If you suffer from your weight, you must realize that it is possible to have a flat stomach, even if it is challenging for most people. This is the reason why many people do not succeed in their efforts to lose weight. One thing you need to keep in mind is that diet, and regular exercise is an essential part of the process.
The journey for losing belly fat is part of a long-term plan (general improvement of health) requires a lot of perseverance. In short, you need to make significant efforts to make any changes visible in your abdominal area. These essential tips can work like magic to help you get the body and abdominals you want. Keep reading and make sure to implement the following tips consistently.
1. Get the right amount of sleep
Studies reveal that lack of sleep is a significant factor leading to bouts of bulimia and cravings. Those who usually stay up late at night suffer more in this regard. When not corrected for a long time, it harms your weight loss goals. For you to rectify the situation, it is advisable to get enough sleep each night without exception. You can better regulate your hormones this way, which will help you eliminate fat.
2. Regular exercise
Physical exercise is a great way to benefit the whole body. You will enjoy better overall health and vitality when you exercise regularly. If you are serious about your goals, seek the help of a professional trainer to try and enjoy the time at the gym. Even if you cannot afford a coach, performing simple cardiovascular exercises will help you get rid of fat effectively and fast. You can also choose simple strength exercises such as sit-ups and push-ups, as they are better suited for targeting abdominal fat. Walking is also a great way to help increase your heart rate, which will eventually lead to a faster process of fat loss.
3. Adopt a healthier diet
When you are trying to lose abdominal fat as soon as possible, it is imperative to ensure a healthier diet. In this way, eliminate all the fatty and sugary foods you have in your refrigerator and cupboards. Instead of eating trash during the day, opt for fresh fruits and vegetables. Look for high-fiber food products when you shop because this nutrient will help you stay full and avoid the ravages of hunger. This ultimately results in a more significant reduction in calories. Other great foods that you can also eat are oats, whole grains, and essential oils. Make sure you always have a balanced diet every day.
4. Use weight loss supplements
Some weight loss supplements have been on the market recently and have received many positive reviews. This is because they have helped thousands of people lose stomach fat fast. Countless others have benefited from better health and vitality in general. The main point to remember is that the hard work on your part is crucial to any success achieved when taking supplements to burn fat. However, with the help of supplements, you can suppress your appetite, improve your body’s metabolic rate and increase your energy level for the fastest weight loss possible.
Belly fat can be eliminated thanks to these simple steps very quickly. However, consistency in the implementation of these processes is essential as the overall improvement of health must be the end goal. And finally, remember that you must write a weight loss plan to guide you every day. The people who plan the process are much more significant to achieve their goals than others.
Obesity or overweight may increase the risk of many health problems, including certain cancers, bone and joint disease, heart disease, and diabetes. If you are expecting, excess weight may lead to both short and long term health problems for you and your baby. This shows that obesity should be considered as a serious, chronic disease and that can have a negative effect on many systems in your body. Reaching and maintaining a normal weight may help you and your children stay healthier as you grow older.
Overweight is excess of fat storage rather than weight. Women with more than 30% total body fat and men with more than 25% of total body fat are considered obese. There are many ways to classify obesity. For instance, it can be divided into: simple, secondary and drug-induced obesity in accordance with endocrine and pathogen of the metabolic disease. And as I said before this health problem can be the door to a lot of life threatening conditions.
In the US, 35% of women and 31% of men are considered seriously overweight, while 15% of children between ages of 6 and 19 are overweight. The causes of overweight are complex. How your body uses energy, lifestyle and genetics are some of the interrelated factors.
Here are some of the health effects associated with obesity:
Heart Disease. Atherosclerosis or in other words hardening of the arteries is present 10 times more often in obese people compared to those who maintain a healthy weight. Coronary artery disease is also very common as fatty deposits build up in arteries that supply the heart. Narrowed arteries and reduced blood flow to the heart can cause angina, a heart attack or stroke.
Diabetes. The major cause of type 2 diabetes is obesity. This type of diabetes often begins in adulthood, but nowadays it can begin in childhood too. It can cause resistance to insulin (the hormone that regulates blood sugar) and when that happens the blood sugar becomes elevated.
Cancer. Women who are obese have an increased risk for a variety of cancers including uterus, gallbladder, colon and breast cancer, while overweight women have a higher risk of prostate and colon cancer.
Psycho-social effects. Overweight girls and boys are often blamed for their condition and may be considered to be weak-willed and lazy. It is not uncommon for overweight people to have fewer or no romantic relationships as well as lover incomes. Disapproval of such people may progress to torment, discrimination and bias.
A major study on body mass index (BMI) evolution has found that there are now more adults in the world classified as obese than underweight.
The new study, led by scientists from Imperial College London and published in The Lancet, compared BMI among almost 20 million adult men and women from 1975 to 2014.
The researchers found obesity in men has tripled and more than doubled in women.
Lead author Prof. Majid Ezzat said it was an “epidemic of severe obesity” and urged governments to act.
The study, which pooled data from adults in 186 countries, found that the number of obese people worldwide had risen from 105 million in 1975 to 641 million in 2014.
Meanwhile, the number of underweight people had risen from 330 million to 462 million over the same period.
