Research teases out specific benefits of exercise and cognitive training for middle and older age people

Research teases out specific benefits of exercise and cognitive training for middle and older age people

Distinct Brain and Behavioral Benefits from Cognitive vs. Physical Training: A Randomized Trial in Aging Adults” was posted on the Frontiers in Human Science blog on 7-18-16. This study builds on an emerging body of research about the cognitive benefits of exercise and cognitive training for older adults. The participants were “normally aging middle to older age adults.”  Previous studies have found significant benefits for each “treatment,” but this study was able to identify specific benefits.

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Some thin people have obesity-related diseases:  clues for obesity treatment

Some thin people have obesity-related diseases: clues for obesity treatment

Skinny and 119 Pounds, But with the Health Hallmarks of Obesity” was published by the New York Times on 7-21-16. This article reports on body of research about metabolic disorders suffered by obese people, and even if you very rare non-obese people. There is a 40-year history of research in this area, but researchers recently achieved a breakthrough by studying very rare people who are actually underweight, but have severe diseases caused by excess fat in some of their organs.

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The potential benefits of a mental health assessment for patients with excessive weight

The potential benefits of a mental health assessment for patients with excessive weight

US News and World Report published “Should You Undergo a Mental Health Evaluation for Obesity? – mounting evidence shows a link between the mind and body weight” on 7-14-16. This thorough article reviews several potential ways that mental health problems can create barriers to weight loss, including low energy, discouragement/pessimism, and cravings for high calorie foods. It is a good review of these concepts for health care providers and also could be provided to patients with excessive weight who might benefit from adjunctive mental health services.

New research finds obese kids have more, and earlier, health risks than previously realized

New research finds obese kids have more, and earlier, health risks than previously realized

The New York Times published “The Urgency in Fighting Childhood Obesity” on 7-5-16.  This is, as would be expected for the NYT, a thorough article which reviews current obesity statistics and two recent studies which found that obese children have a significantly increased risk of colon cancer and early stroke as adults.  The article goes on to discuss the current thinking about prevention strategies, with a focus on what parents of obese children can do, and really need to do, to help their children improve their health.

Critique of marital self help books, with “4 truths” that do help.

Critique of marital self help books, with “4 truths” that do help.

The Wall Street Journal published “Marital Disputes: A Survival Guide.  Quarreling with a spouse is inevitable, but a few truths can limit the fallout,” on 7-1-16.  The author discusses typical marital self-help books, finds them to generally be lacking, but also that there are some themes that come up over and over that may be helpful.  He distills the helpful information down to 4 “truths” – which do seem pragmatic and worth passing on to people struggling with relationship problems or wanting to improve their relationship skills.

Childhood obesity may be traced to weight of mother AND father- before birth.

Childhood obesity may be traced to weight of mother AND father- before birth.

The New York Times published “To Stem Obesity, Start Before Birth” on 7-11-16. This article follows up on “The Urgency in Fighting Childhood Obesity,” published on 7-5-16, and reports on recent studies that have found that children of obese mothers, and fathers, tend to more weight than children with non-obese parents at a certain stage of development.  The article goes on to review studies that find evidence for both genetic and psychosocial/behavior factors that contribute to this problem.  Finally – and the reason why mhconcierge thought you might be interested in this article- the author reports on implications for treatment options for children at risk for obesity, including helping parents to promote healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle in the home.

mhconcierge’s take: Fighting childhood obesity is increasingly relying on helping parents to make behavioral changes of their own, and to help them help their children make behavioral changes.  This information may be used by health care psychologists and other mental health professionals concerned about childhood obesity to both refine their treatment plans and to coordinate services with other health care professionals, particularly pediatricians.