A community for people who want to remain as healthy as possible as we age.

Staying Trim When Fat Runs in the Family

(Well, New York Times) [A] new report … found that physical activity, even in small doses, may subvert genetic destiny…
Being physically active, in the new analysis, “reduced the effect of FTO [the “fat mass and obesity-associated” gene] by about 30 percent,” [senior author Ruth] Loos says. While that still leaves 70 percent of the potentially fat-encouraging effect of the gene intact, she adds, the consequences of physical activity on the workings of this single gene seem to be substantial enough to perhaps allow someone who otherwise would become seriously overweight to maintain a normal waistline…
And the amount of activity required seems to be slight, she adds. “You don’t have to run marathons or work out in the gym,” she says. “Walking the dog, cycling to work, weeding the garden — those all count” and should help to counter the FTO gene’s effects.
“We hope,” Dr. Loos concludes, “that our message empowers people who may have given up hope to try to control their weight.”
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Fun Ways to Stop Middle-Age Spread

(RealAge.com) After only 2 months of strength training (three 40-minute sessions a week, including warm-ups), women 65 to 75 years old can recover a decade of muscle loss and men can recover 2 decades.
Here's how to get started and stick to it:
1.    Find your true motivation. To stick with a plan, ask yourself why you want to get moving. To look betterEase achesLose weight? Get stronger? Enjoy more years with the grandkids? Follow this foolproof eating and exercising plan to shrink your middle.
2.    Start slow. You may be revved up to get moving fast, but overdoing it early invites strains and injuries that sap your goals.
3.    Match activities to your personality. Love parties and socializing? Sign up for Zumba classes. (Find out how to make Zumba nicer to your joints.)Like moving at your own pace but don't trust yourself to stick with it? Spring for a trainer, or schedule exercise dates with a friend or your grandchild. They'll love it!
Then, buy a full-length mirror to admire the results.
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Finding the sweet spot in group fitness

(Reuters) Whether it is Zumba, bootcamp, yoga or kickboxing, whatever your workout pleasure is, there's nothing like a great fitness class to get you to the gym and keep you coming back for more.
That's why major fitness chains keep eyes peeled and ears pricked for the next big thing.
"The single biggest benefit is community," said Tim Keightley, who oversees group fitness at Gold's Gym, which has more than 600 locations around the world. "You meet a community of people so it's a lot harder not to come back next week."
Not only do group exercisers visit the gym more often, they are more likely to renew their memberships, according to Keightley, who said industry figures show that group exercisers use the gym about three times a week to the average gym member who goes 1.7 times.
"You throw on the music, you let someone decide the exercise for you," he said. "It really allows people to escape, which you can't do when you're on a treadmill."
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Fitness key to fighting dangers of stress

(Chicago Sun-Times) Paul Hanft was 45 pounds overweight, generally unhappy, drinking excessively, taking mild anti-depressants, and on medications to lower his cholesterol. Like many others, he struggled with finding the time and energy to change his inactive lifestyle.
His primary source of stress was job-related, having always been in sales where there was a constant stress to hit sales goals or exceed them year after year…
“I started running with my wife, Lynn, as a way to re-connect after she returned from her business travels,” Hanft said. “Then competing in small distance triathlons became a hobby, and the process of setting small goals and defining timelines to achieve them, continued to motivate me…”
“I know how hard it is to focus on fitness with the stresses of work and family obligations,” Hanft says. “My fitness goals started small with my need to improve my work-life balance. My passion to help others reach their fitness goals motivated me to change my career.”
As he experienced the byproducts of improved health and fitness, all aspects of his life began to improve.
“My energy for this profession, my relationships with friends and family; simply everything got better,” Hanft says. “Training relieved stress and the improved energy level continued.”
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Physical Activity Impacts Overall Quality of Sleep

(Science Daily) People sleep significantly better and feel more alert during the day if they get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week, a new study concludes…
The study … lends more evidence to mounting research showing the importance of exercise to a number of health factors…
"We were using the physical activity guidelines set forth for cardiovascular health, but it appears that those guidelines might have a spillover effect to other areas of health," said Brad Cardinal…, one of the study's authors.
"Increasingly, the scientific evidence is encouraging as regular physical activity may serve as a non-pharmaceutical alternative to improve sleep."
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More exercise results in healthier eating

