Archive for the ‘WEIGHT LOSS’ Category

How Alasdair Wilkins lost 45kg just by walking

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

Alasdair walked briskly for an hour on the treadmill everyday for a year image

ALASDAIR Wilkins lost 45kg in a year without having to nibble on kale salads or battle through spin classes in expensive Lycra. He reckons his weight loss “secret” is actually “pretty dumb”.

“Basically, I just went to the gym and I walked. On a treadmill, uphill, at a brisk pace, for about an hour every day — and I do mean every day,” he wrote in a piece for Vox, which has been shared almost 10,000 times and attracted hundreds of comments.

The 27-year-old masters student weighed 129kg just 12 months ago. Alasdair was freelancing, he’d just moved out of his parents’ house (and away from their well-stocked fridge) and had lots of free time on his hands. It was the perfect time to lose weight.

“Like a lot of people who struggle with their weight, I was intimidated by the gym,” he told “But there was one machine I could use without the help of a personal trainer and that was the treadmill. So I just started there because it’s the easiest.”

He exercised solo everyday while watching Netflix on his iPad and the weight gradually started to come off.

Alasdair before he lost the weight.image

Alasdair before he lost the weight.

“I couldn’t jog. I would get out of breath just walking 8km/hr. Now I can do 12km/hr. Maybe this wasn’t the optimum way to work out, but it was the best way for me to get better and feel better about myself,” he said.

“I just found something that I enjoyed doing and that worked for me. When people say, ‘I love working out’, I always thought that was such a crazy ridiculous thing to say, because I couldn’t imagine thinking like that.

“What works for some won’t work for others. The big mistake people make is assuming that there is one right way for everyone to lose weight. It varies from person to person.”

Alasdair said his self esteem started to improve after losing 9kg.

“If you’re overweight or trying to lose weight, I think it’s really important to realise you don’t need to lose all of it immediately to feel better about yourself.

“Around the 27kg mark, that was when a lot of the very tightly held self loathing just started to unravel. When you’ve had low self esteem for such a long time, you don’t necessarily feel like you’re getting a lot of traction in your life.

“I didn’t lose 100 pounds because I have amazing willpower. There’s 26 years of evidence to show that I have very mediocre willpower. I just found a routine that I actually enjoyed and stuck with it.”

Alasdair says he didn’t change his diet too much.image

Alasdair says he didn’t change his diet too much.

Alasdair wrote that he didn’t adjust his diet — just ate smaller portions.

“It was a lot easier for me to hop on a treadmill than to cut portions, at least at first. So I just ignored the (frequently contradictory) mountains of literature on the best way to lose weight and just focused on finding a way that worked for me,” he wrote.

At the close of his piece, Alasdair makes an interesting observation about the difference between how overweight men and women are perceived.

“An advantage I had, both while being fat and while losing weight was that as a man, I could live in a space largely free of judgments.

“I can think of only two occasions in my entire life where I was made to feel self conscious about my weight, and neither was particularly mean-spirited.

“I received less criticism at 100 pounds [45kg] overweight in my entire life than a woman 10 pounds overweight does in, what, a month? A week? A day?”

Alasdair says he is amazed at the response his article has received. He’s been inundated with emails and tweets from people sharing their weight struggles.

“It’s great how they’ve found the piece really meaningful and it’s inspired them to get out there and do something about it.”


Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

21 Total Health Frauds You Need To Know About…


There are many health remedies and empty promises out there which simply do not work. Not only are some people being tricked, but some are even harmed. Here are 21 health frauds you need to know about…


1. Identity Theft

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In this case, medical identity theft is a real issue. This is when a person’s identity has been misused in order to pay for services, bills, medications, or whatever else they desire. This is not only happening to patients, as doctors are also being targeted. The identity of doctors are stolen, then used to write fake prescriptions.


2. Miracle Cures


If anything claims to be a ‘miracle cure,’ then it’s probably too good to be true. Companies will often use claims such as ‘secret ingredient’ or ‘new scientific discovery.’ The truth is, if these claims were true, treating a well-known condition, it would be all over the media. Don’t fall for miracle cure scams. Know what you’re buying first.


3. Quick Fixes

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Once again, if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. Very few conditions can be treated rapidly, even with the latest, most legitimate products and medications. If anyone makes claims like, ‘cure your lung cancer in days’ or ‘lose 40 pounds in a month,’ then you should be VERY cautious.


