Monday, April 25, 2016

Body Weight Planner

Kevin D. Hall, Ph.D. is a scientist at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health. He recently developed the NIH body weight planner, an evidence based tool to reach and sustain a healthy body weight.

The tool is now web based but the NIH is developing mobile apps. Dr. Hall’s introduction:

A lot of people want to change their lifestyle to lose weight and improve their overall health but really don’t know what it takes. The recently developed NIH Body Weight Planner can provide support. It’s the first tool to use personalized information to calculate the required eating and physical activity changes to help people reach and stay at their goal weight. The Planner uses technology based on years of scientific research to accurately model how your body adjusts to changes in your eating and physical activity habits. Its calculations reflect the discovery that the widely accepted paradigm that reducing 3,500 calories will shed one pound of weight does not account for slowing of metabolism as people change their eating patterns and physical activities. This old rule of thumb is still widespread, but substantially overestimates how much weight people will actually lose.

Try the Body Weight Planner by entering your weight, sex, age, height, and physical activities during work and leisure. Then enter a target date for reaching your goal weight. You can also add details like percent body fat and metabolic rate. The Planner will then calculate your personal calorie and physical activity targets to achieve your goal and maintain it over time.

Sunday, April 3, 2016


Your cholesterol level in your blood is more complicated than once thought and depends on more than the amount of cholesterol in your diet. Cholesterol is found in all foods that come from animals: poultry, fish, meat, eggs, milk and cheese.

About twenty percent of people of European background have a gene called apoprotein E4 (apo E4) that is associated with raised blood cholesterol. This gene has been linked to increased sensitivity (in terms of raising cholesterol) to dietary fat, especially saturated fat. While liquid vegetable oils are much better than animal fats and tropical oils, all fats and oils are natural mixtures of saturated and unsaturated fats. The tropical oils, such as palm oil, palm kernel oil, and coconut oil are very high in saturated fats. These fats are often used in packaged foods to extend their shelf life.

Egg yolks have a lot of cholesterol but also contain nutrients that may lower the risk of heart disease including protein, vitamins B12 and D, riboflavin and folate. Recent studies have shown a lack of relationship between eating eggs and developing heart disease, even in those people who have a genetic predisposition (carrying the apo E4 gene).

Eggs can play an important role in the diet. The nutritional bomb is not the egg but the extras: bacon, processed cheese and roll made with white flour.

Here is more information (sponsored by industry, but still worthwhile).