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This couple lost hundreds of pounds with the help of an obesity medicine specialist – WFAA.com

Posted: February 19, 2020 at 10:41 am

PLANO, Texas Luis and Amanda Almanza have lived a lot of life together. The couple met in middle school, and over the last 27 years have gone through their teens, young adulthood, marriage and kids, all side by side.

As the years went on, they faced a major struggle.

I knew that I was unhealthy and uncomfortable, Luis said.

Since both had a family history of cancer, and Luis pre-diabetic, the husband and wife decided to tackle one of their toughest challenges yet: their health.

Weve done weight loss in general before everything from eating one meal a day to crazy shakes, Amanda admitted. I was constantly looking for that magic pill and theres not one.

This time, the couple called obesity medicine specialist Dr. Ruby Shah.

A lot of times people think that your options for weight loss are commercial programs, something self-driven or bariatric surgery, said Shah, who has offices out of Plano and McKinney at Vitality Weight Loss and Wellness Institute. Theres an entire medical specialty called obesity medicine.

The Almanzas initial appointment was with Shah, but it doesnt end there.

Patients see an entire support team including a personal trainer, registered dietician and behavioral change counselor.

"As a doctor, I look at what are some of the underlying causes of why someone is struggling with their weight? Shah explained. We have a whole psychology of eating curriculum that patients also go through. Its 10 classes really helping you understand the psychology of why you make some food choices.

Side by side, Amanda and Luis started cooking more at home.

We do a lot of beans, vegetables, oatmeal, Luis said, with his wife chiming in about some of the biggest changes for the two: going mostly plant-based.

Luis and I don't hardly eat meat, Amanda said. That's something I can't say would've ever come out of our mouths. Especially him.

Both got back to walking and then running, and made exercise part of their regular routine.

We'll lift weights or do stretches around the house... we stay active with our dogs, Amanda said.

After just two weeks, they were seeing results. And by the eight month mark, Luis had lost more than 150 pounds, going from 375 to 218.

"I'm so proud, wife Amanda gushed. It makes me happy. It makes me very happy.

Amanda crushed her goals, too.

The heaviest I ever was?... About 205. I am down to about 128, Amanda said with pride. I have never been this small since I was in high school!

Shah said this journey is about more than just losing weight. Its about a shift in mindset that changes your relationship with food and your lifestyle. And its about optimal health. Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable cancer diagnoses.

RELATED: Obesity-related cancer deaths are on the rise

If you can really learn how to change your diet-- we can teach you that-- you can prevent the vast majority of medical issues, Shah said.

Thats something the Almanzas can both get behind. A lifestyle change thats strengthened their health and their marriage.

They are in the best shape of their lives, Shah exclaimed.

Shah said that services at Vitality Weight Loss and Wellness Institute are covered by insurance.

To learn more about the institute, click here.

This DeSoto man lost 140 pounds after his daughter was diagnosed with a diet-related condition

This woman lost more than 125 pounds with ballroom dance

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This couple lost hundreds of pounds with the help of an obesity medicine specialist - WFAA.com

Adele Shows Off Her Weight Loss Beautifully In A London Wedding – Dankanator

Posted: February 19, 2020 at 10:41 am

It looks like the media had their eyes set on Adele and her weight loss, as the singer arrived at her friends wedding in London. The Hello singer didnt take a second guess in wanting to highlight her body transformation. What is really the matter of seeing is believing, Adele shed a stunning 100 pounds (~45 kg) recently and made sure that people see the difference. She arrived at her friend Laura Dockrills wedding with The Maccabees guitarist Hugo White in London. Later she took the stage to perform a wonderful rendition of her highly popular song Rolling In The Deep.

Adele was seen leaving the venue during which we could see a stunning glimpse of her weight loss. The singer was wearing an ankle-length Oscar de la Renta floral skirt, which really highlighted her small waist. She paired this with a cream-colored short-sleeved turtle neck top, with nude stilettos. For accessories, she chose a white leather bag along with her top with a gold chain detailing. She was also wearing several rings on her hand, giving her a very stylish look, nothing that we do not expect from Adele. Her long dark ponytail was really a sight to see, allowing us to take a look at her gold hoop earrings as well.

Adeles weight loss was incredible news for many of us, considering how private she is with her life. The GRAMMY winner is famous for keeping her life notoriously private, only stepping out when she has to. Her former trainer, Camila Goodis thinks that her weight loss is because of the loss of her husband, Simon Konecki. The trainer tries to relate this with her own weight loss motivation, which was a divorce. She explained that after such a phase in life there needs to be something that we can get motivation from and for Adele, this was body transformation. The trainer also added:

Shes a happy person for sure. She got a divorce and I think thats a great motivation to feel good, even better about yourself.

Senior Contributing Writer.

Talha has written for a number of different media platforms. His content is published in Nerve Center, Indus News, where he wrote about Science and Technology, and in Parhlo where he wrote about politics, news and daily trends. He favours the rule of "live, and let live" and stresses on the need for an empathic society.

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Adele Shows Off Her Weight Loss Beautifully In A London Wedding - Dankanator

The Biggest Loser: Is weight-loss TV about to be canceled by modern audiences? – Monsters and Critics

Posted: February 19, 2020 at 10:41 am

The Biggest Losers Bob Harper, trainers Erica Lugo and Steve Cook, and USA executive Heather Olander at the Television Critics Associations 2020 winter press tour. Pic credit: USA/TCA/Evans Vestal Ward/NBCUniversal

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Poor Bob Harper, he never saw it coming.

