Archive for maggio 2012

“Niente sesso siamo inglesi” non vale più in Inghilterra secondo il NHS!

“Niente sesso siamo inglesi”, commedia spumeggiante e scanzonata,che intendeva scardinare la facciata di perbenismo che caratterizzava la rigida società britannica degli anni settanta, non vale più per il National Health Service!

Ecco 10 “regole” di NHS Choices Good sex tips

If you want to make the most of your sex life, these sex tips are a good way to start.

As long as you’re talking and listening to each other, you’re well on the way to a healthy sex life. However, even the most contented lovers can have fun trying new things, so here are some ideas.

1. Build anticipation

Agree on a period of time, say one week, when you won’t have orgasms or penetrative sex. At first, allow only kissing and holding each other. Gradually move on to touching and stroking each other, masturbation, oral sex, or whatever feels right for you. But avoid orgasm. At the end of the week, allow yourselves the pleasure of orgasm, through any kind of sex you like. This week may help to heighten your senses to all the other wonderful feelings you can share when you’re having sex.

2. Massage

Massage can help you have very sensual sex. As part of foreplay, it’s a great way to start things off slowly, and relax into the feel of each other’s skin as your arousal intensifies.

But a simple massage that doesn’t lead to sex can also work wonders for your sex life. A non-sexual massage will familiarise (or refamiliarise) you with your partner’s body, reduce stress and reaffirm the intimacy between you. If you don’t want a massage to lead to sex, discuss this with your partner so you can avoid any misunderstanding.

3. The senses

Good sex can embrace all the senses, not just touch. Scented oil for a massage (don’t get oil on a latex condom as this can damage it), music and candles for soft lighting can all be erotic, as well as listening to your partner’s breathing and the sounds that they make. Taste each other as you kiss. If you both want to, you could mix food and sex – feed each other something delicious and juicy, such as strawberries.

4. Whisper

Whether it’s sweet nothings or your sexy intentions, whispering things to each other can add an extra thrill. It doesn’t have to be during foreplay or sex. A sexy phone call leave both of you looking forward to the event for hours or days.

This works with texts and emails too, but make sure you send them to the right person, and remember that your employer has the right to access your work email.

5. Masturbation

Masturbation, by yourself or with your partner, can be a bonus for your sex life. Exploring your own body and sexual responses means that you can share this knowledge with your partner. Masturbating your partner can help you learn more about what turns them on. It can also be a useful option if one of you doesn’t feel like full penetrative sex, or if you have different levels of desire. Talk about it with your partner.

6. Sex toys

If you and your partner both feel comfortable with it, using sex toys can be an arousing thing to do together. Some people use vibrators (and more) as an enjoyable part of their sex life. If you’ve never thought about using sex toys before, how do you feel about trying them? You can buy them online or in sex shops.

7. Read a book

There are many books that have exercises and ideas to help you achieve a fulfilling sex life, whatever your age, gender, sexual orientation or taste. If you’ve never thought about buying a book about sex, why not do it now? You might wish you’d done it years ago.

8. Share fantasies and desires

Everyone has unique fantasies, tastes and preferences when it comes to sex. From earlobes to ankles, hairline to hips, pirates to picnics, don’t be afraid to talk about them. If you and your partner know about each other’s turn-ons, you can make the most of them.

9. Keep it clean

We’re talking about your general hygiene. You don’t have to keep yourself super-scrubbed: a certain amount of sweat is fine, as long as it isn’t overwhelming. But be respectful towards your partner, and wash every day to prevent nasty smells and tastes.

10. Relax

Sex with a loving partner can be one of the most beautiful and intense experiences in life. Sometimes the best sex happens when you’re not worrying about making it exciting or orgasmic. Relax with your partner, and great sex may come and find you.

Last reviewed: 16/01/2012

Next review due: 16/01/2014

More articles on: Good sex

The Obesity Prevention Source Physical Activity @HPHitaly @HSPH_CCPE

Harvard School of Public Health

Exercise Can Help Control Weight

Obesity results from energy imbalance: too many calories in, too few calories burned. A number of factors influence how many calories (or how much “energy”) people burn each day, among them, age, body size, and genes. But the most variable factor—and the most easily modified—is the amount of activity people get each day.

