Research shows fat thighs to blame for a slow walk


Friday 22nd February 2013 

  • Discover why fat levels are more important than muscle for movement
  • A horse bites back – opening the door to true horror
  • A tax on fizzy pop might be just the beginning... of a good thing?
  • Have you got Mothers Day sorted? If not grab a bargain here

In my darkest youth we would refer to anyone of a larger build as being ‘Thunder Thighs’ – Ii’s not something I’m proud of looking back.

Little did we know then, or indeed was I aware of until yesterday, but big thighs may provide a significant indicator to mobility in old age.

A study from the US(1) has determined that the amount of fat in our thighs is more important than the amount of muscle when it comes to staying mobile as we age.

This seems at odds with logic.

But the research from over 2,000 men and women aged 70 – 79 showed that an increase in fat throughout the thigh is predictive of mobility loss in otherwise healthy older adults.

Blimey, it’s amazing what sort of stuff they are discovering.

One thing is for certain, we should all keep as active as we can as we age, and use whatever works for us to help maintain a lower body fat level.

Exercise alone may not be the answer though...

...Read on to discover my latest calamity in the pursuit of the perfect body!

The horror of horsemeat trading

I should know better at my age.

Or at least that seems to be the general consensus in the Collins household – and with sympathy being in very short supply.

This last week has been rather pleasant around our way, sunny days with a nip in the air, perfect for good long hikes with the dog – him charging around after various forms of fauna and me taking good lungfuls of clean air.

The cold air clears out the lungs, and the miles were getting the blood pumping and burning the calories – aided by the daily dose of Lemon Juice.

Taking adventure to heart, I set out across a horse paddock with the dog on a short lead – but needn’t have bothered, he cared not a jot for the horses and they barely gave him a second glance.

When we got to the stile at the other end I felt a sense of pride at a mission accomplished... well you do every now and again, don’t you?

So, I patted the dog and gave him a milk bone treat and then turned in gratitude to the horses.

Whilst the canine element was busy with his bone, I pulled a handful of green grass and proffered it to the nearest four legged beast.

Trouble is I forgot to drop my thumb back out of the way, and received a fierce nip for my troubles.

As I hopped around shaking my hand, I must admit I did curse the poor creature and wished all manner of Tesco meat pies upon him!

When I got home I was still feeling rather peevish about the incident.

I cleaned my wound, applied a smear of Manuka honey and a clean dressing and was sat at the kitchen table with my thumb stuck up in the air like a cartoon character when Lara got in.

To say she laughed was an understatement; I think she may have risked detaching a rib at my plight!

This only served to darken my mood.

At times such as this I retired hurt, in fact very hurt, to my study and my computer.

Opening my e-mails I hoped that a few enlightened and humorous contributions from you, my dear readers, would lift the waves of self pity that I felt.

Then I came across a mail from a dear lady who clearly knew much more about our friendly beasts of burden than I did and I began to regret my earlier outburst – and thought of my own stupidity.

“I would like to add one thing regarding the horses and, probably, the cattle that have been used in this dreadful trade. I don't think many of them would have been bred and reared in Romania if any at all.

“They would be the cast-offs from all over Europe, the worst possible specimens that ever lived. The stud farms of Poland, Germany and other countries breed vast amounts of horses every year but only a few are good enough to be of any use for competitions, riding or driving etc. So the rest are sold off for meat.

“That's OK. Except that they are not cared for as animals used for meat should be. They are poorly fed, crammed into large lorries without proper food or water and transported many hundreds of miles across Europe to countries like Romania where they are badly slaughtered and then find themselves in the food chain.”

I thought back to the happy and healthy creatures that I had seen earlier that day and suddenly realised that there was also the whole welfare aspect to the current crisis which had passed me by.

So, I apologise to the magnificent beast of the field that showed me up for being the country clot I am...

...although I could do without Lara and her friends keep giving me the thumbs up through the window at every opportunity!

The truth about fat fighting with a fizz

Of course all of this exercise and worrying about fat content is big news for the mainstream media, and even the health professionals.

Obesity is back in the headlines this week with a big debate being sparked about putting a tax on sweet fizzy drinks.

A group of doctors have called upon the government to penalise the manufacturers and consumers of some of the major soft drinks by slapping a 20% tax on them.

They even went as far as to say that we should be thinking about over sweetened cans of pop in the same way we do about cigarettes.

Have we begun to see a shift in the way the world views the kind of foods we are consuming? Just a little bit?

Are you the perfect child?

And to finish, a bit of really good news. In case you hadn’t realised we are fast approaching Mothers Day (10th March) and I have managed to persuade the publishers to put a few specials together for the most important person in your life.

One of the big savings is a whopping 40% discount on Season to Taste the book that gives you a fantastic insight into the foods to eat for health, when to find them at their seasonal cheapest...and how to make great tasting meals from them with the minimum of fuss.

Give your old mum a treat – click here to discover the Good Life Mothers Day Specials

Yours, as always


(1) K. M. Beavers, D. P. Beavers, D. K. Houston, T. B. Harris, T. F. Hue, A. Koster, A. B. Newman, E. M. Simonsick, S. A. Studenski, B. J. Nicklas, S. B. Kritchevsky. Associations between body composition and gait-speed decline: results from the Health, Aging, and Body Composition study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2013







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