The affable, energetic cheerleader trainer from the old The Biggest Loser was on panel at the Television Critics Association earlier this year to promote the rebooted version of their old show for USA Network still called The Biggest Loser. Harper served 17 seasons on that original series. His old partner Jillian Michaels is long gone and no longer tied to the series.

Time (and ratings) will tell if the audience cares any more about The Biggest Loser. And this is all happening while the legal woes are adding up for another long running weight-loss series, TLCs My 600-lb Life. A Texas attorney has now opened two lawsuits against the production company.

What this kind of push back reveals is that theres a limit to what production companies can successfully sell and present networks in pitch meetings in this day and age. It may come to be that the risk is not worth the reward for networks to be in the weight transformation business with liability issues growing and overall public sentiment changing.

Joining Harper during the press conference were trainers Erica Lugo and Steve Cook; and USA and Syfys executive in charge of alternative programming, Heather Olander.

The unease was there, the vibe palpable with this panel that spun the premise as not so much an idea of a show that pits people in tough challenges or parades them in front of audiences in their skivvies and weighs them on giant scales after a week being yelled at and subjected to pep talks but one of caring and medical interventions.

However, the feeling in the room facing the panel was that this reboot seemed to fly in the face of a new worldwide wokeness in acceptance.

The bottom line was that no one was buying what the panel and the network were trying to sell that fated day. Or, for those who call the three letter f-word unacceptable and obsolete in the modern day, the new body positive worldview seemed to center around the general audience adoration of actors and personalities like Shrill star Aidy Bryant, This Is Us star Chrissy Metz, musical performer Lizzo and reality TV star Whitney Way Thore.

These are all women living large, making big money being their authentic selves and not apologizing for it.

Truth be told, everybody was hoping someone would bring up the Jillian/Lizzo question at this Biggest Loser panel, about her previous remarks about the singer and her health. They did.

Also broached was the empirical evidence suggesting that carrying a certain amount of excess weight isnt all bad and that the approach to weight loss is better done incrementally and with less aggressive tactics than these competition weight shows promote.

In other words: Slow and steady wins the race in weight loss, and the decision to jump in to lose weight is nobodys business but your own. Much less plaster Peak TV with dated, insulting content that no longer feeds the audience in ways that satisfy.

Its clear from this #BiggestLoser panel at #TCA20 that the show has learned precisely nothin, except how to talk around criticism so they can get this popular brand back on the air and making more money off of people. Not that I have strong feelings!

Andy Dehnart (@realityblurred) January 12, 2020

But it appeared that no one gave that particular note to the network who resurrected this series. People are now far more agreeable to let people just be, and to mind their business about something as personal as what their scale reads. Twitter makes damn sure you keep your opinion about someones weight to yourself these days.

But getting back to Bob.

He looked great, so taut, and inked, and had new highlights in his hair. Regardless, the TV critics were ready to pounce on him, taking umbrage at the existence of this new rebooted old chestnut that frankly none of us were sitting on our hands and waiting (or wanting) for to return.

The displeasure in the large dark room was real. It had been at least 20 minutes since we had been served something to eat, and after the panel had wrapped, they threw beer and carbohydrate empty calorie bar snacks at us promoting new noirish, scripted series Briarpatch to keep the tempers at bay.

It did not go unnoticed.

After the #BiggestLoser panel they passed out pub mix and beer. LOL #timing #Funny #TCA20 #nobeerforme

CandaceHavens (@CandaceHavens) January 12, 2020

At first, Bob seemed to be back up on his heels a bit, taken aback by the direct line of questioning. Then it hit.

The first question out of the gate was a feel-gooder that lulled the panel into thinking their show was gonna rock the TCA:

Hi. I always found this show very inspirational, except sending people home, and I dont know. Did you have to keep that element this time around?

The storm clouds gathered.

Over here to your left. In conversations about body positivity, a lot of people talk about the idea of reclaiming the word fat, and Im wondering, on the show and for you guys just personally, how do you feel about the word fat? Do you feel like its a word that should be reclaimed, or is it something you try to avoid using?

Harper said: I think I never really use that word.

Steve Cook concurred: No.

Harper said: Yeah. Im trying to think. I never really use that word. Its always about the weight issues, right? Its one of those things I guess, like, being gay, I can say the f word, but if you say it, Im going to have a problem with you. So its, like, Im not. I dont have a weight problem. So I dont think that its really my right to be throwing that word around loosely.

Cook replied: And because its so subjective, you know. Its a word that I feel like its just one that, on the show, I never use, I dont think I ever heard.

Heather Olander chimed in: No, never.

The questions the critics asked piled on like the pounds I gained during the two-week cloistered press tour where a writers sedentary immobility is paired with daily good intentions-meet-passive-aggressive spreads of ice cream, coffee, tapas, candy and snack breaks underscored with calorific parties galore every night.

I would KILL for a soft pretzel and some nacho cheese.#BiggestLoser #TCA20

Daniel Fienberg (@TheFienPrint) January 12, 2020

If you have never experienced a TCA event, its food porn with cocktails writ large. The subsequent questions, like the onslaught of meals, booze and goodies at the twice annual press tour, were relentless.

Yeah, but everybodys bodies are different, and you fluctuate, and it just always seems so unfair, and always the one I liked the most goes home first. So I was just curious if you guys thought about changing that?

You talked about that the show has been updated for 2020, but there has been a considerable amount of criticism of the show over the years, particularly in the health of the contestants afterwards and how it has normalized fat shaming and the idea that anyone can go lose weight if they just try hard enough. What is your responsibility to people who are not out there being able to exercise 20 hours a day? What responsibility do you have to people whose lives have been hurt by the show?

But not just the contestants. There are people in real life who have been affected by the perception that the show brings, that anyone can lose weight and that fat people are entertainment. So why do you want to bring this show back in 2020 when were starting to make very small steps towards body positivity?