(UPI) People who exercise also start to eat better and as a result their brain may change, U.S. researchers suggest.
Miguel Alonso, a researcher at Harvard University in Boston, said data from epidemiological studies suggest tendencies toward a healthy diet and the right amount of physical exercise often come hand in hand, and an increase in physical activity is usually linked to a parallel improvement in diet quality.
"Understanding the interaction between exercise and a healthy diet could improve preventative and therapeutic measures against obesity by strengthening current approaches and treatments," Alonso said in a statement. "Physical exercise seems to encourage a healthy diet. In fact, when exercise is added to a weight-loss diet, treatment of obesity is more successful and the diet is adhered to in the long run."
Previous studies assessed changes in the brain and cognitive functions in relation to exercise that found regular physical exercise causes changes in the working and structure of the brain, Alonso said.
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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup with Chicken
Add sliced whole wheat French bread and mixed salad greens to complete the menu.
EatingWell:
Chilaquiles Casserole
Our version of this enchilada-style chilaquiles casserole is packed with nutritious beans and vegetables. Canned prepared enchilada sauce has great flavor and keeps the prep time quick. It can vary in heat level so find one that suits your taste. If you want to eliminate the heat altogether, try a green enchilada sauce (which is often milder than red) or substitute two 8-ounce cans of plain tomato sauce.
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Moderate drinking tied to lower diabetes risk

(Reuters Health) Middle aged women who eat a lot of refined carbs might offset their risk of type 2 diabetes by drinking a moderate amount of alcohol, a new study suggests…
Previous research has linked moderate drinking with lower diabetes risk, but the new study tried to get at why that might be by looking specifically at women with high-glycemic diets -- that is, diets high in the refined carbs that are prone to raise blood sugar…
Overall, the women who ate the most refined carbs, such as breakfast cereals, breads, mashed potatoes, colas and orange juice, and whose diets included a lot of meat, were at highest risk of developing diabetes.
But within that group, moderate drinkers -- those whose average alcohol intake was more than 15 grams (about half an ounce) a day -- had a 30 percent lower risk than women who didn't drink at all.
Typically, the moderate drinkers imbibed 24 grams (0.8 ounce) of alcohol a day, which translates to about two drinks per week.
Only a small fraction of the subjects were heavy drinkers (about two ounces per day or more), but heavy drinking was not linked with lowered diabetes risk.
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Vitamin D-fortified yogurt helps heart

(UPI) Regular consumption of a vitamin D-fortified yogurt drink improves cholesterol levels and biomarkers of heart disease, in diabetics, researchers in Iran say…
Patients who had taken the vitamin D yogurt also had improved cholesterol levels with lower total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein, the "bad," cholesterol and an increase in high-density lipoprotein, the "good," cholesterol.
All the improvements in cholesterol seemed to be due to the reduction in insulin resistance, the study said.
"Most of our patients were deficient in vitamin D at the start of the trial but the fortified yogurt drink elevated most of their levels to normal," Abolghassem Djazayery said in a statement. "However, even amongst those who took the vitamin D supplement, about 5 percent remained deficient at the end of the 12 weeks. These people did not show the same improvements. Nevertheless for most diabetics with vitamin D deficiency this is an easy way to improve their outcome."
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Top 10 Foods for Lowering Cholesterol

(RealAge.com) If you have unhealthy cholesterol levels (or want to prevent them), one of the first things you should examine is your diet. Are you eating foods that help reduce cholesterol? Or avoiding the ones that cause unhealthy cholesterol levels to creep higher? If not, we've got 10 cholesterol-lowering foods you should grab next time you're at the grocery store. Bonus: Lowering your bad (LDL) cholesterol can make your RealAge 3.3 years younger if you're a man, 0.6 years younger if you're a woman!
Almonds…
Orange Juice…
Olive Oil…
Steamed Asparagus…
Oatmeal…
Pinto Beans…
Blueberries…
Tomatoes…
Avocado…
Dark Chocolate…
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9 foods that fight off flu

