Health threat of sugar is vastly underestimated, study claims

Sugar is a bigger threat to health than many suppose, according to a study which claims it causes metabolic diseases such as high blood pressure and heart disease whether or not we put on weight.

The study was carried out by Robert Lustig, a paediatric endocrinologist in San Francisco and author of the book “Fat Chance: the hidden truth about sugar”. Writing in the Guardian, he says the health of 43 obese children in the care of his clinic dramatically improved when the sugar in their diet was replaced with starchy foods like crisps. They ate the same number of calories, he says, and yet their metabolic disease, which can cause diabetes, was reversed within 10 days.

The study, published in the journal Obesity, is evidence, says Lustig, that “a calorie is not a calorie” – the claim he makes in his book and which has been contested by many scientists who say the damage sugar does is through its calorific content alone.

In the study, carried out at the UCSF Benioff children’s hospital San Francisco and Touro University, California, the 43 children, aged nine to 18, had all been referred to hospital because of their weight and significant related health issues, such as high blood pressure.

Source: Health threat of sugar is vastly underestimated, study claims | Society | The Guardian

Oprah buys stake in Weight Watchers

In a press release Monday, the weight-loss-assistance company said Winfrey joined its board and purchased newly issued stock representing a 10% stake of shares outstanding. She also bought options to acquire an additional 5% of fully diluted shares.

According to the release, Winfrey became an adviser and a regular member of the program who would “candidly share her experiences and perspective along the way.””Weight Watchers has given me the tools to begin to make the lasting shift that I and so many of us who are struggling with weight have longed for,” she said in the statement. “I believe in the program so much I decided to invest in the company and partner in its evolution.”

The company has struggled to lift sales and increase its membership. A Duke University study found earlier this year that the company faced strong competition from rivals. And Credit Suisse analysts said free weight-loss apps were a better deal for some consumers than a Weight Watchers membership.

“Weight Watchers and Oprah Winfrey make a powerful combination,” Weight Watchers Chairman Ray Debbane said. “Oprah is a force of nature in connecting with people on a very personal level to live inspired lives. This partnership will accelerate our transformation and will meaningfully expand our ability to impact many millions of people worldwide.”

Source: Oprah buys stake in Weight Watchers – Business Insider

Report: U.S most obese in the world, fattest kids by a mile, tops for poor teen health

The United States is home to the most obese population in the Americas, Asia and Europe, has the fattest kids by a wide margin and is tops in poor health for teenagers, according to the latest measure of well-being from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

In its “How’s Life 2015?” report released Tuesday, the United States is also among the nations with underperforming students and second in murders and assaults.

Source: Report: U.S most obese in the world, fattest kids by a mile, tops for poor teen health | Washington Examiner

The ‘healthier’ foods that are worse than full-fat versions

‘Buzzwords such as “skinny” and “wholegrain” mean it’s very easy for the consumer to be misled into thinking something is healthier than it is,’ says dietitian Dr Sarah Schenker.

Indeed, three recent studies from the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University found that putting low-fat labels on snack foods encouraged people to eat up to 50 per cent more than those who were given the exact same food without these labels.

Source: The ‘healthier’ foods that are WORSE than full-fat versions | Daily Mail Online

‘Fat Guy Across America’ Hits New York – The New York Times

Eric Hites hit rock bottom earlier this year. At age 40, after having worked as a D.J., roadie, telemarketer, pizza delivery man and bartender, he found himself unemployed, and collection agencies were on his tail. His wife, who had left him in July 2014, was living with another man.

His weight reached 567 pounds. He told himself he had a choice: Rot away in Danville, Ind., where he had been living with his parents, or do something drastic to save his life and marriage. He considered a gastric bypass, but while listening to the Proclaimers’ hit “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles),” he had another idea.

The narrator of that rousing 1988 song vows to walk 500 miles (and 500 more) to prove his devotion to the one he loves. Mr. Hites figured he would not be able to walk such a distance, given that, in addition to carrying so much weight, he was a heavy smoker.

But maybe he could make it that far on a bicycle. Maybe he could even pedal more than 3,000 miles, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. He could see the country, lose some pounds, get a book deal out of it and show the woman he loved that he could change.

In March he created a blog called Fat Guy Across America. He started exercising. He called his estranged wife and told her he was about to do something that would blow her mind. She was skeptical.

He bought a used Mongoose mountain bike from friends in Terre Haute, Ind., for $17. When he took it for a test drive, he was out of breath after 100 yards.

On June 7 he set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for his epic plan. The next week his father drove him east, to the coastal town of Falmouth, Mass., and he wept when he dropped his son off at the side of a road. Mr. Hites had $200. Hitched to the bike was a trailer stocked with a tent and 300 pounds of supplies.

Four months later, having shed about 70 pounds during a zigzag journey that has moved along in fits and starts, Mr. Hites reached New York.

At this point he had roughly 23,000 Facebook followers and numerous online detractors, who traced his slow progress and posted comments suggesting his trip was some kind of elaborate scam. They called him a digital panhandler and worse.

Source: ‘Fat Guy Across America’ Hits New York – The New York Times

800-pound man kicked out of hospital for ordering pizza

A man who tips the scale at close to 800 pounds says he has nowhere to go after being kicked out of a hospital weight loss program for ordering pizza.

Now he rides in the back of an SUV while his father drives the roads of Rhode Island, looking for someone who can help.

Steven Assanti, 33, said his eating addiction has led him to this place, living in the back of his dad’s SUV with nowhere else to go.

For the past 80 days, Assanti was getting the help he needed in a Rhode Island hospital where he lost 20 pounds. But ordering pizza violated the care plan, and the hospital told him he had to leave.

“I was supposed to stay and lose all my weight, and get down to 550, to get the gastric bypass,” he said. “That was their plan.”

