Why is it so hard to keep weight off?

You finally reach your desired weight, only to find it creeping back up. Now, researchers think they have discovered why

Why is it so much harder to lose weightthan to regain it? The findings of recent research, published in the journal Obesity, suggest that our bodies actually resist weight loss. While dieting, we reduce our resting metabolic rate, which lowers the number of calories we burn when we are not doing much. The authors of theresearch warn that keeping weight off requires vigilant combat against metabolic adaption.

The study followed 14 participants of the US version of the TV show The Biggest Loser. The researchers found that, after six years, all but one of the contestants in their study had regained weight. On average, they weighed 20st10lb (131.5kg), compared with theaverage starting weight of 23st 6lb (149kg) and the 14st 4lb (91kg) at which they finished the show.

The solution

Six years is a long time, and being, on average, 2st 10lb (17kg) lighter is not insignificant. But the odds were stacked against the participants. Thestudy showed that, before the competition, the group burned a daily average of 2,600 calories at rest, but this fell to around 2,000 calories a day when it finished. Six years later, instead of creeping back up to its normal level, their resting rate had slowed further to 1,900 calories a day. On average, the resting metabolic rate was 500 calories aday less than you would expect for the age and body composition of the person. So, the contestants had to eat less to stay at their lower weight. While researchers knew that dieting reduces the resting metabolic rate to save energy, this study shows how savagely your body subverts weight loss.

This was a small study without controls, though, and weight loss is influenced by factors such as genetics and hormones. Other studies show that some people are less affected thanothers. The report on The Biggest Loser participants cites another study showing that obese people who have weight-loss surgery seem to escape this metabolic adaptation. Somehow, the body resets to a new normal weight and the resting metabolic rate doesnt fall. For the rest of us, being vigilant about what we eat, and building up muscle mass (which is lost with age) through aerobic exercise and strength training are the only ways to fight back.

Your resting metabolic rate determines only a proportion of your energy expenditure. If you burn off more calories than you eat, you will lose weight. Other research suggests that reducing calories by 20% and doing moderate exercise for 20 minutes a day will keep weight off.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

If Republicans want to cut fat, they might start at the Pentagon | Trevor Timm

The defense department hid its own study showing wasteful spending. If the Trump administration wants to cut government waste, start there

Republicans are always railing against government waste in their never-ending quest to cut government programs. Well, the Washington Post has presented them with the quintessential example of what they can tackle as soon as the new Congress is sworn in: an almost unfathomable amount of taxpayer dollars being wasted at the defense department.

The Posts Craig Whitlock and Bob Woodward published an incredible investigation on Monday uncovering that the Pentagon itself commissioned an internal report aimed at identifying wasteful spending within its bureaucracy. The auditors, which only looked at the agencys business and support operations, found a staggering $125bn that the Pentagon was wasting.

The Pentagon was apparently terrified that Congress would find out about the massive sum of money they were throwing down a black hole every year, just as defense officials were clamoring for yet another budget increase. So officials there suppressed the results of the study, even going as far as impos[ing] secrecy restrictions on the data making up the study, which ensured no one could replicate the findings, the Post reported.

See, the Pentagon and its allies love to complainabout the disaster that will befall the agency due to mild budget cuts agreed in 2013. Back then, Congress agreed to a four-year,across-the-board reduction in spending as part of the sequester budget deal (they conveniently never mention that the departments budget had ballooned to over $700bn annually over the previous decade). This new report proves they could easily shift billions of dollars to programs that they claim are in desperate need; theyre just choosing not to.

Donald Trump, meanwhile, repeatedly claimed during the presidential campaign he would cut waste, fraud and abuse from the budget of all sorts of things , including the Pentagon. (It was his go-to clich whenever someone asked him how he was going to pay for something he proposed). In fact, its been the Republican partys mantra for years anytime they bring up the debt or the deficit.

So Trump and his Republican colleagues wants to get rid of waste, theres literally never been a more giant and obvious example. Heres their time to act!

