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What does it all mean?

Weight Status
Below 18.5
18.5 - 24.9
25.0 - 29.9
30.0 and Above
A BMI of less than 19 indicates you are underweight.
A BMI between 20 and 24 is usually considered normal.
A person with a BMI of 25 to 29 is considered overweight,
and a person with a BMI of 30 or above is considered obese.

Obesity is associated with an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases.

Natures Benefit has launched a physician formulated weight loss product containing fucoxanthin. Fucoselean™ is a proprietary MD Formulated marine nutraceutical that may promote thermogenesis. It contains natural Fucoxanthin from brown marine vegetables concentrated at the clinically researched level. This unique marine vegetable extract is combined with special Green Tea extracts for sugar metabolism and Antioxidant Power®, and it contains chromium for the support of insulin function.


Meridia or Reductil ( sibutramine hydrochloride monohydrate ) is diet pill that may help obese people, as determined by their doctor, lose weight and keep weight off. . Sibutramine was approved by the FDA in 1997.

Sibutramine hydrochloride monohydrate is a white to cream crystalline powder with a solubility of 2.9 mg/mL in pH 5.2 water. Its octanol: water partition coefficient is 30.9 at pH 5.0.

Sibutramine is in a class of medications called appetite suppressants. It works by acting on appetite control centers in the brain to decrease appetite. Sibutramine is a medication that assists with weight-loss by altering neurotransmitters within the brain.

Each Meridia capsule contains 5mg (blue and yellow); 10mg (blue and white); 15mg (white and yellow) of sibutramine hydrochloride monohydrate. It also contains as inactive ingredients: lactose monohydrate, NF; microcrystalline cellulose, NF; colloidal silicon dioxide, NF; and magnesium stearate, NF in a hard-gelatin capsule [which contains titanium dioxide, USP; gelatin; FD&C Blue No. 2 (5- and 10-mg capsules only); D&C Yellow No. 10 (5- and 15-mg capsules only), and other inactive ingredients].

Meridia pills are supplied as :

  • 5 mg blue/yellow capsules in bottles of 30 capsules and in bottles of 100 capsules.
  • 10 mg blue/white capsules in bottles of 30 capsules and in bottles of 100 capsules.
  • 15 mg yellow/white capsules in bottles of 30 capsules and in bottles of 100 capsules.

Meridia is indicated for the management of obesity, including weight loss and maintenance of weight loss, and should be used in conjunction with a reduced calorie diet. Meridia is recommended for obese patients with an initial body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m2, or ≥ 27 kg/m2 in the presence of other risk factors (e.g., diabetes, dyslipidemia, controlled hypertension).

Take Meridia by mouth exactly as directed by your doctor, it is usually taken once daily, generally in the morning with or without food. Therapy usually is started with one 10mg Meridia tablet per day. The 5 mg dose reserved for patients who do not tolerate the 10 mg dose.

Your doctor may start you on a low dose of sibutramine and increase your dose to 15mg to achieve the desired effect, after you have been taking sibutramine for at least 4 weeks.

The full effect on weight may require four to six weeks.

You may not continue to lose weight after your first 6 months of treatment. However, you should continue to take sibutramine even if you have stopped losing weight. If you stop taking sibutramine, you may gain weight. Do not stop taking sibutramine without talking to your doctor.

Analysis of numerous variables has indicated that approximately 60% of patients who lose at least 4 pounds in the first 4 weeks of treatment with a given dose of Meridia in combination with a low calorie diet lose at least 5% (placebo-subtracted) of their initial body weight by the end of 6 months to 1 year of treatment on that dose of Meridia. Conversely, approximately 80% of patients who do not lose at least 4 pounds in the first 4 weeks of treatment with a given dose of Meridia do not lose at least 5% (placebo-subtracted) of their initial body weight by the end of 6 months to 1 year of treatment on that dose.

If a patient has not lost at least 4 pounds in the first 4 weeks of treatment, the physician should consider reevaluation of therapy which may include increasing the dose or discontinuation of Meridia.

In general, Meridia is well-tolerated.

The most common side effects have been dry mouth, drowsiness, constipation, difficulty sleeping, or headache. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor promptly.

If you notice any other Meridia side effects contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In patients receiving one of the drugs from a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)–e.g., fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft)–at the same time as monoamine oxidase inhibitor drugs (MAO inhibitors), there have been reports of serious reactions (serotonin syndrome). The serotonin syndrome may include one or more of the following: agitation, anxiety, dizziness, confusion, excessive sweating, disorientation, painful joints, vomiting, hyperexcitement, fever, loss of coordination, loss of consciousness, shivering, fast heart rate, tremor, and weakness. Meridia, like the SSRIs, blocks the reuptake of serotonin and may also cause the serotonin syndrome. Therefore, sibutramine should not be used with MAO inhibitors, and there should be at least a 2-week interval between stopping an MAO inhibitor and starting sibutramine.