Global obesity rates among men went up from 3.2% in 1975 to 10.8%, while among women they rose from 6.4 % in 1975 to 14.9%.
This equates to 266 million obese men and 375 million obese women in the world in 2014, the study said.
The research also predicted that the probability of reaching the WHO’s global obesity target – which aims for no rise in obesity above 2010 levels by 2025 – would be “close to zero”.
The clinical definition of obese is a BMI – a measurement that relates weight and height – of 30kg/m2.
Prof. Majid Ezzati said: “Our research has shown that over 40 years we have transitioned from a world in which underweight prevalence was more than double that of obesity, to one in which more people are obese than underweight.
“Although it is reassuring that the number of underweight individuals has decreased over the last four decades, global obesity has reached crisis point.”
“We hope these findings create an imperative to shift responsibility from the individual to governments and to develop and implement policies to address obesity.
“For instance, unless we make healthy food options like fresh fruits and vegetables affordable for everyone and increase the price of unhealthy processed foods, the situation is unlikely to change.”
The team also examined the number of people who are underweight, and over the same time period the study suggested the rates had fallen from 14% to 9% in men, and 15% to 10% in women.
Other statistics from the study include:
More obese men and women now live in China and the USA than in any other country
China has the largest number of obese people in the world with 43.2 million men and 46.4 million women
The US has 41.7 million obese men and 46.1 million obese women
Almost a fifth of the world’s obese adults – 118 million – live in only six high-income English-speaking countries – Australia, Canada, Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, UK, and the US
By 2025, the UK is projected to have the highest levels of obese women in Europe (38%), followed by Republic of Ireland (37%) and Malta (34%)
Being underweight remains a significant health problem in countries such as India and Bangladesh
According to international specialists, physical activity has little role in tackling obesity and instead public health messages should squarely focus on unhealthy eating.
In an article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, three experts said it was time to “bust the myth” about exercise.
They said while exercising was a key part of staving off diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and dementia, its impact on obesity was minimal.
Instead excess sugar and carbohydrates were key.
The experts blamed the food industry for encouraging the belief that exercise could counteract the impact of unhealthy eating.
They even likened their tactics as “chillingly similar” to those of Big Tobacco on smoking and said celebratory endorsements of sugary drinks and the association of junk food and sport must end.
The experts said there was evidence that up to 40% of those within a normal weight range will still harbor harmful metabolic abnormalities typically associated with obesity.
Despite this public health messaging had “unhelpfully” focused on maintaining a healthy weight through calorie counting when it was the source of calories that mattered most – research has shown that diabetes increases 11-fold for every 150 additional sugar calories consumed compared to fat calories.
The experts pointed to evidence from the Lancet global burden of disease program which shows that unhealthy eating was linked to more ill health than physical activity, alcohol and smoking combined.
Two approaches to boosting obese men’s fertility have been presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society.
The first suggested that obese men who lost weight were more likely get their partners pregnant.
The second found that letrozole, a cancer drug, helped some infertile men have children.
Experts said the approaches were interesting alternatives to IVF and were opening up “real possibilities” for men.
Weight loss is already widely advised for women struggling to conceive and obesity has long been suspected as a factor in male infertility.
A research team at the University of Sherbrooke in Canada conducted the first study to help men lose weight and see if it improved the chances of conception.
In 65 couples who had been referred to a fertility clinic, the men were sent to weekly group sessions on nutrition and physical activity for a year.
The study showed the men who conceived were those who had lost the most weight.
The research group said they were “thrilled” by the results.
One of the researchers, Dr. Jean-Patrice Baillargeon, said: “This is the first prospective study suggesting that male partners who improve their weight also increase the odds for the couple to conceive.”
The second study focused on the chemical letrozole, which has been used in breast cancer and as a fertility treatment in women.
Letrozole can stop testosterone being broken down into oestrogen.
Trials took place on 12 men who had developed hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism, a form of infertility, as a result of their obesity.
Two were able to have babies after being infertile for at least three years.
Dr. Lena Salgado, from the University of Montreal, said: “Letrozole is a very attractive fertility treatment with obesity-related hypogonadism.”
Nine-year-old Honey Boo Boo is obese, The Doctors specialists said during a recent appearance of the little reality star in the show.
During the show, the two doctors confronted Mama June about Alana Thompson’s terrible eating habits.
Alana Thompson started her young career in beauty pageants on Toddlers and Tiaras.
Then she moved on to Here Comes Honey Boo Boo fame, where we all learned that she loves not-so-great-for-you treats such as fried Oreos.
“My favorite food? Chicken nuggets, I would have to say,” Honey Boo Boo told Travis Stork, host of The Doctors who stages an “intervention” on the show.
“I like corn dogs.”
Honey Boo Boo also likes “KFC”.
But the focus of the show is to give her mother, June Shannon, a wake-up call, a reality check and to try to turn around Honey Boo Boo’s lifestyle.
“I do worry about her health,” said Mama June.
The doctors – Travis Stork and Jennifer Ashton – reveal that Honey Boo Boo’s height and weight (4-foot-6 and 125 pounds) is not good, especially for a 9-year-old.
“She is obese,” said Jennifer Ashton.
