Consumption of sugar drinks in the United States has increased over the last 30 years among both children and adults. Sugar drinks have been linked to poor diet quality, weight gain, obesity, and, in adults, type 2 diabetes. Higher-income persons consume fewer kilocalories from sugar drinks as a percentage of total daily kilocalories than do lower-income individuals. Ogden CL, Kit BK, Carroll MD, Park S. Consumption of sugar drinks in the United States, 2005–2008. NCHS data brief, no 71. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2011. (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db71.htm)

Kids need 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Make exercise a family outing. Go on walks, hikes, or bike rides together. Eat together. Studies showed that children who shared three or more family meals a week were 20% less likely to eat unhealthy foods and 12% less likely to be overweight. Dieting isn’t the answer when it comes to weight loss for kids. Learn to avoid crash diets and unhealthy habits when your doctor suggests safe weight loss. One study found that children were much more likely to lose weight when their parents also slimmed down. (http://www.webmd.com/parenting/raising-fit-kids/weight/safe-weight-loss?page=1)

One extra soft drink a day gave a child a 60 percent greater chance of becoming obese. One could even link specific amounts of soda to specific amounts of weight gain. Each daily drink added.18 points to a child's body mass index (BMI). This, the researchers noted, was regardless of what else they ate or how much they exercised. "Consumption of sugar- [high fructose corn syrup] sweetened drinks," they concluded, "is associated with obesity in children." (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db71.htm)

Managing your weight is a vital part of protecting your health. Studies of 8,000 twins showed that being overweight doubled the risk of dementia, and being obese quadrupled that risk. In another study, obese people who lost weight following bariatric surgery had significantly improved memory and concentration after 12 weeks. (Small, Gary, MD. Author of The Memory Bible and The Alzheimer's Prevention Program. The Mind Health Report, Special Report, 1011-REV1111)

A meta-analysis of community-based studies found that obese people were more likely to have depression than people with healthy weights. Since the studies included in the analysis assessed weight and mood only at one point in time, the investigators could not say whether obesity increases the risk of depression or depression increases the risk of obesity. New evidence confirms that the relationship between obesity and depression may be a two-way street. A meta-analysis of 15 long-term studies that followed 58,000 participants for up to 28 years found that people who were obese at the start of the study had a 55 percent higher risk of developing depression by the end of the follow-up period, and people who had depression at the start of the study had a 58 percent higher risk of becoming obese. (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-consequences/health-effects/)

In terms of maintaining a desirable weight, evidence is beginning to accumulate that dietary intake may be more important than energy expenditure level. Decreased physical activity may not be the primary driver of the obesity epidemic. Weight loss is not likely to happen without dietary restraint. (http://www.nbcnews.com/id/28524942/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/t/diet-not-exercise-plays-key-role-weight-loss/#.V87iP4WcGM8)

Based on the present literature, unless the overall volume of aerobic exercise training is very high, clinically significant weight loss is unlikely to occur. Also, exercise training also has an important role in weight regain after initial weight loss. Overall, aerobic exercise training programs consistent with public health recommendations may promote up to modest weight loss (~2 kg), however the weight loss on an individual level is highly heterogeneous. Clinicians should educate their patients on reasonable expectations of weight loss based on their physical activity program and emphasize that numerous health benefits occur from physical activity programs in the absence of weight loss. (http://www.onlinepcd.com/article/S0033-0620(13)00165-5/abstract?cc=y=)

Exercise has a big upside for health but that doesn’t seem to necessarily apply to weight loss. While exercise is beneficial for numerous reasons, it's not the best way to lose weight. When it comes to reaching a healthy weight, what you don’t eat is much more important than an excessive emphasis on exercise (e.g., 30 minutes of jogging or swimming laps might burn off 350 calories or you could achieve the same calorie reduction by eliminating two 16-ounce sodas each day. (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/16/upshot/to-lose-weight-eating-less-is-far-more-important-than-exercising-more.html?_r=0)