4. Anti-Aging

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We value a younger looking culture, which is why people strive to looker younger each and every day. There are so many pills on the market, which haven’t been proven to reduce the signs of aging. There are also creams, therapies, and all kinds of false claims. You’re better off eating right, exercising, and minimizing stress.


5. Arthritis Remedies

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This is a large area of concern, as SO many people are affected by arthritis. If you see claims that magnets, chemicals, radiation, magic pills, or any other form of treatment will cure your arthritis, it’s unlikely that it actually will. Once again, rest, exercises, heat and diet are your best bet when it comes to reducing symptoms.


6. Cancer Cures


It’s sad that people take advantage of others during their most desperate times, but it happens. Scam artists most certainly prey on cancer patients, because they’ll do anything to improve their condition. There isn’t a treatment that can cure all cancer types, it simply doesn’t exist yet. Don’t waste your time with UNPROVEN treatments, as this is precious time wasted.


7. False Memory Aids


Smart pills will not improve your memory, which are often marketed as miracle pills for dementia or Alzheimer’s. There isn’t a cure for these conditions, so please be aware. You need to keep your mind stimulated and provide it with nutrients. If you are suffering from issues with your memory, create a treatment plan with your doctor, do not buy pills off of the Internet.


8. Dietary Supplements

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There are most certainly some great supplements out there, but there are also a lot of fraudulent products as well. Since the Federal Government does not consider supplements to be medicine they’re not regulated as tightly. Many supplements are not properly tested, which could cause you more harm than good.


9. Health Insurance Scams

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Careful when purchasing health insurance, as the fine print may suggest something else. Many insurance companies will make claims, but than fail to deliver. If you do buy insurance, ALWAYS make sure that the company is licensed within your state.


10. Counterfeit Prescription Drugs

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Some companies are selling fraudulent medications online. Many seniors are looking for cheaper options, which these companies provide. This is dangerous, because they don’t know what’s in the medication and it may make their condition worse. People often lose their money and are no better off in terms of their medical condition.


11. Fraudulent Diabetes Supplements

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There are many diabetes supplements which make exciting claims, yet put consumers in harms way. These supplements can result in injury or even death. There are some great supplements out there, so just make sure you do your research. Read ALL the claims and see if anything seems like it’s conflicting. Also, ask you doctor to look at the ingredient list and claims, so that you know you’re not putting yourself at-risk.


12. Tainted Sexual Enhancement Drugs

white pills in bulk image

There are many products that are now being offered, which include dangerous ingredients. Some include prescription drugs (which are unrelated to the condition the consumer is trying to treat), hidden active ingredients, illegal drugs and more. This is becoming increasingly popular in sexual enhancement drugs, so please be cautious before you purchase any enhancement drugs


13. Weight Loss and Sibutramine

feet on scales image

The FDA has found multiple weight-loss supplements which contain the prescription drug known as sibutramine. This drug has already been removed from the FDA-approved list, as it was causing heart complications and strokes. Nothing beats a healthy diet and exercise, when trying to lose weight.


14. Bodybuilding Supplements

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Not all supplements are created equal, so do not waste your money or time! In some cases, it’s not just your wallet you need to worry about. Many men’s supplements are packed with soy, causing their pecks to fill with fatty tissue. Instead of building muscle, men have been developing breasts. There are also many dangerous additives being used, so be aware of what you’re taking


15. 7-Day Miracle Cleanse

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There were claims that a 7-day miracle cleanse could treat AIDs, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and more. This was developed by Paris DeAguero, who claimed that this cleanse cured his cancer, marketing his product on infomercials. These claims were obviously false, but you see how quickly people can be impacted.


16. Chelation Therapy For Autism

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We still do not understand everything there is to know about autism. This was a claim made, so that parents could remove mercury from their autistic children’s bodies. This is due to the fact that mercury-based preservatives were used in autistic medications until 2001. This therapy is not only fraudulent, but dangerous. It does NOT cure autism.


17. Ozone Therapy

woman undergoing health theraphy image

This therapy involves infused blood, drinking water with triatomic oxygen, or body cavities, in order to kill microbes. This therapy claims to kill arthritis, cancer and HIV microbes. Ground-level ozone is considered a pollutant, and should NOT be administered to your body.


