Christmas Day is less than two weeks away and that means many of us will soon be gorging ourselves on all sorts of culinary delights. It’s a reality that will see a lot of people piling on the pounds this month ahead of the inevitable January fitness drive. But what if there was a simple way to limit the impact of Christmas feasting on our waistlines? A new study by the Universities of Birmingham and Loughborough in the UK suggests there is. According to the study involving 272 volunteers, regular home weigh-ins coupled with simple weight-loss tips can prevent people from putting on weight over the festive period. For the study, the volunteers were divided into two groups. One group weighed themselves regularly and were given dietary advice, including information on how many calories they needed to burn to negate Christmas food. The other group didn’t weight themselves and were only given a small amount of healthy lifestyle advice. The group that weighed themselves and had access to the additional information weighed 0.49kg less than the "comparison" group come the end of the study. Study lead author, Frances Mason, of the University of Birmingham's Institute of Applied Health Research, said “People gain a kilo of weight on average annually. Often this weight gain happens at Christmas, and is never fully lost. This could possibly be a factor driving the obesity epidemic.” In other words, by simply keeping track of your weight and understanding the impact the foods you are eating are having on your waistline, you stand a better chance of avoiding weight gain at a time of year that’s traditionally associated with piling on the pounds. [Related reading: Why being overweight increases your risk of cancer]
Strength training exercises benefit the heart more than aerobic activities, such as walking and cycling, new research suggests. The survey of more than 4,000 American adults found that static exercise, like lifting weights, is more effective at reducing the risk of heart disease than cardiovascular exercise. Specifically, while undertaking both static and dynamic exercise was associated with a 30% to 70% reduction of cardiovascular risk factors, the link was strongest for younger individuals who did static exercises. Nevertheless, any amount of exercise brings benefits and doing both static and dynamic types is still better than focussing on just one kind, the researchers from St. George's University in St. George's, Grenada said. Speaking about the findings of the research, Dr. Maia P. Smith, assistant professor at the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at St. George's University, said: “Both strength training and aerobic activity appeared to be heart healthy, even in small amounts, at the population level.” Current American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines recommend that American adults should undertake at least 150 minutes of heart-pumping physical activity every week. The same guidelines also stipulate that said activity should be spread across the week and not completed in just one or two days. Are you doing enough physical activity each week? If not, you could be increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease. [Related reading: Why being overweight increases your risk of cancer]
So-called “freakshakes” (milkshakes that contain chocolates, sweets, cake, cream, sauce and more) should be banned because they have “grotesque levels of sugar and calories,” a UK charity has said. Action on Sugar, a charity concerned with sugar and its effects on our health, has called for the belt-busting creations to be removed from sale, following a survey it conducted. For the study, the charity surveyed milkshakes sold in restaurants and fast food shops across the UK to see how much sugar and how many calories they contained. Topping the survey (not in a good way) was the Toby Carvery Unicorn Freakshake, which contains an eye-watering 39 teaspoons of sugar and 1,280 calories. That’s more than half the recommended number of daily calories for an adult and over six times the amount of daily sugar for a seven to 10-year-old. Many of the milkshakes looked at by Action on Sugar contained more than half the recommended daily amount of calories for an adult. More worryingly, out of the 46 products looked at by the charity, all would be labelled red/high for excessive levels of sugar per serving. Speaking about the findings of the survey, Action on Sugar chairman, Graham MacGregor, said: “These very high calorie drinks, if consumed on a daily basis, would result in children becoming obese and suffering from tooth decay - that is not acceptable. “These high calorie milkshakes need to be reduced immediately below 300kcal per serving.” [Related reading: Why being overweight increases your risk of cancer]
We are often told that being overweight increases our risk of cancer. In fact, in the UK, obesity is the biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking, according to Cancer Research UK. But why does being overweight increase a person’s likelihood of developing cancer? A group of scientists say they now know. The team from Trinity College Dublin say the reason overweight people are at greater risk of developing cancer is because a certain cell in the body that’s used to destroy cancer gets clogged with fat and stops working as a result. Publishing their findings in the Nature Immunology journal, the team said they were able to show that the body’s natural cancer-fighting cells get clogged by fat. They are hopeful that new drug treatments can be developed that will reverse the effects and restore the cancer-killing ability of said cells. Until then, though, the best advice remains to stay a healthy weight, stop smoking and cut down on alcohol. Speaking about the findings of the research, Dr Leo Carlin, from the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, said: “Although we know that obesity increases the risk of 13 different types of cancer, we still don't fully understand the mechanisms underlying the link. “This study reveals how fat molecules prevent immune cells from properly positioning their tumour-killing machinery, and provides new avenues to investigate treatments.” [Related reading: Major study finds eating processed meat raises risk of breast cancer]
A new study, one of the largest of its kind, suggests being the wrong weight i.e. overweight or underweight cold knock four years off a person’s life expectancy. According to the study, the findings of which were published in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal, from the age of 40, people towards the higher end of the healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) range (a healthy BMI ranges from 18.5 to 25) had the lowest risk of dying from disease, including cancer and heart disease. In contrast, individuals who had BMI scores of less than 18.5 or more than 30 had life expectancies that were 4.4 years and 3.85 years shorter respectively. BMI scores, which are calculated by dividing a person’s weight (in kilograms) by their height (in metres squared), are still considered by health professionals to be the simplest and most accurate way to work out if someone is overweight or underweight. For the population-based cohort study, researchers analysed anonymised data on 3.6 million adults from the U.K. Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD). Dr Krishnan Bhaskaran, lead author of the study, said: “The most striking thing about our findings was how widely BMI was linked to different causes of death. BMI was associated with deaths from nearly all major causes.” He added that the research reinforces the importance of maintaining a healthy body weight. Perhaps the most interesting finding is that people who have low BMI scores are at as much risk, if not more, of reducing their life expectancies.
