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Old 03-28-2008, 02:11 AM   #1
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I'll put this here

When the waist widens, risk of dementia rises

A large belly is a bigger risk than family history in increasing the chances of cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's, research suggests.

Having a large gut in midlife increases the chance of dementia in old age, according to new research published Wednesday that suggests that abdominal fat is a bigger risk factor than even family history.

The study of 6,583 adults found that people with the highest amount of abdominal fat between the ages of 40 and 45 were about three times more likely to develop dementia than those with the lowest amount.

By contrast, people who have parents or a sibling with Alzheimer's face twice the risk of developing the disease.

The report in the journal Neurology was the latest to show that belly fat can pose serious health risks, even for those who are not obese. Previous research has shown that people with large abdomens face a greater chance of diabetes, stroke and heart disease.

"This ought to be a wake-up call to baby boomers in terms of diet and exercise," said Dr. Sam Gandy, a spokesman for the Alzheimer's Assn. who was not involved in the study. "If they are not frightened enough about heart disease, maybe they will worry about losing their mental function."

Dementia is an age-related condition that involves the loss of memory and other cognitive functions. It affects 5.7 million Americans, or about 1 in 10 people over age 65. Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60% to 80% of cases.

Being overweight has also become a significant health problem in the U.S. About 50% of the nation's adults have an unhealthy amount of belly fat, according to the latest report.

People who tend to pack on abdominal fat are often described as apple-shaped and have a waist-to-hip ratio greater than 1 to 1 if they are male and greater than 0.8 to 1 if they are female.

The other major overweight group has a body type described as pear-shaped, characterized by fat around the thighs and lower body.

Participants in the study were members of Kaiser Permanente of Northern California who had their belly fat measured between 1964 and 1973.

Clinicians measured belly fat by placing one end of a tong-like instrument on the back of each subject and the other end of the tong on the subject's abdomen. A person had high belly fat if the distance between the two ends -- the subject's diameter -- was more than 25 centimeters, or 9.8 inches.

An average of 36 years later, 16% of the participants had been diagnosed with dementia.

Those who were overweight and had a large belly when measurements were taken were 2.3 times more likely to develop dementia in old age than those who had a healthy weight and belly size when they were younger.

The researchers categorized subjects as overweight if they had a body mass index of 25 to 29.9. The index, also known as BMI, is a ratio of height and weight. For example, a man who is 6 feet tall and weighs 184 pounds is overweight.

People who were obese -- with a BMI greater than 30 -- and had a large belly in middle age were 3.6 times more likely to develop dementia later in life than those whose weight and belly size had been in the healthy range.

Increases in thigh fat did not add to the risk of dementia, according to the report.

Lead author Rachel A. Whitmer, a Kaiser Permanente researcher, said the study underscored the need for doctors "to check not just weight but how much fat patients are carrying around their middles."

Whitmer said scientists did not know how abdominal fat might contribute to the risk of dementia.

One theory is that hormones and proteins released by abdominal fat spur the buildup of amyloid plaques in the brain, which are associated with Alzheimer's. Abdominal fat is more biologically active than fat located in other areas of the body, she said.

Another possibility, Whitmer said, is that dementia is not directly related to abdominal fat but is linked to obesity-related diseases such as stroke, diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

Although losing weight can be a challenge, she said, abdominal fat is easier to lose than other kinds of fat.

"The good news is it goes away with diet and exercise," Whitmer said.

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Old 04-12-2011, 07:20 PM   #2
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Why a healthy waist? Here you will find information on the importance of keeping your waistline at a healthy size.

Fat stored around your middle can put you at risk for high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, type-2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Almost 60% of Canadian adults are overweight or obese. Obese Canadians are four times as likely to have diabetes, more than 3 times as likely to have high blood pressure and more than two times more likely to have heart disease than those with a healthy weight.

A modest weight reduction of as little as 5% of body weight can reduce your high blood pressure and total blood cholesterol. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs, 5% would equal about 7.5 pounds. (5% of 68 kg equals 3.4 kg). Simply weighing yourself is not the only way to determine your health risk. Studies have shown that extra weight around the waistline is more dangerous to the heart than extra weight that is on the hips and thighs.

Where you carry your weight is just as important as how much weight you carry when it comes to your health. This two-minute video will help you determine if you're at risk for overweight-related diseases such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, type-2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke by providing the proper steps to assess your waistline size with a measuring tape.