The numbers in the Posts report are so large they are sometimes hard to fully grasp: the defense department employs 1,014,000 people to fill back-office jobs far from the front lines thats almost as many as the total number of active duty troops that the Pentagon employs, which is 1.3 million. They employ more expensive private contractors than several federal agencies combined.

Now, no one should exactly be surprised that the Pentagon is a bloated money pit where good accounting goes to die. There are so many horror stories of outrageous spending at the Pentagon its hard to keep track of them all. Last year, the Army alone had to make trillions of dollars of shady accounting adjustments to even come close to balancing its books. Thats trillions with a t.

As Reuters reported in August, The defense departments inspector general … said the army made $2.8tn in wrongful adjustments to accounting entries in one quarter alone in 2015, and $6.5tn for the year. Yet the army lacked receipts and invoices to support those numbers or simply made them up.

Its unlikely that the Republicans will hold the Pentagon accountable for its free-spending ways even as they try to nickel and dime social programs. In the Republicans fantasy world, the Pentagons enormous budget is never a problem.

Defense conglomerates and weapons makers fill the coffers of Republicans (and a lot of Democrats) each year, and spread large construction projects across virtually every state in the country, so lawmakers are loathe to cut funding for jobs in their respective districts. Add to that a hawkish tendency to support multiple wars around the world, and the Pentagon budget becomes virtually untouchable.

Legislators often argue for it to be increased while simultaneously calling for tax and spending cuts, coupled with a balance budget constitutional amendment. It was Marco Rubios position in 2016, Mitt Romneys position in 2012 and a whole host of Republican hawks in Congress are always pushing for more military spending beyond its record levels.

Next time you hear Republicans complaining about food stamps for poor people, or calling for a reduction of social security benefits or proposing to privatize Medicare, make sure to throw this report back in their face. Because whatever the waste problems in one government program or another, they pale in comparison to this.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Sony will reveal the PlayStation 4 slim in September, report says

A higher end console will support applications like virtual reality more readily.
Image: Wally Santana/AP

Sony’s will introduce a new, slimmed-down version of the standard PlayStation 4 console alongside its more powerful PlayStation Neo,The Wall Street Journal reports, citing unnamed sources.

The industry has been buzzing about rumours of a souped-up PlayStation 4 gaming console for most of this year, since around March. In June, Sony confirmed its plans to build the console codenamed “Neo” and the machine is expected to come with enhanced processing speeds and graphics capabilities, including 4K resolution support.

The release of two versions at once is new in the console industry, which typically abides by a model-by-model upgrade cycle. But it may be necessary for consoles to keep selling to an audience that sees PC upgrades keeping pace with technology developments, and wants its consoles to support newer and more demanding game titles.

This means that with two models, Sony can aim its higher-end “Neo” at serious gamers, while the standard model with a cheaper price tag will be targeted at a more casual base.

The new PlayStation 4 version a slimmer, matte black console appeared in the classifieds over the weekend.

The slimmer model hasn’t been officially announced yet, but according to a user on Twitter who claims to have bought the device, it’s real.

Sony is planning a press conference in New York on Sept. 7, where it’s expected that it will talk about its two new PlayStation 4 versions. Until then, we won’t get a clear picture on when either will hit store shelves.

Sony’s main console competitor, Microsoft, already unveiled a slimmer, sleeker version of its Xbox console in July, called the Xbox One S. The One S is 40 percent smaller than the Xbox One and supports 4K resolution as well.

Next year Microsoft is also expected to deliver a powerful 6-teraflop console, codenamed “Project Scorpio,” to sit next to the Xbox One S on shelves.

CORRECTION: Aug. 22, 11:30 a.m. ET:An earlier version of this story suggested the PlayStation 4 slim and PlayStation Neo would be released in September. They are only expected to be announced. The Wall Street Journal made no mention of release timing in its story. We regret the error.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2016/08/22/high-end-playstation-4-is-coming/

Egypt Orders 8 Female TV Anchors To Lose Weight

Egypt’s state broadcaster has suspended eight female anchors and instructed them to lose weight within a month, leading to an outcry from women’s rights advocates.