Exercise alone does not seem to produce weight loss. Although aerobic training does burn calories, it is nowhere near as effective for weight loss as simply eating fewer calories. It takes a solid 30 minutes of running on a treadmill to burn 300 calories, whereas it takes you less than 30 seconds to eat a 300 calorie chocolate bar. (http://graemethomasonline.com/the-role-of-exercise-in-weight-loss-part-2/)
Walking, according to Thomas Frieden, MD MPH, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “may be the closest thing we have to a wonder drug.” A 15- minute walk can reduce cravings and the intake of a variety of sugary snacks. An American Cancer Society study found that women who walked seven or more hours a week had a 14% lower risk of breast cancer than those who walked three hours or fewer per week. Harvard researchers looked at 32 obesity-promoting genes in over 12,000 people to determine how much these genes actually contribute to body weight. They found that study participants who walked briskly for about an hour a day cut the effects of 32 obesity-promoting genes in half. Study participants who walked at least 20 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, had 43% fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less. Walking 5-6 miles a week can help protect knee and hip joints (most susceptible to osteoarthritis) by lubricating them and strengthening the muscles that support them. (Harvard Medical School <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>)

A study from Northumbria University, published in theBritish Journal of Nutrition, reported that people lost 20 percent more fat when they exercised before eating breakfast. (Gameau, Damon. The Sugar Book. P. 149. NY:Flatiron Books, 2015)

Studies: infants lose weight, become ill, and can die when deprived of skin contact. Touch can strengthen immune systems and ability to manage stress. Neuropeptides are released in the brain from touch receptors on the skin. (Perricone, Nicholas, MD. The Perricone Promise. p 6-10. NY: Warner Books, 2004.)

According to a research letter published online June 22 in JAMA Internal Medicine, approximately 40% of men and 30% of women in the USA are overweight; 35% of men and 37% of women are obese. Lin Yang, PhD, and Graham A. Colditz, MD, DrPH, of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey gathered between 2007 and 2012. The data reviewed involved 15,208 men and women age 25 and older. Estimates are that more than 36 million men and nearly 29 million women in the United States are currently overweight. About 32 million men and 36 million women are obese. More Americans are overweight and obese today compared with federal survey data gathered between 1988 and 1994. Today, about 75% of men and about 67% of women are either overweight or obese, according to the study. Dr. Yang reported: “This generation of Americans is the first that will have a shorter life expectancy than the previous generation, and obesity is one of the biggest contributors to this shortened life expectancy because it is driving a lot of chronic health conditions.” (Yang L Colditz GA. JAMA Internal Med. 2015; doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.2405.)

Your thoughts, attitudes, and perceptions are the true keys to optimal wellness, because shifting your thought patterns can rewrite your genetic readout - quoting Dr. Bruce Lipton. (LaBrec, Adelle. How to Reprogram Your DNA for Optimum Health. P 13-14. CA:Think-Outside-the-Book, 2014.)

Controlling your weight is an important way to lower stroke risk. Excess pounds strain the entire circulatory system and can lead to other health conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and obstructive sleep apnea. But losing as little as 5% to 10% of your starting weight can lower your blood pressure and other stroke risk factors. (Harvard Medical School: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

What you eat and drink, can affect not only your own health but that of your descendants. A new field of study—Nutrigenomics—looks at the effect of foods on gene expression. Food "talks" to your genes and they express themselves (activate or turn off) based on those conversations. Foods not only carry information to your genes, but their instructions may increase or decrease your risk for specific diseases. These nutritional signals may affect processes that include cholesterol levels, hormone regulation, aging, and weight fluctuations. Your biological system may respond to processed foods as to foreign invaders rather than as food, which initiates an inflammatory response. This type of chronic inflammation is now a recognized precursor to a variety of serious illnesses. (Labrec, Adelle. How to Reprogram Your DNA for Optimum Health. Pg 40-41. CA:Think-Outside-the-Book Publishing, 2014)

