Tag Archives: body fat

More deaths in England and Scotland may be due to obesity and excess body fat than smoking – Study

While the focus of the following research was overseas, the U.S. suffers from obesity and excess body fat to a large extent also.

Obesity and excess body fat may have contributed to more deaths in England and Scotland than smoking since 2014, according to research published in the open access journal BMC Public Health.

Between 2003 and 2017 the percentage of deaths attributable to smoking are calculated to have decreased from 23.1% to 19.4% while deaths attributable to obesity and excess body fat are calculated to have increased from 17.9% to 23.1%. The authors estimate that deaths attributable to obesity and excess body fat overtook those attributable to smoking in 2014.

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Jill Pell, at the University of Glasgow, United Kingdom, the corresponding author said: “For several decades smoking has been a major target of public health interventions as it is a leading cause of avoidable deaths. As a result, the prevalence of smoking has fallen in the United Kingdom. At the same time the prevalence of obesity has increased. Our research indicates that, since 2014, obesity and excess body fat may have contributed to more deaths in England and Scotland than smoking.”

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Overspill of stored fat shown to cause Type 2 Diabetes

The study involved a group of people from Tyneside who previously had Type 2 diabetes but had lost weight and successfully reversed the condition as part of the DiRECT trial, which was funded by Diabetes UK and led by Professors Roy Taylor and Mike Lean (Glasgow University).


The majority remained non-diabetic for the rest of the two year study, however, a small group went on to re-gain the weight and re-developed Type 2 diabetes.

Professor Roy Taylor, from the Newcastle University Institute of Translational and Clinical Research, explained what the advanced scanning techniques and blood monitoring revealed.

He said: “We saw that when a person accumulates too much fat, which should be stored under the skin, then it has to go elsewhere in the body. The amount that can be stored under the skin varies from person to person, indicating a ‘personal fat threshold’ above which fat can cause mischief.

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Filed under body fat, diabetes, percent of body fat, Type 2 diabetes, Uncategorized

Intermittent fasting yields broad range of health benefits – Study

As a guy who likes to eat and snack, I had a weight problem for most of my life, so the idea of fasting – prolonged and intermittently – isn’t so appealing. Nonetheless, this study from Texas State University shows positive effects.

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Intermittent fasting may provide significant health benefits, including improved cardiometabolic health, improved blood chemistry and reduced risk for diabetes, new research conducted in part at Texas State University indicates. Continue reading


Filed under blood pressure, ideal weight, intermittent fasting, overweight, Uncategorized, Weight, weight control

Reduce body fat; keep muscle mass – Infographic

I thought there was some good info in this. Enjoy!



Filed under abdominal fat, belly fat, body fat, Exercise, exercise benefits, fat, fat loss, fat tissue, Fats, Weight

More Exercise = More Fat Loss for Older Women, Study Finds

“More is better. That’s definitely what we found here,” said study author Christine Friedenreich, a scientific leader in the department of cancer epidemiology and prevention research at Alberta Health Services-Cancer Control Alberta, in Calgary. “If you can do more, you will do better.”

” …It’s not light activity,” Friedenreich said of the exercise required. “It’s something that definitely causes an increase in your heart rate.”

I love it when I hear the words of this blog coming from other sources. Eat less; move more; live longer. So nice to see that is the message from such revered sources as in this post.

I hope you will make sure you get as much exercise as you can. Daily, if possible.


Cooking with Kathy Man

Doubling the amount of time spent in heart-pumping workouts each week paid off after a year.

Older women who fit more minutes of heart-pumping exercise into their week will lose more body fat, a new study shows.

Canadian researchers found that postmenopausal women who got five hours of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise every week — double the normally recommended amount — lost significantly more body fat within a year than women who exercised less.

“More is better. That’s definitely what we found here,” said study author Christine Friedenreich, a scientific leader in the department of cancer epidemiology and prevention research at Alberta Health Services-CancerControl Alberta, in Calgary. “If you can do more, you will do better.”

The U.S. National Institutes of Health currently recommends that adults get at least two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, the authors noted in background information.

Previous research has shown that…

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Don’t get hung up on your BMI (Body Mass Index)

The usually reliable WebMD has a very nice quiz on fat that I recommend you take. It’s fun and can fill you in on some aspects of body fat that most folks don’t understand.

