Consider These Cases

Mrs. Lin, a 40-year-old working mother, has been following several popular television shows discussing health and lifestyle. She has struggled with obesity for 8-10 years, trying several fad diets but adhering to each for no more than 2-4 months. She has found dieticians to be unhelpful for her busy life, which includes 3 children under 10 years of age. Her exercise consists mainly of daily walking for 1-2 miles.

Her body mass index (BMI) is 31 kg/m2 (normal, 18.5-24.9 kg/m2; obese ≥ 30 kg/m2); this is an improvement from 3 years ago, when it was 35 kg/m2. A recent medical work-up showed normal thyroid function, a low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level of 150 mg/dL (optimal < 100 mg/dL; borderline high, 130-159 mg/dL), a high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level of 40 mg/dL (low < 50 mg/dL for women), and a normal triglyceride level. Mrs. Lin asks whether you can prescribe human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) injections for weight loss or if she should obtain it over the Internet. Continue reading

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Couple’s 500-pound weight loss just one success story

Two years ago, Angela and Willie Gillis decided they were ready for a healthier lifestyle. Through diet changes and daily exercise they lost a combined 500 pounds.

CNN readers were inspired by the Gillises’ story, posting more than 1,000 encouraging comments for the couple. They also showed that weight loss success stories come in all shapes and sizes.

Seems our readers are doing their part to make America a Fit Nation.

“AWESOME! So inspiring!” Holly Jean Paquin Michels posted on the story. “My husband and I (along with another couple) are 3 months into our own transformation and have both lost almost 40 pounds. I love that your love for one another shines through in your commitment to this great challenge! That’s how we are conquering it too. Congratulations!” Continue reading

Excerpt: Stranger Here: How Weight-Loss Surgery Transformed My Body and Messed with My Head

At work, clients sent us huge gift baskets of chocolates or donuts or gourmet banana bread. Women with their glossy hair and their expensive shoes and tiny pants, men in their tight polo shirts and skinny jeans and shiny belts, they all brought salads for lunch in stacks of Tupperware containers for maximum freshness. Account directors and project managers and studio people –they’d carefully assemble their salads on a large glass plate, add a sprinkle of flaxseeds, and set a small dish of fat-free vinaigrette on the side of the plate, while at their elbow would be a three-foot chocolate Easter bunny. They’d turn and march out of the kitchen without even looking at the city block worth of dark gourmet chocolate staring at them. Continue reading

Microbes Affect Weight Loss

Surgically bypassing the stomach is not the only reason that patients undergoing such a procedure quickly begin to drop pounds. Changes to the microbial make-up of their intestines also play a big role, according to a paper published inScience Translational Medicine today (March 27). The results suggest that tweaking a person’s gut microbes to mimic the effects of bypass treatment might, one day, be an effective means of losing weight without the need for surgery.

“What they’ve shown in this paper is that gastric bypass has an effect on the bacteria of the intestine, and that if you take those bacteria and transplant them into another mouse [that hasn’t had surgery] . . . that mouse [also] loses weight, which is amazing,” said Louis Aronne, a professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, who was not involved in the study.

Obesity can be accompanied by an array of life-threatening complications such as diabetes and heart disease. But, as many people will attest to, losing weight can be a real struggle. Continue reading

Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts Announce Customized Weight Loss Corporate Wellness Programs

Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts announced the availability of a Corporate Wellness weight loss program to help American businesses combat what is a frightening trend among employees.

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States during the past 20 years and about one-third of US adults are now obese. No state had an obesity level of less than 20 percent, with 36 states indicating levels above 25 percent.

Individuals who are overweight tend to be unhealthy people and, as corporations are learning, that can negatively impact a company’s bottom line. Sky-high medical premiums are only one of the problems; absenteeism, on-the-job efficiency and employee morale are also affected.

Employers are now expected to create safe work environments, improve employee health and implement strategies to meet the health standards set by local and state regulatory agencies. The Corporate Wellness program can be customized to meet these goals and the fitness experts at Shane stand ready to help companies tailor such wellness programs to their corporate culture. Continue reading

BMI of Texas Now Offering Robot-Assisted Weight Loss Surgery

BMI of Texas weight loss surgeons Dr. Terive Duperier and Dr. Mickey Seger are now offering da Vinci robot-assisted weight loss surgery, which makes BMI of Texas one of the few bariatric surgical centers in Texas using the most advanced techniques to perform bariatric surgery.

