Food Placement and Traffic Light Labeling To Reduce Caloric Intake in Employee Cafeteria

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Anne Thorndike, MD, MPH Massachusetts General Hospital General Internal Medicine Division Boston, MA 02114

Dr. Thorndike

Anne Thorndike, MD, MPH
Massachusetts General Hospital
General Internal Medicine Division
Boston, MA 02114

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Nearly one-third of the 150 million US adults who are employed are obese. Employees frequently eat meals acquired at work, and workplace food is often high in calories. Effective strategies for reducing non-nutritive energy intake during the workday could help address the rising prevalence of obesity.

Simplified labeling, such as traffic-light labels, provide understandable information about the relative healthfulness of food and can be placed on menu boards, shelf labels, and individual packages to help employees make healthier choices. Choice architecture (e.g., product placement) interventions make it easier and more convenient for employees to choose a healthy item. It is unknown if labeling interventions are associated with sustained reductions in calorie intake, or if there are only temporary effects after which most people revert to higher-calorie choices.

A previous study demonstrated that a hospital cafeteria traffic-light labeling and choice architecture program resulted in a higher proportion of healthy green-labeled purchases and lower proportion of unhealthy red-labeled purchases over two years. The current study analyzed calories purchased by a longitudinal cohort of 5,695 hospital employees who used the cafeteria regularly. The study examined changes in calories purchased over time and hypothesized the effect of the change in calorie intake on employees’ weight.

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Most Supplements Found to Not Decrease Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke or Death

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Safi U. Khan, MD Department of Internal Medicine Robert Packer Hospital Sayre, PA 18840 

Dr. Khan

Safi UKhan, MD
Department of Internal Medicine
Robert Packer Hospital
Sayre, PA 18840 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: There is substantial body of observational data favoring use of vitamins, supplements and special diets for improving cardiovascular health. However, such type of data is limited by various biases. Randomized controlled trial (RCT) is considered gold standard to evaluate effects of a therapy.  Continue reading

Zero-Calorie Sweeteners During Pregnancy Can Impact Offspring’s Microbiome

Dr. Hanover

Dr. Hanover

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
John A. Hanover, Ph.D

Chief: Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Biology
Section Chief: 
Cell Biochemistry Section, Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Biology
Director: Genomics Core, Cores and Support Services
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?

Response: We are interested in the impact of early nutrition on metabolic reprogramming in mammals.  In particular, we are interested in how the nutritional information may be transferred from mother to offspring. 

 To this end, we have exposed mice to high sugar and high fat diets.  One arm of these studies was to examine the effects of exposure of pregnant mice to artificial sweeteners and the subsequent changes in her offspring.  This has not been examined and was important control for the studies outlined above.

Study of Amazon Reviews Finds Many Foods Are Overly Sweet

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Danielle R. Reed, PhD Associate Director Monell Center Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Reed

Danielle R. Reed, PhD
Associate Director
Monell Center
Philadelphia, PA 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Response: We saw an opportunity to learn about the sense of taste by studying several hundred thousand food reviews from Amazon. We were interested in how taste ‘rates’ on the list of things people mention when reviewing food items.

I had a friendly rivalry with my colleague Joel Mainland who studies smell (I study taste) to see which was most important, taste or smell. It turns out we are both right, people mention ‘taste’ much more than ‘smell’ but ‘taste’ is also a proxy term for overall food flavor, the combination of taste, smell and texture.  We were not expecting that people also complain about taste, specifically oversweetness.  

MedicalResearch.com: What determines how something is deemed to be ‘too’ sweet? 

Response: A food is oversweet if reviewers tell us that is their experience; we found that reviewers were much more likely to say a food was ‘too sweet’ rather than ‘not-sweet enough’. This leads us to wonder whether in an attempt to please some people, in general foods are oversweetened for most people.  