(Gannett News Service) If you don’t have good nutrition, you’re missing a key weapon against colds and flu. Basics include the famously nutrient-dense leafy greens, berries and nuts. You may be surprised by these six other top immune boosters suggested by Tonia Reinhard, registered dietitian and author of Superfoods, and Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of Super Immunity. Note: Don’t expect immediate results. Fuhrman says you’ll need superior nutrition for a few months to see a real effect on your body’s defenses.
Fatty fish…
Onions…
Mushrooms…
Yogurt…
Eggs…
Beans…
Greens…
Berries…
Nuts
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Study: Paid sick leave can curb flu spread

(UPI) Exposure to influenza H1N1 was influenced by social determinants such as the lack of paid sick leave, U.S researchers found…
[A]fter controlling for income and education, the Hispanic population was related to a greater risk of influenza-like illness attributable to social determinants.
"Federal mandates for sick leave could have significant health impacts by reducing morbidity from -- influenza-like illness -- especially in Hispanics," the study authors said in a statement.
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Aspirin not worth risks for healthy women: study

(Reuters Health) Aspirin is a bad bargain for healthy women trying to stave off heart attacks or strokes, although it's commonly used for that purpose, according to Dutch researchers.
In a new report, they say 50 women will need to take the medication for 10 years for just one to be helped -- and that's assuming they are at high risk to begin with.
"There are very few women who actually benefit," said Dr. Jannick Dorresteijn of University Medical Center Utrecht in The Netherlands. "If you don't want to treat 49 patients for nothing to benefit one, you shouldn't treat anyone with aspirin."
The new study adds to a long-standing controversy over aspirin, one of the world's most widely used drugs.
Doctors agree it's worth taking for people who've already had a heart attack or a stroke, but they are less certain when it comes to so-called primary prevention.
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Chronic Bowel Disease Drugs Linked to Skin Cancer Risk

(HealthDay News) Some patients with inflammatory bowel disease may be at increased risk for skin cancer due to their use of immunosuppressant drugs to treat the intestinal disorder, according to the results of two new studies…
"All individuals should be protecting themselves against skin cancer," lead author Dr. Harminder Singh, of the University of Manitoba, said in the news release. "But, it is especially important that physicians stress the need to be extra vigilant about skin care with their irritable bowel disease patients, especially among those exposed to immunosuppressants such as thiopurines."
However, Singh and his colleagues added that there was only a small absolute increased risk of non-melanoma skin cancer seen in the study, which may not warrant stopping treatment with thiopurines in IBD patients who need the immunosuppressants to control their disease.
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A Genetic Factor Regulates How Long We Sleep

(Science Daily) A collaborative European study … has shown that ABCC9, a known genetic factor in heart disease and diabetes, also influences the duration of sleep in humans…
[I]ndividuals vary with respect to how much sleep they need. Indeed, sleep duration is influenced by many factors. Apart from seasonal and other variables, age and sex play a role, as does one's sleep-wake cycle or chronotype, i.e. whether one is a lark (early to bed, early to rise) or the converse, an owl. An international team of researchers … has now identified the first genetic variant that has a significant effect on sleep duration and is found frequently in the general population…
Analysis of the genetic and behavioral data revealed that individuals who had two copies of one common variant of the gene ABCC9 generally slept for a significantly shorter period in an undisturbed environment than did persons with two copies of the other version. The gene ABCC9 codes for the protein SUR2, which forms the regulatory component of a potassium channel in the cell membrane. This ion channel acts a sensor of energy metabolism in the cell. "It is particularly intriguing that functional studies have shown that the protein plays a role in the pathogenesis of heart disease and diabetes," says Dr. Karla V. Allebrandt, first author on the new study.
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Transcept's night-waking cure gets FDA nod

(Reuters) A first-of-its-kind drug for patients who face difficulty in going back to sleep after abruptly waking up in the middle of the night is expected to hit market next year, with the U.S. approval Wednesday of Transcept Pharmaceuticals' Intermezzo…
Intermezzo, chemically known as zolpidem tartrate sublingual, is a lower dose formulation of zolpidem tartrate that was approved by FDA in 1992 as Sanofi's widely-used sleeping pill Ambien.
The drug has to be placed under the tongue to let it disintegrate completely before swallowing, and is designed to be taken only in the middle of the night.
Patients must have at least four hours of bedtime remaining after its intake, Transcept said in a statement.
"You only take it when you actually need it," [Transcept Chief Executive Glenn] Oclassen said.
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Possible Therapy for Radiation Sickness Identified

