Jan 6, 2011

UC Professor Previews Healthy Living Event in Big Apple

With the dawn of 2011, weight loss seems to be a recurring theme this time of year and has researchers at UC asking some of the same questions as others: Why is our ability to lose weight with diet or drugs so limited? And why has the development of new weight-loss therapies been so slow?

A large research effort at UC is focused on just these questions. UC professor and Director of the Cincinnati Diabetes and Research Center, Randy Seeley, PhD, says that part of the answer lies in how our brains process the various signals associated with the food to control when we put our forks down. On February 16th, he’s inviting New Yorkers to the Princeton Club of New York to join the discussion and learn more about how our bodies and brains communicate about food. Randy gives a sneak peak of the discussion:

NBC's hit reality show, “Biggest Loser,” relies on the element of competition to give dieters an edge in the battle with their bodies. Contestants are pitted against one another with a large cash prize as an added inducement to lose the most weight. However, dangling monetary incentives won’t change the basic relationship between the body’s inherent bias to defend an established weight. Cash may stiffen our will, but it can also promote unhealthy short cuts.

The difficulty of losing large amounts of weight can’t be overstated. The notion that weight control is strictly a matter of self-control and will power flies in the face of strong evidence that body weight regulation has a genetic component that can present an enormous handicap to even the most disciplined. Indeed, there are many examples of thinned and trimmed celebrities who having tapped some inner strength to achieve striking weight reduction, and then gradually relent to other internal pressures and regain what was miraculously lost. 

The benefits to lifestyle modification and maximized fitness—at any weight—cannot be stressed enough. However there are limits to the amount of weight we can lose with diet and exercise alone. Few good options exist that assist with what can be accomplished with lifestyle changes. The reality is that while some benefits can be obtained from medications, on average, individuals lose only 5 to 10 lbs when compared to people receiving an inactive placebo.

Bring your insights and appetite to the Princeton Club at 6:30 PM on February 16th. For more details and to register for this event, contact Molly O’Connor – lindsay.deeter@uc.edu or 513-556-0435.

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