Health rail includes items on a healthier 2009, skiing safety and more.
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Obesity is a mounting health problem locally and worldwide. More than 1 billion adults globally are overweight, and at least 300 million are obese, according to the World Health Organization.
Obesity not only takes a toll on personal health, it can inflict a huge monetary cost on individuals as well as the economy in general. Fortunately, a sustained 10 percent weight loss may reduce an overweight person's lifetime medical costs by $2,200 to $5,300 by lowering costs related to hypertension and high cholesterol, among many other related illnesses.
Here are Weight Watchers’ 10 tips for a healthy 2009:
- Look for low-calorie substitutions that don't sacrifice taste. For example, switching from mayo to mustard can add to big calorie savings over time.
- Losing weight with a friend or group of friends really helps with weight-loss success.
- Ounce for ounce, the nutrition in fruits and vegetables can't be beat. To get the best blend of nutrients, include as many colors as possible.
- Put a napkin over your plate as soon as you're satisfied -- it's like turning off a light switch.
- Purge unhealthy food from your pantry, freezer and fridge.
- Make physical activity as convenient as possible. Keep your sneakers and jacket ready and nearby for short, frequent walks.
- Try creating a new favorite dish. Visit www.weightwatchers.com for delicious recipe ideas.
- Wear something you feel fabulous in -- a compliment goes a long way in sustaining motivation.
- Set new goals to keep yourself motivated. Goals do not have to be weight related.
- Know what you're doing. Write down what you're eating each and every day to keep you on target.
Stay safe when hitting the slopes
- Get in shape. Don't try to ski yourself into shape. You'll enjoy skiing more if you're physically fit.
- Obtain proper equipment. Be sure to have your ski or snowboard bindings adjusted correctly at a local ski shop.
- When buying skiwear, look for fabric that is water and wind resistant. Dress in layers. Layering allows you to accommodate your body's constantly changing temperature.
- Be prepared. Bring a headband or hat with you to the slopes; 60 percent of heat-loss is through the head. Wear gloves or mittens to protect yourself from frostbite.
-- National Ski Areas Association
Did You Know?
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said the flu medicine Tamiflu might not work against all cases of the flu this year.
Help meet daily nutritional guidelines by fitting in fiber -- and a little goes a long way.
- Love sweetening a cup of morning coffee? Switch to Splenda No Calorie Sweetener with Fiber for the same great taste with a little boost of fiber.
- Need help dealing with the midday munchies? A high-fiber, high-protein afternoon snack such as whole wheat crackers or an apple with peanut butter is a healthy choice.
- Fill up on a main course of chicken, turkey or fish and as many fiber-rich vegetables as will fit on the plate.
- Fresh fruit is a great choice for a sweet treat because it is not only sweet, but also filled with fiber to keep people feeling full.
Number to Know: 38
Percent of adults in the U.S. who use some form of complementary and alternative medicine, according to a survey of more than 23,000 people. – National Institutes of Health
Sleep terrors, or night terrors, may be hereditary, according to a new study.
Researchers studied 390 pairs of identical and fraternal twins from birth, and found that 36.9 percent of the twins had sleep terrors at 18 months, and 19.7 percent at 30 months. The results strongly support a hereditary link for sleep terrors, although no specific genes related to sleep terrors were identified.
The study authors recommend larger research efforts to more definitively discern the relationship between genes, heredity and sleep terrors.
-- American Academy of Pediatrics
Seniors diagnosed with early stage dementia can slow their physical, mental and psychological decline by taking part in therapeutic programs that combine counseling, support groups, Taiji and qigong, researchers report.
In the study, 24 people with early stage dementia participated in an intensive 40-week program. The intervention included biweekly sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy and support groups, along with three sessions per week of traditional Chinese martial arts exercises and meditation.
Researchers are discovering that multi-discliplinary approaches – those that address patients' physical, mental and psychological dimensions – show the most promise in treating people with dementia.
-- American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias
GateHouse News Service