Monthly Archives: March 2013




Timing is everything for losing weight .

In the latest collaborative study, researchers at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Tufts University and the University of Murcia in Spain, found that the time of day you eat large meals may help to predict how many pounds you drop.

In a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, the scientists monitored 420 overweight participants on a 20-week weight loss program in Spain. The volunteers were split into two groups: early-eaters and late-eaters. Since lunch is considered the largest meal in Spain–about 40% of the day’s calories are consumed in the mid-day meal–half the participants ate lunch before 3 p.m. while the remainder ate lunch after 3 p.m.

The late-eaters lost less weight overall, and shed pounds at a slower rate than those eating earlier. Those eating lunch later were more likely to skip breakfast or eat fewer calories, while the timing of breakfast and dinner didn’t influence weight loss effectiveness for either group. The researchers also considered other factors such as total caloric intake, energy expenditure, the appetite hormones leptin and ghrelin, and amount of sleep, but found they were similar in both groups.

“The timing of the main meal by itself seems to be the most determinant factor in weight loss effectiveness, and therefore eating at the right time may be a relevant factor to consider in weight loss therapies,” the authors write. They acknowledge that other factors may still explain the faster weight loss among the late eaters, such as genetics and how much each group slept on average, but the timing of the day’s largest meal was still worth considering as an important contributor to weight.

The findings support weight loss advice that suggests eating the biggest meal of the day earlier, which increases the chances that you can burn off the calories you take in. As simple as it sounds, however, changing the timing of meals may not be easy for everyone. “Some people like to exercise at four in the morning. I don’t get it, but it works for them,” says Dr. Tim Church, director of the Laboratory of Preventive Medicine at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who is unaffiliated with the study. “It’s the same thing for eating. There are certain people where certain timing and patterns work for them.”

To maintain healthy weight, it’s also important to eat when you are hungry, and not just in response to food cravings. “Hunger peaks when you expect it to peak at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Cravings peak after dinner,” he says. But eating late at night can raise body temperature as well as blood glucose and insulin levels, which disrupts the fat-burning that generally occurs during sleep. Timing meals, especially the heaviest meals, can make a difference in whether calories are processed into extra pounds or burned away.

Social Isolation, Not Just Feeling Lonely, May Shorten Lives

Social Isolation, Not Just Feeling Lonely, May Shorten Lives


Feeling lonely seems to go hand in hand with being isolated, but there’s a difference, according to a growing body of research.

It’s no secret that people who are socially isolated tend to be at greater risk of health issues, from mood disorders like depression to stress-related chronic conditions like heart disease. But what is really responsible for these negative outcomes — the emotional toll of feeling alone or the physical and social lack of contact with others?

Now a new study suggests that being socially isolated may have a greater effect on risk of early death, especially among the elderly. The research, which was led by Andrew Steptoe, a professor of epidemiology and public health at University College London, followed 6,500 British people over 52 from 2004 until 2012. The most socially isolated in this group were 26% more likely to die during the study period than those with the most active social lives, even after controlling for factors that also affect mortality, like age and illness.

Continue reading Social Isolation, Not Just Feeling Lonely, May Shorten Lives

The Sex Drives of Men and Women

The Sex Drives of Men and Women


An exhaustive review of studies on sexuality published from the 1960s to 2000, asserted in every sex-drive-related metric, men demonstrated stronger urges than women, according to Discovery’s How Things Work.

Psychologists from a Case Western Reserve University review emphasized the male sex drive doesn’t just represent a moment of time. Rather it spans age groups, marital status and sexuality.

Roy Baumeister, a Florida State University social psychologist, wrote WebMD, found that men reported more spontaneous sexual arousal and had more frequent and varied sexual fantasies.

Masturbation is considered by sex researchers to be one of the purest measures of sex drive, because it isn’t constrained by external factors such pregnancy or disease, said

Discovery wrote that 94.6 percent of males 25 to 29 masturbate. For women it’s 84.6 percent. wrote that men initiate sex often and rarely refuse it. Women initiate it much more rarely and refuse it more often than men.

Women don’t always seem to know what turns them on, reported WebMD.

Continue reading The Sex Drives of Men and Women

Kids Who Exercise Are Less Likely to Have Fractures in Old Age

Kids Who Exercise Are Less Likely to Have Fractures in Old Age



It turns out that strengthening bone to avoid fractures starts at a very young age.

Physical activity, such as the exercise children get in school gym classes, is important for fighting obesity, but the latest research suggests it may help to keep bones strong as well.

