Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Medical Wikipedia to Be Launched

Inspired by the success of Wikipedia, a team of medical professionals has decided to create Medpedia, an online medical reference.

Medpedia seeks to be a medical version of the popular online encyclopedia... but unlike the original, the articles will not be written by any Tom, Dick, or Harriet. In fact, the articles will be written by doctors and Ph.D.s, and will focus on explaining conditions, drugs, procedures, and similar topics. (NOTE: the Medpedia site currently just offers a preview of what the site will look like. The home page says the full site will launch at the "end of 2008.")

According to the above article in Computerworld, Medpedia has the support of medical authorities inlcuding the Harvard Medical School, the Stanford School of Medicine, and the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health.

Among other things, these institutions will provide content and encourage their employees to sign on to be Medpedia editors.

Also unlike Wikipedia, whose authors and editors are usually anonymous, Medpedia will offer editor profiles that provide details such as their background and areas of expertise.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

New Study Compares Mediterranean, Low-Carb, and Low-Fat Diets

WebMD reports on a new long-term study that directly compared three leading diets: the so-called Mediterranean Diet, a low-carb diet (based on the Atkins Diet), and a traditional low-fat diet.

The study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, showed that people could lose weight on all three diets, and that the plans offer other health benefits as well, including improvements in participants' levels of blood fats and blood sugar.

You can read the entire article on the weight-loss study at the NEJM's Web site.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Volumetrics and the Volumetrics Eating Plan

Volumetrics is a way of losing weight through eating, but it's not really a "diet" as such. Instead, it focuses on eating foods that are low in calories but that leave you feeling full because they contain water and fiber (fruits, for example). Created by Barbara Rolls, Ph.D., Volumetrics is based on substituting high-calorie foods with "high-volume," low-calorie alternatives.

For example, she notes that a handful of grapes has the same number of calories as a much smaller quantity of raisins, yet the grapes will be more filling and satisfying because of the water and fiber in them. You can find a more detailed look at the principles of Volumetrics at this good article from WebMD.

The Nutrition Department of Northwestern University also gives a quick fact sheet on the Volumetrics plan.

In the book The Volumetrics Eating Plan (below), the creator of Volumetrics, Barbara Rolls, puts together menu and meal plans that make it easy to put the principles of volumetrics into effect so you can lose weight safely.