A spokesperson for Rhode Island Hospital said they can’t speak about Assanti or any of their patients’ treatment.

Assanti’s father says taking his son home will be a death sentence, because he’ll just fall back into the habits of lying in bed and eating. So the two men say they will continue to drive around until they can find a place to help.

Read more: http://www.wfsb.com/story/30210822/800-pound-man-kicked-out-of-hospital-for-ordering-pizza#ixzz3nyv1zCjL

Source: 800-pound man kicked out of hospital for ordering pizza

Longer fasts might help with weight loss but Americans eat all day long

It’s official: Americans’ 24/7 culture of work, entertainment and digital connectivity now also extends to our dietary consumption patterns, new research finds.

Americans’ erratic, round-the-clock eating patterns, suggests the new study, have probably contributed to an epidemic of obesity and Type 2 diabetes. But they can be changed, and the restoration of a longer nighttime “fast” shows promise as a means to lower weight and better health, researchers add.

In a study that detailed the consumption patterns of just over 150 nondieting, non-shift-working people in and around San Diego for three weeks, researchers at the Salk Institute in La Jolla found that a majority of people eat for stretches of 15 hours or longer most days — and fast for fewer than nine hours a night.

We snarf a tidbit at a midmorning meeting, nibble for much of the afternoon, knock back a drink or two with dinner and keep noshing till bedtime. Fewer than a quarter of the day’s calories were consumed before noon, they discovered. And more than a third of participants’ average daily calories, the research revealed, were consumed after 6 p.m.

Despite participants’ typical claim to consuming three meals a day, “a breakfast-lunch-dinner temporal pattern was largely absent,” the researchers wrote in an article published Thursday in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Source: Longer fasts might help with weight loss but Americans eat all day long – LA Times

Air India’s flight attendants ‘too fat to fly’

The national carrier of India, Air India, is grounding around 130 flight attendants after measuring their BMI body fat levels

Air India last year warned 600 of its 3,500 cabin crew to lose weight within six months or risk being taken off flights and given a job on the ground. The airline now plans to remove about 130 from cabin crew duty because their body mass index (BMI) levels remain above the prescribed limit.

A BMI is a measure of body fat based on a person’s height and weight.

The airline said that the “normal” BMI for an air hostess is between 18 and 22, “overweight” between 22 and 27, and “obese” for a value above 27. For male attendants the brackets were 18 to 25, 25 to 30, and above. The NHS says a “healthy” BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9.

India’s national carrier has grounded the staff for having an above “normal” BMI  Photo: Getty

After the state-run airline’s staff were tested last year, the 600 found to be “overweight” or “obese” were declared “temporarily unfit” for flight duties and asked to undergo clinical examinations and lose weight by changing their diet and lifestyle and exercising more, while being monitored by staff.

“About 130 of them failed the reassessment,” an Air India official told The Telegraph in Calcutta. “We are now declaring them permanently unfit for their job as flight attendants.”

“People who are fitter can respond quicker and more efficiently in case of any untoward situation.”

This is not the first time Air India has removed staff from the air for being overweight. In 2009, the airline ground 10 flight attendants who failed to slim down.

In 2013, Air India said that deploying female flight attendants rather than male could save them about £329,000 per year in full costs because they weight on average 33 to 44 pounds lighter.

A member of the All India Cabin Crew Association said the grounding of 130 staff was “ridiculous”, according to The Telegraph.

“Any industry insider would vouch that Air India flight attendants are the best, mainly because of their long experience. So, this guideline and the management’s decision to follow it to the letter is unacceptable.”

The airline has had a difficult year, with a special recruitment day in March welcoming zero attendees. It has also suffered from financial difficulties in recent years, with a government bailout necessary to keep the carrier afloat in 2012.

Source: Air India’s flight attendants ‘too fat to fly’

Comedian shut down after ‘Dear Fat People’ goes viral

In the controversial video, Arbour says, “Fat shaming is not a thing. Fat people made that up. That’s the race card, with no race.” She goes on to justify her point in the spirited, six-minute video.

In the YouTube community, where acceptance has flourished and users are prompted to share their own stories (including the high-profile, celebrity-driven “It Gets Better” campaign), the video’s backlash was not unexpected.

Whitney Way Thore, star of TLC’s My Big Fat Fabulous Life, took issue with the video and posted a response of her own, which has gained about 50,000 views. The response was first spotted by CNN.”Fat shaming is a thing. It’s a really big thing, no pun intended. It is the really nasty spawn of a larger parent problem called body shaming, which I’m fairly certain everybody on the planet, especially women, have experienced,” Thore says.

Source: Comedian shut down after ‘Dear Fat People’ goes viral

Body Mass Index predicts how soon Alzheimer’s will develop

The devastating cost of carrying excess pounds in middle age has been highlighted in a new study which shows every extra point of BMI speeds up the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by nearly seven months.

Although previous studies have suggested that a healthy diet and exercise can ward off dementia, it is the first time that the impact of poor lifestyle has been quantified so starkly.

The obesity epidemic has risen alongside the increase in dementia, and scientists have long suspected a link.

Now US researchers from the government-affiliated National Institute on Ageing have found that even having a BMI (Body Mass Index) just one point over a safe level, speeds up the onset of dementia for people aged 50 or over. For people who are seriously obese, they could develop neurodegenerative disease years a decade before they would have if they were a healthy weight.

“We think these findings are important because they add to a substantial amount of knowledge about how obesity affects Alzheimer’s disease,” said lead author Dr Madhav Thambisetty.

“But more importantly, it indicates if we can maintain a healthy body mass index even as early as midlife, it might have longlasting protective effects towards delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease decades later.”

Source: Body Mass Index predicts how soon Alzheimer’s will develop – Telegraph