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Is Gastric Surgery For Your Obese Teen?

Obesity is worldwide problem. There are millions worldwide who are suffering from this disease. In the United States, there are about 12.5 million children and adolescents who are overweight. Children are also suffering from the diseases associated with obesity and disease traditionally seen only in older people, like diabetes and heart disease. Because of these health problems, they are looking for weight-loss options and gastric bypass surgery is one of them.

Gastric bypass surgery is not the popular among the young population though. About 1% of those who undergo the procedure are teens according to the survey reported in Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine in March 2007. There is a relative increase on the number of teens undergoing the procedure, but still remains unpopular or uncommon.

Sadly, obese children think that they are living a kind of life like those who have cancer and undergoing chemotherapy, according to the survey done by the Journal of the American Medical Association. Teens suffering from obesity would deal with being teased, socially not accepted, and unable to participate in social activities.

Not all obese teens are recommended to undergo gastric bypass surgery. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2004, there are guidelines that should be considered before a teen or an adolescent is recommended for gastric bypass or any weight-loss surgery:

Failed to lose weight by any organized attempt of weight management for the last six or more months, with an assistance of a doctor.

Have reached a physiological and skeletal maturity. Adolescents that have reached an age (or older) of 13 years old for girls and 15 years old for boys have reached this level of maturity.

Has a body mass index (BMI) of more than 40 associated with severe obesity-related problems. Has body mass index of more than 50 even though there are no serious obesity-related problems.

There are medical and physiological examinations and evaluations performed before the surgery, the teen undergoing that should be prepared to handle these evaluations.

In general, those who have undergone gastric bypass surgery are advised to avoid pregnancy at least two years after the surgery. This is to avoid any complications and increasing risk to the fetus because of drastic weight loss. Anybody, not only teens, should be aware and agree on this.

Prepared to follow strict dietary regulations after the surgery. There is a strict diet that patients should follow like low sugar, low fat, low-carbohydrates, and low-calories meal plans.

Have a supportive environment. Because of the dramatic change in their lifestyle, teens should have supportive family environment that will be able to guide them to the different changes. Often times, there are patients of weight loss surgeries who would suffer from different physiological and psychological side-effects, like depression. Families should be prepared in helping their children through these stages.

There are doctors who would say that conducting gastric bypass or other bariatric surgery on teen-agers are safer than conducting the procedure with adults. Teens have not developed any case of obesity-related problems like high blood pressure and heart disease which are common among adults and also increases the risks of surgeries. Teens also heal faster and required less time spent in the hospital.

There are many benefits by undergoing gastric bypass and weight-loss surgeries. Some patients would even report losing 5% of their weight within the first month and about 50 to 60% within a year. Associated obesity related problems are also reduced by having the surgery. However, not everybody is recommended to undergo the procedure.

Even a teen is required to have be able to make sound decisions, before undergoing surgery. Afterall, maturity does not come with age.


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Supplements, Diet and Exercise for Healthy Aging

Supplements, Diet and Exercise for Healthy Aging
Karen Walker

Recently a television health expert was discussing the topic,
How to stay young looking for the post-50 set. It was pretty
much the standard take good care of your skin, eat right and
exercise list until the last item. He stated, Take your drugs
every day. One of the best ways to look younger is to stay
healthy. Wait a minute! When did the use of prescription drugs
become a mainstay of a healthy lifestyle in this country?

Now, no doubt about it, the drug industry is big business. All
those prime time TV ads are marketed to specific audiences. Just
watch the evening news and nearly all the national ads are for
drugs or medical equipment and services. Between the drug
companies and the media, they would have us believing that poor
health is the normal, natural state of the human condition. But
is this really what we should expect?

One side effect of our so-called healthy, modern lifestyle is
that all these drugs, devices and services come with a hefty
price tag to the users. A recent study published in the American
Medical Association journal showed that 95,000 people die from
the use of PROPERLY prescribed drugs each year in the United
States alone. Thousands more are sickened by adverse reactions to
medications. That is right, folks, the facts show that the very
drugs your doctor prescribes to alleviate your symptoms of
illness can do you serious, permanent harm.

What about the financial cost? Recent statistics indicate that
one of the largest groups now filing bankruptcy are people WITH
medical insurance but unable to pay the medical bills and other
associated costs of illness that insurance doesnt cover. Is that
what we should expect from our golden years- to give our gold
to the health care industry just to eke out a few more months or
years of existence while suffering the effects of debilitating
diseases? Is this what you picture for yourself in the future?
Are you suffering now?

The experts agree there are certain basic things we can do to
stay healthier as we age. Most of this youve probably heard
before, yet keep in mind, these suggestions only work if you put
them to use in your life.

