Category Archives: ObesityImage
There are really only a few basic habits we know should help keep people healthy: eating well, exercising, avoiding smoking, and keeping body fat in check.
Turns out a shockingly tiny number — just 2.7 percent — of Americans actually manage all four habits, according to a new study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
The research, led by Paul Loprinzi of the University of Mississippi, used data about the lifestyles of nearly 5,000 US adults from the 2003 to 2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. (That’s the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s biggest national health survey.)
The researchers zeroed in on information about exercise (whether people got 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity weekly based on accelerometer data) and smoking status (measured by blood levels of cotinine, a biomarker for tobacco exposure). As for eating habits, the researchers looked at self-reported 24-hour recall data about diet and used the Healthy Eating Index score (an indicator of diet quality that takes into account how many fruits and vegetables people eat, as well as meat, beans, oil, saturated fat, alcohol, and sodium). To evaluate physical fitness, they also looked at body fat percentage.
The researchers also looked at how these behaviors corresponded with biomarkers related to chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, including cholesterol and fasting glucose.
The findings were stark.
Only about 38 percent of Americans surveyed had a healthy diet, just 10 percent had a normal body fat level, and fewer than half (47 percent) were sufficiently active. On the upside: 70 percent of adults reported themselves as nonsmokers. But overall, fewer than 3 percent of Americans managed all four healthy lifestyle behaviors. Eleven percent had none.
Generally, the researchers also found, people who had three or four of these behaviors had better biomarker measures compared with those who managed none.
This new research should be a reminder of how difficult behavior change is, and how addressing society’s obesity challenge is going to take more than simply telling people to eat better and exercise more.
From VOX, read post here…
Body composition analysis through bioimpedance (bioelectrical impedance analysis / BCA) determines the electrical impedance, or opposition to the flow of an electric current through body tissues which can then be used to calculate an estimate of total body water (TBW). TBW can be used to estimate fat-free body mass and, by difference with body weight, body fat. The BF-350 is a professional grade machine with more accurate results than found in products available to the general public.
BCA is considered reasonably accurate for measuring groups, or for tracking body composition in an individual over a period of time, but is not considered sufficiently accurate for recording of single measurements of individuals.
Why is body composition important to your health?
A normal balance of body fat to lean body mass is associated with good health and longevity. Excess fat in relation to lean body mass, a condition known as altered body composition, can greatly increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and more. BCA enables early detection of an improper balance in your body composition, which allows for earlier intervention and prevention. BCA also provides the measurement of fluid and body mass that can be critical assessment tool for your current state of health.
BCA serves to measure your progress as you work to improve your health. Improving your BCA measure, or maintaining a health BIA measurement, can help keep your body functioning properly for healthy aging and reduced risk of illness. With your BCA results, we can recommend a personalized dietary plan, nutritional supplements, and exercise to help support optimal health and well-being for a lifetime.
No treatment required.
In fact, it wouldn’t take any drugs at all. All we need to do is get people to follow the recommendations that doctors have been making for decades: don’t smoke, drink moderately, maintain a healthy weight, and exercise regularly.
At least, that’s the message from a new study that looked at the lifestyles of more than 100,000 doctors and nurses in the US.
This study made it clear right up front – lifestyle alone is never going to stop all cancers. Unfortunately, a lot of the time, the disease strikes totally at random, and it can happen to even the healthiest of people.
But the new study serves as a reminder that while we often focus all our money and effort on new treatments, there are already proven ways to reduce people’s risk of developing cancer.
“Even while we’re making new discoveries, that shouldn’t stop us from acting on the knowledge we already do have.”
So is the prevention issue really that cut and dry?
While the occasional study might find something random, the reality is that the vast majority of research is on the same page when it comes to risk factors for cancer – cigarettes, too much alcohol, obesity, and a lack of exercise are all bad.
(And that’s not to mention sun exposure, because this specific study only looked at carcinoma – which are most cancers except brain and skin cancers.)
To figure out just how much of a risk living an ‘unhealthy’ lifestyle really is, Mingyang Song and Edward Giovannucci from Massachusetts General Hospital looked at data on taken from a range of long-term studies on doctors and nurses in the US.
After looking at cancer rates, they found that up to 80 percent of lung cancer could be put down to lifestyle, as well as more than one-fifth of colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, and kidney cancer cases.
When they applied those rates to the rest of the US population, they found that between 41 and 63 percent of cancer cases could be preventable, as well as 59 to 67 percent of cancer deaths.
That’s a pretty huge if you consider the fact that despite countless promising new treatments, we’re still no closer to a ‘cure’ for cancer – the more we learn about the disease, the more complex we realise it is.
“These findings reinforce the predominant importance of lifestyle factors in determining cancer risk,” the researchers write in JAMA Oncology. “Therefore, primary prevention should remain a priority for cancer control.”
I will be posting a series of articles relating to this topic. Eating more fruits and vegetables every meal, everyday is an easy way to help decrease our obesity epidemics (in kids AND adults!) and to decrease the chance of other long-term diseases like diabetes and many cancers.
Let’s start here:
Fighting Disease With Fruits & Veggies…Today and Everyday!
People who eat more generous amount of fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet are likely to have reduced risk of chronic diseases, including stroke, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and perhaps heart disease and high blood pressure.
Colorful fruits and veggies are dietary sources of important nutrients many people don’t get enough of, such as fiber, folate, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and magnesium.
Fiber: diets rich in dietary fiber have been shown to have a number of beneficial effects, including decreased risk of coronary heart disease. Some fruit and veggie sources of dietary fiber are: Apples, Blueberries, Brussels Sprouts, Figs, Lentils, Onions, Pears, Pinto Beans, Raspberries, Spinach
Folate: healthful diets with adequate folate may reduce a woman’s risk of having a child with a brain or spinal cord defect. Some fruit and veggie sources of folate are:* Artichokes, Asparagus, Beets, Blackberries, Cantaloupe, Leaf Lettuce, Lima Beans, 100% Orange Juice, Papaya, Strawberries (*Folic acid from fortified foods or supplements is also recommended for women who may become pregnant.)
Potassium: diets rich in potassium may help to maintain a healthy blood pressure. Some fruit and veggie sources of potassium are: Bananas, Broccoli, Cherries, Kiwifruit, Lima Beans, Pinto Beans, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, White Beans.
Vitamin A: keeps eyes and skin healthy and helps protect against infections. Some fruit and veggie sources of vitamin A are: Apricots, Cantaloupe, Carrots, Grapefruit, Leaf Lettuce, Mango, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Watermelon
Vitamin C: helps heal cuts and wounds and keep teeth and gums healthy. Some fruit and veggie sources of vitamin C are: Bell Peppers, Blackberries, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Collard greens, Kiwifruit, Oranges, Potatoes, Summer Squash, Strawberries
Magnesium: supports normal muscle and nerve function, a steady heart rhythm, and a healthy immune system. Some fruit and veggie sources of magnesium are: Artichoke Hearts, Black Beans, Lima Beans, Navy Beans, Okra, Spinach, White Beans
For more ideas on how to include more fruits and vegetables in your family’s meals, visit www. FruitsAndVeggiesMoreMatters.org. Helping moms and their families to be at their very best, today and everyday!