By Janis Jibrin, M.S., RD, Best Life lead nutritionist
Here’s a secret from a nutrition insider: Even experts find weight loss fraught and confusing. A recent paper by The Obesity Society, a scientific organization devoted to researching causes and treatments for obesity, says as much. In an attempt to provide clarity, the organization published core guidelines. Not earth-shattering by any stretch, they provide an un-faddist view of the basics of weight control.
BMI is just a screening tool, not a diagnosis of 25 to 29.9 is considered “overweight” and 30-plus is “obese.” If you’re at 25-plus, you don’t necessarily need to lose weight. But if you also have a waist circumference greater than 35 inches for women or greater than 40 inches for men, you likely do need to shed pounds.
Focus on percent of weight loss, not ideal BMI. Not everyone needs to drop below a BMI of 25 to be healthy, and some just cannot. Instead, if you have too much body fat, focus on losing at least three to five percent of your starting weight—it can significantly improve blood pressure and other aspects of your health. Losing more, like 10 percent, can be even more helpful. (more…)
While popular wisdom may hold laughter as the best medicine, science indicates exercise might actually be the way to go. A study from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) shows that moderate to high intensity activity is a key part of reducing the risk of premature death in older women.
Those who worked on the study, like Professor Debra Anderson of QUT’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, say that health professionals should be prescribing exercise programs in addition to conventional treatments for both physical and mental health.
“Studies clearly show moderate to vigorous intensity activity can have mental and physical health benefits, particularly when part of broader positive health changes,” she said in a statement.
Young people are generally healthy, but on the off-chance they’re not, a new survey reports that millennials are much more accepting of natural healing alternatives than any other generation.
Most traditional medical settings recommend sticking to traditional treatments and adding in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). But this report by the Natural Marketing Institute, published in The Fiscal Times, says most people in their 20s and 30s are embracing CAM, which includes everything from massage, meditation, acupuncture, and yoga, to herbal, plant-based supplements and homeopathic medicine.
Roughly 11 percent of millennials used homeopathic medicine in 2013, up from four percent just a few years earlier, according to a 2013 report by the Natural Marketing Institute. To compare, only six percent of baby boomers and seven percent of Generation X use those same natural treatments. (more…)
Whether it’s ice cream, fries, or some other comfort food, most of us have that one thing we crave when stress hits. It’s not that we’re eating it all the time, only when we’re feeling frazzled and feel like we “deserve” or “need” it. If we’re eating healthily the rest of the time, what’s the harm in indulging in some stress eating now and then?
The harm, as it turns out, is an average of 11 extra pounds a year. A new study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry shows that stress eating alone can lead to weight gain. Eating just one high-fat meal after experiencing one or more stressful events the day before can slow women’s metabolism enough to add more than ten pounds a year.
“The question we were asking is whether stress affects metabolism, and I was so surprised at the magnitude of the effect,” Dr. Jan Kiecolt-Glaser, professor of psychiatry and psychology at The Ohio State University and lead author of the study, told Today, adding that she wasn’t expecting to see such dramatic results. (more…)
It’s assumed that kids will turn up their noses at whole-grain foods like oats, whole wheat bread, and brown rice if offered to them, but that may not be the case.
In another strike against “kid food,” a new study from the University of Florida indicates kids will eat whole grains if they’re offered. In fact, they’ll eat them in equal amounts to foods containing refined-grains, especially if they’re snack foods.
One of the authors of the study, Allyson Radford, said, “We tried to choose foods we thought kids would enjoy, such as cereal bars, macaroni and cheese and SunChips and found that they ate the ready-to-eat snack foods the most.”
“We were interested to see if they would eat the whole-grain foods as much as the refined-grain foods, and so we were pleasantly surprised that they would eat the same amount whether the food was whole or refined.” (more…)