A recent study published by researchers at Yale University tested children responses to healthier (low sugar cereal, fruit, low fat milk) versus unhealthy (high sugar cereal) breakfasts. Children who ate the healthy breakfast reported the same enjoyment as the unhealthy breakfast, and those eating the healthy breakfast consumed less cereal, less refined sugar, and more fresh fruit.
Researchers at the George Washington University published a unique analysis of the financial costs of weight gain and obesity from an individual perspective. Their report considers numerous costs associated with obesity, including medical care, absenteeism from work, lost productivity, and even the need for extra gasoline, to calculate the financial burden that persons with obesity face.
A recent study published in Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise and described in the New York Times adds further evidence that relatively minimal amounts of physical activity offer large health benefits. In the study, researchers showed that exercising just once a week may be enough for athletes to sustain past health gains. This study furthers past research that shows small amounts of exercise - whether in athletes or non-athletes - can provide significant health benefits, without taking too much time.
A large advertising campaign to encourage families, and particularly children, to eat more healthily and be more active was launched last week by the English government as part of a three year program that aims to achieve a “lifestyle revolution” to halt the growing epidemic of obesity.
Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts is expected to announce an anti-obesity campaign that will include required calorie labeling on restaurant menus. The initiative will also call for public schools to measure heights and weights of students to determine if overweight. The initiative will be voted on next Fall by the Public Health Council, a board of doctors, consumer advocates, and medical leaders.
Leptin, the hormone made by fat cells that was discovered in 1995 but as yet has not proven to have significant clinical uses, appears to induce mice to lose weight. Researchers at Children’s Hospital of Boston report that leptin may be useful if used alongside other drugs that sensitize the brain to leptin’s effects.