Modern studies are now linking the obesity and diabetes epidemic to modern chemicals, not necessarily our diet and exercise habits.
Scientists are arguing that synthesized substances that are found in things like pesticides and water bottles are actually scrambling hormone signals. These disturbances are being blamed for tricking fat cells into taking in more fat. Another proposed result of hormone disruption is that the pancreas is being mislead into secreting excess insulin, causing interference in the regulation of carbohydrate and fat breakdown. The main culprit being blamed is bisphenol A, known as BPA. This chemical is found in plastics and food-can linings.
The so-called endocrine disruptor has been the center of a recent Spanish study. “When you eat something with BPA, it’s like telling your organs that you are eating more than you are really eating,” says Angel Nadal, a BPA expert at the Miguel Hernandez University in Spain.
Nadal’s research also finds that BPA triggers the release of almost double the insulin needed to break down food. High insulin levels can desensitize the body to the hormone, which in some people may lead to weight gain and type 2 diabetes. These are arguable findings. The fact that a chemical, not our super-size fast food and sedentary lifestyles, is to blame for the insurmountable numbers of obesity and diabetes cases seems ridiculous, but is there truly merit?
The city Health Department in New York is catching some heat for their latest ad campaign linking big soda portions and diabetes. One of the ads features an obese man who had his leg amputated due to type 2 diabetes. The ad reads “Portions have grown. So has type 2 diabetes, which can lead to amputations.”
The ads have caused a stir for their blunt messages, but the obese actor in the amputation ad is upset about the blunt appearance of his right leg.
27-year-old Cleo Berry, while living in NYC several years ago, participated in a paid photo shoot with photographer Morten Smidt. The photos were then sold to a stock photo company. The stock photo was purchased by New York City’s Department of Health, who digitally altered the photo to remove Berry’s right leg below the knee and used the photo as part of their anti-diabetes campaign.
Berry was floored.”I cried at my computer screen for, like, a minute,” he said. “I said: ‘Oh my gosh, they even gave me crutches. Come on, people.’ ”
It is common to alter purchased stock photos and Berry admits he signed a waiver before the photo shoot. The health department behind the ads dismisses the actor’s reaction, and thinks the ads are a part of something bigger.
“This issue isn’t about one actor but rather the 700,000 New Yorkers who struggle with diabetes, which kills 1,700 people a year and causes amputations in another 3,000,” said John Kelly, a spokesman for the health department, in a statement. “Advertising to warn the public about health concerns saves lives, and we will continue our efforts to warn New Yorkers about diabetes.”
UPDATE 1/18/12: Paula Deen confirms on Today Show that she has type 2 diabetes, and has for three years. She says the disease “is not a death sentence,” and is partnering with Diabetes in a New Light. She told Al Roker she’s “always encouraged moderation” when it comes to her cooking.
Cooking celebrity Paula Deen may be known for her high-calorie, butter-laden Southern cooking but she has alluded to health struggles in the past. Today, The Dailyreported that the Food Network star, cookbook author and restauranteur famous for her 1500-calorie donut burger is about to reveal that she has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a condition often associated with fatty foods and obesity.
The Georgia-born chef, who was once a single mother struggling to make ends meet has reportedly signed a multimillion dollar deal with Novartis to endorse the drug that she is taking to help control her condition.
Deen has faced past criticism, reportedly even from First Lady Michelle Obama, for her the high amounts of fat, salt and sugar in her dishes. Now that Deen has been diagnosed with a condition largely controlled by diet and exercise, sources are wondering whether her platform will change.
One diabetic expert, Richard Kahn, PhD, who was the chief scientific and medical officer of the American Diabetes Association for nearly 25 years, is denouncing some weight loss programs as being ineffective in reducing the incidence of Diabetes and helping the patient to keep the weight from coming back. He outlined his theories in his paper that was published in the January edition of Health Affairs. Kahn stated that even though patients in one study lost 4% to 6% of their body weight, they regained 40% by the time the study ended three years later. He goes on the say that “one of the issues that prevents people from keeping the weight off is cheap, widely available, delicious food that we eat again and again.”
Listening to Kahn, one would conclude that it may be hopeless to even attempt weight loss because, in the end, you will just gain it all back and have to start over.
The city Health Department in New York is catching some heat for their latest ad campaign which targets super-sized soda portions. One of the ads in question features an obese man who had his right leg amputated due to type 2 diabetes. The copy on the ad reads “Portions have grown. So has type 2 diabetes, which can lead to amputations.” There is also a visual of three cups of soda showing how the portion sizes have grown through the years.