Keeping active can help people stay at a healthy weight or lose weight. It can also lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and certain cancers, as well as reduce stress and boost mood. Inactive (sedentary) lifestyles do just the opposite.

Related Articles (related-articles.jpg)

Despite all the health benefits of physical activity, people worldwide are doing less of it—at work, at home, and as they travel from place to place. Globally, about one in three people gets little, if any, physical activity. (1) Physical activity levels are declining not only in wealthy countries, such as the U.S., but also in low- and middle-income countries, such as China. And it’s clear that this decline in physical activity is a key contributor to the global obesity epidemic, and in turn, to rising rates of chronic disease everywhere.

The World Health Organization, the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, and other authorities recommend that for good health, adults should get the equivalent of two and a half hours of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each week. (24) Children should get even more, at least one hour a day. There’s been some debate among researchers, however, about just how much activity people need each day to maintain a healthy weight or to help with weight loss, and the most recent studies suggest that a total of two and a half hours a week is simply not enough.

This article defines physical activity and explains how it is measured, reviews physical activity trends, and discusses the role of physical activity in weight control.

Definitions and Measurement

Though people often use “physical activity” and “exercise” interchangeably, the terms have different definitions. “Physical activity” refers to any body movement that burns calories, whether it’s for work or play, daily chores, or the daily commute. “Exercise,” a subcategory of physical activity, refers to “planned, structured, and repetitive” activities aimed at improving physical fitness and health. (5)  Researchers sometimes use the terms “leisure-time physical activity” or “recreational physical activity” as synonyms for exercise.

See examples of moderate and vigorous physical activity

Learn what makes up the dailyenergy expenditure

Experts measure the intensity of physical activity in metabolic equivalents or METs. One MET is defined as the calories burned while an individual sits quietly for one minute. For the average adult, this is about one calorie per every 2.2 pounds of body weight per hour; someone who weighs 160 pounds would burn approximately 70 calories an hour while sitting or sleeping. Moderate-intensity physical activity is defined as activities that are strenuous enough to burn three to six times as much energy per minute as an individual would burn when sitting quietly, or 3 to 6 METs. Vigorous-intensity activities burn more than 6 METs.

It is challenging for researchers to accurately measure people’s usual physical activity, since most studies rely on participants’ reports of their own activity in a survey or daily log. This method is not entirely reliable: Studies that measure physical activity more objectively, using special motion sensors (called accelerometers), suggest that people tend to overestimate their own levels of activity.  (6)


Worldwide, people are less active today than they were decades ago. While studies find that sports and leisure activity levels have remained stable or increased slightly, (710) these leisure activities represent only a small part of daily physical activity. Physical activity associated with work, home, and transportation has declined due to economic growth, technological advancements, and social changes. (7,8,10,11) Some examples from different countries:

  • United States. In 1950, 30 percent of Americans worked in high-activity occupations; by 2000, that proportion had dropped to only 22 percent. Conversely, the percentage of people working in low-activity occupations rose from about 23 percent to 41 percent. (8) Driving cars increased from 67 percent of all Global Soccer trips to work in 1960 to 88 percent in 2000, while walking and taking public transit to work decreased. (8) About 40 percent of U.S. schoolchildren walked or rode their bikes to school in 1969; by 2001, only 13 percent did so. (12)
  • United Kingdom. Over the past few decades, it’s become more common for U.K. households to own second cars and labor-saving appliances. (13) Work outside the home has also become less active. In 2004, about 39 percent of men worked in active jobs, down from 43 percent in 1991–1992. (11)
  • China. Between 1991 and 2006, work-related physical activity in China dropped by about 35 percent in men and 46 percent in women; women also cut back on physical activity around the house—washing clothes, cooking, cleaning—by 66 percent. (10) Transportation-related physical activity has also dropped—no surprise, perhaps, given that car ownership is on the rise: Sales of new cars in China have gone up by about 30 percent per year in recent years. (14)

The flip side of this decrease in physical activity is an increase in sedentary activities—watching television, playing video games, and using the computer. Add it up, and it’s clear that globally, the “energy out” side of the energy balance equation is tilting toward weight gain.

How Much Activity Do People Need to Prevent Weight Gain?

