Mild dehydration affects mood in healthy young women

Lawrence E. Armstrong, a specialist in nutrition at the University of Connecticut, led a group of experts who wanted to see the relationship between mild dehydration and how it affects the mood of young women. Therefore, mild dehydration was produced by intermittent moderate exercise without hyperthermia and its effects on cognitive function of women were investigated. Twenty-five females of 23 years of age participated in 8-hour, placebo-controlled experiments involving a different hydration state each day. Cognitive performance, mood, and symptoms of dehydration were assessed during each experiment. Significant adverse effects of dehydration were present in terms of mood disturbance, task difficulty, lack of concentration, and headaches. Most aspects of cognitive performance were not affected by dehydration.

Fuente: Mild dehydration affects mood in healthy young women. Lawrence E. Armstrong, Matthew S. Ganio, Douglas J. Casa, Elaine C. Lee, Brendon P. McDermott, Jennifer F. Klau, Liliana Jimenez, Laurent Le Bellego, Emmanuel Chevillotte, Harris R. Lieberman J Nutr. 2

Project GUIA: A Model for Understanding and Promoting Physical Activity in Brazil and Latin America

A team headed by Michael Pratt set out the Guide for Useful Interventions in Physical Activity (GUIA) in Brazil and Latin America as a response to the growing number of patients with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD’s) and the inherent rise in the costs for public health systems. The experts examined how the GUIA structure was created, its role in stimulating and supporting research in public health and proposals about how the model could be applied in other scenarios. This research suggests that with modest investments it is possible to create solid relationships between academic and governmental institutions in the United States and Latin America, and it is these alliances which will help advance research and practices relating to the prevention of NCD’s, in addition to deciding whether it is possible to extend this model to other middle and low-income countries and regions which are going through similar epidemiological, demographic and lifestyle transitions.

Fuente: Project GUIA: A model for understanding and promoti ng physical activity in Brazil and Latin America. Pratt M, Brownson RC, Ramos LR, Malta DC, Hallal PC , Reis RS, Parra DC, Simões EJ. J Phys Act Health. 2010 Jul;7 Suppl 2:S131-4. No ab stract available.

International Olympic Committee consensus statement on the health and fitness of young people through physical activity and sport

A group of experts headed by Dr. Margo Mountjoy from the Health and Performance Center analyze the implications of recommendation #51 from the International Olympic Committee: “Everyone involved in the Olympic Movement must become more aware of the fundamental importance of Physical Activity and sport for a healthy lifestyle, not least in the growing battle against obesity, and must reach out to parents and schools as part of a strategy to counter the rising inactivity of young people” The researchers concluded that in order to comply with this recommendation, a coordinated global effort which includes young people in the planning, implementation and evaluation processes of physical activity policies is needed.

Fuente: International Olympic Committee consensus statement on the health and fitness of young people through physical activity and sport: Margo Mountjoy, Lars Bo Andersen, Neil Armstrong, Stuart Biddle, 
Colin Boreham, Hans-Peter Brandl Bedenbeck, Ulf Ekelund,

Challenges of linking chronic dehydration and fluid consumption to health outcomes

In this article, researcher Lawrence Armstrong reviews the effects of chronic mild dehydration and fluid consumption on specific health outcomes including obesity. The electronic databases PubMed and Google Scholar were searched for relevant literature published from the time of their inception to 2011, with results restricted to studies performed on human subjects and reports in the English language. According to his research, evidence suggests that increased water intake may reduce caloric intake for some individuals. Recommendations for future investigations include measuring total fluid intake (water + beverages + water in solid food), conducting randomized-controlled experiments, identifying novel hydration biomarkers, and delineating hydration categories.

Fuente: Armstrong, L. E. (2012), Challenges of linking chronic dehydration and fluid consumption to health outcomes. Nutrition Reviews, 70: S121–S127. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2012.00539.x

The implications of megatrends in information and communication technology and transportation for changes in global physical activity

In this study, researchers headed by Michael Pratt analyzed the implications of the fact that physical inactivity accounts for more than 3 million deaths per year, most from non-communicable diseases in low-income and middle-income countries. They used reviews of physical activity interventions and a simulation model to examine how megatrends in information and communication technology and transportation directly and indirectly affect levels of physical activity across countries of low, middle, and high income. The model suggested that the direct and potentiating effects of information and communication technology, especially mobile phones, are nearly equal in magnitude to the mean effects of planned physical activity interventions. The greatest potential to increase population physical activity might thus be in creation of synergistic policies in sectors outside health including communication and transportation.

