MINUTE OF EXERCISE A DAY COULD PREVENT OSTEOPOROSIS, FINDS STUDY

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No more excuses

Many people think that getting fit means devoting your life to the gym and slogging it out for hours. And unsurprisingly, that can be pretty off-putting.

But increasingly we’re realising that short workouts can be much more effective than long ones, if you just know what to do.

It turns out that just a minute’s exercise a day can have a hugely beneficial impact on your health.

According to a study by the Universities of Exeter and Leicester, women who do 60-120 seconds of high-intensity weight-bearing exercise a day have four per cent better bone density than those who do less than a minute.

Women who exercise for over two minutes have even stronger bones, with density six per cent higher than those who do under a minute.

After the age of 30, people tend to lose more bone mass than they gain, and the higher your bone density, the lower your likelihood of developing osteoporosis.

You’re also less likely to have bone fractures in old age.

The study was conducted on over 2,500 female participants, and it’s women who are most at risk of osteoporosis, with bone density declining significantly after the menopause.

According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, a tenth of women aged 60 are affected by osteoporosis, and this rises to two-thirds of women aged 90.

What’s more, one in three women over the age of 50 and one in five men of the same age will suffer from osteoporotic fractures.

But further research needs to be done to work out how best one should undertake exercise in order to improve bone density the most.

“We don’t yet know whether it’s better to accumulate this small amount of exercise in bits throughout each day or all at once, and also whether a slightly longer bout of exercise on one or two days per week is just as good as one to two minutes a day,” said lead author Dr Victoria Stiles.

“But there’s a clear link between this kind of high-intensity, weight-bearing exercise and better bone health in women.”

To reach their conclusions, the researchers asked their participants to wear activity monitors for a week and then compared this data to measurements of their bone health.

The activity data was broken down into single seconds to understand how people move in their daily lives.

“We wanted to make every second count in our analysis, because short snippets of high-intensity activity are more beneficial to bone health than longer, continuous periods,” Stiles said.

“We were careful not to ignore short bursts of activity throughout the day.”

Many people, although not consciously exercising, engage in non-exercise activity thermogenesis – or NEAT – over the course of the day, and this can be enough to improve your health.

If you want to increase your bone health, start with simply trying to walk more, and from there you can incorporate short bouts of running too.

There are limitations to the study’s findings though.

“Because this is a cross-sectional study – which assesses data taken from a subset of the population at a particular point in time – we can’t be sure whether the high-intensity physical activity led to better bone health, or whether those with better bone health do more of this exercise,” Stiles clarified.

“However, it seems likely that just one to two minutes of running a day is good for bone health.”

It’s not the first study to suggest you can drastically improve your health with just a minute’s exercise either: earlier this year, researchers from McMaster University found that 60 seconds of intense exercise broken up into 20 second blasts as part of a ten-minute workout can be as effective as a 45 minute endurance workout.

No more telling yourself you just don’t have the time to keep fit then.

[“Source-independent”]

Even modest changes to diet could reduce risk of death, study finds

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With more than one-third of U.S. adults suffering from obesity, it’s no surprise that many Americans would benefit from healthier eating habits. Fad diets capitalize on our desire for quick results but usually fail in the long run.

Now new research adds to the evidence that a more moderate approach can make a lasting difference.

A study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health finds that improving the quality of diet over time, even with modest changes, may significantly reduce the risk of premature death.

Improvements to diet included consuming more whole grainsvegetables, fruits, nuts, and fish and eating less red and processed meats and sugary beverages.

“Overall, our findings underscore the benefits of healthy eating patterns including the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet. Our study indicates that even modest improvements in diet quality could meaningfully influence mortality risk and conversely, worsening diet quality may increase the risk,” lead author Mercedes Sotos-Prieto, who worked on the study while a postdoctoral fellow in the Harvard Chan School department of nutrition and who is currently an assistant professor of nutrition at Ohio University, said in a statement.

For the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Sotos-Prieto and her team analyzed data on nearly 74,000 adults over a 12-year period. The researchers assessed the participants’ diet using three different scoring methods: the 2010 Alternate Healthy Eating Index, the Alternate Mediterranean Diet score, and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet score. Each model assigns scores to various types of food, with healthier foods receiving higher scores and less healthy foods receiving lower scores.

The results showed that better diet quality over a 12-year period was linked to a reduced risk of death in the subsequent 12 years, no matter which method of scoring was used. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables and fish or n-3 fatty acids appeared to contribute most to an improvement in diet quality.

Specifically, the study showed that a 20-percentile increase in diet-quality scores was associated with an 8 to 17 percent reduction in the risk of death.

That can be achieved, for example, by swapping out just one serving of red or processed meat and replacing it with one daily serving of nuts or legumes.

In contrast, worsening diet quality was linked to a 6 to 12 percent increase in the risk of death.

Nancy Z. Farrell, a registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, said the findings reinforce the work she does every day with her patients.

“Registered dietitian nutritionists practice evidence-based science every day in encouraging and educating the public on disease prevention and treatment, and we know that chronic disease increases the cost of health care and drives up insurance premiums,” she told CBS News.

Farrell says everyone can benefit from making smart diet swaps as often as possible.

