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Trim Your Recipes - New CalCutter App!

>> Wednesday, August 28, 2013

If you love to cook but aren't sure how to go about making your recipes a little more healthful, then this new free app could be just what you are looking for.

The CalCutter app, launched by New York City's health department, allows you to enter your own recipes, following which the program provides you suggestions as to how you could make the recipe healthier.

When you then edit the recipe, it recalculates the calories per serving, so you can immediately see the benefit to the changes you made to the recipe.

In terms of down sides, the intro screen states that most people need 2,000 calories per day.  Remember that the calorie requirements for each individual vary greatly, and also vary depending on whether you are trying to lose weight, or maintain your weight.  You can calculate more accurate personal calorie requirements in the right hand column on my main page here using the BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) calculator (though this is an estimate only, not exact).

Also, as a new program, they are still building their ingredient list.  When I tried entering my peanut butter 'cheesecake' recipe, for example, I noticed that peanut butter is missing.  However, they note that they are working hard to build their ingredient list up to be more complete.   Using an app like this one to enter ingredients is far superior to Google's nutrition database, which is good for simple food items but terrible for recipes.

Enjoy!  For those of you who decide to put the CalCutter app to use, I'd love to hear your feedback - please use the comments box below!

@drsuepedersen © 2013


Weight Discrimination and Bullying

>> Thursday, August 22, 2013

I really have to hand it to my fellow author Dr Rebecca Puhl for writing a fantastic chapter in our ‘Complications of Obesity’ textbook, about the effect of obesity stigmatization and bullying on both children and adults.  Here are some jaw-dropping and very sobering statistics and facts that she shares with us:

Discrimination in the workplace:  for the same work performed, obese women earn 6% less than healthy weight women, and obese men earn 3% less than thinner men.

Some studies have shown that managers are more willing to hire a less qualified thinner candidate, than a more qualified overweight candidate.

Health care discrimination: 69% of women report being stigmatized about their weight by their own doctor (eg feeling disrespected, dismissed, and/or upset about comments made by their MD)

One study reported that 68% of women with obesity delayed their medical care due to feeling embarrassed about being weighed, disrespected by health care providers,  and because gowns, examination tables, and other medical equipment were too small for them.

A vicious cycle:  79% of women in one study reported coping with weight stigma by eating more food.

People closest may hit the hardest: 60% of overweight people report friends, and 47% name their own spouses, as perpetrators of weight bias.

And the two that hit me the hardest:

Suicide risk in youth: over 50% of girls who experienced weight based bullying by peers or family contemplated suicide.

Suicide risk in youth: 13% of boys who were teased by family members about their weight reported attempting suicide (more than three times the risk compared to those who were not teased).

As I have blogged many times before, the stigmatization against people with obesity desperately needs to STOP.  As Dr Puhl concludes:

The stigmatization, bullying, and discrimination of obese children and adults are pervasive and lead to damaging consequences for individuals who are targeted… The adverse psychological, social, and health consequences resulting from weight stigmatization must also be prioritized in efforts to prevent and treat obesity.

@drsuepedersen © 2013


The Facts and Farce of Before and After Photos

>> Monday, August 19, 2013

We've all seen them - those ads that make it look SO easy to shed pounds... just join this exercise program!  Try this supplement!  Follow this diet!  The before and after testimonial photos that show how one person's body changed on the program seem... well, too good to be true.

The truth of the matter is, these before & after pictures are often fake, and mislead the consumer to believe that they will get results that are often unrealistic.  Ways in which these pictures are made to represent something other than reality include:

  • using poor lighting for the before photo with unflattering poses, vs great light and professional modelling stances afterwards
  • having the people posing to breathe out, relax muscles, and even frown for the before photo, with a gleaming smile and all muscles taut for the after photo
  • photoshopping
  • there are reports of bodybuilders being paid to stop working out and gain as much fat as possible to take 'before' photos, then resume their regular eating habits and workouts to get buff for the 'after' shot
  • models being given potentially dangerous fat burners or supplements while they are on a particular diet or exercise program
  • models being given diuretics to dehydrate them for the after photo (to make the muscles look more 'cut')

And let's not lose track of the fact that it's not about getting that perfectly cut body.  It's about obtaining our Best Weight - a realistic weight goal (which is different for everyone) that optimizes metabolic health and overall wellbeing.  Remember that for people who struggle with obesity, a 5% to 10% sustained weight loss decreases the risk of a host of complications associated with obesity such as diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and high blood pressure - now there's something to be proud of!

@drsuepedersen © 2013


Chatelaine Interview - Should Women Fear 'Bulking Up' At The Gym?

>> Monday, August 12, 2013

Check out James Fell's recent Chatelaine article, with his current quest being to answer the question as to whether women who work out should be concerned that their muscles may bulk up too much.  In addition to asking for my thoughts on this, strength & conditioning coach Nia Shanks, and fitness expert Jen Sinkler weigh in on the subject as well.

@drsuepedersen © 2013

(photo by Getty Images)


Sufferings for Sugar

>> Friday, August 9, 2013

Check out this excellent article from the National Geographic about sugar.   It's a very interesting historical perspective, from the origins of sugar, to people who have died for it - from hundreds of years ago, right until today.

You can access the article here.   Add a comment below - I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks to Obesity and Energetics Offerings for the heads' up!

@drsuepedersen © 2013


How Does Exercise Affect Your Hunger?

>> Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Each of us is created as a unique and beautiful person - and with that uniqueness, there is also a 'Best Weight' for each of us - a realistic weight goal (which is different for everyone) that optimizes metabolic health and overall wellbeing.  This Best Weight is at least partially genetically determined, with a number of factors likely to be players, including the weight at which the balance of our hunger and satiety hormones leave us feeling satisfied.

In keeping with this hypothesis, a new study shows us that exercise affects hunger hormones and feelings of fullness differently in people who are thin, compared to people who struggle with their weight.

The study had lean and obese participants walk for an hour on a treadmill in the evening, and served them a meal the following morning.  On a separate day, they offered the participants the same breakfast, but without exercising the night prior.

In the lean people, they found that the hunger hormone ghrelin was decreased the morning after exercise.  When the lean people were served breakfast, they felt just as full from the breakfast whether or not they had exercised the night before.

In the people with obesity, there was no decrease in the hunger hormone ghrelin after exercise (as there was for the lean people), and they felt markedly less full after breakfast when they had exercised the night prior.

The Bottom Line: another study to add to the list that teaches us that weight struggles are SO much more than calories in and calories out. © 2013 @drsuepedersen



I am excited that you have arrived at my site, and I hope you are too - consider this the first step towards a Healthier New You!! As a medical doctor, Endocrinologist, and obesity specialist, I am absolutely passionate about helping people with weight management. Though there is certainly no magic cure for obesity, there IS a successful treatment plan out there for you - it is all about understanding the elements that contribute to your personal weight struggle, and then finding the treatment plan that suits your needs and your lifestyle. The way to finding your personal solution is to learn as much as you can about obesity: how our toxic environment has shaped us into an overweight society; the diversity of contributors to obesity; and what the treatment options out there are really all about. Knowledge Is Power!!

Are you ready to change your life? Let's begin our journey together, towards a healthier, happier you!!

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