Posts Tagged ‘diabetes’

Alec Baldwin Lost Weight To Curb Pre-Diabetes, Not To Impress At Emmys

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Were we the only ones who noticed how great Alec Baldwin looked at the Emmys last night? Alec’s commitment to his diet and exercise plan has certainly paid off: he’s lost 35 pounds in an effort to become healthier. With his yoga instructor wife Hilaria Thomas by his side, Alec explained that, after a prediabetic diagnosis, he made the choice to eliminate sugar and diary from his diet.
He told Access Hollywood‘s Billy Bush that he lost 35 lbs by cutting out “toxic” food, which includes sugar, dairy and most carbohydrates. After he was diagnosed as pre-diabetic , he overhauled his eating habits. Alec’s weight loss was a move towards health, as he said:

“I found out I was sick. So rather than thinking about it like vanity and weight loss and fitness, I said to myself “This stuff’s making me sick, it’s killing me.”

He also told Billy that he no longer eats pasta, because of its carbohydrate content. I guess Alec still loves his pizza, though he doesn’t eat it anymore: he talked about how, as a New Yorker, “it’s in your birth certificate that you have to have two slices of pizza every week.”

I’m sure being married to a yoga instructor doesn’t hurt Alec’s overall health, either. In last night’s red carpet interview, Alec said he asked Hilaria (post sugar detox, of course!): “What are we going to give out to the neighborhood kids for Halloween? And like a shot she went: toothbrushes!” Haha. I can’t really disagree with that idea! Toothbrushes are certainly a lot healthier (if a lot less fun) than candy.

Alec has spoken out before about his new healthful habits. He told David Letterman all about his weight loss plan a few months ago, and it looks like he’s really stuck with it, which is awesome.

I can’t help but wonder, though, why the media coverage of Alec’s get-healthy plan has been so slight…if a woman had lost 35 pounds and drastically altered her appearance by cutting out sugar and dairy, there would be miles of content written about her. The ladies’ mags would be fighting to feature her in a bikini on their covers. We’d all be salivating to find out exactly what she eats and exactly what she does at the gym. With Alec, everyone’s just kind of like “Cool! Good for him.” I can’t disagree with saying “Good for him!,” but I also can’t totally disregard the double standard relating to weight loss and healthy habits in our culture. From blisstree.

New Study Explains Why Doctor’s May Be Apprehensive To Recommend Weight Loss And Exercise

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

If getting exercise and maintaining a healthy body weight are so important, particularly for patients with prediabetes or diabetes, have you ever wondered why your physician may not have really emphasized to you the need for exercise and losing weight, that is if you need to lose weight? As it turns out, a study published in the January issue of Obesity suggests physicians that maintain a more normal body weight themselves are more likely to recommend to their overweight or obese patients the need for weight loss and feel comfortable doing so.

The objective of the study, conducted between February 9 and March 1, 2011 by researchers in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, was to look at the impact of physician BMI on obesity care, physician self-efficacy, perceptions of role-modeling weight related health behaviors, and perceptions of patient trust in weight loss advice.

Bleich and colleagues discovered that physicians with a normal BMI were more likely to discuss weight loss with their obese patients than their colleagues with a higher BMI score. As I mentioned previously, the study showed that physicians with a normal BMI also had greater confidence in their ability to provide diet and exercise counseling to patients (53 percent vs. 37 percent, P=0.002).

Eighty percent of the physicians with a normal BMI felt that overweight or obese patients would be less likely to pay attention to weight loss advice from overweight or obese physicians, while only 69 percent of the physicians with an elevated BMI felt the same way.

Weight Loss and the Solution to the Obesity Epidemic

Physicians with a normal BMI were more likely to believe that they should serve as role models to their patients in regards to maintaining healthy weight-related behaviors and performing regular exercise. And finally, something that I find very interesting, physicians with an elevated BMI were far less likely to record an obesity diagnosis or bring up the subject of weight loss with obese patients, unless the physician’s perceptions of the patients’ body weights met or exceeded their own body weight.

I find this study useful in helping us to understand why doctors, within the same specialty, diagnose and treat patients with the same illness in different ways. As this study suggests, perhaps it is influenced by the physician’s own state of health. Could it be that the medication the doctor prescribes a patient for high cholesterol is the one that seems to work best in treating his own cholesterol? Maybe a lot of health care providers do feel uncomfortable prescribing exercise and weight loss, and therefore don’t do it, if they themselves are quite overweight and cannot find the motivation to get out and get it done. Interestingly, I have heard countless times of physicians that tell their patients that they need to quit smoking but smell of cigarettes themselves.

I do believe that people involved in the health care industry, particularly doctors, nurses, dietitians, therapists and educators, should serve as healthy examples to their patients and that they be people that patients can aspire to.

