New Obesity Panacea Feature: Participants Needed

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Every so often here on Obesity Panacea I have posted details about studies looking for participants (thanks to everyone who has decided to participate!).

I’ve recently had requests from a few colleagues asking if I would be willing to post details about their studies, and I’ve decided to make it a semi-regular feature on the blog. Once each month, I will put up a post with short descriptions of studies requiring human subjects.

I have two basic requirements. To be included, a study must:

  1. Have received institutional ethics approval.
  2. Be related in some way to physical activity, sedentary behaviour, diet, or obesity.

If I feel a study is inappropriate for some reason, then I won’t post it. But otherwise I’m happy to promote studies in any geographic location, and on any specific population. Research can’t happen without participants, and I’m happy to help people find out about studies that might be of interest to them.

Today we have two studies, both looking for participants in the Ottawa region. Although I am ineligible for Study 1 (sadly, I am neither female nor perimenopausal), I just finished participating in Study 2 and it was a pretty interesting study.  If you are interested in learning more about either study, please contact the researchers directly.  And if you would like to have your own study featured here on Obesity Panacea, email me the study details at saunders (dot) travis (at) gmail (dot) com.

Study 1: Menopause and Body Composition

Joseph StudyLocation: Ottawa

Participant Population: Females aged 40-60 years

Study Outcomes: The effects of exercise on body composition changes at different menopausal statuses

Contact: Joseph Abdulnour at 613-562-5800 ext. 7361 or by email at

Study 2: Body Morphology and Sweating Response

Matt poster

Location: Ottawa

Participant Population: Males aged 18-40 years

Study Outcomes: The impact of body morphology (e.g. size) on sweating response to exercise

Contact: Matthew Cramer at 613-562-5800 x2655 or by email et

Travis’ Note: I just finished participating in this study myself, and it mainly involved watching movies while cycling at a light-moderate intensity.  And you get a VO2max test, so not a bad deal if you’d like to quantify your fitness.



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Doctors sound alarm on child fitness and health | Society | The …

They risk being the couch potatoes of the future – the children who prefer playing computer games, watching TV or just lounging around to visiting their nearest skatepark or taking inspiration from Andy Murray and picking up a tennis racket.

They are not the majority, but they may be – and soon.

New research published on Thursday shows that almost half of all the country’s seven-year-olds lead such sedentary lives that they do not even take the one hour of exercise a day which the UK’s chief medical officers recommend as the bare minimum to boost their health and stop them becoming overweight or developing heart problems. While 50.8% of children of that age do have one hour of exercise, the other 49.2% do not meet the official recommendation.

The findings, published in the medical journal BMJ Open, have prompted renewed concerns about children’s lifestyles and soaring childhood obesity, and whether the key pledge of last year’s London Olympics – to “inspire a generation” to take part in sport – will ever be realised. It is already known from the government’s National Child Measurement Programme in England that by the final year of primary school 33.9% of pupils are either overweight (14.7%) or obese (19.2%).

The four home nations’ medical advisers believe all children and young people should do at least an hour’s moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. But results from using accelerometers to measure the activity levels of 6,497 seven-year-olds over the course of a week show that in 2008-09, when the research was undertaken, exactly half (50%) of the pupils were sedentary for at least 6.4 hours a day.

Girls were particularly inactive: just 38% did the recommended hour of exercise, compared with 63% of boys. Children of Indian origin were the least active of seven ethnic groups, while just 43% of seven-year-olds in Northern Ireland managed the hour, compared with 52.5% in Scotland, the most active home nation.

Interestingly, children whose mothers had never worked or who were long-term unemployed were the most likely to do at least an hour’s physical activity and were the least sedentary, while children from two-parent families were less active than those being brought up by just their mother.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, which represents the UK’s 11,000 specialist children’s doctors, said it was worried about the trend towards so many children entertaining themselves indoors in front of devices rather than outdoors as previous generations did.

Prof Mitch Blair, the college’s officer for health promotion, said: “It concerns me that half of all UK seven-year-olds are sedentary for six to seven hours every day and are failing to undertake the recommended daily minimum level of physical activity; at an age at which children should be moving around a lot more and enjoying active play instead of being glued to screens.”