First, proper hydration is essential. Our bodies are 90% water
and 8-10 8 oz. glasses are needed every day just to maintain the
proper fluid balance in the body for cell function.

Regular exercise is another vital part of healthy aging. 20
minutes of aerobic exercise- perhaps just taking a walk-three
days a week alternating with moderate weight lifting is a good
routine nearly every one can follow. Research shows that
following a weight lifting program can improve both strength and
agility, no matter what your age. Of course, check with your
doctor first before starting any new exercise program and take
the time to learn proper technique for both safetys sake and the
maximum benefit from your efforts. Be sure to take one day off
each week to allow your body time to rest and recuperate.

Get sufficient sleep. Time spent asleep is grossly undervalued in
our society. It is during the sleep cycle that the body repairs
and rejuvenates itself.

A proper diet of balanced protein and complex carbohydrates with
small amounts of essential fats promotes both physical health and
mental alertness. Remember, what you fuel your body with directly
impacts your performance level in a big way. Avoid processed
foods, artificial colors, flavorings, sweeteners and
preservatives. Eat foods as close to their natural state as
possible. Stop thinking of the fast food drive up window as your
friend.

Unfortunately, experts agree that it is nearly impossible to
adequately meet your nutritional needs with our modern diet
alone. Our soils have been depleted of most essential nutrients
since the 1930s. Farmers regularly replace nutrients required
for plant growth-nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, but it is up
to us to replace the minerals and other nutrients missing from
our diets.

Modern processing and marketing techniques also contribute to our
lack of adequate nutrition. Produce picked in its green state,
then allowed to ripen in transit to market often lacks the
nutritional quality of their field ripened cousins.

Poor nutrition combined with the stress of our modern lifestyle
and constant exposure to environmental toxins means it is
unreasonable to expect good health in our mature years (or any
year, for that matter) without adequate supplementation.

Picking the correct supplement is essential to your health as
well. The vast array of options are enough to make your head
spin. Testing by independent labs show huge differences in
quality between brands. The cheapest drug store has everything
vitamin may not have much in the way of active ingredients, but
the most expensive brands may not, either. Once again, take the
time to do the research. Find out what quality control methods
the company uses. Are their products manufactured to
pharmaceutical standards? What is the companys commitment to
using the best available ingredients and how do they test for
ingredient quality?

In addition, investigate the latest scientific evidence on what
nutrients are needed for good health. There have been important
breakthroughs recently in our understanding of what cells need to
function and how proper cellular nutrition contributes to the
bodys ability to restore and repair itself. Find a nutrition
company whose products reflect these advances.

The last, and perhaps most important way to stay healthy as the
years go by, is to pay attention to you. Respect yourself enough
to take care of your physical needs. If something needs fixing,
do it. Learn to like yourself if you havent already. Dont just
feed your body, feed your mind as well. Make your brain work.
Take time to laugh everyday. Laughter stimulates the immune
system and just plain makes living more fun. Do the things in
life that give you pleasure. After all, there is more to life
than work and worry. You deserve to be happy, but it is up to you
to BE happy. When it comes down to it, you are all youve got. Be
someone whose company you enjoy.

Doing all these things wont guarantee you a long, healthy life.
After all, times and unforeseen circumstances befall us all.
But they may help the time you do have on this planet be
enjoyable for you and those whose life you impact. Best wishes
for a good life!

About the Author

Karen Walker is a life long student of healthy living. She works from her home in Montana.

www.keephealthkeepwealth.com


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A Heart Healthy Diet Makeover

A Heart Healthy Diet Makeover
Meri Raffetto RD

Heart Disease remains the number one cause of death in the U.S. among both men and women. Part of the problem is it is truly a silent killer. There are few warning signs of a heart attack and the signs that are there dont necessarily make us feel bad. The good news is there are many lifestyle changes you can make to significantly decrease your risk of heart disease. Here are 9 simple steps to make over your diet for heart health.

1.Use the right fats: The good fats are found to preserve HDL (protective cholesterol) and lower LDL (Bad Cholesterol) levels. The good fats are found in foods such as olive, canola, and peanut oils as well as nuts, avocados and olives.

2.Decrease the Saturated Fats: These fats tend to increase the cholesterol made by your body. They can increase your total and LDL (Bad) cholesterol levels. Saturated fats are found in animal products such as dairy, poultry (especially the skin), meats, butter and cream based sauces and dressings. It is not necessary to omit these foods, just choose leaner options and have the higher fat foods once in awhile.