Maybe this is one reason why doctors don’t recommend exercise to patients with diabetes with the enthusiasm that patients need to hear.

Maybe it’s because of their own personal situation and the attitudes they have toward exercise. In any case, good study. We need more on this topic. From huffingtonpost.

Weight Loss and the Solution to the Obesity Epidemic

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve been bombarded recently with startling news about the out-of-control obesity epidemic and the ruin it is causing. It’s been in the headlines repeatedly and is the subject of HBO’s Weight of the Nation TV special. What you haven’t seen in the headlines is that we now know the solution to the epidemic and we can implement it immediately. The solution is described below. First, some of the alarming news:

  • A recent study by Duke University estimates that 42 percent of Americans will be obese by 2030, up from about 34 percent today. Contrary to other reports, the epidemic is getting worse, not better. Will we all become obese?
  • A recent story in the New York Times exposes how dangerous obese airline passengers can be, with engineers describing how seat belts may not restrain obese people. In a crash, obese people may “blast through” seat belts and into other passengers. Have you seen the films of normal-size test dummies crashing into dashboards? Imagine getting hit by a 250- to 300-pound linebacker at jet speed.
  • The CDC estimates that obesity costs us about $150 billion per year today, almost 10 percent of health care costs. It’s the second leading cause of preventable death in the country, just behind smoking, and it is gaining. That cost is projected to increase to over500 billion.

As a result of these alarms, we hear lots of opinions and proposals about what to do. Almost all involve public health initiatives, government programs and new laws. The CDC, Department of Health, Surgeon General and First Lady are all on the job, brainstorming and leading us. Yale’s David Katz, M.D., Founding Director of the Prevention Research Center, praises public/private collaborative efforts to promote better nutrition in the marketplace. Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker imagines a possible future with a government-mandated diet. I’m very much in favor of community leaders taking us in the right direction and government action, such as generating laws that the FDA and Public Health Departments enforce, as they do today with other matters. However, let me propose a different solution.

Did You Diet?

You can solve the obesity epidemic. Yourself. Now. You don’t need to wait on others. However, you must be overweight — not as badly as I was, but more than is healthy. If you’re not sure what that is, ask your doctor. From this paragraph forward, I’m not addressing the shrinking minority who are not overweight, but the majority of us who are unhealthfully overweight.

While I am very healthy now, at my ideal body weight for over 25 years, it wasn’t always so. At one time, I was obese, more than 300 pounds. And while I resented anyone sticking his or her nose in my business about my weight, I didn’t like being overweight. The truth is, there wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t want to lose that weight, even if I didn’t admit it. Virtually, none of you want this. You hate it. I know this because today, I specialize in therapy for overweight and obese people. When you are alone with me, regardless of the front you put up, you tell me you’d love to solve the problem if you could. You can. And when you do, you’ll have done the most important thing that anyone can do to solve the obesity epidemic. If everyone who wanted to solve his or her weight problem got her or his wish, there would be no obesity epidemic. Go after what you want for yourself. Don’t worry about the epidemic. Focus on yourself.

While you may not know a lot about the behavioral medicine I teach, you know that changing your behavior permanently is the answer to your weight problem — getting your permanent eating habits to conform to a pattern that will cause a healthy weight. In the past, you’ve tried diets and giving up what you like to eat and the way you like to eat, and perhaps lost a lot of weight doing it, but it didn’t last. Don’t give up. You just have not learned enough yet. You’re not finished yet.

When you change yourself, you’ll change the world. The change in you will affect those around you. You’ll be helping others just by modeling and leading the way. The improvement is contagious, just like the problem. That’s how you’ll be solving the obesity epidemic. When you make yourself better as a way of helping the whole world get better, you are committing yourself to something greater than yourself, and this will tap a power greater than yourself. To solve the obesity epidemic, the most important thing you can do is to solve your own weight problem for your own reasons.

This is not to say that I am against social and political action to change the culture, especially when it comes to the children. They are at our mercy, subject to the training and conditioning of the culture and marketplace that is working hard to train them to consume as much as possible. The habits we develop as kids stay with us, and it’s better to learn good habits than to try to unlearn bad ones. So, we need to regulate and rein in the food industry and support institutional health training. Also, I would love it if it were easier to eat healthfully in restaurants. I’d eat out more. So, I am happy to see the laws passed that require them to disclose the nutrition info, and happy to see them responding to the public demands for healthier offerings.

So, be active socially and politically to change the culture if you like doing that. It will help reverse the obesity epidemic. But you don’t have to do that if that’s not your thing. Solving the problem in you is many times more important and effective to that end. You can solve the obesity epidemic. Yourself. Now. You don’t need to wait on others. From huffingtonpost.