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If the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has its way, artificial trans fats will soon be disappearing from the American diet. And for good reason. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reducing trans fat consumption by avoiding artificial trans fats could prevent 10,000 to 20,000 heart attacks and 3,000 to 7,000 coronary heart disease deaths each year in the United States.... Read Full Story
Trans fats are made by adding hydrogen to vegetable oils. “The hydrogenation of oils increase their shelf life and makes them behave more like butter,” explains metabolic disease expert Henry Pownall, Ph.D. “But we have much better storage conditions in the U.S. now, so this once-useful property is no longer needed. Also, a ban would be a relatively low burden on the companies that manufacture them.”
Pownall says that while some people consume too many trans fatty acids, the evidence is unclear about whether moderate consumption is safe. A ban on artificial trans fatty acids wouldn't necessarily mean the chemicals will disappear from our diets. A small amount of natural trans fatty acids can be found in the tissues of cows, sheep and goats.
Standing Up for Americans’ Health
“I completely agree with the FDA’s decision,” says Dr. Joshua Septimus, an internist and clinical lipidologist with Houston Methodist Hospital, who doesn’t believe the FDA is being overly cautious. “I applaud the government for making a tough choice and standing up for Americans’ health rather than the vested interests of the processed food industry. Previous labeling of partially hydrogenated oils as ‘presumed to be safe’ is simply false. We know they cause heart disease, [which is] the leading cause of death in the United States. In fact, this is no different from banning a poison from food. Individuals may not die right away from trans fats, but as our understanding of the compounds has expanded, so has our realization that they slowly poison our arteries.”
Artificial trans fats, which are found in a wide range of foods including donuts, processed and packaged baked goods, microwavable popcorn and canned frosting, have been well documented to do only bad things in the body and are strongly linked to poor lipid levels and poor cardiovascular outcomes, explains Kristen Van Sickel, a registered dietician based in Houston, Texas. “In light of what we already know of trans fats and their clearly documented detrimental effects, I think the FDA’s ban would be a positive step towards changing the face of obesity,” she said.
Trans fatty acids have similar properties as saturated fats in that they both increase LDL “bad” cholesterol if consumed in excessive quantities. High LDL can be associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
"While there is some debate about whether saturated fats are as bad as once was believed," says Dr. Natalie Digate Muth, Senior Health Strategist for the American Council on Exercise, "everyone agrees that consumption of trans fats provides zero health benefits and serious health risks." She also notes that people are unlikely to notice the absence of trans fats from their diets.
“The FDA's ban on trans fat is a perfect example of how a public health intervention can help save lives,” Digate Muth says. "By decreasing availability of such a clearly dangerous food, the health of all Americans benefits."
Obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the United States in the past 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The growing rate of childhood obesity is a major health concern since overweight and obese youth are at increased risk of developing several diseases once considered reserved for adults. These new pediatric diseases include ty... Read Full Storype-2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition in which fat builds up in the liver, potentially impairing its function over time.
Although both diet and exercise have been considered as first lines to treat childhood obesity, SoJung Lee of the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and her colleagues recently showed that when obese adolescent boys increased physical activity alone, they improved several markers of health. These include reducing total fat, fat packed around organs in the abdomen (known as visceral fat, a risk factor for diabetes), and liver fat, and improving fitness of their heart and lungs.
To see if physical activity might work in the same way for obese adolescent girls, Lee and her colleagues performed a new study that compared the health effects of two different types of exercise -- aerobic exercise and weight lifting -- over three months to remaining sedentary. Although their results show beneficial effects for both types of exercise, the researchers found that girls who performed aerobic exercise, but not weight lifting, had significant reductions in visceral fat and liver fat, as well as improvements in insulin sensitivity, another risk factor for diabetes that's linked with obesity.
The article is entitled "Aerobic Exercise But Not Resistance Exercise Reduces Intrahepatic Lipid Content and Visceral Fat and Improves Insulin Sensitivity in Obese Adolescent Girls." It appears in the online edition of the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, published by the American Physiological Society.
The researchers recruited 44 obese girls between 12 and 18 years old. They separated these volunteers into three groups. One group was assigned to perform 60 minutes of aerobic exercise three days a week for three months, either running on a treadmill or using an elliptical trainer. A second group was assigned to perform the same amount of resistance exercise, but instead participated in aerobic exercise program, doing 10 whole body resistance exercises using weight machines over the course of each hour-long session. A third group was asked not to participate in any structured physical activity program over the course of the study. Before the exercise programs began, all the study participants had a detailed physical exam, which included measuring their total fat, visceral fat, liver fat, and fat embedded in their muscles through various noninvasive means. The researchers also measured the volunteers' insulin sensitivity, a risk factor for diabetes, as well as basic health measures including weight and physical fitness.
The researchers found that those in both exercise groups had less total fat and intramuscular fat by the end of the three-month study period compared to the sedentary group. However, the two exercise groups differed significantly in other measures. Overall, those in the aerobic exercise group lost visceral and liver fat and improved their insulin sensitivity, but those in the other groups didn't.
Importance of the Findings
These findings suggest that for teen girls, aerobic exercise might be superior to resistance exercise for cutting health risks associated with obesity. They also note that, anecdotally, girls in the aerobic exercise group seemed to enjoy their workouts more than those in the resistance exercise group, an opposite sentiment from the obese boys in their previous study.