“Have a ‘meatless Monday’ dinner where you incorporate beans or legumes, such as red beans and quinoa. Or have a veggie pizza night,” she suggests.

When it comes to snacking, avoid high-calorie junk foods like potato chips and opt for a handful of nuts, or make your own trail mix with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.

And if you’re looking for a sweet treat, skip the ice cream and try freezing some fruit instead.

“Blueberries or blackberries offer a refreshing summer snack with a burst of coolness,” Farrell said.

Importantly, experts say it’s crucial to not only incorporate such changes into your diet, but to stick with them over time.

“Our results highlight the long-term health benefits of improving diet quality with an emphasis on overall dietary patterns rather than on individual foods or nutrients,” said Frank Hu, professor and chair of the Harvard Chan School department of nutrition and senior author of the study. “A healthy eating pattern can be adopted according to individuals’ food and cultural preferences and health conditions. There is no one-size-fits-all diet.”

[“Source-cbsnews”]

Why Teenagers Become Obese At Puberty, Finds Study

Why Teenagers Become Obese At Puberty, Finds Study

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Why Teenagers Become Obese At Puberty, Finds Study
The research explains the dramatic rise in childhood obesity in puberty. (Representational Image)
LONDON: When young teenagers reach puberty, both girls and boys tend to experience a rapid drop in the number of calories that they burn, finds a new study.

The research, that also explains the dramatic rise in childhood obesity in puberty, found that 15-year-olds use 400 to 500 fewer calories while at rest per day compared to when they were 10-years-old — a fall of around a quarter.

This was particularly surprising as it is a period of rapid growth, and growth uses lots of calories, the researchers said.

However, by the age of 16, their calorie expenditure begins to climb once again.

In addition, the study also found that teenagers exercise less during puberty, adding to the calorie excess that underlies obesity.

This exercise drop is particularly stark in girls, whose activity level drops by around a third between the ages of seven and 16.

“When we looked for an explanation for the rising obesity in adolescence, we were surprised to find a dramatic and unexpected drop in the number of calories burned while at rest during puberty,” said Terry Wilkin, Professor at the University of Exeter in Britain.

Childhood obesity is one of the most serious global public health challenges for the 21st century, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
“Child obesity and associated diabetes are both among the greatest health challenges of our time. Our findings can explain why puberty why teenagers gain excess weight in puberty, and it could help target strategies accordingly,” Wilkin added, in the paper published The International Journal of Obesity.

During the 12-year-long study, between 2000 and 2012, the research team analysed data gathered from nearly 350 school children in Britain.

The children were assessed every six months between the ages of five and 16, during which blood samples were given to assess metabolic health and measurements of size, body composition, metabolic rate and physical activity taken. Of this set, 279 children gave data that made them eligible for the latest study.

Burning calories uses up a fixed amount of oxygen.

The children rested in a sealed canopy and their oxygen consumption was measured over a period of time, to enable researchers to calculate their calorie use from the amount of oxygen consumed.

source”gsmarena”

Drinking more water associated with numerous dietary benefits, study finds

Drinking water (stock image).
Credit: © ampyang / Fotolia

For people who want to control their weight or reduce their intakes of sugar, sodium and saturated fat, tap water may be what the doctor ordered.

A new study that examined the dietary habits of more than 18,300 U.S. adults found the majority of people who increased their consumption of plain water — tap water or from a cooler, drinking fountain or bottle — by 1 percent reduced their total daily calorie intake as well as their consumption of saturated fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol.

People who increased their consumption of water by one, two or three cups daily decreased their total energy intake by 68 to 205 calories daily and their sodium intake by 78 to 235 milligrams, according to a paper by University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An. They also consumed 5 grams to nearly 18 grams less sugar and decreased their cholesterol consumption by 7 to 21 milligrams daily.

“The impact of plain water intake on diet was similar across race/ethnicity, education and income levels and body weight status,” An said. “This finding indicates that it might be sufficient to design and deliver universal nutrition interventions and education campaigns that promote plain water consumption in replacement of beverages with calories in diverse population subgroups without profound concerns about message and strategy customization.”

An examined data from four waves (2005-12) of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics. Participants were asked to recall everything they ate or drank over the course of two days that were three to 10 days apart.

An calculated the amount of plain water each person consumed as a percentage of their daily dietary water intake from food and beverages combined. Beverages such as unsweetened black tea, herbal tea and coffee were not counted as sources of plain water, but their water content was included in An’s calculations of participants’ total dietary water consumption.

On average, participants consumed about 4.2 cups of plain water on a daily basis, accounting for slightly more than 30 percent of their total dietary water intake. Participants’ average calorie intake was 2,157 calories, including 125 calories from sugar-sweetened beverages and 432 calories from discretionary foods, which are low-nutrition, calorie-dense foods such as desserts, pastries and snack mixes that add variety to but are not necessary for a healthy diet.

A small but statistically significant 1 percent increase in participants’ daily consumption of plain water was associated with an 8.6-calorie decrease in daily energy intake, as well as slight reductions in participants’ intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and discretionary foods along with their consumption of fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol.

While An found that the decreases were greater among men and among young and middle-aged adults, he suggested they could have been associated with these groups’ higher daily calorie intakes.
[“source -cncb”]