By 2043, obesity will surpass smoking to be the biggest preventable cause of cancer in UK women. That’s one of the shocking new predictions to come out of a report by Cancer Research UK. At present, around 7% of cancers in women are linked to being overweight and obese, while 12% are said to be caused by smoking. But as the number of individuals who smoke continues to fall and obesity rates continue to rise, the UK cancer charity believes that gap will completely disappear over the next 25 years (assuming current trends continue). In fact, by 2035, the percentage of cancers caused by smoking and by carrying excess weight will almost be equal (25,000 cancer cases each year related to smoking vs. 23,000 related to being overweight). However, after just another eight years (by 2043), being overweight and obese is likely to be linked to even more cases of cancer in women than smoking. Interestingly, the cancer charity says that obesity will not overtake smoking as the leading cause of cancer in men until some time later. The reason for this, though, is simply because more men than women smoke. While obesity is more prevalent among men too, it is thought to be a greater catalyst in women for developing cancer. Professor Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UK's prevention expert, said the UK government must act now to stem the tide of obesity-related cancers. “That's why we are raising awareness of the link between cancer and obesity and calling for measures to protect children, like a ban on junk food adverts before 9pm and for restrictions on price promotions of 'less healthy' products,” she said. Smoking-related cancers include: acute myeloid leukaemia lung bladder bowel cervical pancreatic stomach Obesity-related cancers include: bowel gall bladder kidney liver breast ovarian thyroid
Some of us turn to food for comfort when we are feeling emotional or stressed. Likewise, some of us cut back on food when we are feeling upset. But they are habits that could be influencing our children too. That’s because new research by University College London has found that children who eat more or less when stressed or upset have learnt the behaviour rather than inherited it, suggesting home environments are the primary cause of emotional eating. Parental acts such as giving children their favourite food when they are feeling upset have been highlighted as potential reasons for the habits forming. But UK-based eating disorder charity Beat says parents shouldn’t be blamed for their children’s eating issues. "Eating disorders are complex mental illnesses and never have one sole cause," the charity said. The study, which was published in the journal Pediatric Obesity, analysed 398 four-year-old British twins. Half came from families with obese parents and half from parents with a healthy weight. The parents were asked questions about their children’s eating habits, including their tendencies to emotionally eat. The researchers compared the questionnaire data relating to eating disorders between identical and non-identical twins and found very little difference between the two, which suggests environment plays a bigger role than genes.
Have you ever encountered someone who calls themself ‘fat but fit’? It’s not uncommon to meet people who are clearly overweight, yet not perturbed by their situation because they consider themselves to be fit and healthy. However, a large study conducted in America has found that women who are overweight or obese but otherwise healthy are still at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). For the study, researchers from the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke tracked the health of some 90,257 women in the US over a 30-year period. They found that women who were overweight or obese, but had none of the typical cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure, excess cholesterol and diabetes, were 20% and 39% more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than their normal weight and metabolically healthy peers. Speaking about the findings of the study, Prof Matthias Schulze, who led it, said: "Our large cohort study confirms that metabolically healthy obesity is not a harmless condition, and even women who remain free of metabolic diseases for decades face an increased risk of cardiovascular events.” The study also found women who were of normal weight, but metabolically unhealthy, were over two-times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than their peers of the same weight who were metabolically healthy. Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, added: "This large scale study confirms that obesity, even if unaccompanied by other warning signs, increases risk of cardiovascular disease in women."
A new study has revealed that many people in England are unsure about cancer risk factors and often incorrectly identify fake cancer causes. The survey of 1,330 people found that drinking from plastic bottles and using microwave ovens are two of the fake cancer causes people often cite. The good news is that 88% of people surveyed correctly identified smoking as a major cancer risk factor, while 80% picked passive smoking and 60% said sunburn were also causes of cancer - all of which have been proven. According to Cancer Research UK, smoking, overexposure to UV radiation and being overweight are the biggest preventable causes of cancer. In fact, the charity says that about four in 10 cases of cancer could be prevented with lifestyle changes and people need the right information to help them "separate the wheat from the chaff". Researchers from University College London and the University of Leeds conducted the survey and discovered that more than 40% of participants wrongly thought that stress and food additives caused cancer. Dr Samuel Smith from the University of Leeds said: "It's worrying to see so many people endorse risk factors for which there is no convincing evidence. "Compared to past research, it appears the number of people believing in unproven causes of cancer has increased since the start of the century, which could be a result of changes to how we access news and information through the internet and social media." Clare Hyde, from Cancer Research UK, said: "There is no guarantee against getting cancer - but by knowing the biggest risk factors we can stack the odds in our favour to help reduce our individual risk of the disease, rather than wasting time worrying about fake news."
One in eight middle-aged UK adults is at risk of developing cirrhosis of the liver, liver failure and death because they have a potentially serious form of liver disease. The primary cause of this disease? Being overweight, according to new research. Scans of almost 3,000 people from the UK Biobank research project showed that 12% had inflamed, fatty livers. What’s particularly alarming is the silent nature of this disease epidemic, with symptoms often not presenting themselves until permanent damage has been done. However, the condition is reversible if caught in time. The good news is that a new type of MRI scan is showing lots of promise, offering a non-invasive way to evaluate the nature and severity of liver disease. Developed by Perspectum Diagnositics, a spin-off company from the University of Oxford, the new scan utilises smart health technology called LiverMultiScan. Dr Rajarshi Banerjee, CEO of Perspectum Diagnostics said: "LiverMultiScan is a great example of a smart health technology discovered and developed by UK clinicians and scientists with clear benefits for patients, the NHS, and taxpayers. Until now, needle biopsies have been the gold standard for assessing liver disease, but they are costly, invasive, painful and carry some health risks. Meanwhile, LiverMultiScan can be used in any MRI scanner, but it is not part of routine practice yet. David Breen, associate professor of radiology at University Hospital Southampton, said: "The scan gives a map of the entire liver as opposed to a needle-core biopsy which samples just one area and can be unpleasant. "It also allows us to re-scan patients over time and see if they improve."
