Tag Archives: relationship of obesity to Eating Disorders

Swimming Into a Cultural Health Crisis

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Many people would say that we are becoming less and less healthy as a nation because we overindulge. On the surface, this appears to be a safe assumption. At present we have the distinction of being one of the top ten countries in the world for overweight adults! Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the population at large with a whopping 60% of all adults being overweight and one out of four being morbidly obese. Break out the numbers specifically for the aging Baby Boomers and the stats are even more distressing- practically three out of four mature U.S. adults are classified as overweight or obese. But the worst part is that obesity is increasing at such an alarming rate among U.S. children at present, that they will be the first generation in decades that are projected to have a shorter lifespan than their parents! So the future looks even worse than the present. Eating disorders are also proliferating, affecting new segments of the population that include younger and younger children, as well as older women and men.

The complications of obesity alone have wreaked havoc with our health care system as well as our national economy. For example, “Health care costs related to obesity- which is associated with conditions like hypertension and diabetes- would total $344 billion in 2018, or more than one of every five dollars spent on health care, if the trends continue. If the obesity rate were held to its current level, the country would save nearly $200 billion a year (or $1.4 Trillion) by 2018, according to the study.” (Sack 2008) In terms of Eating Disorder’s, Anorexia alone, kills more women between the ages of 15 and 24 than any other cause of death.

The question is why is this happening? The answer is that if you are a fish, you do not see the water. Because you are immersed in it, you take it for granted. In much the same way, we are immersed in a culture that we assume to be safe. This is our underlying assumption. The fish may remain in polluted water until it becomes so polluted that it is no longer life sustaining. By then, it is too late. Like the fish, we are oblivious to the forces surrounding us. To change our culture, we must first be able to identify the underlying assumptions that are driving the current epidemic of obesity and eating disorders in the U.S. We must each then act to change our lifestyle and advocate for our safety.  Stay tuned for Dr. Norton’s soon to be released book that details the problems, their causes and the solutions.

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

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Is There Really a Connection Between Full-Time Working Moms and Child Obesity?

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Over the past 35 years, the percentage of U.S. mothers who hold down a job while raising kids have soared from less than 50% to more than 70%. During this same time frame, the childhood obesity rate-which is now close to 17%- has more than tripled. Many researchers are claiming that there’s a direct connection between these two figures. The journal of Childhood Development just published a study, which showed that the longer a mother is employed, the more likely her children are to be overweight or obese. The study demonstrated that for each additional five-month period that his or her mother is employed, a child of average height could be expected to gain 1 extra pound over and above normal growth. In addition, six graders with working mothers were found to be six times more likely than those with stay-at-home moms to be overweight.

Another study published in Business Week supports this same concept, finding that was a correlation between the number of hours a women works outside the home and the BMI of her children. This research found that for a third grader of average height, the increase in BMI was equivalent to an extra one and a half to two extra pounds over what that child would normally gain in a year.

With studies like these being done, the idea that American kids are getting fat because women work outside the home now, could seem convincing. But hold on. These are correlative studies, not experimental research. The problem with these conclusions is that there may be several other things occurring simultaneously “causing” or contributing to this dietary epidemic.

Obviously, if women are spending long hours at work, as many do, home cooked meals are less of an option. In our nation it has become far too common for the wife to pop something pre packaged into the oven at night or pick up a pizza on her way home in order to accommodate her family with a meal that is quick and tasty.

The issue is that convenience foods have become a way of life for Americans. The ability to buy ready-made food is so much the norm that cooking for yourself seems like overkill, like you’re trying to win the best mom ever trophy. When push comes to shove, and it often does, most moms say the heck with it! Bring on the pizza. But that’s when the real problem kicks in, as processed foods are loaded with MSG, HFCS, Aspartame and Acesulfame, all of which are neurotoxins and all of which contribute to weight gain or disturbed eating. It doesn’t matter if the wife had the WHOLE DAY to cook a meal anymore because she wouldn’t anyway. Not when she can just run down the street to KFC and have a bucket of chicken in less than 10 minutes.

