Data from the National Weight Control Registry, a database tracking 3,200 formerly obese people who lost weight without drugs, indicate that there is no single "magic" diet that will ensure weight loss. However, all successful dieters reduced intake of fats, especially saturated fats, and regularly engaged in moderate-intensity physical exercise.
The food and beverage industry spends on the order of $30 billion each year on advertising for processed convenience foods, far outstripping public health funds allocated for obesity prevention. For the most part, their message is "Eat more." According to author Marion Nestle, medicine must reckon with the realities of food industry economics in order to have any impact on the obesity problem.
To investigate the health impact of fast food, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock subjected himself to 30-days on an all-McDonald's diet. A team of three physicians tracked the physiologic changes that occurred. Spurlock gained 25 pounds, his cholesterol soared and his liver enzymes underwent shocking changes, all of which are well documented on film.
Recently, the Big Yellow Clown said "Bye-bye" to his longstanding habit of "supersizing," and "Hello" to a new series of adult "Go Active Happy Meals." But a closer look at those supposedly healthy alternatives reveal some facts that are hard to swallow.
Even mild elevations in blood and tissue acid levels may have detrimental effects over the long term. A growing body of research indicates that hyper-acidity, due largely to over-consumption of foods that are metabolized into acidic compounds, can contribute to osteoporosis, arthritis and inflammatory disease. A guide on how to shift diet toward alkalinizing foods, and a look at supplements that can help reverse acidic stress.
Teaching children to "clean their plates," and "eat every last bite," made a lot of sense in times of want. In the era of supersized meals full of saturated fat, sugar and salt, it is a set-up for obesity. Interestingly, human infants have an innate capacity to regulate food intake based on energy need, but as they grow, they're taught to eat more than they really need.
There's a lot physicians can do to help people fend off the flu besides doling out flu shots. Roby Mitchell, MD, aka Dr. Fitt, offers some outside-the-box thinking and practical suggestions.
Stock prices are soaring for the drug companies that make and market Tamiflu, thanks to the Bird Flu scare, and prominent government officials particularly Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, are making big bucks as a result.
Once thought to be relatively rare, celiac disease is actually very common, and physicians need to pay more attention to it. A naturopathic physician who has the condition herself offers insights on diagnosing, treating and living with this complex digestive disease.
New food allergen labeling regulations, effective in January 2006, will make it easier for food-sensitive people to avoid allergy triggers.