Mama June says that a lot of the weight is due to steroids Honey Boo Boo takes for her asthma.
“You’re trying to make a lot of excuses,” said Travis Stork, but he added that her diet of fried, salty and sugary foods is contributing to her health problems, including asthma, which is inflammation of the airways.
After checking out their home fridge, Travis Stork said: “June, I”m sorry, but I didn’t see anything in that fridge that’s either going to improve Alana’s weight or decrease inflammation in her body. And, I’m going to be honest, you need to take some responsibility here. … I want to see a bit of a light bulb, where you say, <<Maybe I can do better, maybe even a heck of a lot better>>.”
June Shannon didn’t like hearing her grocery shopping choices were the culprits and instead blamed Honey Boo Boo’s weight on asthma medication. But the doctor knows best, and he followed up with: “It’s not her steroids that are causing her to be obese. It’s the foods she’s eating.”
The two take a taste test of healthier foods and realize that maybe they can learn to love pizza made with cauliflower crust and oven-fried chicken made with rolled oats.
The EU’s highest court has ruled that obesity can constitute a disability in certain circumstances.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) was asked to consider the case of a male childcare in Denmark who says he was sacked for being too fat.
The court said that if obesity could hinder “full and effective participation” at work then it could count as a disability.
The ruling is binding across the EU.
Judges said that obesity in itself was not a disability – but if a person had a long term impairment because of their obesity, then they would be protected by disability legislation.
The case centers around childcare Karsten Kaltoft who weighs about 320 lbs.
He brought a discrimination case against his employers of 15 years, Billund local authority, after he was sacked.
The authority said a fall in the number of children meant Karsten Kaltoft was no longer required.
Howerver, Karsten Kaltoft said he was dismissed because he was overweight.
The Danish courts asked the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to clarify whether obesity was a disability.
The ECJ ruled: “The Court finds that if, under given circumstances, the obesity of the worker entails a limitation which results in particular from physical, mental or psychological impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder the full and effective participation of that person in professional life on an equal basis with other workers, and the limitation is a long-term one, such obesity can fall within the concept of ‘disability’ within the meaning of the directive.”
Rulings from the ECJ are binding for all EU member nations.
The courts in Denmark will now have to assess Karsten Kaltoft’s weight to see if his case can be classed as a disability.
According to British experts, a Mediterranean diet may be a better way of tackling obesity than calorie counting.
Writing in the Postgraduate Medical Journal (PMJ), the doctors said a Mediterranean diet quickly reduced the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
And they said it may be better than low-fat diets for sustained weight loss.
The PMJ editorial argues a focus on food intake is the best approach, but it warns crash dieting is harmful.
Signatories of the piece included the chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Prof. Terence Stephenson, and Dr. Mahiben Maruthappu.
They criticize the weight-loss industry for focusing on calorie restriction rather than “good nutrition”.
And they make the case for a Mediterranean diet, including fruit and vegetables, nuts and olive oil, citing research suggesting it quickly reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes, and may be better than low-fat diets for sustained weight loss.
The lead author, cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra, says the scientific evidence is overwhelming.
Inspired by traditional cuisine of countries such as Greece, Spain and Italy, the Mediterranean diet has long been associated with good health and fit hearts.
Typically, it consists of an abundance of vegetables, fresh fruit, wholegrain cereals, olive oil and nuts, as well as poultry and fish, rather than lots of red meat and butter or animal fats.
The article also says adopting a Mediterranean diet after a heart attack is almost three times as effective at reducing deaths as taking cholesterol-lowering statin medication.
A large international study suggests that type 2 diabetes is more common in people who work shifts.
The findings, published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, indicated men and those doing rotating shifts were at highest risk.
It is thought that disruption to the body clock affects waistlines, hormones and sleep – which could increase the risk.
Type 2 diabetes can lead to blindness, increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes, as well as damaging nerves and blood vessels – dramatically increasing the risk of a foot needing to be amputated.
Studies in a sleep laboratories have shown that making people snooze at the wrong time of day led to the early stages of type 2 diabetes developing within weeks.
Type 2 diabetes is more common in people who work shifts
Now an analysis of data from 226,652 people strengthens the link with type 2 diabetes.
The study, by researchers at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China, showed shift workers were 9% more likely to have type 2 diabetes.
But in men, the figure was 35%. For people chopping and changing between day and night shifts, the risk increased by 42%.
The researchers said: “The result suggests that male shift workers should pay more attention to the prevention of diabetes.
“Given the increasing prevalence of shift work worldwide and the heavy economic burden of diabetes, the results of our study provide practical and valuable clues for the prevention of diabetes.”
Possible explanations include shift work disrupting sleeping and eating patterns. One idea is that eating late at night makes the body more prone to store the energy as fat, increasing the risk of obesity and in turn type 2 diabetes.
The increased risk in men could be down to changes in levels of male hormones, it has been suggested.
Also, because the studies are looking at only one snapshot in time it is impossible to say definitively that shift work causes diabetes as other factors could be at play.
The type of person more prone to type 2 diabetes may be more likely to become a shift worker.
San Francisco city has approved a measure for the November ballot that would place a two-cents-per-ounce municipal tax on sodas and other sugary beverages.
