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Newsletter. Issue 2004-21. Oct. 16, 2004
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Health & Wellness

Diabetes Study To Help Contain 'Epidemic'
Original Publication Date: Saturday October 2, 2004
People who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes now have the opportunity to be involved in a unique study in Ontario. With three sites in the province, the Canadian Normoglycemia Outcomes Evaluation (CANOE) study will evaluate the benefits of combining healthy living and lifestyle intervention with a pharmacological therapy that is currently used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The study seeks to reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes by identifying Canadians in Ontario at high risk of developing the disease and preventing its onset.
"Currently, people who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes are advised to prevent the onset of diabetes with lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise. Unfortunately this has been shown to only delay and not prevent diabetes," say Drs. Bernard Zinman and Stewart Harris, Co-Principal Investigators of the CANOE study. "What the CANOE study hopes to demonstrate is that the introduction of pharmacological therapy in addition to lifestyle changes, will indeed prevent type 2 diabetes and its debilitating complications."
In an effort to work within the real world situation, participants in the CANOE study will be involved in sessions designed to encourage moderate increased physical activity, healthier eating habits and weight loss. Participants will maintain their program through one-on-one sessions during the first year of the study to assess their understanding of health and nutrition followed by continuing encouragement from CANOE staff, newsletters and a study Web site for the remaining years of the study.
Residents of Ontario who are interested in participating in the CANOE study can contact Angela in Toronto (416-586-3116) or Nicole in Sioux Lookout (1-800-507-7701). Study centres are located in Toronto, London and Sioux Lookout. All potential study participants must be 30 years old or over, with the exception of Native Canadians who should be 18 years old or over.
Different racial and ethnic groups in developed countries are at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes and people of Aboriginal descent are three to five times more likely than the general population to develop type 2 diabetes.1 It is for this reason that CANOE is also designed to look at the diverse Canadian population and aims to have an inclusion rate of 40 per cent Native Canadian participation.
Donna Lillie, Canadian Diabetes Association director of Research and Professional Education, says, "As the number of people with diabetes continues to grow, it is imperative to understand effective prevention strategies for type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is reaching epidemic proportions; it is for this reason that researchers in Ontario are looking at ways to help prevent the disease. According to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, approximately 20,000 new cases are diagnosed annually in Ontario, and another 300,000 Ontarians do not know they have diabetes.
It is estimated that $13.2 billion is spent annually by the Canadian health-care system on treating people with diabetes and its complications. A person with diabetes incurs medical costs that are two to three times higher than those of a person without diabetes. By preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes, health-care costs may be significantly reduced and Canadians can live healthier lives.

New Survey Finds Half of Canadian Parents Spend Less Than 10 Minutes a Day Providing Homework Support - Half of All Children Doing Homework in Noisy Environment
TORONTO, Oct. 12 /CNW/ - Half of Canadian parents (51%) spend less than 10 minutes a day helping their children with homework, a new survey has found.
The survey, conducted by Ipsos-Reid for Kumon Math and Reading Centres, also found that half of all children (50%) are doing homework in a noisy environment because either people are talking, the TV is on, music is on, or pets are making noise.
In addition, the survey found that the favourite room for doing homework is the kitchen (45%), followed by the dining room (22%) and the bedroom (16%).
Almost all children (91%) are doing their homework at a desk or table, but more children in the higher grades (7 to 9) are doing it on the couch, floor and bed.
"It's understandable that most children do homework in the kitchen. This is often the hub of the house, where busy parents can monitor and support their children while running their household," says Dr. Donna McGhie-Richmond, Educational Specialist with Kumon Math and Reading Centres. "But the kitchen can be noisy so parents need to minimize distractions so their children can concentrate. Parents can help focus their children by providing a well-lit, clutter-free work area with the tools they need to complete their homework." More at
http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/October2004/12/c8802.html?view=print

