Obese knee burden as replacement ops hit all time high

Overweight people are not only a burden on the NHS but on their own knees.

overweight knees

There has been a surge of 150% in knee replacement surgery with more than 9,500 people, including teenagers having knee replacement surgery last year because their joints could not cope with their weight, according to new NHS figures. And the cost to the NHS of repairing crumbling knees over a 4-year period is estimated at around £50 million.

Obesity costs the NHS £5.1 billion each year with 40,000 people dying as a result of being overweight or obese.

Now one in 10 patients given new knees is obese, up from one in 20 just four years ago. In 2009-10, there were 3,787 operations carried out in England and Wales where obesity was listed as a main or secondary diagnosis.
But by 2012-13, the number had leapt to 9,438, figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) reveal.

Over the last four years there have been a total of 28,000 cases where obesity was regarded as a major trigger for knee replacements. It includes one boy aged between 10 and 14 who went under the knife in 2010-11. 
Also in the last four years, knee replacements have been carried out on two boys and two girls aged 15-19. 

The majority of knee operations are carried out on older people, aged 60+ but recently there has been a tripling of knee replacements among obese under-40s.

Each knee replacement operation costs around £5,500, and should last for around 15 to 20 years. But the obese may have to have more than one replacement because of the strain caused by weight.

A knee replacement is classed as ‘major surgery’ by the NHS and is only offered after other treatments, such as physiotherapy or steroid injections have failed to help. 

TV personality Helen Lederer resolves a weighty issue

Helen Lederer

Helen Lederer

One third of overweight women say they feel they have been treated differently as a result of their weight, according to new survey.
Nearly half (47%) of British women say they find themselves faced with endless teasing, 43% believe that others deem them to be lazy while 28% say they have actually been excluded from a social occasion – all because of their size.
The research by XLS-Medical Fat Binder, a new naturally derived, clinically proven weight loss aid, also found that 1 in 10 say not having a ‘healthy figure’ has meant they have missed out on job roles and a fifth said people consider them to be unintelligent.
Top reasons where people say they are treated differently when overweight include:
•Not complimented on their appearance (51%)
•Teased about their weight (47%)
•Thought of as lazy (43%)
•Excluded from social occasions (28%)
•Considered to be unintelligent (20%)
Helen Lederer, one of Britain’s best known comedy character actresses and comedy writers, who turns 58 this month, can identify with this and is concerned that her profession will not accept her being old and fat!
HELEN small.jpg
The fat ceiling
Helen is more than aware that her weight has impacted on whether she is considered for high profile acting roles as well as her other work in the public eye. Three months ago she embarked on losing weight with support from new XLS-Medical Fat Binder. She comments: “I have always been curvy and conscious of my weight. In the acting industry you have to get used to rejections but as my weight crept up I became more aware that I was being asked to fewer auditions and was most definitely being overlooked for mainstream jobs. Being rejected affected my confidence and my self-esteem took a real knock. I am thrilled to report that I have lost two stones in the last three months by following a healthy balanced diet, exercising and taking XLS-Medical Fat Binder which has helped me lose more weight than I would have lost on my own.”
Age is not just a number
The research also found that nearly three quarters (74%) of people find it more difficult to lose weight as they get older, something that Helen can also attest to: “When I was younger my weight used to fluctuate a lot more and it was easier to shed a few pounds in time for my next audition or social occasion. But as I’ve got older I’ve really noticed how much more effort I need to put in. Finding the motivation to get started on my weight loss journey was the real difficulty as the pounds don’t drop off as easily as they once did.”
Leading UK Dietitian Helen Bond and Consultant Dietitian to the XLS-Medical free online weight management programme, ‘123 hello me’, comments on why older women find it more difficult to lose weight: “Your body changes as you get older and your metabolism gets slower. Many people find they are less active than they were in their 20s and if you haven’t altered your diet to reflect this then you are likely to find yourself putting on weight. Helen Lederer has demonstrated that you don’t need to make drastic changes; just a few small steps can make a real difference.”
Eliise Lindsay, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness Advisor to the XLS-Medical weight management programme comments: “This research has shown that there are some real prejudices against people who don’t have the stereotypical perfect figure. We are all different shapes and sizes and there’s no one perfect size. What is important is for people to feel happy and comfortable with their bodies. By following a healthy balanced diet and taking regular exercise people will find themselves getting in shape without any unnecessary pressure,” adds Eliise.
“Light to moderate exercise at least twice a week will help people to feel fitter and healthier. And a weight loss aid like XLS-Medical can help dieters lose up to three times more weight than dieting alone – a useful support to help people on the way to reaching their weight loss goals.”
To support dieters on their weight loss journey, the 12 week XLS-Medical weight management programme, 123 Hellome, provides a wealth of advice and exercise tips as well as tools such as diet and exercise trackers.
More about Helen
Helen Lederer is one of Britain’s one of Britain’s best known comedy character actresses and comedy writers, most recognised for her role as the dippy Catriona in Absolutely Fabulous. She is also an author and broadcaster.
About XLS-Medical Fat Binder2
•XLS-Medical Fat Binder is the first naturally derived clinically proven, over the counter weight loss aid. XLS-Medical Fat Binder is made with the clinically proven fat binder, Litramine®, and essential fat-soluble vitamins
•XLS-Medical Fat Binder has been proven to bind up to 27.4% of fats from food before it replenishes the body with fat-soluble vitamins
•This makes XLS-Medical Fat Binder an ideal weight management tool. XLS-Medical Fat Binder has a well-established safety profile and good tolerability. It has no added artificial colourings, flavourings, salt or preservatives
• The recommendation for weight loss is to adopt a reduced calorie, lower fat diet in addition to regular exercise and to take 2 tablets 3 times a day after meals – with up to 6 tablets taken per day
•XLS-Medical Fat Binder is available nationwide: 30 tablets RRP £14.99*, 60 tablets RRP £24.99*, 120 tablets £47.99* and 180 tablets £64.99*
•Visit xlsmedical.co.uk for more information
1.XLS-Medical Fat Binder weight loss survey. March 2012
2.Grube B., P.W. Chong, K.Z. Lau & H.D. Orzechowski. A natural fibre complex reduces body weight in the overweight and obese: a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled study. Obesity accepted article preview, 25 June, 2012; doi:10.1038/oby.2012.165
*Retail and promotional price is at the sole discretion of the retailer
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Skipping breakfast – the new rules on fat loss and staying younger!

Let’s get one thing straight….skipping breakfast is fine!!!In fact it is more than fine, it’s the starting point to actually getting you the body you have always dreamed of, according to the authors of a new book.

