Childhood Obesity Predictors May Not Be What You Think (Part 1)

by Robard Corporation Staff December 26, 2016


Finding the motivation to pursue a healthy weight can be difficult sometimes. But a new study out of Stanford University may be able to add an increased sense of urgency and purpose, particularly for parents: Do it for the kids!

Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. While many factors have contributed to this, including increased access to fast foods and higher birth weight, more evidence shows that the factor that puts children at greatest risk of being overweight is having obese parents.

“The findings of this study suggest that at-risk children may be identifiable in the first few years of life,” says W. Stewart Agras, MD, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, whose team assessed both established and hypothesized risk factors in a study published in the July issue of the Journal of Pediatrics.

Agras says parental obesity represented the most potent risk factor, a finding that confirms previous observations, and the connection between overweight parents and overweight children is likely due to a combination of genetics and family environmental influences.

Childhood obesity can lead to many other health issues for children. According to the American Obesity Association, pediatricians are reporting more frequent cases of obesity-related diseases such as type-2 diabetes, asthma and hypertension — diseases that once were considered adult conditions.

It can be emotionally conflicting to think about the ways that one’s own health can negatively impact one’s children. But remember that the focus of this study and its findings is not about blame or shaming overweight parents, but rather about prevention. “It’s important to identify risk factors because they may provide a way to alter the child’s environment and reduce the chance of becoming overweight,” Agras says.

Remember: Good health is paramount for many reasons. The first reason is YOU. Obesity can prevent you from living a long, happy, and healthy life. The next reason is the people that you love. You play an integral role in building a healthy family. But while bad eating and exercise habits in children can be passed down from parents, the good news is that we have the power to change those unhealthy habits for ourselves, as well as for our children. Stay tuned for Part 2 for 5 tips for a healthier family….


Sources: American Heart Association, News Medical, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation




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Filed Under: Childhood Obesity | For Dieters | For Providers | Habits | Obesity | Self Esteem | Setting Goals | Treating Obesity

The Best Time to Exercise for Weight Loss

by Robard Corporation Staff July 7, 2016


With the hectic, fast-paced lifestyle that many Americans live, oftentimes our conversations around exercise get stuck on where we can sneak in 10 minutes of physical activity between work and errands. While regular physical activity throughout the day is of course important to our overall health and well-being, when it comes to exercising for weight loss two things may be more of a factor than we ever imagined: Making the time and timing it right.

According to some recent studies, the time of day that you engage in exercise may actually help us maximize the effectiveness of our workouts. A 2010 study of 28 healthy adult men found that despite increasing the amount of calories and the amount of fat they consumed, the group that exercised first thing in the morning prior to eating breakfast managed to avoid any weight gain, in comparison to the group of men who consumed the same amount of fat and calories but who worked out after breakfast.

While it is a small and short-term study, the findings were very interesting in that they supported the idea that timing one’s workout to occur after a long period of fasting (or first thing in the morning) will support more rapid weight loss. The idea behind this is that your body will be geared toward burning your stored fat reserves, as opposed to utilizing its energy toward burning off the food you just ate.

Now, if you are like many, the idea of waking up one to two hours earlier to exercise may not sound appealing. But if you want to give it a shot to make the most of your workout, there are some simple things you can do to help you be a little bit more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed before a refreshing morning workout:

1. Go to sleep earlier: Easier said than done for many, but early to bed, early to rise!
2. Find a morning workout buddy: A friend can make drudging out in the morning a little bit more fun, plus you’ll have the pressure/motivation of knowing someone is waiting on you.
3. Set up your morning the night before: Before going to bed, set your coffee pot to brew when your alarm clock goes off (smell that caffeine!), lay out your gym clothes for a quick change, and have a pre-made pre-exercise snack ready to go. Once you convince yourself to get out of bed, you can be ready for the gym and out the door in 10 minutes or less, making it feel less like a drag.

Changing up your workout schedule may seem difficult at first, but after a few weeks of commitment and consistency, you may start to appreciate the benefits, not only for weight loss, but also with being able to start your morning off on a productive note. A morning workout can help to set the tone for the rest of the day, and you may find that it can support you in flourishing throughout many aspects of your work and personal life. Give it a try and let us know on Facebook what the difference has been in your mood and your health!


