People?especially overweight people?consume up to 50% MORE calories when they eat low-fat versions of snack foods than when they eat the regular versions. And dieters want to know: are “trans fats” (whatever they are) really bad for you?

New York City has now banned the use of trans fats in its restaurants, and Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago are considering doing the same thing, but most of us don’t really know what these are. Trans fats are artificially produced when hydrogen is added to vegetable oils, producing hydrogenated oils, in order to extend shelf life and make solid shortenings. Trans fatty acids occur naturally in meat and dairy products, but in small amounts.
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We recently wrote about how worry can actually make you sick, and it turns out that fear can make you fat?if you’re too afraid of crime in your neighborhood to go out and take a walk.

Older adults living in disadvantaged urban neighborhoods have an increased risk of obesity and this may be due to fear caused by living in areas characterized by crime, disorder and neglect.

Epidemiologist Thomas Glass says, “There is almost a twofold higher chance that you?re going to be obese if you live in the worst neighborhoods. Moreover, the risk is not something that can be explained away by personal variables such as dietary intake, tobacco use and household wealth.”
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Chemists in Japan have discovered that brown seaweed?something we don’t eat in the US, but which Japanese use extensively to flavor soups and salads?contains a compound which, in animal studies, promotes weight loss by reducing the accumulation of fat. Could this be another reason why the Japanese seem so much slimmer than we do?

Called fucoxanthin, the compound achieved a 5 to 10% weight reduction in test animals and could be developed into a natural extract or drug to help fight obesity. Look for seaweed diet pills soon, but be careful?there will be lots of fakes out there.

The compound targets abdominal fat, the hardest kind to lose and the type of fat that promotes Type II diabetes.
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We recently wrote about how drinking cola?whether regular, diet or decaf?is dangerous for women. Now the Coca-Cola company is launching a new brand of cola that is even more dangerous, because it’s essentially speed in a bottle!

Andrew Gumbel in the Independent the sales pitch for the new drink will be: drink cola and lose weight at the same time. This is different from regular diet drinks, that just claim to prevent you from gaining weight, in that the new drink, called Enviga, will actually burn calories, due to its high level of caffeine and other ingredients, which speed up the metabolism.
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