weight loss

Dale Knuth, now 58, says that in childhood her weight was a source of anguish — largely because of how her family treated her. "I had a brother who tormented me constantly," she says. "If I came home from school and was hungry and ate an apple, I'd be called a cow, or a pig or whatever."

Her parents, she says, did nothing to stop her brother "except to say, 'Yeah, you're getting fat.' " She had no physical outlet for her frustration — she wanted to play softball, but her mother wouldn't allow it.

Over the past 70 years, ultra-processed foods have come to dominate the U.S. diet. These are foods made from cheap industrial ingredients and engineered to be super-tasty and generally high in fat, sugar and salt.

Why do some people not respond to exercise? A new $170 million study funded by the National Institutes of Health will attempt to answer that question.

Have you ever been on a diet but didn't hit your goal weight? Your gut bacteria may be part of the explanation.

New research suggests the mix of microbes in our guts can either help — or hinder — weight-loss efforts.

"We started with the premise that people have different microbial makeups, and this could influence how well they do with dieting," explains Purna Kashyap, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

The idea that each of us has a unique nutrition blueprint within our genes is a delicious concept.

Perhaps, this helps explain the growth in personalized nutrition testing and services such as Habit, Profile Precise and Nutrigenomix.

So, what exactly can these tests tell you?

Looking for a diet that is simple to follow? You might want to give the Mediterranean diet a try.

It's not so much a prescriptive meal plan as it is a well-balanced pattern of eating. Think lots of whole grains, vegetables, beans, nuts, olive oil, fish and smaller amounts of dairy, poultry and even a little red wine (if you like).

If you're looking for a diet plan that suits your lifestyle, a new list of rankings from U.S. News & World Report has you covered.