The new issue of *Archives of General Psychiatry* (Vol. 66 No. 10)
includes an article: “Association of the Mediterranean Dietary Pattern
With the Incidence of Depression.”
The authors are Almudena Sánchez-Villegas, BPharm, PhD; Miguel Delgado-
Rodríguez, MD, PhD, MPH; Alvaro Alonso, MD, PhD; Javier Schlatter, MD,
PhD; Francisca Lahortiga, BA, PhD; Lluis Serra Majem, MD, PhD; & Miguel
Angel Martínez-González, MD, PhD, MPH.
Here’s the abstract:
Context
Adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern (MDP) is thought to
reduce inflammatory, vascular, and metabolic processes that may be
involved in the risk of clinical depression.

Diet and Coronary Heart Disease

High quality evidence exists that the following help to protect people from coronary heart disease:
* “Mediterranean” and other high quality dietary patterns (see below)
* Nuts
* Vegetables
* Mono-saturated fats

Strong evidence exists that the following increase the risk:
* trans-fats
* foods with a high glycemic index (see below**)

Moderately good quality evidence exists that the following are also helpful in preventing CHD:
* Fish
* Folate
* Whole grains
* Vitamins C and E in the diet
* Beta carotene
* Alcohol
* Fruit
* Fibre

There is as yet insufficient evidence about:
* Vitamin C and E supplements
* Saturated and unsaturated fat and total fat
* Linolenic acid
* Meat
* Eggs
* Milk

(more…)

The journal *Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise* (vol. 41, #2)
includes the American College of Sports Medicine’s new revised
guidelines for “Appropriate Physical Activity Intervention Strategies
for Weight Loss and Prevention of Weight Regain for Adults.”  This
updates their previous 2001 ACSM recommendations.

Here are their specific clinical recommendations and ratings of the
level of scientific evidence supporting each recommendation:

[begin excerpt]

*    For prevention of weight gain in most adults, physical activity of 150 to 250 minutes
per week
, with an energy equivalent of 1200 to 2000 kcal/week, will
prevent weight gain of more than 3% (level of evidence, A).

*There is a dose-response effect of physical activity on weight loss, with physical activity of less
than 150 minutes per week resulting in minimal weight loss, physical activity of more
than 150 minutes per week in modest weight loss of approximately 2 to 3
kg
, and physical activity of more than 225 to 420 minutes per week leading to weight
loss of 5 to 7.5 kg (level of evidence, B).

*To maintain weight after weight loss, some studies suggest that physical activity of
approximately 200 to 300 minutes per week
will help minimize weight
regain, although “more is better.” To date, no well-designed,
sufficiently powered, energy-balance studies provide evidence concerning
the amount of physical activity needed to prevent weight regain after weight loss
(level of evidence, B).

*Lifestyle physical activity, which is an ambiguous term that should be better defined
to assess available evidence in the literature, may help counteract the
small energy imbalance ultimately leading to obesity in most adults
(level of evidence, B).

*If diet restriction is modest but not if diet restriction is severe, physical activity
will increase weight loss
(level of evidence, A).

*Resistance training is ineffective for weight loss with or without diet
restriction, according to limited research evidence. However, some
limited data suggest that resistance training enhances gain or
maintenance of lean mass and loss of body fat during energy restriction.
Furthermore, resistance training may also ameliorate risk factors for
chronic disease, such as low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol
levels, high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, insulin
sensitivity, and blood pressure (level of evidence, B).

[end excerpt]

The article notes that the new ACSM Guidelines are consistent with the
U.S. Dephysical activityrtment of Health & Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines
for Americans.