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Co-authors, Shaun Petafi and Dean Connor BSc, a top fitness trainer and male model, have analysed the latest research on fat, fitness and longevity and come up with a formula that has literally Ripped to Shreds all the diet myths.
The report includes a number of controversial key elements designed to help people achieve their goals.
These include:
Forget about breakfast – The new law on fat loss
The amazing benefits of fasting
Why only fools spend longer than 3 hours a week in the gym
How to put your fat burning on autopilot 24/7
“I know you have all been brainwashed by the food industry about how important breakfast is and how it ‘kick starts’ your metabolism for the day, this is not actually true,’ writes Shaun in an exclusive article for Elixir.
The latest research shows your metabolic rate is determined by your lean mass (how much muscle you have). Not by how many meals you consume throughout the day.
Eating first thing, especially the usual grains and dairy will certainly put your fat burning on hold for a few hours. This coupled with breakfast bars for your elevenses, before your typical lunch all causing rising and falling levels of insulin.
Instead give your body a break, allow it to process the food from the day before. 
Waiting say for example 14-16 hours after your last meal the night before will allow your body to become a master of controlling Insulin (the key to fat loss), reset the hormone Ghrelin (hunger hormone) and re-programme the hormone Leptin 
(the carbohydrate sensitive hormone). You will now become a fat burning machine when you do eat.
I’m sure you would all love some more time in the morning to yourselves too, an extra half hour in bed perhaps?
Shaun Petafi and Dean Connor BSc, fat loss experts and co-authors of the groundbreaking Ripped To Shreds report have used the latest scientific literature behind rapid body transformation. In their e-book they claim short fasts can actually accelerate fat loss and make you considerably healthier in the process.
Although intermittent fasting research is still only in its infancy and it may well be another 5 years before it reaches the masses and becomes a mainstream nutritional idea, its benefits have already reached almost legendary proportions within many nutritional and dieting circles around the world.
So what is it exactly? Well the term Fasting refers to going long periods without food followed by a period of eating. It is basically what we did as cavemen and women all those years ago. The invention of breakfast is only very recent in terms of human time on this planet, and our greed along with the greed of the food industry has driven this change.
Why do it? Here is a list of all the benefits of following the anabolic fasting approach
This is a typical criticism of most diets, the person feels hungry all the time. Due to the effect the approach has on the hormone ghrelin (hunger hormone), your body becomes a very stable environment. Plus you get to eat really large meals when you do actually eat, certainly something that was lacking in many other protocols.
Intermittent fasting has been shown to produce elevated levels of human growth hormone (HGH). This hormone regulates metabolism, allows us to build muscle, burn fat and reduce the negative effects caused by stress.
During the fasting hours your body produces a great deal of fat burning hormones, by prolonging this time (to a certain extent) you are prolonging the body’s ability to use fat as fuel.
Now imagine training at this time when all these fat burning hormones are going wild and you can see why the results are so epic.
Both key in setting your body up to be a fat burning machine.
By maintaining low levels of insulin throughout the day, your body becomes very sensitive so when you do feed it with the dreaded carbs of other diets, your body is very sufficient at storing them in the muscle cells. Low levels of both of blood
glucose and insulin are also markers of improved health.
Gone will be the days of feeling deprived whilst dieting to get lean, you will look forward to your large meals and feel perfectly fine when not eating. This will lead to an easy integration into your normal daily life, you will feel that these 
methods are so easy and you won’t be thinking “I can’t wait to finish this diet.”
The health markers of fasting are also very profound, reduced risk of cancer, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, diabetes etc. Additionally the increase in Growth Hormone production further stimulates cell development, cell reproduction and regeneration, which in turn assists with the anti-aging process.
Ok so you’re sold…what next?
Typically The R2S (Ripped To Shreds) report promotes an 8 hour feeding window and a 16 hour fast, bearing in mind you will likely be sleeping for around half of the fasting time, it basically equates to skipping breakfast. For most people this set up is quite controversial, however its works best in terms of compliance, fat loss and weight training.
For example feeding window is 12 midday – 8pm, and the fast from 8pm – 12 midday.
The eating period falls into either an 8 hour window (for men) or a 10 hour window (for women) with a 16 and 14 hour fasting period respectively.
For more information about fasting and rapid fat loss visit www.rippedtoshreds.co.uk
The full ripped to shreds report is available for download for just £9.99 
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Peachy foods protect against a cluster of ageing diseases

Philadelphia: Fruits with stones, such as peaches, plums and nectarines, help protect against several ageing diseases, according to new research from the US.


The findings of research scheduled for presentation at the 244th American Chemical Society meeting, to be held August 19-23, 2012 in Philadelphia, reveal a protective effect from consuming these fruits, against against metabolic syndrome–a cluster of factors that predict obesity-related diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease.
Texas AgriLife Research food scientist Dr Luis Cisneros-Zevallos said:  “In recent years obesity has become a major concern in society due to the health problems associated to it.
“In the US, statistics show that around 30 percent of the population is overweight or obese, and these cases are increasing every year in alarming numbers.
“The major concern about obesity is the associated disease known as metabolic syndrome,” he observed.
“Our studies have shown that stone fruits – peaches, plums and nectarines – have bioactive compounds that can potentially fight the syndrome, ” Dr Cisneros-Zevallos reported.” Our work indicates that phenolic compounds present in these fruits have antiobesity, anti-inflammatory and antidiabetic properties in different cell lines and may also reduce the oxidation of bad cholesterol LDL.
“Our work shows that the four major phenolic groups–anthocyanins, clorogenic acids, quercetin derivatives and catechins–work on different cells –fat cells, macrophages and vascular endothelial cells,” he continued. “They modulate different expressions of genes and proteins depending on the type of compound. However, at the same time, all of them are working simultaneously in different fronts against the components of the disease, including obesity, inflammation, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
“Each of these stone fruits contain similar phenolic groups but in differing proportions so all of them are a good source of health promoting compounds and may complement each other,” he concluded.
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Weightgain in middle-age increases risk of blindness in men

Putting on weight in later life increases the risk of men developing age-related
macular degeneration (AMD), researchers in Australia have discovered.

small increases in waist size seem to raise the risk of AMD by up to 75 per
cent. But women do not appear to be affected.

reason may be the hormone oestrogen which woman have in higher levels all their
lives.  In men abdominal fat releases
oestrogen which causes inflammation in the blood vessels behind the eyes.



the Australian study, researchers at the University of Melbourne examined changes
in the waistlines of more than 21,000 men and women, aged between 40 and 69,
over several years and tracked how many went on to develop AMD.

concluded that the chronic inflammation caused by obesity was involved in AMD.

the Australian team found that for each increase of 0.1 in the waist/hip ratio,
a man’s chances of developing AMD increased by 75 per cent.

affects older people, usually after the age of 50. The numbers affected are
likely to increase as the ageing populations increase in developed nations. The
report suggests that healthy eating earlier in life helps prevent the disease.

in ten cases involve ‘dry AMD’, which develops over several years. The rest
involve ‘wet AMD’, which can cause blindness in a matter of months.

is caused by the growth of new blood vessels over the macula, a small
oval-shaped area at the back of the eye that helps us pick out visual details

involves monthly injections into the back of the eye of drugs designed to curb
the growth of abnormal blood vessels. Given early enough, it can help to
prevent complete loss of vision.

