To Weigh or Not to Weigh

The National Weight Control Registry has published several studies on the habits of those who have successfully achieved and maintained significant weight loss over 10 years (4, 5, 6, 7). Their findings are based on the tracking of over 10,000 individuals through detailed questionnaires and annual follow-up surveys designed to identify behavioral and psychological characteristics and strategies used to maintain weight loss. 75% weigh themselves at least once a week.

Here’s a short literature review on weighing habits in the processes of losing weight and maintaining weight loss.  Read the source article here.

I completed my annual National Weight Control Registry survey this morning.

For the first time in a very long time I reported a weight loss since the last follow up.

When I tell people I’ve lost 200 pounds they are always surprised and ask how I did it.

Well, you’ll just have to buy the book when I finish writing it.

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Binge-eating mice reveal obesity clues

For example, when offered chocolate for just one hour per day, the animals will compulsively ‘binge’, consuming as much chocolate in one hour as they would over a whole day if it was continually available. They also showed inflexible behaviours, similar to those seen in addiction, choosing to wait for chocolate while ignoring freely available standard chow. Yet, at the same time, the chocolate did not seem to satiate hunger as well as regular food.

The team found that animals on the high fat or chocolate diet also changed their daily routines. They were more likely to eat during the daytime — mice are usually nocturnal and feed at night — and they ate shorter more frequent ‘snacks’ rather than larger, longer-spaced meals.

We had friends over for dinner on Saturday.  While at the store shopping for provisions I saw some gelato on sale for 99 cents.

$0.99!  The only flavor on sale was chocolate.  I bought some.

The next night I had to have some chocolate gelato.  Because it was there!

The mice have proven what I already know.

Read the source article here.

Heavy Drinking ‘Strongest’ Modifiable Risk Factor for Dementia

The retrospective analysis involving 30 million people in France shows that those with a history of alcohol use disorders had a threefold increased risk for dementia and that over half those with early-onset dementia had a history of alcohol problems. “This study used a phenomenally large database, and the result showing that half the cases of early-onset dementia were associated with alcohol use disorders is truly staggering,” Ballard told Medscape Medical News.

The researchers used diagnostic codes on hospital records to identify patients with dementia and those who had a history of alcohol use disorders. They found over a million cases of dementia, after excluding people with diseases that can lead to rare types of dementia and those with early-life mental disorders that can increase or confound dementia diagnosis. There were also 945,000 people with alcohol use disorders.

Results showed a strong association between a history of alcohol problems and dementia. This was especially noticeable in early-onset dementia, with 57% of the 57,000 patients who had developed dementia under the age of 65 years having a history of alcohol use disorders (66% of men and 37% of women).

In an analysis of just those patients in whom the first record of dementia occurred in 2011-2013 and adjusted for other risk factors found in the medical records, the risk for dementia was three times greater if the patient had a history of alcohol use disorders. The hazard ratio was 3.36 for men and 3.34 for women.

Read the Medscape article here.  Or get down and dirty with the full study here.

Be careful with interpreting these results.

France.  I’m not joking.  Here’s  a Global Consumption Map.

 

 

Benzo Update 02.25.18

Between 1996 and 2013, the number of adults who filled a benzodiazepine prescription increased by 67 percent, from 8.1 million to 13.5 million. Unlike opioid prescribing, which peaked in 2012 and has decreased nearly 20 percent since then, benzodiazepine prescribing continues to rise. The risk of overdose death goes up nearly fourfold when benzodiazepines are combined with opioids, yet rates of co-prescribing benzodiazepines and opioids nearly doubled between 2001 and 2013. Overdose deaths involving benzodiazepines increased more than sevenfold between 1999 and 2015.

Anna Lembke, M.D., is associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine, chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic, and author of “Drug Dealer, MD: How Doctors Were Duped, Patients Got Hooked, and Why It’s So Hard to Stop” (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016).

You can read the full article here.

Gabapentin Misuse and Abuse

Last December, Ohio’s Board of Pharmacy began reporting sales of gabapentin prescriptions in its regular monitoring of controlled substances. The drug, which is not an opioid nor designated a controlled substance by federal authorities, is used to treat nerve pain. But the board found that it was the most prescribed medication on its list that month, surpassing oxycodone by more than 9 million doses. In February, the Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring Network issued an alert regarding increasing misuse across the state.

A literature review published in 2016 in the journal Addiction found about a fifth of those who abuse opiates misuse gabapentin. A separate 2015 study of adults in Appalachian Kentucky who abused opiates found 15 percent of participants also misused gabapentin in the past six months “to get high.”

In the same year, the drug was involved in 109 overdose deaths in West Virginia, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.

Read the article.

Now slowly focus on the following sentences:

Gabapentin can enhance the euphoria caused by an opioid and stave off drug withdrawals. In addition, it can bypass the blocking effects of medications used for addiction treatment, enabling patients to get high while in recovery.

Vape? No Thanks

Study: Lead and Other Toxic Metals Found in E-Cigarette ‘Vapors’

In the study, published online in Environmental Health Perspectives on February 21, the scientists examined e-cigarette devices owned by a sample of 56 users. They found that significant numbers of the devices generated aerosols with potentially unsafe levels of lead, chromium, manganese and/or nickel. Chronic inhalation of these metals has been linked to lung, liver, immune, cardiovascular and brain damage, and even cancers.

NOT safer than cigarettes.  E-Cigarettes can explode too.

Full article here.