Weight gain during adulthood can increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. Since it’s so hard for people to lose weight and keep it off, it’s better to prevent weight gain in the first place. Encouragingly, there’s strong evidence that staying active can help people slow down or stave off “middle-age spread”: (13) The more active people are, the more likely they are to keep their weight steady; (15,16) the more sedentary, the more likely they are to gain weight over time. (17) But it’s still a matter of debate exactly how much activity people need to avoid gaining weight. The latest evidence suggests that the recommended two and a half hours a week may not be enough.

The Women’s Health Study, for example, followed 34,000 middle-age women for 13 years to see how much physical activity they needed to stay within 5 pounds of their weight at the start of the study. Researchers found that women in the normal weight range at the start needed the equivalent of an hour a day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity to maintain a steady weight. (18)

Vigorous activities seem to be more effective for weight control than slow walking. (15,19,20) The Nurses’ Health Study II, for example, followed more than 18,000 women for 16 years to study the relationship between changes in physical activity and weight. Although women gained, on average, about 20 pounds over the course of the study, those who increased their physical activity by 30 minutes per day gained less weight than women whose activity levels stayed steady. And the type of activity made a difference: Bicycling and brisk walking helped women avoid weight gain, but slow walking did not.

How Much Activity Do People Need to Lose Weight?

Exercise can help promote weight loss, but it seems to work best when combined with a lower calorie eating plan. (3) If people don’t curb their calories, however, they likely need to exercise for long periods of time—or at a high intensity—to lose weight. (3,21,22)Black Mountain Bike

In one study, for example, researchers randomly assigned 175 overweight, inactive adults to either a control group that did not receive any exercise instruction or to one of three exercise regimens—low intensity (equivalent to walking 12 miles/week), medium intensity (equivalent to jogging 12 miles/week), or high intensity (equivalent to jogging 20 miles per week). All study volunteers were asked to stick to their usual diets. After six months, those assigned to the high-intensity regimen lost abdominal fat, whereas those assigned to the low- and medium-intensity exercise regimens had no change in abdominal fat. (21)

More recently, researchers conducted a similar trial with 320 post-menopausal women, randomly assigning them to either 45 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic activity, five days a week, or to a control group. Most of the women were overweight or obese at the start of the study. After one year, the exercisers had significant decreases in body weight, body fat, and abdominal fat, compared to the non-exercisers. (23)

How Does Activity Prevent Obesity?

Researchers believe that physical activity prevents obesity in multiple ways: (24)

  • Physical activity increases people’s total energy expenditure, which can help them stay in energy balance or even lose weight, as long as they don’t eat more to compensate for the extra calories they burn.
  • Physical activity decreases fat around the waist and total body fat, slowing the development ofabdominal obesity.
  • Weight lifting, push-ups, and other muscle-strengthening activities build muscle mass, increasing the energy that the body burns throughout the day—even when it’s at rest—and making it easier to control weight.
  • Physical activity reduces depression and anxiety, (3) and this mood boost may motivate people to stick with their exercise regimens over time.

Read more: how to promote physical activity in families | early childcare | schools | worksites

The Bottom Line: For Weight Control, Aim for an Hour of Activity a Day

Being moderately active for at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week can help lower the risk of chronic disease. But to stay at a healthy weight, or to lose weight, most people will need more physical activity—at least an hour a day—to counteract the effects of increasingly sedentary lifestyles, as well as the strong societal influences that encourage overeating.

Keep in mind that staying active is not purely an individual choice: The so-called “built environment”—buildings, neighborhoods, transportation systems, and other human-made elements of the landscape—influences how active people are. (25) People are more prone to be active, for example, if they live near parks or playgrounds, in neighborhoods with sidewalks or bike paths, or close enough to work, school, or shopping to safely travel by bike or on foot. People are less likely to be active if they live in sprawling suburbs designed for driving or in neighborhoods without recreation opportunities.

Read more about how our foodenvironment and physical activityenvironment contribute to obesity risk.

Local and state governments wield several policy tools for shaping people’s physical surroundings, such as planning, zoning, and other regulations, as well as setting budget priorities for transportation and infrastructure. (27) Strategies to create safe, active environments include curbing traffic to make walking and cycling safer, building schools and shops within walking distance of neighborhoods, and improving public transportation, to name a few. Such changes are essential to make physical activity an integral and natural part of people’s everyday lives—and ultimately, to turn around the obesity epidemic.