As part of a new obesity drive, Public Health England is telling people in the UK to “get on a diet” and wants to cut portion sizes of some of the nation’s most popular foods. Pizzas, ready meals, takeaways and processed meat will all be targeted as part of the initiative to cut calorie consumption by 20% by 2024. In addition, the government agency has called on the food industry to start using healthier ingredients and encourage people to choose lower calorie foods. The drive to eat healthier will not only improve the health of the nation, but also reduce the burden on the NHS associated with obesity-related illnesses. Public Health England says the cost per year of obesity to the NHS is £6 billion. Combined with the sugar reduction programme that came into effect last year and the sugary drinks levy which comes into force next month, this new initiative will also help reduce the number of calories consumed by children in the UK. Talking about the new steps, Public Heath England chief executive Duncan Selbie said: "Britain needs to go on a diet. Children and adults routinely eat too many calories, and it's why so many are overweight or obese." Food manufacturers, supermarkets, takeaways and fast-food outlets have all been told they need to reduce the calories in the foods such as crisps and savoury snacks, cooking sauces and dressings, ready meals and takeaways, and food-to-go like sandwiches. If these companies do not listen to PHE, the agency said it would be willing to ask the government to legislate. Guidelines suggest that women eat no more than 2,000 calories a day, while men should limit themselves to 2,500.
People who are overweight or obese will often do anything to help them lose weight and that includes taking food supplements, slimming teas and other so-called weight loss drugs. But now the UK’s medicines watchdog has issued a warning against the use of slimming pills bought online as they can cause serious health problems. A survey of 1,800 slimmers by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and Slimming World found that one in three had bought weight loss pills online and two-thirds had experienced side-effects. When quizzed about why they had purchased such drugs online, 40% said it was because they had not wanted to speak to a GP or pharmacist. Some of the side-effects associated with slimming bills bought online include heart problems, blurred vision and diarrhoea. Some even contain banned ingredients. The MHRS has stressed that people should always go to their GPs for advice in the first instance. As part of its #FakeMeds campaign, the agency has also warned that buying from websites also increases the risk of being ripped off or having their identity stolen. MHRA senior policy manager Lynda Scammell said: "Quick fixes for losing weight may have serious health consequences in the short or long term, including organ failure and death. "It's essential you know what you're buying online and what the risks are. "If you don't, your weight could end up being the least of your worries."
Overweight or obese women may not detect cancerous breast lumps until they are much larger and more difficult to treat, a Swedish study has found. Researchers from the Karolinksa Institute studied more than 2,000 women who developed breast cancer between 2001 and 2008, all of who had been receiving mammograms every 18 months to two years, as is standard in Sweden. They found that women with higher body mass indexes (BMIs) were more likely to have a larger tumour when detected than women who were slimmer. Lead author of the study, Fredrik Strand, said this was either because the tumours were harder to detect because overweight women have larger breasts or because their tumours grew faster. Women who are overweight are already at greater risk of developing breast cancer and, unfortunately, larger tumours carry a worse prognosis. Therefore, these women may need more frequent mammograms to help spot tumours early, say the researchers. Women who are judged to be at greater risk of developing breast cancer – such as those with a family history – are already offered more frequent screening. Speaking about the findings of the study, Strand said: “Our study suggests that when a clinician presents the pros and cons of breast cancer screening to the patient, having high BMI should be an important 'pro' argument”.
People who are overweight or obese, despite appearing medically healthy, are still at increased risk of heart disease, experts warn. The notion that people can be ‘fat but fit’ is being challenged by research published in the European Heart Journal. According to the researchers from Imperial College London and the University of Cambridge, who studied health data relating to more than half a million people in 10 European countries, weight is still a heart disease risk factor even if someone has normal blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. The study found that people who appeared healthy, with healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar readings, were still 28% more likely to develop heart disease than individuals with health bodyweights. Even more at risk were people who were overweight or obese and had high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Dr Ioanna Tzoulaki, from Imperial's School of Public Health, said: "I think there is no longer this concept of healthy obese. "If anything, our study shows that people with excess weight who might be classed as 'healthy' haven't yet developed an unhealthy metabolic profile. "That comes later in the timeline, then they have an event, such as a heart attack”. So the advice if you want to maintain a healthy heart is to watch your weight, even if you think you are fit.
Children who have TVs in their bedrooms are more likely to be overweight than those who don’t, according to new research. Published in the International Journal of Obesity, the study by scientists from University College London analysed data from more than 12,000 children in the UK. They found that girls in particular were more likely to put on weight the longer they spent watching TV. The scientists found more than 50% of the children had TVs in their bedrooms at the age of seven. Interestingly, girls who had TVs in their bedrooms at the age of seven were 30% more likely to be overweight by the time they were 11, compared to kids who did not have TVs in their bedrooms. For boys, the risk was slightly less at 20%. While the link between TVs and being overweight isn’t fully known, the researchers believe it is due to the children getting less sleep and snacking while they are in front of their TVs. Researcher Dr Anja Heilmann said: "Our study shows there is clear link between having a TV in the bedroom as a young child and being overweight a few years later." The scientists behind the research are now calling for more studies to see if similar patterns exist with laptops and mobile phones.
