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Eat Less-Move More
05/13/2010
IconThere are two sure fire comments that I can make on the air which will get hackles way, way up.' The first is to say anything which even sounds remotely like a criticism of cats (for some reason it doesn't work for dogs, chickens, pigs or parakeets...just cats) or comment that, for the most part, being fat is your own darn fault.' There's even a fan site for my show called "We Love Dr. Laura" - which has a thread that goes wild whenever I take a "fat" call and give my opinion that by and large, being fat and unfit is a voluntary condition.Let me give you an example: a woman called to tell me about her mean, mean, and oh so mean, husband who is trying to influence her to lose weight and start working out.' She just about had a fit on the phone, telling me that he should just love her the way she is...or he's, simply, a bad guy.' Since when don't we owe our families our healthiest selves: mind, body and soul?When I didn't agree with her, the harrumph resounded across the land.I've basically told people who call about weight that it is ultimately a simple issue: "eat less, move more."' That might not result in the kind of body they show off in all those home exercise equipment videos (by the way...does anybody believe you go from fat and flabby, to svelte and ripped exercising 20 minutes a day, three times a week?).' Nonetheless, you can evolve into a more healthy, fit, and attractive version of yourself.This is all in preparation for an inspirational story of a fat man, 330 pounds, who wanted become a Marine.' Their answer was, well, nope.' Committed as he was to joining the military, he did what is generally said to be too difficult to do: without miracle weight loss potions sold on television, he moved more and ate less.' The 23-year old man gave up beer, cut his food portions way, way down, and exercised 140 pounds away in about a year.Kindly, the Marine recruiters also worked with him - helping him to develop an appropriate, safe yet effective workout regimen.When his friends would sit down for beer and pizza, he'd put on a head lamp and go out for a run in the dark.Eat less...move more.' It's the least expensive weight management program on the planet. More >>

Tags: BudgetEat Less-Move MoreEconomyNutritionObesity
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05/13/2010
IconAccording to a study being released in November's American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry , Internet web searching may just enhance brain activity and keep your elderly (55-75 years of age) brain working at top function.The study compared 24 subjects between the ages of 55 and 75, and discovered using MRI scans that reading a book helped stimulate certain areas of the brain that had to do with language, memory, and visuals.' They also found that searching the Internet created these same stimulations, but activated more of the frontal, temporal, and cingulated areas of the brain - areas that have a lot to do with decision-making skills. More >>

Tags: Eat Less-Move MoreFitnessHealthInternetInternet-MediaInternet/MediaSocial Issues
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05/13/2010
IconAs I have mentioned on the air many times, I race sailboats.' I've won some races and lost some, but the favorite wins have been the ones that I least expected would or could happen.' I remember the time that we were over early at the start and had to do a penalty turn of 360 degrees, after getting out of the way of the other starting boats.' We had a heck of a time starting again, as, by the time we finished our penalty turn, many boats were already in our way.'This incident happened early on in my sailing training, and I became despondent almost immediately, because I realized we now had absolutely no chance of even a third place finish, let alone a first.' My coach and tactician sternly yanked me out of my doldrums and told me that we were "down but not out," and we had to work even harder now to catch up.' Frankly, I thought this was philosophically lovely, but hugely impractical, and I could barely see the sterns of the boats in front of us as they had so much distance on us.Nonetheless, after considering breeze, windshifts, current, direction choices, steering, and crew work, there were enough variables to work with to keep our chins up.'We pulled together as a team, and worked very hard to maximize every option we had, and we ended up winning the race.' I learned a lot that day.' It's a lot more gratifying to succeed when it is a righteous challenge than when it seems like more of a slam dunk.Jason Lezak knew this lesson.' Fifty meters from the finish line in the 4x 100 meter freestyle relay at the Beijing Olympics, Mr. Lezak doubted he could overcome the half-body length lead of his French opponent, Alain Bernard, who also happened to hold the world record in the 100-meter freestyle.Instead of just accepting the probable loss, a determined Mr. Lezak pulled grit from down deep, and swam the fastest he's ever done, and touched the electronically sensored wall, winning by eight one-hundredths of a second.' He shattered a world record and won a gold medal.'And then he heard the fat lady sing...the American national anthem! More >>