I wanted to piggyback on that because there have been critics who have also said that the actual process of the show isnt healthy, including people who have been on the show, who said that the pressure to win a contest that involves a cash prize and that involves fame pushes them to do unhealthy things during the course of the contest, some things that may not even be shown on the show. So when we hear that the show is coming back, the big concern I had as a critic is that were going to see more of this, that were going to see contestants pushed to do unhealthy things because they want to stay on the show because the person who loses the least amount of weight is going to get ejected no matter what you say. So what have you done to deal with those criticisms?

So someone decides to put on, like, a garbage bag or wear heavy sweatpants and work out for hours and hours and hours the day before weigh-in because they need to lose that weight, which weve heard some contestants have done, youre not going to allow that?

Bob, you were talking earlier about the struggle of keeping it off and kind of framing that as about willpower and people doing it, and the first episode very much does that to you about how much people want this. But Im wondering if you all, and especially Heather, were aware of the NIH study that was done of Biggest Loser contestants that followed them over six years and found that, basically, this kind of extreme weight loss doesnt work because peoples bodies fight back against it, and it actually slows the metabolism. So, essentially, this is not a successful plan, and yet here it is back on television again?

Maybe some of the issues today we have grown. Society has been more, is more enlightened since the show first aired is the title alone. There are some, sort of, negative connotations with the wordplay even though its kind of cutesy, Loser, in other words. So, in that vein, what do you guys know of any studies, the latest in the mental health portion of dealing with weight loss and getting healthy, trauma, stress, physical addiction, and what sort of programs or methods really work now along with exercise and eating veggies?

I dont want to belabor this. But my question is, what did you specifically require of them to keep them from doing things that would endanger their health so they can lose weight to stay on the show?

To her credit, Erica Lugo, a panelist with Bob, shared her personal weight loss journey. She said:

Personally, myself, I have a history of where I lost 160 pounds, and I know at that point in my life I was not healthy. I had high blood pressure. I was prediabetic. Health comes in all different shapes and sizes. Im a size 8, and Im the healthiest Ive ever been. My doctor and I understand that all my markers are great. I just beat thyroid cancer. Im a size 8, and Im healthy. So for someone to say what size is healthy or not, thats up to them and their doctor to determine what is healthy and whats not.

This gave Harper the platform to mitigate the prickly situation and salvage a panel that went sideways.

He said:

And, I also think that its having realistic goals, working with what you have, making sure that you are in constant communication with your doctor because only you and your doctor know what your real health is like. We cant judge anyone. Its none of my business to tell you how you look or how you feel unless you bring me in under the tent to ask me those questions. Otherwise, its none of my business.

Cook then added the cherry on this controversial sundae, leaving the interpretation of all of it still untethered:

Yeah. If you are 300 pounds and healthy, great.

At the end of the day, the audience showing up (or not) for this genre of reality TV will determine if it is, indeed fat and fabulous and a keeper, or part of the growing cancel culture and ready to bin.

The Biggest Loser airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on USA Network. My Big Fat Fabulous Life airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on TLC. My 600-lb Life airs Wednesdays at 8/7C on TLC

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The Biggest Loser: Is weight-loss TV about to be canceled by modern audiences? - Monsters and Critics

Worried about your ageing parents? Here are 8 health signs to look out for – The Star Online

Posted: February 18, 2020 at 2:48 pm

As your parents get older, how can you be sure theyre taking care of themselves and staying healthy?

When you visit your parents, start by considering these questions:

1. Are your parents able to take care of themselves?

Pay attention to your parents appearance. Failure to keep up with daily routines, such as bathing and brushing teeth, could indicate dementia, depression or physical impairments.

Also pay attention to your parents home: Are the lights working? Is it tidy? Is the garden overgrown?

Any changes in the way your parents do things around the house could provide clues to their health.

For example, scorched pots could mean your parents are forgetting about food cooking on the stove.

Issues such as failing to pay bills, having problems shopping and neglecting housework also might be signs of depression, dementia or other concerns.

2. Are your parents experiencing memory loss?

Everyone forgets things from time to time. Memory problems are a fairly common part of ageing, and sometimes, medication side effects or underlying conditions contribute to memory loss.

Theres a difference though, between normal changes in memory and the type of memory loss that makes it hard to do everyday things such as driving and shopping.

Signs of this type of memory loss might include:

3. Are your parents safe in their home?

Take a look around your parents home, keeping an eye out for any red flags.

Do your parents have difficulty navigating a narrow stairway? Has either parent fallen recently?

Are they able to read directions on medication containers? When asked, can your parents explain how they set up or take their medications?

4. Are your parents safe on the road?

Driving can be challenging for older adults.

If your parents become confused while driving or youre concerned about their ability to drive safely especially if they have experienced getting a summons or an accident it might be time to stop driving.

If you are concerned about your parents driving ability, especially if they have been in an accident, it might be time to ask them to stop driving. Photos: Filepic

5. Have your parents lost weight?

Losing weight without trying could be a sign that somethings wrong.

Weight loss could be related to many factors, including:

6. Are your parents in good spirits?

Note your parents moods and ask how theyre feeling.

A drastically different mood or outlook could be a sign of depression or other health concerns.

7. Are your parents still social?

Talk to your parents about their activities.

Are they connecting with friends? Have they maintained interest in hobbies and other daily activities?

Are they involved in organisations, clubs or faith-based communities?

If a parent gives up on being with others, it could be a sign of a problem.

8. Are your parents able to get around?

Pay attention to how your parents walk. Are they reluctant or unable to walk usual distances?

