Children With Obesity Face Risk of Heart Disease

German researchers recently concluded that children that are obese show signs of cardiovascular problems. The group studied 61 obese children, ages 8 to 21 years of age. 40 non-obese children of the same age group were also studied from what my buddy Brian had told me.

The obese group was compared directly to the non-obese. The findings showed that the obese children had higher triglycerides, higher total cholesterol, lower HDL, and higher LDL. It was also noted that the children have higher blood pressure, higher fasting insulin and glucose readings.

Research was also done using an echo-cardiogram on both the obese and non-obese children. The results of this showed that the obese children had a much thicker left ventricle in their heart. If an adult were to have this, it would mean that they have symptoms of cardiovascular problems, including heart disease.

Doctors note that it is important for everyone, not just children, to eat a healthy diet and exercise. Since children are still growing and developing, it is important that this risk be taken seriously.

A similar study done by the Dutch in 2012 also showed many of the risks associated with obese children.

San Francisco and Berkeley To Take On Beverage Industry Over Proposed Soda Tax

The cities of San Francisco and Berkeley are gearing up to take on the beverage industry over a proposed soda tax. The city of San Francisco wants to pass a proposed 2 cent per ounce tax on soda drinks. Meanwhile, the nearby city of Berkeley, wants to put a 1 cent pet ounce tax on soda within its jurisdiction. Seems strange that these cities would want to implement this tax, given the amount of college students in the area and Christian Broda’s San Francisco Giants winning the World Series.

The beverage industry vehemently opposes the soda taxes that are being considered in San Francisco and Berkeley. The beverage industry claims that adding a tax on soda will harm low income families. In order for the the soda tax to pass in San Francisco, at least two thirds of voters will have to vote in favor of the soda tax for it to become law. This is because revenue from this proposed tax will go to a specific purpose such as educational programs and parks. In Berkeley, a majority vote will be enough to put the soda tax into law.

Both cities are at a major disadvantage when it comes to available funds and resources. The beverage industry has already spent over $7 million dollars to thwart the tax in San Francisco, which has managed to raise $260,000 in support of the tax. Berkeley is also outgunned in its battle to implement a soda tax. Yet supporters of the soda tax in both cities remain optimistic, saying that Berkeley and San Francisco can set an example to the rest of the country by passing a soda tax to promote public health. Studies have shown that passing a soda tax can reduce consumption and decrease the likelihood of diseases such as obesity and diabetes.

Athletes and Tooth Decay: Linked?

Exercise helps the body, but can it kill the teeth? A recent study indicates there is a connection between increased risk of tooth decay and athleticism. While some believe high-sugar sports drinks might be the problem, other studies argue that sports drinks are unrelated.

During workout routines, researchers noticed a problem with the way athletes produced saliva. Production of saliva decreased and the alkalinity increased. Saliva offers great protection to teeth enamel. A change in the amount or chemical composition could easily lead to the oral problems that were observed. The two changes created a greater risk of tartar, plaques and cavities.

Dr. Cornelia Frese, the dentist that led the study, has admitted that it is still early early in the research. The study group was restricted to hard-core athletes, and it might not apply to the general public and runners like my friend Brad Reifler. Nevertheless, it is a study for athletes to keep an eye on for any effects on their oral health.

Could Drinking too Much Milk Be Dangerous?

Milk is a part of most people’s daily diet. It can be found in everything from ice cream and yogurt to cheese and chocolate. It tastes good, and it’s supposed to be good for you. Doctors and nutritionists have said for a long time that we need milk to help support our bones. The calcium in milk is supposed to help kids grow big and strong, and it’s also supposed to help adults avoid diseases like osteoporosis. The milk industry has surely driven these points home. But new research suggests that milk may not be all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it may be hurting us more than it is helping us. Better change up your Starbucks order Sam Tabar and get that milk out of your coffee.