Tags: AttitudeEat Less-Move MoreFitnessHealthHobbiesHolidaysPersonal ResponsibilityPurposeSailingSocial IssuesValentine's Day
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05/13/2010
IconAll those who don't follow the guidelines for good eating and no smoking are just going to have fewer choices available to them.' Free will to be self-destructive is about to managed by the government.The Los Angeles City Council approved a one-year moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in a 32 square-mile area of South Los Angeles, an area plagued by above-average rates of obesity:' 30% of adults, as compared with about 21% in the rest of LA.' Nationally, 25.6% of adults are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.When you look at the realities, an intact family with a homemaker mom or dad (versus a two-career, busy, busy, busy set of parents) generally results in everyone eating less fast food, and more nutritious at-home meals.' But promoting marriage and a division of responsibilities is politically incorrect, isn't it?California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill into law ordering that, as of 2010, no California restaurant will be able to serve foods containing a harmful form of fats called trans fats .' Baked goods containing trans fats will be banned in California as of 2011.' If a product's list of ingredients contains the words "partially hydrogenated," the product contains trans fat, which is used to harden vegetable oils into shortening and margarine to help extend product shelf life.' Trans fats lower "good" cholesterol (HDL) and contribute to other health problems.According to the New England Journal of Medicine , eliminating artificial trans fats from the food supply "could" prevent between 6 and 19 per cent of heart attacks and related deaths each year.'Do you think there'll be an underground market for trans fat products?San Francisco is ready to become the first city in the nation to ban sales of tobacco products at pharmacies, which last year accounted for almost 20% of U.S. tobacco sales.' The logic is that pharmacies are places people go to get healthy, so cigarettes ought not to be on the shelves as they are a known health hazard.'Since trans fats are going to be off the supermarket shelves because they're unhealthy, shouldn't supermarkets stop selling cigarettes too?I am all for healthy habits.' I work hard at eating as healthily as possible, generally ordering fish without sauces in restaurants and salad without dressing.' As sauces, gravies, and dressing are very high in calories, perhaps they should be banned from restaurant recipes, or ordered only under a physician's approval...assuming you already have a very high HDL level.Lastly, restaurants around the country will soon have to post on menus the exact calorie count of a meal.' It will blow your mind to see what you thought was healthy is actually loaded with hidden calories.' There's a terrific book, called "Eat This, Not That" which will make your head explode when you find out where calories are hidden in some of your favorite meals. More >>

Tags: Eat Less-Move MoreHealthObesityPersonal ResponsibilitySocial Issues
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05/13/2010
IconThe American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that under the current guidelines, thirty per cent of the nation's children are overweight or obese.' Many doctors fear that a rash of early heart attacks and diabetes will strike these children as they grow older.The nation's pediatricians are therefore recommending wider cholesterol screening for children - starting at age two - and more aggressive use of cholesterol-lowering drugs starting as early as eight years of age in hopes of preventing adult heart problems.Because statins (cholesterol drugs) have been around since only the mid-1980s, there really is no evidence to show whether giving statins to children will, indeed, lower the risk for heart attack in middle age.The main problem is that we live in a culture which is largely hooked into electronic entertainment and spend too much time feeding one end and not moving the other. More >>

Tags: Eat Less-Move MoreFamily/Relationships - ChildrenHealthObesityParenting
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05/13/2010
IconJapan has instituted one of the most serious campaigns in the world to get its citizens to be fit.' This action is motivated by the rapidly aging society's ballooning health care costs, as most Japanese are covered under public health care or through their employment.The term "metabo," comes from the medical concept of "metabolic syndrome," i.e., the factors that heighten the risk of developing vascular disease and diabetes.' They are:' obesity, high blood pressure, high glucose, and high cholesterol.' The term "metabo" has become the nation's nickname for "overweight."Under a two month-old national law, companies and local governments must measure the waistlines of people between the ages of 40 and 74 as part of annual checkups.' That amounts to 44% of the population of Japan.The International Diabetes Federation's ( www.idf.org ) guidelines for Japan of no more than 33.5 inches for men's waistlines and 35.4 inches for women is being used as the standard.' When folks are over those measurements and have a weight-related ailment, they will be given dieting guidance and education.The government will impose financial penalties on companies and local governments that fail to meet these targets.' NEC, a Japanese personal computer production company, said to the New York Times (6/13/08) that if it failed to meet its targets, it could incur almost 20 million in penalties.A survey by the National Center for Health Statistics in the U.S.A. found that the average waist size for Caucasian American men was 39 inches, a full inch smaller than the 40 inch maximum established by the International Diabetes Federation.Ladies didn't do as well:' the average waist size of Caucasian American women was 36.5 inches, about two inches above our threshold.' (The differences in thresholds between Japanese and Americans and men and women have to do with height and body type). More >>