"Therefore, given the superior improvements in metabolic health with aerobic exercise and the enjoyment factor, we propose that aerobic exercise may be a better mode of exercise for adolescent girls of this age group," they write.
The above story is based on materials provided by American Physiological Society.
Many kids don't run as far or fast as their parents did, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2013.
The decline in running fitness may indicate worse health in adulthood, the researchers said.
"If a young person is generally unfit now, then they are more likely to develop conditions like heart disease later in life," said Gr... Read Full Storyant Tomkinson, Ph.D., lead author of the study and senior lecturer in the University of South Australia's School of Health Sciences.
"Young people can be fit in different ways. They can be strong like a weightlifter, or flexible like a gymnast, or skillful like a tennis player. But not all of these types of fitness relate well to health. The most important type of fitness for good health is cardiovascular fitness, which is the ability to exercise vigorously for a long time, like running multiple laps around an oval track."
Researchers analyzed 50 studies on running fitness between 1964 and 2010 that involved more than 25 million kids, ages 9 to 17, in 28 countries. They gauged cardiovascular endurance by how far kids could run in a set time or how long it took to run a set distance. Tests typically lasted five to 15 minutes or covered a half-mile to two miles.
Cardiovascular endurance declined significantly within the 46 years, the researchers found. Average changes were similar between boys and girls, younger and older kids, and across different regions, although they varied country to country.
The study is the first to show that kids' cardiovascular fitness has declined around the globe since about 1975:
• In the United States, kids' cardiovascular endurance fell an average 6 percent per decade between 1970 and 2000.
• Across nations, endurance has declined consistently by about 5 percent every decade.
• Kids today are roughly 15 percent less fit from a cardiovascular standpoint than their parents were as youngsters.
• In a mile run, kids today are about a minute and a half slower than their peers 30 years ago.
Declines in cardiovascular endurance performance are probably caused by social, behavioral, physical, psychosocial and physiological factors, Tomkinson said.
Country-by-country fitness findings are mirrored in measurements of overweight/obesity and body fat, suggesting one factor may cause the other. "In fact, about 30 percent to 60 percent of the declines in endurance running performance can be explained by increases in fat mass," Tomkinson said.
Kids should engage in at least 60 minutes of daily activities that use the body's big muscles, such as running, swimming or cycling, he said.
"We need to help to inspire children and youth to develop fitness habits that will keep them healthy now and into the future," Tomkinson said. "They need to choose a range of physical activities they like or think they might like to try, and they need to get moving."
Simi Valley, Calif.—An average adult will eat 3,000 calories in one Thanksgiving meal according to the American Council on Exercise. Add in before-meal snacks and drinks (especially alcoholic beverages) and one could easily consume over 4,000 calories on Thanksgiving. To help Simi Valley residents rid themselves of the extra calories, the Simi Valley Family YMCA is hosting its sixth annual “Turke... Read Full Storyy Burn Off,” Thursday, November 29.
Participants can take part in a series of 30-minute, group exercise classes from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. with new classes starting every half hour. The classes include indoor cycling, PiYo (a blend of Pilates and yoga), muscle conditioning, aerobics and ab/core exercises. The classes are designed for all fitness levels and are free to the public.
“Some people see the day after Thanksgiving as a time to shop. Each year, several hundred people use the day after Thanksgiving to come to the Y and burn off all the extra calories they consumed the day before,” says Mitch McManus, healthy living and sports director at the Simi Y. “It’s a healthy start to the holiday season. Participants can take one class or all of the classes offered.”
For more information, call the Simi Y at 805-583-5338. The Simi Y is located at 3200 Cochran Street in Simi Valley.
In an effort to raise awareness about Sonoma County’s homeless children population, the Fit Body Boot Camp in Santa Rosa has just announced the launch of their annual “Coats for Kids” clothing drive benefiting the local charity, ‘The Living Room’.
Starting now until Tuesday, December 31st, Santa Rosa Fit Body Bootcamp will collect brand new, child-sized winter coats (not used or gently... Read Full Story used) at their studio at 526 7th Street, Santa Rosa. Non-members of the Santa Rosa bootcamp who donate new winter coats will receive 21 days of results-driven fitness training and accountability to shed unwanted pounds for the upcoming holidays.
All coats collected through Santa Rosa Fit Body Bootcamp’s “Coats for Kids” clothing drive will be donated to the local day center called ‘The Living Room’, whose mission is to provide services and a safe place for women and children without homes to go during daytime hours, when overnight shelters are usually closed.
Santa Rosa Fit Body Bootcamp owners, local health and fitness experts Katie Switzer and Dallas Wicker, say they were inspired to sponsor “Coats for Kids” because there isn’t enough attention devoted to Sonoma County’s homeless children population.
According to recent data, nearly one in three people without homes in Sonoma County are under the age of 25.
Wicker says, “With cold winter weather looming, underprivileged children need our help. With the backing of this wonderful community, we hope to able to give dozens of coats to local area children to help them stay warm this winter season!”
Located at 526 7th Street, Santa Rosa, CA, 95401, Santa Rosa Fit Body Bootcamp is open six days a week with multiple session times to accommodate the busy lives of the Santa Rosa community and its surrounding cities.
For more information, visit www.fitbodybootcamp.com/santarosafitnessbootcamp.
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