Men with waists over 40 inches and women with waists over 35 inches are at greater risk of certain cancers, as well as type 2 diabetes. That’s the message to come out of a study by scientists at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is an arm of the World Health Organisation. According to Dr Heinz Freisling, the lead author of the study published in the British Journal of Cancer, a person’s waist measurement is as good at predicting cancer risk as their body mass index (BMI). His advice is for people to know their waistlines. “You only need to put a tape measure around your belly button. This is easy to do and can give a person an indication of whether their risk for specific cancers is increased or not – for instance pancreas or liver cancer which are known to be related to increased body fatness or obesity,” he said. Being overweight or obese is the single biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking and is linked to 13 types of cancer, including bowel, breast and pancreas. The study combined data from about 43,000 participants who had been followed for an average of 12 years and more than 1,600 people were diagnosed with an obesity-related cancer.
Despite the fact the number of people who are overweight or obese has risen over the past 30 years, fewer people are actually attempting to shed weight, according to a new study, the findings of which were published in JAMA. Around two thirds of the adult population in the United States are obese or overweight, putting them at increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. However, new research has found that even though there has been a significant rise in the number of people who are overweight or obese since the 1980s, the percentage of U.S. adults who are trying to lose weight has fallen. For their research, study co-author Dr. Jian Zhang and her colleagues from the Georgia Southern University, analysed the data of 27,350 U.S. adults aged between 20 and 59 years. The analyses revealed that the rates of overweight and obesity increased by 13%, from 53% in 1988-1994 to 66% in 2009-2014. Furthermore, the researchers also found that the percentage of people who attempted to lose weight over the same period actually dropped by 7%, from 56% in 1988-1994 to 49% in 2009-2014. At present, people are deemed to be overweight or obese depending on their body mass index (BMI). A BMI of 25 to under 30 is considered overweight, while a BMI of 30 or above is considered obese. A healthy diet and regular physical activity are proven to help curb weight gain, which is why we should all make a conscientious effort to watch what we eat and exercise more. [Recommended read: BMI Wrongly Labelling People Unhealthy, Finds New Research]
Half of people labelled 'obese' because of their body mass index (BMI) scores are actually healthy, according to new research, bringing into question the validity of the scoring system. Scientists claim the BMI scoring system is wrongly labelling millions of people 'unhealthy' when, in fact, they are actually much healthier than their slimmer counterparts. Dr. A. Janet Tomiyama, an assistant professor in the department of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, said: "Many people see obesity as a death sentence. But the data shows there are tens of millions of people who are overweight and obese and are perfectly healthy." Scientists say that BMI is being used by healthcare companies to increase premiums in some countries and that the latest findings will be "the final nail in the coffin for BMI." The problem with BMI is that it can give people false hope. For example, a person can have a 'normal' BMI, yet be at risk of disease, highlighting that it is not always an accurate predictor of future health. Prof Tomiyama and her colleagues discovered that more than 54 million Americans are being labelled as "unhealthy," even though they are not. The study - the results of which were published in the International Journal of Obesity - analysed the link between BMI and several health indicators, including blood pressure and glucose, and cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It found nearly half of Americans who are labelled 'overweight' because of their BMIs (34.4 million people) are healthy, as are 19.8 million who are considered 'obese'.
The New Year is here and for many of you that will mean a new exercise regime designed to get you into shape and improve your overall health. For some people, though, sticking to a disciplined program of physical exercise is one of the hardest resolutions they can make because a lack of motivation gets in the way. But now new research sheds some light on why many people, despite understanding the benefits of regular exercise, find it hard in practice to stay physically active. Researchers from the Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Obesity Branch at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), led by Alexxai V. Kravitz, focused on why obese animals also have a hard time carrying out physical activity. They found that a dysfunction in obese rodents' dopamine systems might help explain why. Mice fed on a high-fat diet started gaining significantly more weight than mice fed on a normal diet. They were also observed to have fewer movements; spend less time moving; and were slower when they did move, compared with the lean mice. Most interesting of all was that the overweight mice's changes in movements did not correlate with body weight gain. Instead, the researchers found that a deficit in striatal D2R explained the obese mice's lack of activity. "In many cases, willpower is invoked as a way to modify behavior. But if we don't understand the underlying physical basis for that behavior, it is difficult to say that willpower alone can solve it," said Kravitz.
A Canadian study has questioned how a pregnant mother's consumption of beverages containing sweeteners might affect the weight of their unborn child. According to the authors, the risk of a mother's unborn child being overweight could be increased among those mothers who consume sweeteners on a daily basis. Dr. Meghan Azad, of the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada), and her staff questioned more than 3,000 women to learn about their eating habits during pregnancy. In addition, the body mass index (BMI) of their children was also measured at the age of one. The researchers made two main findings: 1. 5.1% of the young children at the age of one were already overweight. 2. Mothers who consumed one or more artificially sweetened drinks each day during their pregnancies doubled the risk of their unborn children being overweight by the time they were one. In conclusion, the researchers admit that their work includes some limitations such as the mothers reporting their eating habits via questionnaire. They point out, however, that "to their knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the potential effect of consuming artificial sweeteners during pregnancy and infant weight gain." In January 2015, the National Agency for Food Safety (ANSES) was less convinced. According to them, "the available data do not make it possible to identify any benefit or conclude on the risk associated with the consumption of intense sweeteners during pregnancy, whether it is maternal health, obstetric parameters, or health of the newborn."
Millions of people all over the world struggle with their waistlines. A constant battle that sees them diet, lose weight and then put it all back on again - sometimes more than they had originally. It's a pattern known as "yo-yo dieting", and a new study suggests that it can be hard on the hearts of older women. According to study leader Dr. Somwail Rasla, who's an internal medicine resident at the Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island in Pawtucket (US), "Women with a normal [weight] who experience yo-yo dieting throughout their adult life are at increased risk of sudden cardiac death and coronary heart disease death". Last week's American Heart Association conference in New Orleans heard that older women who are not necessarily overweight, but continue to strive for that so-called "perfect figure", increase their risk of sudden cardiac death by as much as 66%, which is 3.5 times higher than women who maintain a stable weight. It's long been known that being overweight as you reach middle age is linked with a higher risk of mortality due to heart disease, but the risks associated with yo-yo dieting have had much less research. For the study led by Rasla, the weight histories of 158,000 older, postmenopausal women were analysed. The women who were deemed to be yo-yo dieters - characterised as a cycle of gaining and losing 10 pounds or more - were also found to have a greater risk of coronary heart disease. Until further research is conducted, the message for now from Rasla is that "maintaining a stable body weight is best for overall health."