Source:
Business Insider


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation

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Filed Under: Exercise | For Dieters | For Providers | Habits | Healthy Lifestyle | Setting Goals

5 Reasons We Don't Eat in Moderation

by Robard Corporation Staff July 5, 2016

When it comes to good eating habits a common term we hear is “eat in moderation.” But what does that mean? If I put a bag of chips in between two people and ask them to take out a moderate amount it’s unlikely they’d be the same. How different would the two be? Should they even be the same? Just what is “eating in moderation?”
 
A study conducted at the University of Georgia and headed by lead author Michelle vanDellen, sought out to find the true definition of moderate eating and how people in general viewed moderation. What they found was if on one end you had overeating and on the other end you eat as much as you should, our view of moderation lands somewhere in the middle.

Why is this an issue? “People are now saying, ‘Diets don’t work; you shouldn’t go on a diet. You should just live by the rule of moderation,’” says vanDellen, an assistant professor in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences department of psychology. You are leaving the role of deciding what’s moderate in the hands of the consumer, and with the rise of the obesity rate it’s difficult to say that we are doing a good job in practicing moderation.

Researchers found that moderation is naturally seen differently depending on who you ask, and also depending what is being eaten. What are some deciding factors in what we consider moderate eating?


Source: University of Georgia


Blog written by Marcus Miller/Robard Corporation


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Filed Under: Eating Habits | Education | For Dieters | For Providers | Habits | Healthy Eating | Obesity

5 Bad Habits that Lead to Weight Gain

by Robard Corporation Staff April 28, 2016


If you’re trying to figure out why you’re exercising and sticking to your diet, and yet you STILL aren’t losing weight, it looks like you could have your basal ganglia to blame! Neuroscientists have traced our habit-making behaviors to a part of the brain called the basal ganglia, while decisions are made in a completely different part of the brain. When your basal ganglia kicks in, the decision-making part of your brain goes into sleep mode… and congratulations, you are officially on autopilot! Unfortunately, we can often be on autopilot when it comes to bad eating habits, habits that can seriously sabotage our efforts when it comes to health and weight loss.

Habits are a natural part of our daily process, but let’s face it… we have good habits and we have bad ones. There are a number of habits that we engage in every day that can actually slow or even counteract our progress when it comes to our weight loss goals. Many people often attribute bad eating habits simply to low motivation or lack of self-control. But don’t feel bad… in actuality, science supports the fact that our brains are hardwired to routinize and habitualize behaviors so that we have more mental space to do other things. Those pesky, multi-tasking brains of ours!

Fortunately, when we become aware of what our bad habits are and how they may be slowing our progress toward weight loss, we can begin working to change them. Habits can be pretty hard to change because by their very nature, our brains cling stubbornly to routine. But with some awareness, commitment, and new tools, we can work to develop new habits that will better support our weight loss goals.

Check out the slideshow below for 5 Bad Habits that Lead to Weight Gain. At the end of the slideshow is a link to a great resource on the mechanics of creating a new habit, and how you can start new, healthier habits that actually stick.




Shoot us a comment on Facebook and let us know your worst habit and what you plan to do to change it!

 
Sources: NPR, James Clear (Behavioral Psychology)


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation

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Filed Under: Eating Habits | For Dieters | For Providers | Habits | Healthy Eating | Obesity

Only 3% of the Country Has Healthy Lifestyle Habits – Do You?

by Robard Corporation Staff March 31, 2016


How many of these four things do you do?

• Maintain a good diet
• Engage in moderate exercise*
• Stay within your recommended body fat percentage
• Be a non-smoker

If you can’t say you do all four then you are among the majority. In fact, about 97 percent of the U.S. population can’t make that claim according to a recent study performed by Oregon State University and the University of Mississippi.

Why is that important? Well, the more of these habits you embrace, the more it decreases the potential health risk you may have. What the researchers found is although many of the people in the study did engage in some of these lifestyle habits, only a meager 2.7 percent of the people engaged in all four.

It’s nice to put a number on it, but it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that an overwhelming majority of our population is not engaged in a healthy lifestyle. Increasing obesity rates alone add perspective to research like this. The question is: What can we do to lead a healthier lifestyle to lead a healthier life?