The edict was given by the the state-run broadcaster Egyptian Radio and Television Union, which said the women could only return to the air if they had an “appropriate appearance,” the BBC reported. 

Some of those who were suspended decried the weight-loss edict as “humiliating” and “scandalous.” The Women’s Centre for Guidance and Legal Awareness, a women’s rights advocate, called the suspensions are “a form of violence against women,” in a Facebook post translated by the BBC.

Khadija Khatab, one of the women who was suspended, said she believes her looks represent the average woman in her country.

“I believe I am an ordinary Egyptian woman who looks normal, and I don’t wear too much makeup,” Khatab said, according to The New York Times.

Khatab said she believes the suspensions are more about her superiors’ fears about the news the women anchors presented than their weight.

“It is just an attempt to get rid of the successful [presenters] and retain others who present programs that have no strong content,” Khatab told newspaper Al Watan, according to Gulf News.

Ironically, Safaa Hegazy, director of the Egyptian Radio and Television Union, is a woman and a former news anchor herself.

Some women who work in Egypt’s media industry said they support the weight-loss edict.

 Alaa el-Sadani, a commentator at the newspaper Al-Ahram, said she was “sickened by the disgusting and repulsive” appearance of the suspended anchors, The New York Times reported.

And Fatma al-Sharawi, a journalist at Al-Ahram, said she thinks the policy should also be expanded to include local TV stations, according to the BBC.

But eight anchors were getting widespread support on social media, especially outside of Egypt.

Some Egyptian men also supported the suspended women. 

Sayyid Hegazy, a journalist and member of the Egyptian parliament who is not related to Safaa Hegazy, asked the Sada al-Balad news website, “Who is an ideal weight in Egypt?”

Hegazy added that a presenter “might be a little overweight, but she is eloquent.”

No plans have been announced to apply a weight standard to Egypt’s male broadcasters.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/egypt-broadcaster-weight_us_57bb538ae4b00d9c3a19408a?section=&

Why You Should Never Comment On Your Teen’s Weight

Experts agree that talking about the need to diet and lose weight is one of the most unhealthy, counterproductive things a parent can do for a teen who is struggling with weight issues.

Now, new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics formally endorse those findings. In order to prevent obesity and eating disorders, parents should focus less on diets and the scale and emphasize family togetherness and exercise for fitness, not weight loss. The AAP included both obesity and eating disorders in their recommendations because these often share unhealthy behaviors such as dieting, bingeing and having a dissatisfied view of one’s body.

Obesity in adolescents has quadrupled in the past 30 years; in 2012, 21 percent of young people aged 12 to 19 were obese. Teens who are obese are more likely to have bone or joint problems, as well as sleep apnea. They’re also more likely to develop prediabetes, which can lead to Type 2 diabetes. On top of that, teens who are obese are more likely to grow up to become obese adults who will face heightened risks for diseases including cancer and stroke. 

Tweens and teens make up the bulk of eating disorder hospitalizations. In 2012, children aged 10 to 17 years old accounted for more than 90 percent of all hospitalizations for children with eating disorders, according to data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). The AAP report was compiled, in part, over growing concern about the unhealthy way teens are trying to lose weight. 

Here are six takeaways from the report, published in the journal Pediatrics. These recommendations are for both doctors and parents, and they apply to all teens — not just those with weight problems.

What not to do:

Never encourage dieting. 

Dieting packs a double whammy because it’s a risk factor for both obesity and eating disorders. Girls who weren’t obese but dieted in the ninth grade were three times were likely to be overweight by 12th grade, compared to girls who didn’t diet. And young people who severely reduced their caloric intake and skipped meals were 18 times more likely to develop an eating disorder than those who didn’t diet. Even just moderate dieting increased a teen’s risk of developing an eating disorder fivefold

”A 3-year-old may not be worried if she’s a bit overweight, whereas an adolescent may try unhealthy weight-loss methods like fasting or diet pills and end up in a vicious circle of more weight gain,” explained lead author Dr. Neville Golden, a pediatrics professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, in a statement.

