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Study finds perception of food available to mother can affect birthweight in mice April 14, 2015 6:15PM

While studies have shown that what a mother eats during pregnancy can affect her offspring, it could be that what she sees others eating can also affect her offspring. New research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health explores the influence it has in a new mouse study.

“We wanted to know how perception of the food environment (seeing, hearing and smelling others’ eating high-calorie foods rather than actually eating high-calorie foods themselves) would play into reproductive outcomes,” said Tonia Schwartz, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in the UAB Office of Energetics, of findings published in the journal Obesity.

How Lab Rats Are Changing Our View of Obesity April 11, 2015 11:42PM

Obesity stems primarily from the overconsumption of food paired with insufficient exercise. But this elementary formula cannot explain how quickly the obesity epidemic has spread globally in the past several decades nor why more than one third of adults in the U.S. are now obese. Many researchers believe that a more complex mix of environmental exposures, lifestyle, genetics and the microbiome’s makeup help explain that phenomenon. And a growing body of work suggests that exposure to certain chemicals—found in nature as well as industry—may play an essential role by driving the body to produce and store surplus fat in its tissues. Evidence of that cause-and-effect relationship in humans is still limited, but in laboratory animals and in petri dishes data linking the chemicals to problematic weight gain are mounting. Moreover, the effects in animals appear to be passed on not just to immediate offspring but also grandchildren and great-grandchildren—potentially accounting for some multigenerational obesity.

Intentional Weight Loss and All-Cause Mortality: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials April 11, 2015 10:30PM

Obesity is associated with increased mortality, and weight loss trials show rapid improvement in many mortality risk factors. Yet, observational studies typically associate weight loss with higher mortality risk. The purpose of this meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of weight loss was to clarify the effects of intentional weight loss on mortality.

How Obesity Became a Disease April 11, 2015 10:25PM

Weight loss is a big business, and, since it’s rarely successful in the  long term, it comes with a built-in supply of repeat customers. And  doctors have been involved in the business one way or another for a long  time. Some 2,000 years ago, the Greek physician and philosopher Galen  diagnosed “bad humors” as the cause of obesity, and prescribed massage,  baths, and “slimming foods” like greens, garlic, and wild game for his  overweight patients. More recently, in the early 20th century, as scales  became more accurate and affordable, doctors began routinely recording  patients’ height and weight at every visit. Weight-loss drugs hit the  mainstream in the 1920s, when doctors started prescribing thyroid  medications to healthy people to make them slimmer. In the 1930s, the  weight-loss chemical 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP) came along, followed by  amphetamines, diuretics, laxatives, and diet pills like fen-phen, all of  which worked only in the short term and caused side effects ranging  from the annoying to the fatal.

Being overweight 'reduces dementia risk' April 11, 2015 10:23PM

Being overweight cuts the risk of dementia, according to the largest and most precise investigation into the relationship.

Study Warns of Diet Supplement Dangers Kept Quiet by F.D.A. April 08, 2015 2:59PM

Popular weight-loss and workout supplements on sale in hundreds of vitamin shops across the nation contain a chemical nearly identical to amphetamine, the powerful stimulant, and pose dangers to the health of those who take them, according to a new study. The Canadian health authorities in December called the chemical, BMPEA, “a serious health risk,” and pulled supplements that contain it from store shelves.

For Male Politicians, Dieting Is a Campaign Issue April 08, 2015 2:55PM

Is fat really an electoral issue?

Even before Bridgegate and questions around his conservative credentials began to erode Chris Christie’s poll numbers, his weight was a point of contention in discussions about whether the New Jersey governor would make a credible presidential nominee.

That's Not Our Demographic September 09, 2011 11:11AM

My name is Nancy Upton. I'm a size 12 and wanted to show American Apparel my fresh face (and full figure). My good friend Shannon Skloss came over to take some "booty-ful" photos of me...but I just couldn't stop eating.

Reality bites for Biggest Losers September 05, 2011 11:38AM

The Biggest Loser weight gain shock. These former contestants have had their dreams shattered as life outside the show has meant a return to old habits, and some serious weight gain. Now, experts are saying the 'life changing' reality show is in fact setting up problem-eaters for failure in the name of entertainment.

Antibiotic use has grown along with obesity. Coincidence? August 24, 2011 11:34AM

We've all heard that the overuse of antibiotics is making them less effective and fueling the rise of dangerous drug-resistant bacteria. But did you know it may also be fueling the rise of obesity, diabetes, allergies and asthma?

Health at Every Size August 09, 2011 11:29AM

Health at Every Size (HAES) is a lifestyle that encourages healthy eating and enjoyable physical activity as a way to feel better and live longer. Unlike other programs, it does not believe weight loss through dieting is the way to become healthy.

How To I.D. Genetically Modified Food at the Supermarket May 15, 2011 5:44PM

Not many consumers realize that the FDA does not require genetically modified food to be labeled. That's because the FDA has decided that you, dear consumer, don't care if the tomato you're eating has been cross bred with frog genes to render the tomato more resistant to cold weather. Some consumers may not be concerned with eating Frankenfood, but for those who are, here's how to determine if the fruits and vegetables you're buying are (GM) genetically modified.

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