(Science Daily) A combination of two drugs may alleviate radiation sickness in people who have been exposed to high levels of radiation, even when the therapy is given a day after the exposure occurred, according to a study…
Mouse studies of other potential therapies suggest they would be effective in humans only if administered within a few minutes or hours of radiation exposure, making them impractical for use in response to events involving mass casualties. In contrast, the larger time window for administering the two-drug regimen raises the prospect that it could become a mainstay of the response to public health threats such as a nuclear power plant accident or nuclear terror attack.
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What Your Hairdresser May See

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) [Hairdressers are] pretty adept at spotting signs of skin cancer on the scalp, neck and face.
When researchers surveyed more than 200 hairstylists and barbers in Houston to see how quick they were able to identify signs of cancer, they found that more than half reported having already alerted their customers about suspicious moles or lesions. The researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health decided to survey the stylists and barbers because 10 percent of melanomas - the most dangerous and potentially deadly type of skin cancer -is found on the scalp, which isn't easy for people to check on their own, and because the researchers didn't think physicians routinely check their patients' scalps for cancer.
Hairdressers and barbers, however, see their customers 10 times a year or more and are in a position to look carefully for moles and lesions on the scalp. Those surveyed in Houston expressed interest in learning more about how to detect skin cancers. 
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Could Slow Eating Be Key to Staying Slim?

(HealthDay News) [N]ew research suggests a simple way to avoid packing on holiday pounds: Eat more slowly. Heavier people eat faster than slim ones, and men chow down faster than women, two new studies find…
But can fast eaters train themselves to slow down? It's a challenge, [researchers] agreed.
"I think changing one's eating pace is not going be easy, because it seems to be a very innate characteristic," [study author Kathleen] Melanson said. But it's worth a try. "Giving food extra time in the mouth could potentially affect [how full we feel]. Let it register, so to speak, what you're eating. Let that food get to your stomach before reaching for the next bite."
Community: I’ve mentioned before Paul McKenna’s “I Can Make You Thin” program (videos of his series on TLC are available here). Here are the basics:
·         When you’re hungry, eat.
·         Eat what you want.
·         Eat mindfully.
·         Stop when you’re full.
It’s the most sensible advice I’ve ever received about eating. And I lost 5% of my body weight in a year, just by following it.
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Less Chewing Equals More Eating (And Other Food Industry Secrets)

(Mother Earth News) The following is an excerpt from The End of Overeating by David A. Kessler, M.D. (Rodale, 2009). Drawn from the latest brain science as well as interviews with top physicians and food industry insiders, The End of Overeating is a groundbreaking investigation into why we eat the way we do, and how our modern diets — highjacked by the food, restaurant and advertising industries — have contributed to our current national health crisis…
Our diet today is mostly made up of “easy calories.” According to Gail Civille, founder and president of the food industry consulting firm Sensory Spectrum, in the past Americans typically chewed a mouthful of food as many as 25 times before it was ready to be swallowed. Now the average American chews only 10 times.
In part this is because fat, which has become ubiquitous, is a lubricant. We don’t eat as much lean meat, which requires more saliva to ready it for swallowing. “We want something that’s higher in fat, marbled, and so when you eat it, it melts in your mouth,” Civille says. Food is easier to eat when it breaks down more quickly in the mouth. “If I have fat in there, I just chew it up and whoosh! Away it goes.”
John Haywood, a prominent restaurant concept designer, agreed. Processing, he said, creates a sort of “adult baby food.” By “processing” he means removing the elements in whole food — such as fiber and gristle — that are harder to chew and swallow. What results is food that doesn’t require much effort to eat. “It goes down very easy; you don’t even think much about eating it,” Haywood says.
The food consultant who told me about his industry’s secrets had much the same perspective. “We’ve gone through some kind of a metamorphosis over the years. We’ve made food very easy to get calories from.” He talked about the greater degree to which we refine foods now; an example is how we mill away the bran from brown rice and whole-wheat flour. As a result the food is “light, it’s white, it’s very easy to swallow. It doesn’t obstruct you in any way. It’s easy to get a lot of calories without a lot of chewing.”
Because this kind of food disappears down our throats so quickly after the first bite, it readily overrides the body’s signals that should tell us, “I’m full.”…
Instead of paying attention to what goes into our mouths, we’re engaged in a “shoveling process,” says Nancy Rodriguez. An expert on the sensory properties of food and head of the product development firm Food Marketing Support Services, Rodriguez asserts, “We eat to be belly filled.”
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Cheap food, big portions stymie willpower