Having said that, I would like to take exception to the final question in the quiz which asks which BMI category is healthier? Anything below obese; The low end of normal; Anything in the normal range.

I wish we would do away with the BMI as a tool in evaluating fitness, health, fatness, you name it.

First of all, a lot of people think it tells them their percentage of body fat. It doesn’t. A person’s BMI is calculated as her weight in kilograms divided by her height in meters, squared.

It is an index, not a body fat measurement.

The readings are as follows: Underweight: less than 18.5; normal weight 18.5 – 24.9; overweight 25 – 29.9; obese BMI of 30 or more.

Second, it doesn’t take into account where the fat is distributed on the body. Fat around the belly is much more dangerous than fat elsewhere.

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan the Barbarian. Six foot two inches tall, 257 pounds, BMI 33 - obese?

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan the Barbarian. Six foot two inches tall, 257 pounds, BMI 33. Not what most of us would call obese.

“The usefulness of BMI is not great when considered on an individual-to-individual basis. In practice, BMI is most appropriate for large sample populations or in a clinical situation to quantify risk for a patient who is clearly overweight and overfat at the same time,” according to Professor Michael J. Ormsbee, creator of the Course Changing Body Composition Through Diet and Exercise which I am taking.

Dr. David Edelson, MD, writing for the Obesity Action Coalition  says, “…there is no accounting for differences in body frames, or even more importantly, body composition.

“BMI, while being a reasonable estimator of obesity in someone of average conditioning, becomes a terrible predictor in people with either lots of lean muscle (trained athletes) or very little lean muscle (severely de-conditioned individuals). BMI does not tell you anything about what is going on inside someone’s body, which is what we ALL should really be interested in.”

Keith Devlin, on National Public Radio, gave “10 reasons why BMI is bogus

His first reason is “The person who dreamed up the BMI said explicitly that it could not and should not be used to indicate the level of fatness in an individual. The BMI was introduced in the early 19th century by a Belgian named Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet. He was a mathematician, not a physician. He produced the formula to give a quick and easy way to measure the degree of obesity of the general population to assist the government in allocating resources. In other words, it is a 200-year-old hack.”

You can read the remaining nine reasons at the link.

I have written about belly fat several times – How bad is extra belly fat?, What about belly fat – central obesity?

In addition there is: What is a good way to measure body fat?

I think you are a lot better off with this tool than the BMI.



Filed under belly fat, fat, Weight

Oleda Baker on the Benefits of Quercetin- Guest Post

Click on this to see full size

Click on this to see full size

As you can see from her photos, Senior Supermodel Oleda Baker is aging magnificently . I interviewed Oleda last month. She is a treasure trove of information on everything this blog stands for, namely healthy living and healthy aging, so I asked her if she would share some of her ideas with us. She has written 10 books on beauty and health. Her latest, written at the age of 75, Breaking the Age Barrier – Great Looks and Health at Every Age – was released in November 2010 and is available from Amazon or from her website www.oleda.com  where she also sells her own line of health and beauty aids including Quercetin.

Science has proven that antioxidants are beneficial to our health. One of the most prominent dietary antioxidants, Quercetin, is a flavonoid found in fruits, vegetables, tea, wine and many supplements. Quercetin is also an anti-inflammatory. Unfortunately, it is not possible to get sufficient antioxidants from diet alone because you cannot physically eat a sufficient amount of vegetables and fruits in a given day. On the positive side, supplements are available.

Quercetin promotes the thermogenic processes which increase your metabolism. This will increase your energy level without the unwanted effects of caffeine or other stimulants. Quercetin helps your body burn excess carbohydrates and fat, while providing antioxidant support for your body’s needs.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of Quercetin

Fresh fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of Quercetin

Quercetin is a Free Radical scavenger helping to reduce oxidation within cells in order to fight off the damaging effects of these unstable molecules. As unstable free radicals move throughout the body they are able to bond to healthy/stable molecules in healthy cells. Once in the cells these free radicals damage cell membranes, chromosomes, and enzymes. This damaging of the cells will affect the rate of aging by accelerating the aging processes. Free radicals weaken the immune system, reducing the body’s ability to fight off infection from germs and viruses. A weakened immune system cannot fight off the effects of stress or overwork. Quercetin works to rid the body of these harmful unstable molecules, helping to prevent and repair the damage caused.