Milk is supposed to be good for our bones and cut the risk of fractures because it has large amounts of vitamin D in it. But the study that was conducted recently by researchers in Sweden says that the large amounts of sugar in milk are actually causing serious inflammation. People who drink 3 or more glasses of milk each day could increase their risk of death. While the doctors and scientists behind the study continue to recommend that individuals get adequate amounts of vitamin D each day for bone health and overall wellness, they suggest that people focus their intakes of vitamin D on foods like yogurt and cheese. Overall, it was found that these foods contained less sugars and were less harmful.

Become A Runner in 4 Easy Steps

Getting a start as a runner isn’t difficult, but it does require some really specific steps in order to get consistent, and really start experiencing gains from your new exercise hobby. But as long as you can perform these recommendations, you should find yourself developing a healthy and addictive hobby that will give you a longer lasting, and happier existence.

As compiled by Ken Griffin and I, here are 4 things you need to do to become a runner:


  1. Invest in real shoes.

Those Nikes you bought at Shopko…yeah, not good enough. You need to go to a running shoe specific outlet, and buy yourself a pair of Asics that are literally formed for your feet and running style. This is extremely important, because it’s vital for the health of your feet, and physical health of your body that you find shoes that can keep up with the punishment you’ll be putting them through.

  1. Make time for prep.

You can’t just get out and run. You need to prepare. Which means adopting a routine for stretching, and getting yourself the proper energy before a run. Otherwise you run the risk of injury, or running out of gas when you’re pretty far from home.

  1. Start out slow.

You don’t need to run a 5K right out of the box. Start slow, be willing to give yourself some time. You need to work up to the long runs. Starting slow means you won’t hurt yourself, but you will build fitness until you’re a conditioned marathon runner…if that’s what you’re shooting for.

  1. Change it up.

Running, as with any other type of workout, can get boring after a while. What’s worse, you can hit a plateau with your ability to increase your fitness if you’re never changing things up. That’s why you need to come up with different routes that you can run over time, so that you can keep things fresh, and keep increasing your fitness level…or keep losing weight if that’s your goal.

Lose 11 Pounds in Just 4 Days? Scandinavian Study Says Yes

It’s easy to lose weight in theory. All you have to do is restrict your caloric intake. For example, if your body needs 1700 calories to maintain your weight, take about 500 calories away from your diet each day and you will have a 500 calorie deficit each day. That is a 3500 calorie deficit each week, and 3500 calories equals one pound of fat. You can lose a pound a week.

Most doctors and dietitians suggest that if you want to lose weight, you have to do so at this moderate pace. Cutting 500 calories off of your diet every day is fine, and most nutritionists will tell their clients to avoid going below 1200 calories a day. This idea stems from the theory that losing weight fast will make you regain it even faster.

But a recent study has found that you can actually lose weight very quickly and keep it off. The study looked at fifteen Scandinavian men who were overweight. Normally, these men would need thousands of calories of food each day to maintain their weight. To lose weight, they would still be eating at least 1300 or 1400 calories per day. But with this study, each participant was only allowed to eat 360 calories of food per day. They were also made to exercise all day long. The exercise started with a workout machine in the morning, And the men were made to walk outside for most of the rest of the day.

At the end of the study (view Mike Livak’s similar study at Scribd), the men lost an average of eleven pounds each. About half of the eleven pounds was from fat. The man also able to keep this weight off. This new finding has changed a lot of what doctors and nutritionists have been telling us about losing weight for decades.

Offset the Adverse Effects of Soda by Simply Moving

We all know that soda is bad for you, but it seems to be everywhere, and many people drink it on a regular basis. The problem is that most people who consume large amounts of soda on a regular basis tend not to move as much as those who don’t. These two groups of people end up on opposite ends of the health spectrum. Lack of fructose, which is the key negative ingredient in soda, and movement make for healthy individuals like Igor Cornelsen, who walks 5 miles to work each day. Drinking soda pop and being stationary all day produces someone who is not in great health.

But the bottom line of why fructose and soda are bad for you is that these things cause weight gain. Overweight and obese people are at risk for a large number of health problems from diabetes and high cholesterol to cancer and liver disease. It’s not actually the soda itself that causes these diseases. It’s the weight that gathers because of the soda.