San Francisco is hoping to become the first major city to successfully impose such a levy.
Other US cities have tried and ultimately failed to tax sugary drinks. Among them has been Richmond, California, across the bay from San Francisco, where a penny-an-ounce tax was defeated after a multimillion-dollar campaign by the American Beverage Association.
San Francisco’s plan, which was approved on July 22 by a 6-4 vote of the board of supervisors, would be applied to any nonalcoholic, sweetened drink with more than 25 calories per 12 ounces.
“I think the nation is watching what happens here,” said John Maa, a surgeon on the board of directors at two organizations that support the measure, San Francisco Medical Society and American Heart Association.
“It has been referred to as a last stand.”
San Francisco city has approved the soda tax for the November ballot (photo AP)
Roger Salazar, a spokesperson with Coalition for an Affordable City: Stop Unfair Beverages Taxes, a project of the American Beverage Association, said that if the city wants to educate people about health issues it should do so without taxing the most needy.
“Taxing sugar sweetened beverages won’t alter lifestyle,” Roger Salazar said.
“All it really does is impact the very people that are struggling to get by in San Francisco at a time when they can least afford it.”
San Francisco’s office of economic analysis estimates that the tax would bring in $35 to $54 million per year and, if it’s passed directly on to consumers, as expected, it could reduce consumption by 31%.
Income from the tax would go towards funding city programs to improve food access, health and nutrition.
According to a recent research from the University of Cambridge, one in three cases of Alzheimer’s disease worldwide is preventable.
The main risk factors for the disease are a lack of exercise, smoking, depression and poor education, it says.
Previous research from 2011 put the estimate at one in two cases, but this new study takes into account overlapping risk factors.
According to the study, published in The Lancet Neurology, the Cambridge team analyzed population-based data to work out the main seven risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease main risks are:
Low educational attainment
The main risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease are a lack of exercise, smoking, depression and poor education
The researchers worked out that a third of Alzheimer’s cases could be linked to lifestyle factors that could be modified, such as lack of exercise and smoking.
They then looked at how reducing these factors could affect the number of future Alzheimer’s cases.
They found that by reducing each risk factor by 10%, nearly nine million cases of the disease could be prevented by 2050.
Current estimates suggest that more than 106 million people worldwide will be living with Alzheimer’s by 2050 – more than three times the number affected in 2010.
Prof Carol Brayne, from the Institute of Public Health at the University of Cambridge, said: “Although there is no single way to treat dementia, we may be able to take steps to reduce our risk of developing dementia at older ages.
“We know what many of these factors are, and that they are often linked.
“Simply tackling physical inactivity, for example, will reduce levels of obesity, hypertension and diabetes, and prevent some people from developing dementia.
“As well as being healthier in old age in general, it’s a win-win situation.”
Of the seven risk factors, the largest proportion of cases of Alzheimer’s in the US, UK and the rest of Europe can be attributed to physical inactivity.
The study says about a third of the adult population in these countries are physically inactive.
Physical inactivity is also linked to increased risks of other health problems, such as cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
A new study has found that sleeping in a room with too much light has been linked to an increased risk of obesity.
A team at the Institute of Cancer Research in London found women had larger waistlines if their bedroom was “light enough to see across” at night.
However, they caution there is not enough evidence to advise people to buy thicker curtains or turn off lights.
The study of 113,000 women was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
The women were asked to rate the amount of light in their bedrooms at night as:
Sleeping in a room with too much light has been linked to an increased risk of obesity (photo iStockphoto)
Light enough to read
Light enough to see across the room, but not read
Light enough to see your hand in front of you, but not across the room
Too dark to see your hand or you wear a mask
Their answers were compared to several measures of obesity. Body Mass Index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio and waist circumference were all higher in women with lighter rooms.
One possible explanation is that the light is disrupting the body clock, which stems from our evolutionary past when we were active when it was light in the day and resting when it was dark at night.
Light alters mood, physical strength and even the way we process food in a 24-hour cycle.
Artificial light is known to disrupt the body clock by delaying the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.
The study was funded by Breakthrough Breast Cancer and the findings emerged from a long-term study to understand the risk factors for breast cancer. Obesity is known to increase the odds of the disease.
According to a study published in the European Journal of Obesity, most people weigh the most on Monday mornings and the least by Friday.
The new study found that you are more likely to gain weight during the weekend and lose it throughout the week.
You are more likely to gain weight during the weekend and lose it throughout the week
Eighty men and women recorded their weight every morning before breakfast for nearly a year. When researchers examined the numbers, they identified a distinct trend for weight gain on weekends and weight loss during the weeks.
However, researchers found that what sets people who ultimately lose weight throughout the year apart from those who gain is that losers shed more pounds during the weekdays. They are also more likely to adhere to this pattern than those who gain – losers hit their lowest weight around Friday 74% of the time.
California Senator William Monning wants to make his state the first in the nation to require warning labels on soda and other sugary drinks.
Democratic Sen. William Monning’s bill proposed Thursday would require the warning on the front of all beverage containers with added sweeteners that have 75 or more calories in every 12 ounces.
The label would read: “STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.”
California new bill would require the warning on the front of all beverage containers with added sweeteners that have 75 or more calories in every 12 ounces
The new bill is backed by several public health advocacy groups.