MERIDIA should be used with caution in patients with mild to moderate renal impairment. MERIDIA should not be used in patients with severe renal impairment, including those with end stage renal disease on dialysis

Some people taking MERIDIA can have a large increase in blood pressure or heart rate (pulse). Do not take MERIDIA if your blood pressure is not well controlled. .

MERIDIA is contraindicated in patients taking other centrally acting weight loss drugs.

Patients taking Meridia may achieve a 5-10% reduction from their baseline weight. Additionally, sibutramine-assisted weight loss has been accompanied by improvement in blood lipids (e.g, cholesterol).

Do not take more or less of it or take it more often or for a longer time than prescribed by your doctor. You will probably lose weight soon after you begin taking sibutramine and following your diet and exercise program. Be sure to monitor your weight, and call your doctor if you do not lose at least 4 pounds during your first 4 weeks of therapy.

The efficacy of sibutramine in adolescents who are obese has not been adequately studied.

It is unknown whether sibutramine or its active products accumulate in breast milk. Sibutramine, therefore, is not recommended for nursing mothers.

How should I store MERIDIA?

Keep Meridia in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) . Protect capsules from heat and moisture.

In an eight-year study of more than 40,000 runners, researcher Paul Williams, Ph.D., found that weight gain among men and women who decreased their running distances per week was significantly more than weight loss among men and women who increased their running distances per week by the same amount.
Additionally, substantial weight loss in participants did not occur unless running distances were more than 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) per week for men, and 48 kilometers (29.8 miles) per week for women. Participants who already ran a long distance per week and decreased their running, still maintaining a long distance per week, gained significantly less weight than those whose running distances started shorter and decreased to even less.

Williams believes that exercise has taken a back seat to controlling diet in addressing America’s obesity epidemic. The key, he says, is to start exercising before weight gain actually occurs.

ACSM and the American Heart Association recommend that healthy adults engage in physical activity for at least 30 minutes, five days per week, at a moderate intensity, or 20 minutes, three days per week, at a vigorous intensity. Individuals striving for weight loss may need to exercise as many as 60 to 90 minutes per day.

Dawn O’Brien stood in her kitchen holding a pair of size 26, blue-and-white flowered pants in front of her.

“I’ve always wanted to do this,” she said, laughing. “Look at my pants. This is not me.”

She flicked her wrists and tossed her pants to the floor.

“Tada,” she giggled, striking a pose.

Behind the pants was a size 9 figure.

More than three years earlier, Dawn was sitting on her couch wearing the same pants — then so tight she couldn’t zip them up — when she decided something drastic had to change.

“It was just one of those moments where you are thinking, ‘How much bigger am I going to get?’ ” O’Brien said. “And I had gone, seriously, probably two sizes bigger than these pants, but I wouldn’t buy them the next size up.”

Instead, she decided to get a Lap-Band, a weight-loss surgery that places a band at the top of her stomach making a small pouch about the size of a golf ball. The procedure restricts how much she can eat.

The 41-year-old Lawrence single mom convinced her mother, Elizabeth “Bizz” O’Brien, to do the same. Together they have lost 250 pounds in about 30 months.

“I am so excited about life — where I don’t think I was very excited about it before,” Dawn said. “I was trying to figure out, ‘Do I have to go through life with the morbidly obese title, or is there something better out there for me?’ And the Lap-Band was it.”

A growing obesity epidemic and advance medical technology have contributed to the skyrocketing number of weight-loss surgeries across the country and state. The surgeries have gone up almost 300 percent in the past decade. In 2006, 758 such surgeries were performed at community hospitals in Kansas compared to 190 in 1996. More surgeries are done outside hospitals at specialty centers. Nationally, about 200,000 surgeries were performed last year.

Depending on the procedures, costs can range from $13,000 to $40,000.

Proponents of the procedure believe the latest research overwhelmingly points away from the stigma of a quick-fix surgery that comes with risky complications and mixed results.

“There is a preponderant amount of evidence that it’s not only effective, but when done in the right conditions, with the right surgical training, it is safe and has a low mortality rate associated with the surgery itself,” said Candace Ayars with the Kansas Health Institute.

In recent weeks, weight-loss surgery has grabbed headlines.

Kansas legislators have heard pleas to require insurance companies to cover the procedure.

And, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Australian researchers found patients who had stomach band surgery were five times more likely to see their diabetes disappear over two years than patients who followed the standard practices of medication, diet and lifestyle changes.

Athletic in her youth, Dawn’s battle with weight began when she was pregnant with her second child. She gained 100 pounds. After the birth of her son, she lost 50 pounds. But the weight returned and then continued to climb.

