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(Health) Weight Loss: Brown Seaweed ?

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:51 pm    Post subject: (Health) Weight Loss: Brown Seaweed ? Reply with quote

American Chemical Society

Brown seaweed contains promising fat fighter, weight reducer

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 11 -- Chemists in Japan have found that brown seaweed, a flavor component used in many Asian soups and salads, contains a compound that appears in animal studies to promote weight loss by reducing the accumulation of fat. Called fucoxanthin, the compound achieved a 5 percent to 10 percent weight reduction in test animals and could be developed into a natural extract or drug to help fight obesity, the researchers say.

The compound targets abdominal fat, in particular, and may help reduce oversized guts, the scientists say. Their study was presented today at the 232nd national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Fucoxanthin is a brownish pigment that gives brown seaweed its characteristic color and also conducts photosynthesis (the conversion of light to energy). It is found at high levels in several different types of brown seaweed, including a type of kelp that is used in traditional Japanese miso soup. But fucoxanthin is not found in abundance in green and red seaweed, which also are used in many Asian foods, the researchers say.

The brown seaweed used in the current study was Undaria pinnatifida, a type of kelp also known as wakame, which is widely consumed in Japan. As kelp forests are found in abundance along the California coast, the new research findings could represent a potentially lucrative market if kelp -- of which there are many varieties -- can be developed into effective anti-obesity drugs, according to the scientists.

"I hope that our study [points to a way to] help reduce obesity in the U.S. and elsewhere," says study leader Kazuo Miyashita, Ph.D., a chemistry professor at Hokkaido University in Hokkaido, Japan. The compound appears to fight fat through two different mechanisms, he says.

The study involved more than 200 rats and mice. In obese animals fed fucoxanthin, the compound appeared to stimulate a protein, UCP1, that causes fat oxidation and conversion of energy to heat, Miyashita says. The protein is found in white adipose tissue, the type of fat that surrounds internal organs. As the abdominal area contains abundant adipose tissue, the compound might be particularly effective at shrinking oversized guts, the researcher says. This is the first time that a natural food component has been shown to reduce fat by targeting the UCP1 protein, he says.

The pigment also appeared in animal studies to stimulate the liver to produce a compound called DHA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid, at levels comparable to fish oil supplementation. Increased levels of DHA reduce 'bad cholesterol' (low density lipoprotein), which is known to contribute to obesity and heart disease. But unlike fish oil supplements, fucoxanthin doesn't have an unpleasant smell, Miyashita says. No adverse side effects from fucoxanthin were reported in the mice and rats used in the study.

But eating lots of seaweed is not the quickest or most convenient path to weight loss, Miyashita cautions. He notes that a person would probably need to eat huge amounts of brown seaweed daily to cause noticeable weight loss. That's because fucoxanthin is tightly bound to proteins in the seaweed and is not easily absorbed in the form of whole seaweed. However, he hopes to extract the most active form of fucoxanthin from brown seaweed so that it can be developed into a pill that people can take daily or as needed.

Human studies are planned, the researcher says, but adds that it may take three to five years before such an anti-obesity pill is available to consumers. Until then, people should continue to eat a well-balanced diet and get plenty of exercise, he says. Funding for the current study was provided by the Japanese government.


Questions to explore further this topic:

What are seaweeds?

What are algae?

Seaweed as food

Seaweed as a natural cure

History of seaweed as food

Electricity from seaweed?

Killer seaweed: invasive species

Second half of the topic: weight loss

What is obesity?

What is a healthy weight?

Healthy weight for kids

Should teens gain weight?

What are the health risks of being overweight?

Weight Loss

Weight loss through exercise

Weight loss through diet

Is there such a thing as "slow metabolism"?

Why does one need to lose weight when overweight?

Is dieting safe for kids?

Weight loss and nutrition myths

Active at any size

Physical activity and weight control

Food portions: How much is enough?

Tips for teenagers

Tips for adults

Tips for parents

Choosing a safe and effective weight loss program

Dieting and Gallstones

Calculate your daily calorie needs

Calorie counter


Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator for kids

BMI calculator for adults


Last edited by adedios on Sat Jan 27, 2007 4:40 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 6:27 pm    Post subject: Disease of older adults now seen in young, obese adults Reply with quote

American Roentgen Ray Society
22 September 2006

Disease of older adults now seen in young, obese adults

Acute diverticulitis, a disease traditionally seen in patients older than 50 years old, is now being seen in younger adults who are obese, according to a study conducted by the University of Maryland Medical Center's department of radiology in Baltimore, MD.

Acute diverticulitis is one of the most frequently encountered acute diseases of the colon and is commonly related to a low fiber diet. Increased pressure in the colon causes numerous thin-walled out-pouches (diverticula) to develop in the bowel wall, a chronic condition known as diverticulosis. Bacterial infection of these diverticula cause inflammation that may lead to a perforation in the wall of the intestine and other serious complications.

"Over the last ten years, I noted that many patients coming into the emergency room with CT findings of acute diverticulitis seemed younger than traditional teaching suggested, and often were obese," said Barry Daly, MD, an author of the study. "We were seeing patients as young as their early twenties, though textbooks typically describe this condition as a disease of the over-fifty age group," he said.

The study group was composed of 104 patients, both men and women, broken into two age groups: 50 years old or younger and older than 50 years. Abdominal obesity was present and more severe in 85.7% of the 50 years or younger group compared with 77% of the older patients.

