A new study published October, 2015 in the journal Sleep found that bedtime for teens is an important component in weight management.

Researchers followed over 3,300 adolescents from 1994 to 2009 to determine the effect of bedtime on body mass index (BMI).

The conclusion was that between adolescence and adulthood, going to bed later during the workweek was associated with increased BMI over time. For every minute a teen went to bed late, there was an increase of 2.1 on the body mass index over a roughly five year period. The results were not affected by how many hours the participants slept each night, how much time they spent in front of a screen, or how much exercise they engaged in.

Similarly, a study concluded in 2004 showed that sleep deprivation alters appetite regulating hormones which can increase hunger and cravings, especially for high calorie refined carbohydrate foods.

An early bedtime is an often-neglected component of optimal health. While getting sufficient hours of sleep is important, we must realize that not all hours are created equal. Lauren Asarnow, doctoral candidate and lead author of the study says, “These results highlight adolescent bedtimes, not just total sleep time, as a potential target for weight management during the transition to adulthood.” She suggests that adolescents who go to bed earlier will “set their weight on a healthier course as they emerge into adulthood.”

Getting adequate sleep offers a wide-range of immediate and long-term health benefits. Sleep boosts the immune system, helps with the body’s self-repair system, lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s, and helps us keep our appetites under control.

The researcher recommends teenagers go to bed at 9:00 every night if possible, but at least by 10:00 every night.

Taken from a report by Linda Carney MD on her blog drcarney.com

A person’s entire immune system can be rejuvenated by fasting for as little as three days as it triggers the body to start producing new white blood cells, a study suggests.


Fasting for just 3 days can regenerate your entire immune system

Fasting for as little as three days can regenerate the entire immune system, even in the elderly, scientists have found in a breakthrough described as “remarkable”.

Although fasting diets have been criticised by nutritionists for being unhealthy, new research suggests starving the body kick-starts stem cells into producing new white blood cells, which fight off infection.

Scientists at the University of Southern California say the discovery could be particularly beneficial for people suffering from damaged immune systems, such as cancer patients on chemotherapy.

It could also help the elderly whose immune system becomes less effective as they age, making it harder for them to fight off even common diseases.

The researchers say fasting “flips a regenerative switch” which prompts stem cells to create brand new white blood cells, essentially regenerating the entire immune system.

“It gives the ‘OK’ for stem cells to go ahead and begin proliferating and rebuild the entire system,” said Prof Valter Longo, Professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the University of California.

“And the good news is that the body got rid of the parts of the system that might be damaged or old, the inefficient parts, during the fasting.

“Now, if you start with a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or ageing, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system.”
Prolonged fasting forces the body to use stores of glucose and fat but also breaks down a significant portion of white blood cells.

During each cycle of fasting, this depletion of white blood cells induces changes that trigger stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells.

In trials humans were asked to regularly fast for between two and four days over a six-month period.

Scientists found that prolonged fasting also reduced the enzyme PKA, which is linked to ageing and a hormone which increases cancer risk and tumour growth.

“We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the hematopoietic system,” added Prof Longo.

“When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged,” Dr Longo said.

“What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back. So we started thinking, well, where does it come from?”

Fasting for 72 hours also protected cancer patients against the toxic impact of chemotherapy.

“While chemotherapy saves lives, it causes significant collateral damage to the immune system. The results of this study suggest that fasting may mitigate some of the harmful effects of chemotherapy,” said co-author Tanya Dorff, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital.

“More clinical studies are needed, and any such dietary intervention should be undertaken only under the guidance of a physician.”

“We are investigating the possibility that these effects are applicable to many different systems and organs, not just the immune system,” added Prof Longo.

However, some British experts were sceptical of the research.

Dr Graham Rook, emeritus professor of immunology at University College London, said the study sounded “improbable”.

Chris Mason, Professor of Regenerative Medicine at UCL, said: “There is some interesting data here. It sees that fasting reduces the number and size of cells and then re-feeding at 72 hours saw a rebound.

“That could be potentially useful because that is not such a long time that it would be terribly harmful to someone with cancer.

“But I think the most sensible way forward would be to synthesize this effect with drugs. I am not sure fasting is the best idea. People are better eating on a regular basis.”