Probably the most important part is a good diet — something that just 38 percent of the study’s participants had. A good diet will do things such as help with body fat, as well as give you energy throughout the day to do various things, including physical activity. Mental health, although not mentioned in the study, is something that should be included in a healthy lifestyle. Things such as stress, anxiety, and self-esteem can be factors in how you feel, what you weigh, and how healthy you are. Synergy with all these aspects is a good formula for a healthy lifestyle. The next step is to actually do them.

What healthy change can you make today?

Source: Oregon State University

*“Moderate exercise” was defined as 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week and a “good diet” simply included eating foods recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Blog written by Marcus Miller/Robard Corporation


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Filed Under: Eating Habits | For Dieters | For Providers | Habits | Healthy Eating | Healthy Lifestyle

Take it Off, Keep it Off

by Robard Corporation Staff November 12, 2014


Once we have lost our desired weight we sometimes find that keeping it off maybe equally as difficult as losing it. We’re often told that a gradual weight loss process would be more conducive to keeping the pounds off as compared to more rapid weight loss. However there’s a recent study that combats that thought process.

Recent study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology concluded that the rate you lose weight at has little to no bearing on regaining the weight. When it comes to regaining weight you lost it maybe more of a matter of bad habits developed during losing weight as opposed to how long it took you to lose it.

You may alter your diet strictly to lose weight instead of leading a healthy lifestyle, meaning your diet may not acclimate well when you reach your target weight. It’s possible that you slip right back into those food pitfalls that you were once in, causing a regain of weight.

It could also be the “I made it” factor, where you reach your goal and think the job is done. Once you reached your goal of a target weight, you’re next goal should be doing what it takes to keep it off. Remember, journeys like this don’t necessarily end, but you don’t want to have to keep going back to the starting point either.

I say all this to say that although studies like this aren’t on a person-by-person basis, the results do make sense. Hopefully while we’re losing weight we are developing good habits along the way that will be beneficial for keeping the weight off.

 Links: The Lancet, Diabetes in Control, Medical Xpress

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Filed Under: For Dieters | For Providers | Healthy Eating | Healthy Lifestyle | Setting Goals

Give Me 10: The Benefits of 10 Percent Weight Loss

by Robard Corporation Staff October 21, 2014


Article by Sandra Melloni RN, BSN, BA: Can be found on DiabetesCare.net.

Most patients with type 2 come into my office wanting to lose weight.  Often, their goals are lofty:  “Nurse, I really need to lose 130 pounds”  or “Nurse, I’ve gained 80 pounds over the past decade; I need to lose it all.”  They are often frustrated and overwhelmed. Where do they begin?

We know that weight gain is a major risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, and that more than 80 percent  of type 2s are overweight. If we study the incidence of type 2 diabetes in America, the statistics are staggering.  With over 29 million people with diabetes in the U.S., the disease is booming. Past forecasts and studies predicted 30 million diabetics in the US by the year 2030, so we are well ahead of schedule. The truth is Americans are becoming increasingly less active and consuming more calories. The result? Our waistlines have increased and so has the incidence of type 2 diabetes.

We have long known that obesity is responsible for the development of hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia.  Weight gain exacerbates these conditions.  Has your patient put on an extra twenty pounds?  Chances are they will need an adjustment in their diabetes medication, often a dose increase or the addition of another pill. The same goes for their cholesterol and blood pressure.

During the 2013 meeting of the ADA, Philipp Scherer, PhD, professor and director of the Touchstone Diabetes Center at the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center in Dallas, was interviewed on his latest research. He studies diabetes on a cellular level, and obesity’s effects on diabetes, describing fat tissue as a “solid tumor,” containing adipose cells. He explains that when a patient gains weight, fat tissue expands rapidly. This rapid expansion does not allow time for proper vascularization--in other words, the blood supply cannot keep up. The adipose tissues become hypoxic (lack of oxygen) leading to fibrosis of the tissue, and eventually, cell death.  This cell death produces surrounding inflammation, which in turn, damages pancreatic beta cells and causes insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is the main mode of pathophysiology in type 2 diabetes. (1)

And if weight gain compromises patient health, certainly weight loss will improve it. However, striving for your patient’s weight as a high school junior just isn’t realistic. Sheri Colberg, PhD, author, exercise physiologist and professor at Old Dominion University discusses in a recent article about weight loss and insulin resistance.  “Just a seven percent loss of body weight (only 14 lbs. if you are 200 lbs.) will improve insulin action by 57 percent. That is a bigger benefit than a patient would get from most diabetes pills.” (2)  The American Diabetes Association confirms that a 10-15 pound reduction in body weight will lower blood glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol, and reduce stress on knees and hips.  And a 10 percent weight loss may decrease the risk of certain complications like sleep apnea or particular cancers.