"There is clearly an association with abdominal obesity in these younger patients. Obese adult patients are at risk for this disease after twenty years of age," said Dr. Daly. "Because patients who get acute diverticulitis always have underlying diverticulosis of the colon, younger patients may be at increased risk for recurrent attacks of inflammation of these diverticula over the long term," he said.

"For physicians it is important to add acute diverticulitis to the list of diseases that may cause acute abdominal pain in younger patients who come to the emergency room, especially if they are obese. Radiologists should be aware of this possibility when evaluating CT scans of these patients," said Dr. Daly.

This study appears in the September 2006 issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 10:53 am    Post subject: Diet can provide protection against development of cancer Reply with quote

American Association for Cancer Research
14 November 2006

Diet can provide protection against development of certain cancers, new studies show

BOSTON -- With cancer, researchers don't believe "you are what you eat"; that disease is always a direct result of what is, or what isn't, on your dinner plate. But studies into the association between diet and cancer show that food can have an impact in preventing cancer, or in reducing the aggressiveness of the disease. At the American Association for Cancer Research's Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research meeting, investigators have found that eating fish regularly as an adult, or soy as a young girl, or using a specific vitamin if you are a smoker, can help to protect against development of certain cancers. Another study found that blood cholesterol, some of which comes from eating animal fats, doesn't control whether a man develops prostate cancer, but lower levels of these lipids may help protect against aggressive forms of the disease. The researchers say these studies provide some of the strongest links found to date between diet and cancer.

Childhood soy intake and breast cancer risk in Asian-American women

In a novel study of Asian-American women, a team of researchers led by National Cancer Institute (NCI) investigators has found that consuming soy during childhood, adolescence and adult life were each associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer, but that the strongest and most consistent effect was seen for childhood intake.

They found that women who ate the most soy-based foods (such as tofu, miso, natto) during ages 5-11 reduced their risk of developing breast cancer by 58 percent, compared to women who ate the least amount. The corresponding reductions for adolescent and adult intake were about 25 percent.

"Childhood soy intake was significantly associated with reduced breast cancer risk in our study, suggesting that the timing of soy intake may be especially critical," said the study's lead investigator, Larissa Korde, M.D., MPH, a staff clinician at the NCI's Clinical Genetics Branch, in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention. Korde worked in collaboration with epidemiologists at the University of Hawaii, the Northern California Cancer Center, and the University of Southern California.

The underlying mechanism is not known. However, Korde said that one hypothesis for the decreased risk associated with childhood intake is that soy isoflavones have estrogenic effects that cause changes in breast tissue, leading to decreased sensitivity to carcinogens. A similar protective effect has been found in studies of overweight girls, perhaps because fat tissue also secretes estrogens, she added.

"Hormonal exposures in adulthood, such as use of estrogen and progesterone replacement therapy, are established breast cancer risk factors. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that hormonally related exposures early in life may also modify susceptibility to breast cancer," Korde said.

Studies investigating adult soy intake and breast cancer risk have had mixed results, but the two studies that looked at adolescent consumption found that the risks of developing breast cancer later in life were cut in half. This study is the first to address the relationship between soy consumption during childhood and future risk of breast cancer.

As provocative as the findings are, the senior investigator on the study, Regina Ziegler, Ph.D, MPH, cautioned that it would be premature to recommend changes in childhood diet. "This is the first study to evaluate childhood soy intake and subsequent breast cancer risk, and this one result is not enough for a public health recommendation," she said. "The findings need to be replicated through additional research."

The researchers conducted a case-control study of women of Chinese, Japanese and Filipino descent who were living in the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles, or Oahu, Hawaii. Included were 597 Asian-American women with breast cancer and 966 women without the disease, who answered questions about their adult and adolescent diet and lifestyle. In addition, for a subset of 255 participants whose mothers were alive and living in the US, the mothers were asked about their daughter's early childhood exposures.

Soy intake was then divided into thirds, based on frequency of consumption, and by comparing the highest category to the lowest, the researchers found an inverse association between the risk of developing breast cancer and the amount of soy consumed. The childhood relationship held in all three races and all three study sites, and in women with and without a family history of breast cancer. Since the effects of childhood soy could not be explained by other measures of Asian lifestyle during childhood or adult life, researchers concluded that early soy intake might itself be protective.

A prospective study of fish, n-3 fatty acid intake, and colorectal cancer risk in men

Men who ate fish five times a week or more had a 40 percent lower risk of developing colorectal cancer compared to men who ate fish less than once a week, according to a new analysis of data from 22,071 participants in the Physicians' Health Study (PHS).

The researchers say the reduction in colorectal cancer risk is substantial in comparison to other dietary components, and while they don't suggest that everyone starts eating fish daily simply because of these results, they say the health benefits of fish consumption have already been proven.

"We already know that eating fish can reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death, and this might provide another reason to add fish to your diet," said Megan Phillips, a doctoral student at the Harvard School of Public Health and the lead author of this study.

The researchers believe the health effects of fish consumption in relation to colorectal cancer may lie in their content of the n-3 fatty acids that can inhibit the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme. This enzyme acts as a mediator of inflammatory responses thought to be associated with cancer development.

The PHS was designed as a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to examine the effect of aspirin and beta-carotene supplements on development of cancer and cardiovascular disease, and the participants filled out a one-time food questionnaire 12 months after starting the study. In this analysis, investigators were also trying to determine if fish consumption had a different effect on men who received aspirin for five years compared to men who weren't randomized to use aspirin, which is also a COX-2 inhibitor. "We thought that maybe for men who received aspirin, it wouldn't matter whether they ate fish or not," Phillips said.

