Obesity Panacea

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Two health physiology researchers discuss the latest obesity news, research, and weight loss products.

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  • December 14, 2011
  • 09:00 AM

Contributors to the Pediatric Obesity Epidemic Part 3: Sleep, Maternal Age, Pollution & Breastfeeding

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

In Part 1 we examined the impact of changes in physical activity and sedentary behaviour, and in Part 2 we looked at changes in food intake. Today we look at the evidence (or lack thereof) linking sleep, pollution, maternal age and breastfeeding with the pediatric obesity epidemic.... Read more »

  • May 13, 2011
  • 11:52 AM

The Science of Starvation: How long can humans survive without food or water?

by Peter Janiszewski, Ph.D. in Obesity Panacea

Rita Chretien, a Canadian woman survived being stranded inside a vehicle in Nevada for 48 days, by eating only some trail mix and candy, and drinking water from a stream.  Apparently, she and her husband were following their GPS instructions on their way to Las Vegas from British Columbia when they took a rural road that essentially turns to a bog in the winter months. Their van eventually got stuck in the mud in the middle of nowhere, and they both waited for help for 3 days without sighting a........ Read more »

Peel M. (1997) Hunger strikes. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 315(7112), 829-30. PMID: 9353494  

  • December 15, 2011
  • 09:43 AM

Contributors to the Pediatric Obesity Epidemic Part 4: Adult Obesity, and Relative Contributions of All Risk Factors

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

In Part 1 we examined the impact of changes in physical activity and sedentary behaviour, in Part 2 we looked at changes in food intake, and in Part 3 we looked at sleep, breastfeeding, maternal age and pollution. Today we look at the evidence (or lack thereof) linking adult obesity with the pediatric obesity epidemic, then examine the relative contributions of all of the risk factors we’ve discussed so far.... Read more »

  • December 16, 2011
  • 11:55 AM

Contributors to the Pediatric Obesity Epidemic Part 5: Risk Factors I Missed

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

Today we will look at other potential contributors to the pediatric obesity epidemic which I didn’t include in my paper. There are a few reasons for that – some risk factors are ones that I just felt didn’t have much evidence behind them, others were similar to ones that were included, and some just didn’t fit within the space constraints (since this paper was originally written for my comprehensive exams, it was limited to 15 pages).... Read more »

  • May 24, 2011
  • 08:34 AM

Does sexual intercourse affect athletic performance?

by Peter Janiszewski, Ph.D. in Obesity Panacea

A commonly held belief among many athletes and coaches (particularly male ones) is that sexual intercourse the evening before a competition spells disaster on the big day. Thus, many high-level athletes practice abstinence prior to competition. Muhammad Ali was an outspoken proponent of this rule, as was Marv Levy, head coach of the Buffalo Bills, who separated his athletes from their partners leading up to the SuperBowl.
My fiancée, Marina, and I are running 10k and 5k races this weekend in Ot........ Read more »

  • June 10, 2009
  • 11:00 AM

Xocai and the Chocolate Weight Loss Diet - Where's the Evidence?

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

If you spend any time following the "super" foods that are currently promoted on websites and daytime talk shows, you will certainly have heard about the "miracles" of dark chocolate, one of the super-est of all the super foods. If the Super Foods were the Super Friends, chocolate would probably be Batman (second only to Super Man, a role currently filled by Acai Berry).... Read more »

Cooper, K., Donovan, J., Waterhouse, A., & Williamson, G. (2007) Cocoa and health: a decade of research. British Journal of Nutrition, 99(01). DOI: 10.1017/S0007114507795296  

  • February 25, 2011
  • 10:48 AM

Turn down your thermostat to lose weight, suggests new study! (Dripping with sarcasm)

by Peter Janiszewski, Ph.D. in Obesity Panacea

So now that I’ve got your attention, let me tell you off the bat that making your home cold is not the most viable weight-loss strategy  -  despite what the headlines might suggest.
A recent study was published in the International Journal of Obesity which looked at a number of uncommonly explored potential contributors to obesity, including sleep restriction, house temperature, television watching, consumption of restaurant meals , use of air conditioning and use of antidepressant/antipsych........ Read more »