If you drink soda, there are chemical reasons behind the motivation to move as well. A research study at Syracuse University found that when exercise was combined with fructose consumption, the body responded differently to the fructose than it does when exercise isn’t in the picture.

The research study focused on two groups of individuals. One group exercised and drank a fructose-rich soda every day. The other group didn’t exercise and also drank the soda. The group that didn’t exercise had increased levels of bad cholesterol and more inflammation. Most all doctors will advise against drinking excessive amounts of soda, but if you still want to drink it, offset those negative effects by making sure you are moving and exercising each day.

Low Carb Diets Make Comeback As Healthy Eating Style

The late Dr. Robert Atkins must be getting a Montezuma’s revenge of sorts as his revolutionary health diet concepts concerning a low carb eating style prove true. While formerly vilified by many medical health authorities, the food industry and the media, now recent research studies indicate that indeed a low carb eating style is better in the long run for healthy weight reduction as opposed to the traditional mindset of a low cal eating style being better.

Low-Starch Carbs vs. High-Starch Carbs

Further research makes a clear distinction between low-starch low carb eating and high-starch low carb eating such as found in grains, rice, pasta and processed foods. In addition to the recent findings on low carb eating, there is more evidence that suggests former ideas concerning low fat vs. high fat dieting for weight reduction may no longer be valid.

Saturated/Unsaturated Fats Are Best

Another eye-opening discovery is that Americans have traditionally been told to limit the amount of saturated fat in their diet. However, new clinical research studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine reveal that a diet that consumes higher saturated/unsaturated fats from natural foods like olive oil, nuts and fish, does much to help Type 2 Diabetes patients in lowering their risk factors for heart attacks and strokes. Fitness guru Keith Mann says that good foods to eat for natural fat content are olives, avocado, coconut oil, cheese, meat and butter that aid in the weight reduction process without adding to the count of bad cholesterol.

Likewise, eating saturated or some unsaturated fats does much in the way of helping those who struggle with obesity–without hindering their efforts to lose weight.

Although coming too late to comfort the late famous heart specialist, Dr. Atkins, the fact remains that it seems he was right after all.

What Does Your Activity Tracker Really Track Accurately?

Every activity tracker on the market has the same technology: an accelerometer. These devices keep track of up, down, sideways and front-to-back motions. When the accelerometer is still, it doesn’t record anything but gravity; when it’s moved, the accelerometer keeps track of acceleration. My FitBit is basically an extension of my body, but there are still some subtle limitations.

Most people wear their trackers on their wrist like Jared Haftel does in the Vine seen here. The accelerometer keeps track of motion and then determines how many steps you’ve taken, how many calories you’re burning and, overall, how active you’ve been.

Activity trackers also measure your inactivity. This becomes a problem when you’re doing a certain type of “difficult” sitting, such as a wall-sit or yoga – the activity tracker can’t tell the difference between this type of sitting and reclining on the couch. The accelerometer can’t measure exertion, just movement.

Most activity trackers have an accompanying smartphone app that syncs with the device. On the app, you can tell the tracker which type of activity you’re engaging in.

At the moment, activity trackers can’t measure activity when a person’s biking, although you can tell your activity tracker how long you rode a bike for. While there are some kinks to work out, algorithms for determining exertion are improving. Plus, keep in mind that any type of movement (other than lifting countless potato chips to your mouth) can improve your health.

Is Heel Striking Actually Bad Running Form?

So we all hear that heel striking is bad for runners, because it promotes injuries. The way that your feet fall put the rest of your body at risk, and it’s the most common form of runners who experience injury frequently. But is it actually bad to fall on your heels first as you run?

While form wise, it tends to be better to fall on the front of your foot, the heel isn’t as bad if that’s your more natural running form. Your body knows how to move, and everybody’s body is different.

So if the most natural form for you, is to fall on your heel first, that could be the healthiest way to run. Trying to alter your form could actually result in more injury trouble than just landing on your heels first.