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Vitamin D deficiency may cause weight gain
June 25th, 2012
10:00 AM ET

Vitamin D deficiency may cause weight gain

Older women who don't get enough vitamin D may be slightly heavier than those who do.

A Kaiser Permanente study, published online in the recent issue of the Journal of Women's Health, looked at more than 4,600 women aged 65 and older for a four and one-half year period. Researchers found women with low levels of vitamin D in their blood gained about two pounds more than those with adequate levels of the vitamin.

So what’s the big deal, you ask?
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Weight-loss surgery may raise risk of alcohol abuse
A new study shows weight-loss surgery patients are at risk for alcoholism about two years after the procedure.
June 19th, 2012
09:22 AM ET

Weight-loss surgery may raise risk of alcohol abuse

Certain patients who undergo weight-loss surgery may have a heightened risk of developing a drinking problem, but the risk is only apparent two years after the procedure and only with one type of surgery.

A new study, published today on the website of the Journal of the American Medical Association, examined the drinking habits of almost 2,000 obese adults before and after bariatric surgery.

Before the surgery, 7.6% of the study participants met the criteria for an alcohol-use disorder. One year after the procedure that number had actually declined slightly, to 7.3%, but by the end of the second year it had risen to 9.6% - a 57% increase from the pre-surgery rate.
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Filed under: Addiction • Alcohol • Diet and Fitness • Health.com • Obesity • Weight loss

Overheard on CNN.com: Fitness trainer's intentional weight rollercoaster
June 6th, 2012
10:58 AM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Fitness trainer's intentional weight rollercoaster

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Since he revealed his re-svelte body on “Good Morning America” this week, “Fit2Fat2Fit” fitness trainer Drew Manning has sparked both inspiration and controversy about the lessons to be learned from his experiment. Readers on CNN were quick to participate in the conversation.

Manning, who lost 70 pounds just 6 months after he purposely gained it, has drawn praise from some. They said the strategy shows his desire to grow in understanding his clients’ weight loss struggles:

EastPondPatriot
My wife says that unless you've walked a mile in some[one] else's shoes, you truly have no idea what is inside someone's head. Undoing a lifetime of bad habits and bad self talk is a huge undertaking. The trick or the truth is that people have to feel they are worth the effort and get their head in the game. My wife went from 203 pounds at 5' 1" to 149 [pounds] in 2 years and still is working hard to get to her goal and stay there. I love her no matter what, but she is so happy to be free of her extra poundage, free of the size war in her closet and her self confidence has definitely gone up. That is what makes me happy. Kudos to Drew Manning... now you know part of the rest of the story.

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Filed under: Body Image • Diet and Fitness • Exercise • Fitness • Obesity • Weight loss

Waist size signals diabetes risk
June 5th, 2012
05:16 PM ET

Waist size signals diabetes risk

Having a large waist is an important early warning sign for diabetes, one that in some cases may be just as significant as body mass index (BMI), if not more so, a new study has found.

Waist size, which provides a rough measure of a person's body type, may be especially useful for identifying high-risk people who are overweight but not obese, the study suggests. Obesity is a clear-cut risk factor for diabetes, but doctors generally have a harder time determining which overweight people are most vulnerable to the condition.

"Waist circumference is very helpful in people who are obese, but exceptionally helpful in people who are overweight," says Dr. Abraham Thomas, M.D., head of endocrinology and diabetes at Henry Ford Hospital, in Detroit. Thomas was not involved in the study.

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Filed under: Body Image • Diabetes • Health.com • Obesity • Weight loss

Would you lose weight if money were at stake?
May 28th, 2012
04:00 PM ET

Would you lose weight if money were at stake?

You might want to lose weight, but the noticeable benefits seem so far off in the future that you continually procrastinate. You need a reason to get more fit right now - how about money?

A new study in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine reinforces this idea that if money were on the line, you might start on a healthier path. Web and mobile tools are cropping up to help you do this yourself - but first, a word about the study.

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Battling junk food in high schools
May 11th, 2012
05:57 PM ET

Battling junk food in high schools

Five years ago, California passed some of the strongest school-food legislation in the nation in hopes of combating childhood obesity.

These rules limit the kinds of unhealthy foods that students can buy in vending machines or at a snack bar, which aren’t offered as part of lunch in the school's cafeteria.

The state is well-known for leading the nation with health trends, so it's no surprise that its legislators are out front when it comes to cutting back on junk food in schools. A new study shows their efforts may be working: High school students in California are eating fewer calories and less added sugar and fat during the school day than students from other states.
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Are sugar substitutes worse than the real thing?
April 27th, 2012
07:21 AM ET

Are sugar substitutes worse than the real thing?

Sweet tooth? You’re not alone. Sugary foods and beverages are delicious. But we’ve also learned they can be highly addictive and, too much of them, can take a serious toll on our health.

Today some of our favorite drinks, gum, baked goods, and candy are available in sugar-free versions. But that got me thinking...  are sugar substitutes any better for you than the real thing? I was not alone on this issue. I’ve received dozens of tweets and emails wondering if fake sugar can harm us, or worse, crave more food!

For some answers I turned to internist and physician nutrition specialist, Dr. Melina Jampolis. Her specialty is practiced by only 200 physicians in the United States. She focuses exclusively on nutrition for weight loss and disease prevention and treatment.
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April 19th, 2012
02:32 PM ET

Feeding tube diet raises eyebrows

Brides often feel the pressure of looking their best on their wedding day, purchasing a dress with sometimes significantly lower wedding weight in mind. While some try to lose weight the healthy way focusing on long-term weight management, eating right and exercise, others attempt crash diets sometimes going to extreme measures to shed those extra pounds.

One such bride, Jessica Schnaider told ABC and The New York Times that she wanted to lose 10 pounds before her big day.  She went to Dr. Oliver Di Pietro in Miami Beach, Florida.  In a release to CNN, Di Pietro says he's brought the K-E diet to the United States from Italy.  The diet involves inserting a feeding tube into a patient's nose that runs to the stomach for a period of 10 days.

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Overeating? Maybe you're burned out at work
March 15th, 2012
11:19 AM ET

Overeating? Maybe you're burned out at work

Work can be a real burden for some people. They feel overwhelmingly exhausted and cynical toward their workplace environment, and believe their efforts are not valued. 

In other words, they are burned out.

A new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition connects these sentiments with overeating and controlled eating behaviors.

The experiment involved 230 working women. Those who were experiencing workplace burnout at the beginning of the experiment were more likely to have emotional and uncontrolled eating than those without burnout. This held true even after 12 months.

Among those without burnout, uncontrolled eating decreased significantly over the year.
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February 23rd, 2012
03:02 PM ET

FDA advisors recommend diet drug

On Wednesday morning, an advisory committee for the Food and Drug Administration recommended that the FDA approve Qnexa, a weight-loss drug that works to suppress appetite. The panel voted 20-to-2 in favor of approval.

The FDA has until April 17 to decide whether to take the committee's recommendation. If they do so, it will be the first time the FDA has approved a weight-loss drug since 1999.

The advisors' decision was a reversal of a previous recommendation in 2010. At the time, a panel rejected Qnexa based on concerns about increased heart rates, psychiatric problems and birth defects in patients taking the pills.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains what this means and what's next in the video above.

Read more on the history of diet pills and the FDA at Time.com and why there hasn't been a safe weight loss pill here


Filed under: Weight loss

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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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