If Quercetin is this good how do I get it into me?
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Filed under aging, antioxidants, body fat, fat, free radicals, quercetin, Snacking

‘The Coca Cola Bears’ Film – 2,000,000 Viewers and You

Coca-cola has used their images of polar bears to show us how charming and happy their drink makes us. But, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) Executive Director  Michael F. Jacobson says, “Manipulative marketing techniques position soda as a life-affirming source of happiness, when in fact out-of-control soda consumption is fueling an epidemic of disease.”

I have posted repeatedly on the dangers of soft drinks. You can check the links at the bottom to read further.

The CSPI reports that more than two million people have now seen what USA Today called “the video Coca-Cola doesn’t want you to see”:  The Real Bears,  conceived for the Center for Science in the Public Interest by advertising pioneer Alex Bogusky, The Real Bears is a moving (and sometimes harrowing) portrait of a polar bear family’s struggle with obesity, diabetes, and other soda-related health problems.

The film features an original song, Sugar, by Grammy-award winning singer Jason Mraz, which he performed with rapper MC Flow.

“Denying any connection whatsoever between sugary drinks and obesity is reminiscent of the famous 1994 congressional hearing at which the nation’s top tobacco executives testified that nicotine was not addictive,” Jacobson said.  “When one blandly states what one knows to be false, it truly crosses the line from spin to a lie.”

Following are posts from this blog on soft drinks:

How Damaging are Soft Drinks?

Guest Post: Oleda Baker on What’s Wrong with Drinking Soda

Study Ties Healthier Weight in Kids to Snack Laws

Guest Post: Why I’m Kicking the Diet Soda Habit

Is It Harmful to Drink Diet Soda Every Day?


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How to Conquer High Cholesterol – Harvard

If you have been careless in your eating habits and your cholesterol has flourished, don’t give up hope. All is not lost. The Harvard Medical Bulletin Healthbeat says that changing what you eat can lower your cholesterol and improve the fats floating through your bloodstream. Some foods are better than others in bringing down cholesterol.

“Some cholesterol-lowering foods deliver a good dose of soluble fiber, which binds cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and drags them out of the body before they get into circulation. Others provide polyunsaturated fats, which directly lower Low-density lipoprotein (LDL). And those with plant sterols and stanols keep the body from absorbing cholesterol. Here are 5 of those foods:

This is what it looks like when you clog your arteries

This is what it looks like when you clog your arteries

1. Oats. An easy way to start lowering cholesterol is to choose oatmeal or a cold oat-based cereal like Cheerios for breakfast. It gives you 1 to 2 grams of soluble fiber. Add a banana or some strawberries for another half-gram.
2. Beans. Beans are especially rich in soluble fiber. They also take a while for the body to digest, meaning you feel full for longer after a meal. That’s one reason beans are a useful food for folks trying to lose weight. With so many choices — from navy and kidney beans to lentils, garbanzos, black-eyed peas, and beyond — and so many ways to prepare them, beans are a very versatile food.
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The Agony and The Ecstasy of Summer Biking

As we move into summer it seemed appropriate to write about riding my bicycle in the heat. I know for a lot of folks cycling season ends in September.

The first photo shows the ecstasy of summer biking being out on the Chicago lakefront enjoying the beauty of the parks and the skyline.

The Ecstasy of summer cycling on the Chicago lakefront

The second photo shows the agony of biking when you don’t make an effort to wear sunscreen. It is the scar from my Mohs surgery to cut out all traces of skin cancer remaining in me. If you missed it you can read about my discovery that I had skin cancer and subsequent surgery in my posts of the past two weeks.

This is my surgical scar with nearly two weeks of healing behind it. Agony indeed.

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Filed under biking, Exercise, skin cancer, summer biking

What is the Best Way to Take Pounds Off?

Lunching with a friend the subject of snacks came up . I said that I loved potato chips and snacked on some almost every day. My friend asked how I could do that and not gain weight. I said that I weighed out a one ounce serving (about 10 chips if you don’t have a food scale), put them in a bowl, sealed the bag back up and returned it to the cupboard. I then enjoyed a very leisurely snack amounting to around 150 calories. My friend said immediately, “I could never do that.”