Babies whose mothers are obese or overweight are at risk of living considerably shorter lives, according to new research from Belgium. In fact, mothers who are overweight or obese risk shortening the lives of their babies by as much as 17 years. The researchers analysed information from 743 mothers aged between 17 and 44, and their newborn babies, using samples of blood from their umbilical cords immediately after delivery. Focusing on the length of the babies' telomeres, which are the caps on the end of chromosomes that protect them from damage, the researchers discovered a strong link between the Body Mass Index (BMI) of mothers and the length of their babies' telomeres. Specifically, they found that for every increase in the mother's BMI point above a normal level, the baby's telomeres were approximately 50 base pairs shorter. That's the equivalent of being 1.1 to 1.6 years older. The length of a person's telomeres is used as a good indicator of their biological age as they naturally shorten as people get older. The telomeres of babies whose mothers had a BMI of 40 suggested they were 17 years older biologically, placing them at higher risk of illness and premature death. In a statement accompanying the findings of the research, study co-author Tim Nawrot, a professor of environmental epidemiology at Hasselt University in Belgium, said: "Our results add to the growing body of evidence that high maternal BMI impacts fetal [DNA] programming, which could lead to altered fetal development and later life diseases."
A study in Sweden has found that obese individuals who underwent bariatric surgery had a 34% less likelihood of developing gout - a condition that is often associated with and aggravated by being overweight. For the study, researchers analysed two groups of individuals: one which had undergone bariatric surgery and one which had followed intensive lifestyle modifications, including advice on food choices, energy intake and exercise. They found that over 26 years of follow-ups, there were 138 new cases of gout in the group that had undergone the surgery and 201 new cases in the matched, non-surgery group. Interestingly, the patients in the surgery group had higher body mass indexes; larger waist circumferences; and worse glucose and cholesterol levels. Speaking about their findings, the team, which was headed up by Lena M.S. Carlsson, MD, of the University of Gothenburg, said: "The beneficial effects of bariatric surgery are not limited to weight loss, but they extend to improvement in metabolic parameters and to lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer." Other studies have previously suggested that bariatric surgery can lead to lower serum uric acid levels, which are the primary cause of gout.
The results of a two-year long study by the University of Pittsburgh published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggest that fitness trackers, such as devices that count how many steps people have taken, do not appear to improve the chances of losing weight. For the study, researchers tracked the weight loss progress of some 500 overweight individuals who were asked to diet and do more exercise. Half of the volunteers were given a fitness tracker to help them keep tabs on their progress throughout, while the other half weren't. At the end of the study, the group without the fitness trackers had lost more weight than their gadget-wielding counterparts. The study authors say that while people should not ditch their fitness trackers altogether in the first instance, they should also not put as much faith in them as they do for weight loss. However, device manufacturers say that their own research suggests fitness trackers can aid weight loss when used in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise. They also say that their technology has moved on since the University of Pittsburgh study was conducted. Nevertheless, Lead researcher Dr John Jakicic said that he did not think this would alter the findings of the study, even though he acknowledged that the technology had moved on. "What these devices tell us and how we use the information has not changed," he said.
The benefits of weight loss surgery for obese and overweight individuals have been known for a long time. However, a new study now shows that the results of bariatric surgery are not just short-term, and much of the weight appears to stay off for at least 10 years. In fact, the study goes on to state that bariatric surgery is more effective than other surgical procedures and non-surgical techniques when it comes to weight loss and long-term weight management. Published in the journal JAMA Surgery, the findings are notable because they include the results of a decade-long follow-up, in addition to two separate areas of study. Lead author of the study Matt Maciejewski, who is a professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, in Durham, N.C., said: “This study suggests that patients interested in bariatric surgery, especially gastric bypass surgery, should be able to lose a significant amount of weight and keep that weight off for a very long time." For the study, the researchers first compared thousands of veterans who had received bariatric surgery to another group that hadn't. After a year, the bariatric surgery group had lost 31% of their starting weight, while the other group had lost just 1%. After 10 years, the bariatric surgery group had managed to maintain a nearly 21% greater weight loss than their non-surgical counterparts, highlighting the long-term benefits that weight loss surgery can have. The researchers then looked into how effective different types of weight loss surgery are. They found that after four years, patients who had undergone a gastric bypass had lost nearly 28% of their starting weight, while those who a had sleeve gastrectomy lost about 18% and those with gastric banding lost about 11%.
As people grow older, their brains naturally lose a certain amount of white matter. But new brain scanning research by a team from Cambridge University has found that being overweight exacerbates that loss. Published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, the study revealed that the brains of overweight middle-aged adults appear 10 years older than those of their leaner peers. However, the greater shrinkage in the volume of white matter does not appear to affect cognitive performance. White matter is the part of the brain that transmits information, and is often referred to as "the subway of the brain" because it connects different brain regions together. Obesity has long been linked to a number of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer, but research is increasingly showing that it may also have a negative impact on the brain. Indeed, the Cambridge researchers said that the findings from their study show we need to better understand how extra weight affects the brain. The author of the study, Lisa Ronan, from the University of Cambridge, said: “This study raises the possibility that if you are overweight or obese you may be more susceptible to diseases [linked] to age-related decline such as dementia and Alzheimer’s."
