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Want to avoid gaining weight? Get more fiber!
We all know that losing weight by simply eating less can be a bit of a challenge. Researchers have been studying the effects of different elements of foods with the goal of finding ways for people to lose weight more successfully. Fiber intake has been associated with weight loss in some studies, but none of those studies looked at the effects of fruit and vegetable intake, which are also good sources of fiber.
Reducing Weight Gain for Frequent Restaurant Eaters
In the busy world we live in, it can be tough to avoid eating out because it's just so darn convenient. Unfortunately, restaurant portion sizes can be two, three or even four times standard portion sizes (or more), and you know what that means: eating too many calories, which in turn leads to weight gain.
More Caffeine, Less Weight Gain?
Those men who drank an additional cup and a half of coffee per day gained a little less than half a kilogram less weight, while women who drank a single additional cup per day gained slightly less than the men. Interestingly, those who drank more decaffeinated coffee seemed to gain weight.
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The link between higher Body Mass Index and diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease is well established. Researchers are now also looking at how age might factor into the equation. As part of a large study in Europe known as the EPIC - Potsdam study, researchers have looked at how change in BMI might affect the risk of having Type 2 Diabetes later in life (AJCN 2006;(2)84:427-433).
In a review of about 18,000 participants between the ages of 40 and 65 (7,720 men and 10,371 women), the researchers wanted to see if weight gain between the age of 25 and 40 was a more significant factor in a later diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. Baseline measurements, including blood samples, height, weight and body fat, were taken as well as information on health conditions. Questionnaires were administered along with personal interviews regarding diet and lifestyle. Similar follow up data was collected 7 years later, including their present health status.
There were two interesting findings when the results were analyzed. The first was that weight gain between the ages of 25 and 40 results in a greater chance of Type 2 diabetes later in life. This early weight gain had more of an impact than an increase in BMI between the ages of 40 and 55.
For instance, those men with weight loss or stable weight earlier and severe weight gain later had about 4 times the risk of diabetes of those with stable weight throughout their lives. If there was severe weight gain both before and after age 40, the risk was 23 times as high. There were similar results for women.
Losing weight or remaining stable between 40 and 55 did help some with lowering the risk of getting diabetes when compared to those who gained a moderate or severe amount. The other finding was that weight gain between 25 and 40 resulted in an earlier onset of diabetes when compared to those with stable weight before the age of 40.
The time is now. It's never too early to make significant changes in diet and exercise. It's never too late either. Start by considering changes known to help, like those in a Mediterranean style diet.
First posted: August 15, 2006