Bo, S., Ciccone, G., Durazzo, M., Ghinamo, L., Villois, P., Canil, S., Gambino, R., Cassader, M., Gentile, L., & Cavallo-Perin, P. (2011) Contributors to the obesity and hyperglycemia epidemics. A prospective study in a population-based cohort. International Journal of Obesity. DOI: 10.1038/ijo.2011.5  

  • October 6, 2010
  • 11:08 AM

How much salt is in your fast food?

by Peter Janiszewski, Ph.D. in Obesity Panacea

Way too much, according to a study by Johnson and colleagues, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Personally, I love salty foods. While I have never been too fond of sweet things (chocolate, candy, etc.), just a few years ago I could have easily gone through a bag of chips or pretzels in one sitting. Just writing about that crunchy/salty goodness makes my mouth water.
However, since hypertension runs in my family, I have recently made a concerted effort to limit my sodium intake R........ Read more »

Johnson CM, Angell SY, Lederer A, Dumanovsky T, Huang C, Bassett MT, & Silver LD. (2010) Sodium content of lunchtime fast food purchases at major US chains. Archives of internal medicine, 170(8), 732-4. PMID: 20421561  

  • April 26, 2011
  • 08:24 AM

Liposuction does not permanently remove fat

by Peter Janiszewski, Ph.D. in Obesity Panacea

Due to the increasing obsession with quick solutions to excess fat mass, liposuction has become one of the most popular cosmetic procedures.
And as far as simply removing large volumes of subcutaneous fat from one’s body, it just may be the most effective method – certainly, far superior to diet/exercise or bariatric surgery.
But there are a few catches.
As I have previously discussed, in contrast to losing weight via lifestyle modification or bariatric surgery, liposuction does not make an ........ Read more »

Hernandez, T., Kittelson, J., Law, C., Ketch, L., Stob, N., Lindstrom, R., Scherzinger, A., Stamm, E., & Eckel, R. (2011) Fat Redistribution Following Suction Lipectomy: Defense of Body Fat and Patterns of Restoration. Obesity. DOI: 10.1038/oby.2011.64  

  • December 20, 2010
  • 08:04 AM

Sneezing your way to a big belly: Do allergy medications make you fat?

by Peter Janiszewski, Ph.D. in Obesity Panacea

Some folks have seasonal allergies.
But if you’re like me, battling your allergies is a year-round affair.
Some days are certainly better than others, but overall, I have been a chronic user of anti-histamines since my teens. Cleratin, Reactine, Aerius, and Life Brand versions thereof have all at one point or another helped me breathe.
So you may imagine my concern when I came across a recent paper published in the journal Obesity discussing a possible link between the us........ Read more »

  • November 19, 2010
  • 09:04 AM

How inactive are today’s kids?

by Peter Janiszewski, Ph.D. in Obesity Panacea

I was hoping to not begin this post with the following phrase, but its useless fighting the urge. I have reached an age at which I believe I am now entitled to do so.
Back in my day, when I was still in elementary school, I don’t think my parents or those of my friends ever had to worry about us being physically inactive.
Sure we had Nintendo, and Super Nintendo had just come out, but really how many hours could one spend with Duck Hunt?
At the same time, it feels like people were generall........ Read more »

  • September 16, 2009
  • 11:35 AM

Physically active vacations are more re-energizing

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

... Read more »

Strauss-Blasche G, Reithofer B, Schobersberger W, Ekmekcioglu C, & Marktl W. (2005) Effect of vacation on health: moderating factors of vacation outcome. Journal of travel medicine, 12(2), 94-101. PMID: 15996454  

  • December 10, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Sedentary Physiology Part 5 – Future Directions

by Travis Saunders, MSc, CEP in Obesity Panacea

Image by kaibara87
Welcome to our 5-part series delving into the fascinating research being performed in the emerging field of sedentary physiology.  In Part 1 we discussed the basics of sedentary physiology, in Part 2 and Part 3 we looked at the association of sedentary time with both death and disease, and in Part 4 we looked at the mechanisms underlying these relationships.  Today we will look at where future work in the field of sedentary physiology is heading.
Given the research that we........ Read more »

Tremblay, MS, Colley, RC, Saunders, TJ, Healy, G, & Owen, N. (2010) Physiological and health implications of a sedentary lifestyle. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism. info:/

  • September 13, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

Metabolically-Healthy Obesity: An Oxymoron? (Series Pt 1/5)

by Peter Janiszewski, Ph.D. in Obesity Panacea

Welcome to our 5-part series delving into the fascinating and seemingly paradoxical research on people who despite being obese, remain metabolically-healthy. Today, we’ll start with an introduction.