Weight Watchers, the grapefruit diet, then the soup diet, joining gyms, pills — Dawn can rattle off the number of weight-loss techniques she tried.

“It just gets more and more intense as you go, and you keep trying all these different things to lose weight. You wake up one morning and you say, ‘I would rather not be here. I would rather not be on this earth this way.’ And, I think that is the point where you kind of go, ‘I need to do something drastic,’” she said.

Dr. Carlyle Dunshee, a weight-loss surgeon with the Tallgrass Bariatric Program in Topeka, said most of his patients are great dieters who have lost pounds 100 times over. However, he said even with successful diets, five years down the road, most people regain the weight.

“This surgery needs to be coupled with lifestyle changes, but just telling them that alone, that is not going to work, that is not the solution,” he said.

Dawn knew that Lap-Band, formerly called laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, wasn’t a magic pill, but a tool. A tool that came with risks.

After attending an educational seminar in Topeka, she was sold on the procedure.

She was even more convinced that this was a surgery her mom needed. The Lap-Band is the least invasive weight-loss surgery; other forms involve moving intestines and disconnecting parts of the stomach. A surgery that would keep her anatomy intact was appealing to Dawn’s mom, Bizz.

Bizz, or Grandma Bizz as some call her, weighed 430 pounds. The 63-year-old Lawrence woman knew things had to change when she started using her grandmother’s cane. At work, she took breaks while walking from the parking lot to her desk as a customer information specialist at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. She used the motorized carts at stores. She had diabetes and heart problems.

“I love my mom, but I did not want to become my mom,” Dawn said. “I didn’t want the weight problems or the medicines.”

“And I am grateful for that,” Bizz said. “Because I didn’t want to see her go through what I had gone through.”

Dawn, chief executive officer of the Leavenworth County nonprofit Nurturing Families Inc., looked for insurance plans that would cover the surgery, but found none. Bizz appealed to her insurance company five times, but was denied. Dawn ended up drawing on her retirement to pay for the procedure. She did the same for her mom, who has now paid her back.

It made sense. With the extra weight, they feared they might not see retirement.

Aug. 29, 2005 — Dawn went into surgery at Tallgrass. Six weeks later, Bizz followed at St. Francis Health Center.

To prepare, it was 10 days of nothing but liquids. The same was true for the week or two after the surgery. Then it was soft foods, followed by solids and eventually anything they wanted.

While they can eat what they want, it must be consumed in small quantities — a quarter of a cup at a time. Ten almonds or half of an egg is a meal.

It was a mind shift that took some getting used to. Both had moments — at a favorite restaurant or Thanksgiving dinner — when they loaded up their plates only to realize they could manage just a few bites.

“For me, the psychological part of it was probably the hardest. Because you are so used to doing whatever you want food-wise,” Dawn said.

Bizz and Dawn have learned to chew slowly, pick food based on nutritional value and recognize when to stop eating before a strike of pain indicates they are beyond full and about to regurgitate. They don’t get hungry. They take vitamins; without them, their nails break and hair goes limp.

Kuda Chimanya, a clinical dietitian at Truman Medical Centers, said the surgery requires lifestyle changes: no more fast food or caffeinated beverages, and eating out is curtailed. The most successful patients are the ones who have follow-up programs that help them address the issues that drove them to be overweight in the first place.

Ayars, of the Kansas Health Institute, said a study in Sweden showed that 10 years after surgery, Lap-Band patients had gained back just 16 percent of the weight they lost in the first two years. For gastric bypass patients, it was 25 percent.

Bizz calls the Lap-Band her safety net. She has lost 130 pounds. So has her daughter. Bizz is halfway to her goal of about 150 pounds. Yes, there is the fear that the weight could come back, but roughly a pound or two a week is still steadily melting away.

Dawn wants to lose another 20 to 30 pounds to reach her goal of 125. She’s saving money for her next surgery, a body lift.

Life has changed. For Bizz, the cane hangs unused. The diabetes medication is gone. She can tie her shoes.

People say her voice has changed. Even her smile is different.

“When I go down a hall and I pass someone who hasn’t seen me in awhile, they walk by me like they don’t know me. And then, they stop and go, ‘Bizz?’” she said. “I love it. I just love it. That is the best compliment in the world.”

Two and a half years ago, Dawn would have told you that her weight hadn’t kept her from doing anything. But that wasn’t true. She now has more energy, makes eye contact during conversations, volunteers and finds herself connecting to more people.

But she keeps mementos of the old Dawn. Among them are the pants and her pre-surgery driver’s license. And, if she never hits that 125-pound goal, it’s OK.

“I like who I am now,” Dawn said. “To have come through that and to look back at my driver’s license and know, ‘Wow, that was two years ago.’”