The first proposal of its kind would put California, which banned sodas and junk food from public schools in 2005, back in the vanguard of a growing national movement to curb the consumption of high-caloric beverages that medical experts say are largely to blame for an epidemic of childhood obesity.
A growing body of research has identified sugary drinks as the biggest contributors to added, empty calories in the American diet, and as a major culprit in a range of costly health problems associated with being overweight.
More than a third of all US adults and nearly 17% of children between the ages of 2 and 19 are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
State Senator Bill Monning, who sponsored the warning label bill and whose effort to push a state tax on sugary drinks died last year, said the new measure was crafted in such a way as to address criticism leveled at other measures.
CalBev, the California arm of the American Beverage Association said in a statement that it is misleading to suggest that soft drink consumption is uniquely responsible for weight gain.
“Only 4.0 percent of calories in the average American diet are derived directly from soda,” they said.
According to a new study, women who drank the most sweet soft drinks had a 78% increased risk of endometrial cancer.
Researchers have found that other sweet treats, such as baked goods, didn’t have an effect. Nor did natural fruit juice, even though it’s full of naturally occurring sugars.
The findings fit in with other research linking sugar intake, obesity and a lack of exercise with the cancer, which kills more than 8,000 US women a year.
“Other studies have shown increasing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has paralleled the increase in obesity. Obese women tend to have higher levels of estrogens and insulin than women of normal weight,” said Maki Inoue-Choi, who did the study while at the University of Minnesota and now is at the National Cancer Institute.
It has to do with how insulin, which controls how the body uses sugar, affects other hormones such as estrogen.
“Increased levels of estrogens and insulin are established risk factors for endometrial cancer,” Dr. Maki Inoue-Choi said.
Dr. Maki Inoue-Choi and colleagues studied the records of 23,000 middle-aged women who had gone through menopause. Endometrial cancer is more common in women past menopause.
The women had been taking part in a bigger study of diet, and regularly filled out questionnaires on what they ate and drank every day. They were specifically asked about Coke, Pepsi and other cola drinks; caffeine-free versions of these drinks; 7-Up and similar sugar-sweetened sodas, and other sugary drinks such as lemonade or Hawaiian Punch.
They were also asked about sugar-free drinks such as Fresca, Diet Ginger Ale and other beverages. And they were asked about cookies, brownies, doughnuts, candy and pies.
The researchers arranged the women into five groups, called quintiles, from those who ate none of these things a week to those who ate 60 or more servings a week.
Women who drank the most sweet soft drinks had a 78 percent increased risk of endometrial cancer
The women showed one known pattern – those who were older, weighed more, who had late menopause or had a history of diabetes were at higher risk of endometrial cancer, which is diagnosed in nearly 50,000 US women every year.
“In contrast, women who ever smoked or experienced a greater number of live births were at lower risk of endometrial cancer,” the researchers wrote in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, which is published by the American Association for Cancer Research.
Women who drank sugary drinks had a higher risk of the most common type of endometrial cancer, called Type I endometrial cancer. The more they drank, the higher the risk, the researchers found.
“The risk was 78% among women in the highest quintile of sugar-sweetened beverage intake,” they wrote.
Other studies have found that coffee and exercise reduce the risk, but Dr. Maki Inoue-Choi and colleagues did not.
“Fruit juice intake was not associated with the risk of Type I endometrial cancer,” they added.
“Similarly, neither sweet/baked good nor starch intake was associated with Type I endometrial cancer risk.”
It might not be anything special about sugary drinks, the researchers say. It might be that women who drink a lot of such drinks have other unhealthy habits, too.
And Inoue-Choi says it’s not clear why drinks and not other sweet foods showed an effect.
“One possibility is that sugar from whole foods comes with other nutrients, such as fiber,” she said in a telephone interview.
“Sugar from beverages doesn’t come with these nutrients.”
More research will be needed to tease out an explanation. But Dr. Maki Inoue-Choi notes that obesity is still, by far, the biggest risk factor for endometrial cancer, causing half of all cases.
Estrogen is one known cause of endometrial cancer, which affects the lining of the uterus. Women who take hormones, as in hormone replacement therapy, are usually given a form of progesterone, also, to protect against endometrial cancer.
Fat cells also secrete estrogen and that’s one reason why obesity can cause the disease, experts say.
There are two main types of endometrial cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute – Type I and Type II.
Dr. Maki Inoue-Choi and colleagues found that sweetened drinks only affected Type I risk. But Type I accounts for 80% of endometrial cancers.
It’s usually diagnosed early, in time for treatment, because in 90% of cases the woman has abnormal bleeding, the American Cancer Society says.
Professor John Blundell from the Institute of Psychological Sciences at the University of Leeds warns the term “food addiction” is being used far too freely.
Some have likened food addiction to drug addiction, and then used this term to associate it with overeating, and as a clinical explanation for the obesity epidemic, implicating millions of people.
The use of the term “food addiction” is a step towards medicalization and implies that normal human social behavior is pathological.
Forms of eating therefore become an illness. This attitude is not helpful and has huge implications for the way in which people view their own behavior and their lives.
