Archive for October, 2010

Diet Alone without Exercise Can Reduce risk of Diabetes

October 26, 2010

The title indeed is intriguing but it’s TRUE. 

For the first time, a study has looked at controlling food and specifying the kind of food without restricting it and without any exercise resulted in health benefit.  We always recommend the combination of proper healthy diet and exercise to achieve benefit but this new study published in Diabetes Care showed us otherwise.


Objective – To test the effects of two Mediterranean-diet interventions versus a low-fat diet on incidence of diabetes.

Research Design and Methods – Three-arm randomized trial in 418 nondiabetic subjects aged 55-80 years recruited in one center (PREDIMED-Reus, North-Eastern Spain) of the PREDIMED study, a large nutrition-intervention trial for primary cardiovascular prevention in persons at high cardiovascular risk. Participants were randomized to education on a low-fat diet (control group) or one of two Mediterranean diets, supplemented with either free virgin olive oil (1 liter/week) or nuts (30 g/day). Diets were ad libitum and no advice on physical activity was given.

The main outcome was diabetes incidence diagnosed by the 2009 American Diabetes Association criteria. Results – After a median follow-up of 4.0 years, diabetes incidence was 10.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 5.1-15.1), 11.0% (5.9-16.1), and 17.9% (11.4-24.4) in the Mediterranean-diet with olive oil group, the Mediterranean-diet with nuts group, and the control group, respectively. Multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios of diabetes were 0.49 (0.25-0.97) and 0.48 (0.24-0.96) in the Mediterranean-diet groups supplemented with olive oil and nuts, respectively, compared to the control group. When pooling the two Mediterranean-diet groups compared to the control group, diabetes incidence was reduced by 52% (27-86). In all study arms, increased adherence to the Mediterranean-diet was inversely associated with diabetes incidence. Diabetes risk reduction occurred in the absence of significant changes in body weight or physical activity.

Conclusion – Mediterranean diets without calorie restriction appear to be effective in the prevention of diabetes in subjects at high cardiovascular risk.


The traditional Mediterranean diet, which was recommended in the present study,included the following components:

  • Use of olive oil for cooking and dressing.
  • Increased consumption of fruit, vegetables, legumes, and fish.
  • Reduction in total meat consumption, white meat instead of red meat.
  • Use of homemade sauce with tomato, garlic, onion, and spices with olive oil to dress vegetables, pasta, rice, and other dishes.
  • No No to butter, cream, fast-food, sweets, pastries, and sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • In alcohol drinkers, moderate consumption of red wine.

This diet is not difficult to follow.  In fact, the study showed no restriction resulting in no weight loss.  Remember, this is to see if this diet can indeed help lower the diabetes risk and not specifically to reduce weight.  Calorie intake continues to be a factor in affecting ones weight. 

In short, if one aims for both risk reduction and weight loss, then simply restricting calories using this diet plus exercise should achieve optimal benefit!

This diet resulted in a 52% reduction in the risk of developing diabetes. This reduction is understandable considering that the diet is rich in monounsaturated fats as well as anitoxidants known to combat the risk factors of chronic ailments including heart disease…suggesting that long term, this diet should also help reduce risk for heart disease.

But…dont aim for less…aim for more…

Please do continue to aim to be more physically active and achieve OPTIMAL benefit for Your HEALTH!

TV Time and the Kids

October 12, 2010

I have practiced limiting my kids TV times to only during the weekends.  This rule includes palying PSP or nintendo.  They only open the computer for assignments but never for games. So they resort to board games like scrabble, chess, Game of the generals and Mastermind Game.  My eldest also writes his own  ” book” about Clyde and Clod and he is now on his third series on these two characters.  This aside from finishing 3 ” do it your own” Diary of the Wimpy Kid book.  The two girls obviously followed.  Kids therefore can have other fun stuff to do and use their brains to think instead of a one sided affair with TV’s.  On occasions I allow them to play the Wii provided they sweat.  I dont bring them to my daily run this past few days because of the dengue scare especially I run aroung 5:30PM.   My wife also bought them Hullahoop where the kids except the youngest can now do the Hullahoop thing up to 400 counts…imagine the sweat!

My rule had basis after all….now comes a study published in Pediatrics  linking TV time to Psych problems and peer relationship problems.


Objective: We hypothesized that greater screen use would be associated with greater psychological difficulties and that children with high levels of screen entertainment use and low levels of physical activity would have the most-negative psychological profiles.

Methods: Participants were 1013 children (age, mean ± SD: 10.95 ± 0.41 years), who self-reported average daily television hours and computer use and completed the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Sedentary time (minutes per day with <100 cpm) and moderate/vigorous physical activity (MVPA) (minutes with 2000 cpm) were measured by using accelerometers. Multivariate regression models examined the association between television viewing, computer use, sedentary time, and Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire scores, with adjustment for MVPA, age, gender, level of deprivation, and pubertal status.

Results: Greater television and computer use were related to higher psychological difficulty scores after adjustment for MVPA, sedentary time, and confounders. However, sedentary time was inversely related to psychological difficulties after adjustment. Children who spent >2 hours per day watching television or using a computer were at increased risk of high levels of psychological difficulties (television, odds ratio [OR]: 1.61 [95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.20–2.15]; computer, OR: 1.59 [95% CI: 1.32–1.91]), and this risk increased if the children also failed to meet physical activity guidelines (television, OR: 1.70 [95% CI: 1.09–2.61]; computer, OR: 1.81 [95% CI: 1.02–3.20]).


 Both television viewing and computer use are important independent targets for intervention for optimal well-being for children, irrespective of levels of MVPA or overall sedentary time.


In short, allowing your kids to watch TV for more than two hours a day will result in them a 61%  risk  of having an increased  hyperactivity and emotional problems… PLUS difficulty in concentration and conduct problems which can be an issue with poor grades in school and peer problems with friends and classmates.

Now I see my kids grades getting better without the TV and more attention span.  I dont have to pressure them to read or study!   Plus the bonding time with them is better and great interaction with board games and fun!

Guys.. Discpline really works.  Just adhere to what you think is best for the kids…and once the rule becomes a habit…everything flows  smoothly!