The researchers looked at four different categories of fish consumed- tuna fish, dark meat fish (salmon, sardines, bluefish, etc.), a general fish category, and shellfish including shrimp, lobster and scallops- and asked how many times the participants ate them on average during the previous year. They found almost 10 percent ate fish less than once a week, 31 percent ate it less than two times a week, 48 percent ate fish less than five times a week, and about 11 percent ate it five times or more a week. They then compared these figures with incidence of colorectal cancer that later developed in the men. (The average follow-up was 19.4 years).

They found that compared to men who ate the least amount of fish, the risk of developing colorectal cancer was 40 percent lower in men who ate the most fish, was 20 percent lower in men who ate fish 2-5 times a week, and 13 percent lower among participants who ate fish less than two times a week.

The relationship between fish consumption and colorectal cancer was similar for men randomized to aspirin and those who weren't, possibly because the researchers only had information on aspirin use during the first five years in the trial, and "it may take more years of aspirin use to see an effect," Phillips said.

While she said the results are promising, Phillips also noted that they are based on the assumptions that the pattern of fish consumption observed in the sole food questionnaire represented a diet that the men subsequently followed for many years.

In addition, men who consumed more fish may also have a healthier lifestyle perhaps including better cancer screening. Although this study controlled for some of these factors such as cigarette smoking, vigorous exercise, and multivitamin use, the investigators do not have information on colorectal endoscopies. Thus, these findings need additional confirmation through other prospective studies with more complete information and a definitive answer might require a randomized trial, said senior author Jing Ma, M.D., Ph.D., a researcher at the Brigham and Women's Hospital-based Channing Laboratory and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

The relationship between dietary antioxidants and oxidative damage in smokers: evidence of effect modification by lifestyle and genetic factors

Vitamin E in the diet of male smokers appears to protect against oxidative damage that can lead to cancer development, according to researchers from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health working with investigators from the NYU School of Medicine.

They found that male smokers who had high plasma levels of vitamin E had lower levels of oxidative-DNA damage in their white blood cells. Oxidative DNA damage is a mechanism by which tobacco smoking can increase risk of cancer. In addition, the protective effect of vitamin E was greatest among the men with a beneficial form of a common "detoxifying" gene, GSTM1. The investigators did not find a similar effect of vitamin E in women.

"There was a dose-response relationship, in that the more vitamin E we found in the blood of the men, the less there was of this cancer-related biomarker," said the study's senior investigator, Frederica P. Perera, Dr.P.H., Professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences at the Columbia University School of Public Health.

"This suggests that while working toward the goal of quitting smoking, which is the very best way to prevent development of smoking-related cancers, it could be helpful to eat a diet rich in vitamin E," she said, and added, "we don't yet know why this relationship was not found in women, but a good diet is beneficial to health in many ways."

The most active form of vitamin E (known as alpha-tocopherol) is believed to be a strong antioxidant, capable of preventing oxidative chemical reactions that damage DNA. The vitamin is found in certain vegetable oils, nuts, whole grains, fish, green leafy vegetables and other foods. Studies that have examined the ability of vitamin E to protect against cancer have shown mixed results, however.

The present study is unusual, the researchers say, because it measured two different markers in white blood cells drawn from 280 participants - people who smoked at least 10 cigarettes a day. These markers were the amount of vitamin E in blood derived from food (those who used vitamins were excluded from this study) and the quantity of 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), a measure of oxidative damage to DNA.

The researchers found a protective effect of plasma alpha-tocopherol on oxidative damage among smokers, but only among men. They next looked at the interaction between vitamin E and GSTM1, a gene variant known to produce enzymes that efficiently detoxify carcinogens in tobacco smoke, and found a greater effect of the vitamin among men with this gene.

"We all want to know if vitamins help protect us against disease, and measuring their effects in the blood using markers of cellular damage is the most direct way to do that," said Perera. "But we have a lot of work ahead before we can fully understand the role of antioxidants in the chemoprevention of tobacco-related cancer."

Association between plasma cholesterol and prostate cancer

Prostate cancer patients who had lower levels of cholesterol in their blood had a significantly reduced chance of developing more aggressive forms of the disease, compared to patients with higher cholesterol readings.

These findings may help explain the earlier discovery, reported by the same team of researchers at the AACR annual meeting in 2005, that men who used statin drugs experienced half the risk of developing advanced prostate cancer.

"Statin drugs reduce cholesterol in the blood, but they also influence a number of different pathways," said the study's lead researcher, Elizabeth Platz, ScD, MPH, an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "This study suggests that the ability of statins to lower cholesterol may be important to prostate carcinogenesis, but we are continuing to examine other pathways with which statin drugs interact, such as reduction of inflammation."

The researchers looked at cholesterol levels first because cholesterol affects cell signaling and survival. Some scientists theorize that a large quantity of cholesterol in the blood could stimulate the survival of abnormal prostate cells.

They studied blood drawn from 698 men before they were diagnosed with prostate cancer and matched it to blood taken from 698 men who had not been diagnosed with the disease. All of the men participated in Harvard University's Health Professionals Follow-up Study, a group of 18,018 participants who provided a blood sample between 1993 and 1995.

They found that mean cholesterol levels did not differ between the men with prostate cancer and the control participants, suggesting that cholesterol was not involved in the initial development of prostate cancer, Platz said.