He called for limits on the number of fast-food premises allowed to open near schools, a complete ban on the advertising of junk food before the 9pm television watershed to reduce children’s exposure to itand for all children to be taught how to cook nutritious meals at an early age, not just moves to boost exercise among young people. “We know obesity isn’t going to go away overnight, but there are vital steps we need to be taking now to instil positive attitudes and behaviours so future generations lead healthier lifestyles, and as a result, lower the risk of developing serious obesity-related health conditions,” Blair added.

Some schools have sought to encourage students to take part in activities that increase their heart rate by building climbing walls and offering more modern pursuits such as dance alongside traditional team games, which research shows turns some pupils off, especially girls. Thembi Nkala, a senior cardiac nurse with the British Heart Foundation, said: “This study shows us that far too many children are not nearly as active as they should be. If we want the next generation to grow up fit and healthy, we all need to do more to encourage children to be more active by providing a variety of fun and enjoyable activities that appeal to all groups.”

The education secretary, Michael Gove, sparked huge controversy in 2010 by axing the £162m-a-year dedicated school sport grant, introduced by Labour, which schools had used to expand the range, quality and regularity of active pursuits they offered. As a result, much of the England-wide network of school sport partnerships disappeared and most of the school sports co-ordinators who had overseen a rise in participation lost their jobs. Sports stars joined furious headteachers, parents and pupils in protest, forcing Gove into a partial U-turn.

The Department of Health said the government was building on the Olympic and Paralympic legacy by investing £1bn in community sport. “We have committed to giving primary schools £300m of ring-fenced funding to improve PE and sport, and help all pupils to develop healthy, active lifestyles, and have invested a further £3m to extend Change4Life School Sports Clubs to areas with the highest childhood obesity,” said a health department spokesman.

Answer to obesity problem: Prancercise [VIDEO] | The Daily Caller

Joanna Rohrback has the answer to solving America’s obesity epidemic — and it involves prancing around like a pony.

Her fitness routine, titled “Prancercise,” is a self-described “fitness revolution” that entails a dance/prance movement with ankle weights to make it a bit more rigorous. And it is taking the internet by storm.

The Prancercise website crashed Wednesday due to traffic overload.

If the idea seems looney to you, you’re not alone. But Rohrback says she doesn’t care.

People describe her as “spooky and goofy and weird and wacky,” she told The Daily Beast. “I say bring it on. I love it. Look at all the attention it’s getting me. If I wasn’t all those things, I wouldn’t be who I am.”

The practice of prancercising pre-dates the popular Zumba dance exercise classes. Rohrback developed it in 1989 when she was a social worker.

“I must have heard a really good song I liked on the radio,” Rohrback said to the Daily Beast. “I started moving in a rhythmic way, using ankle weights. And it just evolved.”

She made a video at the time, but because of technological limitations, tabled the idea — until it reemerged on YouTube.

Prancercising involves many different forms, including the “prancercise gallop” and the “prancercise box,” all based on horse jumps.


Take a look: 


Coming soon….The Daily Caller staff learns how to prancercise.

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Fox Blames Minorities For Obesity In NYC Firefighter Recruits …

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Fox host Alisyn Camerota made a deliberate point of linking firefighter flunkies to race when she reported that “as many as 30” New York City firefighter recruits are too obese for the job. Without bothering to point out that obesity rates among firefighters are causing concerns all over the country or that women are also part of the FDNY recruitment efforts, Camerota highlighted increased minority recruitment as the only factor to consider:

Well, they sued for the right to become New York City firefighters but now they’re flunking out. As many as 30 trainees have already dropped out because they’re too overweight to meet the physical demands of the job. And more are expected to go. The first recruited class since 2008 was formed after a judge ordered the department to become more racially diverse. But now veteran firefighters are fuming, saying the candidates are oversized and underperforming and need to be cut breaks to pass their tests.

Do you think anyone in the Fox audience failed to connect the dots?

Apparently, this “news” was based on a similar report from sister company NY Post that also linked the problem to minorities. However, the Post pointed out what Camerota didn’t: the class was not made up of applicants from the general population:

FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano excluded applicants from the general population for this Academy class, limiting the pool to medics, whose ranks include a higher percentage of minorities than is found in firehouses.

…But they were rated only on a written exam. In years past, applicants had to score high on both a written and a physical test.

… The department’s own EMS Academy head, Lt. David Russell, admitted in a 2011 report that even when FDNY recruits from EMS got extra help, “the overall fitness of these recruits is still poor.”

