Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Home Health Test Kits Could Help Improve Weight Loss

The company, BIOIQ, sells home health test kits. Some of the conditions that these kits test for are associated with overweight and obesity. These kits allow a person to look for and monitor diabetes, cholesterol, and other conditions.

Therefore, these kits permit a person to gain important personal health information. And as a person becomes more aware of the state of his or her health, that person is more likely to become proactive in managing his or her health. So these kits can play an important role in health care.

Usually it takes some incentive to motivate a person to change behavior. And in order for the incentive to have more than a short-term effect, the incentive needs to be strong. Monitoring some indicator of health, and finding the indicated results to be less than desirable can be a strong incentive for some persons.

These persons will modify their lifestyle to improve the results. For example, It has been found that overweight persons who frequently monitor their weight are more likely to lose weight than those overweight persons who don’t frequently monitor their weight. This probably happens because knowledge of his or her weight becomes the person's incentive.

Therefore, providing a person the capability to test for health conditions also provides the person with the opportunity to gain knowledge about his or her health. And if too much weight exacerbates an unhealthy condition, knowledge of this might be enough to cause the person to better manage weight. Further, counseling by a weight loss or bariatric center could reinforce the weight management program.

Using an approach that embraces home health tests in conjunction with counseling services may enable a bariatric or weight loss center to help a client improve his or her diet, or adhere to an exercise routine. Moreover, using this approach may enable the center to build a better relationship with the client, which would benefit both the client and the center.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Money Can Motivate a Person to Lose Weight

Changing behavior is an important element in many endeavors, especially weight loss. No matter what weight loss method is adopted, some behavioral change is necessary. In an obesity drug regime, an individual must take the medication. After bariatric surgery, there are certain lifestyle changes a patient must make to maximize weight loss -- including the adherence to a special diet. And where the weight loss method consists only of lifestyle modification, changing behavior is of the utmost importance. Now, research has shown that using money as a reward can induce a person to make behavioral changes that are conducive to weight loss.

In a study done at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine, study subjects were told how much money they would receive if they lost weight, and how much money they would be deprived of if they didn’t lose weight. One of the researchers, Dr. Kevin Volpp, indicated that most weight loss programs emphasize the future benefits of losing weight. However, there is no immediate reward for losing the weight. Giving money after weight loss is an immediate reward.

Immediate payment as an immediate reward is a form of immediate gratification. And immediate gratification is something that most of us have become accustomed to in today's society. So, using immediate gratification may actually be a good way to motivate a person to make changes in behavior that are conducive to losing weight.

The researchers indicated that offering the immediate payment only worked for short term weight loss. And when the money-reward was removed, the weight began to come back. So more research is needed to determine how using money, or some other incentive, may be utilized as part of a long term weight loss program.

More study may also help experts determine exactly what is triggered, by money, that motivates a person to lose weight. Substitutes may then be devised to obtain the same kind of behavioral change seen when money is the motivator. Specific counseling methods, and environmental and psychological cues may be developed to sustain weight loss behavioral modification.

Therefore, the results of the research could enable bariatric or weight loss centers to improve techniques that motivate changes in behavior. If insight into changing behavior is derived from the research, this insight could enable a bariatric or weight loss center to help a client more effectively lose weight.

Indeed, bariatric or weight loss centers should take a hard look at the counseling and behavioral change methods they are now using. The centers may want to emphasize the methods that really work, and make using these methods a more important part of their weight loss programs.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gut Bacteria May Play a Role in Weight Gain

Researchers at The Washington University St. Louis Medical School have been studying the bacteria within the human gut. The researchers point out that trillions of bacteria live in our gut. And although the set of bacteria in the gut is unique to each individual, there are bacteria common to all people. These bacteria perform specific activities, including the extraction of calories from food. And it appears that the physical environment could play a role in the production of gut bacteria.

After performing DNA analysis, the University researchers found that obese persons had some 300 more bacterial gene representations in their body than did non-obese persons. And many of these additional bacteria are responsible for extracting calories from the food we eat. 

It is felt that the physical environment plays an early role in determining the original makeup of these bacteria. This leads to the possibility that where we live can determine, to some extent, the composition of the bacteria we have in our gut. 

Since the physical environment may play a role in the composition of our gut bacteria, looking at the physical environment as an important factor in obesity may be a worthwhile endeavor. And just as we rate cities as more healthy or less healthy, depending on the pollutants in a city's air, we may, some day, be able to rate a city based on obesity-conducive elements in the city's environment. And it may even be possible, someday, to let people know the time of day obesity-related bacteria are likely to be in the air.

Of course, more study is necessary before we are able to determine what environmental elements play a role in obesity. This determination could lead to the creation of treatment and counseling approaches that address obesity-related physical environmental factors. And weight loss and weight management centers could offer services to help combat the effects of obesity-conducive environmental elements.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Using Acupuncture to Fight Obesity

As we’ve said before, lifestyle modification, bariatric surgery, and weight loss medications are the three main approaches to weight loss. While each approach can enable you to lose weight, all three of these approaches have associated pros and cons. However, acupuncture may be an alternative weight loss tool with few associated problems.
Here are some of the problems associated with the typical approaches to weight loss: Lifestyle modification, which includes diet and exercise programs, is difficult to adhere to. Weight loss medications produce negative side effects. And weight loss surgery may necessitate difficult lifestyle changes while also precipitating associated complications.
So, acupuncture may be worth considering. It is believed that acupuncture helps a person lose weight by suppressing the appetite and by raising the body’s metabolism. To gain insight into the effectiveness of acupuncture in combating obesity, researchers at Peking University in China will perform a detailed review of past cases where acupuncture was used to treat obesity. The review will cover a five year period.
Acupuncture has already been shown to be effective in other treatments including some areas of pain reduction. And acupuncture appears to produce very few negative side effects. So if the Peking University review results demonstrate that acupuncture is an effective treatment for obesity, acupuncture may become an important obesity treatment.
Acupuncture would also become another service that bariatric or medical weight loss centers could offer their potential or existing clients. And acupuncture could provide a competitive advantage to a bariatric or weight loss center.
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