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British women are fattest in Europe

Women in the UK are the fatest in Europe, according to the findings of three major global studies on obesity.

fatpeople.jpgResearchers compared statistics on three major health indicators – Body Mass Index (BMI), choleserol and blood pressure over the past 28 years.

While British females are now the most obese in Europe, American woman are even fatter.

According to the World Health Organisation, a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is healthy; 25 to 29.9 is overweight and 30+ is clinically obese.

The average BMI, for a British woman, which measures height and weight, was 26.9 in 2008 – which is up from 24.2 in 1980.

Other high scoring countries were Russia (27.2), Israel 27.3 and Malta (27),

For British men, the average BMI was 27.4 – the same as in Cyprus and Luxembourg. This is up from 24.7 in 1980. They also were found to have the the joint fourth highest fat levels, behind Ireland in top place, according to the report published in The Lancet.




What’s good for the planet is good for us….

burger.jpgA low carbon lifestyle means better health for all of us. Eating less meat could save 45,000 lives in the UK each year.

Experts have banded together to point out the connection between climate change and our bad health.  They believe our meat-heavy diets and obsession with cars is leading us to a sticky end.

An article published simultaneously in the BMJ, the Lancet and the Finnish Medical Journal today, warns that the links between climate policy and health policy must not be overlooked.

The environmental organisation, Friends of the Earth, agree; they told us that 45,000 UK deaths could be prevented each year with lower meat diets, saving the NHS £1.2 billion. Celebrities such as Paul McCartney and Helen Baxendale have also given their support to campaigns aiming to reduce meat consumption. For more meat facts see the end of this article.

Written by Robin Stott and Ian Roberts on behalf of the Climate and Health Council, it is a call to action for health professionals across the world to help tackle the health effects of climate change.

Failure to agree radical reductions in emissions spells a global health catastrophe, they say.

Later this month, representatives from countries around the world will meet at the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Mexico.

Stott and Roberts stated that “The planet is getting hotter, its people are getting fatter, and the use of fossil fuel energy is the cause of both.”

They argue that moving to a low carbon economy “could be the next great public health advance.” For example, a low carbon economy will mean less pollution and a need for more physical activity. A low carbon diet (especially eating less meat) and taking more exercise will mean less cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even depression.

A reduction in car use and meat consumption would also cut world food prices, they add.

They believe that health professionals everywhere have a responsibility to put health at the heart of climate change negotiations. “Responding to climate change could be the most important challenge that health professionals face,” they say.

Meat facts from Friends of the Earth

18 per cent of climate changing emissions occur as a result of the meat and dairy industry[i]

An area twice the size of Greater London deforested in Brazil to grow meat and animal feed for export to the UK in 2009[ii]

45,000 UK deaths could be prevented each year with lower meat diets, saving the NHS £1.2 billion[iii]

80 kg of meat eaten each year by the average Brit – equivalent to 4 sausages each day[iv]

2.7 times as much fat in the average supermarket chicken as 40 years ago – and 30 per cent less protein[v]

4 times as much meat produced around the world now as 50 years ago[vi]
It takes around 3.5 x times more land to produce a low-meat diet than a high-meat diet [vii]

Meat and dairy production uses 70 per cent of the world’s available agricultural land.[viii]

£700 million public money spent on factory farming in the UK each year[ix]

3 – optimum number of times to eat meat each week, according to Friends of the Earth’s ‘Healthy planet eating’ report.[x]


[i] UN’s Livestock’s Long Shadow 2006 http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a0701e/a0701e00.HTM
[ii] Friends of the Earth’s Forest to Fork research, October 2010
[iii] Friends of the Earth’s Healthy Planet Eating research October 2010
[iv] Friends of the Earth’s Healthy Planet Eating research October 2010
[v] Simopoulos AP, Omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acid ratio and chronic diseases, Food Rev Intl, 2004; 20(1): 77-90.
[vi] Friends of the Earth’s Healthy Planet Eating research October 2010
[vii] Cornell University, October 2007
[viii] UN’s Livestock’s Long Shadow 2006
[ix] Friends of the Earth’s Feeding the Beast research, April 2009
[x] Friends of the Earth’s Healthy Planet Eating research October 2010


Do we need yet another weight loss pill?

Smaller waist circumference neededResearchers have recently found a direct connection between the ‘fat’ gene and increased body weight. But how will this improve our health?

The researchers, at Oxford University, have found a direct connection between the ‘fat’ gene (fat mass and obesity-associated gene) and increased weight. The research was published in Nature Genetics.

This gene was found to have multiple variants in 2007 – meaning that its variance in the population could provide an explanation for obesity – so scientists have been searching for its precise connection with obesity since then.

The leaders of the research project have said that the new findings could be used to develop an anti-obesity pill, but any pill resulting from these new findings wouldn’t be available for a long time yet.

The important question is – what would this pill be? Would we take it at birth to make sure we didn’t suffer from obesity? Would it turn into another vaccine we had to line up for at school?

Do we need another magic ‘lose all your ugly fat’ pill?

The diet industry is growing as quickly as obesity levels, which would indicate that something is not quite working.

In 2008, nearly a quarter of adults (over 16 years of age) in England were obese (had a BMI over 30). Just under a third of women, 32%, were overweight (a BMI of 25-30), and 42% of men were overweight.

Amongst children (2-15 years of age), one in six boys and one in seven girls in England were obese in 2008. The number of overweight children was also around one in seven. 

The NHS predicts that the number of overweight and obese people is likely to increase.

The Foresight report, a scientific report used to guide government policy, has predicted that by 2025, nearly half of men and over a third of women will be obese. 

Surely this tells us there should be a greater focus on changing the core reasons for obesity – the decrease in physical activity and increased intake of processed foods. We have to change the focus of our lives from convenience and speed – just look at how well convenience has treated the USA if you need any further evidence.

Most of us spend the majority of our day sitting in front of a computer, then fight to get a seat on the train so we can sit in front of the TV with our dinner. Hands up if you have two or more takeaway dinners a week?

Everything is geared towards us having to expend less and less energy, which is very bad news for our weight and health.

The reason for obesity is clearly much more than a greater susceptibility to the smell of food.

Sorry, we cannot blame our genes for this one.

British Military Fitness launches the walkfit workout

British Military Fitness, the UK’s largest outdoor fitness provider, has launched a new walkfit workout in eight London parks.

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Walkfit with British Military Fitness (BMF) is a new, fun way to get healthy outdoors in your local park. Led by BMF’s highly trained fitness instructors the class will keep you interested with constant variety, achievable challenges and personal encouragement.


 Retired Major  Robin Cope, Managing Director at BMFsaid: “Many people I’ve spoken to, like to go for a walk but wouldn’t necessarily do it by themselves. Our classes will ensure that the members are with like-minded people and will be encouraged to chat and socialise while they exercise.”