Dr Longo added: “There is no evidence at all that fasting would be dangerous while there is strong evidence that it is beneficial.

“I have received emails from hundreds of cancer patients who have combined chemo with fasting, many with the assistance of the oncologists.

“Thus far the great majority have reported doing very well and only a few have reported some side effects including fainting and a temporary increase in liver markers. Clearly we need to finish the clinical trials, but it looks very promising.”

Taken from a report by Sarah Knapton, in The Telegraph



A report in the news today gives more evidence that a sedentary lifestyle is generally bad for you, apart from the obvious fitness implications,  Dutch researchers have found that the more time people spend sitting down, the stiffer their arteries – a sign of likely heart disease in the future.

See News Article in The Daily Mail

I just can’t believe that people gain vast amounts of weight on purpose.  There are a number of people who are even competing to be the fattest in the world.  Here’s news from Emily Allen writing in the Daily Mail, about a fattest woman contender who has just got engaged to a chef, and is putting on weight.

Susanne Eman, 33, revealed her controversial dream of reaching a target weight of over 115 stone last year – to become the biggest human ever.

Now the mother-of-two, who currently weighs more than 54 stone, plans to wed fiance Parker Clack, 35, who loves cooking for her.

Supersize diet: Susanne Eman, 33 being spoon fed by her boyfriend Parker Clack, 38 at the breakfast table Supersize diet: Susanne Eman, 33 being spoon fed by her boyfriend Parker Clack, 38 at the breakfast table

The pair met over the internet last year and hit it off following a string of emails.

Within months Parker moved in to Susanne’s home in Casa Grande, Arizona, where she lives with sons Brendin, 13, and Gabriel, 17.

Unemployed Susanne said: ‘We are a match made in heaven. I love eating and Parker loves cooking.

Love: Susanne and Parker share a kiss on their bed. Love: Susanne and Parker share a kiss on their bed.

‘It’s a perfect pairing. I still want to be the fattest woman in the world and Parker is fine with that.

‘He loves larger women and sees how happy I am when I’m eating.

‘His cooking skills were definitely part of the attraction. How could I resist a man with talents in the kitchen?

‘His signature dish, spaghetti bolognese, is my favourite. I could eat it all day.

‘Parker helps by doing the housework too.

‘He does most of the house work, cooking, helps encourage me to go for walks, he goes swimming with me, helps me do anything I have difficulty with.’

Susanne says she has gained several stone since her last weigh-in last year when she registered at 54 stone

Amazingly Parker is supporting Susanne in her controversial goal of becoming the world’s heaviest.

Parker said: ‘I support her because it makes her happy, and I love big women.

‘I do worry about her health of course, but I try to make sure she eats some healthy food like salad, and I make sure she does exercises.

‘She’s taken up swimming since we met and we love to swim together.

Susanne Eman

Doctors have told Susanne she is gambling with her life

‘I know becoming the biggest woman ever is something she truly wants to do with all of her heart.

‘She had a check up last year and the doctor said she was fine, even though he doesn’t support her mission. He said she’s gambling with her life.

‘As long as the doctors say she’s okay, I’ll support her.

‘I’d love Susanne whatever she looked like, but if she was a size-zero model I wouldn’t have noticed her in the first place.

‘We met online and exchanged photos when we were courting. I thought she was beautiful.

‘I’ve always preferred bigger girls. To me there’s nothing attractive about a skinny woman. It’s more ladylike to have curves.

As Susanne, a size 10XL, continues to balloon, Parker takes her and her sons to the park on day-trips – wheeling Susanne around in her wheelchair

‘Men aren’t supposed to have curves, but women are, and Susanne definitely has them.’

Susanne says she has gained several stone since her last weigh-in last year when she registered at 54 stone.

She had hoped to be three stone heavier by the end of 2011.

‘It’s harder to gain than you might think because I’m trying to stay as healthy and active as possible,’ she said.

‘I’ve been slowly upping what I eat. It’s like an athlete training but instead of training to be harder, I’m making myself softer.

‘There’s not been a point where I’ve doubted what I’m doing. It’s deep desire for me to do this and I feel I can do it without endangering my health so I don’t worry about my boys.’