Have they fallen recently? Would a cane or walker help?

Issues such as muscle weakness and joint pain can make it difficult to move around as well.

If your parents are unsteady on their feet, they might be at risk of falling a major cause of disability among older adults.

An untidy or neglected backyard or garden might indicate that your parents are having trouble living on their own.

Taking action

There are many steps you can take to ensure your parents health and well-being, even if you dont live nearby. Try to:

Talk to your parents. Your concern might motivate them to see a doctor or make other changes.

Consider including other people who care about your parents in the conversation, such as their close friends.

If youre worried about a parents weight loss, depressed mood, memory loss, or other signs and symptoms, encourage your parent to schedule a doctors visit.

You might offer to schedule the visit and/or to accompany your parent to a healthcare provider or to find someone else to attend the visit.

Ask about follow-up visits as well.

Point out any potential safety issues to your parents, then make a plan to address the problems.

For example, a higher toilet seat or handrails in the bathroom might help prevent falls.

If your parents are no longer able to drive safely, suggest other transportation options, such as taking the bus, using a car or van service, or hiring a driver.

You could hire someone to clean the house and run errands, but discuss this with your loved one first.

A domestic helper could help with daily activities, such as bathing and cooking, while a nurse could help with medically-related issues.

If remaining at home is too challenging, you might suggest them moving to an assisted living facility.

Sometimes parents wont admit they cant do something on their own and others dont realise they need help.

Thats where you come in. Make sure your parents understand the problem and your proposed solution.

Remind your parents that you care about them and that you want to help promote their health and well-being, both today and in the years to come. Mayo Clinic News Network/Tribune News Service

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Worried about your ageing parents? Here are 8 health signs to look out for - The Star Online

Aging parents: 8 warning signs of health problems | Health | gmtoday.com – Greater Milwaukee Today

Posted: February 18, 2020 at 2:48 pm

As your parents get older, how can you be sure theyre taking care of themselves and staying healthy?

When you visit your parents, start by considering these questions:

1. Are your parents able to take care of themselves?

Pay attention to your parents appearance. Failure to keep up with daily routines such as bathing and brushing teeth could indicate dementia, depression or physical impairments.

Also pay attention to your parents home. Are the lights working? Is the heat on? Is the yard overgrown?

Any changes in the way your parents do things around the house could provide clues to their health. For example, scorched pots could mean your parents are forgetting about food cooking on the stove. Issues such as failing to pay bills, having problems shopping and neglecting housework also might be signs of depression, dementia or other concerns.

2. Are your parents experiencing memory loss?

Everyone forgets things from time to time. ModHEALest memory problems are a fairly common part of aging, and sometimes medication side effects or underlying conditions contribute to memory loss.

Theres a difference, though, between normal changes in memory and the type of memory loss that makes it hard to do everyday things such as driving and shopping. Signs of this type of memory loss might include:

Asking the same questions over and over again

Getting lost in familiar places

Not being able to follow instructions

Becoming confused about time, people and places

3. Are your parents safe in their home?

Take a look around your parents home, keeping an eye out for any red flags.

Do your parents have difficulty navigating a narrow stairway? Has either parent fallen recently? Are they able to read directions on medication containers? When asked, can your parents explain how they set up or take their medications?

4. Are your parents safe on the road?

Driving can be challenging for older adults. If your parents become confused while driving or youre concerned about their ability to drive safely especially if they have experienced a moving violation or an accident it might be time to stop driving.

5. Have your parents lost weight?

Losing weight without trying could be a sign that somethings wrong. Weight loss could be related to many factors, including:

Difficulty cooking. Your parents might be having difficulty finding the energy to cook, grasping the necessary tools, or reading labels or directions on food products.

Loss of taste or smell. Your parents might not be interested in eating if food doesnt taste or smell as good as it used to.

Social issues. Your parents might have difficulty shopping or have financial concerns that limit buying groceries.

Underlying conditions. Sometimes weight loss indicates a serious underlying condition, such as malnutrition, dementia, depression or cancer.

6. Are your parents in good spirits?

Note your parents moods and ask how theyre feeling. A drastically different mood or outlook could be a sign of depression or other health concerns.

7. Are your parents still social?

Talk to your parents about their activities. Are they connecting with friends? Have they maintained interest in hobbies and other daily activities? Are they involved in organizations, clubs or faith-based communities?

If a parent gives up on being with others, it could be a sign of a problem.

8. Are your parents able to get around?

Pay attention to how your parents walk. Are they reluctant or unable to walk usual distances? Have they fallen recently? Would a cane or walker help?

Issues such as muscle weakness and joint pain can make it difficult to move around as well. If your parents are unsteady on their feet, they might be at risk of falling a major cause of disability among older adults.

TAKING ACTION

There are many steps you can take to ensure your parents health and well-being, even if you dont live nearby. Try to:

Share your concerns. Talk to your parents. Your concern might motivate them to see a doctor or make other changes. Consider including other people who care about your parents in the conversation, such as close friends.

Encourage regular medical checkups. If youre worried about a parents weight loss, depressed mood, memory loss, or other signs and symptoms, encourage your parent to schedule a doctors visit. You might offer to schedule the visit or to accompany your parent to a health care provider or to find someone else to attend the visit. Ask about follow-up visits as well.

Address safety issues. Point out any potential safety issues to your parents then make a plan to address the problems. For example, a higher toilet seat or handrails in the bathroom might help prevent falls. If your parents are no longer able to drive safely, suggest other transportation options such as taking the bus, using a car or van service, or hiring a driver.

