|A Letter from S. Nicholas
|Dear Dr. DietI have an unusual, very seasonal occupation that is being threatened by my size and both my doctor and my wife want me to lose weight. I am so much bigger than the little people that work with me and can barely fit into my uniform. It is getting very difficult getting up and down chimneys, and the flying reindeer are complaining about my girth. I can hardly HO HO HO and carry a big sack without huffing and puffing. How can I possibly stay away from my favorite holiday treats and expect to be jolly.
Perhaps we may be of help regarding your weight. However your concerns about complaints from outspoken reindeer, try writing to our colleague, Dr. Phil.
Confections and holidays go hand in hand throughout the world. Most of us overestimate our confectionary calorie consumption. What happens then ..the very same candy that is meant to be prized and enjoyed become the source of guilt …that guilty feeling is one of the factors that actually can cause overeating and weight gain.
Nick, our present to you are some facts that could assuage your guilt and prevent weight gain.
• According to a recent study of 5800 adults over 18, candy only accounts for (on the average) 20 calories in their dally diets. Whereas sugary drinks, grain based desserts, and sweetened fruit drinks make up 60% of their total intake of added sugars. Candy consumption was not correlated with obesity.
• Similarly, in a 4-year experiment conducted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology of ninety-six girls (8-12) consumption of energy-dense snacks were studied. Researchers did not find a correlation between “candy” and increase BMI and obesity. They did see a correlation with calorie dense beverages.
• The good holiday news is that in both in adults and children, there does not seem to be a relationship between increased BMI or Obesity and candy consumption.
• It appears that soda and sweetened beverages are the culprits.
Oscar Wilde said, “the best way to rid yourself of temptation is to yield to it.” Our advice to you is to guiltlessly enjoy the holiday confections but easy on the eggnog.
What would life be like without candy corn for Halloween, without chocolate for Valentine’s Day, without jelly beans for Easter and without candy canes for Christmas. We shudder to think.
“Never before has any civilization faced an epidemic that didn’t involve an infectious disease. Today, this situation is not only unprecedented, but a threat to the nation’s future.”
This comes from the president of Mexico’s National Institute of Medicine, Enrique Ruelas.
In Australia, 28% of the population is obese, which is comparable to Mexico, where the rate is 32%. Diabetes is increasing in adults and in children, and the finger is pointed squarely at the availability and social pressure to consume sugar-based drinks and calorie-dense fast food.
In Mexico, three times as many people die each year as a result of diabetes than of drug-crime related injuries. In response, Mexico has fronted the food and drink industry, and resisted lobbying and warnings that raising prices would do nothing to help the country’s economy. As a result of new taxes, the cost of food which is high in saturated fat, sugar and salt will increase by 8%. Sugary drinks will also become more expensive, and the funds will go to making drinking water more available in cities and schools.
While our own country is unlikely to take the food giants head-on in this way, each individual can make their own choices about what they buy, eat, drink and give to their children. Paerhaps now that we have our cigarettes in plain packaging, we may be able to tackle the lie that Cake adds life…
Quoting from Bariatric News:
“If we have to decide who should get the surgery first, it should be based on who has the highest risk of mortality,” said Arya Sharma, chair in obesity research and management, scientific director of the Canadian Obesity Network. “We looked at thousands of patient files and many different parameters, and surprisingly enough it came down to three things, if you’re male, you’re a smoker and you have diabetes, you have the highest risk. These surgeries are being done, but are the wrong people getting them? The current BMI cut-off is missing the boat on those who need it most. Having diabetes is more important than BMI as a risk factor. Our research showed BMI didn’t really matter, so size alone isn’t a good way to decide who should get the surgery.”
The research showed that diabetes was the strongest predictor of death, noting that obese patients with diabetes were more than twice as likely to die as obese patients without diabetes. Smoking increased risk of death 1.6 times, and being male increased risk 1.5 times.
“We think this will be a useful tool for physicians,” added Padwa. “It’s simple math that will predict a patient’s risk of death. For example, if you’re a middle-aged, male smoker with diabetes, your risk of dying in 10 years is 10 times higher than that of a young, female non-smoker who doesn’t have diabetes—irrespective of BMI.”
The research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
So, the simplest thing to do to reduce your health risks is to stop smoking. This will also improve your results from surgery if it is required.
Secondly, there is evidence to support weight loss surgery for patients with less severe obesity if they have diabetes. The sooner you lose weight after first discovering diabetes, the better the result. Sometimes, the diabetes seems to completely disappear.
Sucralose Affects Glycemic and Hormonal Responses to an Oral Glucose Load
A title like this may not seem particularly gripping, but the article by M. Yanina Pepino (PhD) and colleagues in Missouri reports on a study that confirms the suspicions of many of us – artificial sweeteners may have no calories themselves, but they do have an impact on our metabolism.
A link has now been shown with diabetes and weight gain – I’ve annotated the article’s abstract below:
“Nonnutritive sweeteners (NNS), such as sucralose, have been reported to have metabolic effects in animal models. However, the relevance of these findings to human subjects is not clear. We evaluated the acute effects of sucralose ingestion on the metabolic response to an oral glucose load in obese subjects.” (more…)
The team at Bariatrics Australia Research Centre – including Adelaide Bariatric Centre and the Western Surgical Health – have just published a series of Swedish Adjustable gastric bands in the Canadian Journal of Surgery. There have been plenty of studies on gastric band results in general, but this is the largest published series of patients using the latest Swedish adjustable gastric band. Between us, we followed 1000 patients over the course of our year-long program. On average, people lost more than 18 kg. This was nearly 40% of their excess weight. 73% of type 2 diabetics saw improvement in their sugar control, and many were able to stop their diabetes medications completely. The procedure was very safe with no deaths and a complication rate below 5%.
One daily soft drink increases diabetes risk by 22%
The Medical Observer reported on 26th Apr 2013 on a study in Diabetologia –
THE link between sugary soft drinks and diabetes has been demonstrated again in a new study that found just one sweet beverage per day significantly increased the risk of developing the condition.
Previous North American studies found those who drink a sugar-sweetened beverage each day increase their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 25%.
Researchers from London’s Imperial College studied the soft drink consumption of 28,000 Europeans to see if the effect was replicated across the Atlantic Ocean – and it was.
They compared 12,000 Europeans with type 2 diabetes and 16,000 random Europeans and found that drinking one 336ml sugary soft drink – the standard size of a soft drink can in Europe – increased the risk of developing diabetes by 22%.
So – while surgery can help you to control how much you eat, you still need to be discerning about what you put in your mouth – not all liquids and solids sold for consumption are suitable food substitutes.