outlook linked to lower body weight? A new study says it’s possible.
It’s a situation almost everybody has found themselves in at one time or another: you have a stressful day at work, you go home, collapse on the couch, and reach for the ice cream. Or potato chips. Or cookies. You end up eating most – if not all – of the pint/bag/box. If you’re trying to maintain a healthy diet, you’ve just obliterated any chance of meeting your daily goal. This phenomenon, commonly referred to as “stress eating,” “emotional eating” or, more colloquially, “eating your feelings,” is a real issue that’s been fairly widely studied. Most studies have shown that the stress hormone cortisol is responsible for stress eating. However, a new study published in the journal Neuron suggests that the problem is actually quite a bit more complicated. It also suggests that stress can lead to an overall reduction in self-regulatory behavior, which can affect more than just food choices.
When it comes to treating obesity, health professionals often stick to two main points: diet and exercise. And while those are indeed the two most healthy and effective strategies for reducing body weight, it’s not always best to use the same treatments for any person who has a certain condition. For instance, there are seven different types of colorectal cancer, and no doctor would ever think about starting a treatment plan before determining exactly which version of cancer a person has. With this idea in mind, researchers from the University of Sheffield in the UK gathered health data from over 4,000 obese patients. They examined each person’s age, ethnicity, gender, lifestyle habits, and other health conditions to see whether or not obese individuals could be categorized based on general behavioral characteristics.
For women over 40, bone health is a serous concern. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 80 percent of the 10 million Americans who suffer from osteoporosis are female. Also, around half of all women over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. It’s thought that bone loss is prevalent in older women due to a menopausal decrease in estrogen, which is known to protect bone health. Bone problems are so common that the chances of an older woman breaking her hip are equal to the risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer combined. It’s estimated that 1.5 million people, both men and women, suffer a fracture every year due to weak bones. The good news is that there are many steps that can be taken to promote bone health. The bad news is that older women who are also trying to lose weight could have a harder time preventing bone loss.
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