Consider home care services. You could hire someone to clean the house and run errands. But discuss this with your loved one first.A home health care aide could help with daily activities, such as bathing, and Meals on Wheels or other community services might prepare food. If remaining at home is too challenging, you might suggest moving to an assisted living facility.

Contact the health care provider for guidance. If your parents dismiss your concerns, consider contacting the health care provider directly. Your insights can help the health care provider understand what to look for during upcoming visits. Keep in mind that the health care provider might need to verify that he or she has permission to speak with you about your parents care, which might include a signed form or waiver from your parents.

Seek help from local agencies. Your local agency on aging which you can find using the Eldercare Locator, a public service of the Administration on Aging can connect you with services in your parents area. For example, the county in which your parents live might have social workers who can evaluate your parents needs and connect them with services, such as home care workers.

Sometimes parents wont admit they cant do something on their own, and others dont realize they need help. Thats where you come in. Make sure your parents understand the problem and your proposed solution.

Remind your parents that you care about them and that you want to help promote their health and well-being, both today and in the years to come.

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Aging parents: 8 warning signs of health problems | Health | gmtoday.com - Greater Milwaukee Today

Video Game Makers Want to Get Players Off the Couch – The New York Times

Posted: February 18, 2020 at 2:48 pm

Tiffany Ruiz had tried various gyms, apps, workout routines and diets, all in an effort to get fit and lose some weight. None of them worked because none of them kept my interest, she said.

Now, Ms. Ruiz is working out at least four times a week, thanks to a video game.

In her bedroom, she sprints, squats, stretches and performs other exercises like knee lifts and shoulder presses, all while battling a musclebound dragon and its toadies in Ring Fit Adventure, a new game from Nintendo, the Japanese consumer tech giant.

I am so focused on beating the high score or conquering an enemy that before I know it, 30 minutes have passed, said Ms. Ruiz, 26, who is studying to become a nursing assistant in Bakersfield, Calif.

Ring Fit Adventure, created for the Nintendo Switch console, is the latest effort by the video game industry to try to entice consumers to get up off the couch and become more active. Developers are folding fitness into games as part of a dual-pronged strategy: to retain players by offering a physical twist on traditional gameplay and to draw in new ones like Ms. Ruiz who are looking to break up the monotony of working out.

The campaign appeals to parents and other caregivers worried about the amount of time children spend glued to screens. And the games help counter the stereotype of the sedentary player, sitting in a chair for hours on end.

Developers are trying to reach people who want fun and fitness at the same time, said Rik Eberhardt, a program manager at the Massachusetts Institute of Technologys Game Lab. They know fitness is good for them, but it can feel like a chore in their busy lives.

Fitness games make up just 1 percent of the market, but the overall industry is steadily growing. Sales of games across all platforms generated $35.4 billion in the United States last year, up 2 percent from 2018, according to NPD Group, a market research firm.

Our latest data shows 73 percent of U.S. consumers play video games of one sort or another, said Mat Piscatella, an industry analyst for NPD. Given the wide range of the players, the industry does have great opportunity to provide more gaming experience variety.

Exergaming, a portmanteau of exercise and gaming, has been around since the late 1980s, when Bandai introduced Power Pad, a gray mat with pressure sensors, for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Games now use motion sensors, smartwatches and even virtual reality to track a players movement.

The gameplay has changed, too. Some games disguise fitness routines in the form of role-playing, dancing or other activities like running from zombies. Others are fitness and health apps that lead users through workouts with gamelike features such as scoreboards, real-time feedback and multiplayer options.

Nintendos Wii game console brought exergaming into the mainstream in 2006. Its Wii Fit game incorporated a balance board so players burned calories through calisthenics and yoga.

The Wii had the fastest adoption rate in the U.S. of any console in the first three years, Mr. Piscatella said. Wii Fit remains one of the best-selling games in the United States, according to NPD.

Nintendos two main competitors, Microsoft and Sony, followed its lead, adding motion-detecting cameras to their consoles. Games like Just Dance and Zumba Fitness: Join the Party, which were available on Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony consoles, were breakout successes in the motion era, Mr. Piscatella said.

Since then, the industry has been overturned by the rise of mobile devices, which allow games to be played on the go.

Consumer expectations have changed dramatically, Mr. Piscatella said. People are no longer just playing on their TVs in their living room. They now want to be able to play games whenever and wherever.

Zombies, Run! coaches runners to complete hundreds of missions, including one with the author Margaret Atwood, in order to escape the zombie apocalypse while running a 5K. In Pokemon Go, players capture creatures in real-world locations using augmented reality and GPS on their phones.

Hoping to build on that trend, Nintendo in 2017 introduced the Switch, which functions both as a traditional console and a hand-held device. The Switch was the fastest-selling console in the United States that year and has sold more than 52 million units.

Part of the Switch is an acknowledgment that Nintendos main competition is no longer just Microsoft and Sony but Apple and Google, too, said Philip Tan, creative director of the M.I.T. Game Lab.

He added that Nintendo was drawing on its strength in creating games that bridge the digital and physical world. Instead of trying to compete with other console makers with better cinematography, they have created an innovative new console, Mr. Tan said.

The company has focused on games, like Ring Fit Adventure, that use consoles in new ways, said Bill Trinen, a senior director of product marketing at Nintendo.

Nintendo wants to create games that encourage people to get active and motivate them to stay active, Mr. Trinen said. He added that the company hoped the role-playing adventure format would encourage people to play longer.

Part of Ring Fits popularity stems from its unique controller, a flexible resistance hoop that Nintendo calls a Ring Con. When players squeeze it, pull it or hold it above their head, their movements are tracked in the game.

Other games incorporate new hardware, too. Beat Saber, a music game from Beat Games, relies on virtual reality goggles; it sold more than one million copies in nine months after being introduced in 2018.