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: There are four findings:

  1. First, ‘taste’ is king, beating other points that food might be evaluated, like price.
  2. Second, foods are too sweet for many people and this was a common consumer complaint.
  3. The third point that surprised us was that people mention sweetness much more than saltiness. Hypertension and salt-reduced diets are health concerns for many people yet sweetness and not saltiness is much more on the minds of reviewers.
  4. We also learned that some foods are polarizing – love it or hate it. These food wars may arise because not everyone tastes foods in the same way. We wonder if these differences are due to genetic differences among people.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: We can learn about human food choice by studying reviews which capture how people feel about food and what they want to communicate about it to others. When people talk about food, they talk about taste and sweetness. People can be extremely opinionated about food taste and berate others who don’t taste food in the same way.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: We are excited to link food reviews to medical records and genotype information to see what we can learn from a big data perspective about human food choice, health, and genetics.

No disclosures.

Citation:

Danielle R. Reed, Joel D. Mainland, Charles J. Arayata. Sensory nutrition: The role of taste in the reviews of commercial food products. Physiology & Behavior, 2019; 112579 DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2019.112579

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The information on MedicalResearch.com is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.

 

Decrease in Obesity Among Young US Children Enrolled in Special Supplemental Nutrition Program 2010-2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Liping Pan, MD, MPH Epidemiologist Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dr. Pan

Liping Pan, MD, MPH
Epidemiologist
Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Children with severe obesity face significant health and social challenges. Children with obesity are at higher risk for having other chronic health conditions and diseases, such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, and type 2 diabetes. They also have more risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure, impaired glucose tolerance, and high cholesterol than their healthyweight peers. Children with obesity can be bullied and teased more than their healthyweight peers. They are also more likely to suffer from social isolation, depression, and lower self-esteem. Children with obesity are also more likely to have obesity as adults. This can lead to lifelong physical and mental health problems. Adult obesity is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many types of cancers. 

Childhood obesity is more common among children from lower-income families, as many lack access to healthy, affordable foods and beverages and opportunities for low-cost physical activity.

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Eggs Should Be Eaten In Moderation – Higher Intake Linked to Increased Mortality

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Prof. Katherine Tucker PhD Director of the Center for Population Health Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences Lowell’s Biomedical and Nutritional Sciences UMass

Dr. Tucker

Prof. Katherine Tucker PhD
Director of the Center for Population Health
Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences
Lowell’s Biomedical and Nutritional Sciences
UMass

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? 

Response: Cholesterol was excluded from the recent dietary guidelines, but research remains unclear about eggs and cholesterol on health.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Why is the advice about the benefits/harms regarding egg intake often so conflicting?

Response: Higher egg intake and cholesterol intake were related to increased risk of mortality. Individual observational studies can be confusing as the overall results depend on the baseline intake of the population and adjustment for confounders.  

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Balance and moderation is the key. Complete avoidance of eggs and egg yolks is not recommended because they have healthy nutrients as well. Extremely high intake of any single food may lead to imbalances. 3-4 eggs a week appears healthy but intakes of multiple eggs/day are probably not a good idea.  

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: We need to clarify what exactly it is about too many eggs that is causing the risk. Healthy metabolism depends on a complex interaction of nutrients.

No disclosures 

Citation:

Zhong VW, Van Horn L, Cornelis MC, et al. Associations of Dietary Cholesterol or Egg Consumption With Incident Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality. JAMA. 2019;321(11):1081–1095. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.1572

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2728487 

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The information on MedicalResearch.com is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.

 

Food Food Spending by Lower Economic Groups Has Greater Environmental Impact

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Joe F. Bozeman III, MS, CEM, Ph.D. Candidate Chair, Gordon Research Seminar (Industrial Ecology) University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Institute for Environmental Science and Policy

Joe F. Bozeman III

Joe F. Bozeman III, MS, CEM, Ph.D. Candidate
Chair, Gordon Research Seminar (Industrial Ecology)
University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
Institute for Environmental Science and Policy

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Response: This study is actually a part of my dissertation which explores how climate change, human health, and other socioecological factors can be used to manage food-energy-water impacts. After establishing environmental impact and climate change adaptation implications of food consumption across major U.S. demographic groups in a previous study, my colleagues and I decided it would be interesting to investigate how food spending and household income correlate with food-consumption environmental impacts. Our efforts led to the development of a novel quantitative metric (i.e., food-consumption impact per dollar spent [FCI$]) which encompasses land, water, and greenhouse gas emission impacts of basic foods; the amount spent on food; and socioeconomic status. All major food groups are included in this study.