(UPI) A U.S. researcher says willpower to keep from eating too much is stymied by larger packaging, cheap prices and big portions.
David Levitsky, professor of nutritional sciences and of psychology at Cornell University, and co-author Carly Pacanowski, a graduate student, said their review article found powerful environmental cues are subconsciously bending willpower every day.
"We're slaves to our environment," Levitsky said in a statement. "And it's not just the amount you put on your plate, but also the package size from which the food comes determines how much you will eat."
Community: We’re not slaves if we’re paying attention.
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Breaking the Overeating Habit

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Do you recognize the situations or stressors that prompt you to overeat? A study from the University of Southern California suggests a way to find out. The researchers theorized that bad eating habits can potentially be broken by focusing not on willpower or goal setting but on avoiding the common cues (such as time of day - for example, reaching for a midnight snack) that underlie the habits.
As part of their investigation, they coordinated several experiments to evaluate what cues people to eat popcorn at the movies. In the first, they recruited several hundred people, some who really liked eating popcorn at the movies, some who occasionally did, and some who didn’t care. Half the participants received a bag of freshly popped corn and half received a bag of stale popcorn. The researchers found that habitual popcorn eaters ate the stale stuff while the others didn’t.
When they changed the setting to remove the “at the movies” cue, and served a second group of study participants stale popcorn in a meeting room while they watched a film, even habitual popcorn fans didn’t eat it. And when a third group of participants went to the movies and received fresh or stale popcorn and were told to eat only with their non-dominant hand, nobody ate the stale stuff. The possible cue here was the "mindless" reaching.
The upshot of all this is that you may be able to break bad eating habits, if you identify and eliminate the cues that prompt overeating. Learn more about compulsive overeating.
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Think Yourself Thin: Craving Control Is All in Your Head

(RealAge.com) Imagine this: You've been losing some extra pounds (way to go!), but then you get a killer craving for, say, a chocolate-coconut doughnut -- 550 calories of sugar and fat. You can't stop thinking about that doughnut, right? What to do?
Lucky you. You've already got the solution. Keep thinking hard and long about that doughnut (or pizza or double-dip cone). Presto, you're back in control. (Check out other ways your mind can keep you fit and young.)
That's right. People in a new study who imagined themselves eating craved treats (like M&M's) 30 times ate less of that food later than people who visualized eating it only 3 times or who mentally focused on eating something else entirely. (That's a good tip -- want more?)
Why does this work? You know how that tenth bite of chocolate mousse just isn't as sensuous as the first? Still good, but it's starting to feel like you've had enough. Well, the same thing seems to happen when you simply imagine you're eating the food, only without racking up all those calories and fat.
Imagination is a powerful too. It can actually change your body. Top pro athletes have successfully used visualization techniques for years. In one study, people who simply imagined working a muscle were able to bulk it up as effectively as those who actually lifted weights! (Get in the mood to shape up and slim down -- visit our Workout Center.)
The next time a craving hits, try it. Sit down, relax, and see yourself eating every mouthful of that hot fudge sundae, over and over. By the thirtieth rewind, we bet you're over it. Imagine that!
Community: There are many other things you can do to increase impulse control.
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5 Tricks to Fight Food Cravings