WF Image1 [640x480].JPGWalkfit classes will last for one hour and promise to increase your heart rate, use your muscles and improve your mobility. The BMF instructors will carefully guide you through the activities and exercises of the class, making sure that you work to a level which is right for you. They will encourage and motivate the participants throughout the class so they are fun and sociable and you’ll wonder where the time goes. It’s a whole new type of social fitness – feeling healthier, having fun and making friends.


“We recognised the need for an outdoor exercise class that appealed to a broader audience, focusing on our common goal of getting more people active. We’ve made the classes for everyone, so even if you’re returning to exercise after children, injury or illness, the low intensity class is perfect for you. It’s a totally different experience to a gym or other fitness classes and I can guarantee that you won’t be asked to drop and give me twenty!” says Robin.   


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Walkfit classes are fun, friendly, effective and great for meeting people in your local area. The launch will see classes starting in Battersea, Wandsworth, Dulwich, Peckham, Bushy Park, Hyde Park, Finsbury, and Cheam. To find your nearest Walkfit class or to try a FREE introductory class, visit www.walkfit.co.uk  


More about Walkfit


  • www.walkfit.co.uk
  • Walkfit is a new, fun way to get healthy outdoors in your local park, led by highly trained fitness instructors.
  • Classes are designed for all abilities and are taken by highly trained professional instructors who will carefully guide you through the activities and exercises. The class is low impact and low intensity exercise.
  • Walkfit payment options: one class a week is £30 per month, unlimited classes per week is £40 per month and session blocks of 3 and 5 classes are £8.50 each. There is also an over 60/under 21 rate and partner rate of membership. More information on prices can be found at www.walkfit.co.uk
  • Walkfit classes will run in the following locations: Battersea, Wandsworth, Dulwich, Peckham, Bushy Park, Hyde Park, Finsbury and Cheam.
  • British Military Fitness (BMF), founded in 1999 by Major Robin Cope as an alternative form of fitness training to gyms. Like Walkfit, BMF classes last one hour and are taken by serving or ex-armed forces physical training instructors. The basic principles are the same as Walkfit – motivational instructors, a sense of fun, strong group dynamic and use of the great outdoors.
  • BMF has over 17,000 members training in over 100 parks across the UK. For more information visit www.britmilfit.com




Get back into those skinny jeans – top tips


London: Still got a pair of jeans in the back of the cupboard you can’t wait to get back into? You’re not alone….

A nice pair of jeans ticks both the boxes when it comes to fashion and comfort, and as the years have gone by they’ve remained an enduring style staple in many a closet.

Over a third of women (35%) admit to owning trophy jeans, a pair they used to fit into and aspire to fit into again in the future. These jeans –held on to as physical reminder of when they felt they looked their best – are frequently used as an inspiration to women to lose weight.

There are close to 130m pairs of jeans across the UK, with each woman owning an average of five different pairs. But these perfect jeans have been with many of us for so long that we have celebrated a crystal anniversary with them! One in ten women aged 55+ say they’ve held onto their jeans more than 10-15 years, according to new research.

These trophy jeans are also seen as offering the promise of more happiness than many of life’s seminal moments. One in five women say the elation of fitting into their goal pair could evoke more euphoria than attending their best friend’s wedding (21%) or even winning the lottery (20%). In fact, around one sixth of those women (16%) would forego more than £10,000 just to fit into their slim jeans! 2.3m women said achieving that jean dream would be better than a £25k lottery win.

As fashion is cyclical, chances are many women’s goal jeans will be back in fashion in 2010! On average women have held on to their goal jeans for 3 years with one in six women holding onto their trophy jeans for the length of time they’ve been at their job (18%), and a further one in ten women admitting their perfect jeans have outlasted their longest relationship, according to the research by Kellogg’s Special K as part of their Love Your Jeans Again campaign.

Psychotherapist Elisabeth Wilson said, “For many women having a motivational milestone is absolutely vital to their success and moreover their sense of achievement. 70% of the women surveyed said they would consider fitting back into their goal jeans a considerable achievement they’d be very proud of and it’s well documented that visualising themselves wearing their goal jeans is the kind of positive imaging that will help them achieve great results. This combined with the power of positive thinking, support from others and a plan to kick-start a healthy lifestyle leads to real results.

Find out more here Fit into those jeans

For more information visit www.myspecialk.co.uk


New diabetes drug cuts obesity and heart risk


New York: Trials of a Danish-made injectable drug called liraglutide (trademark name Victoza) have revealed that it reduces weight and the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in obese people without diabetes.

High doses of liraglutide, were also found to cause greater weight loss than orlistat (marketed over-the-counter as Alli), according to a report in the medical magazine, The Lancet.

In developing countries obesity levels have risen dramtically in the past two decades and in some European countries 30% of the population are overweight. Around 50% of all adults in Europe are classified as overweight.

Obesity increases the risk of degenerative diseases including high blood pressure, diabetes, and atherosclerosis, and all risk factors for heart disease.
Moreover, obesity is associated with a reduced quality of life. Few safe and effective drugs are currently available for the treatment of obesity. Therefore, alternative approaches to weight loss that are safe and well tolerated and that can lower the risks associated with obesity are needed. In this randomised controlled trial, the authors studied the effect of liraglutide on bodyweight and tolerability in obese individuals without type 2 diabetes.

The study, led by Professor Arne Astrup, Department of Human Nutrition, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark, took place in 19 sites in Europe, and analysed 564 people (18-65 years, body-mass index 30-40 kg/m²). Each was assigned to 1 of 4 liraglutide doses (1.2 mg, 1.8 mg, 2.4 mg, or 3.0 mg, n = 90-95) or to placebo (n = 98) administered once a day subcutaneously, or to orlistat 120 mg (n = 95) administered orally 3 times a day. All participants also followed a calorie-restricted diet, which contained approximately 500 calories less than they needed each day. Participants also increased their physical activity throughout the trial, including the 2-week run-in.

Participants on liraglutide lost significantly more weight than did those on placebo and orlistat. Mean weight loss with liraglutide doses 1.2, 1.8, 2.4 and 3.0 mg was 4.8 kg, 5.5 kg, 6.3 kg, and 7.2 kg respectively, compared with 2.8 kg with placebo and 4.1 kg with orlistat. A higher proportion of individuals (76%) lost more than 5% weight with liraglutide 3.0 mg than with placebo (30%) or orlistat (44%).

Liraglutide reduced blood pressure at all doses. At the start of the study, around one-third of patients in each group had pre-diabetes, that is, poor blood glucose control not yet bad enough to qualify as diabetes. Liraglutide reduced the prevalence of pre-diabetes (84%-96% reduction) with 1.8-3.0 mg per day.

