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Lower sodium and increased potassium – a double benefit

Written by Community Bariatric Services on 7/15/2014 8:00:00 AM

According to the CDC, 90% of Americans consume excess sodium and inadequate potassium (CDC, MMMR, 2011). Have you seen this claim on foods you buy? "Diets containing foods that are good sources of potassium and low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke." Did you know that foods that bear this claim have to list potassium content on the food label? Good sources of potassium are bananas, no- fat yogurt, dried apricots, spinach, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and no-salt-added/low sodium canned beans (but not green beans). Look for this food claim on the box next time you're at the grocery store. 

If you are already battling diabetes and/or hypertension, most likely you have a higher daily sodium intake than normal. An increase in daily sodium and decrease in potassium significantly impacts blood pressure. The hidden sodium in processed foods is a big culprit. A 2012 International Food Information Council survey of Americans found 6 out of 10 adults do or would reduce sodium in their diet, but most do it by shaking the salt shaker less frequently. For more information, read about the DASH eating plan, which is focused on a lower sodium diet. For more about DASH and nutrition information, visit (JAND, 2014).

Tags: potassium , sodium | Posted in: Bariatric Medical News

How to stretch your food dollar

Written by Community Bariatric Services on 7/10/2014 8:00:00 AM

The USDA has some helpful resources for eating healthy on a budget. Various news sources report that the costs are too high to eat healthy choice foods. Dietitians disagree. At, "Healthy Eating on a Budget" gives consumers interactive tips on how to plan, purchase and prepare foods on a budget. Pay close attention to SNAP – the supplemental nutrition assistance program. In December 2013, the USDA reported that SNAP participants demonstrated that they are now eating healthier food choices than before starting the program.

Make smart choices at the grocery store

According to nutrition specialists, it's not enough to be given a plan. You have to learn and educate yourself about healthy food choices.

  • The first tip is to "create a grocery game plan," not just a list. Think about what you have on hand in your pantry or refrigerator, or foods at the back of your freezer that should be used. Then think about the meals for the upcoming days. The website has downloadable worksheets that help you organize your list for the grocery store.
  • The next tip is to read the labels to make smarter choices. Select foods that are less in saturated fat, added sugar and sodium.
  • Then take a look at the 10 Tips Nutrition Education Series that help your stretch your food dollar. These printable sheets include low-cost food options divided by food group. Hang them on your fridge or download the $.99 app.
  • According to USDA nutritionists, the biggest myth is that only fresh fruits and vegetables count in the fruits and veggie group. Fruits can be canned, frozen, dried, 100% juice or fresh. The same is true for vegetables or 100% vegetable juice. Vegetables, however, are subdivided into dark green, starchy vegetables, red/orange vegetables, peas and beans.

Source: Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, June 2014

Excess food consumption linked to addictive behavior

Written by Community Bariatric Services on 6/17/2014 3:24:00 PM

Recent evidence suggests a link between excess food consumption and addictive behaviors. Behavioral markers of addiction, such as continued use despite negative consequences and unsuccessful attempts to cut down, are evident in problematic eating patterns. Additionally, neurobiological research has identified similarities in the way the brain responds to drugs and highly palatable foods. Finally, animal models have identified marked similarities between sugar consumption and drug addiction. These findings have led to the hypothesis that certain foods may be capable of triggering an addictive process in susceptible individuals. 

An important first step in exploring this hypothesis further is the ability to reliably and validly identify people who may be exhibiting signs of addiction toward certain foods. The Rudd Center was involved in creating and publishing the Yale Food Addiction Scale (Gearhardt, Corbin, & Brownell, 2009). The scale is currently being used in projects around the country and the world. 

Did you know?

  • 25 percent of the obese are diagnosed with a food addiction.
  • 11 percent of normal weight young adults are diagnosed with a food addiction.

If certain foods are addictive, practices such as advertising unhealthy foods to children and the quality of the school lunch programs may come under even greater scrutiny. Further, "food addiction" may speak to the difficulty that some people experience when they try to reduce their consumption of unhealthy foods. Before action can be taken, it will be necessary to continue to scientifically explore the concept of "food addiction."

Co-worker relationships predict BMI

Written by Community Bariatric Services on 6/10/2014 7:30:00 AM

The relationship between co-workers is predictive of one's body mass index (BMI). 

A study looked at the influence of the workplace social network on an individual worker's health behavior. “Social influence in the workplace profoundly affects many aspects of our lives, including our health,” says Nicholas Christakis, MD, Harvard University, and the study's co-author. 

“We have found that social influence is one of the powerful factors, if not the most powerful measurable factor, affecting such health behaviors as weight gain, weight loss, smoking cessation, exercise, mood and even altruism. This study contributes importantly to our understanding of the power of social networks at work, and it does so by tracing the email communications among people.” 

(Published in the journal PLOS ONE, N Christakis et al. 2014)

Tags: BMI | Posted in: Bariatric Medical News

World's biggest exercise class

Written by Community Bariatric Services on 6/5/2014 8:00:00 AM

30-Day Ab Challenge on Facebook

Facebook unites and supports. A woman from Montana, a mom with eight children, wanted a little friendly support in her quest to flatten her tummy. To date, Robyn Mendenhall Gardner has motivated 2.6 million others to become her Facebook guests and maybe even join her on a 30-day Ab Challenge—making this the world's biggest exercise class. 

She posted YouTube videos showing different ab exercises on different days and in return got positive, motivational comments from her closest friends and now millions of others. Within a week, nearly one million people were on board with the program. Now the "likes" are up to 2.6 million and still climbing.

