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Publications Report Card #3

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The amount of evidence supporting Age-ility Goals is astounding! This is page three of articles and information from Science Daily Newsletters, The New York Times, the Mayo Clinic Newsletter and elsewhere. Feel free to highlight and copy anything you see on these three pages and paste them into your own motivational documents. You can write your own prescription for your doses of exercise! 
 
I hope you like this one...

Happiness Comes Cheap -- Even For Millionaires

ScienceDaily (Dec. 3, 2007) — A bar of chocolate, a long soak in the bath, a snooze in the middle of the afternoon, a leisurely stroll in the park. These are the things that make us the most happy, according to new research from The University of Nottingham.

In a study commissioned by the National Lottery, Dr Richard Tunney of the University’s School of Psychology found that it’s the simple things in life that impact most positively on our sense of well being.

The study compared the ‘happiness levels’ of lottery jackpot winners with a control group, using a ‘Satisfaction with Life Scale’ developed by the University of Illinois. Respondents were asked how satisfied they were in relation to different elements of their life, their different mood states explored, how often they treated themselves and what form this took.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t the flashy cars and diamond jewellery that upped the jackpot winners’ happiness quotient. It was the listening to music, reading a book, or enjoying a bottle of wine with a takeaway that really made the difference.

Dr Tunney said: “Modern-day pressures take their toll on everyday happiness. As a result we try to make ourselves feel better and happier through personal rewards and treats. We’ve all heard the saying ‘a little bit of what you fancy does you good’, and treating yourself is the ideal way to keep spirits lifted when you’re down in the dumps.

“As lottery jackpot winners are on the whole happier than non-winners — 95 per cent claim they are positive about their life compared to 71 per cent of people in the control group — we researched the treats they rewarded themselves with to see what could influence their mood state.”

The survey contrasted cost-free activities, such as walking and snoozing, with expensive ones like overseas holidays. It asked how frequently they might purchase ‘staying in treats’ — like a bottle of wine — and how often they bought themselves items like shoes, mobile phones and DVDs.

The research found that happy people — whether lottery jackpot winners or not — liked long baths, going swimming, playing games and enjoying their hobby. Those who described themselves as less happy didn’t choose the cost-free indulgences. They rewarded themselves with CDs, cheap DVDs and inexpensive meals out instead.

“While buying sports cars, giving up work and going on exotic holidays is out of reach for most of us, there are small lessons we can learn from society’s happiest people to help improve our quality of life,” Dr Tunney added.

“It appears that spending time relaxing is the secret to a happy life. Cost-free pleasures are the ones that make the difference — even when you can afford anything that you want.”

Adapted from materials provided by University of Nottingham.

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Older-adult Dieting Won't Lead To Reduced Physical Function, Research Suggests

ScienceDaily (May 8, 2007) — Unintentional weight loss in older adults often leads to frailty, a decline in physical function and even death. So is it wise for older, overweight women to embark on a weight loss program? New research from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center suggests that these women are better off trying to lose weight -- even if they regain some of it.

"Our results suggest that losing weight through calorie cutting won't lead to increased disability in older women," said Jamehl Demons, M.D., lead investigator on a project evaluating the effects of weight loss on physical performance.

And even when some of the weight was regained, the women still came out ahead. "It looks like they are better off than if they had never tried to lose weight," said Mary F. Lyles, M.D., lead investigator on an analysis exploring how dieting affected body composition.

The results of both projects -- which are part of the larger Diet, Exercise and Metabolism in Older Women (DEMO) study -- are being presented today (May 4) at the annual meeting of the American Geriatrics Society in Seattle.

It is well-known that weight loss -- whether it is intentional or unintentional -- results in the loss of both muscle and fat. Because people naturally lose muscle as they age, scientists have wondered whether it's safe for older adults to compound this effect by dieting.

"Weight loss without exercise is not widely advocated for older adults because of the potential to lose muscle and reduce physical function," said Demons, an assistant professor of internal medicine -- gerontology.

Her study evaluated 23 obese, postmenopausal, sedentary women with a mean age of 58 who participated in the DEMO study. For five months, their meals and snacks were provided by the study and contained 400 fewer calories than they needed to maintain their weight.

