13 Super-Flexible Running Shoes for Women

Free!Healthy LivingEmail NewsletterGet the latest health, fitness, anti-aging and nutrition news, plus special offers, insights and more from Health.com! Advertisement 16 Ways to Lose Weight Fast More 16 Signs You May Have HIV More 10 Ways to Soothe a Sore Throat More Best Superfoods for Weight Loss More 25 Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes More The Top Fat-Burning Foods More

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Keep Pounds Off for the Long Run

Free!Healthy LivingEmail NewsletterGet the latest health, fitness, anti-aging and nutrition news, plus special offers, insights and more from Health.com! Advertisement 16 Ways to Lose Weight Fast More 16 Signs You May Have HIV More 10 Ways to Soothe a Sore Throat More Best Superfoods for Weight Loss More 25 Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes More The Top Fat-Burning Foods More

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10 Ways to Walk Off Fat Faster

Free!Healthy LivingEmail NewsletterGet the latest health, fitness, anti-aging and nutrition news, plus special offers, insights and more from Health.com! Advertisement 16 Ways to Lose Weight Fast More 16 Signs You May Have HIV More 10 Ways to Soothe a Sore Throat More Best Superfoods for Weight Loss More 25 Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes More The Top Fat-Burning Foods More

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I Did It! I’m Done Being The Fat Girl

Free!Healthy LivingEmail NewsletterGet the latest health, fitness, anti-aging and nutrition news, plus special offers, insights and more from Health.com! 16 Ways to Lose Weight Fast More 16 Signs You May Have HIV More 10 Ways to Soothe a Sore Throat More Best Superfoods for Weight Loss More 25 Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes More The Top Fat-Burning Foods More

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Beat Bloat with Yoga

Free!Healthy LivingEmail NewsletterGet the latest health, fitness, anti-aging and nutrition news, plus special offers, insights and more from Health.com! 16 Ways to Lose Weight Fast More 16 Signs You May Have HIV More 10 Ways to Soothe a Sore Throat More Best Superfoods for Weight Loss More The Top Fat-Burning Foods More 25 Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes More

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Psychological effects of genetic testing for risk of weight gain

Sep. 4, 2013 — Obesity gene testing does not put people off weight loss and may help to reduce self-blame, according to a new study by researchers from the Health Behaviour Research Centre at UCL (University College London).Previous studies have shown that genes play a role in a person’s risk of becoming overweight. One gene, called FTO, has been found to have the biggest influence so far.FTO has two variants, one associated with greater risk of weight gain (A) and one associated with lower risk (T). One in two people carries at least one copy of the A variant. People who inherit two A variants (one from their mother and one from their father) are 70% more likely to become obese than those with two T variants. Even those who inherit one have a higher weight than those with two T variants.Researchers can now use a gene test for FTO (although this is not yet commercially available). However, it was not known how people would react to finding out the results of the genetic test.Some clinicians thought it would help people to become motivated to manage their weight. Others thought that the ‘genes as destiny’ perspective might mean people felt there was nothing they could do about their weight. If people responded fatalistically it could be harmful because diet and exercise are still very important for health and weight control, perhaps even more so if a person is ‘battling against their biology’.UCL’s Professor Jane Wardle and Susanne Meisel decided to test a small number of volunteers (18) for their FTO status and interview them about their experience. The sample of volunteers included men and women, who spanned the weight range from underweight to obese.They found that the volunteers were very enthusiastic about receiving their genetic test result. …

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Athletes need to be careful to monitor diet, weight to maintain muscle mass