Thus it is the additives in these convenience foods that are directly responsible for why our nation and our children have become so fat. The percentage of mothers working full time may have gone up over the past 35 years, but so has the amount of MSG and high fructose corn syrup being poured into the foods we buy. They are found in just about all prepackaged, frozen and fast foods. They keep our stomachs saying “yum!” and “more,” and our blood sugar levels on a constant rollercoaster.  Working mothers who have jobs don’t directly cause weight problems in their children. Reliance on and trust in processed foods containing dangerous addictive additives should be getting blamed. Unfortunately, most people don’t even know they’re there!

Sources:

Verropoulou G, Joshi H. Mothers’ Employment and Child Development. London, UK: Center for Longitudinal Development. 2006.

Business Week (online version) – WHAT! WORKING MOTHERS = FAT KIDS??? (http://www.businessweek.com/careers/workingparents/blog/archives/2007/05/who_knew_seems.html)

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

The Connection Between Leptin Levels and Eating Disorders

Leptin

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Recently the Division of Endocrinology at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine performed a study on the connection between Leptin levels and eating disorders. Leptin is a peptide hormone neurotransmitter produced by fat cells and involved in the regulation of appetite. It signals your brain when you’ve eaten enough and stimulates you to burn more calories. In order to span a full range of human body weights for their investigation, the analysts, examined serum leptin levels in anorexic, bulimic, obese, and control individuals.

Compared to the analysis generated from non-anorexic patients, patients with anorexia nervosa were found to have much higher serum leptin levels values. In effect, having leptin levels so high is contributory to a blunted physiologic response to being underweight and consequently builds resistance to dietary treatment. Simply put, they have too many of these leptin hormones being sent to the brain that are saying, “You are full.” Therefore, anorexic patients repel the need to consume enough of the nutrients their body realistically needs to function properly.

On the other hand, what this study found in bulimic patients when compared to non-bulimic patients is the opposite effect. Bulimic patients were found to have much lower leptin levels. This deficiency of leptin hormones is usually caused by a form of Leptin resistance and this contributes to the patients food-craving behavior. The Leptin resistance found in most bulimic patients comes from a chemical surge located in the pleasure center of our brain. This chemical surge overrules leptin’s messages that are trying to tell the bulimic patient “your tank is full.” So in other words, there is a chemical battle going on inside a bulimic patients brain. The leptin hormones are trying to tell the defense to kick in and protect them against overeating but at the same time, in a much louder voice, the pleasure center of the brain is saying, “No! Pass those cookies this-a-way.”

When examining leptin levels in most obese people, it was found that they actually have high leptin levels. However, their bodies usually cannot respond to these leptin hormones because they have another form of leptin resistance. Instead of leptin messages being rejected and overruled by the pleasure center of the brain (like the type of resistance indicated in most bulimic patients), obese patients cells’ have completely stopped accepting leptin messages all together. Therefore, they do not receive any message from their leptin hormones that would be telling them to stop eating.

Essentially, regulating your leptin levels and defeating leptin resistance plays a large role in overcoming an eating disorder. Foods that are high in sugar or additives such as high fructose corn syrup and MSG should be avoided because these ingredients excited the pleasure center of your brain making it much more difficult to respond to your leptin hormones. So basically, the more foods you consume with these ingredients, the louder the voice saying, “Pass those cookies this-a-way,” will become and the softer the voice saying, “You are full!” will become. Also, your cells become more sensitive and responsive to leptin when you exercise and build muscle!

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Sources:

The National Center for Biotechnology Information – Leptin in anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa: importance of assay technique and method of interpretation (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11919545)

 

Sweeteners, No Good News Here!