But when comparing men who had the lowest quartile of serum cholesterol to men who had the highest, they found that prostate cancer patients with lower cholesterol had the lowest risk of developing a more worrisome form of the disease. They specifically found that the risk of being diagnosed with high-grade or advanced cancer was reduced by 40 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

Platz says it is not clear at what levels serum cholesterol may stimulate the abnormal growth seen in cancer development. "The findings suggest either that high cholesterol may push existing prostate cancer to become aggressive, or, alternatively, very low levels of cholesterol may provide protection against development of an aggressive cancer," she said. "We just don't know which it is at this point."

She also said that because the findings come from an observational study, not a trial, it is impossible to conclude that men can lower their risk of developing an aggressive form of prostate cancer by reducing their intake of saturated fat, the type of fat that increases serum cholesterol, which some studies have linked to an increased risk of advanced prostate cancer.

"It is too soon to say that such measures would be specifically beneficial to lowering such a risk, but for good health in general, it is prudent to consume a diet that contains healthful fats that do not increase serum cholesterol," she said.

The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, AACR is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes more than 24,000 basic, translational, and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 70 other countries. AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts over 17,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special Conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, diagnosis and treatment. AACR publishes five major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Its most recent publication, CR, is a magazine for cancer survivors, patient advocates, their families, physicians, and scientists. It provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship and advocacy.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:32 pm    Post subject: CHEMICALS IN BROWN ALGAE MAY PROTECT AGAINST SKIN CANCER Reply with quote


25 January 2007
Ohio State University

COLUMBUS , Ohio – Substances extracted from a marine seaweed may protect against skin cancer caused by too much sun, new research suggests.

The animal study indicates that chemicals called brown algae polyphenols (BAPs), which are found in a type of brown marine seaweed, might protect against skin cancers caused by ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation.

UVB radiation in sunlight is thought responsible for 90 percent of the estimated 1.3 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer diagnosed in the United States annually.

Researchers applied the BAPs to the skin of hairless mice and fed it to the animals in their diet. In both cases, the substances reduced the number of skin tumors by up to 60 percent and their size by up to 43 percent. They also reduced inflammation.

The study, led by researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, is published in the Dec. 15 issue of the International Journal of Cancer.

“These compounds seemed to be dramatically effective at fairly low doses both orally and topically,” says principal investigator Gary D. Stoner, professor emeritus of internal medicine and a cancer chemoprevention researcher.

“These findings suggest that, even when eaten, these compounds get to skin cells and neutralize the cancer-causing oxygen radicals that are produced by UV exposure.”

Laboratory research has shown that BAPs are strong antioxidants and may have anticancer properties.

For this study, Stoner and his collaborators used a strain of hairless mice that are particularly susceptible to UVB-induced skin cancer. Nine experimental groups were used, each with 20 mice.

In two groups, BAPs were applied to the skin in concentrations of 3 milligrams or 6 milligrams in a mild solvent. In two other groups, BAPs made up 0.1 percent or 0.5 percent of the diet.


“The compounds seemed to be dramatically effective at fairly low doses both orally and topically. These findings suggest that, even when eaten, these compounds get to skin cells and neutralize the cancer-causing oxygen radicals that are produced by UV exposure.”

A group of untreated control mice was also exposed to UVB.

The remaining groups were additional controls: Two were fed the standard diet with and without UV exposure, and two had the BAP solvent applied to the skin with and without UV exposure.

The mice received the BAPs for two weeks before UVB exposure began, followed by 24 weeks of increasing UVB exposure according to a standardized schedule.

The researchers then counted the number of tumors in the treatment and control groups and calculated their size.

Animals exposed only to UVB developed an average of 8.5 skin tumors. The animals fed the lower and the higher dose of BAPs developed an average of 4.7 and 3.7 tumors respectively. Of those given the topical treatment, the lower and higher doses developed 3.4 and 4.6 tumors respectively.

In terms of tumor volume, the animals fed BAPs at the lower and higher doses had tumors that were 34 percent and 40 percent smaller than those in animals exposed to UVB alone. Of those given the topical treatment, the lower and higher dose animals had tumors that were 27 percent to 43 percent smaller than animals exposed to UVB alone.

In addition, the researchers compared the groups for skin levels of the enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and of the hormone-like substance prostaglandin E2, both of which are strong indicators of inflammation, and for cell proliferation rates.

Animals treated with BAPs showed lower levels of both COX-2 and prostaglandin E2.

The researchers found that the dietary BAPs reduced COX-2 activity by 74-82 percent, and that the topical BAPs reduced it by 66-82 percent. They also measured lower rates of cell proliferation in BAP-treated animals.

“Both the oral and topical BAP treatment reduced COX-2 and prostaglandin E2 cell proliferation levels in the skin,” Stoner says, “which corresponds with fewer tumors and small tumors in the treated animals.”

Funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Korean Research Foundation supported this study.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 7:46 am    Post subject: Living in densely populated areas linked to lower body mass Reply with quote

Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health

Living in densely populated areas linked to lower body mass

February 16, 2007 -- New York City dwellers who reside in densely populated, pedestrian-friendly areas have significantly lower body mass index levels compared to other New Yorkers, according to a new study by the Mailman School of Public Health. Placing shops, restaurants and public transit near residences may promote walking and independence from private automobiles.

"There are relatively strong associations between built environment and BMI, even in population-dense New York City," said Andrew Rundle, DrPH assistant professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School and lead author.

The researchers looked at data from 13,102 adults from New York City’s five boroughs. Matching information on education, income, height, weight and home address with census data and geographic records, they determined respondents’ access to public transit, proximity to commercial goods and services and BMI, a measure of weight in relation to height.