For six years, researchers from Skane University Hospital in Malmo, Sweden followed 808 boys and girls between the ages of seven to nine years old who were asked to participate in 40 minutes of physical activity daily during school. The scientists recorded the children’s skeletal development, and documented any reports of fractures and compared these results to those of a similarly-aged control group that completed 60 minutes of physical activity over a week.

Continue reading Kids Who Exercise Are Less Likely to Have Fractures in Old Age

Pediatric Group Supports Same-Sex Marriage

Pediatric Group Supports Same-Sex Marriage



The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says it’s “in the best interests” of the children.

The influential group of pediatricians released a policy statement in support of same-sex parents’ right to wed as well as to foster or adopt children. The policy was guided by the organization’s belief in gay marriage “to promote optimal health and well-being of all children.”

We know enough about child development that we can say that children are nurtured when they have two loving, supportive, committed-to-each-other adults to take care of them,” says Dr. Ben Siegel, a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine and a co-author of the policy statement. ”Kids growing up with two same-sex parents are as normally developed as the rest of the population.”

Continue reading Pediatric Group Supports Same-Sex Marriage

Healing process after rape never ends

Healing process after rape never ends


By Jacque Wilson, CNN

When the judge’s gavel fell, the future had been decided for the two teenagers convicted of rape in Steubenville, Ohio.

Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’lik Richmond, 16, will spend at least a year in a juvenile correctional facility, although authorities could decide to keep them in custody until they turn 21. Both must undergo treatment and will have to register as sex offenders.

For the 16-year-old victim, the next steps aren’t so clear.

She was raped last summer at a party; witnesses posted images of the assault on social media. The case has garnered national attention and sparked a conversation about rape in America.

“My family and I are hopeful that we can put this horrible ordeal behind us,” the victim’s mother said Monday. “We need and deserve to focus on our daughter’s future.”

Every two minutes, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. Every survivor responds differently to rape, says Jennifer Marsh, vice president of victim services for RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual-violence organization. Emotions run the gamut from fear to anger to guilt.

“It’s such a violent and personal crime,” Marsh said. “It’s not somebody just breaking into your house. It’s somebody assaulting the most private part of you. Having that be public, especially as a minor, can be traumatic.”

Victims of sexual assault are three times more likely to suffer from depression and six times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, according to RAINN. Some try to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs. Many have trouble with intimacy and forming trusting relationships.

One of the most common issues survivors face is blaming themselves for the assault, Marsh says. A lot of that has to do with our culture: Marsh says she sees rape cases like the one in Steubenville every day that aren’t taken seriously.

“A lot of times, it gets chalked up to, ‘Oh, kids will drink, and things will happen,’ ” she said. “But … sexual assault is sexual assault. And it doesn’t matter if the victim was drinking or using substances. The fact is that something was done to her that she didn’t want to be done. And I think that’s the conversation we really need to talk about.”

The victim in the Steubenville case has endured hostility from the attackers’ supporters. Although mainstream media have kept her name private, it’s obvious she’s well-known in the small Ohio community.

Defense attorneys questioned the victim’s character on the stand, asking witnesses about her alcohol consumption that night and what she told them the next morning regarding the assault. They also attempted to bring the victim’s past into the trial, but the judge did not allow the line of questioning.

The character attacks weren’t over after the verdict was read. Shortly after the trial concluded, two teenage girls were accused of making threats against the victim on Twitter, according to Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla. One of the girls was charged Tuesday with one misdemeanor count of aggravated menacing for threatening the victim’s life.

This kind of personal persecution is a big fear for victims, says Becka Meier, a licensed professional counselor with the Women’s Center, a large nonprofit crisis center in Fort Worth, Texas. More than half of sexual assaults are not reported to the police; experts estimate that 97% of rapists don’t spend a day in jail.

“When we have a high-profile case that gets reported and we see the victim be re-victimized … it makes it all the more difficult for victims to come forward,” Meier said. “Survivors are faced with that difficult decision: Am I ready and willing to be in a courtroom and face this and talk through all the details again in such a public forum? It’s a lot to ask.”

Meier says a guilty verdict often offers survivors a sense of validation — that someone, at least, believes them. “Does it provide closure for a victim? I’ve never seen it provide closure,” she said. “It’s just a step in the healing process.”

That process never ends, Meier says. Photos of an attack that are posted online can make it even more difficult, acting as triggers to bring back painful memories each time they resurface.

“As hard as they try to delete or erase those images, five, 10, 15 years down the road, they’ll be notified that it’s popped up again and in some ways they feel like they’re reliving that assault,” Marsh agreed.

How a victim’s support network responds can have a big impact on the long-term recovery for that survivor.