But Ring Fit is attracting a growing number of fans to the gameplay. I love it because it is this fun, goofy story that is way more intense than Wii Fit. It hides the workout, and you cant cheat, said Tristan Scatliffe, a 33-year-old product manager who lives in Brooklyn. The first time I played it, I was dripping with sweat.

The late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon posted, on Twitter, a video of himself playing one of the Ring Fit mini-games, Spinal Erectors Challenge.

Many exergames promote movement, but whether they increase physical fitness is up for debate. Critics have said they found the exercise routines underwhelming, and a study at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston found that Wii games did not help children meet daily exercise requirements.

Some researchers are creating their own exergames. Eefje Battel, a project manager at the Sports Innovation Campus at the Howest University of Applied Sciences in Bruges, Belgium, uses Makey Makey in several of the centers exergame projects for children. Developed by JoyLabz, Makey Makey is an invention kit that allows users to connect everyday objects to the internet via alligator clips and a simple keyboard.

Ms. Battel created a version of Tetris, the 80s puzzle game in which falling blocks are manipulated to fit them in a straight line. In her version, conductors are attached to bananas and other fruit, and children have to run from fruit to fruit to move the tiles in the game.

Regardless of the fun factor, exergames are not without risks, Ms. Battel said. One element that is missing in Ring Fit, she said, is a coach to ensure that players are performing exercises correctly and safely.

If you are squatting, the system will measure movement up and down, but it wont track posture, she said.

Nintendo is hoping Ring Fit becomes a top-selling game as Wii Fit did in its heyday. Game analysts like Mr. Piscatella have not yet decided.

What makes Nintendo unique is their willingness to push boundaries, and when Nintendo is really weird, they are at their best, he said. Ring Fit Adventure could be the biggest thing or not. Its still hard to predict.

Read more from the original source:
Video Game Makers Want to Get Players Off the Couch - The New York Times

Type 2 Diabetes: Include This Green Powder To Your Food To Lower Your Blood Sugar Readings – International Business Times

Posted: February 18, 2020 at 2:48 pm

KEY POINTS

Type 2 diabetes is a long-term disease that prevents your body from using insulin the way it should. About 1 in every 10 Americans suffer from this disease and individuals above 45 years of age are more commonly encountered by it. When left untreated, it can lead to fatal health conditions including heart diseases and stroke. Early lifestyle interventions are important to keep blood sugar levels under control.

Secret ingredient: Stevia Leaf Powder

A 2016 study reported that stevia can be safely used as an anti-diabetic herb or sweetener substitute. They also highlighted that the herbal powder helped prevent heart diseases in patients with long-term diabetes.

A 2018 study conducted on rat models reported that stevia could stimulate insulin production when given in large doses.

Several other studies have also suggested that stevia leaf powder has rich antioxidant properties and if used as a dietary supplement, it helpsloweringblood sugar levels, improvingsatiety, reducingkidney damage andhunger.

Stevia extracts are derived from plant species stevia rebaudiana which is native to Brazil and Paraguay. It is a nonnutritive sweetener which is considered as an alternative to sugar. Apart from being a wise choice for weight management, stevia also contains several ingredients that are capable of affecting ones blood sugar levels.

As long as it is consumed in moderate amounts, stevia does not cause any adverse effects. The FDA has recognized purified stevia products to be generally safe for consumption. But be informed that stevia products contain certain additives which might cause side effects including bloating, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, cramping, and other digestive problems.

Some other artificial sweeteners with FDA-approval include advantame, neotame, acesulfame, aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin. Foods containing artificial sweeteners still contain calories and carbohydrates and people should check nutrition labels before buying such products. But stevia is a sugar substitute with almost zero calories. But you shouldnt rely entirely on stevia to control your blood sugar levels. You need to take stevia alongside regular physical activity and practice other healthy lifestyle habits also.

Excessive hunger, thirst or fatigue is a typical sign of type 2 diabetes. Other signs include dry mouth, frequent urination, blurry vision, headaches, unintentional weight loss, itching around the genitals, frequently getting thrush, longer wound-healing time.

Stevia leaf powder can help reduce blood sugar levels Photo: 13082, Pixabay

Originally posted here:
Type 2 Diabetes: Include This Green Powder To Your Food To Lower Your Blood Sugar Readings - International Business Times

The Stock of the Coronavirus-Test Developer Can Keep Rising, Analyst Says – Nasdaq

Posted: February 18, 2020 at 2:48 pm

Maxim Group analyst Jason McCarthy rates Co-Diagnostics a Buy. He raised his price target to $5 from $2 on Tuesday. The stock closed at $3.32 on Friday.

Maxim Group analyst Jason McCarthy rates Co-Diagnostics a Buy. He raised his price target to $5 from $2 on Tuesday. The stock closed at $3.32 on Friday.

A small diagnostics firm that developed a test for Covid-19, the novel coronavirus spreading through China, has seen its share price nearly triple since the start of the year. In a note out Tuesday, Maxim Group analyst Jason McCarthy wrote that the stock could keep climbing.

Co-Diagnostics (ticker: CODX) took just three weeks to develop a test for Covid-19. The company is now selling the test for research use.

McCarthy, who rates Co-Diagnostics a Buy, raised his price target to $5, from $2. The stock closed at $3.32 on Friday.

We view this as de-risking of the platform, as a real-world example of how quickly CDI can develop a test in response to a novel viral outbreak, McCarthy wrote. We also see the increased media attention as a positive, which could help drive adoption, lowering commercial risk.

Shares of Co-Diagnostics were down 2.1% to $3.25 shortly after the market opened on Tuesday. The S&P 500 was down 0.3%.

