Researchers at the University of Otago found that women who eat slowly are less likely to be overweight or obese.
In the study of more than 1,500 women between the ages of 40-50, researchers analyzed the relationship between self-reported speed of eating and BMI. After adjusting for factors such as age, ethnicity, smoking, physical activity and menopause status, the researchers found that the faster women reported their eating speed to be, the higher their BMI.
“For every one-step increase in a five-step scale ranging from ‘very slow’ eating to ‘very fast,’ the women’s BMI increased by 2.8 %, which is equivalent to a 1.95 kg weight increase in a woman of average BMI for this group,” the researchers concluded.
Results from a two-year follow-up are expected to be published next year, according to the University of Otago. If analysis of the data confirms a causal relationship, the researchers say they will test interventions that include a focus on encouraging women to eat more slowly.
Changing people’s eating speed might be difficult, because “it’s so habitual and ingrained in individuals. We need a lot more work to understand the roots of the behavior and, if it can be changed, how.”
“If such interventions prove effective, they could be used alongside other non-dieting approaches we have previously trialed with overweight or obese women. These approaches successfully prevented weight gain in at-risk women and even produced significant weight loss in some. Our interventions included intensive training in relaxation techniques and how to recognize and avoid stress-related triggers for eating.”
Obesity Rates Double
LONDON—A four-part series on obesity was published last week in The Lancet that revealed global obesity rates have doubled in the last 30 years, which will lead to millions more cases of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. The findings suggest national governments should take an active role in sustained obesity interventions.
The first paper examined the global drivers of the epidemic; the second paper analyzed obesity trends in the United States and United Kingdom and their impact on prevalence of diseases and healthcare spending. The third paper introduced a new web-based bodyweight simulation model that incorporates metabolic adaptations that occur with decreasing bodyweight; and the final paper assessed interventions needed to halt and reverse the epidemic.
In terms of obesity rates in the United States and the United Kingdom, one paper predicts nearly half of all U.S. men and women—an estimated 65 million—will be obese by 2030; more than 11 million U.K. men and women will be obese by the same year.
Lead author Y. Claire Wang, MD, ScD, of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health warned obesity will replace tobacco as the single, most preventable cause of chronic non-communicable diseases. She estimated medical costs associated with treating those diseases in the United States alone will skyrocket to between $38 billion and $66 billion annually.
“Taking no action would have the catastrophic consequences described in our study, but a population level decrease in BMI by 1% would avoid as many as 2.4 million cases of diabetes, 1.7 million cases of heart disease and stroke, and up to 127 000 cases of cancer in the U.S. alone,” she said.
Breast sizes on the up
The World Health Organization has blamed obesity for increasing breast size of New Zealand women.
New Zealand women’s breasts have been increasing quite significantly over the past decade, with the average cup size rising from B to D.
Bendon spokeswoman Rachael said that D cups “and larger” now accounted for nearly half of all the Bendon bras sold in New Zealand.
“We are also seeing young girls coming into our stores with larger busts much more often now,” she said.
Triumph has also noted the bigger bosom trend.
National sales manager Anita Clelland said the average bra size moved from a 12B in 2001 to between a 14C and 14D now.
Massey University Associate Professor in Human Nutrition said there was no significant research behind the phenomenon, but said it could be caused by women generally getting bigger all over.
“One is that everyone is getting bigger,” she said. “Women get bigger breasts because fat is deposited in the breasts, sides and bottom.”
Obesity rates in New Zealand have also increased — they have gone from nine per cent of men and 11 per cent of women in 1977 to 20 and 22 per cent respectively in 2003.
The most recent Health Ministry figures showed one in three adults were overweight, and one in four was obese.
Researchers in Australia have completed a study that shows weight loss may result in better sex for overweight diabetic men.
The researchers from the University of Adelaide put 31 obese men, who had type 2 diabetes, on one of two diets: a low-calorie diet using liquid meal replacements, or a high-protein diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meat and fish. The objective of this was to reduce the calorie intake of the men by 600 calories per day.
The study found that a weight loss of only five per cent over eight weeks led to better erectile function and improved sexual desire. Urinary tract function also improved over the course of the study. These improvements in the men’s health continued for 12 months.
After the eight weeks, the men on the liquid meal diet had lost between 8 and 10 percent of their body weight, and the men on the high-protein diet had lost 5 percent of their weight.
On average, their scores on a scale used to measure erectile function had improved from the “severe erectile dysfunction” category to the “mild erectile dysfunction” score.
Australian researchers have found a novel way of helping overweight people drop some kilos – retraining their taste buds by switching to low-fat diet.