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Glucosamine Supplements Might Reduce Cardiovascular Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Lu Qi, MD, PhD, FAHA HCA Regents Distinguished Chair and Professor Director, Tulane University Obesity Research Center Department of Epidemiology Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine New Orleans, LA 70112

Dr. Lu Qi

Lu Qi, MD, PhD, FAHA MD, PhD, FAHA
HCA Regents Distinguished Chair and Professor
Director, Tulane University Obesity Research Center
Department of Epidemiology
Tulane University
School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
New Orleans, LA 70112 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: There is evidence from previous experimental studies or cross-sectional analyses in humans linking glucosamine and a variety potentially protective effects such as improving lipids, inhibiting inflammation, and mimic a low-carb diet.   Continue reading

Mortality Rate Increases With Each Sugary Drink

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jean A. Welsh, RN, MPH, PhD
Departments of Epidemiology and Pediatrics
Emory University
Wellness Department, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Atlanta, Georgia

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: As the evidence has accumulated regarding the health risks associated with sugar-sweetened beverages, I’ve wondered about fruit juices.  Though they have a kind of healthy halo, their main ingredients are the same as sugar-sweetened beverages, sugar and water.  We know that young children drink a lot of fruit juice, and I’ve wondered if older children and adults might switch to drinking more as concern grows about soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages.

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Caffeine Cravers Really Do Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr Lorenzo Stafford, PhD, CPsycholSenior Lecturer, Department of PsychologyUniversity of PortsmouthPortsmouth

Stafford

Dr Lorenzo Stafford, PhD, CPsychol
Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology
University of Portsmouth
Portsmouth 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Response: The background to this work was that I had been thinking for sometime on the role of our sense of smell in drug consumption and addiction.  Most of the research in this area is dominated by visual processes, in particular showing how cues associated to drugs (e.g. packet of cigarettes, bottle of beer) become conditioned in such drug users. That work has been useful in explaining how in recovering addicts, long after the withdrawal symptoms have subsided, when exposed to such cues, they can nevertheless relapse to craving and consuming the drug; hence though a powerful driver, addiction is not just about reversing withdrawal symptoms.

However, most of our richer experiences are multisensory, so it seems likely that other senses must also play a role in the addictive process. Years ago, I completed a PhD on the topic of caffeine and with the general importance placed on the sensory (especially smell) aspects of coffee, all planted the seed for a possible study. We completed two experiments that examined the lowest concentration at which participants (high, moderate and non-coffee consumers) could detect (Threshold test) a coffee associated chemical (exp 1) and in a separate task, how fast they were at identifying (Recognition test) the odour of real coffee. In experiment 2, participants (coffee consumers and non-consumers) completed the same Threshold test for the coffee odour but also completed a Threshold test for a control odour.

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Excessive Supplements Linked to Increased Risk of Hip Fractures

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Prof. Haakon E Meyer, PhDDepartment of Public Health and Global HealthNorwegian Institute of Public HealthOslo, Norway

Prof. Meyer

Prof. Haakon E Meyer, PhD
Department of Public Health and Global Health
Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Oslo, Norway

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The use of high dose vitamin supplementation is popular in parts of the population, often without any clear indication and in the absence of clear evidence of benefit.

However, side effects can occur, and in a previous published secondary analysis of double blinded randomized controlled trials, we found to our surprise an increased risk of hip fracture in those supplemented with high doses of vitamin B6 in combination with vitamin B12.

This finding was re-assessed in the current study employing data from the large observational Nurses’ Health Study. As in the previous study, we found that a combined high intake of vitamin B6 and B12 was associated with increased risk of hip fracture. Continue reading

Caffeine and Heart Disease: Is There a Right Amount of Daily Coffee?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Professor Elina Hypponen
Professor in Nutritional and Genetic Epidemiology
Director: Australian Centre for Precision Health
 Australian Centre for Precision Health|
University of South Australia Cancer Research Institute |
South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: In Randomised controlled trials caffeine, which is a key constituent of coffee, has been shown to increase blood pressure. There is also some past evidence to suggest that higher coffee consumption may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, but only in individuals who are slow caffeine metabolisers.