3.Remove all Trans Fats from your pantry! : Trans Fats are oils that have been hardened by the hydrogenation process, such as stick margarine and shortening used to make commercial baked goods, chips, and fast foods. Like saturated fats, these fats increase total blood cholesterol and LDL (Bad) cholesterol levels and may even lower HDL (Good) cholesterol levels. Food labels will be required to list the amount of Trans fats in a food product by 2006. Until then, if the ingredient list on the food label includes the term hydrogenated, or partially hydrogenated, it contains Trans Fats. Avoid these products!

4.Increase Your Fiber! : Soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol levels in the blood by binding to cholesterol in the intestine so it cannot be absorbed by the body. Good food sources of soluble fiber include beans and legumes, oranges, apples, prunes, broccoli, carrots, oat bran, oatmeal, and some cereals. Use whole grain products in place of their white counterparts. Eat at least 20-40 grams of fiber a day. (Most Americans only eat around 12 grams of fiber a day.)

5.Omega-3 Fatty Acids every day: Omega-3 Fatty Acids are essential fatty acids meaning we have to get them from our diet. These fatty acids may reduce the risk of blood clotting, decrease inflammation, lower triglyceride levels, normalize heart rhythms and improve the immune system. Consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids daily may reduce the incidence of sudden cardiac death by 50-70%. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in: fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, lake trout, halibut, and sardines. Other sources include ground flax seeds, soybeans, canola oil, and walnuts.

6.Five To Eight Fruits and Vegetables a day: Eating fruits and vegetables can help to decrease your risk of heart disease, cancer, cataracts, and can help to lower blood pressure. Fruits and Vegetables are loaded in vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. The more fruits and veggies you eat, the more antioxidant activity in your body.
How do antioxidants work? Every day we are exposed to free radicals from our diets, sun, chemical exposure, pollution, etc. These free radicals promote the plaque build up in our arteries leading us to increased risk of heart disease. Antioxidants work by neutralizing these free radicals before they can cause damage to our bodies.

7.Folic Acid: High levels of an amino acid called homocysteine in the blood have been associated with damage to the blood-vessel walls, increased blood clotting, and overall increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Folate is a B vitamin which has been shown to decrease these homocysteine levels in the blood. Good food sources of Folate include green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, beet greens, and chard as well as legumes, asparagus, broccoli, oranges, orange juice, whole and fortified grains, walnuts and peanuts.

8.Add some almonds! Studies show that eating an ounce of almonds a day can help to lower your cholesterol. A matter of fact, a recent study published in Journal of the American Medical Association found that eating a diet that included plant sterol margarine (such as Benecol or ProActiv), soy products, almonds and increase fiber was able to lower cholesterol levels as much as the statin drugs and in just 2 weeks time! Have an ounce of almonds as a snack, or sprinkle them in your cereal or salad.

9.Have a little soy: Soy has also been shown to lower cholesterol levels.
Using soy on a weekly basis is a great step towards protecting your heart. If you are not a tofu fan, try soy milk or yogurt, garden burgers, edamme (soy beans), or soy sausage patties. There are all kinds of ways to include soy in your diet!

Sample Heart Healthy Meal Makeover:

Sample day
Before:
Breakfast:
– glass of orange juice
– 2 fried eggs
– 3 slices of bacon
– 2 slices white bread with 3 tsp butter
Lunch:
– roast beef sandwich on white bread
– potato chips
Snack:
– 1 cup Cheez It crackers
Dinner:
– fried fish strips
– 1 cup mashed potatoes cooked w/whole milk and butter
– cup corn

Diet make over:
Breakfast:
-glass of calcium fortified orange juice
– scrambled egg beaters
– 1-2 slices of whole grain bread with 1-2 tsp Benocol or ProActive spread
– 1-2 slices soy bacon or sausage links
Lunch:
– turkey, lettuce, tomato, and avocado sandwich
– 1 cup vegetable soup
– 8 oz vanilla non-fat yogurt with 1/3 cup of berries added
Snack:
1 ounce almonds
Dinner:
-3 ounces baked or broiled salmon
– cup broiled red potatoes with olive oil
– cup broccoli
– 1-2 cups of salad with cut up pears and toasted walnuts
with 1TB olive oil vinaigrette salad dressing

Results:
Day 1 = 2300 calories and 114 grams fat; 98 grams sat fat; 45% calories from fat
Day 2 = 1800 calories and 58 grams fat; 14 grams sat fat; 29% calories from fat.

Making small changes can go a long way to improve your heart health! What changes can you start making?

Meri Raffetto, 2005

About the Author

Owner of Real Living Nutrition Services, Meri Raffetto is a Registered Dietitian and a recognized professional in the area of nutrition and wellness. She has developed two online weight management programs, The Mini Diet Makeover and The Ultimate Diet Makeover, which focus on a healthy, non-diet approach to weight loss. For more information or to sign up for our free newsletter, visit www.reallivingnutrition.com.


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