NutraSweet and Equal are two popular sweeteners on the market today. Both are made primarily of Aspartame. Aspartame is another very dangerous substance that you and your loved ones should think twice before consuming.  It is comprised of three ingredients:  It is 40% aspartic acid, which is an excitotoxin that stimulates the neurons of the brain to death, causing brain damage according to Dr. Russell Blaylock; It is 10% methyl ester, which eventually breaks down to formaldehyde and formic acid; (You remember Formaldehyde, that horrible smelling stuff from the biology lab that is used to preserve dead bodies?)  The remaining 50% is phenylalanine, which by itself, is a neurotoxin that lowers the seizure threshold, thereby increasing the likelihood of brain seizures.  Phenylalanine also depletes serotonin levels, which triggers severe psychiatric and behavioral problems. The break down of these chemicals into increasingly toxic substances is hastened with exposure to heat. Do the sniff test if you don’t believe it.  Let a can of diet soda get warm and smell it. It smells like Formaldehyde!

Wonder what happens when you put NutraSweet or Equal into your steaming hot coffee? How come you don’t taste the Formaldehyde? Probably because these sweeteners also have Maltodextrine, also known as MSG, or some other form of MSG, in them, which makes everything taste good. Splenda, while it doesn’t have Aspartame, does have Maltodextrine as an ingredient.  The main ingredient of Splenda, however, is Sucralose, kin to DDT, the extremely nasty insecticide. So don’t go there either!

Guess what happens when you put Aspartame and an MSG excitotoxin together?  They potentiate, or excite each other in such a way that they are even more toxic than if you added their individual toxic effects together.  This is a good thing to know about excitotoxins because their manufacturers often cop to the fact that they are present in very small quantities in our food supply. This actually isn’t true, but even if it were, what they fail to point out is that there are usually several different versions of them in the same product.  In addition, they are in 90 to 95% of all processed foods, including many organic and “all natural” foods, such that avoiding them is virtually impossible.  The upshot is that we ingest a lot of these excitotoxins, even when we are trying not to do so. So there may not be a lot of MSG per ingredient, but there are a lot of ingredients that are actually MSG masquerading as something as innocent as “citric acid.”  When you add them all together……it’s not good!

In an article entitled: Still drinking diet soda? Don’t be a fashion victim!

BY Tom Philpott

10 FEB 2011 1:51 PM

Mr. Philpott reports:

“In findings involving 2,564 people in the large, multi-ethnic Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS), scientists said people who drank diet soda every day had a 61 percent higher risk of vascular events than those who reported no soda drinking.”

What do they mean by “vascular events”? They mean strokes. Sixty-one percent? That’s a lot!

(Follow this link for the article;  http://www.grist.org/article/2011-02-10-still-drinking-diet-soda-dont-be-a-fashion-victim-pepsi-strokes )

According Dr. Russell Blaylock the heart is also in jeopardy:

“ recent research has shown that the brain is not the only tissue 
having glutamate receptors. Numerous glutamate receptors have been found
 within the heart’s electrical conduction system, as well as heart muscle.
 When an excess of food-borne excitotoxins, such as MSG, hydrolyzed
 protein, soy protein isolate and concentrate, natural flavoring, sodium 
caseinate and aspartate from aspartame, are consumed, these glutamate
 receptors are over stimulated, producing cardiac arrhythmias.”

He goes on to report:

“High consumption of aspartame adds an additional cardiac muscle toxin, methanol. A number of studies have shown that consuming aspartame and MSG (and similar excitotoxins) together greatly magnifies the toxicity!”

So, strokes and heart attacks? What next?

Remember the Gulf War Syndrome? And all the poor kids that came back with their brains scrambled? Remember the methyl ester in Aspartame that eventually breaks down to formaldehyde in diet soft drinks? Guess what our troops are drinking? Diet pop! Lots of it, because trying to protect your country in the Persian Gulf is a thirsty business. It’s hot over there! But the pop they were drinking sat on pallets in 120-degree temperatures for weeks! Oh, and of course, the drinks were also in plastic bottles known for their propensity to off-gas as well when they got hot! They were basically drinking Formaldehyde, Brain Eating, Heart Attacking, Brain Stroking, but oh so refreshing soft drinks! This gives collateral damage a whole new meaning!

