Tag Archive for 'genes'

Just when you think you know how to lose weight.


Whoever finds a single fool proof way to lose weight is guaranteed to become the richest person on earth. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, a one-size-fits-all super diet will probably never be discovered. If it is not enough that our bodies are so different, there are many, many other factors at play including cultural differences, lifestyle differences, socio-economic differences and taste preferences. The list of factors that can impact on weight loss success just goes on and on.

It’s really no wonder then that we are bombarded with conflicting and confusing scientific reports. It is very difficult to conduct an experiment that considers all of these variables. As a result, we are left with many reputable and conflicting scientific reports, each claiming that yet another dietary approach is the be-all and end-all for losing weight. Whether it is the Atkins or the Mediterranean Diet, the Low Fat or Low GI diet, or even Weight Watchers; the list is never-ending. It is just too easy to become a bit cynical after a while. How refreshing then, to come across a scientific study that found that most well balanced popular diets work well, irrespective of whether it is high in protein, low in fat, low in carbohydrates or any combination of these!

This study, called the “Comparison of Weight-Loss Diets with Different Compositions of Fat, Protein, and Carbohydrates” was published on February 26, 2009 in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Its aim was to try and put an end to the age-old debate around the question “Which type of diet is most effective for weight loss”. The research team was of the opinion that many of the conflicting scientific reports on the weight loss topic published previously were based on populations too small to be representative, and that many studies did not track the progress of participants for a long enough period to provide sufficient information for assessment.
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Book Review: The APO E Gene Diet by Pamela McDonald

By Simon Barrett
I am not really much of a diet fan, my weight has never been an issue, I have been a 148lbs dripping wet for the past 35 years. I eat whatever I want, when I want. But as Pamela McDonald explains diet is not merely a method for controlling weight, but has a significant influence on health and quality of life.The world is full of fad diets, most of which make me cringe. I am sure it cannot be so, but I seems to me that a popular one preaches the virtues of meats and fats, while certainly meat and fat are important aspects of nutrition, I can hardly imagine that living on fried bacon would be a good way to lose weight and promote good overall health. Likewise a steady diet of cabbage soup would likely become somewhat monotonous after a couple of days.

Pamela McDonald takes a different approach, there is no one size fits all diet, different people need different things. Although all humans are intrinsically composed of the same material, the building blocks, our genes, are subtlety different. In decoding our DNA researchers in recent years have found small inconsistencies in people’s DNA that make them more susceptible to specific health conditions.
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