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NCSF Blog

Results: 30 posts

Big Bites Make Us Eat Less!

July 22, 2011 by NCSF 0 comments

When thinking about overeating, one of the first images that most likely come to mind are that of a person consuming an oversized meal or making a second or third trip to the buffet. But overeating is more than an event and is actually intimately tied to psycho-physiological factors. The behaviors that characterize overeating patterns are multifactorial and include not only the portion size but also environmental factors such as the plate size. For obese individuals, hormones will also have an effect on feeding patterns. In a recent research study, these factors were analyzed even more specifically by examining the influence of fork size (and indirectly the bite size) on the amount of food consumed. In order to test this potential influencing factor, the whole study was conducted in a restaurant due to the difficulty in replicating real life scenarios in a lab setting. The author explained that “people visit the restaurants with a well-defined goal of satiating their hunger, and in this process they invest effort and resources (e.g., time, money, and choices of food and location) to satisfy their goal in the best possible manner.”

Peak Performance

July 06, 2011 by NCSF 1 comment

Improvements in training and nutrition over the past couple of decades have certainly pushed the envelope for sports and performance, particularly for the aging athlete. Brett Favre, Lance Armstrong, and Randy Couture have all reached later stage professional career success. Most recently, Bernard Hopkins became the oldest fighter to win a major world championship, taking the WBC light heavyweight title from a much younger Jean Pascal at the age of 46. Nowadays, athletes are not only competing into their thirties, but are winning, and some like Hopkins actually are successful well into their 40’s. Perhaps most surprising is that these athletes are competing in their 40s in events as rigorous as professional football, hockey, rugby and even World’s Strongest Man competitions. The latest question for exercise scientists now is how far can humans go and when do they peak? Researchers from the Institut de Recherche bioMédicale et d'Epidemiologie du Sport at INSEP, Paris, France recently published an answer. Geoffroy Berthelot and Stephane Len published their findings in Age (2011), the official journal of the American Aging Association.

Effective Networking

June 17, 2011 by NCSF 1 comment

We all know the old adage there’s no “I” in team and in today’s organizational structures being collaborative rather than isolated has been cited as a much more effective strategy for both growth and task efficiency. The larger the environment the more organizational silos are common as people gravitate to those in their direct environment and often communicate most within peer groups. In many large companies it is commonplace to really only know and interact with a small number of people. In doing so, all of the crossover potential and “corporate resources” become stifled. In today’s business society, creating both internal and external networks has become a vital skill. Collaboratively they expand the “think tank” and potential contributions from diverse skill sets; selfishly they expand the visible reach of one’s abilities and increase potential growth in different ways. This impact is obviously underscored by the proliferation of social and business networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, where having access to more people expands the potential for resources and consequent efficiency in multiple categories of business.

The Weekend Certification

June 13, 2011 by NCSF 0 comments

The fitness industry certainly has many facets to it and the activities that promote health and well-being are numerous. This diversity provides different outlets for an assortment of goal oriented behaviors, some which are as easy as basic locomotion to others that require high levels of strength and coordination. Although there is an inordinate amount of fitness information available online and in the media, there still is a learning curve to getting started in a comprehensive fitness routine. This being said, most people can enter a fitness facility and through a combination of trial and error, imitation, basic inquiry, and some fundamental instruction learn to use an exercise bike, leg press machine, or perform a shoulder press exercise. Even more complicated devices like a physioball or TRX suspension system can be mastered by a fitness enthusiast through observation and some trial and error.

Calorie Confusion

June 01, 2011 by NCSF 1 comment

It seems to be an easy concept; lower your calories to lose weight. This of course suggests one knows how many calories they consume each day. It doesn’t seem overly difficult, but the fact of the matter is, it does not translate well to the American population. In a recent report presented by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation, only 9% of people in the United States can accurately estimate the number of calories they should eat in a day, and not surprisingly the same number (9%) actually attempts to keep track of their calories during the week.

The Cost of Obesity

May 19, 2011 by NCSF 0 comments

Tens of millions of dollars are being spent on multiple awareness campaigns for the prevention of obesity and the promotion of physical activity. At this point the average American demonstrates knowledge of the problem, recognizes it as a financial burden to America, and supports the reduction of obesity in the country. Interestingly, in this report and other related documents Americans who are classified as overweight or obese by BMI still consider themselves in good health when surveyed.

Closer Look at Osteoporosis – Risk Factors, Fractures, and Preventative Measures

May 10, 2011 by NCSF 0 comments

Osteoporosis, literally translated means “porous bones.” It is a progressive bone disease that occurs due to a loss of bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue. More than 10 million Americans currently have the disease. In women over 45 years of age, osteoporosis accounts for more days spent in hospitals than many other diseases including diabetes, myocardial infarction and breast cancer. The development of the disease is linked to three compounding factors: deficient level of peak bone mass, a reduction in bone mass after age 30, and further loss after age 50. Therefore, the best preventative measure is to optimize peak bone mass by consuming adequate calcium and being physically active during childhood and young adulthood.

High-Dose Antioxidant Supplementation May Limit Training Adaptation

April 27, 2011 by NCSF 0 comments

Antioxidants are known to protect the body against the potentially damaging effects of free radicals and their metabolic products such as reactive oxygen species (ROS). These products are managed in the body through intercellular synthesized enzymatic antioxidants as well as from ingested forms such as vitamins A, C, and E, carotenoids including β-carotene, and other plant-based polyphenols. Free-radical ROS have at least one unpaired electron that can cause oxidative damage to cellular membranes, tissue proteins, DNA, and other components of the body.

Total Energy Intake and Nutrient Choices among US Adults

April 15, 2011 by NCSF 0 comments

A new report by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) heeds the Surgeon General’s recent proposition to aggressively address the elevated prevalence of obesity in the U.S. adult population by examining trends related to energy intake and macronutrient consumption from 1999-2000 through 2007-2008. It is the intention that by understanding these trends, the development and assessment of program and policy initiatives designed for nutrition education and obesity prevention can be attainable. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), being the primary national data system for information used to monitor the nutritional status of the U.S. population was used to develop this report.

Exercise may Reduce DNA Damage caused by Chronic and Traumatic Stress

April 11, 2011 by NCSF 0 comments

Scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) have recently reported multiple studies that reveal psychological stress leads to shorter telomeres, or DNA damage. Telomeres are caps located on the ends of chromosomes (DNA strands inside cell nuclei which dictate genetic characteristics) that protect and stabilize genetic data while serving as a measure of cellular age and health. Each time a cell divides a fraction of the telomeres drop off; after a specific number of cellular divisions the telomeres reach a critical length and the cell normally dies. Recently, scientists have discovered that shorter telomeres are linked with a broad range of aging-related diseases and indicate elevated risk of cardiovascular disease and a variety of cancers. The recent UCSF study findings suggest that exercise may prevent this damage and increased risk of disease by reducing telomere erosion.