Here's how to take a proper waist measurement
Tape Measure

1. Clear your abdominal area of any clothing, belts or accessories. Stand upright facing a mirror with your feet shoulder-width apart and your stomach relaxed. Wrap the measuring tape around your waist.
2. Use the borders of your hands and index fingers – not your fingertips – to find the uppermost edge of your hipbones by pressing upwards and inwards along your hipbones.
Tip: Many people mistake an easily felt part of the hipbone located toward the front of their body as the top of their hips. This part of the bone is in fact not the top of the hip bones, but by following this spot upward and back toward the sides of your body, you should be able to locate the true top of your hipbones.
3. Using the mirror, align the bottom edge of the measuring tape with the top of the hipbones on both sides of your body.
Tip: Once located, it may help to mark the top of your hipbones with a pen or felt-tip marker in order to aid you in correctly placing the tape.
4. Make sure the tape is parallel to the floor and is not twisted.
5. Relax and take two normal breaths. After the second breath out, tighten the tape around your waist. The tape should fit comfortably snug around the waist without depressing the skin.
Tip: Remember to keep your stomach relaxed at this point.
6. Still breathing normally, take the reading on the tape.



Healthy? Male 40 inches Female 35 inches
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:01 PM   #3
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Several thousand breast cancer cases could be prevented in Canada each year if prevention strategies such as better diets and more exercise were applied more widely, a new report concludes.

The Cancer Advocacy Coalition of Canada released its annual report on the disease on Tuesday in Toronto.

The document includes several reports on cancer prevention, clinical trials and a progress report on access to treatment for different forms of cancer.

"Truly, an ounce of prevention is worth many pounds of cure," concluded Dr. Joseph Ragaz, the group's director and a senior medical oncologist and clinical professor at the University of British Columbia.
Overhaul urged

If all of the research findings on prevention were put into practice today by Canadian women at high risk of breast cancer, several thousands breast cancers could be prevented in the country annually, Ragaz said.

The group said it was asking why governments make an already tough fight harder.

"Whether we look at the lack of prevention programs that could prevent thousands of women from developing breast cancer, or to the decline of clinical trials in Canada that provide patients access to new and potentially effective therapies, or to the under-utilization of nurse practitioners and pharmacists in cancer care, we see that our cancer care system needs an overhaul," added Dr. Pierre Major, the co-chair of the group's board of directors.

Ragaz reviewed the evidence supporting prevention approaches such as:

* Reducing excess weight and obesity by switching away from the current Western diet, which is high in carbohydrates, animal fat and too few fruits and vegetables.
* Increasing regular aerobic exercise.
* Reducing high alcohol intake.
* Drug treatments such as tamoxifen for women at high risk based on family history at a young age or abnormal pathology.

Canada lacks dedicated prevention facilities and organized prevention programs despite rising obesity rates among teenage girls, and women with low socio-economic background and aboriginal background, he noted.

Another section of the report reviews the benefits of clinical trials, noting that less than seven per cent of Canadian adults with cancer are enrolled in studies that give access to potentially effective treatments that may contribute to survival and high-quality care.
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:58 PM   #4
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Ever wonder how much you poop in a year? (C’mon, admit it. You know you do!)

Well, we were curious to find out exactly how much waste and other bodily fluids we push out of our bodies each year. So we crunched a few numbers. Pass the chart along to your friends (first maybe wash your hands)—they’ll be comforted to know that they’re capable of squeezing out one 360-pound offensive lineman per year.

Here’s how we came up with the numbers:

Tears
According to Discovery Health, one person produces five to ten ounces of basal tears—the constant tears in our eyes that keep them from drying out—a day. On average, that’s 7.5 ounces a day, which equates to 21.4 gallons a year.

Semen
Per the World Health Organization, men produce an average of 1.5 milliliters of semen every time they have sex. And using research from the Kinsey Institute, we determined that a 33-year-old man has sex an average of 89 times a year. That comes to 4.5 ounces a year, or exactly three shots worth of your favorite liquor.

Urine
According to the Mercer University School of Medicine, the average person pees anywhere from 750 to 2,000 milliliters of urine every day, which averages out to 1,375 milliliters. That means you pee somewhere around 501,875 milliliters, which equates to about 132 gallons—enough to fill six average-sized bathtubs that hold around 21 gallons each.

Poop
According to the book The Truth About Poop, people produce one ounce of poop for each 12 pounds of their body weight. And the National Center for Health Statistics says the average weight for an adult male in the United States is 189.8 pounds. That means the average man produces 360 pounds of poop a year—almost one whole pound a day. Want an easy visualization? That was the playing weight of Minnesota Vikings left tackle Bryant McKinnie in 2010.

Sweat
An average person sweats between 1.5 to 2 liters per hour during exercise, according to Chad M. Kerksick, Ph.D., an assistant professor of exercise physiology at the University of Oklahoma. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends getting at least 150 minutes (or 2.5 hours) of moderate aerobic activity a week. That comes out to 130 hours per year, or roughly 227 liters. That’s as good as 60 gallons, enough to fill 3.24 gas tanks in America’s most popular car, the Honda Accord.

Saliva
Though there’s much debate about the amount of saliva one healthy person produces each day, Mark Davidson, M.D., a gastroenterologist in Beverly Hills, pegs it at around one liter. So if the average person produces 365 liters of saliva a year, that’s more than 96 gallons a year. And since there are 42 gallons in 1 U.S. crude oil barrel, that means you spit around 2.3 barrels a year. What oil crisis?
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