- It seems every time you turn around the US is approving a new obesity treatment. There has been a rash of new drug approvals and now a new obesity “device”. The FDA just approved the Maestro Rechargeable System for adults with obesity. It is designed to help people lose weight by regulating the neurological pathway between the brain and stomach; ideally controlling feelings of hunger and fullness.
- Back to pharmacological treatments for obesity…..the Endocrine Society released their clinical practice guideline for obesity medications. Ideally it should help practitioners identify the best pharmacotherapy strategies for treating patients with obesity and includes information on weight loss drugs as well as avoiding drugs that may promote weight gain.
Please keep in mind that these devices and medications are generally restricted to people who are unable to manage their weight with traditional diet and exercise interventions, and should be used only upon physician recommendation and supervision.
- Physical activity may be even more important than body weight when it comes to life expectancy. The study suggests that a sedentary lifestyle could be responsible for twice as many deaths as obesity. Of course, the two are often closely linked and your best bet is to aim for a healthy body weight AND to be physically active. The good news is it does not have to be exercise a la Biggest Loser; 20 minutes of brisk walking per day is enough to see health benefits.
- Feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of nutrition information out there? You wouldn’t be the only one. Check out Leslie Beck’s article in the Globe and Mail on “How to Make Sense of the Constant Onslaught of Nutrition Studies“.
- The myth that sugar causes hyperactivity in children has been busted numerous time (most recently on the Nature of Things: You are What you Eat) but we have a new culprit – bisphenols found in plastics. Companies have been working to remove BPA from their plastics but the replacement product bisphenol S (BPS), which is thought to be safer has also been found to affect the brain in ways that promote hyperactivity. The scary part is the doses used were very low – equivalent to those found the water supply of Southern Alberta. Of course, the work is preliminary and conducted in zebrafish but why take the chance when there are other options. Whenever possible try replacing your plastics with other alternatives like glass, stainless steel and even bamboo – vote with your dollar.