We used information from about 350,000 individuals from the UK, to look at the association between patterns of  habitual of coffee consumption and the subsequent risk of cardiovascular disease. As we also know that people are genetically different with respect to their ability to metabolise caffeine, a further aim for our study was to look at whether those people who are able to metabolise caffeine effectively, may also be more resistant to possible cardiovascular effects of coffee, compared to those who metabolise caffeine more slowly.  Continue reading

You May Have Inherited Your Sweet Tooth

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr Daniel Hwang PhDPostdoctoral Research FellowThe University of Queensland Diamantina Institute

Dr. Hwang

Dr Daniel Hwang PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Response: The aim of the this study is to understand the genetic basis of human taste perception. In this international collaboration project, we started by collecting sensory data from twins in the Australia and USA since 2003. Based on the difference in the genetic relatedness between identical and non-identical twins, our previous studies have quantified the amount of genetic influence on sweet taste perception (https://doi.org/10.1017/thg.2015.42) as well as the other sensory phenotypes (https://doi.org/10.1093/chemse/bjs070).  Continue reading

Your Body Can Adapt To An Occasional Dietary Splurge

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dale Morrison, PhD
School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: The study was conducted using a model of overfeeding that is likely to be representative of a typical Western overeating diet, high in both carbohydrates and fats; as opposed to a predominantly high-fat diet model that is commonly used in the literature.

Our purpose was to examine which tissues are impaired first in response to overeating with a normal dietary composition. We initially hypothesized, based on earlier studies, that the liver would be impaired first by short-term overeating and then skeletal muscle (which soaks up much of the glucose following a meal) would be impaired much later with chronic overeating. However, we didn’t find this. The study found that the body copes with short periods of overeating with additional carbohydrates and makes adjustments by shifting metabolism towards utilizing these excess carbohydrates.  Continue reading

Replacing Alcohol with Soda Not Good for the Liver

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
E. van Eekelen, MSc | PhD Candidate
Leiden University Medical Center
Dept. Clinical Epidemiology
Leiden, The Netherlands

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Fatty liver, defined as excess accumulation of fat within the liver, covers a broad clinical spectrum and is the leading cause of chronic liver diseases. It has also been linked to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The consumption of alcohol is a well-established risk factor for fatty liver. However, we hypothesized that consumption of non-alcoholic energy-containing beverages also leads to liver fat accumulation. We analysed data from the Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity (NEO) study, which is a prospective population-based cohort study including non-invasive measurements of liver fat content by magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Besides consumption of alcoholic beverages, sugar sweetened beverages were associated with more liver fat. We specifically showed that replacement of alcoholic beverages with milk was associated with less liver fat, whereas replacement with sugar sweetened beverages was associated with a similar amount of liver fat, even when taking calories into account.  Continue reading

Kids Who Don’t Drink Water, More Likely To Drink Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Asher Y Rosinger, PhD, MPHAssistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health and AnthropologyDirector of the Water, Health, and Nutrition LaboratoryPennsylvania State University

Dr. Rosinger

Asher Y Rosinger, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health and Anthropology
Director of the Water, Health, and Nutrition Laboratory
Pennsylvania State University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption has been linked to many negative health conditions, such as weight gain, dental caries, and type 2 diabetes. Previous research found that when you replace sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) with water intake then total energy intake goes down. We wanted to know how many calories from SSBs children consume when they drink water or not since sugar-sweetened beverages are often used as a replacement for water. SSB intake has been falling among children over the last 15 years, but there are still pockets and sub-populations that have high consumption levels. It is critical to identify which kids are particularly at risk for high SSB intake since this can lead to these negative health effects.

