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[black small square] Can Body Shape Help Predict an Eating Disorder?


[black small square] Walking Works Wonders for Reducing CVD Risk


[black small square] US Preventive Services Task Force Recommends More Diabetes Screening



In a large prospective community-based study of older Americans, modest physical activity was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). This was true even among men and women older than 75 years at baseline, a rapidly growing population for whom regular activity has been advised, but with little supportive empirical evidence. Researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University studied a group of American adults whose mean age was 73 years at the start of the study and who were then followed up for 10 years. Information on various usual activities was assessed at baseline and regularly updated during follow-up. When the team evaluated different aspects of physical activity by the men and women during this 10-year period-a greater pace, walking distance, and leisure activity-each was associated with a lower risk of CVD. The findings were similar in both men and women, in those older than or younger than 75 years at baseline, and including only those with similarly good or excellent self-reported health. The researchers studied data collected on 4207 men and women who had been enrolled in the Cardiovascular Health Study. The researchers used the information in the Cardiovascular Health Study database concerning physical activity, including walking, leisure-time activities and exercise intensity, and other health information coming from annual study visits such as physical examinations, diagnostic testing, laboratory evaluations, personal health histories, and measured risk factors.


After adjustment for other risk factors and lifestyle behaviors, those who were more active had significantly lower risk of future heart attacks and stroke.


In addition,


* Adults who walked at a pace faster than 3 miles per hour (mph) had a 50% lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), a 53% lower risk of stroke, and a 50% lower risk of total CVD compared with those who walked at a pace of less than 2 mph.


* Those who walked an average of 7 blocks per day or more had a 36%, 54%, and 47% lower risk of CHD, stroke, and total CVD, respectively, compared with those who walked up to 5 blocks per week.


* Those who engaged in leisure activities, such as lawn mowing, raking, gardening, swimming, biking, and hiking, also had a lower risk of CHD, stroke, and total CVD, compared with those who did not engage in leisure-time activities.



The findings confirm a beneficial relationship between walking and leisure activities and CVD late in life.


Source: Soares-Miranda L, Siscovick DS, Psaty BM, Longstreth WT, Mozaffarian D. Physical activity and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke in older adults: the Cardiovascular Health Study. Circulation 2015; CIRCULATIONAHA.115.018323, DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.115.018323



The State of Maine continues to ask the federal government to allow it to ban the purchase of soda and candy with food stamps, one of several states including that have sought to keep sugary items out of the SNAP, which helps low-income Americans buy food. Nearly 200 000 Mainers, or roughly 15% of state residents, are on food stamps, on par with the share of Americans using the program nationally. Specifically, the state is asking for restrictions on candy and soda in hopes to improve public health, address obesity, and contain costs for Medicaid, the government health plan for the poor. What was not revealed was if there existed good evidence that such a plan would lead to less obesity or to less diet related disease, or if it was feasible. Many people use food said to supplement their grocery bill, which implies that the participants can still purchase the items using their own dollars. The Maine Legislature had considered a bill including candy and soda limits, but it failed. The legislation would have also pushed the state to seek a federal grant to help SNAP users buy more produce. In the meantime, Mainers and those south of its borders need to eat less, particularly of high-calorie, low-nutrient-density foods, and increase their physical activity.





Child malnutrition rates in India are among the highest in the world. Most recent data show that 39 % of all children younger than 5 years are very short for their age (stunted). This compares with a 24% rate at the global level. Stunting means that these children are not fulfilling their potential either in childhood or as adults. Their brains and immune systems are more likely to be compromised. Two new reports point to India's improved performance in reducing its high burden of malnutrition. But both reports point out that this improvement could and should be much more rapid. The first report, the 2015 India Health Report, offers a critical analysis of the current situation with nutrition at the national and state levels. It provides information for 28 states and Delhi that give a comprehensive view of nutrition and its determinants. It looks at disparities in these outcomes and their multiple determinants across geographical regions, socioeconomic classes, and demographic groups and helps identify strategic choices for policy making at the state level. A central message of the report is that the performance at the all-India level masks significant differences in state-level performance. The second report, the 2015 Global Nutrition Report, assesses progress in reducing malnutrition for 193 countries. It concludes that India is on track to meet 2 of 8 global targets on nutrition and has significantly improved its nutrition performance in the past 10 years. The report shows that there has been an increase in the number of countries on track to meet global nutrition targets and encourages countries to establish specific and time-bound targets for malnutrition reduction that are consistent with the new sustainable development goals. National targets should help accelerate progress and promote accountability.





Women with more fat around the center of the body were at greater risk of developing an eating disorder, a secondary analysis of a prospective study found. Independent of body mass index (BMI), larger central fat stores had a significant impact on body dissatisfaction, and women with greater central fat may be more likely to engage in losing control when eating, which has been found to predict weight gain and the development of binge-eating episodes. An increase in percentage of abdominal fat was associated with an increase in risk of developing loss of control when eating, even though the total percentage of total body fat did not predict the eating disorder. At a 2-year follow-up, the researchers also found that more trunk fat was also associated with body image dissatisfaction in nearly 300 college-aged women at risk of weight gain. Another study found that the waist-to-hip ratio is a far better predictor of relevant outcomes such as mortality than is BMI. To be eligible for that study, the participants who ranged from not fat at all (most of them) to not very fat to clearly fat, they had to report at least 1 of the following: currently dieting, a history of dieting, a highest lifetime weight minus current weight of 1.8 kg or greater (approximately 4 lb), or a score of at least 3.3 on the Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction With Body Parts Scale. Researchers assessed the participants periodically over 24 months by taking weight and height measurements, interviewing the participants, and administering questionnaires. Total percentage of body fat, along with percentage of trunk fat, was measured at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Nearly 3 quarters of the participants had a normal body mass index (18.5-24.9 kg/m2), and 4% had a BMI of more than 30 kg/m2. Nineteen percent had reported loss-of-control eating in the 3 months prior to the beginning of the experiment. Among those participants, new loss-of-control episodes occurred about once a month during the study. The results suggest that targeting individuals who store more of their fat in the midsection and adapting psychological interventions to focus specifically on body fat distribution could be beneficial for preventing eating disorders.


Source: Berner L, et al. Examination of central body fat deposition as a risk factor for loss-of-control eating. Am J Clin Nutr 2015; DOI 10.3945/ajcn.115.107128.