Growth hormone, cortisol, overweight health risks, fattest city

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Mike Furci offers research, trends and other info to help with your fitness, health and nutritional needs.

…as we get older, hormone level changes can affect our quality of sleep? A study of 149 healthy men aged 16 to 83 years without sleep complaints was done to determine the relationship between sleep quality in older adults and changes in GH (growth hormone) and cortisol levels. As men age and sleep quality declines, cortisol levels show a corresponding increase, while GH levels decline. A decrease in GH secretion was significantly associated with a decrease in slow wave sleep independent of age. This is one more study showing the possible benefits of hormone replacement therapy.
(JAMA. 2000;284:861-868)

…just being overweight, or do I dare say fat, is a risk factor for impaired health? A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association followed and assessed 17,643 men and women aged 31-64 who were free from cardiovascular disease, diabetes or other major abnormalities. The study was done to assess the relationship of being fat to morbidity and mortality outcomes in older age. The researchers found that fat individuals without other risk factors, as well as those who had one or more risk factors, have a higher risk of hospitalization and mortality from cardiovascular disease and diabetes, compared to normal weight individuals.
(JAMA. 2006;295:190-198)

…Baltimore, which was the 25th fattest city in 2005, is America’s fittest city this year? Los Angeles, which was the 21st fittest city last year, was the third fattest in 2006. My home town of Cleveland is the 18th fattest city, down from being the 24th fittest in 2005. Chicago has the proud distinction of being the fattest city in America.
(USA Today)

…no matter what their socioeconomic status, education level or level of spending on health care, white middle-aged men in the U.S. are much less healthy than their British counterparts? Researchers found men from the U.S. had twice the rate of diabetes, and almost twice the rate of cancer. U.S. males also had higher rates of cardiovascular disease despite spending almost twice as much on health care, according to researchers.
(JAMA. 2006;295:2037-2045)

…the position of your head can affect back position when performing barbell squats. Researchers found that the direction of gaze (downward, straight and upward) affected the kinematics while performing the exercise. The subjects for the study were 10 members of the University of Miami football team. Researchers were unable to determine a difference between the straight and upward gaze. However, the downward gaze was shown to increase hip and trunk flexion, which is contraindicated in the squat. So, don’t look toward the floor when squatting. (Journal Strength and Conditioning Research. 2006;20:145-150)

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