As Susanne, a size 10XL, continues to balloon, Parker takes her and her sons to the park on day-trips – wheeling Susanne around in her wheelchair.

‘My mobility is decreasing,’ she said. ‘But I always knew this would happen as I gained. I get out of breath more easily and Parker has to push me in my chair more often.

‘When we go to the store he shops for me. He helps me in and out of the car. He encourages me to do my exercises.

‘My aim is to never become bed-bound. As long Parker keeps taking me out to the park for waddles, then I know I can keep moving.’

Reaching her goal would mean Susanne tops that of previous world record-holder Carol Ann Yager, who died in 1994 from kidney failure caused by morbid obesity.

But despite warnings from doctors that she is playing ‘Russian Roulette’ with her life, Susanne says she can avoid the fate of others who have reached over 1000lbs (71 stone).

‘I do my best to eat as much healthy food as possible,’ said Susanne.

‘I do an exercise regime to keep me as mobile as possible and Parker helps with that. He makes sure I do my stretches and sit ups.

‘I want to try and break the stigma that being fat is bad.

‘And it’s helped me to find love, so what’s wrong with that.’

From a Story in the Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2117319/Mothers-bid-fattest-human-115-stone—shes-marrying-chef-help-her.html#ixzz1pgTO96AG

A large study, published in August 2010 found that eating meat was linked with weight gain.

The research revealed that the biggest culprits are processed meats, such as sausages and ham.

Meat Consumption Has Been Linked to Weight Gain

The researchers looked at the links between weight gain and the consumption of red meat, poultry, processed meat and total meat consumption. Overall, they found that meat consumption was associated with weight gain, suggesting that eating less meat may be the key to keeping a healthy weight.  Study leader Dr Anne-Claire Vergnaud said: ‘I would recommend to control consumption of meat to maintain a healthy weight and good health in general.”

The Study entitled “Meat Consumption and Prospective Weight Change in Participants of the EPIC- PANACEA Study” followed a total of 103,455 men and 270,348 women (all between 25 and 70 years of age) in ten European countries for five years and was carried out by the Imperial College, London and several other universities and was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (August 2010)

Leafy Green Vegetables Have Been Shown to Help Prevent Diabetes


An analysis report has been published which brought together the findings of six separate studies. Each of the studies tracked a group of people over a period of time, measuring their fruit and vegetable intake and any incidences of Type-2 diabetes.

The results once again show that lifestyle choices are important in the prevention of Type-2 diabetes. In particular, they support recommendations to promote green leafy vegetables in the diet.

The study entitled ‘Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis’ was carried out by Carter et al, and was published in the British Medical Journal (August 2010).

Results have been published today, of a trial that has been conducted to find out if paying people to lose weight is an effective way for people to achieve weight-loss.
Cash for Weight Loss

Under the title ‘Weight Wins’, the NHS-backed scheme has seen rewards of £80 to £3,000 being paid to dieters. Bizarrely, dieters were not given much help to lose the weight, apart from the cash incentives. Participants were given monthly weigh-ins, but were largely left to their own devices to lose the weight, and were not given much in the way of dietary or fitness advice. The scheme focused on the cash incentives, paying according to the number of pounds lost.

Whilst this may seem like a dream come true if you want to lose weight, lets look at this a little more closely.

A sample of 745 overweight people took part in the trial. A control group of dieters were also studied for comparison.

For those on the incentive scheme, average weight loss was more than 14lbs. This was more than double that of the control group, who lost an average of 5.5lb. On these figures, the programme was deemed a success.

The founder of Weight Wins, Winton Rossiter said: ‘We are absolutely thrilled with these results, which suggest that long-term financial incentives could be the best single weapon in the war on obesity.’
However, what these results don’t show is that there was a high drop-out rate, and there was no way of telling if these people had been eating healthily. They may have starved themselves in order to achieve the drop in weight.