Nausea and vomiting occurred more often in individuals on liraglutide than in those on placebo, but adverse events were mainly transient and rarely led to discontinuation of treatment.

The authors say: “Treatment with liraglutide, in addition to an energy-deficit diet and exercise programme, led to a sustained, clinically relevant, dose-dependent weight loss that was significantly greater than that with placebo (all doses) and orlistat (vs liraglutide 2.4 mg and 3.0 mg).”

They conclude: “The results of this study indicate the potential benefit of liraglutide, in conjunction with an energy-deficit diet, in the treatment of obesity and associated risk factors. Liraglutide offers a new mode of action for the treatment of obesity and improved efficacy compared with currently available therapies. Its effect on pre-diabetes suggests that it might be important for treating obese pre-diabetic individuals.”

They add that further studies, with longer follow-up than 20 weeks, are now needed to establish the long-term risk-benefit profile for liraglutide.

In an editorial accompanying the article, George A Bray, MD, Division of Clinical Obesity and Metabolism, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, says: “Today’s important report shows a dose-related reduction of food intake and bodyweight in overweight and obese individuals treated with liraglutide.”

Dr Bray adds that one limitation to the use of drugs such as liraglutide is that they require an injection. He says: “Whether long-term use of an injectable drug is palatable as a treatment for obesity is yet to be established.”

Scientists reveal how L-Arginine cleans arteries


London: Scientists at Imperial College London have used a new chemical imaging technique to reveal how a simple dietary supplement cleans up arteries.

The new technique could one day help in the fight against atherosclerosis – the disease in which arteries get clogged up with plaque and fats, suggests the research research. (published in the August 2009 edition of the Journal of the Royal Society Interface).

Atherosclerosis is the disease underlying most heart attacks and strokes and it is characterised by lesions in the arteries, made of fats, collagen and cells.

The lesions cause artery walls to harden and thicken, which severely restricts the flow of blood around the body and they can also rupture, leading to heart attacks and strokes. Understanding the precise chemical composition of an individual’s lesions is important because the ones with higher levels of a type of fat, called cholesteryl ester, are more prone to rupture.

The team behind the new imaging technique, which is known as Attenuated Total Reflection Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopic Imaging (ATR-FTIR imaging), believe that with further refinement, it could become a useful tool for doctors wanting to assess a patient’s lesions.

For example, by combining fibre optic technology with ATR-FTIR imaging, the researchers believe doctors could carry out real-time inspections of patients with atherosclerosis, in order to assess the progress of the disease and establish which patients are at the greatest risk of complications.

Currently, doctors can use ultrasound to assess the size and location of lesions but they need to take biopsies of lesions in order to determine their chemistry. This is a complex and invasive procedure.

The researchers say the ATR-FTIR imaging could potentially improve current imaging techniques because it could combine imaging and chemical analysis, which would provide a comprehensive and accurate picture of a patient’s lesions in one procedure. In the present study, the researchers demonstrated that ATR-FTIR imaging was able to reveal the precise composition and size of the lesions and the levels of elastin, collagen and cholesteryl ester in them.

The ATR-FTIR imaging technology works by using infrared light to identify different chemical molecules, which are mapped by an array detector to create a ‘chemical photograph’.

The researchers used the technique to study the effects of age and an amino acid called L-arginine on the composition of lesions in cholesterol-fed rabbits. The work appeared to confirm that dietary L-arginine can remove lesions in the arteries of mature rabbits.

The researchers say further studies need to be done before the ATR-FTIR imaging could be used for patient care.

Lead-author, Professor Sergei Kazarian, from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemical Technology at Imperial College London, says:

“Atherosclerosis can be a dangerous condition and our hope is that with further work, our approaches could ultimately be used to determine which patients are most at risk of complications. That way, doctors can target treatments at those patients who most need it, in order to prevent strokes and heart attacks.”

This research was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

TV presenter Kirsty Gallacher reveals her hourglass figure secret


London: TV presenter Kirsty Gallacher reveals why the hour glass figure overtakes the perfect 10 in the body aspiration stakes.

Whether you’re twenty or fifty the hour glass figure remains the body shape the majority of us aspire to. With over two thirds of the nation wishing they had the classic Marilyn curves, it would seem that the boyish body personified by Twiggy in the sixties and Kate Moss in the nineties and noughties is somewhat outdated.

In a landmark study, commissioned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Kellogg’s Special K, over 2,000 women across the UK were surveyed to examine the key influences that have impacted on the female body ideal and the things that have boosted and bruised our confidence over the last five decades.

The results showed that real women are resolutely rejecting perfection and demanding more honesty to inspire better ‘shape’ confidence. Key body shape boosters include seeing shapely women on TV rather than size zero models, curvy celebrities with hunky boyfriends (such as Charlotte Church and Gavin Henson), and older actresses such as Helen Mirren ‘baring all’ for nude scenes.

As well as applauding women in the public eye who are honest about their bodies, British women believe influencers like the media could and should do more to inspire real women. Well someone who knows a thing or two about the pressures of staying in shape is TV presenter and mum Kirsty Gallacher. After almost a decade in the spotlight, the recently engaged star talks frankly about her body and how she maintains her classic hour glass shape.

Click here to watch the video: Kirsty video

For more information about shape management visit www.specialk.co.uk

Radio wave fat buster proven in patient trials


Tel Aviv: A new scientific study of the regen™ system, the newest aesthetic solution powered by 3rd generation TriPollar RF technology on cellulite treatment and body contouring, has confirmed its effect in zapping body fat.

The new study, which examined the technology used by the latest home use Tipollar Pose body contouring device, have been published in the online Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

The peer reviewed study, conducted by Dr. Manuskiatti et al. at the Mahidol University Hospital, Bangkok entitled “Circumference reduction and cellulite treatment with a TriPollar radiofrequency device: a pilot study” was accept in February 2009. It can be viewed online at Tripollar Technology

The study demonstrated long term measurable and durable body circumference and fat thickness reduction using objective measurement system (imaging Ultrasound). The study involved 37 patients treated once a week with the regen system for a total of eight treatments.

Results showed that there was significant circumference reduction of 3.5 cm on average at the abdomen with a maximum of 14.4 cm, and 1.71 cm reduction at the thigh with a maximum of 9.1 cm. These results were maintained four weeks following the last treatment. In addition, ultrasound measurements of the distance between the epidermis and the superficial fascia showed an average reduction of 10.5% in the thickness of adipose tissue with a maximum reduction of 39% at the thigh region.

“TriPollar is a truly innovative technology that delivers what patients worldwide have been waiting for- a pain free, safe and effective solution for body contouring. The latest study clearly demonstrated that TriPollar RF technology provides beneficial effects on the reduction of abdomen and thigh circumferences and an overall improvement in the appearance of cellulite” said Dr. Manuskiatti, lead investigator for Pollogen’s clinical trial and Associate Professor at the Department of Dermatology at the Siniraj Hospital, Thailand.

