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More protein is usually what’s needed when hunger strikes

Appetite is something that can run riot in certain individuals, and the last few years have seen scientists attempt to identify the mechanisms that influence it. For example, a hormone by the name of leptin has been found to suppress appetite, while one called ghrelin has the opposite effect. This week saw the publication of […]

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Fat chance – why cutting down on saturated fat will do little or nothing for your health

Over the weekend, I was reading about an Australian study in which individuals shopping on-line for food were able to be diverted away from foods rich in saturated fat by some nifty software that gives purchase-specific dietary advice. I like the idea of anything that gives individuals the opportunity to make informed eating choices more […]

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Why the notion that eating nuts causes weight gain is, well, nuts!

This week, I saw a story reporting some American research in which an extract of a pine nut from Korea was found to increase the level of the appetite suppressing substances cholecystokinin and glycagons-like peptides. No doubt, some company or other will attempt to exploit this finding with a wonder-pill based on this extract (actually […]

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Is this the death of the body mass index (BMI) as a measure of body weight?

The fact that our collective mass has grown considerably of late has inevitably triggered warnings from health professionals about how this may swell our risk of weight-related conditions such as heart disease. Ideal weight recommendations traditionally come in the form of the body mass index (BMI) – calculated by dividing an individual’s weight in kilograms […]

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The appetite-sating power or protein

It wasn’t so long ago that the controversial Atkins diet was a rip-roaring success on both sides of the Atlantic, as evidenced by spectacular sales of not just books, but also Atkins food products such as snack bars and shakes. However, increasing competition and a reduced appetite for the extreme of the Atkins diet have […]

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Why regular eating provides a route to better health and weight loss

In previous columns, I have expressed my enthusiasm for frequent feeding. One benefit of spreading out our food intake during the day is that it helps to equalise the body’s biochemistry. Also, by reducing the risk of the appetite running riot, regular ingestion can help quell a tendency to overeat too. Recently, British scientists have […]

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Easy does it – why serving smaller portions can reduce the risk of us piling on the pounds

The colossal problems we seem to be having with overweight and obesity in the UK are never far from my mind. As a general rule, I encourage those seeking to attain or maintain a healthy weight to put their focus on enhancing the quality of the diet, rather than reducing its quantity. However, it is […]

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Soft drinks

I have recently returned from a lecture stint in southern Ireland, where the recent ban on smoking in pubs, bars and restaurants was a hot topic of conversation. While I am generally resistant to the idea of Government’s interference in our personal habits, there is actually more than a whiff of evidence that forbidding smoking […]

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Why low-carb may be the way to go for those wanting to lose weight (and keep it off!)

The Government has recently come under considerable criticism for its flabby attitude to the ballooning rates of obesity in the UK. However, even if the politicians weigh into this area, my sense is that reversing our growing epidemic will be akin to turning the Titanic: the situation that we have taken a few decades to […]

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Does eating fat really increase our risk of being fat? (apparently not!)

In an effort to contain the ever-expanding levels of obesity in the UK, the Government is considering levying a tax on unhealthy foods such as those rich in fat. Perhaps not surprisingly, the so-called ‘fat tax’ has attracted some criticism from those keen to stay out of the clutches of the nanny state. Also, some […]

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