Co-Diagnostics stock is up 271% in 2020, while the broader S&P 500 has climbed 4.6%. Co-Diagnostics is up 186% over the past 12 months.

McCarthy wrote that the surge of interest in Co-Diagnostics has allowed the company to raise $15 million in the public markets over the past few weeks, which has given the company enough cash to operate into next year.

The company has demonstrated the ability to rapidly develop tests for emerging diseases like Zika and Ebola, and now the coronavirus, thereby highlighting the versatility of its platform, as well as demonstrating that the company will be able to develop tests for future emerging outbreaks, McCarthy wrote.

Co-Diagnostics test is fast, able to detect the disease even in asymptomatic patients in 45 minutes. The test can run 48 samples at a time. McCarthy wrote that the Covid-19 test may not generate substantial revenue for the company but that it demonstrates Co-Diagnosticss capabilities.

On Feb. 10, the company announced the first sales of the test. It is available only for research use. The rapid development and time to commercialization was possible thanks to the innovation of our proprietary and patented platform, our dedicated employees, and the support of our suppliers, company CEO Dwight Egan said at the time.

Write to Josh Nathan-Kazis at josh.nathan-kazis@barrons.com

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Originally posted here:
The Stock of the Coronavirus-Test Developer Can Keep Rising, Analyst Says - Nasdaq

Apple Warned About Damage From the Coronavirus. Analysts Say It’s Just a Blip. – Nasdaq

Posted: February 18, 2020 at 2:48 pm

The stock fell by less than 3% despite Mondays news that Apples March quarter revenue will be lower than expected.

The stock fell by less than 3% despite Mondays news that Apples March quarter revenue will be lower than expected.

Apple shares have fallen less than 3% despite the companys warning Monday that it will miss a previous forecast for March quarter revenue due to issues related to the growing coronavirus outbreak. Apple has problems with both its supply chain, creating a global shortage of iPhones, and with demand, as Chinese sales fall as a result of the outbreak.

Analysts largely see the issue as a temporary blip that should largely be made up by sales later in the year. There appears to be little concern that the issues will have lingering effects.

When Apple reported its December quarter results, the company projected March-quarter revenues of $63 billion to $67 billion, a range it said was wider than usual given the uncertain impact of the virus. But now it appears the guidance wasnt sufficiently conservative, and that the impact of the virus is worse than Apple had expected. Apple didnt give a new guidance range, but estimates on Wall Street are dropping to the $60 billion level, or below.

In its statement Monday, Apple (ticker: AAPL) said the guidance issued Jan. 28 reflected the best information available at the time as well as our best estimates about the pace of return to work following the end of the extended Chinese New Year holiday on February 10. But Apple now says we are experiencing a slower return to normal conditions than we had anticipated, and that it will fall short of the earlier forecast.

There are two issues. Contract manufacturers are reopening more slowly than expected, creating iPhone supply shortages that will temporarily affect revenues worldwide. And demand in China has been hurt.

All of our stores in China and many of our partner stores have been closed, Apple said. Additionally, stores that are open have been operating at reduced hours and with very low customer traffic. We are gradually reopening our retail stores and will continue to do so as steadily and safely as we can. Apple said that outside China, demand across our product and service categories has been strong to date and in line with our expectations.

Atlantic Equities analyst James Cordwell, one of the few bears on Apple among Street analysts, maintained his Underweight rating. But he says that while the news is illustrative of Apples reliance on China in the long run, he isnt too worried about the short-term impact on financial results.

Cordwell cut his estimates for the second quarter, but lifted his view for the third, leaving his estimate for earnings per share for the full year fiscal year down just 1%. The issues resulting from COVID-19 are clearly transitory in nature, but more significantly they serve as a reminder of the risks inherent in Apples hardware-dominated business, leaving the stocks multiple continuing to look overextended in our view. His target for the stock price is $275.

In early trading, the stock was down 2.5%, to $316.96, still leaving it with a gain of 8% for the year to date.

Cordwells changes to his financial model are instructive. For the March quarter, he cut his view to $60.1 billion in revenue and profits of $2.66 a share, from $65.9 billion and $3.09 a share, assuming a 50% cut in China hardware sales, a 7.5% hit to non-China iPhone sales, and a 30% increase in China App Store revenue. For the June quarter, he lifted his view to $63 billion in revenue and $2.78 a share, from $60.3 billion and $2.61.

Citis Jim Suva cut his March quarter revenue estimate more severely, slashing it by $8 billion to $57.3 billion, about half of that reflecting reduced sales in China. The rest reflects the lower global sales due to iPhone supply issues. His EPS estimate for the quarter dropped to $2.37, from $3, but he maintained his Buy rating and price target of $375.

Barclays analyst Tim Long, who has an Equal Weight rating on Apple shares, trimmed his target to $297, from $304. He also sees the announcement more as a reminder of Apples ties to China than any fundamental long-term shift in the business.

While this is likely to be viewed as a transitory event, we believe another China issue (after tariffs) highlights an inherent risk with Apple being too exposed to the supply chain in China, Long writes. We still see risks to iPhone business, and remain skeptical on 5G iPhone demand this Fall. He lowered his March quarter revenue outlook to $59 billion, from $62.7 billion, with profits of $2.77 a share, down from $2.94.

Deutsche Banks Jeriel Ong, has been cautious on Apple shares, but doesnt see this as a major turning point, unlike a surprise earnings warning the company issued in January 2019. We believe that investors are likely to be more forgiving of this downward revision as much of it is outside of Apples control, he wrote.