Don’t comment on your child’s weight, or even your weight.

What you say matters; teens who talk about weight with their parents are also more likely to diet, binge eat and have unhealthy weight control behaviors, but this risk lessens if the subject matter is about healthy eating behaviors. 

No matter how well-intentioned or seemingly benign you think your comments are, studies show that comments parents make about either their own weight or their child’s weight is linked to a child’s risk of being overweight and developing an eating disorder.

It’s important to note here that a teen doesn’t have to look excessively thin for a parent to be concerned that they might have an eating disorder, said Golden.

“This is a dangerous category of patient, because they’re often missed by physicians,” he said. “At some point, these patients may have had a real need to lose weight, but things got out of control.”

Never tease teens about their weight.

This seems obvious, but bears repeating since a significant minority of overweight teens say they’ve experienced weight-related teasing from friends or family members. Cruel taunts about weight increase a child’s risk of both being overweight and developing eating disorders, and the pain can last into adulthood.  

Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, a researcher who focuses on teen health and nutrition, previously told HuffPost that parents should make their homes a sanctuary where kids feel safe from weight-related teasing. 

“Our children need to know that they can tell us what happened without receiving advice on how to lose weight,” she said.

What to do instead:

Eat together.

While eating meals together as a family has not been shown to reduce obesity rates, it does improve the nutritional content of a child’s diet and it allows parents to model healthy eating behaviors in front of their children, the report said. One study found that families who eat meals together seven or more times per week eat more fruits and vegetables compared to families who never eat together, and for the kids, this increased intake of fruits and veggies persisted into young adulthood. Another study found that eating family dinners most days during the previous years seemed to protect kids from binge eating, dieting and purging behaviors

Focus on a balanced diet and exercise  not weight loss.

Encourage healthy body image by encouraging kids to eat healthfully and exercise for fitness not for weight loss. Teens who have these positive influences are more likely to report being happy with their bodies and less likely to say they had weight-related concerns. Kids who are dissatisfied with their bodies, on the other hand, are more likely to develop eating disorders, diet and have lower levels of physical activity. 

Create a healthy home environment.

While it may seem from the AAP recommendations that a parent is more hemmed in about what they should or shouldn’t say to encourage a healthy lifestyle in children, the truth is that what a parent does says volumes about the best way to approach eating, exercise and body image.

The report says that parents can create a healthy food environment at home by buying and serving fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and water, while keeping artificial sweeteners, sugar-sweetened drinks and refined carbs away. Parents can also encourage physical activity by keeping TVs out of children’s bedrooms. Indeed, health interventions for both obesity and eating disorders are most effective when the whole family is involved in the treatment — not just the child who needs help. 

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story reported that eating disorders caused more than 90 percent of hospitalizations in teens. This is mistaken, and we regret the error. 

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-parents-can-prevent-childhood-obesity-without-encouraging-eating-disorders_us_57bb8f9ee4b0b51733a580e3?section=&

9,000 Lb. Elephant Seal Throws All Of His Weight On A Car While Owner Helplessly Looks On

Generally speaking, elephant seals keep to themselves. But, it’s probably safe to say that this big guy isthe exception.

The massive seal is a southern elephant sealthatlives in California. The largest elephant seals can be 20 feet long and can weigh up to 9,000 pounds. As the BBC broadcaster says, elephant seals rarely encounter people, but when they do, they really throw their weight around!

Southern elephants are the largest of allseals. The male elephant seals are the super giants, weighing three times as much as female elephant seals.

No word on why the male in this video attacked the car, but he likely thought the car was his competition for a mate. Male elephant seals often fight over the smaller females.

(That is, after all, why most men come to blows.)

Read more: http://littlethings.com/