Diet, ex­er­cise aid weight loss af­ter child­birth

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Health -

PREG­NANCY nat­u­rally leads to weight gain, and most women grad­u­ally lose weight once their baby is born. But there are many dif­fer­ent opin­ions on the best way to re­turn to pre-preg­nancy weight. In the latest is­sue of the CochraneDatabase­ofSys­tem­atic Re­views , a new study has found that com­bin­ing diet and ex­er­cise is the best way to lose weight af­ter preg­nancy, and is more ef­fec­tive than di­et­ing alone. By com­bin­ing the re­sults of six dif­fer­ent tri­als in­volv­ing a to­tal of 245 women, re­searchers found that women who only ex­er­cised did not lose sig­nif­i­cantly more weight than women who main­tained a stan­dard post-preg­nancy lifestyle. How­ever, women who com­bined aer­o­bic ex­er­cise and di­et­ing lost an av­er­age of 2.89kg more over the trial pe­riod (rang­ing from 11 days to one year) than those who did nei­ther. Grad­u­ally re­turn­ing to pre-preg­nancy weight af­ter giv­ing birth may also be im­por­tant for long-term health, as women who re­gain their prepreg­nancy weight within six months are thought to have a lower risk of be­ing over­weight 10 years later. Cochrane Data­base Syst Rev 2007; doi:10.1002/ 14651858.CD005627.pub2 (Amorim AR, et al) SMOK­ING and de­pres­sion have a com­mon ge­netic link, ac­cord­ing to a new study in the jour­nal TwinRe­searchandHu­manGe­net­ics . The study found that nico­tine de­pen­dence and ma­jor de­pres­sion are both as­so­ci­ated with ex­treme re­bel­lious be­hav­iour dur­ing child­hood and ado­les­cence — a con­di­tion known as ‘‘ con­duct dis­or­der’’. In 1992, the re­search team con­ducted tele­phone in­ter­views with 3360 pairs of male twins aged 35 to 53, who served in the mil­i­tary dur­ing the Viet­nam War. Fifty-six per cent of the pairs were ge­net­i­cally iden­ti­cal twins, and 44 per cent were fra­ter­nal twins who shared half their genes. An­swers from each twin were com­pared to es­ti­mate the ge­netic and en­vi­ron­men­tal in­flu­ences on nico­tine ad­dic­tion and ma­jor de­pres­sion. Genes that in­creased a per­son’s risk of de­vel­op­ing nico­tine ad­dic­tion and ma­jor de­pres­sion were also found in those with con­duct dis­or­der. The find­ings may also help to ex­plain why smok­ing seems to run in some fam­i­lies, say the au­thors. TwinResHumGenet 2007;10:470-478 (Fu Q, et al) CROHN’S dis­ease — an in­flam­ma­tory dis­or­der of the gas­troin­testi­nal tract — af­fects an es­ti­mated 28,000 Aus­tralians and has no known med­i­cal cure. But a study in theNew Eng­landJour­nalofMedicine this week has found that a new drug called cer­tolizumab pe­gol is an ef­fec­tive treat­ment for adults with the dis­ease. The drug acts by block­ing a pro­tein called tu­mour necro­sis fac­tor (TNF), which is a ma­jor cause of gut in­flam­ma­tion. The study in­volved 662 pa­tients with mod­er­ate to se­vere Crohn’s dis­ease, who were ran­domly as­signed to re­ceive cer­tolizumab pe­gol or a placebo. Af­ter six weeks, 35 per cent of pa­tients who re­ceived the drug showed im­prove­ment in their symp­toms, while im­prove­ment was seen in 27 per cent of pa­tients who re­ceived the placebo. The only side ef­fect of cer­tolizumab pe­gol was a small in­crease in the risk for se­ri­ous in­fec­tion, in­clud­ing one case of pul­monary tu­ber­cu­lo­sis. NEnglJMed 2007;357:228-238 (Sand­born WJ, et al) OLDER women with me­mory loss are more likely to have rest­less nights than those with nor­mal brain func­tion, say the au­thors of a new study in Neu­rol­ogy . Over 15 years, 2474 women with an av­er­age start­ing age of 69 and no sign of me­mory prob­lems were given a range of cog­ni­tive tests to as­sess their brain func­tion. At the end of the study, elec­tronic ac­tiv­ity mon­i­tors were used to mea­sure their sleep­ing pat­terns dur­ing three sep­a­rate 24-hour pe­ri­ods. Over­all, 18 per cent of women ex­pe­ri­enced a de­cline in brain func­tion. Th­ese women were 71 per cent more likely to have dif­fi­culty stay­ing asleep, 57 per cent more likely to have prob­lems fall­ing asleep and 43 per cent more likely to be awake for more than 90 min­utes dur­ing their sleep cy­cle com­pared to women whose brain func­tion re­mained nor­mal. Neu­rol­ogy 2007;69:237-242 (Yaffe K, et al) FOODS that re­lease en­ergy slowly are bet­ter for weight loss than those that pro­vide a sugar rush, con­clude the au­thors of a new study in the CochraneDatabase­ofSys­tem­atic Re­views . Dif­fer­ent foods break down at dif­fer­ent rates af­ter they are con­sumed. Foods that break down slowly and gen­er­ate a long, gen­tle re­lease of sug­ars have a low gly­caemic in­dex (GI), while foods like white bread send a sud­den rush of sugar into the blood stream and are said to have a high GI. The Aus­tralian re­search team, led by Diana Thomas from the Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal at West­mead, found six sep­a­rate stud­ies that com­pared the ef­fects of low and higher GI di­ets, in­volv­ing a to­tal of 202 par­tic­i­pants. The tri­als lasted for be­tween five weeks and six months. Peo­ple eat­ing lowGI di­ets lost an av­er­age of 1kg more than those on higher-GI di­ets with sim­i­lar en­ergy val­ues. Low-GI di­ets were par­tic­u­larly ef­fec­tive for peo­ple who were obese. Cochrane Data­base Syst Rev 2007; doi:10.1002/ 14651858.CD005105.pub2 (Thomas DE, et al) RE­DUC­ING the ef­fects of in­sulin in the brain can pro­long life­span in mice, which may ex­plain why low-calo­rie di­ets have been linked to longer life ex­pectancy in peo­ple. In Science this week, the study sug­gests that achiev­ing the right bal­ance in in­sulin sig­nalling be­tween the brain and the rest of the body may lead to a longer life. In­sulin is a hor­mone that tells cells to ab­sorb and use sugar from the blood. More in­sulin is thought to be a good thing, but this study shows that ex­cess in­sulin can have harm­ful ef­fects on the brain. Sci­en­tists gen­er­ated mice that were ge­net­i­cally un­able to trans­mit in­sulin sig­nals inside cells. One group of mice had the de­fect in ev­ery cell in the body, and the other group only had the de­fect in brain cells. Both groups of mice lived longer com­pared to nor­mal mice. But those with re­duced in­sulin sig­nalling only in the brain lived al­most half a year longer than nor­mal mice— an 18 per cent in­crease in life­span. Science 2007;317:369-372 (Taguchi A, et al) Want to know more? Items are ref­er­enced where pos­si­ble. A ref­er­ence such as ‘‘ 2007;35:18-25’’ means the source ar­ti­cle was pub­lished on pages 18-25 in vol­ume num­ber 35 of the pub­li­ca­tion, in 2007. A doi num­ber or web­site ad­dress is used for re­search pub­lished on a jour­nal’s web­site.

Af­ter baby: Slim down for bet­ter health

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