Participants' body composition and physical function were measured before and after the five-month period. Tests of physical function measured knee strength, hand-grip strength, walking speed, aerobic fitness and ability to quickly rise from a chair without using their arms. The women lost an average of 25 pounds, with muscle representing about 35 percent of the total loss.

"Despite the large amount of muscle loss, their aerobic fitness and their ability to rise from a chair showed a trend toward improvement," said Demons. "Their strength and walking speed did not change. This suggests that their weight loss through dieting wouldn't be expected to lead to increased disability."

Losing weight is only part of the equation, however. Most individuals who successfully lose weight tend to regain most or all of it -- and little is known about whether the regained weight is fat or muscle. In older adults, regaining a significant amount of fat could be risky because of the potential to end up with less muscle than when they started.

Lyles' project evaluated 30 women from the DEMO study to determine body composition when weight was regained. Body composition was measured before and after the five-month period of calorie restriction. A third measurement was taken 12 months later.

The women lost an average of 25 pounds -- about 32 percent of the lost weight was muscle and 68 percent was fat. The women regained an average of 11 pounds. About 27 percent of the regained weight was muscle and 73 percent was fat.

"Weight regain in the year following an intensive weight loss program is accompanied by gain of both fat and lean mass, with relatively more fat gain and less lean gain," said Lyles.

She noted that during the 12 months, the women had returned to their usual diet and exercise patterns, so researchers cannot conclude whether the shifts in body composition were related to the weight loss -- or to some natural progression or aging change.

Co-researchers were Xeuwen Wang, Ph.D., Steve Kritchevsky, Ph.D., Barbara Nicklas, Ph.D., and Leon Lenchik, M.D., all from Wake Forest, and Tongjian You, Ph.D., who is now with the University of Buffalo.

Adapted from materials provided by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.
 

Snacking Can Benefit Older Adults

ScienceDaily (May 4, 2007) — A nationally representative study of more than 2,000 people over age 65 found snacking is an "important dietary behavior" among older adults that can help ensure they consume enough calories in their diets, according to researchers at Auburn University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Calorie consumption has been found to decrease as people get older -- by as much as 1,200 calories per day for men and 800 calories per day for women at age 70 compared to the consumption of 25-year-olds. Reasons for eating less include physical decline and illness, limited financial resources and social factors such as living alone. While some research has investigated meal patterns among older adults, less has been done on the role of snacks.

The researchers found 84 percent of the adults in the study ate snacks daily, with an average of about 2.5 snacks per day. Those who ate snacks consumed significantly higher amounts of calories, protein, carbohydrates and total fat than non-snackers. Snacks accounted for about one-quarter of all the snackers' daily calories, about one-fifth of their fat intake and 14 percent of their protein.

"This study shows snacking is an important dietary behavior, both in terms of the prevalence and the (calorie) contribution, among older adults," the researchers write. "Whereas snacking may promote (calorie) imbalance resulting in obesity among other age groups, our results suggest snacking may ensure older adults consume diets adequate in (calories).

Adapted from materials provided by American Dietetic Association.

 

Fitness Level, Not Body Fat, May Be Stronger Predictor Of Longevity For Older Adults

ScienceDaily (Dec. 5, 2007) — Adults over age 60 who had higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness lived longer than unfit adults, independent of their levels of body fat, according to a new study.

Previous studies have provided evidence that obesity and physical inactivity each can produce a higher risk of death in middle-aged adults. Whether this is also true for older adults is uncertain, according to background information in the article.

Xuemei Sui, M.D., of the University of South Carolina, Columbia, and colleagues examined the associations between cardiorespiratory fitness, various clinical measures of adiposity (body fat) and death in older women and men. The study included 2,603 adults age 60 years or older (average age, 64.4 years; 19.8 percent women) enrolled in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study who completed a baseline health examination during 1979-2001. Fitness was assessed by a treadmill exercise test and adiposity was assessed by body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and percent body fat. Low fitness was defined as the lowest fifth of the sex-specific distribution of treadmill exercise test duration. There were 450 deaths during an average follow-up of 12 years.