(RealAge.com) We know weight loss isn't as simple as "eat less and exercise more." (If it were, you wouldn't be reding this, and we wouldn't have written YOU: On a Diet, which is about dieting smart, not dieting hard.) You need ways to get over the humps, around the cravings, and through the temptation to binge.
Practice mindful meditation. Spend just 7 minutes a day focusing on recognizing, accepting, and experiencing your cravings rather than trying to ignore or suppress them…
Get on your feet. Especially if you're craving chocolate. A quick walk will curb even major chocoholic cravings in just 15 minutes. It works by stimulating feel-good brain chemicals and feeding your spirit.
Hit the mute button and do sit-ups – or [step in place] -- when commercials come on. You'll switch off cravings, too. Adults (and kids) eat more snack foods after watching TV shows loaded with food ads.
Try yoga. Aside from making you stronger, suppler, and calmer, yoga helps you tune in to your appetite and recognize whether you're actually hungry or just bored. Do this simple sun salutation series for a nice workout.
Have that little cookie you can't stop thinking about. Sometimes, trying to stifle a craving makes it grow so intense that, when you finally cave, you eat the whole bag. Yep, having one little banana-oatmeal-walnut cookie now may save you from having 30 later. Don't beat yourself up. Relish it. Take a small bite, savor the taste, have another bite. Thoroughly enjoy it. Then move on.
Community: You can train yourself in mindfulness meditation using an audio CD made by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., the founder and director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center And there are many other ways to increase impulse control.
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5 Bizarre Weight Loss Tricks That Work

(Reader's Digest) 1. Sniff a banana, apple, or peppermint
You might feel silly, but it works. When Dr Alan R. Hirsch of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago tried this with 3,000 volunteers, he found that the more frequently people sniffed, the less hungry they were and the more weight they lost – an average of 30 lb each. One theory is that sniffing the food tricks the brain into thinking you're actually eating it. -- Five Minute Fixes (Reader's Digest Association Books)
2. Hang a mirror opposite your seat at the table.
One study found that eating in front of mirrors slashed the amount people ate by nearly one-third. Seems having to look yourself in the eye reflects back some of your own inner standards and goals, and reminds you of why you’re trying to lose weight in the first place.  --Five Minute Fixes (Reader's Digest Association Books)
3. Surround yourself with blue
There’s a good reason you won’t see many fast-food restaurants decorated in blue: Believe it or not, the color blue functions as an appetite suppressant. So serve up dinner on blue plates, dress in blue while you eat, and cover your table with a blue tablecloth. Conversely, avoid red, yellow, and orange in your dining areas. Studies find they encourage eating.  -- Five Minute Fixes (Reader's Digest Association Books)
4. Shoot your food
Rather than writing down every morsel, take a picture of it, and file the photos on your phone or computer by date. A visual account of your consumption may help you curb your intake. “Snapping photos and then looking back at them can make people stop and think before indulging,” nutritionist Joan Salge Blake says. It needn’t be a big production: your cell phone will do. Think about it: there you are at the salad bar, making a plate of vegetables. Don’t pat yourself on the back quite yet, though. A simple snapshot of your heaping dish may “show your extra helping of cheese or deep-fried croutons,” Joan cautions. A visual reminder might be just enough to give you pause next time before you ladle on the blue cheese dressing. -- Joan is a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Find other healthy eating tips in her book, Nutrition & You.
5. Tie yourself up
You could try fitness guru Valerie Orsoni’s “Le Petit Secret”: “A number of French women wear a ribbon around their waist and underneath their clothes when they go out for dinner. It keeps them conscious of the tummy—particularly if the ribbon starts to feel tighter as the evening goes on!”
Community: There are many other things you can do to increase impulse control.
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An Easier Way to Monitor Food Intake, Exercise, and Lifestyle

(Science Daily) People attempting to lose weight won't need to track their daily food intake anymore, thanks to a wearable, picture-taking device created at the University of Pittsburgh. eButton -- a device worn on the chest (like a pin) that contains a miniature camera, accelerometer, GPS, and other sensors -- captures data and information of health activities, eliminating the need for daily self-reporting…
The eButton's reporting extends even further than food and exercise: It can determine the amount of time wearers spend watching TV or sitting in front of a computer screen and how much time they spend outdoors. It tracks where food is bought, how meals are prepared, which restaurants are visited, and what items are ordered. The device analyzes how long the wearer spends eating, what foods and beverages are consumed, and how the wearer interacts with family or friends at the dining table. According to [lead investigator Mingui] Sun, all of these factors determine participants' caloric intake and expenditure.
"This multidimensional approach looks at the overall health of eButton wearers, which is more important than just food and exercise alone," said Sun. "We have to take into account how people live, not only what they eat or how they exercise at the gym."
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Looking to Lose Weight? Get a 'Coach'