The concept of food addiction comes from a combination of experimental data, anecdotal observations, scientific claims, personal opinions, deductions and beliefs.
It is an over-simplification of a very complex set of behaviors.
The existing evidence fails to define the precise characteristics of the actual foods concerned or the eating environment that underlies the assumed addiction risk.
This is in contrast to drug addiction, where the molecule is identified and its pharmacological effect on the brain is characterized.
Some have likened food addiction to drug addiction, and then used this term to associate it with overeating
Animal studies have shown changes to specific brain regions in those given a sugary diet – and human brain scans show activation of reward systems in the same part of the brain when sweet tastes are consumed.
Therefore, it is not surprising that reward centres are activated when sweet foods are consumed, as we know that the reward circuits in the brain have been established through evolution as signalling systems that control our appetite.
Many stimuli influence these areas of the brain and, in addition, there is an intrinsic drive to consume carbohydrate-rich foods to satisfy a basic metabolic need of the brain.
Sweetness is a major signal for such foods but the science has not yet assessed this fully and much more work is needed before we could say that food is addictive.
Attributing food addiction as the single cause underlying the development of obesity, despite the existence of numerous other very plausible explanations, is unhelpful, particularly for those trying to live more healthy lives.
Prof. John Blundell many people may potentially latch on to the concept of food addiction as an excuse to explain their overeating – the premise that it’s “not my fault” and therefore, “I can’t help it”.
This removes the personal responsibility they should feel and could act on – and they infer that their eating is a form of disease.
Food addiction may offer an appealing explanation for some people but the concept could seriously hinder an individual’s capacity for personal control.
Binge eating disorder does exist – but it is a rare clinical condition affecting fewer than 3% of obese people.
Sufferers have a strong compulsion to eat, which persists alongside the sense of a loss of control.
Addiction-like food behavior may be a component of the severe and compulsive form of binge eating disorder.
McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson has claimed he lost 20 lbs in weight, despite eating from the chain’s menu every day.
Don Thompson said he regularly worked out at a gym to lose the pounds but did not stop wolfing down the fast food meals whenever he could.
But his claims were met with skepticism on Twitter with some branding it the “McDiet” and asking him to “prove it”.
Last week McDonald’s unveiled its most unhealthy item ever, the Mega Potato, which is a double size portion of fries. At 1,142 calories Mega Potato is more than half the recommended daily calorie intake for a woman.
Don Thompson said he shed the weight over the course of a year by getting up early in the mornings and going to the gym.
The fast food boss insisted he still ate at McDonald’s ‘every single day’, although he did not specify what he chose from the menu.
He admitted that despite McDonald’s trying to rebrand itself as healthier, its salads make up only 2-3% of sales.
But the McDonald’s CEO claimed the company was making efforts to include more vegetables in its meals.
Don Thompson, who has been on the job for less than a year, was responding to a question about how the company is adapting amid growing concerns about obesity when he pointed out his slimmer frame.
McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson has claimed he lost 20 lbs in weight, despite eating from the chain’s menu every day
He said that he lost the weight by getting active again and noted that it’s rare to see Europeans that are “very, very heavy” because they walk a lot.
“And so I think that balance is really important to people,” he said.
“I don’t see salads as being a major growth driver in the near future,” Don Thompson told investors in New York this week, according to Bloomberg News.
It’s no wonder the salads have failed to lure health conscious diners when they are often as fat-laden as a Big Mac and boast names such as Bacon Ranch and Southwest Crispy Chicken.
In comparison to poor salad sales, the restaurant’s Dollar Menu generates 13-14% of U.S. business, he said.
However, Don Thompson claims the company isn’t giving up on selling fruit and vegetables. For instance, some of McDonald’s new McWraps have tomato, cucumber slices and shredded lettuce inside, he said.
McDonald’s first added tossed salads to its U.S. menu in 1987.
Bloomberg News reported earlier this month that it is considered ditching Caesar salads after it already got rid of Fruit & Walnut salads from its menu this year.
McDonald’s shares fell more than 2.2% to close at $98.28 on Wednesday, after the announcement. At one point they declined as much as 2.9% for the biggest intraday drop since October 19 and they continued to fall on Thursday.
The shares gained 15% this year through to Tuesday. In comparison, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 16%.
The chain announced it was axing its Fruit & Walnut salad in March after competitors Burger King Worldwide Inc and Wendy’s Co began closing the gap with McDonald’s.
McDonald’s, the world’s biggest hamburger chain for years, held a huge lead against most rivals, but some of those chains now are luring away diners with fast-changing menus featuring tempting new food.
An “intelligent” microchip which can suppress appetite has been designed by a group of British scientists.
Animal trials of the electronic implant are about to begin and its makers say it could provide a more effective alternative to weight-loss surgery.
The chip is attached to the vagus nerve which plays a role in appetite as well as a host of other functions within the body.
Human trials of the implant could begin within three years, say its makers.
The work is being led by Prof. Chris Toumazou and Prof. Sir Stephen Bloom of Imperial College London.
Animal trials of the electronic implant are about to begin and its makers say it could provide a more effective alternative to weight-loss surgery
It involves an “intelligent implantable modulator”, just a few millimetres across, which is attached using cuff electrodes to the vagus nerve within the peritoneal cavity found in the abdomen.