My friend who happens to be overweight was demonstrating how you need to think to stay overweight and not make any progress in trimming down. Clearly,  once you say, or even think, “I can’t do that” you will not succeed.

Think how much more positive and productive it would have been if he had said, even to himself, “I can do that, too. This guy puts his pants on one leg at a time just like I do. If he can limit himself snacking, so can I.” He might have even pictured himself getting slimmer as a result of his new found focus on food consumption and portion size. Continue reading


Filed under Weight, weight loss

What is the Best Way to Measure Body Fat?

Covert Bailey believes that knowing your percent of body fat tells you more about your body than any other test. It tells you what your correct weight ought to be, how much fat you have, how much muscle, and what exactly you need to gain or lose. Knowing this one number allows you to design an exercise program to maximize your efforts. Bailey wrote Fit or Fat one of the fitness landmarks in the late 1970’s.

If you are a football fan, the percent of body fat is one of the first tests they do at the combine to evaluate the football players who hope to turn pro.

The gold standard of measuring body fat is hydrodensitometry weighing or underwater weighing. Unfortunately, many people find it difficult, cumbersome and uncomfortable. Others are afraid of total submersion or cannot expel all the air in their lungs. Clinical studies often require subjects to be measured three to five times and an average taken of the results, according to new Fitness.

Some folks use BMI, or Body Mass Index. However, this number is not your percentage of body fat. It is an index number that you have to relate in other ways. It simply compares weight and height. The wheels come off measuring professional athletes with significant muscular development. They end up with high readings which translate as obese! Clearly they aren’t. For a fuller discussion on BMI check out my post Don’t get hung up on your BMI.

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan the Barbarian. Six foot two inches tall, 257 pounds, BMI 33 - obese?

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan the Barbarian. Six foot two inches tall, 257 pounds, BMI 33 – obese?

Bioelectical Impedence Analysis, BIA, is another common method. This estimates body fat by running a current through the body. Where the sensors are attached affects the reading. The Tanita scale that you stand on goes through the feet. The Omron Body Logic handheld goes through the arms. In tests they have been shown to be as much as 40% off, according to Wikipedia.

HealthCentral offers one that I think is really good. Click on this link to get your reading.

You will input your age, current body weight and gender. The second page asks for waist and hip measurements in inches. The final measurements will be your clenched forearm and your wrist. When you enter these, it will give you a body fat percentage.

The readout will also include how many pounds of fat you have and how many pounds of lean muscle.

The average American man has 22% body fat, the average woman has 32%.

In case you wondered how much fat my bicycle riding burns. I have 16.5% body fat as measured on the HealthCentral meter.

How do you measure up? You might also find it interesting to read my post on The differences between fat and muscle tissue.Now that you know your body fat, maybe you should read How Dangerous is a Big Belly?



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What is the Best Anti-Aging Medicine?

According to government figures, childhood immunization saves $10.00 for every $1.00 of government funding. This is a worthy goal but pales in comparison to potential savings through anti-aging medicine – exercise.

Exercise is the closest thing to an anti-aging pill that exists. People who are physically fit, eat a healthy, balanced diet, and take nutritional supplements can measure out to be 10-20 years biologically younger than their chronological age.

The lifetime costs of two children severely crippled by polio far exceed all the government monies spent on anti-aging research per year.

If anti-aging medicine could delay admission to nursing homes by one month, the U.S. health care system would save $3 billion per year.

In the United States, as many as 250,000 deaths per year are attributable in part to a lack of regular physical activity.

Calories: at age 70 a person needs 500 fewer calories per day to maintain body weight.

Body fat: the average 65-year old sedentary woman’s body is 43% fat compared to 25% at age 25. Convert fat into muscle by exercising.

Blood pressure: most Americans see an increase in blood pressure with age. Exercise can control this.

Temperature: the body’s ability to regulate temperature declines with age. Control factors are regular exercise and healthy diet.

Bone density: bones lose mineral content and become weaker with age. Control factors are proper calcium and stress exercise.

Aerobic capacity: the body’s efficient use of oxygen declines by 30-40 percent by age 65. Regular aerobic exercise can prevent this decline.

The National Institute on Aging reported that if the onset of Alzheimer’s disease could be delayed by 5 years, the nation would save $40 billion per year.



Filed under aging, Exercise, healthy eating, life challenges, Weight