Overall we found that kids that did not consume any plain water (from tap or bottled water) consumed almost twice as many calories and percent of total calories from sugar-sweetened beverages than kids that consumed water. And for the sample overall that translated to nearly 100 extra calories on a given day.  Continue reading

It’s Not Just Avoiding Red Meat, It’s the Substitute Diet That Influences Heart Health

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Marta Guasch-Ferre, PhD Research Scientist, Dept of Nutrition, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health Instructor of Medicine, Channing Division of Network Medicine, Harvard Medical School Boston, MA, 02115

Dr. Guasch-Ferré

Marta Guasch-Ferre, PhD
Research Scientist, Dept of Nutrition
Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health
Instructor of Medicine, Channing Division of Network Medicin
Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA, 02115
 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Previous findings from randomized controlled trials evaluating the effects of red meat on cardiovascular disease risk factors have been inconsistent.

But our new study, which makes specific comparisons between diets high in red meat versus diets high in other types of foods, shows that substituting red meat with high-quality protein sources lead to more favorable changes in cardiovascular risk factors. That is, to properly understand the health effects of red meat, it’s important to pay attention to the comparison diet. People do not simply eat more or less meat – it will almost always be in substitution with other foods. 

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Just a Picture of Coffee Can Give Your Heart Rate, and Brain, a Lift

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Eugene Chan, PhD
Senior Lecturer in Marketing
Monash Business School
Monash University Australia and 

Sam Maglio PhD
Associate Professor of Marketing
Department of Management
University of Toronto 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: The physiological effects of coffee and caffeine consumption have been well-studied, but we were interested in the psychological effects.

Especially in Western societies, there is a mental association between coffee and arousal – that coffee is an arousing beverage. This led us to ask, might this association itself produce the psychological “lift” without actually drinking beverages? We found that it does.

Merely seeing pictures of coffee or thinking about coffee can increase arousal, heart rates, and make people more focused. The effects are not as strong as actually drinking coffee of course, but they are still noticeable.

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Diet Rich in Red Meat Linked to Earlier Death

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Heli Virtanen, PhD StudentUniversity of Eastern Finland

Heli Virtanen

Heli Virtanen, PhD Student
University of Eastern Finland 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Optimal amount of protein in diet for supporting longevity is unclear. In addition, there have been indications that different protein sources have differential associations with mortality risk.  Thus, we investigated the associations of proteins and protein sources with mortality risk in the Finnish men of the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study.

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New Probiotic Targets Harmful Intestinal Biofilm in Crohn’s Disese

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Professor Mahmoud A. Ghannoum, PhDDirector of the Center for Medical MycologyCase Western Reserve School of Medicine and UH

Dr. Ghannoum

Professor Mahmoud A. Ghannoum, PhD
Director of the Center for Medical Mycology
Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and UH

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? 

Response: The driving force for this study was our finding that patients with Crohn’s disease had a significantly high level (or abundance) of pathogenic fungi (called Candida tropicalis) as well as bacteria (Escherichia coli, and Serratia Marcescens) compared to their non-diseased first-degree relatives. Not only were their levels high, but these organisms cooperated to form polymicrobial digestive plaque (or digestive biofilms) that aggravated the inflammatory symptoms in these patients.

Based on this we wanted to develop a probiotic that targeted these organisms and the biofilms they form. Our efforts led to the design of the novel Biohm probiotic which we tested and the results were described in our publication.

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Even Small Amounts of Red and Processed Meat Linked to Increase in Cardiovascular Mortality

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Saeed Mastour Alshahrani, MPH, PhDSchool of Public Health, Loma Linda University, California, USACollege of Applied Medical Sciences, King Khalid UniversityAbha, Saudi Arabia

Dr. Mastour Alshahrani

Saeed Mastour Alshahrani, MPH, PhD
School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, California, USA
College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Khalid University
Abha, Saudi Arabia 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: -The consumption of red and processed meat has been associated with risks of importance to public health including cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

Several studies have found that red and processed meat intake was associated with an increased risk of mortality. However, levels of meat intake in those studies were relatively high. It remains of interest whether even relatively low intake levels of red and processed meat might be associated with greater mortality, compared to zero intake.  Continue reading

Soda Tax Media Coverage Can Decrease Consumption Even More Than Tax Itself

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Professor Sofia B. VillasBoas Ph.D and
Scott Kaplan, Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics,
University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720‐3310 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The background leading up to this study is the fact that  in 2014, the city of Berkeley passed the nation’s first sugar-sweetened beverage tax, also called soda tax, through a 75% YES public vote. Using beverage sales data from U. C Berkeley campus retailers, we find that sales of soda fell relative to non-SSB beverages by 10-20% after the election outcome and before the tax was ever passed on to consumers.