The chip and cuffs are designed to read and process electrical and chemical signatures of appetite within the nerve. The chip can then act upon these readings and send electrical signals to the brain reducing or stopping the urge to eat.
The researchers say identifying chemicals rather than electrical impulses will make for a more selective, precise instrument.
The project has just received over 7 million euros ($9 million) in funding from the European Research Council.
A similar device designed by the Imperial team has already been developed to reduce epileptic seizures by targeting the same vagus nerve.
“This is a really small microchip and on this chip we’ve got the intelligence which can actually model the neural signals responsible for appetite control,” Prof. Chris Toumazou said.
“And as a result of monitoring these signals we can stimulate the brain to counter whatever we monitor.
“It will be control of appetite rather than saying don’t eat completely. So maybe instead of eating fast you’ll eat a lot slower.”
Prof. Chris Toumazou said initial laboratory trials had already demonstrated proof of concept.
Prof. Stephen Bloom, who heads Imperial’s diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism division, said the chip could provide an alternative to “gross surgery”.
In a fascinating new book, Robert Lustig, a professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of California, expounds a whole new scientific theory about eating too much.
Robert Lustig argues that the urge to overeat and lounge around doing nothing is not a sign of weakness.
It is, he says, a hormonal issue, triggered by eating too much sugar.
He points the finger of blame at the hormone leptin, which acts like an appetite thermostat.
As one of two “hunger hormones” in the body, leptin works to decrease the appetite (its partner, ghrelin, increases appetite).
When you have had enough to eat, your fat cells release leptin, which effectively dulls the appetite by instructing the brain that it’s time to stop eating.
Professor Robert Lustig warns that our sweet tooth is sending this process haywire.
SUGAR TRICKS YOUR BRAIN
For many years scientists thought obesity could be caused by a shortage of leptin – thinking that without adequate levels, overweight people simply never received the message that they were full.
But more recent studies have shown that obese people have plenty of leptin (in fact, the fatter you are, the more of it you appear to have), but are more likely to be “leptin-resistant”.
This means the cells in the brain that should register leptin no longer “read” the signals saying the body is full, but instead assume it is starving – no matter how much food you continue to eat.
In panic, the brain pumps out instructions to increase energy storage – instigating powerful cravings for high-fat, high-sugar foods because these are the easiest and most immediate forms of energy – and conserve energy usage, by dampening any urge to get up off the sofa and go for a run.
The food cravings are made even more intense – and impossible to resist – because leptin is supposed to dampen the feeling of pleasure and enjoyment you get from food by suppressing the release of the brain chemical dopamine, helping to decrease appetite.
But if you are leptin-resistant, food never stops tasting delicious, no matter how much of it you eat.
This, says Prof. Robert Lustig, is why many overweight people find it so hard to stop eating, and why diets so often fail.
THE HUNGER HORMONE
Scientists have been struggling to work out what causes leptin resistance.
But now Prof. Robert Lustig and his team have been able to show – in repeated studies on humans – that too much sugar in the diet is to blame.
High sugar diets lead to spikes in the hormone.
This is needed to clear sugar out of the blood and into storage as fat.
But repeated insulin spikes, due to a high sugar diet, can lead to a condition called “insulin resistance” (when the cells have been so bombarded by insulin they no longer respond to it).
Prof. Robert Lustig believes insulin resistance triggers leptin resistance, and, crucially, he has discovered that by reducing insulin levels it is possible to improve “leptin signalling” (the brain’s ability to read leptin), stop cravings, put the brakes on food consumption – and trigger weight loss.
In his new book Fat Chance, Professor Lustig explains that leptin resistance – and sugar – is at the root of the obesity epidemic.
He believes 1.5 billion overweight or obese people in the world suffer from this condition – and is convinced that the problem can be tackled by targeting insulin.
In his studies, many participants took insulin-lowering drugs, but the professor says similar results can be achieved by a few small lifestyle changes – notably reducing sugar in your diet.
The professor has a heavyweight background in endocrinology (the study of hormones), as both a medical doctor and academic.
He used organized trials to study the role the brain plays in governing appetite and activity levels and found that patients who had damage to the hypothalamus (the area of the brain that controls energy levels) could not lose weight, but somehow gained weight even when restricted to a near-starving 500 calories a day.
Robert Lustig realized that a similar process could be happening with obese adults and set out to investigate a potential solution.
His studies revealed that the roles of leptin and insulin are intertwined, and bind to cells in the same area of the brain – the hypothalamus.
The real reason you eat too much
SWEET FOOD LEAVES YOU WANTING MORE
A high sugar diet can trigger leptin resistance even if you are just slightly overweight. This is because sugar triggers a spike in insulin.
While leptin activates biochemical reactions that send “satiety signals” to the brain, insulin can very effectively block these signals, resulting in no satiety, no sense of fullness, and uncontrolled eating of high fat, high sugar foods.
This is leptin resistance, and leaves the brain “blind” to leptin signals, so it still thinks we’re hungry.
Even worse, in healthy people, one of the things leptin should do is to tell the brain to reduce insulin production. It does this by dulling appetite and thus reducing food intake (so cutting the body’s need to produce yet more insulin to deal with the food).
