Tag Archives: weight loss

How many weekly miles should I run to improve my health?

Surprisingly few, it seems. According to a new review of studies related to running and health, jogging for as few as five or six miles per week could substantially improve someone’s health.

The reviewers found that even with such skimpy mileage, runners generally weighed less and had a lower risk of obesity than people who jogged fewer than five miles per week or (more commonly) not at all. These runners also were less likely to experience high blood pressure, cholesterol problems, diabetes, strokes, certain cancers and arthritis than the barely- or non-runners.

“It seems like the maximum benefits of running occur at quite low doses,” said Dr. Carl J. Lavie, medical director of cardiac rehabilitation and prevention at the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans and lead author of the review, which was published in September in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

As little as “one to two runs per week, or three to six miles per week, and well less than an hour per week” can be quite beneficial, he said.

To read the full story, click here.

Jeffrey R. Ungvary President

Jeffrey R. Ungvary

Cutting Sugar Improves Children’s Health in Just 10 Days

Obese children who cut back on their sugar intake see improvements in their blood pressure, cholesterol readings and other markers of health after just 10 days, a rigorous new study found.

The new research may help shed light on a question scientists have long debated: Is sugar itself harming health, or is the weight gain that comes from consuming sugary drinks and foods mainly what contributes to illness over the long term?

In the new study, which was financed by the National Institutes of Health and published Tuesday in the journal Obesity, scientists designed a clinical experiment to attempt to answer this question. They removed foods with added sugar from a group of children’s diets and replaced them with other types of carbohydrates so that the subjects’ weight and overall calorie intake remained roughly the same.

After 10 days, the children showed dramatic improvements, despite losing little or no weight. The findings add to the argument that all calories are not created equal, and they suggest that those from sugar are especially likely to contribute to Type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases, which are on the rise in children, said the study’s lead author, Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Benioff Children’s Hospital of the University of California, San Francisco.

To read the full story, click here.

Jeffrey R. Ungvary President

Jeffrey R. Ungvary

Placing a Cap on Americans’ Consumption of Added Sugar

Health experts have been nudging Americans to kick the sugar habit for years, and now it’s official: The Food and Drug Administration is recommending a daily cap on sugar for the first time.

The goal is for Americans to limit added sugar to no more than 10 percent of daily calories, according to the proposed guidelines. For someone older than 3, that means eating no more than 12.5 teaspoons, or 50 grams, of it a day.

That’s about the same amount of sugar found in a can of Coke, but for most people, giving up sugary soft drinks will not be enough to meet the recommendations. Caloric sweeteners like sugar, honey and high-fructose corn syrup are found in obvious places like sodas, cookies and candy — but they are also lurking in foods with health appeal, like low-fat yogurt, granola and wholegrain breads, as well as in ketchup, pasta sauce, canned fruit and prepared soups, salad dressings and marinades.

“There is a lot of hidden sugar in our food supply, and it’s not just in sweets,” said Dr. Frank Hu, a member of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard.

Currently, nutrition labels on food packaging reveal only the total amount of sugar in a product. The F.D.A. has said it wants to change the labels to help consumers distinguish between the amount of naturally occurring sugar and the amount of added sugar.

To read the full story, click here.

Jeffrey R. Ungvary President

Jeffrey R. Ungvary

 

To Lose Weight, Eating Less Is Far More Important Than Exercising More

One of my family’s favorite shows is “The Biggest Loser.” Although some viewers don’t appreciate how it pushes people so hard to lose weight, the show probably inspires some overweight people to regain control of their lives.

But one of the most frustrating parts of the show, at least for me, is its overwhelming emphasis on exercise. Because when it comes to reaching a healthy weight, what you don’t eat is much, much more important.

Think about it this way: If an overweight man is consuming 1,000 more calories than he is burning and wants to be in energy balance, he can do it by exercising. But exercise consumes far fewer calories than many people think. Thirty minutes of jogging or swimming laps might burn off 350 calories. Many people, fat or fit, can’t keep up a strenuous 30-minute exercise regimen, day in and day out. They might exercise a few times a week, if that.

Or they could achieve the same calorie reduction by eliminating two 16-ounce sodas each day.

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Jeffrey R. Ungvary President

 Jeffrey R. Ungvary