Tags: ChildrenEat Less-Move MoreHealthObesityParentingSocial Issues
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05/13/2010
Icon"Obese and overweight people require more fuel to transport them and the food they eat, and the problem will worsen as the population literally swells in size," a team at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine says.' This adds to food shortages and higher energy prices, say the School's researchers, Phil Edwards and Ian Roberts, who wrote about this subject in the most recent issue of the medical journal Lancet .At least 400 million adults worldwide are obese.' The World Health Organization (WHO) projects that by the year 2015, 2.3 billion adults will be overweight and more than 700 million will be obese.' The researchers calculate that these fat and obese people require 18% more energy than someone with a stable Body Mass Index (BMI).Is the next step giving tax breaks to those who are thin and fit? More >>

Tags: Eat Less-Move MoreHealthObesitySocial Issues
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05/13/2010
IconWe already have taxes levied on cigarettes, purportedly to pay for education to stop smoking.' So, what's so wrong with a tax on fast food to subsidize education about "eating less and moving more," considering that two-thirds of the American population is fat or obese?Lawmakers in New Jersey are considering such a tax, and planning to use the revenue from it to fund struggling hospitals.' Obviously, the old hat argument comes out that condemns such a tax as specifically aiming at the poor. When you want to budget money for eating, why not consider eating at home and brown-bagging it for lunch?' Everyone knows that this is a cheaper and more nutritious alternative.As one taxpayer pointed out, "It costs $12.86 for fries and this little chicken wrap...." This taxpayer was complaining about adding a tax.' Yipes.' This taxpayer should have been complaining about how much money he's wasting on such a menu.' He did also comment that "if they raise it [i.e., the price with a tax], I'll stop buying it." Brilliant!' If it's unhealthy, he'll eat it.' If it has a "sin tax," he'll stop.' I think that's a good enough reason for the tax. More >>

Tags: BudgetEat Less-Move MoreEconomyObesitySocial Issues
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05/13/2010
IconA study by Harvard-affiliated researchers published in the Archives of Internal Medicine challenges the notion that you can be fat and fit.' They found that being active can lower, but not eliminate heart risks faced by women who are fat or obese.This new study involved nearly 39,000 women, average age of 54, who filled out a questionnaire at the beginning of the study detailing their height, weight and amount of weekly physical activity in the past year, including walking, jogging, bicycling, and swimming.' They were then tracked for approximately 11 years.Women were considered "active" if they followed government-recommended guidelines, and got at least 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week.' Women who got less exercise than that were considered "inactive." Weight was evaluated by body mass index (BMI):' a BMI between 25 and 29 is considered overweight, and 30 or higher is considered obese.Compared with normal-weight active women, the risk for developing heart disease was 54% higher in overweight active women, and 87% higher in obese active women.' By contrast, the risk for developing heart disease was 88% higher in overweight inactive women and 2 1/2 times greater in obese inactive women.About two in five American women at age 50 will eventually develop heart attacks or other cardiovascular problems according to the Associated Press report ( 4/29/08 ).' Excess weight can raise those odds in numerous ways, such as increasing blood pressure and increasing the risks for diabetes, as well as increasing "bad" (LDL) cholesterol.' Exercise counteracts all three.If there's one place in the world where there is no excuse for being inactive, it's southern California.' Between the glorious weather, the hiking trails in the mountains, marked bicycle lanes and more, it's almost impossible to excuse or explain being out of shape. More >>

Tags: Eat Less-Move MoreHealthObesity
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05/13/2010
IconAccording to the Wall Street Journal (March 14, 2008) restaurant owners have identified a "worrisome" long-term trend: "The number of harried working moms isn't growing the way it was." What??' This is a worrisome trend for marriages and children?' I think not!' Instead, this is a worrisome trend for businesses built on the virtual dissolution of family bonding and togetherness.Since the percentage of women in the work force has been dropping, the result is less money in the family budget for eating out.' Fatty, salt-laden, hyper-caloric, oversized meals will have to go by the wayside for warm, home-cooked meals filling the home with luscious aromas and bringing a family together around their own kitchen table.Ahh....not to worry!' Restaurants are coming up with ideas to undermine all that syrupy "homey" stuff:' offering children's books, Etch-A-Sketch toys and handheld video games to appeal to children who might drag in their parents; and also coming up with ideas of pre-cooked meals moms can buy at the grocery.There is always hope that the disgusting new television program, "The Secret Life of A Soccer Mom" will simply succeed in seducing moms and wives away from their families to go back into some "dream" job..... More >>

Tags: Eat Less-Move MoreexerciseHealthParenting
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