In other words, it’s quite likely that the population of medics, whose work, as the article also pointed out, is mostly sedentary, has a lower fitness rate than the general population. But Camerota misleadingly gave the impression that the same people who sued (a black fraternal firefighters organization) are the same people now flunking out.

By the way, those “fuming” “veteran firefighters” Camerota cited in her report seem to be anonymous ranters on a bulletin board not associated with the FDNY. The Post also wrote that “Veteran firefighters are fuming over the quality of the new recruits” and backed that up with comments from a few posters on a site called FDNY Rant.

The best celebrity bodies of 2010

Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Osbourne have been voted by Fitness magazine as having the best celebrity bodies in the category Best Celeb Slim Down.

The Dreamgirls star, who scored top marks for dropping from an American size 16 to a size 6, attributed her drastic transformation to the birth of her son, which inspired her to lose weight, and also to Weight Watchers.

Jennifer Hudson, who is now the spokesperson for the program, explained: “It’s not a diet, it’s really a way of living that teaches you better skills.

“For years I felt like I could never have ice cream, but I can eat ice cream occasionally now!”

Kelly has fared just as well this year, managing to finally put her druggy and yo-yo dieting days behind her, and dropping 50 pounds. Dancing with Stars is where the extra kilos started melting away for the 26-year-old, and inspired by her toned and trimmer body, the petite star then embarked on a strict workout regimen and made some major changes to her eating habits.

“It is the old fashioned way of making a commitment to yourself and waking up everyday and doing it,” Kelly said of her exercise routine, also adding: “I don’t eat junk food. I don’t have it in my house anymore. I’m more inclined to go for a bag of carrots now than a bag of chips. But, if I want a piece of cake I’m going to eat a f***ing piece of cake. You just have to learn your boundaries.”

The magazine, which is “all about looking good and feeling better”, had other categories including for Best Body After Baby (Bethanny Frankel), Best Curves (Christina Hendricks), Best Dancer’s Body (Karina Smirnoff), Cutest Workout Pair (Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth) and Best Baby Bump (Melissa Rycroft).

Read here about how Kelly Osbourne almost had gastric surgery.

Images: PR Photos

Josie Gibson embarks on a strict fitness regimen

Josie Gibson, who won over the viewers of Big Brother with her down-to-earth attitude and emerged as the winner has become a fitness freak. According to, the reality star has had the help of two personal trainers to get her into shape. Josie Gibson won the 11th and final series of Big Brother.

The blonde’s bggest motivation has been to drop a few dress sizes to fit in with the celebrity scene, although she has no desire to be a miniscule size zero. She said, “I couldn’t be one of those size zero women. It wouldn’t suit me. I’d like to be a comfortable 12. But not any smaller. You see all these stars and they lose all that weight and it just doesn’t suit them. Take Natalie Cassidy, I think she looks better when she’s got all her curves.”

She went on to mention that she believes in being comfortable in one’s own skin: “You’ve got to be the size you are comfortable with and I am a womanly woman. I am a little bit insecure about it.”

As reported by, she also admits that her strict diet and fitness program would help her impress her boyfriend John James. His response: “I couldn’t care less what Josie weighs. I love her just the way she is. It’s up to her completely.”

Unreality TV has announced that the couple have revealed that if they decide to get married, they will havea quick ceremony in Las Vegas.

Read here about TV reality star Kelly Osbourne and how she has slimmed down and also about the new shocker of a reality show called Bridalplasty.



Kate Gosselin, mother of eight, flaunts her washboard abs

Kate Gosselin is in a great shape, says Her excellent shape was visible when she went running on Sunday morning. Even when she was out on a fitness spree, the paparazzi could not get their eyes off her.

As the weather was hot, she was seen dressed in a sports bra and running shorts that make for a perfect running gear. Because of the running wear that she chose, everyone got to look at her fabulous figure. By looking at her figure, no one could guess that she is a mother to eight babies.

Kate Gosselin gave birth to her sextuplets in the year 2004 and went for a free tummy tuck after the birth, says the report in  When she became the mother of sextuplets, she and her husband Jon already had two twin girls who were born in the year 2000. Her husband Jon hooked up with her surgeon’s 22-year-old daughter and the couple decided to split.

Now 35 years old, the mother of eight has amazing abs that can make anyone jealous. She is a single mom and still never misses out on her workout. She is often seen spending time in gym and in the local shopping center.

Celebrities who have battled weight issues include Oprah WinfreyKirstie AlleySara Rue and Sharon Osbourne.

Images: PR Photos