Posts Tagged: obesity

Skinny Fat: The Dangerous Oxymoron by Risë Rafferty

Skinny Fat: The Dangerous Oxymoron

November 1, 2017 | Risë Rafferty, RDN

Pretty ugly, deafeningly quiet, make haste slowly, and vegetarian meatballs are great examples of oxymorons that make you smile when you think about what the words by themselves mean in contrast to what is conveyed by the phrase. There is one oxymoron however that is pretty serious in nature and that is skinny fat.

Skinny fat describes fat tissue, found in individuals whose BMI would not sound off any alarms or raise red flags in a doctor’s office. On the scale, the numbers look decent. But when diagnoses of type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or fatty liver are given to skinny people the first question is usually, “Why? How’d that happen to me?” Our society tends to emphasize metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, type-2 diabetes, and fatty liver with being overweight or obese. Graphs show that as weight increases so do these conditions. Correspondingly, as weight is lost there is a decreased prevalence of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. Interestingly enough though, not all excess weight is the same. Those who are …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN

Health Educator
Light Bearers

Sweet Sleep by Risë Rafferty

Sweet Sleep

May 31, 2017 | Risë Rafferty, RDN

Time is central to planet Earth. Every facet of this globe is regulated to some degree or other with time. Creation was based on time segments. Separate and unique accomplishments were designed in each sequential day. Heavenly bodies were assigned to direct seasons and periods. Time is valued as it relates to the possibilities it contains and therefore is extremely precious. Most of us receive monetary remuneration of our work in the context of time. Our level of education is largely quantified in relation to how much time we spent in study. We typically assess projects and chores on how much time they require. Even the level of intimacy in our relationships is largely based on time spent with each other.

Rarely do we seem to have enough time. We keep track of days, hours, minutes, and even seconds to maximize time. Our attempts at accomplishing, experiencing, and enjoying everything we need or want often results in time being sacrificed from another aspect of our lives. Sleep is one of …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN

Health Educator
Light Bearers

Butyrate and the Bowel, Part 3 by Rise Rafferty

Butyrate and the Bowel, pt 3

October 5, 2016 | Risë Rafferty, RDN

Crosstalk is a term that can pertain to telecommunications, when distinguishable signals leak from one connection to another. In electronics, crosstalk is a phenomenon by which a signal on one circuit or channel of a transmission system creates an effect on another circuit or channel. The term has been borrowed and used in reference to the human body when communication signals in one body system “leak out” and communicate to another seemingly unrelated body system. For example, science is suggesting that crosstalk exists between the bowel and the brain via butyrate.

We have been looking at the short-chain fatty acid butyrate the past couple months and have seen what a significant role it plays in bowel health, immune system function, obesity, and diabetes. “Indeed, it is clear that host energy metabolism and immune functions critically depend on butyrate as a potent regulator, highlighting butyrate as a key mediator of host-microbe crosstalk.”1 But even beyond this crosstalk between host and microbe, the suggestion that butyrate crosstalks with the brain has led …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN

Health Educator
Light Bearers

Butyrate and the Bowel, pt 2 by Risë Rafferty

Butyrate and the Bowel, pt 2

August 31, 2016 | Risë Rafferty, RDN

Last month we began understanding one of the ways the community of microbes residing within impacts the health of its host organ, the colon, as well as other facets of human health. This community is composed of many members in various concentrations or percentages. There are thousands of varieties/species, some of which science is still discovering. They could be likened to family clans; the McCalahans, the De Lucas, the Gonzalezs, the Takahashis, different and unique from each other, yet dwelling in one community. The strains of microbes that flourish in this community are in part determined by what they are fed.

We learned that certain strains of bacteria ferment carbohydrates that have been thus far indigestible in the digestive system. As the bacteria break these indigestible carbohydrates down, they produce short-chain fatty acids that are secreted into the colon, byproducts of the fermentation process. Butyrate is one of these short-chain fatty acid byproducts. We observed that butyrate has made headlines in medical journals as a result of the intriguing results …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN

Health Educator
Light Bearers

Metabolic Syndrome by Risë Rafferty

Metabolic Syndrome

March 30, 2016 | Risë Rafferty, RDN

Nearly 35% of adults in America and 50% of those 60 years of age or older are estimated to have metabolic syndrome, also called syndrome X and insulin resistance syndrome. These are staggering statistics. Potentially 3 of 10 adults in America are living with a syndrome that they may not even realize they have.

Metabolic syndrome is not a disease itself. Rather it is a cluster of several risk factors that have been found to be a major contributor to the development of cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney disease, and type 2 diabetes. These risk factors include:

abdominal obesity high fasting blood sugar levels elevated triglycerides low HDL cholesterol elevated blood pressure

Having three or more of these risk factors indicates metabolic syndrome.

Apparently not all fat is alike. The fat that packs itself around the abdomen poses the greatest danger. Abdominal obesity is defined by a waist circumference measurement of  > 40 inches in men, > 35 inches in women.

A fasting blood sugar level > 110 is another early …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN

Health Educator
Light Bearers

Vanishing Perplexities

Vanishing Perplexities

July 3, 2015 | Risë Rafferty, RDN

In the hospital it is not uncommon to see doctor’s orders for C. diff testing in patient charts. C. diff is an abbreviation for Clostridium difficile. If C. diff + is charted it means the patient has Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).  C. diff is a bacterium that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon. It is more commonly seen after antibiotic use and in the elderly. In your intestines, C. diff produces a toxin that causes diarrhea and colitis. “Each year, more than a half million people get sick from C. difficile, and in recent years, C. difficile infections have become more frequent, severe and difficult to treat.”1 It is difficult to treat as it is spore forming and has a protective shell. In addition to this, C. diff has been labeled the most urgent of all superbug infections due to its developed resistance to antibiotic therapy. Most of us have C. diff in our colon in a healthy balance with other bacteria. It can …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN

Health Educator
Light Bearers

Moldy Mary

Moldy Mary

April 1, 2015 | Risë Rafferty, RDN

Mary Hunt worked for the Department of Agriculture’s Northern Regional Research Laboratory (NRRL) in Peoria, Illinois in the early 1940s. She had been assigned the task of grocery shopping for the lab with a shopping list that probably surprised the businesses she frequented. She scoured markets and shops looking for moldy fruits, vegetables, cheese, and breads. She was in search of a mold that would provide a strain of Penicillium mold that could be used to mass-produce penicillin. She was nicknamed Moldy Mary.

Years before in 1928, a British laboratory scientist, by the name of Alexander Fleming, had returned from his vacation to find mold growing on one of his agar dishes. An obvious area surrounding the mold was clean of the staph bacteria that had been swathed on it. The mold had produced a substance that had killed the staph bacteria. Other British medical research scientists would later build on to his observations and experiment with the mold Penicillium in an effort to produce the first modern antibiotic medication.


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Risë Rafferty, RDN

Health Educator
Light Bearers