But if you have too much insulin and you are leptin-resistant this doesn’t happen, and insulin levels rise ever higher, creating a vicious cycle.
Robert Lustig believes that our high sugar diets cause continually stimulated insulin production.
He says the insidious creep of insulin resistance means that our bodies now produce double the insulin for every teaspoon of sugar consumed compared to 30 years ago.
He says insulin resistance is now so widespread, it affects the majority of overweight people and even as many as 40% of those who are normal weight (if they eat too much sugar and refined carbohydrates like white flour, bread, pasta and rice).
And leptin resistance becomes more of a problem with increasing body size. “Plump people might have a little leptin resistance, but the morbidly obese will have a lot,” he says.
WHY ONE CHOCOLATE IS NEVER ENOUGH
The sweet, processed food that makes up so much of the modern diet (much of it disguised as ‘low fat’ and therefore healthy) has addictive qualities – particularly for those caught up with leptin resistance.
When we eat food, the brain chemical dopamine is released, creating a feeling of pleasure and reward, explains Prof. Robert Lustig.
Then leptin kicks in to suppress the release of dopamine, so that we get less reward, and therefore we stop eating.
But, he adds, if you’re leptin-resistant, the dopamine won’t be suppressed properly, and it remains at high levels in the brain, and “floods” the brain cells.
After many meals (over a period of about three weeks) brain cells may start to become “tolerant” to these persistently high levels of dopamine.
They build up resistance, meaning that higher and higher amounts of dopamine are needed to trigger a reward signal.
As a result, you may feel compelled to eat greater quantities to achieve the same sense of satisfaction. This can swiftly turn into sugar addiction.
Insulin also works to clear dopamine from the brain, gradually blunting the reward felt for further food.
But if you’re insulin-resistant too, the brakes won’t work, and the reward impetus continues unabated.
This, Prof. Robert Lustig believes, explains why many people can want, and apparently enjoy, never-ending quantities of food even when energy stores were long ago full – for example over the Christmas period.
He fears insulin resistance (and therefore leptin resistance) may also start in the womb, and that exposure to high sugar diets – via the mother – may trigger genetic changes that increase a baby’s risk of insulin and leptin resistance in later life.
But he adds: “At the end of the day, it is what you eat (and of course, how much of it) that puts the final nail in the coffin.”
A BIG FAT LIE
Conventional wisdom and government policy still blame dietary fat for our ever-rising obesity levels (and horrific heart disease statistics).
However, Prof. Robert Lustig is part of the band of obesity specialists who question the validity of the hugely influential research conducted in the Fifties, which identified dietary fat as the trigger for weight gain and heart disease.
The seminal Seven Countries study by U.S. epidemiologist Ancel Keys in the Eighties demonized fat, triggering a massive change in food manufacture.
In an effort to make low fat food more palatable, many manufacturers raised the carbohydrate level, adding quantities of sugar to almost everything (both sweet and savoury).
For instance, a small pot of low fat yoghurt can contain as much as four teaspoons of sugar, and even wholemeal bread hides two teaspoons per loaf.
Gradually tastes and eating habits have changed, Robert Lustig says, resulting in growing populations worldwide inadvertently hooked on easy-to-eat high sugar foods.
As he puts it: “The obesity epidemic was born in the aftermath of this seemingly logical and well-meaning, yet tragically flawed understanding of our biochemistry.”
Mercifully, it is not all doom and gloom.
“Obesity is a hormonal problem and hormones are alterable,” says Prof. Robert Lustig.
He recommends simple steps that can lower your leptin levels.
These include reducing sugar in every recipe by a third, increasing your fibre intake, and taking just 15 minutes of activity every day.
Researchers have found that brain scans show that skipping breakfast makes fatty, high calorie foods appear far more attractive later in the day.
Scans of 21 people showed the brain was more attracted to food if breakfast was missed and people had more food at lunch.
Scientists said it made loosing weight challenging as missing meals made calorific food even more appealing.
Nutrition experts say breakfast is known to take the edge off appetite.
However, researchers were curious about what happened inside the brain to alter the food people choose to eat.
Twenty one people, who were all normal weight, were shown pictures of calorie packed foods while they were positioned in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine at Imperial College London.
On one day they were given no breakfast before the scans and on a different day they were fed a large, 730 calorie, breakfast an hour and a half before.
The researchers said skipping breakfast created a “bias” in the brain in favor of high calorie foods.
The results, presented at the Neuroscience 2012 conference, showed the brain changed how it responded to pictures of high calorie foods, but not low calorie foods, when breakfast was skipped.
They showed part of the brain thought to be involved in “food appeal”, the orbitofrontal cortex, became more active on an empty stomach.
When the researchers offered the participants lunch at the end of the study, people ate a fifth more calories if breakfast was missed.
Dr. Tony Goldstone, from Imperial College London, said: “Through both the participants’ MRI results and observations of how much they ate at lunch, we found ample evidence that fasting made people hungrier, and increased the appeal of high calorie foods and the amount people ate.
“One reason it is so difficult to loose weight is because the appeal of high calorie food goes up.”
Future studies will investigate how obesity affects the same system in the brain.