‘Fat’ Genes Not To Blame For Obesity

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UK scientists have found that the genes that can contribute to obesity can be counteracted by exercise.

Scientists at the Medical Research Council’s Epidemiology Unit in Cambridge discovered that exercise can work off around 40 percent of the extra weight an individual’s genes had predisposed them to gain, the UK’s Daily Telegraph reported.

In the study, the genes of more than 20,000 men and women aged 39 to 79 were analysed for the 12 genetic markers linked to a higher body mass index value (BMI) and obesity. A “genetic predisposition” score was then calculated for each person.

The individuals were also asked to fill in a questionnaire about their physical activity levels in their daily lives.

The researchers concluded that physical activity can reduce the genetic tendency toward obesity by 40 percent.

“Our research proves that even those who have the highest risk of obesity from their genes can improve their health by taking some form of daily physical activity,” lead researcher Dr Ruth Loos said.

Dr Loos said that we don’t need to be marathon runners to make a difference, every bit of incidental activity, such as walking the dog or gardening, counts too.

“It goes to show we’re not complete slaves to our genetic make-up and really can make a big difference to our future health by changing our behaviour,” she said.

The research is published in the online journal, PloS Medicine.

 

A Weighty Issue!

CHILDHOOD OBESITY HAS BECOME A SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEM IN TODAYS SOCIETY.

Childhood obesity in Australia is rising at an alarming rate

There is no doubt that modern technology is having an impact on the health of the community.

People find taking the car to be a far easier option than walking reasonably short distances, and no body gets out of their seat anymore to change the TV channel?

Unfortunately, it’s our children who are suffering because of these attitudes – or at least they will later in life.

Childhood obesity is fast becoming one of our nation’s biggest health problems. Figures released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show that seven­and-a-half million Australians are obese or overweight. Further figures indicate that 65 per cent of the population will be overweight by the year 2020.

Childhood obesity is also rising at an alarming rate; in less than 20 years, there has been an increase in diagnosis from 10 to 30 per cent. Couple this with the fact that overweight or obese children have a high chance of progressing to adult obesity, and our nation will no doubt continue to climb the list of being the fattest in the world (Australia currently sits within the top five fattest countries).

WHY IS IT SO?

Although there are many factors to take into consideration, there has been a marked decline in children’s physical activity during the last decade. Wide-ranging technological, social ,economic and environmental changes have compounded the growing health problem; for instance, TV programs, computer games and ipads have replaced traditional playtime activities.

Another contributing factor to childhood obesity is the increasing consumption of high fat/high energy foods. This has caused an imbalance between the amount of energy consumed and the amount of energy expended, which in turn leads to an unhealthy weight and fat gain.

LIFESTYLE

In an attempt to counteract this epidemic, schools are changing their canteen menu and sporting policies, but ultimately it is the responsibility of parents to ensure children have a balanced nutrition and exercise plan in place.

There are certain exercise and nutrition guidelines that can be implemented to help reduce the child obesity rate.

In relation to physical activity:

• Children should exercise every day, in as many different ways as possible. Activities could include swimming, ball sports, or bicycling – any activity that they enjoy.

• Encourage children to participate in a given sport in both winter and summer.

• Incorporate family exercise into your children’s routine.

• Discourage sedentary activities such as playing video and computer games, using the Internet, or watching TV.

• Encourage ‘incidental exercise’ such as walking to the shops or taking the stairs instead of using the escalator.

HINTS FOR HEALTHY EATING

When it comes to nutrition, it is important for children to:

· Eat a balanced diet;

· Be encouraged to eat breakfast (the most important meal of the day!);

· Eat fruit and/or vegetables as a snack instead of fatty or sugary foods;

· Try to eat meals in a family atmosphere;

· Let food settle in their stomach before deciding on a ‘seconds’ helping;

· Limit the amount of soft drink consumed, and encourage drinking water instead;

· Discourage snacking to alleviate boredom;

· Avoid using food as a reward; and

· Make dietary changes subtle and slow.

There are numerous health risks associated with childhood obesity. Children and adolescents who are overweight or obese are more likely, in the short term,to develop gastrointestinal, endocrine, and orthopedic problems. In the longer term, they are more likely to develop diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and are at greater risk of premature death.

Why subject children to these problems when the answer is simple?

Be active, eat well, and live a longer happier life.

Are You Getting The Best From Your Trainer?

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If you are a member of a gym and following a fitness regime, have you ever wondered if spending for your own personal trainer is really worth your money? Many gym members actually think that they can take charge of their own health and well-being and so they can totally do away with the supervision of more mature trainers. If you are one of those people who think that investment in personal trainers is an utterly waste of money, it’s best to read on and discover a few good reasons that could change your mind.

  • A personal trainer has vast knowledge and training when it comes to proper usage and handling of gym equipment. There are many stories of people who accidentally hurt themselves in the private facility of a gym due to improper handling of equipment. You safety is better ensured when and misuse of equipment can be avoided when there is a personal trainer to supervise and guide you.
  • A personal trainer can come up with individually tailored service and structure your regime such that your routines would be more effective and focused. By working together, you can come up with set targets so you know your specific goals and somebody can monitor your progress. A trainer is also indispensable if you have health conditions that must be considered. Weight loss and exercise programs for injured or disabled individuals are different.
  • It’s not always easy to stay motivated all the time to achieve your goals. There might even be times when you feel like quitting. This is when you really can get the best from your trainer because he or she can provide you the support and confidence you need to stick to your fitness regime through the tough times.
  • Aside from occasionally losing some of your motivation, there could also be moments in the gym when you lose your focus and become slack in some of your routines. A personal trainer will always undertake to get you back on track for guaranteed success. There might also be times when you no long feel challenged by your program; in such case, a personal trainer can properly modify and re-design your program so that it becomes challenging and effective once again.
  • In some instances when you cannot go to the gym, a personal trainer can be requested to provide an added and unique service of paying you a visit so you can work out on your most convenient place. This will ensure that you can continue with your fitness program despite your temporary inability to go to the gym. The trainer would also be able to provide the appropriate equipment so you can continue to increase strength and flexibility wherever you are.

 

 

The services of a personal trainer would, undoubtedly, cost you a bit more. However, when you consider all the benefits that you can get out of having professional support on your journey to perfect health and fitness, the investment is definitely worth it.


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