There are some major complaints about the ads coming from the American Beverage Association that say these ads paint an inaccurate picture of the dangers of soda. Spokesman for the American Beverage Association Stefan Friedman found the campaign needlessly disturbing. “Instead of utilizing scare tactics, the beverage industry is offering real solutions like smaller portioned containers and new calorie labels,” Friedman said.
Despite the complaints, Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said the ads are needed to warn consumers about the massive portions they are consuming. New York City Mayor Michael Blumberg also defended the ads. “What do you want to do? Do you want to have people lose their legs? Or do you want to show them what happens so they won’t lose their legs? Take your poison. Which do you want?” Bloomberg said.
Superstar Aretha Franklin is making news with the announcement that she is engaged to her longtime friend William Wilkerson. The Queen of Soul’s engagement took place over the holidays and the wedding is rumored to take place this coming summer.
This good news for Aretha also brings to light some of the health scares that have kept her in the news in recent years. She bounced back after a health scare and had surgery in December 2010 due to extreme pain in her side. She did say that the surgery she had would add 15 to 20 years to her life. The cause of that pain was never disclosed by Franklin. Although there were some reports that she was suffering from pancreatic cancer, Franklin communicated that she did not have cancer. Franklin does, however, have type 2 diabetes, which brings with a host of health problems.
Additionally, many fans have grown concerned about Franklin’s rapidly rising weight when seeing her at performances and award shows over the past couple of years. Franklin decided to do something about her growing weight when she declared she is “entirely too fat.” She boasted that she has lost 85 pounds and is looking much healthier. Healthy weight loss canreverse type 2 diabetes, and you have to hope that will be the case for Aretha. (more…)
Kim Stone is an emotional woman. After losing both her parents to complications resulting from morbid obesity, she’s afraid her slippery slope of weight gain is also going to take her away from her three grown children far too soon. At 48, with a moderate weight (by comparison to her Biggest Loser peers) of 219 pounds, Kim may not be the heaviest contestant at the Biggest Loser 13 ranch, but she’s already experiencing complications from her weight including type 2 diabetes. She and her daughter Megan Stone represent the purple team, one of three parent/child duos on this season.
Kim’s weight gain began after a failed pregnancy and almost immediate successful pregnancy with her daughter. Losing the additional pounds seemed daunting, and like many new mothers, she couldn’t seem to find the time or energy to try and take the weight off. When her father died at 59, her grief led to depression, eating and more pounds. (more…)
Good news for people who don’t naturally gravitate to doing exercise: less can sometimes mean more in the way of health benefits. A new study has found that just 30 minutes of weekly high-intensity exercise is enough to lower blood sugar levels for 24 hours and help prevent post-meal blood sugar spikes in people with type 2 diabetes.
“If people are pressed for time – and a lot of people say they don’t have enough time to exercise – our study shows that they can get away with a lower volume of exercise that includes short, intense bursts of activity,” said the study’s senior author, Martin Gibala, professor and chair of the department of kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, in Canada.
The current recommendations by the American Diabetes Association are in line with most fitness experts – people with diabetes should get a minimum of 150 minutes of at least moderate exercise each week or about 30 minutes most days of the week. Since people often complain of not having time, the researchers wanted to see if shorter more intense exercise would also do the trick of controlling blood sugar levels. (more…)
Why do runners do it? What makes them take a perfectly good day and decide to take an hour to run when you can get great health benefits from walking as well? There must be some reason they do it? There are actually many reasons, here are a few, including some that are a little less known:
The best known benefit to running is the cardiovascular boost runners get. Part of how it improves cardio health is that running lowers your blood pressure and helps maintain elasticity in your arteries. Since heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, do you need any other reason to go buy those new running shoes? (more…)
Low-calorie diets have almost always shined bright in research studies, with favorable results for participants. When you start talking about extremely low-calorie diets, some new findings may surprise you.
Most dietitians do not recommend severely restricted calorie intake. So when you see a study that says their diabetic subjects saw improved heart function while on a 500-calorie-a-day regimen, it’s sure to raise eyebrows.
It should be noted upfront that the findings are not an endorsement of long-term extreme calorie restriction. Their positive findings were solely based on a short-term dietary change.
“Our results show that 16 weeks of caloric restriction improved heart function in these patients,” said lead author Dr. Sebastiaan Hammer, of Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands. “More importantly, despite regain of weight, these beneficial cardiovascular effects were persistent over the long-term.” (more…)
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