maltitol sugar alcohol

Sugar Alcohols: What are they, and how do they affect us?

Health snacks and alternative ingredients are increasingly abundant in our world, as people become more concerned with what goes into their bodies. But food labels are trickier to read than ever before, as food manufacturers find new sugar substitutes and sweeteners to make their products taste better. Sugar alcohols are a great example.

Many products seem healthy at first glance, with zero sugars. But then there is an additional label for sugar alcohols, and there are a ton of them. What are sugar alcohols?

The Structure of a Sugar Molecule, Versus the Structure of Other Sweeteners

A sugar molecule is a chain of six carbons, lined in rows of two. When the GI tract encounters a molecule with a set of six carbons aligned like this, it know to absorb the molecule. The top of the sugar molecule is different than the bottom of the molecule, however. The GI tract has types of doors or receptors that recognize the top of the molecule, and different receptors that recognize the bottom of the molecule.

Artificial sugar is modified so that one carbon in the sugar chain is modified, so the sets of six on top and bottom are no longer uniform. The body does not recognize this modified sugar as something to absorb. There is no receptor in the GI tract for a molecule with this structure.

Sugar alcohols are also modified sugars, but only the top of one carbon in the chain is modified. There is an alcohol group placed on the top of one of the carbons. The other side of the sugar molecule remains identical to a normal simple sugar molecule, and the GI tract has receptors that recognize and absorb the sugar alcohols.

So the body digests sugar alcohols, which is why you should always be careful when consuming them. They should be included in the count for those keeping track of carbohydrate consumption. They will raise your blood sugar levels.

Where are they found?

Sugar alcohols come in a few varieties, like maltitol and xylitol. They are found in bars, ice creams, cookies, candies, chewing gum and more.

MFOMA award (2)

Dr. Rader Awarded Highest Honor by Obesity Medicine Association

MFOMA award (2)W. Allen Rader, MD, of Boise ID, Awarded Highest Honor by Obesity Medicine Association

Denver, Colorado (December 5, 2016) — The Obesity Medicine Association recently designated W. Allen Rader, MD as a Master Fellow of the organization.

Nomination as a Master Fellow of the Obesity Medicine Association (OMA) is the highest honor of the organization, bestowed upon clinicians who have made significant ongoing contributions to OMA or the field of obesity medicine during many years of service.

Rader earned the Master Fellow designation because of his contributions to the OMA and his 20 years of service to patients afflicted with overweight and obesity. He has been a member of OMA for 20 years and has served in multiple positions at the national level including Board of Trustee’s, Secretary/Treasurer, Overweight and Obesity Evaluation and Management Guidelines task force Chairman, State Medical Board Task Force Chairman, and has for several years presented and lectured across the United States on numerous topics for the OMA. In May of 2013 he was invited to present in Lyon, France to the European Society of Obesity Medicine

In addition to becoming a Master Fellow of OMA, Rader has been a Diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine.

“I am passionate about the field of obesity medicine and grateful to receive Master Fellow status in an organization committed to growing my field,” Rader said. “Obesity is a chronic disease affecting thousands in Idaho alone. As an obesity medicine clinician, I make a difference every day in the lives of my patients. I am excited to see the growth and interest in obesity medicine as a career field for clinicians.”

“Becoming a Master Fellow of OMA demonstrates that I have the expertise to effectively treat and reduce obesity,” he added.

Dr Rader is the president of Idaho Weight Loss, which has 4 locations in Idaho. Along with his associate physicians – Dr. Mary Hafer, Dr. Michelle Freshwater and Dr. Brad Gilman – Dr. Rader works every day to help patients lose weight and achieve better overall health. As a member of OMA, headquartered in Denver CO., Dr Rader is part of the largest organization of like-minded clinicians dedicated to treating obesity and other obesity-related chronic diseases.


Obesity Treatment: Why It Must Be Comprehensive

One patient came into our clinic weighing nearly 400 pounds. After losing 200 pounds, more than 150 inches and finally being able to fit in a size she was proud of, she looks back and remembers something important: she was treated with dignity from the beginning.

Many different stereotypes swirl around about obesity, tying it to laziness, gluttony, and other negative character attributes, but the fact is that obesity is a disease. It’s an epidemic. People do have their lives in their own hands, but sometimes professional help is needed to overcome the many challenging biochemical, psychological, behavioral, and nutritional hurdles associated with obesity treatment.

Obesity treatment does more than change the physical appearance of a person. Much research has been done on the depression-obesity cycle. Studies show that especially in women, obesity is related to a much larger chance of developing depression, according to the American Psychological Association. In fact, obesity research has proven the direct biochemical connection between obesity and depression. Depression is a “psychological disease” but often is biochemically connected to excess fat. Resolve the fat abnormality and the depression resolves.