July 23, 2013 — Athletes seeking a healthy performance weight should eat high fiber, low-fat food balanced with their training regimen in order to maintain muscle while still burning fat, according to a report by an Oregon State University researcher.The United States now has a record number of overweight athletes, a population many think of as untouched by the obesity crisis. Nationally, more than 45 percent of high school linebackers are obese, and the number of overweight students entering college level-sports is increasing.In a peer-reviewed literature review published this summer in the Nestle Nutritional Institution Workshop Series, OSU researcher Melinda Manore looked at the benefits of teaching athletes how to consume what she calls a low-energy-dense diet, or high-fiber, high-water, but lower-fat foods. She said too many athletes are pushed into fad diets or try to restrict calorie intake too much in a way that is unhealthy and unsustainable.”Depending on the sport, athletes sometime want to either lose weight without losing lean tissue, or gain weight, mostly lean tissue,” she said. “This is very difficult to do if you restrict caloric intake too dramatically or try to lose the weight too fast. Doing that also means they don’t have the energy to exercise, or they feel tired and put themselves at risk of injury.”Manore is professor of nutrition in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at OSU. She said the overwhelming body of research shows that just counting calories does not work. What does work is a healthy lifestyle that can be maintained, even during breaks or when not in training. She said an athlete’s optimum body weight should include the following criteria:Weight that minimizes health risks and promotes good eating Weight that takes into consideration genetic makeup and family history Weight that is appropriate for age and level of physical development, including normal reproductive function in women Weight that can be maintained without constant dieting and restraining food intake In the paper, Manore outlined some strategies that athletes can use to maintain a healthy weight and remain performance-ready. It’s important, she said, to adopt a low-energy-dense diet, which includes a large amount of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, fish, and low-fat dairy. Avoid beverages high in sugar, especially soda and alcohol. …

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Weight is a factor in graduate school admissions

July 22, 2013 — Want to go to graduate school? Your weight could determine whether or not you receive an offer of admission.The study by Bowling Green State University Ph.D. candidates Jacob Burmeister and Allison Kiefner; Dr. Dara Musher-Eizenman, a professor of developmental psychology; and Dr. Robert Carels, an associate professor of clinical psychology, appeared in the May edition of the journal Obesity.”Weight Bias in Graduate School Admissions” found that applicants with a high body mass index (BMI) were less likely to be offered admission after an in-person interview.The researchers followed 97 applicants who had applied to psychology graduate programs at more than 950 universities in the United States. Letters of recommendation were coded for positive and negative statements as well as overall quality.”One of the things we suspected was the quality of their letters of recommendation written by their undergrad mentors would be associated with the applicants’ body weight, but it really wasn’t,” said Burmeister. “It may be that letter writers come to know students well and body weight no longer played a factor.”The students told researchers about their application experiences, including whether they had an interview in person or on the phone, and whether or not they received an offer of admission.”When we looked at that we could see a clear relation between their weight and offers of admission for those applicants who had had an in-person interview,” Burmeister said. “The success rate for people who had had no interview or a phone interview was pretty much equal, but when in-person interviews were involved, there was quite a bit of difference, even when applicants started out on equal footing with their grades, test scores and letters of recommendation.”The results also suggested the weight bias was stronger for female applicants.Burmeister said the research team was not surprised. “We know that these kinds of biases are pretty common and even somewhat acceptable compared to other biases, and there’s not much legally forbidding it.”He said additional research is necessary into other fields besides psychology, and those results could show an even stronger bias against applicants with a high BMI.”We might expect psychology faculty to be more aware of these types of biases. Thus, the level of bias found in this study could be a conservative estimate of the level of bias in the graduate admissions process in other fields.”

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Gene mutation linked to obesity: Mice gain weight even when fed normal amounts of food

July 18, 2013 — Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital have identified a genetic cause of severe obesity that, though rare, raises new questions about weight gain and energy use in the general obese population. The research, published in the journal Science on July 19, involved genetic surveys of several groups of obese humans and experiments in mice.Mice with the genetic mutation gained weight even while eating the same amount of food as their normal counterparts; the affected gene, Mrap2, has a human counterpart (MRAP2) and appears to be involved in regulating metabolism and food consumption.”These mice aren’t burning the fat, they’re somehow holding onto it,” says the study’s lead investigator Joseph Majzoub, MD, chief of endocrinology at Boston Children’s. “Mice with the genetic mutation gained more weight, and we found similar mutations in a cohort of obese humans.”The protein created by the Mrap2 gene appears to facilitate signaling to a receptor in the brain called Mc4r, which helps increase metabolism and decrease appetite as part of a larger signaling chain involved in energy regulation. Fat cells produce the hormone leptin, prompting receptors in the brain to instigate production of a second hormone, αMSH. Mc4r detects this hormone with the aid of Mrap2, leading to a decrease in appetite and weight. Mutations in this signaling chain, including mutations in Mc4r, are known to increase the likelihood of obesity.Majzoub, first author Masato Asai, MD, PhD, now at Nagoya University in Japan, and colleagues studied mice with the Mrap2 gene knocked out both overall and just in the brain. In both cases, the mice grew to about twice their normal size. Weight gain was greatest when both copies of Mrap2 were knocked out, but the mice still showed weight gain and appetite increase with one working copy of the gene. The weight gain was more pronounced in males than females. In addition, the mice without Mrap2 had more exaggerated weight gain when fed a high-fat diet than normal mice.Surprisingly, while the mice without Mrap2 didn’t eat more at first, they still gained weight faster than the controls. …