Researchers said that children of mothers who followed a high-quality Mediterranean diet were 80 percent less likely to have persistent wheezing, the most common symptom of childhood asthma. They were also 45 percent less likely to develop allergies.
At the same time, children of women who consumed more red meat seemed to be at higher risk of developing these problems while the children’s diet when young did not seem to matter.
The researchers based their findings on 468 pregnant women tracked for 6-1/2-years after giving birth using questionnaires on diet.

And eating vegetables more than eight times a week, fish more than three times a week and legumes more than once a week seems to boost the protection.

The combination of healthy foods containing a number of known antioxidants and nutrients likely made the difference but more further studies are needed to better understand the mechanisms of this protective effect and the most relevant window of exposure.
The findings add further evidence to the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet that emphasizes vegetables, fish and healthy fats such as olive and canola oil over red meat.

The food pyramid plan

Guidelines for choosing foods are widely represented in various food pyramids. The triangular shape of the pyramid shows you where to focus when selecting foods. Foods to eat the most of create the base of the pyramid, and foods to eat in smaller amounts or less frequently are shown farther up the pyramid.

Many food pyramid plan exist, just few:

Asian diet pyramid

asian diet  pyramid

Mediterranean diet pyramid


Vegetarian Diet Pyramid


Basic principles of all food pyramids

With the variety of food pyramids available, you may wonder which one to follow. It may help to know that the basic principles of food pyramids are largely the same and generally emphasize the following:

  • Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Reduce intake of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol.
  • Limit sweets and salt.
  • Drink alcoholic beverages in moderation, if at all.
  • Control portion sizes and the total number of calories you consume.
  • Include physical activity in your daily routine.

Food pyramids place foods in categories – such as dairy products or meat and beans – to help guide your food choices. No single food provides all of the nutrients that your body needs, so eating a variety of foods within each group ensures that you get the necessary nutrients and other substances that promote good health.

Food pyramid differences

Although food pyramids reflect the same general principles of healthy eating, they demonstrate different food choices. These differences reflect dietary preferences, food availability and cultural eating patterns. For example, the Latin American Diet Pyramid might include tortillas and cornmeal within the grains food group, whereas the Asian Diet Pyramid might emphasize noodles and rice.

Other differences include:

  • Food groups. The food groups among food pyramids may vary somewhat. For example, some might group plant-based proteins – soybeans, beans and nuts – separately from animal proteins found in meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products. This is because animal proteins are often higher in fat and cholesterol, and some diets limit or avoid animal proteins.
  • Serving recommendations. How food pyramids address servings also varies. The Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid, for example, recommends a daily number of servings from each food group. And it specifically defines serving sizes; for example, a serving of cooked brown rice is 1/3 cup and a serving of milk is 1 cup. But other plans offer more general guidelines, such as eating particular foods at every meal, or on a weekly or monthly basis. For example, the Latin American Diet Pyramid recommends that you eat whole grains, vegetables and fruits at every meal but eat red meat, sweets and eggs once a week or less.

How to use a food pyramid

To see how your diet matches up to any of these pyramids, keep a food diary for several days. Then compare how much of your diet comes from the various levels. If you’re top-heavy, work your way toward the bottom of the pyramid by making small, gradual changes, such as eating more vegetables, fruits and whole grains and limiting fats and sweets.

Here are a few simple practices to help get or keep you on track:

  • Choose a variety of foods from each major food group. This ensures that you get all of the calories, protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber you need. Choosing a wide range of foods also helps make your meals and snacks more interesting.
  • Adapt the plan to your specific tastes and preferences. For example, a serving of grains doesn’t only mean a slice of wheat bread. It can be wild rice, whole-wheat pasta, grits, bulgur, cornmeal muffins or even popcorn.
  • Combine foods from each major group however you like. For example, you might make a meal of tortillas (grain group) and beans (meat and beans group). Or you could top your fish with fruit salsa or serve steamed vegetables over pasta. The possibilities are endless.
  • Select your meals and snacks wisely. Make the most of what you eat by choosing nutrient-rich foods within each group. And if you need to avoid foods from one or more food groups – for example, if you don’t consume dairy products because of lactose intolerance – choose other foods that are good sources of the nutrients found in those foods.

Children treated for hypothyroidism aren’t likely to drop pounds with treatment for the condition says a new study in the Journal of Pediatrics. The study is the first to examine the link between hypothyroidism treatment and weight loss in pediatric patients.
The study followed 68 children with acquired hypothyroidism treated in the pediatric endocrinology clinic at Kentucky Children’s Hospital from 1995 to 2006. Most of the subjects had severe cases of hypothyroidism. Researchers found treatment with levo-thyroxine, which normalized the children’s thyroid levels, did not lower weight or BMI from baseline to any time point measured, either short-term or long-term.