Friday, November 19, 2010

Seventy-Five Minutes of Activity Per Week to Fight Childhood Obesity

Seventy-five minutes per week of physical activity could be an important weapon in the childhood obesity war. A recent study suggests that this amount of activity could improve the health of children by slowing the children's BMI increase.

The study, reported in Pub Med in 2009, was entitled, "Physical Activity Across the Curriculum (PAAC): A Randomized Controlled Trial to Promote Physical Activity and Diminish Overweight and Obesity in Elementary School Children." The study concludes that Seventy-five minutes per week of physical activity for children in elementary school could lessen the increase in child BMI.

Twenty-four elementary schools participated in the three-year study. In the study, second and third grade elementary school children were tracked for the three-year study period. And according to the researchers, the children's rising BMI slowed, while their academic performance also improved.

With emphasis on higher test scores, many school districts have reduced or eliminated the amount of physical activity their students receive in school. So allocating seventy-five minutes per week for physical activity could be a hard sell to school administrators. However, since the physical activity could improve academic performance, as well as health, getting the administrators to consider the activity might be less daunting.

Of course, more needs to be learned about the best ways to establish the seventy-five minutes per week activity program. However, if the program proves to be beneficial to children in the elementary school setting, more schools will likely institute the program.

Medical weight loss practitioners might consider becoming advocates for the program's institution in elementary schools. Supporting the program would allow the practitioners to help the community.

Medical weight loss practitioners would let the community know that weight loss professionals are intent on ending one of today's most vexing problems -- childhood obesity. At any rate, seventy-five minutes of physical activity per week could be a blow to childhood obesity.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Reducing the Desire for Sugar

Increasing our understanding of how gastric bypass surgery affects the body could be important in non-surgical long-term weight loss and weight management. It is known that the surgery affects the body in a number of ways. For example, one of the effects of gastric bypass surgery is a reduction of type 2 diabetes symptoms in obese patients. Another effect may be a reduction in the desire for sugar.

A recent study concludes that gastric bypass surgery reduces the desire for sugary foods in obese rats. Understanding how the surgery reduces this desire, and whether this reduction extends to humans, may lead to less invasive methods that reduce the desire for sugar in humans.

Ingesting too much sugar is considered to be one of the causes of our overweight and obesity population. So much so that some governments are taking steps to reduce sugar consumption. And New York is attempting to eliminate the use of food stamps for the purchase of sugary soda drinks, since sugary soda drinks contain no nutritional value.

And some school districts have removed sugary soda drinks and other junk food from school vending machines, in part, to reduce sugar intake. But if we could reduce the desire for sugar in the first place, that, in itself, would likely reduce the amount of sugar we consume.

According to the above-mentioned study, gastric bypass surgery alters obese rats’ taste preferences, reducing their desire for sweets. While the surgery reduces the desire for sweets in obese rats, it does not reduce the desire for sweets in lean rats. The surgery also increases the glucose tolerance in the obese rats.

At any rate, a better understanding of how gastric bypass surgery reduces the desire for sugar could allow weight loss practitioners to improve weight loss and weight management in humans. Patients could reap some of the benefits of gastric bypass surgery without the associated costs and the trauma to the body.

Additionally, with the knowledge of how the surgery reduces the desire for sugar, medical weight loss practitioners could likely improve the success of non-surgical weight loss treatments, which would be good for the practitioners and the patients.

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