In my diabetes self-management classes, I often suggest to patients that they view healthy eating, exercise, and weight loss as importantly as taking their prescribed medications. These are the tools we have to control diabetes, and overlooking them is like not using all the weapons in our arsenal.

Setting a goal to lose 80 pounds can be overwhelming, but requesting they lose just 10 percent of their body weight is definitely achievable. I often ask a patient to mentally calculate what 10 percent of their body weight is. So if a patient weighs 230 pounds, then a 10 percent weight loss would be about 23 pounds, certainly an achievable goal over a one year time period. Weight loss would average about two pounds per month or a half pound per week. Most projects in life are better managed by splitting them into smaller tasks. At the end of the year, your patient would realize an improvement in blood sugar and no new additional medications.  

So let’s imagine that 23 pounds is our patient’s weight loss goal. This could be achieved with a reduction in calories of about 230 per day. That might be a small bowl of ice cream or a can of soda with some chips. These small changes will add up. Add some physical activity to the mix, and your patient may only need to reduce their calories by 100 per day.

First there are some considerations, particularly if your patient is taking certain medications like insulin or insulin secretagogues, like Glimepiride or Glipizide. Losing weight and eating less may require a change to those medications in order to prevent hypoglycemia. I often suggest that those patients meet with their dietician or diabetes nurse educator before embarking on their weight loss journey. Below are some tips that my colleagues and I often share for weight loss.  Remember, your patient doesn’t have to be perfect but make small changes which will add up.

Weight Loss Tips for Diabetes Patients:

  • Think Do, not Don’t. If I tell a patient to quit eating chips, it’s often the first thing they crave when they get home.  They begin to focus on the “forbidden goodies.”  But when we ask them to add three vegetables and two fruits per day, they don’t feel cheated.  Mixing it up with some frozen grapes or some crunchy snow peas with dressing with their lunch will keep things interesting.
  • Water, Water, everywhere. We know water is great but try having your patient drink a tall glass ten minutes before meals.
  • Lose the tube. When we watch TV and eat simultaneously, we eat more due to the distraction. Ask them to shut off the television and sit at a table.
  • Eat to Live.  We have all heard the saying “Eat to live, don’t live to eat.”  Ask your patient which hobbies they miss. If food is the only source of pleasure, it’s a recipe for disaster.  Suggest music, drawing, volunteering or calling an old friend.  Yes, even sex. To read more about how food can replace sex and intimacy in some relationships, check out a recent DiabetesCare.net blog here.
  • Park Farther and Take the Stairs!  Old, but good advice.
  • Don’t forget Fido. Just walking the dog twice daily for fifteen minutes each time will help your patient reach their goal of 150 minutes per week of exercise.
  • Choose an Exercise you like. If you hate walking, don’t choose it as your exercise.  Aqua classes, biking, and Zumba are becoming more popular for men and women alike. Remind patients that gardening and raking burn calories, so put that leaf blower away!
  • Put the box down and back away.  Everyone is going to cheat sometimes.  If they want some ice cream or chips, have your patient measure it out and put the box away.
  • Catch some ZZZZZ’s.  Lack of sleep can increase stress hormones and cause overeating during the day.
  • Sugar-free gum. If you have a chewing fix, break out the gum and save on calories. 
  • Keep a food diary.  We all know it—we eat more than we think we do. Writing it down in black and white can help to think more about what and how much you consume. 
  • What’s Eating You? If your patient suspects that he or she is an emotional eater, you may want to ask them to keep a journal for one week. Before eating or binging, they might record how they feel, what happened at work, any conversations replaying in their mind and then what they ate. It can certainly be a reflective exercise in why we eat and a great way to become more conscious of the connection between food and emotions.
Again, most people with type 2 want to lose weight. This doesn’t have to be a formidable task or race.  Ask patients to “give you 10.”

Sources: 1, 2
 

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Filed Under: Eating Habits | Exercise | For Dieters | For Providers

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