The authors discovered that three characteristics of the city environment — living in areas with mixed residential and commercial uses, living near bus and subway stops and living in population-dense areas — were inversely associated with BMI levels. For example, city dwellers living in areas evenly balanced between residences and commercial use had significantly lower BMIs compared to New Yorkers who lived in mostly residential or commercial areas.

"A mixture of commercial and residential land uses puts commercial facilities that you need for everyday living within walking distance," Dr. Rundle said. "You’re not going to get off the couch to walk to the corner store if there’s no corner store to walk to."

Although previous studies have addressed the relationship between obesity and the urban built environment in smaller, newer cities, this study is the first to evaluate the relationship in older, larger New York.

The study appears in the March/April issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion.

About the Mailman School of Public Health

The only accredited school of public health in New York City, and among the first in the nation, Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health provides instruction and research opportunities to more than 950 graduate students in pursuit of masters and doctoral degrees. Its students and more than 300 multi-disciplinary faculty engage in research and service in the city, nation, and around the world, concentrating on biostatistics, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, health policy and management, population and family health, and sociomedical sciences.
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 8:43 am    Post subject: Eggs promote weight loss and help close nutrient consumption Reply with quote

Edelman Public Relations
2 May 2007

Eggs promote weight loss and help close nutrient consumption gap

9 studies presented at Experimental Biology 2007 confirm the importance of eggs in a healthy diet
Washington, DC – Nine studies presented at this week's Experimental Biology 2007 meeting support the growing body of research on the nutritional benefits of egg consumption, including its promotion of weight loss and its role in providing choline, an essential nutrient often lacking in the diet that promotes brain and memory development and function.

Among the findings presented at Experimental Biology:

Eggs for Breakfast Help Promote Weight Loss (Embargo April 29, 2007)

A randomized control trial led by Nikhil V. Dhurandhar, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of infection and obesity at Louisiana State University's Pennington Biomedical Research Center found that overweight and obese women who consumed a breakfast of two eggs a day (for five days a week or more) for 8 weeks, as part of a low-fat diet with a 1,000 calorie deficit:

lost 65 percent more weight

had 83 percent greater reductions in waist circumference

reported greater improvements in energy levels than their dieting counterparts who consumed a bagel breakfast of the same calories1

This study further substantiates the findings of a previous study, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition,2 which found that an egg breakfast induced greater satiety and significantly reduced short-term food intake compared to a calorically equivalent bagel breakfast. In both studies, the egg and bagel breakfasts not only provided the same amount of calories, but also the same weight mass, an important control factor in satiety and weight loss studies. Also of note, the study found no significant differences between the plasma total-, HDL- and LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride levels of either group.

Closing the Choline Gap with Eggs (Embargo May 2, 2007)

Researchers at Iowa State University assessed choline intake in the diets of specific subsets of the U.S. population and found that usual intake is far below the Adequate Intake (AI) levels for older children, men, women and pregnant women.3

Only 10 percent or less of these populations are eating close to the recommended amounts of choline. This study – which is one of the first to assess choline intake in the population – is important because choline is an essential nutrient needed for normal functioning of all cells and for brain function.

The finding that choline intake is low among pregnant women is particularly noteworthy as previous research has demonstrated that choline may help with brain and memory development in fetuses. 4, 5 The National Academy of Sciences recommends increased choline for pregnant and breastfeeding women (550 mg and 450 mg, respectively).

Additionally, a separate study presented at this week's National Nutrient Data Bank Conference found that choline intake decreases with age and that adults ages 71 and older consume an average of about 264 milligrams per day – roughly half of the AI for choline (550 mg/day for men, 425 mg/day for women). 6

Both studies recommend increased consumption of foods that are good sources of choline to help close the gap on choline consumption. Eggs are an excellent source of choline. Two eggs contain about 250 milligrams of choline, or roughly half the recommended daily supply. (Other rich sources of choline include beef liver and wheat germ.)

Putting Egg Recommendations Into Perspective (Embargo April 30, 2007)

Researchers are beginning to challenge egg consumption restrictions that are based on studies that examined dietary cholesterol and saturated fat together. Research on the independent effect of dietary cholesterol shows no significant effect on heart disease risk.

A relative risk study conducted by the Washington, DC-based scientific consulting firm Exponent concluded that eggs' contribution to coronary heart disease risk is insignificant. 7 The study evaluated the relative risk of heart disease associated with egg consumption compared to other risk factors, including age, genetics, dietary pattern, smoking, alcohol consumption, high blood pressure, serum cholesterol, obesity, diabetes and sedentary lifestyle. After a thorough scientific review of the major studies concerning heart disease causation, it was found that eggs contribute just 0.6 percent of males' and 0.4 percent of females' coronary heart disease risk, when other modifiable risk factors are assumed.

Research like this may help change wide-sweeping recommendations to restrict egg consumption to avoid heart disease, particularly when the positive nutrition contributions from eggs are considered. Eggs contain a number of nutrients in varying amounts – including the highest-quality protein, choline, folate, iron and zinc – for only about 75 calories. Eggs also contain small amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, which may be involved in the prevention of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

For more information, please visit or contact the Egg Nutrition Media Hotline at 312-233-1211 or

About the American Egg Board (AEB)

AEB is the U.S. egg producer's link to the consumer in communicating the value of The incredible edible egg™ and is funded from a national legislative checkoff on all egg production from companies with greater than 75,000 layers in the continental United States. The board consists of 18 members and 18 alternates from all regions of the country who are appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. The AEB staff carries out the programs under the board direction. AEB is located in Park Ridge, Ill. Visit for more information.