Join the challenge!

“I can't come to everyone's home or place of work and make you do these so we all are going to have to work together to try and complete this entire challenge,” Gardner writes in somewhat of an understatement on her Facebook page. continue reading ...

Tags: exercise | Posted in: Bariatric Medical News

STAMPEDE trial confirms bariatric surgery benefits diabetics

Written by Community Bariatric Services on 5/27/2014 2:30:00 PM

The STAMPEDE clinical trial confirms long-term benefits of bariatric surgery to control diabetes according to an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine (May 22, 2014).

150 patients with type 2 diabetes all having intensive medication therapy were followed for three years. Those who had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery or sleeve gastrectomy improved significantly; 38% who had gastric bypass and 24% who had gastric sleeve surgery improved glycemic control. In contrast, only 5% of the non-surgery patient group improved. 

Some of the bariatric patients completely reversed their disease and many were able to lower their bad cholesterol and improve their high blood pressure. None of the bariatric surgery patients experienced any major later surgical complications.

Full story >>

Accredited bariatric centers show better outcomes, lower mortality

Written by Community Bariatric Services on 5/13/2014 7:30:00 AM

Community has two MBSAQIP accredited bariatric surgery centersBariatric surgery is significantly safer at accredited bariatric medicine centers, according to a recent study presented at the 30th Annual Meeting for the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). Using a nationwide database, University of California (UC) Irvine School of Medicine researchers reviewed the outcomes from more than 275,000 bariatric surgeries performed between 2008 and 2011. The patients having surgery at an accredited center had an in-hospital mortality of 0.08 percent, while those who had surgery at a non- accredited center had a mortality rate of 0.19 percent, a rate nearly three times higher.

Conversely, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) dropped its accreditation requirement that Medicare patients go to accredited bariatric surgery center. These bariatric patients are often considered high-risk because they have several obesity related-health conditions. The UC study found high risk patients had significantly fewer complications and deaths due to bariatric surgery when the surgery was done at an accredited bariatric center. These patients also did better with other laparoscopic operations (anti-reflux and gallbladder surgery) sometimes done at the same time as the bariatric surgery.

Other studies about accreditation support improved outcomes, including a recent report in the journal Surgical Endoscopy. This study found non-accredited bariatric centers had an in-hospital mortality rate also about three times higher than accredited centers.

MasterChef TV personality loses 150 pounds after gastric sleeve surgery

Written by Community Bariatric Services on 5/8/2014 8:00:00 AM

Chef Graham Elliot's big weight loss after gastric sleeve bariatric surgeryGraham Elliot, “MasterChef” season 5 judge on the FOX network, had gastric sleeve bariatric surgery last July and is now 150 pounds lighter. The Chicago restaurateur and TV personality says he is healthier and happier. When Elliot’s weight was as much as 405 pounds, simple tasks like tying his shoes and playing with his three kids became difficult. 

In March, he told MSNBC, “When you get to 400 pounds and you have a family to look after, you realize that’s all ego. You can try to do it on your own, [but] if you don’t get the results, you’ve got to do whatever you’ve got to do.”

In May, Elliot will speak at a University of Chicago event and enjoy a meal cooked by his surgical team.

Last fall, Elliot told Today Show hosts that getting healthy for his family was the trigger. At this point, Elliot had lost 130 pounds. In the interview he says he completely changed his eating and exercise habits. TV interview clip >> 

continue reading ...

Sustaining weight loss over 10 years

Written by Community Bariatric Services on 5/6/2014 4:30:00 PM

Following a few key steps helped nearly 3,000 weight loss patients maintain at least a 30-pound weight loss for one year and then 87% kept the weight off for 10 years. A Miriam Hospital study published in the January 2014 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found physical activity, self-weighing, low-fat diets and avoiding overeating were the successful health behaviors. These patients were enrolled in the National Weight Control Registry. Researchers found that the longer the men and women kept the weight off, the better the long-term outcomes if a few key health behaviors are adapted.

Source: releases/2014/01/140106115351.htm

Bariatric surgery and low blood sugars

Written by Community Bariatric Services on 4/24/2014 9:00:00 AM

The bariatric surgeons at Community Bariatric Services offer weight loss seminars each month as well as several support group and dietary and exercise classes, and no question is too small or insignificant.

Q. Is hypoglycemia possible after bariatric surgery? Patients in the bariatric program may have hypoglycemia (experience low blood sugars) as a health related condition to one’s weight before they even start treatment. Many are also pre-diabetic or may have type 2 diabetes. It’s true that hypoglycemia may develop after all types of bariatric surgery as your body is adjusting to a new diet and weight loss changes, but this is relatively rare. Hypoglycemia is sometimes associated with patients who had gastric bypass due to dumping syndrome. In most cases, hypoglycemia can be controlled with diet, but should be monitored.

In a U.S. study of 1,000 bariatric patients, only 7% developed hypoglycemia (according to a 2012 endocrinology study reported at the AACE annual meeting). A majority of these conditions were controlled with diet. It has also been shown that bariatric surgery helps resolve type 2 diabetes so that patients are not dependent on medications and can control their condition with diet and exercise.

Remember, the bariatric procedure is a tool to control hunger, but there is a lot of learning along the way. Our dietitians are here to help you balance your diet to prevent low blood sugar events and coordinate your meal planning around diabetic conditions. If you feel like you are experiencing low blood sugar event, contact the Community Bariatric Services staff.

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