A pair of studies released on Tuesday show that the battle against rising obesity levels in the United States isn't currently being won. According to the two articles published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 35% of men; 40% of women; and 17% of children and teenagers in the US are obese. Not overweight, obese. These startling figures are in spite of hundreds of millions of dollars having been pumped into trials, research, drugs, observational studies, and community and hospital programmes. Additional efforts in schools, communities, businesses and places of worship have also fallen short when it comes to tackling an obesity epidemic that is three decades old. Dr. Jody Zylke and Dr. Howard Bauchner, the deputy editor and editor in chief, respectively, of JAMA, which wrote an editorial to accompany the research findings, said: "Although it is impossible to know what the extent of the obesity epidemic would have been without these efforts, the data reported ... certainly do not suggest much success." One of the research's biggest surprises was that obesity prevalence among women went up by 5% over the course of a decade, while the prevalence for men remained the same. [Related reading: Study shows bariatric weight loss surgery saves lives]
A new study has found that obese patients who undergo bariatric weight loss surgery have a greater chance of survival than those who do not. According to the research from a team at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, weight loss surgery decreased the chance of death by as much as 57% compared with not having it. Being obese or overweight has been linked to many diseases, including heart attack, stroke and several different cancers, and can increases a person's risk of death as a result. Of the 48,693 patients (aged 18 to 74 years old), 22,581 underwent bariatric surgery - a gastric band was fitted in 92.8% of cases. The remaining 26,112 obese patients had no surgery at all. The researchers, led by Dr Christina Persson, found that the mortality rate in the group that did not have surgery was 4.21% compared to just 1.1% for the surgical group. That's equivalent to 7.7 deaths per 1,000 people each year versus just 2.1. Cardiovascular disease was the most common cause of death in the non-surgical group, followed by cancer, while external causes of mortality, such as suicide and accidents, were found to be the most common causes of death in the surgical group. "The study indicates that the overall all-cause mortality is considerably lower among obese individuals who undergo bariatric surgery compared to non-surgical obese individuals, and the differences lies mainly in cardiovascular disease and cancer," said Dr Persson. The findings of the study were presented at the recent European Obesity Summit in Sweden. To find out how France Surgery can help you undergo bariatric weight loss surgery, contact us today.
From 1999 to 2014, rates of severe obesity among kids in the US climbed, highlighting that the issue still very much continues to plague American children today. Examining national data over the 15-year period, researchers found that a third of children in the US aged between two and 19 were overweight. They also found, more worryingly, that nearly a quarter were obese and two per cent severely obese. Lead researcher Asheley Skinner, from the Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham, N.C., said: "Despite other recent reports, all categories of obesity have increased from 1999 to 2014, and there is no evidence of a decline in the last few years." Skinner added that there are currently 4.5 million obese kids in the US who urgently need treatment because they have a heightened risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer, compared with children their age who are not obese. "Unless we make big changes on a national level, we're not going to see huge changes in obesity," Skinner said. By changing school lunches; increasing opportunities for physical activity, and allowing parents access to more healthy food options, the problem of childhood obesity can be tackled head-on, according to Skinner. The study, the results of which were published in the journal Obesity, also found that rates of obesity were higher in black and hispanic children, suggesting these groups need particular help going forward to combat the problem.
Cancer Research UK has warned that rising levels of obesity could be fuelling an increase in the number of women diagnosed with cancer of the womb. According to figures released by the charity, 19 in every 100,000 women in the UK were found to have the disease in the 1990s. However, this figure had risen to 29 in 100,000 by 2013. It's thought that hormones associated with carrying extra fat could be playing a part in this rise, but researchers have acknowledged that this still remains unclear and that more studies are needed. Each year in the UK, approximately 9,000 women are diagnosed with womb cancer and 2,000 die from the disease. Nevertheless, treatments are improving and higher survival rates today reflect this. But researchers are still concerned why more women are getting the disease nowadays than before. Cancer Research UK's Prof Jonathan Lederman said: "It is worrying that womb cancer cases are going up so sharply. "We don't know all the reasons why, but we do know that about a third of cases are linked to being overweight - so it is no surprise to see the increases in womb cancer cases echo rising obesity levels." The exact causes of womb cancer remain unclear, but experts believe that extra fat may produce hormones which could increase the chances of tumours forming. Other risk factors include: lack of exercise, age and genetics. Being overweight increases a person's risk of developing some cancers, which is why it's important to get regular exercise and keep an eye on portion sizes, as well as sugar and fat intake.
A new study presented at the recent Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) meeting in Chicago, Illinois reveals that knee cartilage degeneration is significantly slowed in obese patients who lose a substantial amount of weight. Over 500 overweight patients were assessed for the study, which used an MRI scanner to measure the progression of knee cartilage degeneration, allowing the researchers to investigate the impact that different amounts of weight loss can have. The researchers discovered that patients who lost more than 10% of their body weight had slower knee cartilage degeneration, also known as osteoarthritis. The knee is one of the most common parts of the body to be struck by osteoarthritis and patients often need to have their entire knee replaced if the disease progresses too far. Study leader Dr. Alexandra Gersing, from the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF), said that while the effects of osteoarthritis cannot be reversed without surgery, “obese patients who lose weight can slow down the progression of cartilage degeneration in the knee.” The study was conducted over a four year period and involved over 500 overweight and obese patients. The researchers are now planning to conduct a further study, which will investigate how diabetes, which is closely linked to obesity, also affects cartilage degeneration. For the time being, however, overweight and obese individuals can slow their cartilage degeneration by losing weight. And while that’s not always as easy as it sounds, weight loss surgery is sometimes an option for obese patients to consider.