18. Malariotherapy

malaria mosquito bites flesh image

This was a pre-antibiotic treatment for syphilis, developed by Dr. Henry Heimlich. He also advocates that the malaria infection, can help cure other diseases. He began to claim that this therapy could cure AIDS, even though these patients have poor immune systems.


19. Cancell…?


This treatment targets cancer patients, as the company Nu-gen Nutrition Inc was sued by the FTC based on false claims. Offered in the form of an electrolyte drink, this product claims to cure cancer


20. All-Natural Processed Foods


The food industry also uses health in order to market their products. If a product which has been processed says ‘all-natural’ does not mean that it’s a healthy choice. If something was all-natural, it should be grown out of the ground and eaten just as natural intended. The FDA has not yet defined all natural, so companies are using this to their advantage. Many of these products are packed with preservatives and use low quality ingredients.


21. Zero Trans Fats

trans_fat_chart-image 500x333

Once again, know what you’re buying. You need to read labels and ingredient lists, so that you are not fooled into making poor health choices. Companies have some wiggle room when it comes to trans fats. These are of course the unhealthiest fats, directly threatening your heart health. Products can have up to 0.5% trans fats, yet still be marketed as zero. Look for hydrogenated ingredients, so that you can protect your health and cholesterol.



Henry Sapiecha

‘Manorexia’: Family tells of father’s potentially deadly wish to be thin

Friday, April 17th, 2015

mans torso with arms crossed in front image

The report found one in 10 anorexia sufferers were men or boys

Anorexia is a health condition we often think only affects young women.

But a new report by The Butterfly Foundation revealed more than 500 males died as a result of eating disorders in Australia last year.

According to the National Eating Disorders Collaboration Report, male body dissatisfaction has increased, with one in 10 of those diagnosed with anorexia nervosa identified as boys or men.

Anorexia nervosa now has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness

Tim* is a 47-year-old West Australian mine worker living with anorexia and bulimia.

His condition began after he underwent gastric band surgery in 2009 to help him lose weight, but instead of helping him, it triggered his six-year battle with the eating disorders.

His daughter, Emma*, spoke out about the devastating effect anorexia has had on her father.

“The band helped him lose a lot of weight, but one of the side effects is if you eat too much you start to vomit because your stomach can’t physically hold anymore, ” she said.

“I don’t think he adjusted to it well because he’s just stuck with the vomiting ever since.

“He used to weigh well into the hundreds [kilos], but now he’s down to around the 60s or 70s.

“He’s literally skin and bones and it worries me because I don’t think he’s going to be around when I have kids.”

Emma said the vomiting was constant and, at times, unbearable to be around.

“He doesn’t shut the bathroom door and because he’s forcing himself to vomit, the vomiting is so loud,” she said.

“I used to worry that the neighbours could hear him.

“He still thinks he’s overweight. He was tormented by his family for being an overweight kid, so I think every time he looks in the mirror he still see the fat kid.

“If someone was to tell me that in the future your dad’s going to be bulimic, I would never have believed them because he was a guy who was really into health and sports.”

An estimated nine per cent of Australians are struggling with eating disorders and the report suggested up to a quarter of people suffering with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa were men.

Most of the common risk factors that apply to women with eating disorders are the same for men.

But different cultural influences, such as body shape and control over body image, increase men’s vulnerability to developing an eating disorder.

Although eating disorders can develop at any age, males are more prone to developing anorexia in their late teens or early 20s.

Jessica Smith is a former Paralympian and eating disorder advocate for The Butterfly Foundation.

She struggled with anorexia and bulimia for more than a decade and now uses her experience to help raise awareness and support for others.

She said society often didn’t realise the seriousness of eating disorders and the impact it had on individuals.

“We are seeing new diets and weight loss programs all the time and sometimes the severity of these disorders can be limited by the hype of the media,” Jessica said.

“People need to know that they’re not alone and there are organisations that provide services to help them.

“It’s important to tell someone that you trust and stand up for yourself because there are people who will listen.”

Emma believed her father’s illness was influenced by the high expectations women place on men.

“What women don’t realise is we have a huge expectation on males. We expect them to look like Channing Tatum when they take their shirts off,” she said.