We know this to be the case because the campus only passed through the higher prices to consumers in middle of 2016. This effect is also found when we look at beverage sales in retail outlets near U C Berkeley. There, quantity dropped after the Yes election outcome relative to quantity changes in counterfactual stores (in retailers near other U C campuses where the tax was not passed and with comparable patterns of sales to those in the city of Berkeley at baseline).

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Opthalmology: No Evidence Linking Calcium Supplements to Age-Related Macular Degeneration

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Emily Y. Chew, M.D.Director of the Division of Epidemiology and Clinical ApplicationsDeputy Clinical Director at the National Eye Institute (NEI), National Institutes of Health

Dr. Chew

Emily Y. Chew, M.D.
Director of the Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications
Deputy Clinical Director at the National Eye Institute (NEI),
National Institutes of Health 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response:     The current study was conducted to see if we could bring some clarity to the issue of calcium intake and AMD risk. Up to this point, the data on calcium and AMD were mixed, with one study showing that calcium supplementation might increase the prevalence of age-related macular degeneration, and another suggesting that high calcium intake may be protective.

Our findings are based on a retrospective analysis of AREDS data on baseline self-reported calcium intake and 10-year AMD outcomes. We looked at rates of AMD onset, as well as rates of progression to late age-related macular degeneration among those people who had early and intermediate AMD at baseline.

Although our findings are suggestive of a protective effect from calcium, it is not possible to control for confounding factors that could explain the result. For example, people who make sure to get the recommended level of calcium may be more likely to also exercise, eat a diet rich in omega-3 foods, such as fish, and avoid smoking – all of which could lower their risk of AMD onset or progression.

That said, we found no evidence that high calcium intake increased the risk of age-related macular degeneration. 

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? 

Response: The take home message applies to the population of people who need to take calcium for a non-AMD-related medical reason, such as for the prevention or treatment of osteoporosis. We found no evidence that calcium should be withheld in that population due to concerns about age-related macular degeneration risk.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? 

Response: A prospective, controlled study would be needed to determine whether calcium has a protective effect against age-related macular degeneration. 

None of study investigators had conflicts of interest. 

Citation:

Tisdale AK, Agrón E, Sunshine SB, et al. Association of Dietary and Supplementary Calcium Intake With Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Age-Related Eye Disease Study Report 39. JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online March 21, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2019.0292

 

 

 

 

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The information on MedicalResearch.com is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.

 

Steroids for Risk of Late Preterm Delivery Help Babies and Reduce Costs

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Cynthia Gyamfi-Bannerman, MD, MScEllen Jacobson Levine and Eugene JacobsonProfessor of Women's Health in Obstetrics and GynecologyDirector, Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellowship ProgramCo-Director, CUMC Preterm Birth Prevention Center Columbia University

Dr. Gyamfi-Bannerman

Cynthia Gyamfi-Bannerman, MD, MSc
Ellen Jacobson Levine and Eugene Jacobson
Professor of Women’s Health in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Director, Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellowship Program
Co-Director, CUMC Preterm Birth Prevention Center
Columbia University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In 2016 our group published the findings of the Antenatal Late Preterm Steroids (ALPS) trial in the NEJM.  We found that administration of antenatal corticosteroids to women at high risk for delivery from 34-36 weeks decreased breathing problems in their neonates.  This treatment had been traditionally only given at less than 34 weeks.