They have found that eating a high-fat diet can decrease a person’s ability to taste fat, which in turn leads to over eating. But they think it might be possible to train the taste buds to be more sensitive to fat. Last year, researchers at Deakin University in Melbourne discovered that humans have “a sixth taste” that responds to the fat content of foods. They have now found a link between a person’s ability to taste fat and their weight. “Healthy weight people actually respond in a different way to overweight obese people. So if you were a healthy weight and put on a high-fat diet, your fat sensitivity decreased,” Deakin University associate professor Russell Keast said. “So fat provides, or starts to stimulate, the satiety hormones that tell us to stop eating or increase the time between eating events. “However, when we looked at the overweight and obese subjects, they actually had no response to the high levels of fat in foods, so that when you do have these high levels of fat, there is no additional bodily response to that fat.” Professor Keast and his colleagues are now running a study to find out if difficulty in tasting fat is caused by genes or diet. “We think there’s certainly a dietary component, so if you are starting to eat high levels of fat we believe the body is going to adapt,” he said. “However, we don’t know if some people are more susceptible to that, or more genetically susceptible to that than other people, and that’s certainly something that we’re working out at the moment.” The researchers are hoping this link proves people are able to train their taste buds to detect fat. “The good news out of the low-fat diet was that everybody responded equally, so it didn’t matter if you were healthy weight or overweight obese, if you went onto the low-fat diet, you became more sensitive to fat,” Professor Keast said. The study was published in the International Journal of Obesity and Clinical Nutrition.
A new study finds that people who chew their food more actually take in fewer calories, which may help them maintain their weight. More specifically, chewing your food 40 times instead of the average of 15 times leads to consuming 12 percent fewer calories. By consuming 12 percent fewer calories, a person could lose nearly 25 pounds per year.
In the study, 14 obese men and 16 normal weight men were given a normal breakfast, and were monitored to see if there were differences in how they chewed their food. By watching the men chew, the researchers hoped to find that chewing more would result in subjects eating less food, which would reduce their blood sugar and stimulate hormone production that regulates hunger.In the study, the researchers found a correlation between the amount of chewing and the levels of several hormones that control appetite. More chewing was associated with lower levels of ghrelin and higher levels of CCK in the blood. Ghrelin is a hormone that stimulates appetite, and CCK is a hormone that reduces appetite. These hormones are of interest to researchers because they prove to be a potential hormone therapy for obese individuals.
Additionally, there was no difference between the size of the bites taken by the obese and normal-weight men, and no difference between chewing duration and blood sugar or insulin levels.
It is important to keep in mind that this study focused only on obese and normal-weight men of similar age groups, and the findings might change when examining a larger population sample and a more diverse pool. Further research in examining the relationship between eating behavior and obesity should continue
International Agency for Research on Cancer.Reports
British women are 17 percent more likely to develop cancer than those in Europe – and obesity and alcohol could be partly to blame, experts say today.
Analysis of data from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) shows women in the UK have a 25.1 percent chance of developing cancer by the age of 75.
For European women, the risk is 17 percent lower at 21.4 percent.
British women are also more likely to die from cancer before the age of 75 than their European counterparts, with 10.6 percent dying from the disease compared to 9.4 percent in Europe (a 13 percent difference). However, the figures show some good news for British men compared to those in Europe.
European men on average have a 29.5 percent risk of developing cancer before the age of 75, but this drops to 27.8 percent in the UK (6 percent lower).
Men in the UK are also 6 percent less likely to die from the disease, with 13.3 percent dying compared to the European average of 16.2 percent.
The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), which examined the data, said many cancer cases could be prevented through healthy lifestyles.
Overall, it estimates 80,000 cases of cancer could be prevented each year if people kept to a healthy weight, were active, ate well and did not drink too much.
For women, 33 percent of cases of cancer of the oesophagus are linked to obesity, as are 19 percent of pancreatic cancer cases, 21 percent of gallbladder cases, 16 percent of breast cancers and 28 percent of cancers of the womb lining.
Dr Rachel Thompson, deputy head of science for the WCRF, said “On average, women in the UK are more likely to be overweight and to drink more alcohol than the European average and this is a concern because both these factors increase cancer risk
University of Melbourne Professor of Medicine Joseph Proietto said once someone lost weight, changes in energy expenditure and hunger-controlling hormones encouraged weight gain.
“It is likely that it is these physiological adaptations that make it so difficult to maintain weight loss,” he wrote in an article published by the Medical Journal of Australia.
“Importantly, if this regulatory mechanism is operating in those who are already obese, public health messages encouraging people to eat healthy food and to exercise are unlikely to have a long-term impact on their weight.
“Several studies have shown that although obese people who make the effort can achieve and maintain significant weight loss for one to two years, the weight is usually regained in the longer term.” Prof Proietto said obesity often was attributed to people eating too many high-calorie foods and not exercising enough.
But he noted not everyone who indulged in that type of behaviour became obese.
He said this was largely because the body acted to prevent obesity by increasing levels of a protein hormone, leptin, as fat accumulated.
When that process failed, people were likely to become obese. Prof Proietto said such cases were rare and more people were likely to become obese because of genetic changes caused by environmental factors, either in the womb or in their early years.
He said the battle against obesity should focus on stopping children from becoming obese in the first place and making bariatric surgery more widely available as it was nearly impossible for obese people to lose weight any other way. Bariatric surgery involves reducing the capacity of the stomach and has been shown to have long-term benefits for the morbidly obese.
Studies of gastric bypass patients have found that after 10 years, they have maintained 75 per cent of their weight loss. Long-term studies of people who lose weight by dieting alone have shown they regain between two-thirds and all of the weight within five years.