“Also, with the new gym junkie trend, you aren’t going to see the guys who are struggling with body images because they can just hide behind the whole image of ‘I’m a man I go to the gym’.

“Dad’s never spoken to us about it and it’s just something that no one talks about. I feel there are a lot of guys who struggle with eating disorders but just aren’t open to talk about it.”

If you or anyone you know is struggling with negative body images or eating disorders please call the National Eating Disorders Help Line on 1800 33 4673 or visit

*Names have been changed to protect the identity of individuals.


Henry Sapiecha


Friday, November 28th, 2014


The 5:2 diet helps beat cancer and Alzheimer’s, study finds


The common eating pattern in modern societies, of three meals per day plus snacks, is actually “abnormal”.

Fasting regimes such as the ‘5:2’ diet could help the body guard against diseases including cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s, according to a new study.

The common eating pattern in modern societies, of three meals per day plus snacks, is actually “abnormal” in terms of human evolution, and is at-odds with the body’s natural rhythms, the paper finds.

The study, a review of a wide range of scientific research into the effects of limiting calorie intake on the human body, calls for doctors to encourage patients to adopt ‘intermittent energy restriction’ diets such as the 5:2 diet, where participants eat normally for five days and then eat no more than 500 calories for two days.

Such eating patterns are in fact much more consistent with that of wild animals and “hunter-gatherer humans [who] rarely, if ever, suffer from obesity, diabetes, and cardio-vascular disease.”

Entitled ‘Meal frequency and timing in health and disease‘, the paper is published today in PNAS, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the USA.

It surveys over 80 scientific papers spanning biology, neuroscience and oncology into the relationship between meal timings, food quantities and human health.

Fasting, or radically cutting calorie intake, can help the body break down fat and repair cells, reversing the ageing process, shrinking tumours and guarding neurons against damage caused by neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

The paper says: “For many of our ancestors, food was scarce and primarily consumed during daylight hours, leaving long hours of overnight fasting.

“With the advent of affordable artificial lighting and industrialisation, modern humans began to experience prolonged hours of illumination every day and resultant extended consumption of food.”

Disruption of the body’s natural body clock, or “circadian rhythms”, encouraged humans, and domesticated animals, to eat more, making them more susceptible to obesity and associated diseases, the authors say.

The authors include experts from the National Institute of Aging in Baltimore and Harvard Medical School in the US, and the Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester.

Dr Michelle Harvie, research dietician at Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention and co-author of the paper, said: “There are many myths and assumptions concerning diet and eating patterns, including the belief that a healthy lifestyle should involve three square meals, plus snacks, every day.

“However, this common eating pattern is in fact abnormal from an evolutionary perspective. Emerging studies suggest that intermittent periods of energy restriction can in fact improve health and even counteract disease processes, such as the development of breast cancer.

“As more research is done into the relationship between meal frequency and health, it’s important that these eating patterns are incorporated into standard health care policies and that the general population knows how to adapt their diets and lifestyles appropriately.

Henry Sapiecha


Thursday, July 4th, 2013



(Reuters Health) – Dieters who drink more water have greater weight loss, according to a new review of several prior studies.

In one study that asked dieters to drink water before a meal, for instance, “the water enhanced the weight loss,” said Brenda Davy, a professor at Virginia Tech who led some of the work included in the review.

Researchers said there is not yet enough evidence, however, to say for sure that drinking more water will help people shed the pounds.


Rebecca Muckelbauer, a researcher at the Berlin School of Public Health, Charité University Medical Center Berlin in Germany, led the new review of the water studies.

She said that, as a nutrition researcher, people had often asked her about whether they should drink water to lose weight, and she didn’t know the answer.

She and her colleagues decided to examine all of the studies on weight and water consumption.

Eleven studies fit their criteria.

Three of them showed that increased water intake among dieters was tied to greater weight loss.

A study by Davy’s group found that middle aged and older adults who drank two cups before a meal lost about four pounds more than a group that didn’t drink the extra water.

Yet another study found that women who increased their water consumption while they dieted lost more weight than those who kept it below one liter a day.


It’s not clear how water might help people shed pounds.

One possibility, said Davy, is that water could squelch feelings of hunger.

“This may have helped them reduce their calorie intake,” she told Reuters Health.

Muckelbauer agreed that increased fullness is the most likely explanation, but another possibility is something called “water-induced thermogenesis.”