There is also outrage from taxpayers over this initiative. Chief Executive of the Tax Payers’ Alliance, Matthew Elliot, said: ‘The NHS shouldn’t be bribing people to lose weight. At a time when the government is talking about making huge cuts in public spending, there is not enough money for cash incentives in healthcare.”
But of course the big question is ‘is it truly effective’. The question should not only be ‘do people successfully lose weight’ with these incentives, but crucially ‘is it effective long-term?’.
What would the statistics be if these people were surveyed after a year or two? Would they have kept the weight off? It’s highly unlikely, because ‘bribing’ people to lose weight is only a temporary fix and does nothing to help build long term healthy lifestyles.
Sadly, all the evidence is that it is not an effective long-term strategy. It is the same with quitting addictions, such as smoking.. Unfortunately, this cash-for-weight-loss incentive is ill-advised, and is doomed to long-term failure. Even though there is a long-term element to the incentives, where dieters can receive a cash bonus if they keep the weight off, the evidence is that this won’t be enough to be effective.
The best way to lose weight and keep it off long-term has been shown over and over again to be to make a firm commitment to life-style changes, and stick to them. A cash incentive is not the answer, you have to have inner desire to make the changes.

Jennifer Aniston at 41 is looking gorgeous. She was recently reported to have been on the ‘baby food diet’ to shed a few pounds before filming her latest film Just Go With it. The Baby Food Diet was devised by trainer Tracy Anderson and the regime involves eating pureed food during the day, and then a healthy meal in the evening.

But, Jennifer refutes this and says she doesn’t know anything about the diet. She said: ”Sorry but the last time I had baby food, I believe I was [a baby]. I’ve been on solids for about 40 years now”. Jennifer puts her stunning figure down to eating really well and working out. But she says that she also indulges here and there in what she fancies, such as a glass of wine and a coffee. She says “My advice: just stop eating s**t every day” Sounds very sensible to me, and it clearly works for Jen!

You may remember Alex Higgins, known as Hurricane Higgins, a snooker legend from the1970’s and 80’s. Apart from his fast snooker-playing he was known for his drinking and smoking, also women and gambling.

Being fond of women and gambling doesn’t necessarily pose a direct health threat but most health professionals would agree that heavy smoking and drinking certainly do.

Poor old Hurricane Higgins now looks close to death, and almost unrecognizable from the man that came to be a household name in his heyday. He is only 61, but in a recent photo in the news, he looks more like 101. He has lost a great deal of weight and his health is clearly fragile. He reportedly has now lost all his teeth after radiotherapy treatment for throat cancer. Clearly he is an example of how not to live healthily and what the consequences can be if you ignore healthy living wisdom.

News Story (Daily Mail)

New Japanese research suggests that wolfing down meals may be enough to nearly double your risk of being overweight.  Osaka University scientists looked at the eating habits of 3,000 people and reported their findings in the British Medical Journal.

Children should be encouraged to eat slowly

Children should be encouraged to eat slowly

The latest study looked at the relationship between eating speed, feelings of “fullness” and being verweight.
Just under half of the 3,000 volunteers told researchers they tended to eat quickly.

Compared with those who did not eat quickly, fast-eating men were 84% more likely to be overweight, and women were just over twice as likely.
Those, who, in addition to wolfing down their meals, tended to eat until they felt full, were more than three times more likely to be overweight.

Professor Ian McDonald, from the University of Nottingham, said that there were a number of reasons why eating fast could be bad for your weight.
He said it could interfere with a signalling system which tells your brain to stop eating because your stomach is swelling up.
He said: “If you eat quickly you basically fill your stomach before your gastric feedback has a chance to start developing – you can overfill the thing.”
He said that rushing meals was a behaviour that might have been learned in infancy, and could be reversed, although this might not be easy.
“The old wives’ tale about chewing everything 20 times might be true – if you did take a bit more time eating, it could have an impact.”

In an accompanying editorial, Australian researchers Dr Elizabeth Denney-Wilson and Dr Karen Campbell, said that, if possible, children should be encouraged to eat slowly, and allowed to stop when they felt full up at mealtimes.
Dr Jason Halford, Director of Human Ingestive Behaviour Laboratory at the University of Liverpool, said: “What the Japanese research shows is that individual differences in eating behaviour underlie over-consumption of food and are linked to obesity.
“Other research has found evidence of this in childhood, suggesting that it could be inherited or learned at a very early age.”