Fad dieting dangerous, Atkins warns
- 58% of Canadians say they've regained lost weight after reverting to old habits -
TORONTO, Oct. 12 /CNW/ - On the day after Thanksgiving, with many Canadians renewing vows to lose weight, Atkins Nutritionals Inc. today issued a public health warning about the dangers of "fad dieting," sounding the alarm over eating plans that promise quick results without making permanent changes in eating habits.
"People who go on short term, quick fix diets to lose weight quickly and then revert back to their old eating habits are not just fooling themselves, are actually putting their health at risk," said Dr. Stuart Trager, M.D., Medical Director of Atkins Nutritionals Inc.
Dr. Trager said that without a lifelong nutritional approach, fad dieters risk becoming "yo-yo dieters" who could increase their chances of developing heart disease, stroke or other serious health problems as a result of repeated cycles of weight loss followed by weight gain.(1)
"The yo-yo is a big no-no. Riding the diet rollercoaster can really make you sick. Only through a lifelong approach to healthy eating can people achieve and maintain an ideal weight, along with the health benefits that go with it," Dr. Trager said.
Dr. Trager noted that statistics show that of people who lose weight through dieting, only 15 per cent will have kept the weight off two years later. And a recent national survey by Ekos Research Associates found that among Canadians who have lost weight and gained it back, 58 per cent say that's because they reverted back to their old eating habits.
"As soon as you go back to the poor eating habits that got you into trouble in the first place, you're going to put the weight back on," added
Dr. Trager. "People need to follow a nutritional plan that's designed to be a way of life, and not a short-term, quick fix".
Recent studies have found that fad dieting may negatively impact one's health, which in turn can lead to weakening the immune system and the development of chronic illnesses such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes.
"Canadians need be concerned about their health," said David C. Lau, M.D., president of Obesity Canada and a leading Canadian endocrinologist with the University of Calgary. "Nearly 50 per cent of Canadians between the ages of 20 and 64 are overweight, and many of these people engage in fad dieting to accomplish rapid weight loss, which may be detrimental to their health."
Despite the increasing evidence of the dangers, a new survey on diet and health issues among Canadians shows that awareness could be higher. Sixty-six per cent of respondents to the Ekos survey, conducted in August said they are aware of the links between yo-yo dieting and heart disease or stroke -
but one-third of Canadians do not fully understand the risks.(3)
Dr. Lau further states, "Keeping a healthy weight and lifestyle is essential for disease prevention and longevity. Canadians should actively engage in a life-long, healthy nutritional approach and lifestyle, especially those who are at risk for developing chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, Canada's number one killer."
Evidenced-Based Research
------------------------
- A 2001 report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that yo-yo dieters had seven per cent lower levels of high-density lipoprotein, the good cholesterol. Researchers found that the degree of reduction was "directly proportional to the amount of weight cycled," and was not connected to the subjects' level of physical activity or individual obesity.(3)
- A study published in this June's edition of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that a group of women who had repeatedly gained and then lost weight had significantly lower levels of natural killer cells in their blood. These natural killer cells are an essential part of the immune system, killing virus and leukemia cells. Low natural killer cell activity has been associated with higher susceptibility to colds and infections, and has even been linked to increased cancer rates.(4)
- Researchers in Italy found that women who were yo-yo dieters (defined in this study as losing 10 pounds or more and regaining it, in at least five attempts over a five-year period) and who had more excess weight around the waist than at the hips - in other words, a tendency to be more "apple-shaped" than "pear-shaped" - were almost eight times as likely to have high blood pressure, a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke.(5)
About The Atkins Nutritional Approach
-------------------------------------
The Atkins Nutritional Approach (ANA) is a scientifically validated nutritional strategy for weight control and better health based upon controlling carbohydrate consumption. This nutritional strategy stresses nutrient-dense carbohydrates as part of a balanced eating plan that includes
a variety of protein and good fats, while restricting carbohydrates that have the greatest impact on blood sugar. The ANA provides each person with the information that they need to find their individual level of carbohydrate intake, below which weight loss is achieved and above which weight gain occurs.

Fad Diets & Health Risks: By the Numbers
Obesity in Canada - Obesity is the most common metabolic condition in industrialized nations and is reaching epidemic proportions in North American men, women and children.(6)
- Almost one-third of Canadians are at increased risk of disability, disease and premature death due to obesity.(7)
- Nearly 50 per cent of Canadians between the ages of 20 and 64 years are overweight.(8)
- There is an 80 per cent likelihood that a child will become obese if both parents are obese. This is due to a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors.
- It is estimated that the total direct cost of obesity in Canada in 1997 was more than $1.8 billion. This corresponded to 2.4 per cent of the total health care expenditures for all diseases in Canada in 1997.(9)


Taking it Off
- One in three Canadians is currently trying to lose weight. Women, baby boomers (45 to 64 years old) and people who say their health is poor are the three top sub-groups.(10)

- Of those who are trying to change their weight, almost one in five has tried a popular diet in the past year.(11)

- One in four Canadians who are trying to change their weight are doing so to become more attractive. Disease prevention is also a motivator for a large proportion of Canadians trying to lose weight:
- Improve general health - 69 per cent
- Heart disease risk reduction - 29 per cent
- Diabetes risk reduction - 18 per cent(12)
- 38 per cent of Canadians are trying to lose weight by dieting.


Post-Diet Weight Gain
- 58 per cent of Canadians who have lost weight through dieting and then gained it back say they regained because they reverted to their old eating and lifestyle habits.

- Reasons why Canadians say they revert to old habits:
- Diets are too hard to follow (18 per cent)
- Tired of feeling hungry (12 per cent)
- Lack of physical activity (11 per cent)(15)


Even though...
- 89 per cent of Canadians agree with the idea that fad diets can be dangerous to your health.(16)
- 73 per cent of Canadians know that yo-yo dieting may weaken the body's immune system against illness and infection.(17)
- 66 per cent of Canadians are aware that yo-yo dieting may increase risk of developing heart disease and stroke.(18)


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