The idea is that “drinking water itself increases energy expenditure of your body. It has an energy consuming effect. This is not very well studied,” Muckelbauer told Reuters Health.

The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults consume between 91 ounces of water for women and 125 ounces for men (2.7 – 3.7 liters) each day, but this total can come through food, plain water or other beverages.

While the experimental studies suggest that drinking water may aid in weight loss, the surveys Muckelbauer examined don’t always show that people who drink more water are slimmer.


In fact, some found that obese or overweight adults drank more water than people of normal size, while others did not find such a link, Muckelbauer’s team reports in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“We don’t have conclusive evidence that increasing water intake reduces weight, but there are certainly other benefits to increasing our intake,” said Davy.

She said people in the U.S. typically drink about 400 to 500 calories a day from other beverages, and replacing them with water is not a bad idea.

weightloss tape

One study found that women who drink water, rather than sweet drinks, had a slightly lower chance of developing diabetes (see Reuters Health story of May 31, 2012 here:).

And women who don’t drink plenty of water have greater odds of getting kidney stones (see Reuters Health report of March 29, 2012 here:).

“There’s not a lot of risk for recommending (increased water intake) for individuals,” Davy said.

Muckelbauer said it will be helpful to have larger experiments looking at the potential weight loss benefits of adding more water to the diet.

SOURCE: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, online June 26, 2013.


Henry Sapiecha

rainbow line


Monday, January 21st, 2013

Heart Attacks And Drinking Warm Water 

This is a very good article. Not only about the warm water after your meal, but about    Heart Attacks. The Chinese and Japanese drink hot tea with their meals, not  cold water, maybe it is time we adopt  their  drinking  habit while  eating.
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For those who like to drink cold water, this article is applicable to you. It isvery Harmful to have Cold Drink/Water during a meal. Because, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion. Once this ‘sludge’ reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by  the  intestine faster  than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to  cancer .  It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal.

French fries and Burgers are the biggest enemy of heart health. A coke after that gives more power to this demon. Avoid them for your Heart’s Health.

Common  Symptoms Of Heart Attack. 

A serious note about heart attacks – You should know that not every heart attack symptom is going to be the left arm hurting. Be aware of intense pain in the  jaw line.

You may never have the first  chest  pain during  the course of a heart attack.  Nausea and intense  sweating are  also common symptoms. 60% of people who have a heart attack while they are asleep do not wake up.  Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep. Let’s be careful and be aware.  The more we know, the better chance we could survive.  
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A cardiologist says  if everyone who reads this message sends it to 10 people,  you can be sure that we’ll save at least one life. Read this & Send to a friend. It could save a life… So, please be a true friend and send this article to all your friends you care about.

This article  was sent to me via email & is here unaltered.TRUE OR FALSE?
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Received & published by Henry Sapiecha


Saturday, May 12th, 2012


(Reuters) – An experimental obesity pill from Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc won the support of U.S. advisers on Thursday, as public health advocates push for new solutions to the nation’s growing obesity epidemic.

A panel of outside experts to the Food and Drug Administration voted 18 to 4 to recommend approval of lorcaserin, bringing the drug a step closer to U.S. approval as one of the first new weight-loss treatments in over a decade.

Lorcaserin is Arena’s most important product.

The Fat Loss Coach

Shares of Arena, which were halted pending the panel vote, nearly doubled in value to $6.92 after closing at $3.66 on Wednesday.

Arena’s pill is one of three new potential obesity treatments vying to gain U.S. approval and be the first new weight-loss treatment on the market after initial rejections over safety issues.

The FDA first rejected lorcaserin, which is being developed in partnership with Japanese drugmaker Eisai Co Ltd, in October 2010, citing potential cancer risks.

Arena resubmitted its application with more data after the 2010 rejection to show that the previous findings of tumors in rats did not apply to people, which seemed to soothe some of the FDA’s concerns.

The advisory committee members still had some concerns about side effects, especially uncertainty about heart valve problems, but most said these concerns could be addressed in post-approval studies.
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The panelists were also concerned about the drug’s modest weight loss, but said overweight and obese patients needed more options.

“Currently the options available to obese patients are very limited, and severely obese patients are willing to accept a high degree of risk,” said panel member Dr. Daniel Bessesen, chief of endocrinology at the Denver Health Medical Center.