This is good example of how obesity is a more complicated issue than people give it credit for. All the causes fall into four basic areas, nutrition, metabolism, behaviors, and psychology. Therefore, the treatment must cover all four areas. Sometimes a team of weight loss professionals is the best way to resolve the issues surrounding obesity.

When it comes to obesity treatment at Idaho Weight Loss, we take a comprehensive look at your medical history and your current situation. We understand how multi-faceted obesity can be, and how treatment must be individualized.

Our medical team and our treatment plans account for all the battles you’ll fight to be able to find a healthy weight. We give you the tools to win those battles. Among those tools are encouragement, education, motivation, and medical treatment, which were so important to the patient mentioned at the beginning of this article. These are important in any serious weight loss effort.

When Dr. Rader began practicing obesity medicine, his goal was to provide compassionate, understanding, low cost care combined with modern obesity treatment. His associate and team members, Dr Freshwater, Dr Gilman, Dr Hafer, PA Deb Mabbutt and the entire staff in all four offices strive to that same goal today, to the great benefit of thousands.


Obesity in Idaho

The startling obesity statistics for the United States often flash across computers and TV screens, but how does Idaho fare in the obesity battle?

Statistics from www.healthandwelfare.idaho.govshow that about 27 percent of adults in Idaho are obese, which is below the national average. More than 62 percent of adults in Idaho are either overweight or obese, however.

When it comes to eating, Idaho adults don’t do so well. More than four out five don’t eat as recommended, according to recent data. About a fifth didn’t participate in any leisure activity.

Childhood obesity is an issue in Idaho and across the nation. In 2011-12, there was an assessment of BMI in Idaho 3rd graders. About 30 percent of 3rd graders in the state were overweight or obese. A survey of Idaho high schoolers found that about fourth of them were overweight or obese.

Overweight and obese people are at greater risk for wide variety of health problems, such as liver disease, gallbladder disease, insulin resistance, sleep apnea, cancers, heart disease and even psychological problems.

Idaho Weight Loss can help each individual lose weight and thereby decrease your chances of developing these serious health conditions. However stopping the obesity epidemic across the nation is going to require the efforts of communities, governments and the food industry.

Within the family, and within the home, is a great place to start. Parents can help their kids develop good eating and exercise habits. Establishing a healthy home environment will do wonders for your child’s future.

Obesity treatment and weight loss can be a hugely significant victory, and can make your life better, but remember that obesity prevention is what everyone should shoot for. Healthy habits will help you maintain a healthy weight if you’ve lost pounds.

We’re trying to make Idaho a healthier place, but you can do your part too!


Soda & Obesity

How much does soda actually matter?

Obesity is a growing epidemic lacking many apparent or promising solutions. Despite the efforts of health professionals and legislation over the past few decades to reduce the rates of overweight and obese people, they continue to climb. It is predicted that obesity and obesity-related diseases will overtake tobacco as the leading killer of Americans within the next decade. A major culprit contributing to this epidemic is sugary beverages, specifically soda.

In the 1970’s the average adult consumed about 290 calories a day from beverages. Today, the average consumption of calories from beverages is 490 calories. Not coincidentally, the percentage of overweight or obese adults has risen from 47% in the 1970’s to 69% today. On average, half of the population drinks soda every day, with 1 out of every 4 people consuming 200 calories or more. Surprisingly, soda is the highest contributor of calories to the teenage diet, with an average of 226 calories consumed.

Soda portion sizes have increased along with marketing efforts of companies to encourage individuals to drink more of their product than ever. A typical 20-ounce soda has upwards of 240 calories, yet is considered a small or medium in most establishments.  A 64-ounce soda could have up to 700 calories.  Studies have found that people who drank just 12 ounces more of soda a day gain more weight over time than their non-soda-drinking counterparts. Numerous studies have linked soda consumption with obesity in children and the increased risk of obesity as adults. In addition to the risks of being overweight or obese, soda intake has also been linked to increased risks of type II diabetes, heart attack and gout.

Fortunately, becoming aware of the risks and changing one’s behavior can reduce the harm associated with excess soda consumption. By reducing soda intake or cutting it out altogether, better weight controlcan be had even among individuals who are already overweight.


Teen Obesity and Teen Weight Loss

Peer pressure, societal misinformation, hormones, puberty – teenagers have it pretty rough when it comes to their bodies and physical appearance. Teenagers seem to be more concerned and sensitive about their physical appearance than those at other stages of life. The pressure to be accepted and to fit in can cause teenagers to take drastic measures to achieve their perception of an “ideal body.”  Yet the “ideal body” is misunderstood.  Below is a picture comparing the “Barbie doll” and the average teenager in America.

Parents should be cautiously concerned with their teenager’s weight, as it affects their mental and physical development. If your teenager is struggling with their weight or with losing weight, here are 3 things to keep in mind to set the stage for success. Parents should be cautiously concerned with their teenager’s weight, as it affects their mental and physical development. If your teenager is struggling with their weight or with losing weight, here are 4 things to keep in mind to set the stage for success.

