Thursday, August 21, 2014

More Proof That Exercise Is Important in Weight Management and for Good Health

Since overweight and obesity continue to be worldwide problems, methods to deal with the problems continue to gain attention. Whatever the methods employed, the overweight or obese person is usually told to modify his or her lifestyle with the inclusion of a low calorie diet and increased physical activity. Although some studies conclude that diet is more important in weight loss than exercise, most health experts agree that exercise is important for weight management and general health. And combining counseling with exercise can improve markers for good health.

Fat cells secrete a number of proteins. Not all of these proteins necessarily benefit the body. However, adiponectin,  a protein secreted by fat cells, appears to promote mostly healthy effects on the body. Adiponectin is associated with lower inflammation and the protein is an insulin enhancer. And one study indicated that "exercise improved adiponectin levels irrespective of weight gain or loss" in Korean women who were obese. So, exercise is important.

Another study shows that “Exercise in groups followed by counseling or vice versa had beneficial effects on waist circumference, weight, and VO(2max), [maximum aerobic capacity], in women with PCOS [polycystic ovary syndrome].” So, again, exercise IS important. Further, exercise with counseling can be an important weight loss and weight maintenance tool.

By the way, the 5A counseling model is viewed as an effective counseling method. Therefore, by using the 5A process, or some other proven counseling method, to emphasize exercise and diet, weight loss providers can help their overweight patients achieve a healthier lifestyle.

At any rate, we know that a healthy diet is important in weight loss, in weight management, and for general health. And while exercise may not be as important in weight loss as diet, exercise is important in weight management and general health. Further, combining counseling with exercise can be beneficial. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Differences in Children's Brains and Bodies Compared to those of Adults May Influence Childhood Obesity

To address childhood obesity, much thought is given to techniques that can motivate children to follow a healthy diet and to increase physical activity. Attention is given to overweight and obese children's families. Working with parents and other adults in a child's home to change the home environment can be an important factor in curbing the rate of obesity in children. However, another investigational avenue might be the differences in the brains of children, compared to adults, to see if these differences play a role in obesity in children.

Indeed, childhood obesity receives a good deal of research, as it should. Childhood obesity can cause serious problems for a child during childhood. It can cause social problems such as ostracism and bullying. And childhood obesity can cause health problems, including high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes during childhood and later in life. So investigating anything that may help curb obesity in children is worthy of research. Therefore, brain differences are worth looking at.

One study indicates that a child's body uses sugar in different  ways compared to how an adult's body uses sugar, while another study suggests that changes in fat tissue start very early in an obese child's life. Both these studies were presented at the American Diabetes Association's 74th Scientific Sessions (2014).

In one of these studies, done by Yale School of Medicine researchers, "It [was] found that, in adolescents, glucose increased the blood flow in the regions of the brain implicated in reward-motivation and decision-making, whereas in adults, it decreased the blood flow in these regions." The researchers don't know what these differences mean, but the fact that children and adults process glucose differently may be significant.

In another study presented at the Scientific Sessions by German researchers,  it was concluded that  'obese children start to have not only more but also larger adipocytes, or fat cells, at a very young age and that this is associated with increased inflammation and is linked to impaired metabolic function..."'

Hence, looking at ways of changing the environment that children live in, and motivating children and children's families to follow healthy lifestyles will play a role in curbing childhood obesity. And a promising new area of investigation may be the brains and bodies of children. Discovering how children's brains and bodies differ from those of adults may lead to tools that can help fight childhood obesity.

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