“The first thing that loved ones should do is believe what the victim has said,” Marsh said. “Although we know it’s natural to try to figure out exactly how this happened, we encourage loved ones to avoid using ‘why’ questions, because victims often perceive that as blaming them for what happened.”

Family and friends should also recognize that each victim needs to recover at his or her own pace, she says. They should provide love and support without forcing them to do something that they’re not prepared to do yet.

Survivors can contact RAINN through their National Sexual Assault Hotline or go to Many local crisis centers offer individual/family counseling services and support groups.

Rape isn’t something survivors get over, Marsh says. But counseling and a solid support system will help them move on.

“Although they may never be able to forget that this happened, it doesn’t have to define who they are or the choices that they make.”

How is PMS Impacting Your Life and What Can You Do to Change it?

How is PMS Impacting Your Life and What Can You Do to Change it?


By Dr. Daemon Jones

Have you ever had cramps a few days before your period started? Or maybe you have mood swings you feel irritable or angry prior to your period.

These are different symptoms that we can have as a result of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). According to the Mayo Clinic it is estimated that 75 percent of women experience PMS symptoms about a week before their period begins.

These symptoms are variable and often resolve when menstruation begins. PMS is hard to define because there are so many different symptoms that can show up for women.

Every women’s PMS can be very personal and very different, generally falling into emotional or physical symptoms.

Emotional symptoms may be crying spells, depressed mood or mood swings, social withdrawal poor concentration, changes in appetite or food craving, tension, anxiety, irritability or anger.

Examples of physical symptoms include cramps, tender breasts, fatigue, fluid retention weight gain, joint, muscle or back pain, headaches, acne, constipation or diarrhea and abdominal bloating.

Do you know what contributes to your PMS symptoms? Factors that create the symptoms related to PMS are chemical changes or behavior habits.

Chemical changes can include hormone fluctuations and often change during pregnancy or menopause. Chemical changes in the brain could result from undiagnosed depression or changes in neurotransmitters in the brain.

Behaviors like poor stress management or poor eating habits can trigger PMS symptoms.

While you might not be able to influence the chemical changes you do have control over the behavioral habits that impact your PMS.

Wouldn’t you want to make an impact on your PMS symptoms just by changing your behavioral habits? You can, by being more aware of the foods you are eating and creating stress management

Dr. Daemon Jones is a Naturopathic Physician who treats patients all over the country using Skype and phone visits. She helps her patients cultivate health and feel great, using a combination of safe and effective naturopathic and conventional methods.

What Really Causes Violence in Psychosis?

What Really Causes Violence in Psychosis?


A new study investigates how anger associated with delusions — not simply being out of touch with reality — is critical in determining whether psychosis turns violent.

The research, published in JAMA Psychiatry, included 458 participants around age 31 who experienced a first episode of psychosis in East London, an inner-city neighborhood with a history of poverty and social stress, between 1996 and 2000. They were diagnosed with some sort of psychosis either through local mental-health services and hospitals or via the criminal-justice system.

Schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder — a condition that includes the delusions and social withdrawal of schizophrenia, along with a mood conditions like depression or bipolar disorder— together accounted for more than half of the participants’ diagnoses. However, 14% suffered from psychotic depression, a condition in which delusions develop as part of a severe depression, and 10% had bipolar disorder in which a manic episode included psychotic delusions. The rest were diagnosed with a variety of less common psychotic conditions.

Nearly two-thirds of the participants were not involved in any violence at all in the year before their first psychotic episode. But 26% had committed what the authors defined as minor violent acts, including assaults that did not lead to injuries or involve weapons. Another 12% were seriously violent, engaging in crimes like injurious assaults, use of lethal weapons or sexual attacks.

The researchers, led by Dr. Jeremy Coid, a professor of psychiatry at Queen Mary University in London, interviewed participants about the content of their delusions and their emotional experiences. Anger related to delusions was strongly linked with attempting to harm others. After adjusting for other factors, 31% of the minor violence could be attributed to anger connected with delusions. In the seriously violent patients, anger accounted for 56% of the incidents. Elation, anxiety and fear were not associated with violence.

Those who engaged in violence also tended to be younger and were more than twice as likely to have taken drugs in the past year, although alcohol use did not matter. The seriously violent were far more likely to be male, but there was no difference in risk by gender for minor violence.

None of the delusions were dangerous in and of themselves. But three types, all of which involved a sense of personal threat, were linked to serious violence if they provoked anger. One delusion centered on the idea that the person was being spied on or was under surveillance by some type of threatening authority, group or person.  Another focused on the misguided belief that people with hostile intent were targeting the victim. Finally, there was the fantasy of some sort of conspiracy against the delusional person.