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Too little sleep may trigger the ‘munchies’ by raising levels of an appetite-controlling molecule

June 17, 2013 — Insufficient sleep may contribute to weight gain and obesity by raising levels of a substance in the body that is a natural appetite stimulant, a new study finds. The results were presented today at The Endocrine Society’s 95th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.The researchers found that when healthy, lean, young adults received only 4.5 hours of sleep a night, they had higher daytime circulating, or blood, levels of a molecule that controls the pleasurable aspects of eating, compared with when they slept 8.5 hours.”Past experimental studies show that sleep restriction increases hunger and appetite,” said Erin Hanlon, PhD, research associate (assistant professor) at the University of Chicago’s Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. “The mechanism for overeating after inadequate sleep may be an elevation in this endocannabinoid molecule, called 2-arachidonoylglycerol, or 2-AG.”With colleagues from the University of Chicago Medicine and the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Hanlon studied nine subjects with an average age of 23 years. The subjects spent six nights in a sleep lab and then another six nights there at least a month later. In a random order, the subjects were allowed to sleep from 11 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. (“normal sleep — 8.5 hours in bed”) during one testing period and from 1 to 5:30 a.m. (“partial sleep restriction — 4.5 hours in bed”) during the other testing period. During waking hours, the subjects ate a controlled number of calories based on their height and weight.After the second night of each sleep condition, the researchers took blood samples from the subjects at one-hour intervals for 24 hours. Using a highly accurate laboratory assay, they analyzed the samples for 2-AG, a component of the endocannabinoid system. …

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Reduced brain volume in kids with low birth-weight tied to academic struggles

June 10, 2013 — An analysis of recent data from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of 97 adolescents who were part of study begun with very low birth weight babies born in 1982-1986 in a Cleveland neonatal intensive care unit has tied smaller brain volumes to poor academic achievement.More than half of the babies that weighed less than 1.66 pounds and more than 30 percent of those less than 3.31 pounds at birth later had academic deficits. (Less than 1.66 pounds is considered extremely low birth weight; less than 3.31 pounds is labeled very low birth weight.) Lower birth weight was associated to smaller brain volumes in some of these children, and smaller brain volume, in turn, was tied to academic deficits.Researchers also found that 65.6 percent of very low birth weight and 41.2 percent of extremely preterm children had experienced academic achievement similar to normal weight peers.The research team — led by Caron A.C. Clark, a scientist in the Department of Psychology and Child and Family Center at the University of Oregon — detected an overall reduced volume of mid-brain structures, the caudate and corpus callosum, which are involved in connectivity, executive attention and motor control.The findings, based a logistic regression analyses of the MRIs done approximately five years ago, were published in the May issue of the journal Neuropsychology. The longitudinal study originally was launched in the 1980s with a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (National Institutes of Health, grant HD 26554) to H. Gerry Taylor of Case Western University, who was the senior author and principal investigator on the new paper.”Our new study shows that pre-term births do not necessarily mean academic difficulties are ahead,” Clark said. “We had this group of children that did have academic difficulties, but there were a lot of kids in this data set who didn’t and, in fact, displayed the same trajectories as their normal birth-weight peers.”Academic progress of the 201 original participants had been assessed early in their school years, again four years later and then annually until they were almost 17 years old. “We had the opportunity to explore this very rich data set,” Clark said. “There are very few studies that follow this population of children over time, where their trajectories of growth at school are tracked. We were interested in seeing how development unfolds over time.”The findings, Clark added, provide new insights but also raise questions such as why some low-birth-weight babies develop normally and others do not? “It is very difficult to pick up which kids will need the most intensive interventions really early, which we know can be really important.”The findings also provide a snapshot of children of very low birth weights who were born in NICU 30 years ago. …

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