The Bariatric Medical Institute of Texas (BMI of Texas), which specializes in a variety of weight loss surgery procedures in Texas, today announced it is now offering da Vinci robot-assisted weight loss surgery. This addition makes BMI of Texas one of the few bariatric surgical centers in Texas using the most advanced techniques to perform bariatric surgery.

The robotically-assisted minimally invasive method, the da Vinci Surgical System, works as an extension of the surgeon, translating the surgeon’s hand movements into precise micro-movements. Offering high-resolution, 3D visibility and improved accuracy, the surgeons say it is an improvement from traditional and laparoscopic weight loss surgeries. Continue reading

Workplaces can be good weight-loss sites, researchers say

Weight-loss programs at work can help people shave pounds and keep them off, researchers said in a new report.

Among the people who signed up for a six-month program at two Boston-area workplaces, the average weight loss was more than 17 pounds; among the control group, people gained an average of about 2 pounds, the researchers said in the April issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“Worksites have the potential to become a central element in national efforts to reduce obesity because the majority of adults work and worksites offer naturally occurring social groups that, in theory, could facilitate weight control, the researchers from Tufts University and Massachusetts General Hospital wrote. Continue reading

Major weight loss tied to microbes

Scientists at Harvard may have new hope for people struggling with obesity.

A study conducted in collaboration with researchers at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital hints at a future where doctors could deliver the weight-loss benefits of gastric bypass surgery without the surgery. In a study described in a March 27 paper in Science Translational Medicine, researchers found that the surgery caused drastic changes to microbes in the guts of mice. When those microbes were transferred into the guts of sterile mice, the result was rapid weight loss.

“Simply by colonizing mice with the altered microbial community, the mice were able to maintain a lower body fat, and lose weight — about 20 percent as much as they would if they underwent surgery,” said Peter Turnbaugh, a Bauer Fellow at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ Center for Systems Biology, and one of two senior authors of the paper. Continue reading

Bacteria in the Intestines May Help Tip the Bathroom Scale, Studies Show

The research also suggests that a popular weight-loss operation, gastric bypass, which shrinks the stomach and rearranges the intestines, seems to work in part by shifting the balance of bacteria in the digestive tract. People who have the surgery generally lose 65 percent to 75 percent of their excess weight, but scientists have not fully understood why. Now, the researchers are saying that bacterial changes may account for 20 percent of the weight loss.

The findings mean that eventually, treatments that adjust the microbe levels, or “microbiota,” in the gut may be developed to help people lose weight without surgery, said Dr. Lee M. Kaplan, director of the obesity, metabolism and nutrition institute at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and an author of a study published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine.

Not everyone who hopes to lose weight wants or needs surgery to do it, he said. About 80 million people in the United States are obese, but only 200,000 a year have bariatric operations.

“There is a need for other therapies,” Dr. Kaplan said. “In no way is manipulating the microbiota going to mimic all the myriad effects of gastric bypass. But if this could produce 20 percent of the effects of surgery, it will still be valuable.”

In people, microbial cells outnumber human ones, and the new studies reflect a growing awareness of the crucial role played by the trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms that live in their own ecosystem in the gut. Perturbations there can have profound and sometimes devastating effects. Continue reading

Psychological acupuncture helps reduce food cravings, lose weight

A bit of psychological acupuncture might help you to reduce your food cravings and lose weight, according to a Gold Coast-based Bond University researcher.

Clinical psychologist Dr Peta Stapleto’s new weight-loss method uses needle-free stimulation of pressure points, The Courier-Mail reported.

Known scientifically as Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), or psychological acupuncture, the practice involves tapping pressure points on the body while a person concentrates on not giving in to temptation.

Dr Stapleton said food and weight issues were usually “deeply emotional and rarely physiological”.

“Many current weight loss programs don’t place emphasis on the psychological element of addictive behaviour. In fact, the more time that elapses between the end of a diet and the follow-up, the more weight is regained,” the paper quoted her as saying. Continue reading