The current paper is a cost analysis of that trial.  We found that the treatment was also cost effective.  From a cost perspective treatment was both low cost and highly effective (the options are low cost, low effect/low cost/high effect, high cost/low effect, high cost/high effect).  Continue reading

Fast Food Servings Have Gotten Bigger and Saltier

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Megan A McCrory, PhD, FTOSResearch Associate ProfessorDept of Health SciencesSargent College of Health and Rehabilitation SciencesBoston University 02215

Dr. McCrory

Megan A McCrory, PhD, FTOS
Research Associate Professor
Dept of Health Sciences
Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Boston University 02215

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased in the US, along with documented increases in portion size in the food supply. Fast food is popular, making up about 11% of adult daily calorie intake in the US, and over 1/3 of U.S. adults eat at fast food establishments on any given day. We therefore sought to examine changes in portion size, calories, and selected nutrients in fast-food entree, side, and dessert menu items across the years 1986, 1991, and 2016.

Continue reading

Supplements Did Not Prevent Depression in Study of Obese Adults

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Prof. Marjolein Visser PhDProfessor of Healthy AgingHead section Nutrition and HealthDepartment of Health Sciences, Vrije Universiteit AmsterdamAmsterdam Public Health research institute

Dr. Visser

Prof. Marjolein Visser PhD
Professor of Healthy Aging
Head section Nutrition and Health
Department of Health Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Amsterdam Public Health research institute

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: More than 40 million Europeans experience a major depressive disorder. One in ten men, and one in five women suffer from clinical depression at least once during their lifetime. Depression is one of the most prevalent and disabling disorders in the EU.

Given the increasing prevalence of depression, more people are actively searching for ways to decrease their risk through lifestyle modification, but are often overwhelmed by confusing and contradictory information.

The MooDFOOD prevention trial is the largest randomized clinical trial to study the effects of nutritional strategies on the prevention of major depressive disorder. Over 1000 overweight or obese participants identified as being at elevated risk for depression but who were not currently depressed, from four European countries -the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain, took part in the study. Participants were randomized to either take nutritional supplements containing folic acid, vitamin D, zinc, selenium or to a pill placebo, and half of participants also received a behavioral lifestyle intervention intended to change dietary behaviors and patterns.

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New York Trans Fat Policy Linked to Reduction of Fatty Acids in Adults by 50%

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sonia Y. Angell, MD MPHDivision of General MedicineDepartment of Medicine, Columbia University Irving Medical CenterNew York, NY  

Dr. Angell

Sonia Y. Angell, MD MPH
Division of General Medicine
Department of Medicine, Columbia University Irving Medical Center
New York, NY  

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Trans fatty acid in the diet increases the incidence of coronary heart disease in the population. In 2006, a policy restricting restaurant use of trans fat went into effect in NYC. This study measured the change in trans fatty acid serum concentration among a representative sample of the NYC population between 2004 and 2013-2014, and whether the change varied by frequency of restaurant food dining.

Overall, blood trans fatty acid serum concentration went down by 57%. Among people who dined out less than one time a week, it went down 51% and in those who dined out 4 or more times a week, it went down 61.6%.  In fact, in 2013-2014 there was no longer a significant increase in the serum trans fatty acid concentrations among those who ate restaurant foods frequently compared with those who ate out rarely.  Continue reading

Excessive Inorganic Phosphate Food Additives May Make Us More Sedentary

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Wanpen Vongpatanasin, M.D. Professor of Medicine Norman & Audrey Kaplan Chair in Hypertension Fredric L. Coe Professorship in Nephrolithiasis and Mineral Metabolism Research Director, Hypertension Section, Cardiology Division, UT Southwestern Medical Center Dallas, TX 75390-8586

Dr. Vongpatanasin

Dr. Wanpen Vongpatanasin, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Norman & Audrey Kaplan Chair in Hypertension
Fredric L. Coe Professorship in Nephrolithiasis and Mineral Metabolism Research
Director, Hypertension Section,
Cardiology Division,
UT Southwestern Medical Center 

 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Increased sedentary activity is commonly seen in people who regularly consume fast food but previously studies have not identified potential mechanisms beyond increased obesity and lack of motivation. Our study seeks to determine if inorganic phosphate, a commonly used food additives that are present in up to 70% of foods in the American diet, maybe the culprit. These food additives (which may come in the form of monocalcium phosphate, phosphoric acid, or tetrasodium phosphate, etc. are used to make the food taste better and/or last longer. It is found mostly in prepackaged foods, cola drinks, and bakery items (cookies, cake, and bread). This is very different from organic phosphates that are found naturally in many healthful foods, such as fruits and vegetables, which are not not readily absorbed from the GI tract.