1. World Health Organization. Notes for the media: New physical activity guidance can help reduce risk of breast, colon cancersOpens in New Window; 2011. Accessed January 28, 2012.

2. World Health Organization. Global recommendations on physical activity for healthOpens in New Window; 2011. Accessed January 30, 2012.

3. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for AmericansOpens in New Window; 2008. Accessed January 30, 2012.

4. Haskell WL, Lee IM, Pate RR, et al. Physical activity and public health: updated recommendation for adults from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. CirculationOpens in New Window. 2007; 116:1081-93.

5. Caspersen CJ, Powell KE, Christenson GM. Physical activity, exercise, and physical fitness: definitions and distinctions for health-related research. Public Health RepOpens in New Window. 1985; 100:126-31.

6. Troiano RP, Berrigan D, Dodd KW, Masse LC, Tilert T, McDowell M. Physical activity in the United States measured by accelerometer. Med Sci Sports ExercOpens in New Window. 2008; 40:181-8.

7. Juneau CE, Potvin L. Trends in leisure-, transport-, and work-related physical activity in Canada 1994-2005. Prev MedOpens in New Window. 2010; 51:384-6.

8. Brownson RC, Boehmer TK, Luke DA. Declining rates of physical activity in the United States: what are the contributors? Annu Rev Public HealthOpens in New Window. 2005; 26:421-43.

9. Petersen CB, Thygesen LC, Helge JW, Gronbaek M, Tolstrup JS. Time trends in physical activity in leisure time in the Danish population from 1987 to 2005. Scand J Public HealthOpens in New Window. 2010; 38:121-8.

10. Ng SW, Norton EC, Popkin BM. Why have physical activity levels declined among Chinese adults? Findings from the 1991-2006 China Health and Nutrition Surveys. Soc Sci MedOpens in New Window. 2009; 68:1305-14.

11. Stamatakis E, Ekelund U, Wareham NJ. Temporal trends in physical activity in England: the Health Survey for England 1991 to 2004. Prev MedOpens in New Window. 2007; 45:416-23.

12. McDonald NC. Active transportation to school: trends among U.S. schoolchildren, 1969-2001. Am J Prev MedOpens in New Window. 2007; 32:509-16.

13. Wareham NJ, van Sluijs EM, Ekelund U. Physical activity and obesity prevention: a review of the current evidence. Proc Nutr SocOpens in New Window. 2005; 64:229-47.

14. Kjellstrom T, Hakansta C, Hogstedt C. Globalisation and public health-overview and a Swedish perspective. Scand J Public Health SupplOpens in New Window. 2007; 70:2-68.

15. Mekary RA, Feskanich D, Malspeis S, Hu FB, Willett WC, Field AE. Physical activity patterns and prevention of weight gain in premenopausal women. Int J Obes (Lond)Opens in New Window. 2009; 33:1039-47.

16. Seo DC, Li K. Leisure-time physical activity dose-response effects on obesity among US adults: results from the 1999-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. J Epidemiol Community HealthOpens in New Window. 2010; 64:426-31.

17. Lewis CE, Smith DE, Wallace DD, Williams OD, Bild DE, Jacobs DR, Jr. Seven-year trends in body weight and associations with lifestyle and behavioral characteristics in black and white young adults: the CARDIA study. Am J Public HealthOpens in New Window. 1997; 87:635-42.

18. Lee IM, Djousse L, Sesso HD, Wang L, Buring JE. Physical activity and weight gain prevention.JAMAOpens in New Window. 2010; 303:1173-9.

19. Mekary RA, Feskanich D, Hu FB, Willett WC, Field AE. Physical activity in relation to long-term weight maintenance after intentional weight loss in premenopausal women. Obesity (Silver Spring)Opens in New Window. 2010; 18:167-74.

20. Lusk AC, Mekary RA, Feskanich D, Willett WC. Bicycle riding, walking, and weight gain in premenopausal women. Arch Intern MedOpens in New Window. 2010; 170:1050-6.