To date, countless epidemiological studies have shown that as you move from a normal weight (BMI = 18.5-24.9 kg/m2) towards overweight (BMI = 25-29.9kg/m2) and obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) the risk of many diseases increases exponentially.

Does this imply that every individual carrying excess ........ Read more »

  • March 29, 2011
  • 10:00 AM

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin – Won’t Help You Lose Weight, May Give You Mad Cow Disease

by Travis Saunders, MSc, CEP in Obesity Panacea

Photo by cupcakes2
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) is the most thoroughly debunked weight loss gimmick in medical history.  We have known since the mid-1970′s that hCG has no impact on body weight whatsoever.  I’ve discussed it a number of times, and it always amazes me just how much evidence there is that hCG is no better than a placebo.  My favourite hCG-related quote comes from this systematic review, which sums things up pretty nicely:
“there is no scientific evidence tha........ Read more »

Van Dorsselaer, A., Carapito, C., Delalande, F., Schaeffer-Reiss, C., Thierse, D., Diemer, H., McNair, D., Krewski, D., & Cashman, N. (2011) Detection of Prion Protein in Urine-Derived Injectable Fertility Products by a Targeted Proteomic Approach. PLoS ONE, 6(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0017815  

  • April 10, 2013
  • 09:45 AM

Obesity and Altitude

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

Obesity is a complex and multifactorial chronic disease that remains a military and public health priority in the United States. Recently, we’ve identified a strong association between obesity prevalence and altitude within the US. Our findings were surprising because they indicated the magnitude of this association was large and the pattern of association exhibited a curvilinear dose response in 500 meter categories of altitude. There was a 4-5 fold increase in obesity prevalence at low a........ Read more »

  • April 20, 2012
  • 10:05 AM

Canada’s fast food: the saltiest in the world?

by Peter Janiszewski, PhD in Obesity Panacea

Have you ever wondered how much salt is actually in those French fries from your favourite fast food outlet? New research published this week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal suggests that the answer to this question depends largely on your home address.... Read more »

Dunford, E., Webster, J., Woodward, M., Czernichow, S., Yuan, W., Jenner, K., Mhurchu, C., Jacobson, M., Campbell, N., & Neal, B. (2012) The variability of reported salt levels in fast foods across six countries: opportunities for salt reduction. Canadian Medical Association Journal. DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.111895  

  • February 15, 2011
  • 01:39 PM

Canada Releases World’s First Evidence-Based Sedentary Guidelines

by Travis Saunders, MSc, CEP in Obesity Panacea

Exciting news today – this morning the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) released the world’s first evidence-based sedentary behaviour guidelines.  There have been some guidelines in the past, most notably for screen time, but they were essentially based on best-guesses more than any objective evidence.
These new guidelines are specifically for those aged 5-17, although there will hopefully be guidelines for both older and younger age-groups in the near ........ Read more »

Tremblay, MS, Leblanc, AG, Janssen, I, Kho, ME, Hicks, A, Murumets, K, Colley, RC, & Duggan, M. (2011) Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for Children and Youth. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism. info:/10.1139/H11-012

  • September 29, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

Junk Food Tax or Health Food Subsidy – Which Results in Healthier Food Purchases?

by Travis Saunders, MSc, CEP in Obesity Panacea

Image by Jeff Keen.
In the past few years several prominent researchers have argued for the adoption of taxes on junk food as a means of reducing their consumption.  Often, as in a recent editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, the argument is made that money collected through the tax could then be used to subsidize healthier foods.  This is an idea that I’ve found very appealing – we make the bad foods more expensive, the good foods less expensive, and people will proba........ Read more »

  • March 11, 2011
  • 11:10 AM

Physical activity protects our body from cognitive stress

by Peter Janiszewski, Ph.D. in Obesity Panacea

There are few of us who can honestly say they are not stressed out at least some of the time. Too much to do, not enough time, looming deadlines, financial concerns, health problems, etc. can all cause us to feel on edge.
Your heart rate and blood pressure soar, you start perspiring, sleeping becomes a challenge, you’re irritable, and so on.
As you might have imagined, chronic psychological stress negatively impacts on your physical health, increasing the chances of countless chronic diseases......... Read more »

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