(HealthDay News) Dieters appear to do better if they have either a "coach" or intensive weight-loss counseling, two different studies suggest.
Even if that coach helps out by phone, with no face-to-face contact, it can translate to more weight loss, the experts found. Either approach results in more weight loss than going solo.
Weight-loss support and education delivered over the phone or a website, [Dr. Lawrence Appel] said, was effective. "We don't discourage in-person," Appel said. "Going in, we thought it would be the best intervention." The researchers found otherwise. "Given their druthers, the people said, 'I prefer not to come in,' 'I prefer to use the phone, the Internet.'"
[In one study, those] in the enhanced lifestyle group were more likely to drop 5 percent of their starting weight, according to the report.
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Overweight people eat fewer meals than others

(Reuters Health) Normal weight adults, including those who had lost a lot of weight and kept it off, ate more often than overweight people in a new study looking at factors that may help in preventing weight gain.
Researchers following about 250 people for a year found that overweight individuals ate fewer snacks in addition to meals than people in the normal body weight range, but the overweight still took in more calories and they were less active over the course of the day.
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Fat Joe tells how he’s dropped 100 pounds

(Billboard) Fat Joe has slimmed down. The rapper, who says he once tipped the scales at 460 pounds, told CNN that he’s lost 100 pounds and counting…
The impetus for the lifestyle change first came in 2000, when fellow MC Big Pun died from a heart attack. In the last year, he told CNN, six of his friends — all around his weight — died of heart attacks…
He’s since hit the gym and changed his eating habits, eating healthier foods and smaller portions more frequently. The weight loss has led to other health benefits, as well.
“I was diabetic for 16 years,” he revealed. “Being that I lost weight, no more diabetes.”
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Study: Chewing sugar-free gum has no big effect on weight loss

(Los Angeles Times) [A] recent online study … finds that chewing gum daily may have no effect on losing weight.
The eight-week study included 201 overweight or obese adults, about half of whom were randomly put in an intervention group and told to chew gum daily for at least 90 minutes at specific times throughout the day. The others were part of a control group that did not chew gum. Both groups were given nutritional information and told to continue their regular activity programs.
By the end of the study there were no significant changes in weight or body mass index in either group. Waist circumference and blood pressure decreased slightly in both groups, but by about the same amount.
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Recipes

Healthy Ideas for Thanksgiving Leftovers
If you roasted a turkey for Thanksgiving and have turkey leftovers, try our one our healthy recipes for turkey leftovers. Whether you’re in the mood for turkey soup, a turkey salad or a shepherd’s pie made with turkey, try one of our healthy leftover turkey recipes for an easy dinner tonight.
Thanksgiving leftovers can be healthy meals
Like most Americans, you will probably have a refrigerator full of Thanksgiving leftovers this weekend. Turn that Thanksgiving feast into several other meals and sides that will both satisfy your family and prevent waste!
New Life for Holiday Leftovers
Looking for new ways to use your holiday leftovers? Check out these satisfying dishes, starting with latkes. Latkes are often made with shredded potatoes, but these vegetable and dill-flavored potato cakes are made with mashed potatoes. The recipe gives instruction for making the mashed potatoes, but if you have some in the refrigerator, just add the zucchini and leek to what you have.
7 Ways With Leftover Turkey
The day after Thanksgiving just got tastier. Reinvent leftover turkey in these casseroles, quesadillas, pizzas, and more.
Thanksgiving Countdown: Leftovers
Oklahoma dietitian Becky Varner offers tips for safe handling of leftovers, then shares a healthy, delicious recipe for making soup from Thanksgiving leftovers.
Creative Ways To Re-Invent Thanksgiving Leftovers
Here are some idea for your extra turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans and sweet potatoes.
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Choline-rich diet tied to sharper memory

