If you are struggling with obesity or overweight, and you feel that the deck is stacked against you in that you gain weight more easily than others do, you are likely right.
Yes, new research points out that there are different stomach microbes in the guts of people who are lean, and these microbes may be in part responsible for the size of a person's gut.
“It is as if one group gets more calories from the same bowl of cheerios,” says Dr. Jeffrey Gordon, a Washington University researcher.
These researchers think it is possible that the microbes found in obese people are better at gleaning calories from food than the bacteria usually found in lean people.
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Also, when researchers transplanted the microbes from obese mice into lean mice, they got “twice as fat” and took in more calories from the same amount of food than did mice who had a normal bacteria ratio.
There is a new field of “INFECT- OBESITY” that looks at multiple causes, including viruses and microbes.
Other researchers, like Dr. Robert Dent, are examining genetic factors for obesity.
Dr. Dent, the head of a weight management clinic, is matching different types of overweight with 600 different types of genes at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. He is studying 1000 very overweight, and comparing them with 1000 patients who are underweight, and is finding great variation.
Other research with animals and human beings also suggests that BODY-MASS INDEX (BMI) MAY BE INHERITED.
The higher the parents’ body-mass index, the greater the number of kids they have. If men and women with a larger BMI are more likely to reproduce, it will result in more children with genes that predispose them to be overweight.
The good news is, that the proper ratio of bacteria in the gut can be changed by dieting so that the bacteria or Firmicutes that make the gut more efficient at extracting calories, decrease.
In a study of a dozen dieting people, the results were dramatic.
Before dieting, about 3 per cent of the gut bacteria in the overweight participants were Bacteriodetes.
But after dieting, the now normal-sized people had much higher levels of these microbes – about 15 per cent.
Although taking Pro-biotics helps temporarily by increasing gut bacteria diversity, these do not last.
Scientists are working to create a "slim persons" gut bacteria profile in European research, called "My New Gut Project."
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Obese people are accurate in assessing their height and weight, but only 15 percent think of themselves as obese, according to a study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
"I think a lot of people, when they think about obesity, think of someone that is 400 pounds or so," according to the study's lead author, Dr. K. P. Truesdale.
However, if a woman is 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 175 pounds, she would be classified as obese.
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Researchers such as Dr. Dent have found the attitudes in the medical community to be similar to those of the public. In spite of new research, prejudice still considers very overweight people to eat too much and to be lazy.
It is not news that there is a widespread cultural prejudice against being overweight.
Unfortunately, professionals and health professionals are not exempt. This discrimination may be subtle, or not.
The problem is so ingrained in the medical profession that even those doctors who specialize in overweight, dislike their clients, according to a 2003 Yale University study that questioned 329 members of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity.
The study concluded that “the stigma is so strong that even those most knowledgeable, think that obese people have blameworthy behavioral characteristics that contribute to their problem,” even extending to core characteristics of intelligence and personal worth.
And eating disorder statistician at the University of British Columbia, C. Laird even suggests that “Obese people hate other obese people.”
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Low fat is NOT the answer, as the Australians found out.
By the year 2000, two decades into the mainstream low-fat campaign, Australians had a serious weight problem. Obesity rates in men had doubled since 1980 and tripled in women, with 67 per cent of men and 52 per cent of women overweight.
Paradoxically, throughout these 20 years of unprecedented weight gain, dietary fat intake remained relatively modest: 1995 figures attributed only 18 to 19 per cent of the average Australian's calories to fat – not enough for most dieticians to explain the increasingly chubby population.
Because of this contradiction, trans fats have been singled out as a health hazard, but companies are slowly eliminating them.
Classic Oreo cookies were at the top of the list for containing trans fats, but the Oreo company now has trans-fat free snacks on the market.
“INVISIBLE” LIQUID CALORIES in beverages, say researchers, play a big role in weight gain because people don’t realize the calories that are in these drinks.
They also leave people hungrier than food does, for the calories consumed.
By 2001, soda, juice, milk, beer and other beverages accounted for 21 per cent of the calories consumed in the US, which was a 16 per cent increase over 20 years, according to Barry Popkin, a researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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