Do you know where your diet soft drink has been or how hot it has gotten? Do you know what’s in it?  Maybe you should.  Actually, you should stop drinking it and find something with low amounts of natural sweeteners to quench your thirst.

For a link on food additives broken down into levels of toxicity go here:

http://www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm

For a blog on healthy, safe foods and drinks stay tuned, we’re working on it.  If you’d like to contribute a food item, a grocery store, or an organic farmer’s co-operative, use the contact form on this site.

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

HFCS: Ties to Obesity and Increased Mortality

High Fructose Corn Syrup is a clear liquid sugar product made from corn starch. It has a long shelf life and is relatively cheap to use, which is why it is so common in inexpensive foods like chips and soda. It has been tied to increased rates of obesity, which can lead to heart disease and cancer.

“When HFCS is ingested, it travels straight to the liver which turns the sugary liquid into fat, and unlike other carbohydrates HFCS does not cause the pancreas to produce insulin; which acts as a hunger quenching signal to the brain. So we get stuck in a vicious cycle, eating food that gets immediately stored as fat and never feeling full.” [Source: http://healthmad.com/nutrition/dangers-of-high-fructose-corn-syrup/#ixzz19GBfSKwl]

HFCS is temporally tied to obesity as well, for “the consumption of HFCS increased > 1000% between 1970 and 1990,” which corresponds to an increase in obesity. [Study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, http://www.ajcn.org/content/79/4/537.full?ijkey=3a74469113059287563c0dbc3f9b874276f46666]

Extensive studies show this correlation between HFCS and obesity, which can lead to further health problems and diseases. Take precaution to avoid foods that contain “high fructose corn syrup,” “fructose,” and “modified corn starch.” Reducing consumption of HFCS will improve mental and physical wellness, creating a more healthy and energetic lifestyle.

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Relationship Between Obesity and Eating Disorders?

eating disorder treatment cincinnati

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There is an epidemic of obesity in the US today. Consider the following:

  • 1 in 3 Americans is overweight
  • 1 in 5 or 129.6 million are obese
  • 70% of Americans dieted in 2007
  • 95% of all diets fail if exercise is not part of the program
  • Yo-yo dieting leads to eating disorders and may be the single most common “cause” of disordered eating
  • In a recent study, young girls were quoted as saying that they would prefer to have cancer, lose both their parents, or live through a nuclear holocaust than to be fat.
  • 80% of girls in grades 3 to 6 displayed body image concerns and dissatisfaction with their appearance
  • 81% of 10 year olds say they are afraid of being fat
  • By the time girls reached the 8th grade, 50% of them had been on diets, putting them at risk for eating disorders and obesity.
  • 25% of first graders admit to having been a diet.

In my practice, I often see patients that were overweight as children and experienced such self-hatred or shame that their eating disorder is a conscious attempt at avoiding that situation again.

For others, a family member, perhaps a father or mother or even a grandmother or an aunt with a weight problem triggers intense anxiety about weight gain.

If you are a loved one need treatment for obesity or an eating disorder in Cincinnati, I’m here to help! Schedule a consultation at 513-300-8043!

Sources:

World Health – 1 in 3 Americans are Overweight or Obese (http://www.worldhealth.net/news/1_in_3_americans_are_overweight_or_obese/)

My Best Health Portal – Top 20 Reasons Why 95% of All Diets Fail (http://www.mybesthealthportal.net/features/featured-articles/top-20-reasons-why-95-of-all-diets-fail.html)

Empowered Parents – The Skinny on Raising Daughters to Become Healthy Eaters (http://www.empoweredparents.com/pages/Article14.htm)

Empowered Parents – Childhood Fears Take New Form: Body Image Concerns In Young Children (http://www.empoweredparents.com/1childhoodonset/childhood_01.htm)

Empowered Parents – Obesity, Overweight and their Connection to Eating Disorders (http://www.empoweredparents.com/pages/Article7.htm)

 

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2010, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2010, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’