In the Dallas Heart Study, a multiethnic population-based study, we found that serum phosphate is significantly associated with sedentary time and increased time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity which was measured by wrist actigraphy device. This is not explained by reduce cardiac function as ejection fraction remains normal at higher serum phosphate. Continue reading

Two or More Diet Drinks Per Day Linked to Greater Risk of Stroke

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani, Ph.D., RD Associate Professor Division of Health Promotion & Nutrition Research Dept. of Epidemiology & Population Health Albert Einstein College of Medicine Bronx, NY 10461

Dr. Mossavar-Rahmani

Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani, Ph.D., RD
Associate Professor
Division of Health Promotion & Nutrition Research
Dept. of Epidemiology & Population Health
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Bronx, NY 10461

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: This is the largest study of the effects of artificially sweetened beverages (ASB) in older women from the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study which started in 1993 and still continues to follow the women. A prior paper indicated excess risk of cardiovascular disease with high consumption of ASBs, but cardiovascular disease was a composite endpoint combining stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure, revascularization and peripheral arterial disease.  Our study focusses on stroke by itself and with different subtypes of stroke. We define high consumption as two or more 12 fl oz. of diet drinks (diet soda or fruit drinks) per day and low consumption as no or less than one drink per week.

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Higher Protein, Lower Calorie Diet Can Improve Function and Weight Loss in Older Adults

Kristen M. Beavers Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Exercise Science Department of Biostatistical Sciences Wake Forest School of Medicine Winston-Salem, NC

Dr. Beavers

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Kristen M. Beavers PhD, MPH, RD
Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Exercise Science
Department of Biostatistical Sciences
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Winston-Salem, NC

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Weight loss recommendation for older adults with obesity is controversial, in part because overall weight loss is accompanied by loss of muscle and bone, which may exacerbate age-related risk of disability and fracture. Identification of interventions that can preserve muscle and bone while promoting fat loss should maximize cardiometabolic benefit, while minimizing potential harm to the musculoskeletal system.

This randomized controlled trial was originally designed to test whether a higher protein, nutritionally complete meal plan could preserve lean mass and mobility in older adults undergoing a six month intentional weight loss program. Four publications have resulted from this study: * “Effect of an Energy-Restricted, Nutritionally Complete, Higher Protein Meal Plan on Body Composition and Mobility in Older Adults with Obesity,” Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, published online in advance of print June 21, 2018 * “Effect of a Hypocaloric, Nutritionally Complete, Higher-Protein Meal Plan on Bone Density and Quality in Older Adults With Obesity,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, published online in advance of print Jan. 9, 2019 * “Effect of Intentional Weight Loss on Mortality Biomarkers in Older Adults With Obesity,” Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, published online in advance of print Aug. 20, 2018 * “Effects of a Hypocaloric, Nutritionally Complete, Higher Protein Meal Plan on Regional Body Fat and Cardiometabolic Biomarkers in Older Adults with Obesity,” Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, published online in advance of print Feb. 11, 2019

Across the four publications, we found that:

* Participants lost about 18 pounds, most of it fat (87 percent), and preserved muscle mass. The control group lost about half a pound.

* Even when participants lost weight, they maintained bone mass. In fact, trabecular bone score, a measure of bone quality which predicts fracture risk, seemed to improve.

* Fat was lost in the stomach, hips, thighs and rear, which is important for preventing or controlling cardiometabolic diseases such as diabetes and stroke.

* Participants’ score on the Healthy Aging Index, which measures biomarkers that predict mortality and longevity, improved by 0.75 points. Continue reading