“And while it isn’t an ideal drug… I think it will be a useful adjunct,” said Bessesen.

The FDA often follows panel recommendations, although it is not required to. It is due to make a final decision by June 27.

After the panel vote, Arena and Eisai said they were expanding their partnership.

If the drug is approved, Arena will manufacture lorcaserin at its facility in Switzerland, then pass it to Eisai for distribution in most of North and South America, including Canada, Mexico and Brazil.

Obesity, a leading cause of diabetes, heart disease and other serious health problems, has reached epidemic proportions in the United States with nearly a third of the population falling into the category.

The pricetag of obesity has also soared, with the condition contributing an additional $190 billion a year in healthcare costs, or one-fifth of all healthcare spending.

But the FDA has set a very high approval bar for weight loss drugs because such a large portion of the general population is likely to want to take them.


Vivus Inc and Orexigen Therapeutics Inc have also tried to get obesity pills approved in the last two years but been rejected because of safety.

Vivus resubmitted its pill Qnexa, and won the backing in February of the same advisory panel that voted in favor of lorcaserin. The FDA has pushed back its final decision on Qnexa by three months to July 17 in order to review the company’s risk evaluation plan for the drug.

Vivus shares closed down 0.3 percent on Nasdaq on Thursday, while shares of Orexigen, which is still testing the heart safety of its obesity drug Contrave, closed down 6.4 percent.

In a review earlier this week, staff from the FDA said Arena’s pill appeared to help people lose weight and was unlikely to cause tumors in humans, but questioned if the company had provided enough data to rule out heart valve problems.

Heart problems have dogged the obesity field for decades, making the FDA especially cautious about any potential issues.

Arena’s lorcaserin was designed to block appetite signals in the brain in a similar way to “fen-phen,” an infamous diet pill that was pulled from the market in 1997 after reports of sometimes fatal heart-valve problems.

Another diet pill, Meridia, was withdrawn in 2010 after also being linked to heart problems.

Some FDA advisers questioned whether the smaller weight loss of Arena’s pill, compared to the drugs from Vivus and Orexigen, justified its uncertain heart risks.

Lorcaserin helped people lose at least 5 percent of their weight compared to placebo, meeting the FDA’s threshold, according to a combined analysis of three clinical trials for the drug. But if any of the trials were analyzed alone, the drug did not meet the bar, FDA staff said earlier.

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“There remains a lingering uncertainty regarding potential (heart valve disorder) associated with lorcaserin, especially given the weight loss that’s observed,” said Dr. Sanjay Kaul, an influential cardiologist from Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, who voted against lorcaserin.

Most panel members suggested the company should study the risk of heart valve disorder after lorcaserin is approved, and make people who take it get regular echocardiograms.

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(Reporting by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Gary Hill and Tim Dobbyn)

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Saturday, May 12th, 2012

America’s hatred of fat

hurts the fight against obesity

(Reuters) – One night when Lynn McAfee was 5 years old, her psychologically troubled mother left her at the side of a road as punishment for a now forgotten infraction.

In the minutes before her mother’s car returned, the terrified girl looked toward the nearby houses on the suburban Philadelphia street and wondered if she should walk over and ask for help.

“But I didn’t,” said McAfee, 62, who is now the director of medical advocacy for the Council on Size and Weight Discrimination. “I didn’t think anyone would want a fat child.”

The stigmatization of obesity begins in preschool: Children as young as 3 tell scientists studying the phenomenon that overweight people are mean, stupid, ugly and have few friends. It intensifies in adulthood, when substantial numbers of Americans say obese people are self-indulgent, lazy and unable to control their appetites. And it translates into poorer job prospects for the obese compared with their slim peers.

It may be the nation’s last, accepted form of prejudice. But the stigmatization of obesity has repercussions beyond the pain it inflicts on its targets: It threatens to impede efforts to fight the obesity epidemic.

“As long as we have this belief that obese people are lazy and lacking in discipline, it will be hard to get support for policies that change the environment, which are likely to have a much larger impact than trying to change individuals,” said psychologist Rebecca Puhl of the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

That barrier to action is becoming clearer as the nation grapples with the costs of having two-thirds of adults overweight or obese. This week, an influential health panel proposed changes to an obesity-promoting environment, from farm policies to zoning, trying to shift the debate away from personal blame.

