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UK doctors are advised to be more respectful of the overweight, and I agree

This week, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK issued directive about how doctors should go about managing and advising their overweight patients. Among other things, it recommends as ‘respectful and non-blaming’ approach, and avoiding use of the word ‘obese’. I actually broadly agree with NICE’s recommendations. I have all […]

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Why does adding ‘calorific’ nuts to the diet not usually cause weight gain?

Much of our thinking about weight control has been dictated by the calorie principle – the idea that our body weight is determined by the balance of calories taken into and burned by our bodies. Within this overarching concept, calorific foods tend not to be favoured. One food that falls foul here is nuts. Just […]

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A reader writes: Is breakfast really ‘the most important meal of the day’?

I had an interesting email this week on the subject of skipping breakfast. Here it is: Inconversation with my mother and on the subject of diets, she reminded me (as she always does) that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. Now my mother is a large lady who has dieted all her […]

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Exercise – when less can be more

I regard myself as quite an active person, but the intensity or volume of the exercise I take is nothing like it once was. For extended spells during my childhood and early adulthood I was a ‘keen’ runner. I participated in athletics and cross-country running at school, and continued running afterwards too. At some points, […]

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Evidence suggests one form of exercise might actually suppress appetite

While I am an enthusiastic advocate of exercise, I am sometimes keen to dispel the idea that it helps the ‘pounds drop off’. Actually, the bulk of the evidence does not support exercise as a particularly effective tool for weight loss. Somehow, I think people are wising up to this now. For instance, I’ve had […]

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Doctors can help you get back on your statins, but does this help you?

The side-effects of statin drugs are well-recognised, and include muscle pain, fatigue, mental symptoms, kidney damage or liver damage. Some doctors and researchers have decided to change the nomenclature on these side-effects by referring to people who have them as ‘statin intolerant’. I may be wrong, but this seems to me to be a way […]

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Is lack of sleep a potential factor in rising rates of obesity?

I noticed this news story yesterday, which reports on research published recently in the journal Obesity. The research, from Sweden, assessed the effects of sleep deprivation on food purchasing [1]. Fourteen men were given about $50 to spend on food in two settings: once after the men had a full night’s sleep, and once after […]

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Higher protein diets are better for fat loss and muscle preservation during weight loss

When people deliberately lose weight, usually what they are seeking to shed is excess fat. Unfortunately, evidence shows that a good proportion of any weight lost on a restrictive diet can come from muscle, and this is something that is generally best avoided. One thing that can help here is resistance exercise where the body […]

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Wide-ranging review links artificial sweeteners with weight gain

There are many aspects of conventional dietary ideology that I don’t agree with. Not because I look for conflict and disagreement, but because so many concepts within dietary ‘conventional wisdom’ are simply not supported by the evidence (and, in fact, may be harmful). One common theme we see crop up in dietary dogma centres around […]

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Exercise found to improve ‘fat genes’, but what about its effect on actual fat?

My eye was caught yesterday by this report of a study into the effects of exercise on fat tissue. In the study, 23 overweight and healthy men engaged in a 6-month programme of exercise. The recommendation was for three, 1-hours sessions per week (1 cycling/spinning and 2 aerobics sessions). In the final analysis, the individuals […]

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