STRESS URINARY INCONTINENCE Stress Urinary Incontinence is the involuntary leakage of urine during exercise or certain movements such as coughing, sneezing and laughing. Weak or damaged muscles in the pelvic floor or sphincter usually cause this. It can be due to surgery, radiation or neurological diseases and can happen to both males and females. In female, stress incontinence is due to several physiopathologies: overweight, obstetrical trauma, menopausal condition, pelvic surgery, radiation or neurological disease. In male, the common aetiologies are surgery or radiation for prostatic diseases. The surgery consists in inserting a tape to act as a sling under the urethra (tube from the bladder to the outside), so that it is supported and stays in the right position even when there is pressure on it. The tape is put into place through small openings made in the skin and under the urethra. The TOT Technique (Trans-Obturator foramen Tension-free vaginal tape) is a less invasive procedure than major surgery for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence. The tape may be inserted under regional or general anaesthesia. When treating a female, a small vaginal incision is made. Another small 1/4incision is made in the skin, next to the labia on each side. The tape is positioned without tension behind the urethra. The procedure may be done on its own, or as part of prolapse repair surgery. When treating a male, a small incision in the midline below the scrotum is made to introduce the sling in your body. Two additional small incisions will allow your surgeon to secure the sling in place. Surgery is used if conservative treatment such as pelvic floor muscle training, electrical stimulation, and urethral/vaginal devices have failed. Alternative surgical options include: Colposuspension (a major abdominal surgery), Tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) surgery (similar to TOT), Injection of a special agent around the urethral sphincter to reinforce it; performed as a day-case procedure, it is less effective over time and may have to be repeated. Surgery outcome : If we define the expected outcome as the disappearance of urine leakage, then success rate is well over 90%. Remember that this surgery only treats stress incontinence. About the medical devices and the surgical technique used Devices implanted are made with a non resorbable mesh, specifically designed for urethral sling applications and are well tolerated by the human body to provide long-term support to the sphincter (valve). Implants used all come from suppliers that are: Accredited by European medical device standards Selected for their quality and longstanding reputation When checking out of the hospital, a document bearing the prosthesis’ serial number will be given to you to enable long-term follow up in the best possible conditions. And then? Normally you will need to take two weeks off work, depending to some extent on the type of work you do. During this time you should totally avoid lifting heavy weights. You can resume your normal activities after as little as fours weeks.little as fours weeks. For this surgery the length of stay in France is divided as follows: 2 to 3 nights prior to surgery, 1 night at the hospital after surgery, About a week in a nearby accommodation. CONSIDERING STRESS URINARY INCONTINENCE SURGERY IN FRANCE ? CLICK HERE FOR A FREE QUOTE MORE INFORMATION ON : http://www.urologique.fr/UROlogique/Accueil.html http://www.urofrance.org/
A new study has suggested that obese or very overweight teenagers are at twice the risk of developing bowel cancer in later life than their slimmer peers. Bowel cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer in the UK and adult obesity has long been thought to increase the risk of contracting it. But now a team of researchers in the US have studied the records of some 240,000 men born in the early 1950s, who then went on to undergo a compulsory conscription assessment for the Swedish military in their late teens. The difference between being overweight and obese all depends on a person’s body mass index (BMI). Having a BMI of 30 or more sees someone labelled ‘obese’ but even over 25 is still considered ‘overweight’. All of the individuals were assessed in terms of their weight at the time of their conscription and while 81% were considered of ‘normal’ weight, 1.5% had a BMI of over 25 and 1% over 30. An analysis of their health 35 years later discovered that 885 had been positively diagnosed with bowel cancer. Scientists found that those in the uppermost weight bracket were 2.38 times more likely to develop the condition. While further research is needed, especially in women, the study by the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts was published in the journal Gut and its authors said: "Even with these limitations it is important to recognise the unique strengths of this study.” Photo credit: CSIRO
Every week, there seems to emerge new advice on dieting which contradicts previously accepted methods. This week is no different and it’s the turn of the protein-packed diet to get a meaty dressing down. An international team of researchers voiced their concerns about diets high in protein at the European Congress on Obesity in Prague. The research team looked at data collected from over 7,000 men and women over the age of 55 who had no previous history of heart disease. When quizzed about their eating habits, the individuals divulged their dietary trends over the last five years. The results showed that when carbohydrates were replaced with protein, the risk of gaining 10% more body fat was increased by 90%. Furthermore, higher protein intake was also linked to a 59% greater risk of death from any cause. When fat was replaced by protein, the risk of death rose even further to 66% said the researchers. "These results do not support the generalised use of high-protein diets as a good strategy for losing weight," said the study’s lead researcher Monica Bullo, of Pere Virgili Health Research Institute in Reus. She added: "Long-term efficacy and safety of these diets deserve more attention.” With 69% of the population of America overweight, high-protein diets have been favoured because they often provide quick results. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that American adults are already eating enough protein and the American Heart Association website says it “doesn’t recommend high-protein diets for weight loss.” Photo credits: Guardianlv, Fawesome.ifood
Childhood obesity is a complicated disease that’s on the rise globally and now affects over twice as many children as it did 30 years ago. That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In an attempt to understand how the link between parents and obese children can be used to improve paediatric health, researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine studied the responses given by 2,976 questionnaire respondents – 369 of which had children who were heavily overweight. During the study, the researchers uncovered that 31 percent of the parents interviewed were unable to classify their own child’s BMI scale range. This is worrying because it suggests that many parents simply do not acknowledge when their child is overweight and, therefore, are unlikely to do anything about it. The study’s senior author, Dr. Sanjay Kinra - reader in clinical epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine – said: "If parents are unable to accurately classify their own child's weight, they may not be willing or motivated to enact the changes to the child's environment that promote healthy weight maintenance.” Staggeringly, more than one third of American children are either overweight or obese and that’s a problem which will only worsen unless parents start taking measures now. Another of the study’s authors, Professor Russell Viner - an academic paediatrician at the UCL Institute of Child Health – said: "Measures that decrease the gap between parental perceptions of child weight status and obesity scales used by medical professionals may now be needed in order to help parents better understand the health risks associated with overweight and increase uptake of healthier lifestyles.” Photo credit: U.S. News
It won’t come as any surprise that Americans gain weight as they get older. However, you may raise an eyebrow to learn that as Americans age and pile on the pounds, the quality of their diet actually gets better. Therefore, we can safely say that as their waists expand and they realise something needs to be done, Americans try and counteract their weight gain by eating salads and lean proteins. But, according to a new study by the University of South Carolina, improving one’s diet simply isn’t enough to stave off weight gain in our later years. Using data collected from 4,999 Americans aged between 20 and 70, the study painted a complete picture of how the individual’s diet and exercise levels alter over the years. Lead researcher Russell Pate Ph.D. said: "Our study points to the very important impact of physical activity on weight status in U.S. adults, and in particular it points to the critical role of the age-related decline in physical activity on the increasing rates of overweight and obesity that we see with aging.” The bottom line? Americans should absolutely be trying to achieve the 150-minutes of moderate exercise as per the federal physical activity guideline. According to the American Heart Association, the activity levels of Americans are generally lower nowadays because of more sedentary jobs, better mass transport options and technology. Being overweight increases the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, reproductive problems and some cancers.
