Researchers weigh in on heavy issues

Posted on Thursday, October 9, 2008
Michael Pollak, Alexander Goldfarb Chair in Medical Oncology at McGill. / Photo: Owen Egan

Michael Pollak, Alexander Goldfarb Chair in Medical Oncology at McGill. / Photo: Owen Egan

By Laurie Devine

Pass the low-cal sweetener, please

Here’s one good reason for maintaining your optimum weight: “Being overweight and having high insulin levels predicts bad outcomes among men who have prostate cancer, and the strength of that relationship is remarkable.” According to Dr. Michael Pollak, Alexander Goldfarb Chair in Medical Oncology at McGill and Dr. Jing Ma of Harvard Medical School, obese men are nearly three times as likely to die from a diagnosis of prostate cancer than men of normal weight. And the prognosis is even worse if they have high insulin levels as well. Their research is published in the October issue of Lancet Oncology.

Objects in mirror may appear smaller than they are

Carrying around extra bulk? Time to start considering the impact it is having on your children. In the battle of the bulge it pays to have fit friends and parents. Three Montreal universities collaborated in a study that showed that kids and teens surrounded by overweight family or friends are less likely to see themselves as overweight. Katerina Maximova, a doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology at McGill was lead author of the study, which appeared in the International Journal of Obesity, co-authored with Gilles Paradis of McGill and colleagues from Université de Montréal, Concordia and Hôpital Ste-Justine. The authors conclude that “targeting this misperception could lead to the adoption of healthy lifestyle behaviors and improve the effectiveness of obesity prevention interventions.” In other words, adjusting the mirror would be a good wake-up call for action.

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