About the Egg Nutrition Center (ENC)

ENC was established in 1979 for the purpose of providing commercial egg producers and processors, health promotion agencies, and consumers with a resource for scientifically accurate information on egg nutrition and the role of eggs in the health and nutrition of the American diet. The center exists under a cooperative agreement between the American Egg Board (AEB) and United Egg Producers (UEP). ENC is located in Washington, DC. Visit for more information.

1Presented by Nikhil V. Dhurandhar at Experimental Biology 2007; "Egg breakfast enhances weight loss." (Research supported by the Egg Nutrition Center and the American Egg Board)

2 Vander Wal JS, et al. "Short term effect of eggs on satiety in overweight and obese subjects." J Am Coll Nutr. 2005; Dec;24(6): 510-5. (Research supported by the Egg Nutrition Center and the American Egg Board)

3 Presented by Helen H. Jensen at Experimental Biology 2007; "Choline in the diets of the US population: NHANES, 2003-2004." (Research supported by the Egg Nutrition Center and the American Egg Board)

4 Zeizel SH. "Choline: needed for normal development of memory." J Am Coll Nutr. 2000; Oct; 19(5 Suppl): 528S-531S. (Research supported by the Egg Nutrition Center and the American Egg Board)

5 Zeisel SH, et al. "Perinatal choline influences brain structure and function." Nutr Rev. 2006; Apr;64(4):197-203.

6 Presented by Debra R Keast at National Nutrient Data Bank Conference 2007; "Food sources of choline in the diets of US older adults: NHANES, 1999-2004."

7 Presented by Nga L Tran at Experimental Biology 2007; "Balancing and communicating risks and benefits associated with egg consumption – a relative risk study." (Research supported by the Egg Nutrition Center and the American Egg Board)
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 9:44 am    Post subject: Obesity adds to the quality of life burden of rheumatoid art Reply with quote

European League Against Rheumatism
14 June 2007

Obesity adds to the quality of life burden of rheumatoid arthritis

Obese patients fare worse in fatigue physical condition and pain
Barcelona, Spain, Thursday 14 June 2006: The global obesity epidemic was issued with a further health warning today – that obesity exacerbates the quality of life of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). New data presented at EULAR 2007, the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology in Barcelona, Spain, shows that RA in obese patients is associated with worse quality of life outcomes on four key levels: pain, fatigue, physical function and overall utility scores.

In a study of 1041 patients with RA, undertaken Diakonhjemmet Hospital, Oslo, obese participants (OB) reported significantly increased ratings for pain and fatigue than normal weight (NW) participants (Pain: AIMS2 OB 5.47 vs. NW 4.53, p=0.001. Fatigue VAS: OB 53.3 vs. NW 45.4, p=0.015). Obese patients also rated significantly worse physical functioning than normal weight patients (SF-36: OB 43.6 vs. NW 55.6, p=< 0.001).

Lead author of the research Dr Siri Lillegraven commented: “It seems that obesity has an impact on a patient’s quality of life and on the self-perceived burden of RA. In the key areas highlighted by this study, RA patients with concurrent obesity scored significantly worse in the quality of life assessments than normal weight patients.”

Key areas of self-reported health status (HAQ, MHAQ, SF-36 and AIMS2) and visual analogue scales (VAS) for pain, fatigue and disease activity were used in the study, and patients were grouped according to Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI was classified into normal weight, overweight and obesity. Underweight patients (BMI < 1Cool were excluded from the study.

Of the 1041 patients sampled, 53.8% (541) fell into the normal weight category, 33% (316) were considered overweight and 10.6% (102) fell into the obese category. Overall, patient groups were compared using ANOVA and linear regression.

The robustness of the study’s findings is supported by consistent results across different instruments measuring the same dimensions and a recent report from a Peruvian group (García-Poma et al, March 2007, Clinical Rheumatology). Furthermore, the observed associations remain significant when corrected for age, gender, rheumatoid-factor status and smoking.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 9:09 am    Post subject: Link between obesity and enlarged heart discovered by Univer Reply with quote

University of Arizona Health Sciences Center
19 June 2007

Link between obesity and enlarged heart discovered by University of Arizona researchers

New research from The University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center helps explain why excessive body weight increases the risk for heart disease.

In the largest study of its kind, cardiologist M. Reza Movahed, MD, PhD, and research specialist Adolfo A. Martinez, MD, discovered that excessive body weight is associated with a thickening of the heart muscle in the left ventricle, the heart’s pumping chamber. Known to physicians as left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), the condition potentially can lead to heart failure and rhythm problems.

“We observed that the thickening in the muscle wall becomes especially noticeable in obese patients who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or greater,” says Dr. Movahed. “Previous studies have shown that left ventricular hypertrophy is associated with a higher risk of mortality.”

Analyzing 17,261 heart ultrasounds, the UA researchers studied moving images of the heart to evaluate structure and function. Results showed that narrowing of the aortic valve, the main valve that carries blood away from the heart to the rest of the body, was the strongest predictor of LVH, followed by gender and Body Mass Index.

While the cause of LVH in obese patients is not known, it may be related to increased work load or to the presence of other cardiac risk factors in these patients.

The findings may guide physicians who study obesity and cardiac function. Drs. Movahed and Martinez presented the results of their study at the 18th Annual Scientific Sessions of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) in Seattle, Wash. The meeting concludes June 20.

“These results are another stake in the ground that supports healthy lifestyles for the benefit of heart protection,” says Dr. Movahed. “Maintaining a proportionate BMI may prevent LVH and lead to better heart function.”