A new Reuters/Ipsos online poll of 1,143 adults from May 7 to 10 captures some of the prejudicial attitudes. Asked to identify the main cause of the epidemic, 61 percent chose “personal choices about eating and exercising”; 19 percent chose the actions of food manufacturers and the fast-food industry. The poll is accurate to within 3.6 percentage points. Because of the methods used to collect the data, accuracy is measured using a statistical measure called a credibility interval.

Reflecting the belief that the obese have only themselves to blame, 49 percent of respondents favored allowing insurers to charge obese people more for health insurance.

Poll respondents also showed broad support for efforts that target the food industry: 56 percent wanted to limit advertising of unhealthy food or taxing sugared soda, 77 percent were in favor of calorie counts at restaurants and sport arenas. But an all-out ban on fast-food restaurants? America loves its Big Macs: Only 21 percent said yes.


One effect of the obesity stigma is that discrimination on the basis of weight is legal. Michigan is the only state that prohibits it, along with a few towns and cities. Everywhere else, it is legal to deny people jobs or refuse to rent them an apartment if they are obese. The fact that two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese has not led to bans on such discrimination.

That does not surprise McAfee, who weighs about 500 pounds. “Studies show that fat people are even more prejudiced against fat people” than thin people are, she said.

Even respected leaders such as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, seen as a potential running mate for Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, are not spared the mockery.

Christie’s girth was the target of fat jokes at the White House Correspondents’ dinner last month, though he shrugged them off.

“When you’re overweight, fair or unfair, there’s going to be those who make really awful comments about you and there are going to be people who make jokes about it. That’s the way it goes,” Christie told reporters.

The stigma also hurts the efforts of America’s 73 million obese adults and 12 million obese children to get back to a healthy weight: Targets of stigma often fall into depression or withdraw socially. Both make overeating, binge eating, and a sedentary existence more likely, studies show.

Sophie Lewis and her colleagues at Monash University in Australia interviewed hundreds of obese adults who were the target of such comments as “look at that fat lady!” when out in public. As a result, found Lewis, obese people are less likely to exercise by walking outdoors.

Even healthcare professionals hold negative attitudes about the obese, studies show. Physicians often spend less time with an obese patient, for instance, and do not counsel them about a healthy lifestyle, perhaps believing it would fall on deaf ears.

Doctors and nurses who telegraph negative attitudes toward the obese can keep them from seeking treatment for diabetes, found a study led by Elizabeth Teixeira of Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions in Philadelphia.

“Patients are afraid of hearing, ‘you’re fat,’ or ‘just lose weight,’ as if it were that easy,” said Teixeira, a nurse practitioner specializing in diabetes. “I’ve had patients tell me they delay seeking care, even having their blood pressure or glucose checked, because they don’t want to be lectured.”

A 2010 study by scientists at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found that the fatter a patient, the more likely a doctor is to assume he or she is not taking medications as prescribed. That, other studies have shown, can keep physicians from prescribing needed meds, assuming they won’t be taken.

Taking all that data into account, it may not be surprising how reluctant people are to call themselves obese. In the Reuters/Ipsos poll, 14 percent of respondents said they are obese. Based on their self-reported height and weight, 26 percent are obese according to U.S. guidelines.


The belief that obesity reflects personal decisions implies that the solution, too, should be personal: Eat less, move more. But as the Institute of Medicine argued this week, the most effective way to combat obesity is to change the environment.

For average American adults, willpower is no match for “an environment in which we are constantly bombarded by food and food cues,” said David Kessler, former head of the Food and Drug Administration and author of the 2009 book, “The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite.” “Lecturing people doesn’t work.”

The IOM recommended building sidewalks to make it easier for people to walk, banning sugary drinks from schools and requiring 60 minutes of daily exercise in grades K-12, reducing portion sizes in schools and restaurants, and making low-cal choices widely available and as affordable as super-sized ice cream cones. Most important, it concluded, was changing the “messaging,” including the ubiquitous marketing of calorie-dense food.

Fat stigma makes those ideas ripe for attack by an industry that says how much to eat and move reflects individual choice. The restaurant- and food-industry-funded Center for Consumer Freedom called the IOM “arrogant and absurd” for suggesting “that Americans are too stupid to make their own food choices.” By proposing to keep unhealthy, calorie-dense food out of school lunch programs, it said, “food nannies” like the IOM are “flatly arguing against consumers having any choice in their snacks and meals.”