(Reuters Health) People who get plenty of choline in their diets may perform better on memory tests, and be less likely to show brain changes associated with dementia, a new study suggests.
The study can only point to a correlation between memory and dietary choline -- a nutrient found in foods like saltwater fish, eggs, liver, chicken, milk and certain legumes, including soy and kidney beans.
The findings, researchers say, do not mean that choline is the answer to staving off Alzheimer's disease -- the memory-robbing disease that affects 26 million people globally.
But the findings do add to evidence that your lifetime diet may make a difference in how your brain ages, said senior researcher Rhoda Au.
Community: I'm keeping a list of things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the symptoms of cognitive decline.
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New Strategy Could Lead to Dose Reduction in X-Ray Imaging

(Science Daily) For more than a century, the use of X-rays has been a prime diagnostic tool when it comes to human health. As it turns out, X-rays also are a crucial component for studying and understanding molecules, and a new approach-just published by researchers at the University of Georgia-may dramatically improve what researchers can learn using the technique…
[The team] has shown for the first time that by using multiple data sets, each under-exposed simultaneously, one can produce a composite data set that may give three to five times better signal levels than standard techniques for structural analysis. This new technique is particularly better than standard procedures when it comes to studying large molecules, many of which are important in drug development and other important processes…
While the new technique could one day be important in breakthroughs in medicine and human health, the immediate impact is that it will allow researchers to study large molecules with greater depth and understanding by avoiding the use of too much X-ray radiation that would destroy the sample.
Community: Let’s hope the researchers can adapt these findings to X-rays of human body parts.
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1st Artificial Windpipe Made With Stem Cells Seems Successful

(HealthDay News) A 36-year-old husband and father of two children with an inoperable tumor in his trachea (windpipe) has received the world's first artificial trachea made with stem cells…
The artificial trachea was custom-made using three-dimensional imaging. First, a glass model was built to help shape an artificial scaffold. Stem cells were then inserted into the scaffold to create a functioning airway, the authors explained…
The scientists said their technique is an improvement over other methods because they used the patient's own cells to create the airway so there is no risk of rejection and the patient does not have to take immunosuppressive drugs.
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Four Common Meds Send Thousands of Seniors to Hospital: CDC

(HealthDay News) An estimated 100,000 older Americans are hospitalized for adverse drug reactions yearly, and most of those emergencies stem from four common medications, a new study finds.
The four types of medication -- two for diabetes and two blood-thinning agents -- account for two-thirds of those drug-related emergency hospitalizations…
"These are often critical medicines for patients' health," [lead study author Dr. Daniel Budnitz] said. "Patients who are on these medicines should tell all their doctors what they are taking and work together with their doctors and pharmacist to make sure that they are taking these medicines correctly."…
To reduce risks, [Dr. Michael Steinman, who is familiar with the research,] said doctors and patients need to discuss whether the drug is truly necessary. For people with very high blood pressure or blood sugar, "the answer is almost always 'yes,' you should treat it," Steinman said. "But if you have only mildly elevated blood pressure or blood sugar, the benefits of treating it versus the harms start to shift. Do these drugs really provide enough benefit that it's worth taking them?"
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Costly U.S. health system delivers uneven care: OECD

(Reuters) The U.S. healthcare system is more effective at delivering high costs than quality care, according to a new study that found first-rate treatment for cancer but insufficient primary care for other ailments.
The study, released on Wednesday by the 34-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD, said Americans pay more than $7,900 per person for healthcare each year -- far more than any other OECD country -- but still die earlier than their peers in the industrialized world.
The cost of healthcare in the United States is 62 percent higher than that in Switzerland, which has a similar per capita income and also relies substantially on private health insurance.
Meanwhile, Americans receive comparatively little actual care, despite sky-high prices driven by expensive tests and procedures. They also spend more tax money on healthcare than most other countries, the study showed…
[Mark Pearson, head of the OECD health division,] said one reason prices are higher in the United States is that the healthcare system lacks what other countries have: an effective government mechanism that acts to keep prices down.
"That's simply not there in the U.S. system. So it's a structural defect," he said.
Community: There’s a very simple solution— single payer insurance, where the government insurance provides health care services only through prestigious nonprofit HMOs like Mayo Clinic and Kaiser Permanente.
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