Any anger generated from feeling threatened under these situations could make the patients lash out. “Anger due to delusions appeared to constitute the main drive to serious violence,” the study authors write. On the other hand, a more depressive response to the threats seemed to thwart violence so that a “depressive affect had a protective effect,” according to the research.

“If patients are not angry, the delusions themselves don’t cause a problem,” Coid told the New York Times. What causes delusions to result in angry responses in some people and not in others? Researchers aren’t sure, but they believe that a better understanding of this connection, as well as a greater appreciation for how this anger response is related to the delusions of psychosis, could lead to treatments that prevent violent behavior and its potentially tragic consequences.

What to do after an affair

What to do after an affair


By Ian Kerner, CNN Contributor

  • Infidelity is much more complicated than our culture admits, expert says
  • Couples can find their way to a deeper and more intimate bond after an affair
  • You can’t heal from infidelity overnight — take time to rebuild the relationship slowly

Editor’s note: Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, writes about sex and relationships for CNN Health. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed.

We’ve all heard the adage: “Once a cheater, always a cheater.” If your partner has been unfaithful, you’re likely getting all sorts of advice from well-meaning friends and family.

Much of that advice may involve ending your relationship. Yet it’s possible — and perhaps even beneficial — to stay in a marriage or long-term relationship when one partner cheats. That’s the idea of two new books from noted experts on the topic: a newly revised edition of the best-selling “After the Affair” by Janis Abrahms Spring and “The New Monogamy: Redefining Your Relationship After Infidelity” by Tammy Nelson.

But should you really forgive and move on after infidelity?

“Most of us are totally unprepared for what lies ahead in a relationship, and ignorant of what’s required to last the course,” Spring writes. “An affair shocks us into reality. Fortunately, it also invites us to try again.”

Adds Nelson, “Many couples instinctively know that infidelity is much more complicated than our culture sometimes admits.”

Couples can, and do, often find their way to an ultimately deeper, more intimate bond — but it can take time and effort.

“In the wake of infidelity, most betrayed partners feel surprised and caught off guard,” says marriage and family therapist James Walkup. “But even though the hurt person may have assumed they would not stay married to a straying spouse, they may realize they still love their partner and want to work on the relationship.”

Today, not all committed relationships follow the traditional definition of monogamy. For example, both partners may decide together what constitutes cheating going forward — whether that means flirting with a particular friend, visiting a strip club or even having sex outside the relationship.

“I have seen a growing number (of) straight and same-sex couples thrive on the infamous ‘monogamish’ agreement,” psychotherapist Jean Malpas says. “They realize that long-term relationships might need to include the reality of attractions to other people. They carefully define trust and craft guidelines for acceptable behavior based on their level of comfort with risk and fluidity.”

Such a “monogamish” approach tends to be more common among gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people, notes sex therapist Margie Nichols.

“The issue is commonly on the table for consideration or discussion when LGBTQ partners get together, and when a transgression is purely sexual (as opposed to emotional), it may be less likely to end the relationship,” she says.

That’s not to say that monogamish couples are safe from infidelity, however.

“Just because a couple is monogamish does not mean that they will be any more forgiving of a partner who breaks the rules and violates their trust,” says social psychologist Justin Lehmiller. “Deciding whether to work things out has less to do with the gender of the partners and more to do with whether it was a good quality relationship to begin with.”

Nelson adds, “Ideally, your relationship will continue to grow and change as each of you grows and changes, and it may change position on the (monogamy) continuum throughout the years.”

You can’t heal from infidelity overnight. Instead, take time to rebuild your relationship slowly. Rather than ignoring the affair, be willing to share your pain, listen to each other and provide comfort when one partner is remembering the betrayal — all can help lessen the pain while re-creating the original bond that joined the two of you together.

“Turning your back on a damaged relationship may be the simplest or most sensible solution, one that frees you from the tyranny of hope,” Spring writes. “But it also may be a way to escape growing up, facing bitter truths about life, love and yourself, and assuming the terrible responsibility for making your relationship work.”

Some couples undoubtedly view an infidelity as the end of their relationship — and in some cases, going your separate ways may be the best decision. But for partners who are willing to recommit themselves to each other, an affair can be a turning point.

“Sometimes my clients acknowledge that coping with infidelity was the worst and yet the best thing to happen to their relationship,” Walkup says. “The distance between them has been bridged, and a deeper level of sharing and intimacy can bring joy and hope in the long run.”