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.

Advertisements

Education, not income, the best predictor of a long life

The researchers point out that better education leads to improved cognition and in turn to better choices for health-related behaviours. Recent decades have seen a shift in the disease burden from infectious to chronic diseases, the latter of which are largely lifestyle-related. As time goes on, the link between education and better health choices, and therefore life expectancy, will become even more apparent.

Read the source article here.

Download the original study at this link.

I should have gone to graduate school.

(Eat Like an Asian) A Healthy Asian A Posteriori Dietary Pattern Correlates with A Priori Dietary Patterns and Is Associated with Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in a Multi-ethnic Asian Population

Results

We identified a “healthy” dietary pattern, similar across ethnic groups, and characterized by high intakes of whole grains, fruit, dairy, vegetables, and unsaturated cooking oil and low intakes of Western fast foods, sugar-sweetened beverages, poultry, processed meat, and flavored rice. This “healthy” pattern was inversely associated with body mass index (BMI; in kg/m2) (−0.26 per 1 SD of the pattern score; 95% CI: −0.36, −0.16), waist circumference (−0.57 cm; 95% CI: −0.82, −0.32), total cholesterol (−0.070 mmol/L; 95% CI: −0.091, −0.048), LDL cholesterol (−0.054 mmol/L; 95% CI: −0.074, −0.035), and fasting triglycerides (−0.22 mmol/L; 95% CI: −0.04, −0.004) and directly associated with HDL cholesterol (0.013 mmol/L; 95% CI: 0.006, 0.021). Generally, “healthy” pattern associations were at least as strong as a priori pattern associations with cardiovascular disease risk factors.

Conclusion

A healthful dietary pattern that correlated well with a priori patterns and was associated with lower BMI, serum LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and fasting triglyceride concentrations was identified across 3 major Asian ethnic groups.

Full abstract here.

Eat like an Asian.

Taiwanese Vegetarians and Omnivores: Dietary Composition, Prevalence of Diabetes and IFG

Background

The diabetes epidemic in Asia and particularly in China emerged simultaneously with increased meat consumption and higher proportion of energy intake from animal protein and fat [1]. Compared with Westerners, Asians tend to incur diabetes at a younger age and at a lower body mass index (BMI), possibly due to genetic susceptibility in combination with environmental exposures [2]. Vegetarian diets have been associated with a lower prevalence [3] and incidence [4] of diabetes among Seventh day Adventists. Previous clinical trials have shown vegetarian diets improve glycemic control [5] and insulin sensitivity [6]. Although several small studies reported lower glucose level and better insulin sensitivity in Taiwanese vegetarians than omnivores [7][9], no study thus far has examined whether a vegetarian diet protects against diabetes in Chinese ethnic Asian population, a high risk population that may incur diabetes despite having a normal BMI value [2]. Moreover, Asian diets tend to be lower in meat and higher in plant foods compared with Western diet. It remains unknown whether a diet completely avoiding meat and fish would further extend the protective effect of a plant-based diet. In addition, most studies on Asian vegetarians tend to compare vegetarians from religious groups with omnivores from the general population [7]. Religious and spiritual practices (a main determinant of vegetarian dietary practice in Asia) may be associated with social and emotional support which may confound health outcomes [10], [11].

Conclusion

We found a strong protective association between Taiwanese vegetarian diet and diabetes/IFG, after controlling for various potential confounders and risk factors.

The full study report can be found here.

 

Type of vegetarian diet, obesity and diabetes in adult Indian population

…vegetarianism in India is associated with unique characteristics. It is usually a lifelong pattern and adherence crosses multiple generations; it generally comprises high consumption of whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds and dairy with spices and seasonings unique to the Indian diet. Hence, the combination/or the pattern of vegetarian diet may yield different findings than similar studies conducted in the West and it is thus possible to assess dietary associations with chronic diseases which have been difficult in the West due to low frequency. This study uses data from the third National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3, 2005–06), a survey of 109,041 Indian households which collected information on a wide range of dietary, societal, lifestyle, and environmental determinants of morbidity and chronic ailments including diabetes [16]. The NFHS-3 provides a unique opportunity to examine associations between types of vegetarian diet and diabetes and obesity in a large, nationally representative sample.

In this large, nationally representative sample of Indian adults, lacto-, lacto-ovo and semi-vegetarian diets were associated with a lower likelihood of diabetes. These findings may assist in the development of interventions to address the growing burden of overweight/obesity and diabetes in Indian population. However, prospective studies with better measures of dietary intake and clinical measures of diabetes are needed to clarify this relationship.

Interesting study with limitations as noted by the researchers.  Go here for the full study report.

Vegan Diet Rapidly Improves Type 2 Diabetes Markers in Adults

The 16-week randomized controlled trial in 73 adults showed that participants who ate a diet of vegetables, grains, legumes, and fruits significantly improved their overall metabolic condition, say Hana Kahleova, MD, PhD, of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, DC, and colleagues.

Small RCT study.  Source article here.

Light Exercise Helps Older Men Live Longer

Read the source article at this link.

The researchers report that any amount of physical activity, including light exercise, was linked to a lower risk of dying.

Also, each extra 30 minutes a day of light intensity activity, such as gentle gardening or taking the dog for a walk, was associated with a 17% reduction in the risk of dying.

Aerobic exercise may also slow cognitive decline  in Alzheimer’s according to a recent  literature review.

“Exercise can change the brain chemistry. It can change neurotransmitters associated with depression, anxiety and stress as well as brain chemicals associated with learning,” said Carol Ewing Garber, Director of the Applied Physiology Lab at Columbia University, Teachers College, in New York City, who wasn’t involved in the study. “These changes can result in improved mood, resilience to stress and improve functions of the brain such as processing speed, attention, short term memory and cognitive flexibility among other things.”