The researchers found that those who died were older, had lower fitness levels, and had more cardiovascular risk factors than survivors. However, there were no significant differences in adiposity measures. Participants in the higher fitness groups were for the most part less likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension, diabetes, or high cholesterol levels. Fit participants had lower death rates than unfit participants within each stratum of adiposity, except for two of the obesity groups. In most instances, death rates for those with higher fitness were less than half of rates for those who were unfit.

Higher levels of fitness were inversely related to all-cause death in both normal-weight and overweight BMI subgroups, in those with a normal waist circumference and in those with abdominal obesity, and in those who have normal percent body fat and those who have excessive percent body fat.

"... we observed that fit individuals who were obese (such as those with BMI of 30.0-34.9, abdominal obesity, or excessive percent body fat) had a lower risk of all-cause mortality than did unfit, normal-weight, or lean individuals. Our data therefore suggest that fitness levels in older individuals influence the association of obesity to mortality," the authors write.

"Our data provide further evidence regarding the complex long-term relationship among fitness, body size, and survival. It may be possible to reduce all-cause death rates among older adults, including those who are obese, by promoting regular physical activity, such as brisk walking for 30 minutes or more on most days of the week (about 8 kcal/kg per week), which will keep most individuals out of the low-fitness category. Enhancing functional capacity also should allow older adults to achieve a healthy lifestyle and to enjoy longer life in better health."

Journal reference: JAMA. 2007;298(21):2507-2516.

Adapted from materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals.

 

Location Of Body Fat Associated With Cardiovascular Risk In Older Men And Women Even At Normal Body Weight

ScienceDaily (Apr. 21, 2005) — CHICAGO — The distribution of body fat in older men and women is associated with metabolic syndrome, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, even in normal weight individuals, according to the April 11 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Metabolic syndrome, a disorder that includes dyslipidemia (elevated blood lipid levels), insulin resistance and high blood pressure, affects 22 percent of adults in the U.S. and an even higher (42) percent of older men and women, according to background information in the article. In addition to overweight and obesity, patterns of fat distribution in middle-aged adults may confer additional risk for metabolic syndrome, but it is not known whether this is true for older individuals.

Bret H. Goodpaster, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and colleagues examined the association between the pattern of distribution of body fat and metabolic syndrome in 3,035 men and women aged 70 to 79. The distribution of body fat was determined using computed tomography (CT) scanning. Patients were examined and characterized as having metabolic syndrome if they met at least three of the following criteria: waist circumference greater than about 40.2 inches in men or 34.7 inches in women; elevated blood triglyceride levels; low high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels; high blood pressure, treated or untreated; and elevated blood sugar level, treated or untreated. Individuals were classified as normal weight, overweight or obese based on the basis of body mass index (BMI, calculated as weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters) with a BMI of less than 25.0 considered normal weight, overweight was defined as a BMI of 25.0-29.9 and obese was defined by a BMI of greater than 29.9.

Visceral fat (fat found in the deeper tissues and around the body's organs rather than just under the skin) was associated with metabolic syndrome in older men and women whether they were normal weight, overweight or obese. Subcutaneous (under the skin) abdominal fat was associated with metabolic syndrome only in normal weight men. Intermuscular fat was associated with the syndrome in normal and overweight men, the researchers found. A surprising finding, according to the authors, was that subcutaneous thigh fat was inversely associated with metabolic syndrome in obese men and women. Having more of this type of fat made an individual less likely to have metabolic syndrome.

"In conclusion, excess accumulation of either visceral abdominal or muscle AT [adipose tissue or fat] is associated with a higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome in older adults, particularly in those who are of normal body weight," the authors write. "This suggests that practitioners should not discount the risk of metabolic syndrome in their older patients entirely on the basis of body weight or BMI. Indeed, generalized body composition, in terms of both BMI and the proportion of body fat, does not clearly distinguish older subjects with the metabolic syndrome."

(Arch Intern Med. 2005;165:777-783. Available post-embargo at archinternmed.com)

Editor's Note: This study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md. Dr. Goodpaster was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging.

Adapted from materials provided by Journal Of The American Medical Association.

 

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