Ms Yfat Scialom, CEO of Pollogen commented: ” The study show that the innovative TriPollar RF technology, developed by Pollogen, delivers consistent and effective results without pain and adverse side effects as proven once again by the leading scientists and labs in the world. Our customers worldwide are benefiting from the most advance RF technology bringing safe, effective solution to a new standard. Since the launch of Pollogen’s professional anti-aging and body contouring products two years ago, we have successfully captured the attention of physicians and estheticians in over 50 countries world wide, and we look forward to continued success in the future”.

Find out more at Tripollar

Omega 3 – How to find the best by the experts at Croda


Recent media reports have shown that omega 3 supplements on the UK high street vary significantly in terms of the amount of essential fatty acids they contain. Trying to cut through the confusion for consumers is becoming increasingly paramount, because omega 3 fatty acids have clear benefits for many areas of our health and lifestyle, such as heart, circulation and brain health. But we need to seek the best possible quality – and the question remains, how can we tell what’s best?

Pure concentration

An exciting new development area at the top end of the omega 3 spectrum is in high potency, high purity omega 3 marine-based supplement concentrates, which are creating new opportunities and bringing additional health benefits to consumers. They are enriched in EPA, (Eicosapentaenoic Acid), DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid), and in some, the newly emerging DPA (Docosapentaenoic Acid), seen by experts as the next generation in omega 3 for heart health. Concentrates are distilled and refined during several processes, which also reduces the level of saturates and contaminants which may remain in more unrefined 18/12 grades.

But there’s a catch…

There is currently no globally accepted standard for the omega 3 levels required to define a fish oil product as a ‘concentrate’. Most fish oils currently on the market are based on cod liver or ‘18/12’ oils. 18/12 oils are sourced from blended fish body oils and are known as ‘18/12’ because they give an EPA/DHA ratio of 18% and 12% respectively per 1g of oil. In low-cost health supplements, they form the basis of many so-called ‘concentrates’.

What am I looking for?

Check the ingredient list on the pack to find out the content and dosage of each fatty acid. Look for more of EPA and DPA if you are taking omega 3 for heart health and DHA for brain health.

In true concentrates, fewer and smaller capsules are needed per omega 3 dose, which means that compliance is enhanced and therefore the therapeutic benefits boosted.

Typical fish oil concentrate label information shows:
Nutritional Information Amount per Softgel % RDA
Fish Oil 1200mg *
Providing Omega 3 fatty acids 720mg *
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) 396mg *
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) 264mg *
Other fatty acids 60mg *

There is no official RDA, but two world-renowned and respected scientific committees have offered advice on this subject:

• The UK’s JCHI (Joint Health Claims Initiative) recommends that 0.45g of long chain omega 3 fatty acids daily to help maintain a healthy heart
• The AHA (American Heart Association) recommends:
o 1-2g per day to help maintain a healthy heart
o 4g EPA + DHA per day for people with coronary heart disease

Stamp of approval
Croda has developed the PureMax sign of quality. Products displaying the PureMax logo have gone through a unique purification and concentration technology process. The process removes heavy metals, environmental pollutants and oxidative impurities to ensure the highest quality oils. The end products have minimal impurities and contain the selectively concentrated fatty acids. Higher concentration offers greater consumer convenience, improved palatability, better dose compliance and greater cost-efficiency.

So look out for the PureMax stamp of approval to ensure you are taking the best omega 3.

Visit www.puremax.info to discover more.

For further information and to receive a comprehensive omega 3 information pack, please contact Claire or Stephen at Fuel PR on 020 7498 8211. Experts available for interview.

• References:
o Arterburn LM, Bailey E, Oken H; Distribution, interconversion, and dose response of n-3 fatty acids in human, Am J Clin Nutr, 2006, 83, 1467S-76S
o Barton CL, Next-Generation Nutraceuticals . Food and pharma convergence in disease prevention and personalized nutrition, Business Insights Ltd, 2006
o Calder PC, Grimble RF; Polyunsaturated fatty acids, inflammation and immunity, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2002, 26 Suppl 3, S14-S19.

Omega 3 – What is it – a briefing from the experts at Croda

Getting the balance right!

There are three types of fat: saturated, monosaturated and polyunsaturated which divide into two groups of essential fatty acids (EFA’s): omega 3 and omega 6 – essential because the body cannot make them on its own – between which there needs to be a strict balance. Today’s Western diet has resulted in an imbalance between the essential fats which holds potentially detrimental effects to long-term health.

Before trans fats and processed foods were added to our diets, the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fats was about 4:1 – a ratio associated with a 70% decrease in total mortality rate in the secondary prevention of heart disease. One recent study found that the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fats consumed today was closer to 16:1.

Other researchers say that the typical Western diet contains 11-30 times more omega 6 than omega 3 fats. And in a study of asthmatic patients, a 10:1 ratio was associated with adverse conditions.

Why does this matter? When the ratio between them becomes imbalanced, that is, when omega 6s overwhelm the omega 3s, the body experiences inflammation, which can result in serious chronic inflammatory conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, asthma and some auto-immune disorders.

The basics

Your daily intake of omega 3 can come from oily fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines and fresh tuna plus certain plant oils, such as olive and flax. As a guideline, the Department of Health recommends 2-3 portions of oily fish per week for adults.

On average, people in the UK eat only a third of a portion of oily fish a week. Over seven out of 10 do not eat any at all. The table below indicates mean % UK population consumption of fish per week:

Consumption/week Males Females Total
Total Fish 28.5% 22.5% 25.2%
White Fish 31.2% 21.3% 25.7%
Oily Fish (excl. canned tuna) 26.4% 23.6% 24.8%
Shellfish 17.6% 15.8% 16.6%

For those who find it difficult to consume the advised weekly fish allowance, especially for those who are not keen on eating fish, or as an additional fish source for those who do, omega 3 supplements are an ideal option. The best choices come in a concentrated liquid or capsule format and adults should take at least the Joint Health Claims Initiative (JCHI), recommendation of 450mg per day to gain the maximum benefit.

Not all omega 3 is equal
Omega 3 supplements are made up of three main long chain fatty acids, EPA, DPA and DHA which come in different concentrations and at different price points. To ensure that you get the best out of your supplement you should take one with the highest concentration of the fatty acid that meets your needs:

Signs of best quality
Check the ingredient list on the pack to find out the content and dosage of each fatty acid. Look for more of EPA and DPA if you are taking omega 3 for heart health and DHA for brain health. Remember you are looking for a minimum omega 3 content of 450mg for the supplement to be beneficial.

Croda has developed the PureMax sign of quality. Products displaying the PureMax logo have gone through a unique purification and concentration technology process. The process removes heavy metals, environmental pollutants and oxidative impurities to ensure the highest quality oils. The end products have minimal impurities and contain the selectively concentrated fatty acids. Higher concentration offers greater consumer convenience, improved palatability, better dose compliance and greater cost-efficiency.

