At 330 pounds, Kerry Watterson was tired of not being able to fit into his seat on an airplane. He had a family history of type 2 diabetes, and although doctors said his blood sugar was still at a normal level, he knew it was time to make a change. "I found out about the YDPP [YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program], called the director, and said, ‘I want to do this.' I'm so glad she took me," he says now, one year later.
The answer to the looming threat of obesity and cardiovascular disease could be as simple as putting one foot in front of the other. Indeed, according to a new campaign from managed-care giant Kaiser Permanente, walking has benefits in the short and long term.
An Australian researcher who deliberately fed his lab rats a high-sugar/high-fat diet says that a flavonoid called rutin helped block the growth of fat cells in their abdomens and kept them from putting on weight despite their bad diet. Flavonoids are plant pigments that researchers are finding have beneficial metabolic effects because of their antioxidant capabilities.
Here's news that has been receiving big play in U.S. and European media: British scientists have found that a gene called KLF14 acts as a "master switch" that controls other genes found in body fat-genes that are major factors in such conditions as type 2 diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol levels, and levels of glucose and insulin. The finding, by researchers at King's College London and Oxford University, could lead to treatments for diabetes, obesity, and related metabolic disorders by targeting the gene.
Canadian scientists have found that nobiletin, a substance found in high concentrations in tangerines, thwarted obesity and the onset of diabetes in lab mice. The researchers at the University of Western Ontario fed the mice a high-sugar, high-fat diet that mimicked the diet of many people in Western societies. One group of animals became obese, developing fatty livers and elevated levels of cholesterol and insulin-typical precursors to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. But a second group of mice, given the flavonoid nobiletin, did not develop the symptoms of the first group. The nobiletin prevented fatty buildup in the liver by blocking the genes that control the production of fat.
Greetings from Philadelphia International Airport! Airports are fascinating places...great for seeing what people look like and how they act under unusual circumstances. At this moment, I see a lot of truly overweight people. Most folks are treating the moving walkway like a ride at Disney World–just standing there, inching slowly along and staring blankly at the passing drywall. I don’t know…maybe the two sights are related. Have we really become this lazy? Have we “convenienced” our way out of being in shape? Have electronic toilet flushers, soap dispensers, and water faucets taken away our last opportunity to burn any calories at all?
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