Have sympathy

You can bet that as worried as you are about your teenager’s weight, they are as much or more concerned with it. Rather than be critical or over-bearing, have a compassionate conversation about your concerns and why you care about their health. Encourage them to be in charge of their health, while offering your support and resources to help them make the right decisions.

Promote sustainable habits

It can be easy to be lured into quick-fixes or miracle cures, but you must remember that only sustainable changes will lead to sustainable results. Similarly, diets with heavy restrictions can rob your teen of needed nutrients for their continued growth and development. Instead, use this as an opportunity to discover new recipes for healthy, nutrient-dense foods that your teen enjoys. Try new modes of physical activity to find some that your teen enjoys. When healthy habits are enjoyable, they are more likely to be maintained and yield the best results.

Practice what you preach

Your teen is much more likely to find success in their weight-loss if they have family support. Rather than singling out your teen, involve the whole family in adopting a healthier lifestyle. When they are surrounded by others who are adopting healthy lifestyles, it will be easier for them. Similarly, teenagers are experts at analyzing what you say and finding discrepancies. If you tell them how important their health is to you, and then neglect your own health, they will likely have a hard time prioritizing their health also. Don’t just tell them, show them that their health is important.

Consider professional help

If their weight is high and going up treatment becomes tougher. Seeking professional help early on is more likely to produce successful results helping both the child and the parents.


New Study Shows Obesity is a Progressive Disease

With continuously climbing BMI rates, as well as soaring amounts of diabetes among the population, obesity has crawled its way into the lives of many.  The sad epidemic has been linked to extreme health risks including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and even death.

Many who struggle with obesity often feel helpless against it. Obesity research helps shed light on the problem, for better treatment and weight loss tactics. A recent study in the June issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine gave insight into this national epidemic, explaining how obesity is a progressive disease.

The study found that obesity at age 25 strongly increases risk for extreme obesity at ages 35 and above.  Data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found that men who were obese at age 25 had a 23.1% chance of class III obesity (BMI greater than 40) after age 35. Women’s findings were even worse, with a 46.9% probability that class III obesity would set in, if they were obese earlier in life.  In contrast, men who had a normal weight at age 25 only had a 1.1% chance of extreme obesity after 35, and women with likelihood at 4.8%.

Though these findings seem bleak for those who are already overweight, the study did find some positives. Data showed that present weight, not the duration of weight, was the best indicator of cardiovascular disease and metabolic risk.  This simply means that regardless of how long a person has been overweight, losing weight at any time will help reduce health risks. Jennifer B. Dowd, the lead author of the study and a Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the City University of New York School of Public Health stated, “This is good news in some respects, as overweight and obese young adults who can prevent additional weight gain can expect their biological risk factors to be no worse than those who reach the same level of BMI later in life.”

Obesity is discouraging, but studies like these shed helpful light on preventing future problems.  Obesity is a disease, so talking to a doctor or seeking professional help is the first step to getting healthy. We live on a battle ground of fast food, sugar drinks, and sedentary lifestyles, and often it is too hard to combat obesity alone. Find support to assist with weight-loss. You can do hard things, feel better about yourself, and lower your risk for future chronic diseases.

As for those who are not obese at age 25, continue to stay on the path of a healthy weight. Weight problems will take anyone in their path, so don’t get complacent with diet or exercise. Don’t let obesity take you as its next victim.


Obesity Is An Expensive Issue

The shift in structure and cost of healthcare in the United States has created many debates and raised many questions about its effects on citizens. According to a study published in the Journal of Health Economics, the estimated cost of obesity-related illnesses is $190.2 billion, which is about 21 percent of all health care spending.Obesity has steadily increased over the past decade and is predicted to continue trending upwards. If we were only able to maintain the current rate of obesity, the projected healthcare SAVINGS would be $549.5 billion over the course of the next two decades.

The direct costs associated with obesity not only burden the healthcare system, but also affect other indirect categories. In addition to increased health premiums, it is estimated that businesses have also lost another $4.3 billion from obesity due to absenteeism. It has been found that obese employees are absent more frequently for short-term absences, long-term disability, and premature death than their non-obese counterparts. In addition to the costs for society and for businesses, the individual cost of obesity is also significant. A study from 2012 found that the per capita medical spending for an obese individual was $2,741 more than non-obese individuals, which is a 150 percent increase.

The rising rates of obesity and corresponding costs have alarmed many policymakers and healthcare professionals. Prevention and treatment is the key to lowering obesity and saving that money. Many initiatives have been taken to educate the public and encourage change, however these programs and efforts have not yet been shown to be effective at lowering the rate of obesity. Collaboration between the national and local governments, healthcare providers, food companies, marketing agencies, and the individual is the only way to make large gains in the fight the costs of obesity at the national level. Each individual person, however, can positively affect their own health and costs of obesity by attending to themselves. TAKE BACK YOUR HEALTH.