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  Fat's Social Cost - Can We Continue to Afford it?  


According to new research just published in Health Affairs Journal, obesity has the same association with chronic health problems as twenty years of aging. The study has implications for the Obama Health reform effort because of obesity’s increased costs. The author of the study, Ronald Sturm, an economist with the Rand Corporation concludes, “Obesity is associated with a 36 percent increase in inpatient and outpatient spending and a 77 percent increase in medications.”

  In 2006, the year of the study, spending on obesity related health issues reached $147 billion a year, double what it was eight years before, exceeding by more than $50 billion what is spent on fighting cancer in the US. 2/3 of Americans are currently overweight. The number is growing. Obesity is now a greater health threat to Americans than smoking or problem drinking.

Women's Belly Fat Linked to Early Death

Women who pack their fat around their bellies, compared to those who carry it on their buttocks or thighs have a far greater chance of dying prematurely. In a study of 45,000 women. Those with the largest waists of 35 inches or more had a 79% better chance of premature death compared to women whose waists measured 28 inches or less. Women with the biggest bellies doubled their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and had a 63% greater chance of dying from cancer. The conclusion was drawn from the nurses's health study at Harvard University and Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital. The report's lead author was Cuillin Zhang, MD, PhD.


How to Fight Obesity

To combat obesity, eat healthy food that tastes great, like our recipes presented on Reverse Aging Now.com. You also have to burn more calories by finding daily physical activity that you enjoy. As shown in the anti-aging documentary "Reverse Aging Now" adding a half hour of walking to your daily routine will melt ten pounds a year.

Bariatric surgery, is an option that not only causes weight loss but reduces the incidence of heart disease and diabetes.

According to a Canadian study in June, gastric bypass also decreases the incidence of cancer by 80% over five years following the operation. In a thousand patients who had the surgery compared to five thousand obese who hadn't, the occurrences of breast and colon tumors were reduced by 85% and 70% respectively according to Nicholas Chistou MD, PhD, director of bariatric surgery for the McGill University Health Center

Gastric bypass surgery employs a variety of methods and should only be used as a last resort by those who are severely overweight and have tried everything else to lose weight. Lap band surgery is the least obtrusive. It uses a band inserted laproscopically to restrict the size of the stomach. Unlike other methods it does not interfere with the absorption of nutrients and can be readily reversed.

Seaweed Melts Fat

Fucoxanthin, a carotenoid in kelp, was found to reduce body fat in rodents in a study at Hokkaido University in Japan. For an entire month, rats and mice were fed a Fucoxanthin supplemented diet. Compared to a control groups, the rodents with the sea weed supplement showed significant drops in body mass and fat. The scientists determined that fucoxanthin led to the increase in production of a protein in fat tissue called UCP-1 which caused the body to burn more calories by generating heat.

Sea vegetables are really algae. They grow in an mineral rich environment and are filled with calcium, iron, magnesium, copper, iodine, zinc, Vitamins B-12, C and E.


How to Add Sea Vegetables to Your Diet

If you've ever had sushi, you've probably eaten seaweed which forms the wrapper of the roll. Even if your most exotic menu offerings are ice cream and jelly you've most likely eaten sea weed in the form of carrageen, agar and alginate, which are extracted to act as thickening agents. How then, could you add more of these healthy fat busting foods to your diet?

Wakame is a kelp with a sweet flavor and slippery texture. It be readily added to soup or a stir fried. Dulse is popular in Iceland, where it's fried up with a bit of fat. Here, finely chopped it would make a salty addition to soups. Dried seaweed sheets and flakes are often available at bigger supermarkets, and are almost always found at Japanese groceries.


Resveratrol - Over hyped?

As reported in the anti-aging documentary "Reverse Aging Now" a substance in red wine extracted from grape skins, resveratrol, was found at Harvard Medical School to be the probable source of the French Paradox: The Gauls eat the richest cuisine, but stay slim with a low incidence of heart disease. Every organism fed resveratrol including yeast, worms, fruit flies and human cells in vitro have increased their life span.

Now there are ads touting it as a miracle anti-aging supplement with a positive effect on everything from weight loss to wrinkle smoothing.


David Sinclair, MD of Harvard Medical School, one of the lead researchers in the field, is now said to be taking the substance himself. Reverse Aging News reminds its readers that although there is the potential of doing yourself a lot of good by taking resveratrol supplements, and there is little risk of toxicity, as of yet there is no recommended dose for the red wine extract. If you decide to be an early adaptor, monitor your vital signs and how you feel through your self administered dosing.

Herb of the Month - Chamomile

As we learn more about Michael Jackson's death, a factor that contributed to his demise was his inability to get a good night's sleep, an affliction many over fifty experience. MJ resorted to a nightly dose of anesthetic administered intravenously. For those of us who have trouble sleeping through the night, a simpler, gentler remedy is at hand. Chamomile Tea is a natural sleep inducing herb that can be steeped and used as a tea. Taken before bed it can relax you, settle the stomach, soothe a sore throat and relieve congestion. It should not be taken by people who are on an anti-coagulant like aspirin, if you are allergic to daisies or are pregnant.


Chew Gum to Lose Weight?

Wrigley funded a study that suggests that eating gum can help people lose weight. Researchers at the University of Liverpool fed 60 adults lunch and snacks on four separate days. Those given the option of chewing gum, ate fewer snacks with a reduction in calories to match. There was no significant difference in result between sugar free and sugarless gum. In fact, although a stick of sugarless gum contains only 5 calories, sugared gum is often no more than 10, a not very significant difference.

Sorbitol, a natural low calorie sweetener often used in gum can produce unintended weight loss.

Consuming twenty sticks of sorbitol sweetened gum a day, can produce severe diarrhea in half of all healthy people, one way to stop your nutrients from being properly absorbed. This is not a recommenced method for healthy weight loss. if you use a sorbitol sweetened gum like Stride chew it moderately.

To see how one middle-aged man is applying anti-aging precepts to his own life, go to Anti-Aging Diary.com. To embrace anti-aging you need to make a mental as well as physical journey. It's not always easy, but well worth the effort. Remember to watch our anti-aging documentary, “Reverse Aging Now,

Reverse Aging News c. 2009 Checkmate Pictures - Paul M. J. Suchecki, Editor

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