Benefits of the key fatty acids

EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid)
• Helps improve blood flow, reducing the risk of heart attack or stroke
• EPA has been shown to impart an antithrombotic effect by reducing blood clotting
• Proven to have preventative effects on atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
• Dietary intake of EPA can improve the balance of LDL and HDL cholesterol
• Dietary intervention with EPA may reduce vascular inflammation which can alleviate rheumatoid arthritis and reduce joint inflammation
• EPA contains mood balancing properties and can enhance brain function

DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid)
• Improving brain function – DHA has been shown to improve mood disorders such as depression and positively affect mental function and curb aggression
• DHA supports eye health, helping to improve overall eye function
• Pregnant and nursing mothers can improve the intelligence and happiness of their babies with DHA
• Like EPA, DHA can improve cardiovascular health help lower blood pressure
• Can improve the health of skin, nails and hair
• Can help prevent the development of allergies and protect against the symptoms of hay fever, sinus infections, asthma, food allergies and eczema

DPA (Docosapentaenoic Acid)
• DPA stimulates endothelial cell migration with an effect up to 10 times greater than EPA, which may enhance the reduction of atherosclerosis
• DPA helps prevent the formation of blood clots which can block arteries and cause heart attacks or strokes
• The levels of DPA in serum phospholipids can help prevent coronary heart disease
• DPA has been positively linked with a reduction in the risk of peripheral arterial disease in smokers

Sources of omega 3
There are two main sources of omega 3. Marine fish oil and a vegetarian source of omega 3 containing Stearidonic Acid (SDA, C18:4 n-3) derived from echium oil.

Omega 3 is increasingly becoming a part of other food sources, largely by fortification. Fortified foods include margarine spreads, milk, yogurts, bread and certain eggs. However, to receive the JHCI recommendation of 450mg daily to help maintain a healthy heart, the amount you would need to eat of each of these is substantial. The following table illustrates how fortified foods contribute to an omega 3 enriched diet: –

Source: Croda Healthcare

It is unlikely that anyone would wish to swallow 164g of low fat spread or drink nearly two litres of milk per day. However, low levels of omega 3 can be gained from these sources; a balanced diet with a healthy awareness and intake of omega 3 fatty acids is beneficial.

• Visit www.puremax.info for up-to-the-minute information about fish oil supplements

• References:
o Arterburn LM, Bailey E, Oken H; Distribution, interconversion, and dose response of n-3 fatty acids in human, Am J Clin Nutr, 2006, 83, 1467S-76S
o Barton CL, Next-Generation Nutraceuticals . Food and pharma convergence in disease prevention and personalized nutrition, Business Insights Ltd, 2006
o Calder PC, Grimble RF; Polyunsaturated fatty acids, inflammation and immunity, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2002, 26 Suppl 3, S14-S19.
o Gorman C, Park A, The Secret Killer. The surprising link between inflammation and heart attacks, cancer, alzheimer’s and other diseases, TIME, 2004, Feb
o Government Articles

Get a bikini body at Wimpole Aesthetics with Makeover Miles

London: The Wimpole Aesthetic Centre in offering 10% off Thermage – an amazing fat shrinking radio wave treatment that will get rid of double chins, bingo wings and floppy tummies.

It is also offering 15% off a course of five photo-rejuvenation treatments.

Now all you need is your Makeover Miles card to open a world of value-for-money any ageing treatments.

To see what this great clinic has on offer to go www.wimpoleaesthetics.com

Scientists identify “fat” gene

London: Scientists have identified an “obesity gene” which predisposes many people to desire fattening foods.

The obesity gene variant is present in 63% of the population, has been
shown to cause people to eat 100 extra calories, on average, at a single

A team at the University of Dundee conducted an eating test with 100
schoolchildren aged between 4 and 10 and found that the children with
the common variant on the `obesity gene’ FTO consumed the extra 100
calories. These children chose to eat food types that contained more
sugar and fats as opposed to more healthy options.

Results of the study are published in this week’s edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The research was led by Professor Colin Palmer at the University of Dundee, and included colleagues who are nowbased at the Universities of St Andrews, Brighton and Glasgow Caledonian.

The study measured the metabolism, adiposity (fat distribution),exercise and eating behaviours in the schoolchildren. They were given a test meal at school, which included a mix of options: ham, cheese, crackers, crisps, raisins, grapes, cucumber, carrot, chocolate buttons,water, orange juice and bread rolls. Investigators recorded the foodthat remained on each child’s tray. Importantly, each child wastested with this meal on three occasions to increase the reliability of the results.

Researchers found the gene had no impact on metabolic rates or measures
of physical activity. There was also no evidence that individuals carrying the obesity-related variant had any problem with satiety (knowing when to stop increased calorific intake from a greater consumption of the more fattening foods as opposed to the more healthy options.

“This work demonstrates that this gene does not lead to obesity without overeating and suggests that obesity linked to this gene could be modulated by careful dietary control,” said Professor Palmer, Chair of Pharmacogenomics in the Biomedical Research Institute at theUniversity of Dundee..

“What it effectively shows is that the people with the relevant variants on the gene have a trait which may lead them to eat more unhealthy, fattening foods. I would stress that this is a trait, and not an absolute occurrence.

“The findings do not change the dietary and lifestyle advice to people, which would be to eat relatively healthily and take regular exercise. Doing this will still have a positive effect whether you carry this gene variant or not.

“But these findings do also reinforce the hypothesis that the increase in obesity seen in children over recent years may be largely attributable to the widespread availability of inexpensive and highly energy dense foods, which may be more attractive to the large proportion of the population who carry this genetic variant,” said Professor Palmer.

The results in the newly-published study are also consistent with studies in animals that have shown that feeding or fasting turns the expression of this gene on and off in the regions of the brain that are known to control eating behaviours.

Professor Palmer was part of the large group of scientists from around the UK that discovered the obesity gene, FTO, in 2007. They found that individuals carrying one copy of the variant (49% of the population) have an approximately 30% increased risk of obesity and individuals carrying two copies of the variant (14% of the population) have almost 70% increased risk of obesity. This effect has since been confirmed in many populations around the world.

Work has been continuing to further explore how the gene works.

“What we are doing with this work is debunking the old myths which are still often repeated in relation to obesity: ‘I have big bones’,or ‘I have a slow metabolism’, or indeed ‘it is in my genes’.

While strong genetic effects have been found in extremely rare cases, most obesity is associated with rather weak genetic tendencies that are modifiable by diet and exercise,” said Professor Palmer.

“The genetics of obesity are complicated and it is likely that there are other genes which will have an effect. But we are now clearly seeing the effects of genetic variants like this one in FTO.”

Women witth fatter tums better able to deal with stress

Salt Lake City: Women who have extra fat around their middle may enjoy significant health advantages over slimmer hourglass-shaped females, says a 37-nation study in the journal, Current Anthropology.

