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What's The Skinny On Being Overweight?

According to a Kaiser Permanente study, less stress and more sleep help you lose weight. People who got more than 6 hours of sleep but less than 8 and who had the lowest stress levels had the most success losing weight. Over a 26-week period 472 obese adults were counseled about lifestyle changes. They were also questioned about sleep time, depression, insomnia, screen time and stress. It seems people who are not impeded by sleep deprivation, stress or depression are likelier to lose weight. Darn! Getting the right amount of sleep and stress reduction is depressing itself!

However, if you want to improve your memory, a study published in the journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases suggests losing weight. Researchers analyzed memory tests taken by 150 obese people - average weight 300 pounds. Of that group 109 had bariatric surgery - primarily gastric bypass surgery. After 12 weeks all the participants took the memory tests again. The surgery patients - who had lost an average of 50 pounds - showed improvement in multiple cognitive abilities, including memory. Those who didn't have surgery showed a mild decline in memory. It seems improving memory by losing weight is a "weight off your mind".

Because the Coast Guard wanted to get a weight off its mind, it is reducing the number of people allowed on ferries, sightseeing boats and other small passenger vessels operating in U.S. waters because Americans have gained weight. Since the early 1960's the average weight used to calculate maximum occupancy was 160 pounds. As of December 1, 2011 it will be 185 pounds. A vessel rated for 16,000 pounds had been able to carry 100 passengers. Under the new rule it can carry 86. The concern is vessel stability. Small, commercial boats could capsize if too many heavy passengers moved to one side. Obviously, heavy passengers aren't in "shipshape".

If liposuction is your plan for getting in shipshape, you may want to reconsider. In 2011 liposuction is the most popular plastic surgery with more than 450,000 operations yearly. However, a study published in Obesity showed the fat comes back. Non-obese women were randomly chosen to have liposuction on their thighs and lower abdomen. Within 1 year the 1 pound of fat that had been removed came back in new places - usually the upper abdomen, shoulders and triceps. Every time fat cells die, new ones form. Mother Nature has put fat in fate.

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