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3 Facts About Food Addiction




As the obesity epidemic continues to grow, more and more physicians are considering treatment. Obesity is recognized as a chronic disease by the American Medical Association, and even binge eating, which can lead to obesity, has been officially classified as an eating disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V).

As doctors work to find more effective ways to treat obesity, the underlying causes of weight gain are also being considered. While societal factors and lack of education on exercise and dieting certainly play a role, physicians should also consider even deeper causes of excessive weight in the individual, including food addiction.

Recent studies have begun to show that the pattern of weight loss and regain, combined with the inability to control eating habits, clinically presents like an addiction. The clinical presentation and symptom profile between substance abuse and food addiction is
well documented.

To learn a little more about food addiction, take a look at this infographic and download our free white paper on food addiction by clicking here.


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation

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Your Biggest Enemy When It Comes to Cravings Could Be… Your Brain



Obesity stigma may lead many of us to believe that giving in to cravings is just a problem with overweight people and that it is solely the result of a lack of willpower and self-control. But the truth is we all experience food cravings that range from mildly annoying to completely distracting. But what makes us crave foods, particularly foods with the most fat and sugar and the least nutrition? Many studies suggest the answer lies in our brain.

Most of us have food cravings. In fact, 97 percent of women and 68 percent of men who participated in a study published in the journal Appetite reported experiencing them. Cravings are motivational states that give us the urge to seek out and consume a particular food.

Some theories suggest that cravings signal areas that are nutritionally deficient in our diets; for instance, if you are deficient in sodium, you may crave salty foods. However, that is not always the full picture. Other theories suggest that cravings for high-fat, high-calorie foods are linked to hard-wired survival mechanisms in our brains because our instinctual hunter-gatherer origins connect this type of energy dense food with our ability to sustain our bodies till the next meal.

Another reason we may crave fatty foods? Opioids. Fatty, sugary foods release chemicals called opioids into our bloodstream. Opioids bind to receptors in our brains and give us feelings of pleasure and even mild euphoria. Similarly, in a 2004 study, participants were asked to think about a favorite food. This triggered various areas in the brain and ultimately the dopamine reward system. Dopamine is a feel-good hormone also produced during sex, compulsive gambling and drug activity. That’s right… you can get high on chocolate.

Psychological factors can also influence the intensity and timing of cravings. Studies on mood have found that our emotional state normally has a greater impact on cravings than hunger. Diet influences our levels of the hormone serotonin, which regulates our disposition. Read more about whether or not you are an emotional eater here.

So what can you do about cravings? Well, first off, be gentle with yourself. Acknowledging that there is a physiological and mental component to why you crave unhealthy foods can be the first step in letting go of the shame that can contribute to overeating and giving in to cravings. Then, you can start to use various tools and tricks to control them, such as our 5 Tips to Control Your Worst Food Cravings.

Interested in learning more about how the brain and hormones influence appetite? Join us for a free webcast, “Brain Systems Underlying the Munchies,” at 3:00 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. Dr. Alfonso Abizaid will discuss the problems associated with dieting, as well as identify hormonal mechanisms associated with the generation of appetite, and how the motivation to eat may change under normal and during stressful situations. Register now!

Sources: Lifehacker, How Stuff Works: Science, Tufts University


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation

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A New Solution for Burning Fat Could Be… Fat?



So fat is fat, and all fat is bad, right?

Wrong.

“Not all fat is equal,” says Professor Alexander Pfeifer from the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University Hospital Bonn. Apparently, according to recent research out of University of Bonn, researchers have found a way to use what is called “brown fat” to burn energy from food and stimulate weight loss.

Humans actually have two different kinds of fat: white fat (which is the bad fat that makes our “love handles” that we want to get rid of) and brown fat which acts like a desirable heater to convert excess energy into heat. In essence, white fat stores energy, while brown fat helps the body burn energy through heat. In adults, people with higher amounts of brown fat have lower body mass, and according to studies, increasing brown fat by as little as 50 grams could lead up to a 10 to 20 pound weight loss in one year.

Using adenosine, a new signaling molecule typically released during stress, researchers at University of Bonn have discovered a way to activate these brown fat cells, and even turn white fat cells into brown fat cells, a process called “browning.”

More recently, scientists at the Gladstone Institutes identified an FDA-approved drug that can help create more of this brown fat. “Introducing brown fat is an exciting new approach to treating obesity and associated metabolic diseases, such as diabetes,” said study first author Baoming Nie, PhD, a former postdoctoral scholar at Gladstone.

Such a method of treating obesity is still in the research phase, and may not likely become a commonly accepted practice for some time yet. There are several potential side effects that may arise from taking the drug, and more development is necessary before human trials can be explored. Nonetheless, it is an exciting direction in the field of obesity treatment that healthcare professionals should keep a close eye on.

In the meantime, weight management is still an urgent need for so many across the country. For healthcare providers, there are already many effective ways to begin treating obesity. Learn more about how to start a weight management program, or if you are a dieter, connect with a provider who can get you started on your weight loss journey today. Need more inspiration? Listen to some success stories of dieters who have lost more than 200 pounds by starting a medically supervised program.


Source:
ScienceDaily


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation


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