Wednesday, December 1, 2010

People are more active, but just as fat

More than 66 percent of Americans are overweight or obese. The good news is that more people are exercising, and that the obesity rate has leveled off. The bad news is that the obesity rate is not decreasing.
The Center for Diseased Control and Prevention reported that 34.7 percent of Americans engaged in regular leisure-time exercise in 2009, compared to 31.9 percent in 2008. Exercise is essential for long-term weight management. However, most people can't sustain weight loss unless they also restrict caloric intake by 100 to 300 calories per day.

(Reuters, January 16, 2010)

Brown rice decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes

Eating brown rice reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, compared to eating white rice. Brown rice contains the outer bran and germ portions of the rice grain, which removes these portions of the rice grain, which slows the digestion in the gut. Manufacturing white rice removes these portions, leaving only the starchy interior. Brown rice is higher in fiber, vitamins and minerals, which are largely removed during the production of white rice.

Harvard University researchers, using data on nearly 200,000 men and women from the Nurses' Health Study, showed that people who ate five servings of white rice per week had a 20 percent increased risk of diabetes compared to those who ate less than one serving per month. Eating two or more servings of brown rice per week decrease the risk of diabetes by 11 percent. Substituting whole grains for white rice may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

(Archives Internal Medicine, 170: 961-969, 2010)

Question of the Week:

Q: I sweat profusely (literally dripping wet) during my aerobic workout. Is this an indication that I'm out of shape?

A: The reason for profuse sweating is that body core
temperature becomes significantly elevated by the increase in metabolic heat production during exercise.
In response to an elevated body core temperature, the brain signals the body to dissipate the excess heat as rapidly as possible. Eccrine sweat glands are then activated, and fluid is transported to the skin so that it can evaporate and create a cooling effect.

Rather than indicating a lack of conditioning, sweat dripping off the body may be more indicative of the fact that the humidity of the environment is so high that sweat can't evaporate. All factors considered, this is not an ideal situation, because it may mean that the body is not being effectively cooled via evaporation.

On the other hand, profuse sweating can also be a sign of being relatively fit, since one of the adaptations to consistent exercise training is that individuals will sweat more and sweat sooner so that their bodies don't store extra heat.
Cedric Bryant