Here’s the abstract: “Overweight and obesity affects more than 66% of
the adult population and is associated with a variety of chronic
diseases. Weight reduction reduces health risks associated with chronic
diseases and is therefore encouraged by major health agencies.
Guidelines of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
encourage a 10% reduction in weight, although considerable literature
indicates reduction in health risk with 3% to 5% reduction in weight.
Physical activity (physical activity) is recommended as a component of weight
management for prevention of weight gain, for weight loss, and for
prevention of weight regain after weight loss. In 2001, the American
College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) published a Position Stand that
recommended a minimum of 150 min·wk-1 of moderate-intensity physical activity for
overweight and obese adults to improve health; however, 200-300 min·wk-1
was recommended for long-term weight loss. More recent evidence has
supported this recommendation and has indicated more physical activity may be necessary
to prevent weight regain after weight loss. To this end, we have
reexamined the evidence from 1999 to determine whether there is a level
at which physical activity is effective for prevention of weight gain, for weight loss,
and prevention of weight regain. Evidence supports moderate-intensity physical activity
between 150 and 250 min·wk-1 to be effective to prevent weight gain.
Moderate-intensity physical activity between 150 and 250 min·wk-1 will provide only
modest weight loss. Greater amounts of physical activity (>250 min·wk-1) have been
associated with clinically significant weight loss. Moderate-intensity
physical activity between 150 and 250 min·wk-1 will improve weight loss in studies that
use moderate diet restriction but not severe diet restriction. Cross-
sectional and prospective studies indicate that after weight loss,
weight maintenance is improved with physical activity >250 min·wk-1. However, no
evidence from well-designed randomized controlled trials exists to judge
the effectiveness of physical activity for prevention of weight regain after weight
loss. Resistance training does not enhance weight loss but may increase
fat-free mass and increase loss of fat mass and is associated with
reductions in health risk. Existing evidence indicates that endurance physical activity
or resistance training without weight loss improves health risk. There
is inadequate evidence to determine whether physical activity prevents or attenuates
detrimental changes in chronic disease risk during weight gain.”

The article is online — but requires a subscription — at:
<http://tinyurl.com/bvycn4&gt;.

Here’s how the Discussion section starts: “In this population-based
trial, participants were assigned to and taught about diets that
emphasized different contents of carbohydrates, fat, and protein and
were given reinforcement for 2 years through group and individual
sessions. The principal finding is that the diets were equally
successful in promoting clinically meaningful weight loss and the
maintenance of weight loss over the course of 2 years
. Satiety, hunger,
satisfaction with the diet, and attendance at group sessions were
similar for all diets. The diets improved lipid risk factors and fasting
insulin levels in the directions that would be expected on the basis of
macronutrient content. The study had a large sample, a high rate of
retention, and the sensitivity to detect small changes in weight. The
population was diverse with respect to age, income, and geography and
included a large percentage of men. The participants were eager to lose
weight and to attempt whatever type of diet they were assigned, and they
did well in screening interviews and questionnaires that evaluated their
motivation. Thus, the findings should be directly applicable to both
clinicians’ recommendations for weight loss in individual patients and
the development of population-wide recommendations by public health
officials.”

Here’s another excerpt: “Study participants who attended two thirds of
the sessions over the course of 2 years lost about 9 kg of weight
.
Regain after 6 to 12 months was about 20% of the regain reported in
earlier trials.28 Several recent trials have also shown that continued
contact with participants after weight loss is associated with less
regain.12,24,37,38 These findings together point to behavioral factors
rather than macronutrient metabolism as the main influences on weight loss
.”

The article is online at:
http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/360/9/859&gt;

The University of California , Los Angeles, issued the following news release 10 July 08:

Scientists learn how food affects the brain

In addition to helping protect us from heart disease and cancer, a
balanced diet and regular exercise can also protect the brain and ward
off mental disorders.

“Food is like a pharmaceutical compound that affects the brain,” said
Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a UCLA professor of neurosurgery and
physiological science who has spent years studying the effects of food,
exercise and sleep on the brain. “Diet, exercise and sleep have the
potential to alter our brain health and mental function. This raises the
exciting possibility that changes in diet are a viable strategy for
enhancing cognitive abilities, protecting the brain from damage and
counteracting the effects of aging.” (more…)