21. Slentz CA, Aiken LB, Houmard JA, et al. Inactivity, exercise, and visceral fat. STRRIDE: a randomized, controlled study of exercise intensity and amount. J Appl PhysiolOpens in New Window. 2005; 99:1613-8.

22. McTiernan A, Sorensen B, Irwin ML, et al. Exercise effect on weight and body fat in men and women. Obesity (Silver Spring)Opens in New Window. 2007; 15:1496-512.

23. Friedenreich CM, Woolcott CG, McTiernan A, et al. Adiposity changes after a 1-year aerobic exercise intervention among postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial. Int J Obes (Lond)Opens in New Window. 2010.

24. Hu FB. Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviors, and Obesity. In: Hu FB, ed. Obesity Epidemiology. New York: Oxford University Press; 2008:301-19.

25. Sallis JF, Glanz K. Physical activity and food environments: solutions to the obesity epidemic.Milbank QOpens in New Window. 2009; 87:123-54.

26. Khan LK, Sobush K, Keener D, et al. Recommended community strategies and measurements to prevent obesity in the United States. MMWR Recomm RepOpens in New Window. 2009; 58:1-26.

27. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Leadership for Healthy Communities. Action Strategies ToolkitOpens in New Window. Accessed January 30, 2012.

Terms of Use

The aim of the Harvard School of Public Health Obesity Prevention Source Web site is to provide timely information about obesity’s global causes, consequences, prevention, and control, for the public, health and public health practitioners, business and community leaders, and policymakers. The contents of this Web site are not intended to offer personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Web site. The Web site’s obesity prevention policy recommendations are based primarily on a review of U.S. expert guidance, unless otherwise indicated; in other countries, different policy approaches may be needed to achieve improvements in food and physical activity environments, so that healthy choices are easy choices, for all.

Teens in California, which patrols school food, eat less fat, sugar

Anyone who’s gone on a diet knows: It’s easier to avoid potato chips if you don’t have any.

So it’s not a surprise that researchers found that California high school students eat less fat and sugar and fewer calories at school than their peers in states that allow the sale of snacks with more of those items.

What’s more, the California students didn’t compensate outside of school; they ate an average of 158 calories a day fewer than students in the other states, according to the study published Monday in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.The California students’ consumption outside of school was approximately the same as the students in the other states.

The researchers repeated their analysis with only Hispanic students, a population with particularly high rates of obesity, and found similar results.

“If  students can consume 150 fewer calories per day while maintaining healthy levels of activity, it could go a long way toward preventing excess weight gain among teenagers,” said Daniel Taber, lead author of the study and an investigator with Bridging the Gap, a research program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which funded the study.

California was among the first states to regulate what’s known as “competitive” foods – those sold at school outside of the school meals programs — in vending machines or student stores, for instance. The law took effect in July 2007 and limits competitive snacks to 35% of total calories from fat (10% saturated fat), 35% of its weight from sugars and no more than 250 calories. Competitive entrees can be 400 calories, with 100 calories of fat.

Nationwide, high school is far from junk food-free: 77% of high schools offered regular-fat and sugar snacks in 2007-08, the researchers said.

The researchers compared 114 California students with 566 teenagers in 14 states without laws governing fat, sugar or caloric content of competitive foods in May 2010 by asking them about what they ate in the previous 24 hours. (If you’re wondering about teenage reliability, the researchers noted that that could be an issue.)

Competitive foods, the researchers note, “are commonly foods of high caloric density and low nutrient density.” That, we presume, is how they compete. We’re sure there are teens who regularly choose celery over ice cream, but we also guess they’re few and far between.

This all matters because the Health, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 requires the federal government to come up with standards for competitive foods in schools that take part in the federal school meals program.

There is no way to prove from the study alone that California’s laws were the cause of the differences that researchers observed, Taber said.  But he also said the findings suggest that strong nutrition standards  — such as requiring that at least half the grains be whole — may be an effective way to reduce teenage weight gain.

The regulations in California are a start, he said.

“California schools were getting the unhealthy foods out, but they were not necessarily replacing them with healthier alternatives,” even if the new foods – baked chips, say — met the standards, Taber said.  “Just because a student isn’t eating a candy bar, they are not necessarily eating a spinach salad in its place.”