Millions of people around the world enjoy a cup of coffee as part of their morning routine. But now, thanks to a new study, coffee drinkers can add “reduces your risk of liver cancer” to their list of health benefits associated with their favourite morning tipple. During the study, scientists from the World Cancer Research Fund International's Continuous Update Project (CUP) worked in partnership with the American Institute for Cancer Research. They analysed 24,500 cases of liver cancer – a disease that is on the rise in America – and found that coffee drinkers were 29% less likely to contract liver cancer. It’s still not known exactly why coffee helps, but liver cancer now joins Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease on the list of afflictions whose risk is reduced through java consumption. In addition to the coffee findings, the study revealed that drinking alcohol and being obese increase the risk of liver cancer. It was also specifically noted that people who consume more than three alcoholic drinks per day had a dramatically higher chance of contracting liver cancer. Stephen Hursting, a researcher at the University of North Carolina, said: “This is the first time there's been such a clear signal from a rigorous, systematic review on the links between obesity increasing risk of liver cancer and coffee decreasing risk.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S., 69% of Americans are currently overweight or obese. France Surgery can help facilitate a range of bariatric procedures, which are not only performed in world-class medical facilities, but also highly affordable.
The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK is seemingly struggling to cope with the demand for its services. Since the beginning of the year, 14 hospitals in the UK have declared ‘major incidents’ because they are unable to cope with the “unprecedented pressure” being placed upon them this year. Surgical procedures and outpatient appointments have been cancelled amid the turmoil and some hospitals have even set up makeshift wards to accommodate patients. But now, one of the UK’s best-loved TV doctors has spoken out about the economic benefits to the NHS of weight loss surgery for obese individuals. Countless studies have shown that being overweight has a significantly detrimental effect on a person’s life, including increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart problems and stroke. Furthermore, one in four adults and one in five children in the UK are considered obese – a fact that puts a huge burden on the already struggling NHS. Obesity-related problems are thought to cost the NHS around £6 billion a year and Dr Christian Jessen – who presents Channel 4’s Weighing Up The Enemy – believes it makes economic sense to offer gastric band and gastric bypass operations to obese individuals. He said: “It is very clear to me we need to invest more now in this type of procedure in order to save considerable amounts in the future”. It is thought that within two to three years, bariatric surgery pays for itself and so the argument for it to be undertaken on the NHS or privately carries a lot of weight.
According to a recent study by the National Bariatric Surgery Registry (NBSR), almost 40% of people in the UK who undergo weight-loss surgery are, in fact, super-obese. Not only is this startling reality hard to comprehend but it also threatens to cripple the NHS in the future, unless this trend is curbed. However, the research also discovered that bariatric surgery actually has a significant effect on some of the chronic illnesses that are associated with being overweight; something that will help alleviate the overstretched NHS. Conditions such as type 2 diabetes are often linked with obesity and the study showed that after bariatric surgery two thirds of sufferers showed no sign of the condition two years later. Bariatric surgery, which usually involves gastric bands or reducing stomach sizes, is now actively being seen as a highly beneficial weight-loss solution as highlighted by the NBSR’s chairman Richard Welbourn: “For severely obese people, medical therapy, lifestyle changes and attempts at dieting rarely succeed in maintaining long-term, clinically beneficial weight loss due to the hormonal effects of being obese”. The NBSR’s report is based on over 18,000 operations conducted between 2010 and 2013, but NHS cuts could mean that the number of bariatric surgeries in the UK next year is restricted. It’s still the case that prevention is better than cure when it comes to medicine, but the NBSR’s study demonstrates that bariatric surgery, when required, is an effective and safe procedure for losing weight. Find out more about how we can facilitate bariatric surgery for you here in France.
Surgery is not the most exciting prospect for most people and even medical professionals will advocate avoiding surgery whenever it is possible. It is therefore important to understand a medical condition and the risk factors in order to attempt to avoid the problem getting to the stage that surgery is required. Haemorrhoids are a condition that can often be sorted without the need for surgery. They are usually caused by excess pressure being placed on the blood vessels in and around the anus. This pressure then causes the blood vessels in the back passage to become swollen or inflamed. One of the most common causes of haemorrhoids is constipation and straining when attempting to pass stools. There are other causes however, and risk factors which can be addressed in order to reduce the chance of developing haemorrhoids. Prolonged constipation is an obvious risk factor but prolonged diarrhoea is also an associated risk. Being overweight or regularly lifting heavy objects are circumstances which can be addressed, whilst pregnancy or a family history of haemorrhoids are less controllable and a patient should simply be aware that these are risks. Knowing these risks can help people to address their lifestyle or be aware that they may need to see a doctor. If a person already has haemorrhoids there are treatments such as creams that can be tried before deciding on surgery.