Fuente: Dr Michael Pratt MD,Olga L Sarmiento MD,Felipe Montes MSc,David Ogilvie FFPH,Prof Bess H Marcus PhD,Lilian G Perez MPH,Prof Ross C Brownson PhD,for the Lancet Physical Activity Series Working Group The Lancet - 21 July 2012 ( Vol. 380, Issue 9838, Pages

The New World of Global Health

Until very recently, there was a sort of confusion regarding the term global health which was almost always associated with epidemics new and old. Not unlike the logic of a sci-fi movie, global health seemed to be a catastrophic period caused by strange viruses with no apparent cure before life returned to normal. However, if we focus on the real world, we will see that cardiovascular illnesses, strokes, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases have become the major causes of death in almost every country on Earth. So when we talk about global health today, we are talking about illnesses which are known to be non-transmissible, and we need to design policies which will help to not only stop them, but also prevent them.

Fuente: Michael Pratt and Marie-Claude Lamarre El nuevo mundo de la salud mundial Global Health Promotion December 2013 20: 139-142, doi:10.1177/1757975913515150

May the Power be with Us …

“May the Force be with you” was a famous Star Wars phrase used to wish luck or express good will. It bestowed the power of the Force upon the addressee, especially before a battle. Used originally by Jedi Knights and repeated for many years by millions of their teenage fans, the phrase can nowadays be repeated by older Star Wars enthusiasts and their peers with a new meaning: to convey good luck and hope for the fight against aging. And there is a rational fear regarding the inevitable process of aging. An increasing body of scientific research regarding functional capacity concerns older people and the declining level of functional status with advancing age. Physical disability due to aging, prevalent diseases and an inactive lifestyle can lead to a loss of ability in performing the basic activities of daily living, and consequently, to the loss of independence in daily life. The study highlights the importance of knowing the factors which determine the functional performance of older patients and building preventive and rehabilitation programs designed to improve those dimensions that have the greatest impact on functional health.

Fuente: Kostka T, Kostka J (2013) May the Power Be With Us. Aging Sci 1:e102. doi: 10.4172/2329-8847.1000e102

Effects of a Targeted Multimodal Exercise Program Incorporating High-Speed Power Training on Fall and Fracture Risk Factors in Older Adults: A Community-Based Randomized Controlled Trial

Clinically speaking, multimodal exercise programs incorporating traditional progressive resistance training (PRT), weight-bearing impact training and/or balance training are recommended to reduce risk factors for falls and fractures among older adults. However, muscle power, or the ability to produce force rapidly, has emerged as a more crucial variable to functional decline than muscle strength or mass. The aim of this 12-month community-based randomized controlled trial, which was applied to a group of men and women aged 60 or over who suffer from osteoporosis, arthritis and similar complications, was to evaluate their response to set exercises and see which resulted in the best outcome without requiring excessive physical efforts for their age.

Fuente: Effects of a targeted multimodal exercise program incorporating high-speed power training on falls and fracture risk factors in older adults: a community-based randomized controlled trial. Gianoudis J, Bailey CA, Ebeling PR, Nowson CA, Sanders KM, Hill K,

The Ecology of Eating

The study focuses on the eating habits of people in France, especially when eating out: restaurants, food stalls and the food which is sold in, for example, supermarkets, cinemas or theaters. They realized that they don’t always deprive themselves of a number of products which are considered to be high in calories, such as desserts or pastries made with sugar. They also realized that individually packaged portions sold in France are smaller than those sold in the United State, which would help to explain why people in France tend to be slimmer. They also eat more slowly, in addition to a range of factors which are culturally or regionally specific. The results of this study show that, in terms of eating, more attention should be place on socio-ecological or socio-environmental factors.

Fuente: Paul Rozin, Kimberly Kabnick, Erin Pete, Claude Fischler, and Christy Shields The Ecology of Eating: Smaller Portion Sizes in France Than in the United States Help Explain the French Paradox

We are what we eat: The Hedonism

Throughout our evolution, human beings have developed, due to a range of different circumstances, the complex process of individual rewards which creates a dose of dopamine which leads to a general sensation of well-being relating to states of pleasure. The point is always the same: “Do I continue eating or do I answer the phone? What should I do? Do I give in to immediate pleasure or do what needs to be done?” Most of the time we are doing something, such as working, and we feel an unexpected urge for something nice: a coffee, a piece of candy or a slice of cake. However, we are aware that we don’t need it, i.e., if we don’t eat it, we are not going to die. How can we resist these urges and cravings which most of the time we feel we deserve? We need to remember that as we pop these little treats into our mouths, our perspective on what healthy eating is becomes lost. How do we find a balance? This text contains a number of simple answers.
Fuente: Mónica Katz. Somos lo que comemos. Ed. Aguilar 2013