Wednesday, September 26, 2018

A High Protein Diet May Be Advantageous

We would all no doubt agree that macronutrients are important components of any diet. The three macronutrients are protein, fat and carbohydrates. In trying to achieve a healthy diet, one must determine the appropriate quantities of these nutrients. Experts often outline the amount of fats and carbohydrates a person should consume on a daily basis for good health. Experts often weigh the merits of a low fat diet compared to a low carbohydrate diet for example. But while there is some question as to what a high protein diet really is, there is evidence that a diet that many experts would consider a high protein diet can be effective in weight loss.

With respect to daily food intake, some experts believe that a healthy diet should consist of between 10 and 35% protein for a person's daily food intake. We will consider a high protein diet to be at least 35%. In a three month study consisting of seventy-six women with an average BMI of 32, it was concluded that a 35% protein diet will lead to a reduction in triglycerides, which can be beneficial to health.

And in another study, consisting of 105 subjects diagnosed as having metabolic syndrome, 51 participants were assigned to a standard-protein diet (SPD), and 54 were assigned to a high-protein diet (HPD). The investigators concluded that "There were no significant differences in weight loss and biomarkers of [metabolic syndrome] when the overall group was examined, but the participants with more adherence rate in the HPD group lost significantly more weight than adherent participants in the SPD group."

So, the above mentioned studies give some indication that a high protein diet could improve a person's health by helping the person lose weight. Based on the studies, both health care providers and patients should pay close attention to the patients' daily protein intake. Indeed "Going on a high-protein diet may help you tame your hunger, which could help you lose weight." And healthcare providers who appropriately use a high-protein diet may enable some of their patients to lose weight.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Childhood Obesity and Physical Activity

Obesity continues to be a serious problem worldwide including the U.S.  Approximately one third of the U.S. adult population is obese. Researchers in the U.S. and in other places in the world are attempting to develop methods to fight the disease. Because obesity is associated with a number of serious illnesses, curbing the disease is an important endeavor.  And establishing effective, early-life, childhood obesity treatments for the disease is imperative, since obesity-related illnesses can start before a person is five years of age. One early-life treatment is physical activity.

Experts agree that obesity during childhood exposes a child to a higher risk for high cholesterol, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. And one "study has found that obesity can...put children at risk for...attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, allergies and ear infections. So curbing childhood obesity is important for the future."

Fortunately, there has been some success in the development of new knowledge concerning the fight against childhood obesity. One example of the new knowledge is a finding concerning physical activity. The investigators in one study concluded that acute exercise can "reduce food intake in obese youth when intense, without altering the macronutrients composition of the meal." 

And another study indicates that "Time spent on VPA [vigorous-intensity physical activity] was associated with higher [fat-free mass index] and better physical fitness." And that "the results suggest that promoting VPA may be important to improve childhood body composition and physical fitness ... at an early age." 

If healthcare providers take an active role in the childhood obesity fight by applying new methods based on information such as that mentioned above, we may put a dent in childhood obesity. Incorporating new methods could reduce the risk that children will face obesity-related illnesses in adulthood. Therefore, it is incumbent on providers to utilize as many effective methods as possible to curb childhood obesity. Indeed, all healthcare providers, and other healthcare stakeholders, should work to curb childhood obesity.

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