Shape Up America! Newsletter
Shape Up America!
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 Shape Up America! Newsletter . Real Help for Real People 
August-September 2004 
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Greetings!

If you are part of a group, organization, or community participating in an effort to promote increased activity please share the news with us so that we can share it with the world!

In this issue
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  • COMING SOON - INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE REPORT ON PREVENTING CHILDHOOD OBESITY
  • DOES DIETING CAUSE EATING DISORDERS? WHAT'S THE SCOOP?
  • CAN CUTTING BACK ON SODA REDUCE OBESITY?
  • NEWS YOU CAN USE FROM OUR MEMBERS
  • GIVE US A HELPING HAND!

  • DOES DIETING CAUSE EATING DISORDERS? WHAT'S THE SCOOP?
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    The question of whether dieting causes eating disorders was tackled by the National Task Force on the Prevention and Treatment of Obesity and their report was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2000. They concluded that in obese adults, the answer is apparently no -- sensible dieting that includes a modest restriction of calories does not cause eating disorders. But they noted that this conclusion was not based on any studies that were designed specifically to address this question. Now we have such a study and the results are reassuring. This month, a report examining whether dieting causes eating disorders in adults was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by Dr. Tom Wadden (a scientific advisor to Shape Up America! since 1994) and his colleagues. This was a randomized controlled trial in which 123 obese women (who were pre-screened to assure they were free of binge eating and mood disturbances) were studied for more than one year. Two different dieting strategies were used, one using meal replacements and the other relying on conventional foods. Clinically significant weight loss was documented in both diet groups. A third group used a "non-dieting" approach to weight loss that encouraged cutting back on calories. No weight loss was documented in this group during the first 20 weeks of the study. When participants in all three groups were examined for binge eating disorders at week 40 and again at week 65: "At no time did any participant meet criteria for binge-eating disorder." In fact, symptoms of depression actually DECREASED in the two dieting groups (but not in the non-dieting group) during the first 20 weeks of the study. [Note: This was a study of obese women in their 40s and these findings may not apply to younger women or teens among whom the risk of eating disorders is higher and who may use more aggressive dieting strategies.]

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    CAN CUTTING BACK ON SODA REDUCE OBESITY?
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    Reducing soda consumption in school aged children aged 7-11 years old, may be helpful in reducing obesity. A randomized controlled trial conducted by Janet James and her coworkers was reported in the August 2004 issue of BMJ USA (p. 410). The study was conducted in 6 schools in the United Kingdom where the researchers spent one year reducing soda consumption in the experimental group. This group saw no increase in obesity prevalence whereas the control group experienced a significant (7.5%) increase in prevalence. The design and analysis of this study is being questioned by other researchers (see BMJ USA p. E316) who wonder if the results are "too good to be true."

    The bottom line is that intake of soda and soft drinks has increased dramatically in the past two decades and soda vending machines are now in nearly all schools throughout the United States. Childhood obesity prevalence upsurges have been documented during this period, paralleling the increased soda consumption. Whether the connection is causal awaits further research. But it certainly does no harm and may do some good to eliminate soft drinks and soda from school vending machines and replace them with low fat or nonfat milk or 100% juice or bottled water.

    NEWS YOU CAN USE FROM OUR MEMBERS
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    Carol from Missouri reports: "on Sunday mornings for a local TV station, we share a healthy recipe that has few ingredients, low in fat and calories, and is overall healthy and fun. The recipes are also posted on the network's web page it is very popular, and has drawn a lot of local interest." Carol works for the Missouri University Extension which is doing some wonderful work in schools: "We have a curriculum for every grade level. This helps the teachers because we do a series of 7-11 lessons. Each lesson is a food and nutrition lesson, hands on, and delivered with a snack at the end. The snack piece is always tied to the lesson. The snack is easy and nutritious. We also make sure that they get a recipe to send home. We also teach food safety and the importance of exercise. We try to have some easy exercises that they can do at some point in our lessons. We have been doing this for the past eight to ten years. The success with our teachers and students has been awesome. This is a free program to the schools. Teachers do have to be in the classroom but their involvement is usually minimal. My teachers are always commenting about how much their children have learned about nutrition. In fact, even the teachers usually report changes in their eating behaviors after I have come. Many of my students I have taught since kindergarten. They remember me and enjoy these classes so much. I love it when they come in and tell me that they have been trying to eat more fruits and vegetables or that their parents are waiting for the next recipe to come home. We also send newsletters home to the parents with additional information about foods, recipes and things they can do with their children for more physical activity." [NOTE: Every state in the U.S. has an Extension Service and many are establishing programs like this. If your family has school-aged children, we encourage you to inquire with your state's Extension Service.]

    We also heard from Leslie in Massachusetts: "I am the wellness coordinator for [our company] in Westwood, MA. Last month we initiated the 10K-A-Day Activity Program. To kick off the program, we had a "Walk Out of Work Day" where everyone was encouraged to go out and walk 1.5 miles as part of the registration process. We gave all participants a pedometer (with step counting ability), a water bottle, and a 365 day walking log. The program is running all summer 10 weeks and we are asking everyone to log their steps for 5 of seven days a week for at least 8 weeks. To keep everyone on track, they turn in a coupon every other week with the steps logged and become eligible to win raffle prizes- t-shirts, visors, sunblock, walking shoes and socks. I also put information on health, nutrition and activity on our intranet every week. The grand prize is an Apple iPod MP3 player. We had 73% join the program and after four weeks we still have almost 50% turning in the coupons. The best part is that everyone is talking about how many steps it takes to do this or that. They are comparing how many steps they take and try to get bragging rights. Most of all this program has done so much to raise the awareness of the amount of activity needed for better health and the surprise at what their levels were to begin with. The program has been embraced at all levels of the company and the wellness committee is getting praise from all." [Note: If you are interested in starting your own walking program, visit the Shape Up America! online store to purchase the pedometers, walking logs and more.]

    Great Deals on Bulk Pedometers »

    GIVE US A HELPING HAND!
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    Every day we are contacted by many people or groups that would like to be able to distribute motivational materials in areas of the country that are at an economic disadvantage.

    Shape Up America! is a non-profit organization and we are limited by the availability of sponsors, grants, and donations from people just like you.

    Help us meet these people's needs by purchasing materials marked "for donation" on the comment area of the order form, or simply by donating any amount that is comfortable to you.

    We will publish on future newsletters and also on our web site groups or people that have received goods thanks to your generosity. Also, if you are part of a group in need, please email to us your request so that we can let the world know your needs!

    Donate To Shape Up America! Now »

    COMING SOON - INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE REPORT ON PREVENTING CHILDHOOD OBESITY


    The Institute of Medicine report on the prevention of childhood obesity will be released later in September. For the past 18 months, Shape Up America! president, Barbara J. Moore, PhD, has served on the IOM committee preparing this report. As soon as the Institute of Medicine gives us the green light, we will be providing you with highlights of this report in this newsletter. Stay tuned.

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