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives, an unabashed Apple bull, isnt shifting his view. While the knee jerk reaction will be negative...in light of this shocker and have a ripple impact across the supply chain, we believe this is a more of a timing issue rather than an extended supply/demand issue for iPhones globally and does not change our longer term bullish thesis, he wrote. While trying to gauge the impact of the iPhone miss and potential bounce back in the June quarter will be front and center for the Street, we remain bullish on Apple for the longer term 5G super cycle thesis despite todays news. He kept his Outperform rating and $400 price target.

Raymond James analyst Chris Caso kept his Market Outperform rating. Like his counterparts, he doesnt see the revenue warning as a reason to turn bearish.

We think almost all of the production and most of the demand is likely to be recaptured once Apples manufacturing partners are able to return to full production, and once retail facilities in China return to normal, he wrote in a research note. [A]s long as production normalizes by the summer, we would expect no impact to the 5G iPhone cycleand since thats the prime reason for our bullish view on the stock, this represents no change to our thesis.

Piper Sandlers Michael J. Olson said he saw a buying opportunity in any dip in the stock Tuesday. We believe any material weakness...will prove to be a buying opportunity, as, in all likelihood, this is a temporary situation that will leave future quarters largely unaffected, he wrote. In fact, the iPhone supply constraints in the current quarter could result in pent-up demand for future quarters. Looking at the remainder of FY 2020, current iPhone demand (outside of China) appears to be strong, non-iPhone (especially wearables) remains solid and anticipation is growing for 5G iPhones. He kept an Overweight rating and $343 price target on the stock.

Write to Eric J. Savitz at eric.savitz@barrons.com

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

More here:
Apple Warned About Damage From the Coronavirus. Analysts Say It's Just a Blip. - Nasdaq

‘I Started Dance Classes And Cut Out Processed FoodsAnd I Lost 105 Lbs. And 50 Inches’ – Women’s Health

Posted: February 18, 2020 at 2:47 pm

My name is Marissa LaRochelle (70lbsoflife). Im 30 years old and I live in San Antonio, Texas. I'm a certified personal trainer and fitness YouTuber. After going on a trip and not being able to keep up with my friends, I decided to get off autopilot when it came to my health and overhaul my diet and add movement to my life. I'm down 105 pounds.

I've struggled with emotional eating my entire life. I would use food to celebrate every occasion, so to speakwhether I was having anxiety, feeling lonely, or toasting a happy occasion. Instead of finding a healthy way to deal with my emotions, I ate. A lot.

I also practiced a lot of negative self-talk. I believed I wasnt capable of following through with goals. I had tried so many times to lose weight before but would stop after a week or so. All of those failed attempts at following through made me subconsciously believe that I genuinely just couldnt do it. I believed I was stuck and just needed to come to terms with being overweight.

Finally, I did. I realized I was living in autopilot mode. I went through the motions of life and didnt think too much about anything except keeping up with my busy schedule. I ate for convenience, which means I was eating out a lot. I didnt think twice about my choices.

I had just turned 27 and had plans with two of my best friends to go to Philadelphia and New York City. I was so excited to go out and explore new cities. Unfortunately, when we were walking around NYC, I realized that my body was no longer capable of doing the things I wanted to do. My feet were *killing* me, and all I could think about was where the next seat was going to be. I was having a hard time walking at the same pace as my friends.

My face was red and my legs were in chub-rub hell. I was also holding my breath at times because I didnt want my friends to hear me breathing heavily. I remember sitting at a rooftop bar with a mirror across from me and seeing my red face and shirt stuck to my body from sweat. I just felt so uncomfortable physically and mentally.

I was no longer able to live life in the moment. I knew that wasnt how I wanted to live my life and that it was really time to make a change. To make it an even bigger wake-up call, when I got back into town from my girls trip, I had a check up scheduled with my doctor. After doing some tests, my doctor informed me that I had developed type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. It was time to turn off autopilot mode and make real changes to regain control of my life.

I started out by not eating anything boxed, canned, bagged, or frozen (except healthy options like frozen veggies!). Then I started making it a point to plan ahead. Id lay out what my week looked like and then I would make a rough meal plan for myself and schedule time to get groceries. This allowed me to start taking food with me to work or plan meals around events.

I started focusing on drinking half my body weight in water every day. I realized that when I was dehydrated, my brain was telling me I was hungry. So drinking water helped me a lot with false hunger and cravings. I also focused on portion control. I made sure to have three to four servings of veggies a day and switched from simple carbohydrates (high in sugar) to complex carbohydrates (low in sugar and high in fiber).

Once I got those changes down and they became habits, I started tracking my foods and calculated what calorie goal I should be hitting for sustainable weight loss. When I started lifting weights I started calculating my macros to tone up, too.

Dance has been a huge part of my weight loss and it is something that I love to do. I was too embarrassed and scared to go to the gym, so dance was a way for me to get movement in and have fun.

Then I started going to a womens bootcamp. This is where I learned different workouts, form and built up my stamina. Now I am in love with lifting weights and dont think twice about stepping into the gym. I lift weights four times a week. I split my workouts between upper body and lower body workouts, and I do 15 minutes of cardio after I lift on most days.

I went from a size 24 to a size 8. I documented my weight-loss journey on YouTube from the day I decided to really go for it and lose the weight. It was an incredibly scary thing to talk about my insecurities, show my body, and say how much I weighed out loud for the world to hear. But my goal was to show myself and other women that weight loss is possible in a healthy way. I want to show other women that their past and current situation does not define their future. We all have the ability to choose to turn off autopilot and start living intentionally.

Originally posted here:
'I Started Dance Classes And Cut Out Processed FoodsAnd I Lost 105 Lbs. And 50 Inches' - Women's Health


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