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Category: Nutrition

Obesity: Genetics or Willpower – Dr. David Shafer

Most people believe that maintaining a healthy weight is just a matter of diet and exercise. But what if it’s not that simple? Is it possible that it may not be just a matter of willpower and self-control? UT Health Northeast diabetes expert Dr. David Shafer explores the ins and outs of this epic battle in the latest post to HealthConnection.TV.

Is being overweight just a matter of eating more calories than you body needs or are there other factors involved? (first question)

Do your genes or family history affect whether or not you are overweight or obese? What are the environmental factors that play a role in obesity? (skip to 1:44)

What is metabolism and is it accurate to say that some people have a “fast” metabolism and some have a “slow” one? (skip to 3:56)

Some scientists believe genetic disorders are the primary reason people are overweight. Others believe issues like the easy availability of high-fat foods and lack of exercise are responsible for the obesity epidemic. Who’s right? (skip to 4:59)

In reading articles about obesity and genetics, one frequently sees the term “twin studies.” What does that term mean? (skip to 6:13)

What is Leptin and why is it referred to as the obesity hormone?” (skip to 7:42)

What is the “hunger hormone?” (skip to 9:31)

Based on what we know now, what are the best tools to combat obesity? (skip to 12:02)

Why is losing weight such a struggle? (skip to 13:54)

What role do you think genetics will have on the future treatment of obesity? (skip to 15:35)

Choose My Plate Dietary Guidelines – Erin Langewisch, RD

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has recently retired the long-standing “food pyramid”dietary guideline in favor of the new “Choose My Plate” program. University of Texas Health Science Center Registered Dietician Erin Langewisch joins us to discuss the new Choose My Plate program on this post to HealthConnection.TV.

What is the new Choose My Plate program about? (first question)

Why was the Choose My Plate program developed? (skip to 0:49)

What are the most significant differences between the old food pyramid concept and the Choose My Plate program? (skip to 1:26)

The Choose My Plate program is built on three concepts; balancing calories, foods to increase and foods to decrease. What do these three concepts mean? (skip to 2:30)

Now that the Choose My Plate concept has been out for a few weeks, it is drawing criticism. Among those criticisms are the belief that Choose My Plate is over-simplified, that it excludes healthy fats, that it visually implies drinking only one glass of milk and that it doesn’t differentiate between healthy proteins and those that should be avoided. From the perspective of a Registered Dietician, what is your opinion of the Choose My Plate program? (skip to 4:32)

We are bombarded with ads and infomercials and websites from so-called “experts” on nutrition telling us how we should be eating. How do we know to whom we should listen? (skip to 5:54)

Are there easy-to-understand and easily obtained resources on nutrition that you can recommend? (skip to 6:40)

In your opinion, if Americans followed the guidelines set forth in the Choose My Plate program, what impact would doing so have on our use of the health care system? (skip to 7:15)