August 1, 2015

Lack of Exercise May Not Have Anything to Do with Obesity

Filed under: disease,epidemic,overweight — Tags: , , , — drwatson @ 8:00 am

Weight Loss GoalsAn article published in The BMJ (British Journal of Sports Medicine) takes a look at why obesity continues to be a problem.  The article featured a review conducted by sports medical researchers and clinicians who feel sugar and carbs may be leading factors contributing to obesity instead of lack of exercise or regular physical activity.The review says exercise can still be helpful in reducing a number of health risks, but some say there are elements of this concept that need further review.

Consuming high levels of sugar and carbohydrates could be the leading cause behind excessive weight gain or the obesity epidemic.  This means part of the problem leans towards poor dieting habits. Researchers still support regular exercise but say even athletes or people who are physically active could be at risk of gaining weight.  Regular exercise can reduce the risk of developing heart disease, certain cancers, and type 2 diabetes.  So, why are people more likely to gain weight through sugar consumption versus lack of exercise?

Researchers believe poor dieting puts people at a greater risk of developing a disease more than smoking, alcohol and lack of exercise combined.  This element may also give clarity as to why more children are experiencing obesity.  Researchers believe individuals are at risk for obesity due to metabolic abnormalities they believe roughly 40 percent of people may harbor.   Such abnormalities are key players in cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

The food and beverage industry is receiving criticism in light of these findings. While many people say this is something consumers have known for years, there is an element that has a need for clarification.  For years food beverage companies spend millions of dollars promoting the aspect of “fewer calories.”  Some companies try to link their product to sports activity.  Such companies are believed to mislead consumers into thinking their products (energy drinks, soda pop, etc.) are okay to consume as long as you are physically active.   Yet, many beverages alone have high amounts of sugar and calories the body is known to store and increase a person’s hunger. Calories from fat encourage satiation.

Researchers feel the food industry is trying to make the aspect of lack of exercise as the core issue behind obesity.  They feel their tactics are similar to what big tobacco companies do to encourage people to keep smoking.  The food industry engaged in similar tactics when a previous study looked into how the industry may play a role in tooth decay.

September 28, 2009

The High Tech Future For Battling Cancer

I’m sure the majority of people have seen movies like Star Wars or other science fiction movies. I’m also sure anyone who has seen anything like that has been waiting for our time to develop some cool futuristic gadgets like little pills that turn into full meals if you spray water on them or heat them in the microwave. Now that would be really cool and very convenient if we had those sort of tools, but unfortunately our time has not reached that level of awesomeness… yet. However, we are getting close and what may be the closest thing to one of those movie gadgets is a microchip that can detect cancer and possibly other infectious diseases.

Imagine how this sort of technology could effect the way medicine is practiced. We could potentially be looking at a much more efficient way of locating cancers. We would be able to determine the placement, type, and severity of the cancer, much more quickly. This could lead to the early detection of many cancers that are fatal if not found very early. Who knows maybe we’ll be able to find a way to actually destroy the cancerous cells with the microchip, avoiding surgery all together.

However, there are some downsides. We could become so dependent on this sort of technology and expect it to do all the work for us. What if there is a malfunction, will we be able to detect the wrong diagnosis by the machine? Will we still be able to do other tests for cancer? Hopefully this technology only helps us and leads to a better understanding of how our bodies work.

September 3, 2009

Back To School For Swine Flu

After the initial scare of H1N1, or Swine flu as it is more commonly known, we all breathed a sigh of relief. However, now with schools opening again, it may be time, once again, to start worrying, at least a little bit.

The virus survived over the entire length of the summer, with no signs that the heat even bothered it. With kids coming back to schools H1N1 might have just found its new breeding ground. Many schools are taking the initiative to prevent a Swine flu outbreak before it occurs, not trying to contain it after it spreads. Kudos to the school’s.

However, there is some potentially good, and bad news. I’ll start with the bad. If the virus mutates like some suspect it will, then many of our children, and even children across the globe, are in great danger come this fall. The good news is, if the disease doesn’t mutate which could be the outcome, then our kids may only face a minimal risk.

Studies suggest that the Swine flu virus may not need to mutate. In a test where both Swine flu and another virus were injected, Swine flu destroyed the other virus instead of merging with it. This could suggest that Swine flu feels superior and genetically does not need to mutate, at least not yet.

Here’s hoping that Swine flu will stay the way it is right now.

August 24, 2009

The Power of Marriage Helps Battle Cancer

Will finding that special someone help you survive cancer? Well a new study has shown that those that are married have a higher survival rate when compared to people that are single, divorced, or going through a separation.

Those that have found their life partner have a 63 per cent 5 year survival rate, and a 53 per cent 10 year survival rate. Followed by those that have never been married, then people who are divorced or widowed, and last are people who are going through a separation.

Obviously the stress of going through a split up takes a significant toll on the body. That damage lasts for the rest of your life and will always linger. However, those that are married or have never been married haven’t witnessed that sort of damage at least not for themselves. I would think this would help the person that is diagnosed use more of their energy on fighting cancer.

I think the only reason why married people have a better survival rate than people that have never been married is that married people have much more emotional support from their significant other. Their husband/wife is there helping them along the way, cutting some of the stress away and giving that person the chance to use more energy to fight the disease. Also, if I were married and diagnosed with cancer, I would feel the need to fight and beat cancer so I don’t leave my wife alone in the world. I would feel obligated to stay with my wife and be there to support her.

Regardless, marriage truly is an incredible union. Makes you wonder all the other illnesses that married people have a better chance of living through.

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