Reference: Left ventricular hypertrophy is independently associated with body mass index and gender. Mohammad-Reza Movahed and Adolfo A. Martinez, The University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center, Tucson, Ariz.

MEDICAL WRITERS/ASSIGNMENT EDITORS NOTE: To make arrangements for interviews, please contact Daniel Stolte at (520) 626-4083.

The Sarver Heart Center is a Center of Excellence at The University of Arizona College of Medicine engaging in basic and clinical research, patient care, training of health care professionals and public education. It is home to more than 120 physicians and scientists working toward a future free of heart disease and stroke. To learn more, please visit
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 9:10 am    Post subject: Obesity Rates Continue to Climb in the United States Reply with quote

July 10, 2007

Obesity Rates Continue to Climb in the United States
Johns Hopkins

By 2015, 75% of Adults Will Be Overweight; 41% Will Be Obese

The U.S. obesity prevalence increased from 13 percent to 32 percent between the 1960s and 2004, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Human Nutrition. The prevalence of obesity and overweight has increased at an average rate of 0.3–0.8 percentage points across different sociodemographic groups over the past three decades. Some minority and low socioeconomic status groups—such as non-Hispanic black women and children, Mexican-American women and children, low socioeconomic status black men and white women and children, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders—are disproportionately affected. The meta-analysis was published online on May 17, 2007, in advance of the 2007 issue of the journal Epidemiologic Reviews.

“The obesity rate in the United States has increased at an alarming rate over the past three decades. We set out to estimate the average annual increase in prevalence as well as the variation between population groups to predict the future situation regarding obesity and overweight among U.S. adults and children,” said Youfa Wang, MD, PhD, lead author of the study and an assistant professor in the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of International Health. “Obesity is a public health crisis. If the rate of obesity and overweight continues at this pace, by 2015, 75 percent of adults and nearly 24 percent of U.S. children and adolescents will be overweight or obese.”

The study authors included 20 journal papers, reports and online data sets in their meta-analysis. In addition, data from four national surveys—NHANES, BRFSS, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System and National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health—were included in order to examine the disparities in obesity. They defined adult overweight and obesity using body mass index cutoffs of 25 and 30, respectively. Children at risk for overweight and overweight were classified as being in the 85th and 95th percentiles of body mass index, respectively. The key findings include:

66% of U.S. adults were overweight or obese in 2003-2004.
Women 20–34 years old had the fastest increase rate of obesity and overweight.
80% of black women aged 40 years or over are overweight; 50% are obese.
Asians have a lower obesity prevalence when compared to other ethnic groups. However, Asians born in the United States are four times more likely to be obese than their foreign-born counterparts.
Less educated people have a higher prevalence of obesity than their counterparts, with the exception of black women.
States in the southeast have higher prevalence than states on the West Coast, the Midwest and the Northeast.
16% of children and adolescents are overweight and 34% are at risk of becoming overweight in 2003-2004.
White children and adolescents had the lowest prevalence of overweight and being at risk of overweight compared with their black and Mexican counterparts.
“Our analysis showed patterns of obesity or overweight for various groups of Americans. All groups consistently increased in obesity or overweight prevalence, but the increase varied by group, making this public health issue complex. More research needs to be completed to look into the underlying causes,” says May A. Beydoun, coauthor of the study and a postdoctoral fellow in the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of International Health. “Obesity is likely to continue to increase, and if nothing is done, it will soon become the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.”

In a related study, the Johns Hopkins co-authors published a research article in the May 7, 2007, issue of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition that found people purchase foods based on their income level and perception of a food’s health benefit and cost. Ethnicity, gender and environmental factors also impact people’s food choices.

NOTE: Unlike definitions for adults, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention uses “overweight” to refer to the highest body mass index for children and adolescents. Therefore, it is inaccurate to use the term “obese” when referring to elevated body mass index in this age group.

Youfa Wang and May A. Beydoun, both of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, co-authored the study.

“The Obesity Epidemic in the United States—Gender, Age, Socioeconomic, Racial/Ethnic and Geographic Characteristics: A Systematic Review and Meta-Regression Analysis” was supported by grants from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases/National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 1:25 pm    Post subject: Study: Obesity is Socially Contagious Reply with quote

Study: Obesity is Socially Contagious
By Jeanna Bryner, LiveScience Staff Writer

posted: 25 July 2007 02:31 pm ET

People who notice a friend packing on pounds might want to steer clear if they value a sleek physique.

A new study finds that when the scale reads "obese" for one individual, the odds that their friends will become obese increase by more than 50 percent.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 6:30 am    Post subject: Infectious Obesity: Adenovirus fattens stem cells Reply with quote

Week of Aug. 25, 2007; Vol. 172, No. 8 , p. 115

Infectious Obesity: Adenovirus fattens stem cells
Brian Vastag

Twenty-five years ago, researchers discovered that certain viruses can cause obesity in some animals. A decade ago, they extended the finding to people. Now, a team reports that one such virus works by transforming adult stem cells into fat-storing cells. The finding supports the notion that some cases of obesity may be infectious.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 5:27 pm    Post subject: Studies: Children obese due to a host of unhealthy pressures Reply with quote

Sept. 25, 2007

Studies: Children obese due to a host of unhealthy pressures
University of Michigan

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Unhealthy options and pressures influence nearly every part of children's daily lives, according to studies released this week in a special supplement of the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

The national studies, which include work conducted at the University of Michigan, reveal that, in most middle and high schools across the nation, contracts with soft drink bottling companies give students easy access to sugary beverages.

