Want To Lose Weight? Find A Great Doctor

Having a good relationship with your doctor could be key to weight loss, according to a new study.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University interviewed 347 obesity patients who had spent two years working with health coaches and were supervised by their primary care physicians.

The patients were asked to fill out a survey rating how often their doctor explained things clearly, how carefully they listened and showed respect and how helpful their physicians’ involvement was during the period.

Patients who gave their doctors high “helpfulness” ratings lost about 11 pounds, while patients who gave their physicians low “helpfulness” rating lost about five pounds.

“Incorporating physicians into future programs might lead patients to more successful weight loss,” researcher Wendy L. Bennett said.

As Dietitian Manuel Villacorta pointed out in a HuffPost blog, doctors can be incredibly influential in inspiring change.

“Healthcare providers have the power to inspire people to change,” he wrote.

“Remember when smoking was our biggest health concern? Researchers found that doctors who had a talk (even a brief one) with smokers saw more of their patients kick the habit. We should use the same approach to address the obesity epidemic, and providers simply need to start talking to those who should lose weight.”

Of course, more research needs to be conducted on this topic — but it’s good to know that doctors can play such a crucial role in weight loss.

The study was published in the journal Patient Education and Counseling.

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Hopping Through Time With Ursula K. Le Guin

In a 1966 novel, Ursula K. Le Guin wrote about a little device — about the size of a lunchbox — that allows its owner to communicate across land masses, even planets, in a flash. Though the ansible isn’t currently a reality, we’re constantly working to improve the speed with which we can deliver electronic information to far-flung readers.

That Le Guin could even conceive of such a technology decades ago speaks to the powers of her imagination. “You move along with your time,” she said in a phone interview with The Huffington Post, noting that some of the more radical concepts she penned in the 1990s would’ve never occurred to her when she set out to start writing.

Though she’s lauded as a feminist novelist and poet who’s used fictional societies to criticize gender norms, she admits that she was slow to grow into her own beliefs. After all, she was raised on the hard sci-fi of male physicists and engineers — great books not unlike last year’s The Martian, but far removed from her interests, which are centered on social sciences, anthropology and religion.

Over the phone — a sort of proto-ansible — the author discussed her development as a feminist, her thoughts on this year’s Hugo Awards, and her concerns about Amazon. She punctuated most of her steadfast opinions with a good-humored laugh — a reminder of the amusement and wonder that underlies so much of her work.

I wanted to ask a little about your slightly more recent stories — in a story from the ’90s, “Coming of Age in Karhide,” you return to the world of The Left Hand of Darkness, but explore the characters’ sexuality more closely. Why did you feel you were able to do this decades after the world was created?

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Early human diet explains our eating habits

Much attention is being given to what people ate in the distant past as a guide to what we should eat today. Advocates of the claimed palaeodiet recommend that we should avoid carbohydrates and load our plates with red meat and fat. Its critics, on the other hand, argue that these are the same ingredients that would set us up for heart attacks. Moreover, these animal-derived foods require more space to produce on our crowded planet filled with starving humans. —> Read More

White-tailed eagles avoid large bullet fragments during consumption of carcasses

White-tailed eagles detect and avoid the ingestion of large metal particles (larger than 8 mm) but ignore smaller metal particles whilst feeding on shot mammalian carcasses. Lead-based bullets split into numerous small metal fragments when penetrating an animal’s body, whereas lead-free rifle bullets either deform without leaving any particles in the tissue or fragment into larger particles. Thus, the use of lead-free bullets may prevent lead poisoning of scavengers, say authors of a new study. —> Read More

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