Elizabeth Cashdan, a Utah University anthropologist, says that being thinner could mean missing out on the hormones that make women physically stronger, more competitive and better able to deal with stress.

Her study shows that across the world, women’s average waist-to-hip ratio is higher than the magic number of 0.7, the upper threshold of a classic hourglass figure – and the shape that anthropologists believe indicate female fertility to the opposite sex.

It is thought that bigger women have more androgens, a class of hormones that includes testosterone.Androgens increase the waist-to-hip ratio in women by boosting levels of visceral fat, which is carried around the waist. Raised levels of androgens are linked to increased strength, stamina and competitiveness in women, says Cashdan.

Trading the benefits of a thin waist for better ability to be independently resourceful may prove a good deal in many societies, she adds – and this in turn may alter male preferences.

Thus, in Japan, Portugal and Greece, where women tend to be less economically independent, the men say they place a higher value on a thin waist than do men in Britain or Denmark, where there tends to be more sexual equality.

And in some non-Western societies where food is scarce and women bear most of the responsibility for finding it, men prefer larger waist-to-hip ratios.

“Whether men prefer a waist-to-hip ratio associated with lower or higher androgen levels should depend on the degree to which they want their mates to be strong, tough, economically successful and politically competitive,” says Cashdan .

Diet pill Acomplia banned in EU


London: The controversial diet pill Acomplia has been banned by European safety chiefs, over concerns that it may be linked to suicide in vulnerable individuals.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has ordered doctors to stop prescribing Acomplia now following several deaths, including a suicide and reports of other adverse reactions. It is already banned in the US.

The UK’s, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence approved the drug four months ago. At that time there were warnings on the packet about the increased risk of depression, anxiety and other ‘serious’ side effects. The EMA also warned that Acomplia should not be taken by patients with major depression or on antidepressants.

Now the EMA has suspended the medicine’s licence because the ‘benefits no longer outweigh its risks’.

It said: “New data from post-marketing experience and ongoing clinical trials indicated that serious psychiatric disorders may be more common than in the clinical trials.”

Patients taking Acomplia are advised to see their doctor or pharmacist

Acomplia, also known as rimonabant, was licensed for the treatment of obesity and overweight patients with type 2 diabetes.

In medical trials. the drug demonstrated that it was helpful to two out five patients in loosing up to 10 per cent of their body body weight.

But a scientific review in The Lancet medical journal found a 40 per cent higher chance of being harmed by ‘adverse events or serious adverse events’.

The pill, made by the French firm Sanofi-Aventis, works by interfering with a system in the body which controls energy levels, reducing the cravings for food and helping to prevent fat from being deposited.

Acomplia costs £44 a month in the UK, and is marketed in 18 European countries.

Vitamin D fights type 2 diabetes


Helskinki: Scientists have discovered that higher levels of vitamin D may offer protection against tyep 2, adult onset diabetes.

Several thousand people, aged 40 to 74, were monitored over a 22-year-period, during which time 412 developed the disease.

Results showed that those with higher levels of vitamin D had the lower risk of diabetes. In particular, men with the highest blood level of the vitamin were 72 per cent less likely to develop the disease.

It is thought that low levels of vitamin D affect the body’s ability to produce insulin.

Vitamin D is produced naturally in the body by sunlight and it is also found in certain foods such as oily fish.

Diabetes is a growing problem, particularly in ageing adults and those who are overweight, particularly with high levels of belly fat are most at risk.

Watchdog slams “Skinny Water” claims

London: UK health watchdogs have criticised the claims for a bottle of water which claims to help weightloss.

Skinny Water, a flavoured spring water, sold in Tesco, WH Smith and Superdrug, contains a cocktail of nutrients which the manufacturer claims to suppress hunger and fight fat.

Makers Bio Synergy admit their claims are not based on clinical studies and the name is on a par with jeans called “skinny jeans” and coffee called “skinny latte.”

UK Food Standards Agency say that the claims for the drink are groundless and that steps are being the results of proven medical trials.

iSkinny Water, which costs 99p, contains hunger-suppressing nutrients such as L-Carnitine and Chromium, which the labelling says reduces sugar cravings and improves the body’s ability to burn fat. The eye-catching label says the drink is a “slimming aid”, words printed suggestively under a measuring tape.

It states Skinny Water “has been enhanced with a unique combination of ingredients to help you lose weight… suppress appetite, block carbohydrates from converting into fat and increase fat burning”.

Breast milk reduces heart attack risk

London: Scientists have discovered another reason why breast is best – it can lower your blood cholesterol in later life, according to research from St George’s, University of London funded by the British Heart Foundation.

The study discovered that exposure to breast milk in the first months of life may reduce blood cholesterol levels and the risk of developing heart disease in adult life.

The findings are based on a review of data from over 17,000 participants (4,608 were formula-fed and 12,890 were breast-fed) showing adults who had been breastfed had a lower mean total blood cholesterol than those who had been fed formula. It concludes that early exposure to the high cholesterol content of human milk affects long-term cholesterol metabolism, which may modify risk of cardiovascular disease in later life.

The meta-analysis is to be published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition’s (ACJN) August edition.

Study author Dr Chris Owen, Epidemiologist at St George’s, University of London, is an expert in cardiovascular risk factors in childhood, and works in the Division of Community Health Sciences.

He says: “The paper concludes that initial breastfeeding, particularly when exclusive, is associated with lower blood cholesterol concentrations in later life, compared to initial formula feeding.”

Dr Owen said there is substantial evidence to suggest that human milk does provide long-term, protective health benefits, breastfeeding should be advocated, when possible, as the preferred method of feeding in early life.

“This study provides further evidence that breast feeding has long-term health benefits. Apart from all its other effects, it appears to lower blood cholesterol in later life. The results also suggest that formula feeds should match the context of breast milk as closely as possible – any attempt to reduce the fat content of formula feeds could be counter-productive” said Dr Owen.

Primary Article Reference

Owen CG, Whincup PH, Kaye SJ et al. Does initial breastfeeding lead to lower blood cholesterol in adult life? A quantitative review of the evidence. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2008; 88:305-314.

About St George’s
St George’s, University of London is the only institution to provide training to a full range of more than 2,600 healthcare and sciences students on one site. As well as providing courses in medicine and biomedical sciences, the college also offers courses in midwifery, nursing, physiotherapy, radiography and social work in conjunction with Kingston University. The school is dedicated to promoting by excellence in teaching, clinical practice and research, the prevention, treatment and understanding of disease. It is extremely active in research and has a high reputation in areas such as infection, diseases of the heart and circulation, cell signalling and epidemiology. Other areas of expertise include genetics, health and social care sciences and mental health.

Monica Reinagel – nutrionist and best-selling author


Monica Reinagel is author of The Inflammation Free Diet Plan. You can write to her at monica@inflammationfreediet.com


A cosmetic surgery operation to remove excess fat from the upper arms