Low- versus high-income neighborhoods have a higher proportion of their restaurants serving fast foods and have fewer supermarkets and more convenience stores at which to buy their groceries. In the media, television advertisements steer kids to spend their money on junk food, and minority students get considerably more such exposure, the studies showed.

For the special supplement, Bridging the Gap, a national research program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and based at U-M and the University of Illinois at Chicago, produced a groundbreaking collection of evidence on factors that contribute to the escalating rates of childhood obesity.

The studies offer new insight about how current school policies, neighborhood characteristics and advertising collectively impact the childhood obesity epidemic—and together create an overwhelmingly unhealthy environment for young people.

A study by U-M Distinguished Research Scientist Lloyd Johnston and colleagues finds that the vast majority of middle schools (67 percent) and high schools (83 percent) have contracts with a soft drink bottling company, which in many cases gives students access to soft drinks all day long.

Estimates of the median annual revenue for soft drink contracts in high schools turn out to be $6,000 ($6.48 per student), while for middle schools the annual revenue is about $500 (70 cents per student).

"The financial benefits of school contracts are modest in relation to the health threat that soft drink promotions entail, and clearly the problem is most serious at the high school level," Johnston said.

Other studies by the U-M team found that physical education is lacking among older students. The average number of minutes students spend in PE each week drops from 172 minutes in 8th grade to 89 minutes in 12th grade, by which time only a third of students are even taking a gym class at some time during the school year.

Minority students from lower socioeconomic levels attend schools in which fewer students are involved in varsity sports, quite possibly because such schools have fewer resources available to offer a full range of sports and the exercise that goes with them.

The U-M studies also show evidence of unhealthy school nutrition policies and serious disparities across racial/ethnic lines and across different socioeconomic levels:

--An article by Jorge Delva, U-M associate professor of social work, and colleagues documents the great extent to which children in school have access to high-fat, high- sugar and salty foods through vending machines and snack carts in schools

--Racial and ethnic minorities have less access to healthier foods, such as low-fat snacks.

--Students of low socioeconomic status have less access to healthy snacks at school than do students with higher socioeconomic status.

--On average, Hispanic high school students are exposed to brand-name fast-food items at lunchtime twice as often as African-American and white students.

U-M's Patrick O'Malley and colleagues found that in the 10 percent of schools that have the least overweight students, one in 10 students are overweight, on average, whereas in the 10 percent of all schools with the greatest problem, fully 44 percent of their students are overweight, on average.

"Research is showing us that we have in our schools and communities a perfect storm that will continue to feed the childhood obesity epidemic until we adopt policies that improve the health of our communities and our kids," said Frank Chaloupka, head of the University of Illinois at Chicago research team.

The UIC researchers found that, outside of school, it does not get much easier for kids to consume a healthy diet. Too many kids live in neighborhoods where fast-food restaurants and convenience stores far outnumber supermarkets. This is especially true in lower-income communities.

UIC economist Lisa Powell found a statistically significant association between the availability of supermarkets and lower adolescent and overweight status. In addition, Powell found a statistically significant association between the availability of convenience stores and higher overweight status.

"In communities where convenience stores outnumber supermarkets and fast-food restaurants are particularly prevalent, we're making it extremely difficult for parents and kids to eat balanced, healthy diets," Powell said. "These families simply don't have easy access to affordable fresh foods."

Powell and her colleagues also found that high-income neighborhoods have a significantly lower proportion of fast-food restaurants than do lower-income neighborhoods. There are also racial disparities: predominantly African-American urban neighborhoods have a significantly higher proportion of fast-food restaurants out of total restaurants compared with predominantly white urban neighborhoods.

"I think that the role of the environment in bringing about the epidemic of overweight among our children is still not fully appreciated," Johnston said. "There are many influences in our schools, communities and the media that contribute significantly to the problem and that can be changed for the better. If we don't make those changes, the consequences in terms of the health, longevity and the health care costs of our newest generations are going to be staggering."

About Bridging the Gap Bridging the Gap, which is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is a joint project of the University of Illinois at Chicago's Institute for Health Research and Policy and the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research. It is intended to improve our understanding of the role of policy and environmental factors in youth alcohol consumption, illicit drug and tobacco use, as well as diet and physical activity. Bridging the Gap also evaluates the effectiveness of policies and changes in environmental conditions in reducing substance use and obesity among youth. For more information, visit and

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. Helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in our lifetime. For more information, visit
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 10:10 am    Post subject: Diminishing Obesity's Risks Reply with quote

Week of Oct. 6, 2007; Vol. 172, No. 14

Diminishing Obesity's Risks
Mouse data suggest that, properly managed, obesity can be benign.

Janet Raloff

Health-care professionals typically refer to an extremely heavy person as being morbidly obese. The term reinforces the idea that the individual is at high risk of diabetes, fatty-liver disease, and heart attacks. Researchers who have been working with mice now report that certain chronic diseases don't have to be consequences of obesity.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:26 pm    Post subject: Overweight Kids Often Become Obese, Unhealthy Adults Reply with quote

Overweight Kids Often Become Obese, Unhealthy Adults
By Amanda Gardner, HealthDay Reporter

posted: 06 December 2007 12:53 pm ET

(HealthDay News) -- Overweight children and adolescents are more likely to be overweight or obese adults and more likely to suffer early heart disease and death, two new studies conclude.

The first, out of Denmark, found that large children, especially boys, are at an increased risk of coronary heart disease as adults.

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