Researchers followed healthy adults who either drank at least one diet soda daily or avoided drinking diet soda altogether. After measuring brain scan activity, researchers found that regularly drinking diet sodas inhibits activation in a key area of the brain that helps to regulate food intake. The more diet soda participants drank, the less their sweet sensors worked properly. The brain's ability to let them know they were full stopped working properly. The study results were published in In a study published in Physiology and Behavior, (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3465626/)

Artificially sweetened beverage consumption has been linked to obesity. Study findings suggest that there are alterations in reward processing of sweet taste in individuals who regularly consume diet soda, and this is associated with the degree of consumption. Diet soda drinkers demonstrated greater activation to sweet taste in the dopaminergic midbrain (including ventral tegmental area) and right amygdala. Saccharin elicited a greater response in the right orbitofrontal cortex (Brodmann Area 47) relative to sucrose in non-diet soda drinkers. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3465626/)

According to a study at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio led by Sharon Fowler, the more people drank diet sodas, the more their waistlines expanded. Over a period of 9-10 years, older adults average increase in waist circumference among the people in the study who drank diet soda daily was more than triple that of the people who did not drink diet soda. Those who consumed two or more diet sodas per day increased their waist circumference five times more than those study participants who did not consume diet sodas. (http://www.livescience.com/50157-diet-soda-increased-waist.html)

2015 study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reported that people who drank diet soda gained almost triple the abdominal fat over nine years as those who didn’t drink diet soda. The study analyzed data from 749 people ages 65 and older who were asked, every couple of years, how many cans of soda they drank a day, and how many of those sodas were diet or regular. Those answers ended up being extremely predictive of abdominal-fat gain, even after the researchers adjusted for factors like diabetes, smoking, and levels of physical activity. People who didn’t drink diet soda gained about 0.8 in. around their waists over the study period, but people who drank diet soda daily gained 3.2 in. Those who fell in the middle — occasional drinkers of diet soda — gained about 1.8 in. (http://time.com/3746047/diet-soda-weight-gain/)

Sodas are a major cause of obesity. Water is the No. 1 choice when trying to lose weight. If you need taste, incorporate slices of fruit, such as lemons, oranges, or limes. Sodas, regular or diet, have no nutritional value. They contribute to obesity as well as diabetes, tooth decay and weakened bones. They have also been linked to depleting the body of vitamin A, calcium, and magnesium--all nutrients needed for healthy weight loss. (http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/weight-loss/want-to-lose-weight-fast-cut-out-soda-from-your-diet.html)

Teenage brains work two hours behind adult time. They get up later because they are biologically programmed to do so. Dr. Paul Kelly, author of Making Minds, says that continuous early starts create "teenage zombies" and that allowing teenagers to begin lessons at 11am has a profound impact on learning. Rousing teenagers from their beds early results in abrupt mood swings, increased irritability, and may contribute to depression, weight gain, and reduced immunity to disease. (Robinson, Ken, Sir, PhD. Out of Our Minds. p 260-261. NY: Capstone Publishing Ltd, 2001, 2011)

Children who watched more than one hour of television were more likely to be at unhealthy weights compared with those who watched less. Even one hour of TV a day increases a child’s risk of obesity. Mark DeBoer, MD, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, found that kindergarten children who watched one to two hours of television a day were 43% more likely to be overweight and 47% more likely to be obese compared to children who watched less than an hour. The more they watched, the higher the likelihood, he found. This was only television screen time; no other screen activities were evaluated. No link was found between computer use and unhealthy weights. DeBoer recommended that given overwhelming evidence connecting the amount of time TV viewing and unhealthy weight, pediatricians and parents should attempt to restrict childhood TV viewing. (http://www.clinicaladvisor.com/childhood-obesity-television-watching/article/411440/)

Water is the No. 1 choice when trying to lose weight. If you need taste, incorporate slices of fruit, such as lemons, oranges, or limes. (http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/weight-loss/want-to-lose-weight-fast-cut-out-soda-from-your-diet.html)

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