In the Reuters/Ipsos poll, respondents were almost evenly split over “government intervention” to reduce obesity, with 52 percent supporting it and 48 percent opposing it. There was greater support for specific steps, with 87 percent in favor of requiring 30 minutes per day of exercise in school.


Psychologist Chris Crandall of the University of Kansas has found that young adults who stigmatize obesity tend to be more ideologically conservative, favoring traditional sex roles and capital punishment, his studies found.

“Particularly in America, self-determination and individual choice is a fundamental value,” he said. “We blame people for everything that happens to them – being poor, being obese. It’s the ‘just world’ idea that people get what they deserve.”

The stigma is less pronounced in countries such as India, Mexico and Turkey, whose cultures assign more collective responsibility for personal outcomes, Crandall found. His studies, going back to the 1990s, surveyed hundreds of people worldwide about how closely they associate obesity with adjectives such as lazy and stupid.

Americans also stand out in their conviction that hard work and determination lead to success, while failure is due to lack of effort.

“Being thin has come to symbolize such important values as being disciplined and in control,” said Yale’s Puhl. The converse: If someone is not thin, he must be lacking in those virtues.

Indeed, some Americans value thinness more than life itself. In a 2007 study, 24 percent of women and 17 percent of men said they would trade three or more years of life to be svelte.

Yet despite the rising personal stakes, a growing body of research shows just how hard it is for the average person to keep the pounds off.

Just before speaking to Reuters, McAfee had exercised for an hour in her Florida pool and had a salad for lunch.

“I work out, I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, and I’m still not thin,” she said. “So please stop beating the crap out of me: It’s completely counterproductive.”

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Drink beer & lose weight!

I’ve been warning you away from some pretty awful diets lately – eating schemes loaded with everything from Twinkies to jelly beans.

So let me give you the lowdown on one crazy diet that might actually work: The Beer Diet!

Before I tap the keg on this one, let me get to one crucial little detail right up front: This isn’t a license to drink to excess each night, or skip out on the real food your body needs.

But if you want to have a couple of brews each night, go ahead – they won’t interfere with your weight-loss goals, and a new study shows they might even help shrink your belly.

Spanish researchers examined 1,249 men and women aged 57 or older, and found that daily beer drinkers were much less likely to suffer from diabetes or high blood pressure.

So far so good… but it gets even better, because this study also cuts the beer belly myth right open. The researchers say the beer drinkers had lower levels of body fat, were unlikely to gain weight, and some of them even lost it during the study period.

They say the secret isn’t the beer alone… but the things that usually accompany it.
Think chorizos instead of chips.

This study took place in Spain, after all – and the researchers say their volunteers ate a typical Mediterranean diet.

Now, I’m not a big fan of the trendy diet, but I will say this for it – while it’s low in the red meat your body needs, it’s also relatively low in carbs, especially sugar, and that means they’re on the right track.

And a couple of cold ones each night helps take the diet to the next level, because beer is bubbling over with amino acids and loaded with essential minerals including potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and copper.

It’s also rich in the dietary silicon that’s great for your bones, and some studies have even linked it to a lower risk of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Beer does contain a few carbs – but with benefits like that, they’re well worth the tradeoff.

Joining the brew crew,

William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.

Received & published by Henry Sapiecha

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Lose 20 kilos and win

“Grape juice cure” for obesity revealed in a
vision to mystic Edgar Cayce… WORKS!

“We have a friend who’s a light eater,” they told me. “As soon as it gets light, she eats! But seriously, Marty, we know how tough it can be to battle food cravings. If you can lick them, you don’t need to diet – and if you can’t, no diet will work!

“So we told our friend about the grape juice remedy recommended over 60 years ago by Edgar Cayce…”

Now that got me curious! Edgar Cayce was one of the strangest healers who ever lived…

Born in 1877, he was a world-acclaimed mystic. He’d go into a trance and utter all kinds of prophecies and pronouncements. Some of his odd-sounding remedies don’t work, but once in a while he hit one out of the park…

And this one’s a winner. As it was explained, “Since our friend started this grape juice regimen, she’s fitting into clothes she hasn’t worn in years!”

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha