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.

Continue reading

Brain Aging in Women Linked to Obesity and Lower Estradiol Levels

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Rachel Zsido PhD student Department of Neurology  International Max Planck 

Rachel Zsido

Rachel Zsido
PhD student
Department of Neurology
International Max Planck

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

Response: We integrated measures of brain network structure, visceral adipose tissue (VAT), serum estradiol levels, and cognitive performance from 974 participants in order to shed light on potential mechanisms underlying cognitive health. We believe it is imperative to assess sex-specific risk trajectories in brain aging and cognitive decline, especially given the known sex differences in both VAT accumulation patterns and estradiol fluctuations across the lifespan.

Thus, we aimed to answer three questions in men and in women:

1) Does visceral adipose tissue exacerbate the association between age and brain network structure,
2) Does estradiol mitigate the negative association between VAT and brain network structure, and
3) What does this imply for healthy cognitive aging in men and women?  Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Keep Your Up Cosmetics and Out of Sight of of Kids

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Rebecca McAdams, MA, MPH CHES Senior research associate Center for Injury Research and Policy Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus, OH

Rebecca McAdams

Rebecca McAdams, MA, MPH CHES
Senior research associate
Center for Injury Research and Policy
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Columbus, OH 

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

Response: Cosmetic or personal care products are found in nearly every US home and include items such as nail, hair and skin care products. Many of us use these products daily. Although a cosmetic product may not be harmful when used according to the directions, it is important for parents and caregivers to know that a young child could be seriously injured by these products.

This study found that 64,686 children younger than five years of age were treated in U.S. emergency departments for injuries related to personal care products from 2002 through 2016 – that’s an average of about one child every two hours. 

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: The study found that most injuries from these products occurred when a child swallowed the product (75.7%) or the product made contact with a child’s skin or eyes (19.3%). These ingestions and exposures most often led to poisonings (86.2%) or chemical burns (13.8%).

The study found that the top products that led to injuries were nail care products (28.3%), hair care products (27.0%), skin care products (25.0%), and fragrance products (12.7%). When we looked at specific cosmetic products, nail polish remover was the single product which most frequently caused injuries (17.3%). For all products, children younger than 2 years of age were most commonly injured (59.3%), and they were more than twice as likely to be injured by a cosmetic product compared to children 2-4 years of age. 

As the first comprehensive examination of cosmetic-related injuries in children younger than 5 years of age using NEISS data, these results indicate a steady and persistent number of cosmetic-related injuries for children. Children younger than 2 years demonstrated different patterns and injury rates, relative to children aged 2 to 4 years. These findings demonstrate the need for increased efforts and prevention messaging to reduce the burden of cosmetic injuries. Particularly, prevention efforts need to be age-specific to couple developmental milestones with corresponding cosmetic product exposures.

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

Response: It’s important for parents and caregivers with young children in the home to store all personal care products safely – up, away, and out of sight – in a locked cabinet is best. There are many products on the market to assist with safe storage. A variety of cabinet and drawer locks and latches are on the market which enable most spaces to be made more secure. These products can typically be purchased at grocery stores, mass retailers, drug stores, home improvement stores, hardware stores, and online.

It’s best to store personal care products up (in a cabinet children cannot reach), away (not just sitting on a shelf), and out of sight (in an opaque container or behind an opaque door or drawer). Remember that using child safety products like locks and latches will make storage safer and child-resistant, but no product will make your home completely child-proof.

Parents and child caregivers can help children stay safer by following these tips:

  • Up, away and out of sight. Store all personal care products safely: up, away and out of sight – in a cabinet that can be locked or latched is best. Never leave personal care products out unattended and put them away immediately after use.
  • Store safely now. It is never too soon to start practicing safe storage. Almost 60% of the injuries in this study were to children younger than 2 years of age.
  • Original containers. Keep all personal care products in their original containers.
  • Know how to get help. Save the national Poison Help Line (1-800-222-1222) in your cell phone and post it near your home phones.

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

Response: The persistence of cosmetic-related morbidity highlights the need to apply injury prevention strategies to this domain of consumer products. New emphasis needs to be placed on the safe storage recommendations put forward by the American Academy of Pediatrics on bathroom safety, and considerations need to be taken to store these items safely in the bedroom and common areas as well. Of particular relevance is the notion that cosmetic products need to be stored in the same manner as medications: in locked cabinets that are high and out of reach of young hands. Furthermore, not to be underestimated is the role of health care providers in advocating for safe storage of these common products through education at well-child appointments.

I have no financial relationships or potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article to disclose.

Citation:

Cosmetic-Related Injuries Treated in US Emergency Departments: 2002 to 2016

Jordan VajdaMA, MDivRebecca J. McAdamsMA, MPHKristin J. RobertsMS, MPHMotao ZhuMD, MS, PhDLara B. McKenziePhD, MA

https://doi.org/10.1177/0009922819850492 |
First Published June 16, 2019

 

[last-modified]

 

 

 

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.

 

Could Breast Milk from Overweight Moms Play a Role in Childhood Obesity?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Henry J. Nuss, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Public Health New Orleans, LA

Dr. Nuss

Henry J. Nuss, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
School of Public Health
New Orleans, LA 

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

Response: Childhood obesity rates in the U.S. have been increasing within the past 30 years. We can point to things like sedentary lifestyle, energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods and savvy marketing techniques of large food corporations that target kids and their parents to buy food items that aren’t healthy. That said, we do know that women who have an unhealthy weight status (as measured by BMI ≥ 25) tend to have offspring that eventually attain an unhealthy weight status themselves. Aside from environmental factors, could this be due to maternal programming or perhaps something in the breastmilk? Or both? We saw some interesting research that showed breastfed infants/toddlers born to asthmatic moms were more likely to develop asthma. Furthermore, this association became stronger the longer the infants/toddlers were breastfed. The conclusion here is that it must be something in the breastmilk.

We knew that asthma and obesity are both inflammatory in nature and that there are specific pro- and anti-inflammatory and obesogenic bioactive compounds in human breastmilk. Some have been studied before but there were no studies at the time that tied all of the pieces together. If we could target specific compounds in the milk that were associated with unhealthy growth patterns in infants then we could perhaps be more specific in how we fight this problem.

Continue reading

Turn Off the Smartphone and TV at Night To Reduce Risk of Weight Gain

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Lead author: Yong-Moon (“Mark”) Park, MD, PhD Postdoctoral fellow Epidemiology Branch National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Dr. Park

Lead author: Yong-Moon (“Mark”) Park, MD, PhD
Postdoctoral fellow
Epidemiology Branch
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Senior author: Dale P. Sandler, PhD Chief, Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences National Institutes of Health

Dr. Sandler

 

Senior author: Dale P. Sandler, PhD
Chief, Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
National Institutes of Health

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

Response: A few studies had suggested that exposure to artificial light while sleeping was associated with obesity. However, the previous studies were cross-sectional, so we really do not know which came first – exposure to artificial light while sleeping or obesity. Another problem was that previous studies did not fully account for other characteristics that could affect this association, such as sleep duration and quality, calorie intake and dietary patterns, and physical activity.

We studied nearly 44,000 women ages 35-74 from across the US who are enrolled in the Sister Study cohort. Women had body weight characteristics measured at baseline and provided self-reported information on weight at baseline and follow-up – on average 5.7 years later.

Continue reading

Apple or Pear? Body Shape Not Determined Just by Fat

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kalypso Karastergiou, MD, PhD Assistant Professor, Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Disease Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Institute Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai     MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?   Response: Multiple studies, epidemiological as well as clinical, have established that body shape is an important and independent predictor of cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk and ultimately total mortality. Subjects that preferentially store weight in the abdominal area (often described as android, upper-body or apple-shape obesity) are at increased risk, whereas those who preferentially store weight in the lower body, in the gluteofemoral area (gynoid, lower-body or pear-shape), appear to be protected. The former is more common in men, whereas the latter in women, especially premenopausal women.   The overarching questions in the field are:  •What factors determine body shape?  •	Why are subjects with lower-body shape protected?  •	Can we exploit the physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms involved to improve stratification, prevention or treatment of obesity and related diseases?   MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?   Response: Up to date, studies in body shape have focused on the distribution of the adipose (fat) tissue.  This report seeks to expand the investigation to other tissues as well. During the period from 1999-2006, 14,005 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (which represents the United States population), 20-69 years old, had a DXA test that allows total and regional estimation of fat, lean and bone tissue mass.   This preliminary analysis shows that body shape is determined by coordinated changes in the head, trunk and limbs that involve the fat, as well as the other tissues.     MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?  Response: This is an observational study that doesn’t allow us to draw conclusion as to cause and effect or prediction of future risk. It does suggest that body shape is a whole-body feature with systematic, coordinated changes in all body compartments and tissues.   The observations should be replicated in other populations and in prospective studies.      MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?  Response: This report generates more questions than it answers.   •	First of all, are there differences in the function of tissues that determine body shape between subjects with upper- versus lower body shape?   •	Which tissues drive differences in physiology and disease risk?   •	Can we identify the underlying molecular pathways?   •	Does any of these pathways represent a viable mechanistic target to prevent or treat disease and improve quality of life?     Dislosures The study is partly funded by grants from the MSHS Translational Science Hub at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (KL2TR001435) and the Einstein-Sinai Diabetes Research Center in New York City.     Citation: ADA 2019 abstract  277-OR: Lean Tissues as Novel Determinants of Pear vs. Apple Body Shape and Metabolic Health in Humans KALYPSO KARASTERGIOU Diabetes 2019 Jun; 68(Supplement 1): -.https://doi.org/10.2337/db19-277-OR      [last-modified]    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.

Dr. Karastergiou

Kalypso Karastergiou, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Disease
Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Institute
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai 

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

Response: Multiple studies, epidemiological as well as clinical, have established that body shape is an important and independent predictor of cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk and ultimately total mortality. Subjects that preferentially store weight in the abdominal area (often described as android, upper-body or apple-shape obesity) are at increased risk, whereas those who preferentially store weight in the lower body, in the gluteofemoral area (gynoid, lower-body or pear-shape), appear to be protected. The former is more common in men, whereas the latter in women, especially premenopausal women.

The overarching questions in the field are:

  • What factors determine body shape?
  • Why are subjects with lower-body shape protected?
  • Can we exploit the physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms involved to improve stratification, prevention or treatment of obesity and related diseases? 

Continue reading

Fat Distribution Linked to Advanced and Fatal Prostate Cancer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Barbra Dickerman, PhD Research Fellow Department of Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, MA

Dr. Dickerman

Barbra Dickerman, PhD
Research Fellow
Department of Epidemiology
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Boston, MA

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

Response: Obesity is associated with a higher risk of advanced prostate cancer and poorer prognosis after diagnosis. However, emerging evidence suggests that the specific distribution of body fat may be an important prognostic factor for prostate cancer outcomes. In this original investigation, we analyzed body fat distribution on computed tomography imaging and the risk of being diagnosed with, and dying from, prostate cancer. This study was conducted among 1,832 Icelandic men with over a decade of follow-up in the Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility-Reykjavik Study.

Continue reading

Walking Pace Addresses Fit versus Fat Debate

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
sneakers-walkingFrancesco Zaccardi, MD, PhD

Clinical Epidemiologist
Assistant Director Leicester Real World Evidence Unit
Leicester Diabetes Centre
UK

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

Response: The role of excess body weight on mortality has been extensively investigated during the last decades. Studies from several countries have also shown, however, that the risk of death in persons who are overweight or obese is lower if their fitness, a parameter indicating cardio-pulmonary health, is higher.

Most of these studies reported the beneficial effect of fitness in terms of relative risk reduction, for example 20% reduction of risk of death. Relative estimates, though, are difficult to interpret. Continue reading

Which Matters More? Pre-Pregnancy Obesity vs Pregnancy Weight Gain?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr-Romy GaillardRomy Gaillard MD PhD
LifeCycle Project-Maternal Obesity and Childhood Outcomes Study Group
Erasmus MC

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

Response: Obesity among women of reproductive age is a major problem for society. Scientists have long known that maternal weight before and during pregnancy are associated with pregnancy outcomes. Gestational weight gain is necessary to ensure healthy development of the fetus, but too much weight gain is associated with a higher risk of pregnancy complications.

The magnitude of the associations of maternal weight before and during pregnancy with the risks of pregnancy complications, as well as the optimal amount of weight that especially obese women should gain during pregnancy were not well-known. Continue reading

Are Overweight or Obese Adolescents More or Less Prone to Acne?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Igor Snast, MD

Department of Dermatology
Rabin Medical Center–Beilinson Hospita
Israel. 

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

Response: Acne is the most common skin disorder among adolescents. Obesity has been suggested to promote acne, however various studies evaluating the relationship between obesity and acne have yielded contradictory outcomes.

Our population-based study demonstrates that overweight, obese and severely obese youths have decreased odds of having acne (20%, 35% and 50% respectively) compared to normal-weight subjects. 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

Fetal and Early Infant Growth Linked to Persistent Body Fat Patterns

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Vincent W. V. Jaddoe, MD, PhDAdjunct Professor of EpidemiologyDepartment of Epidemiology

Dr. Jaddoe

Vincent W. V. Jaddoe, MD, PhD
Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology
Department of Epidemiology

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

Response: Childhood body fat may be affected by patterns of fetal and infant weight change. Children born small for gestational age (SGA) tend to have infant growth acceleration, whereas those born large for gestational age (LGA) tend to have infant growth deceleration. Little is known about fetal and infant growth patterns affecting visceral, liver, and pericardial fat, which are strongly associated with cardiometabolic disease in later life.

We assessed in a large population cohort study whether fetal and infant weight change was associated with not only general, but also organ fat at school age. We observed that fetal and infant weight change patterns were both associated with childhood body fat, but weight change patterns in infancy tended to have larger effects. Fetal growth restriction followed by infant growth acceleration was associated with increased visceral and liver fat.  Continue reading

Does Marijuana Really Cause the Munchies?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"Chocolate Brownies" by Kurtis Garbutt is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0Jessica S. Kruger PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Community Health and Health Behavior
School of Public Health and Health Professions
University of Buffalo
Daniel J. Kruger PhD
Adjunct Faculty Associate, Population Studies Center.
Michigan’s Population Studies Center 

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

Response: The legal environment for cannabis is changing rapidly and an increasing proportion of people are using cannabis for medical and recreational purposes. All policy and practice should be informed by science, yet there is a large gap between evidence and existing practices, and the current scope of research on cannabis users is limited.

Public Health has the responsibility of protecting the public, maximizing benefits and minimizing harm in any area. However, the Public Health approach to cannabis has largely been limited to a focus on abstinence, and Federal regulations have restricted the scope of cannabis-related research.

Continue reading

Changes in WIC Program Linked to Decreased Obesity in Children

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

M. Pia Chaparro, MS, PhDAssistant ProfessorDepartment of Global Community Health and Behavioral SciencesSchool of Public Health and Tropical MedicineTulane UniversityNew Orleans, LA 70112

Dr. Chaparro

M. Pia Chaparro, MS, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences
School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
Tulane University
New Orleans, LA 70112

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

Response: In 2009, the WIC program changed the food packages participants receive to better align them with federal dietary guidelines. These changes included the addition of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; a reduction in the amount of dairy and juice; and a calibration in formula amounts to match infants’ age and needs.

We found that this change in the food package was associated with a 10-12% lower obesity risk at age 4 years among children who participated in WIC in Los Angeles County continuously from birth until age 4. Continue reading

Metformin More Effective For Weight Loss Maintenance Than Lifestyle Alone

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Kishore M. Gadde, MD, Professor
Fairfax Foster Bailey Endowed Chair in Heart Disease Prevention
Medical Director, Clinical Services
Pennington Biomedical Research Centre
Baton Rouge, LA 70808 

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

Response: Around 20 years ago, the Diabetes Prevention Program, DPP, enrolled 3,234 adults with excess body weight and impaired glucose tolerance. The idea was to compare the efficacy of either an intensive lifestyle intervention or metformin relative to placebo in preventing diabetes. Over approximately 3 years, both lifestyle and metformin were effective, but lifestyle intervention was better for weight loss as well as in reducing the risk of diabetes. After the blinded treatment phase ended, the researchers continued to follow this cohort in their originally randomised groups.  Continue reading

Overweight and Obese Young Adults at Decreased Risk of Acne

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Igor Snast, MD
Department of Dermatology
Rabin Medical Center–Beilinson Hospital
Israel

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

Response: Acne is the most common skin disorder among adolescents. Obesity has been suggested to promote acne, however various studies evaluating the relationship between obesity and acne have yielded contradictory outcomes.

Our population-based study demonstrates that overweight, obese and severely obese youths have decreased odds of having acne (20%, 35% and 50% respectively) compared to normal-weight subjects. Continue reading

Metformin in Pregnancy Associated With Increased Obesity in Children

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Liv Guro Engen Hanem, PhD CandidateDepartment of Clinical and Molecular MedicineNorwegian University of Science and Technology

Liv Guro Engen Hanem

Liv Guro Engen Hanem, PhD Candidate
Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine
Norwegian University of Science and Technology

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

Response: The antidiabetic drug metformin is increasingly used in pregnancy: to treat gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes, and to prevent pregnancy complications related to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and obesity. Metformin passes the placenta, and the fetus is thus exposed to the drug. Although no teratogenicity has been reported, metformin might have long-term effects on offspring health.

This study is a follow-up of cardiometabolic risk factors of 141 5- to 10-year-old children born in the PregMet study. This study was a double-blind, randomized controlled trial (RCT) designed to test the hypothesis that metformin given throughout pregnancy reduces the prevalence of pregnancy complications that are associated with the common endocrine disorder PCOS. Pregnant women with PCOS were randomized to receive metformin or placebo throughout pregnancy.  Continue reading

Oxytocin Reduces Activation of Brain Areas Linked to Stimulation by High Calorie Food Images

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Liya Kerem, MDFellow, Pediatric Endocrine UnitMassachusetts General Hospital for ChildrenHarvard Medical School

Dr. Kerem

Liya Kerem, MD
Fellow, Pediatric Endocrine Unit
Massachusetts General Hospital for Children
Harvard Medical School

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

Response: The hypothalamic neurohormone Oxytocin (OXT), shown to decrease food intake in animals and humans, is a promising novel treatment for obesity. We previously showed that in men with overweight/obesity, intranasal (IN)OXT reduced the fMRI activation in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), the origin of the mesolimbic dopaminergic reward system, in response to high-calorie food vs non-food visual stimuli.

Here, we employed fMRI functional connectivity analysis, which better characterizes the exchange in information between neural systems in a context-dependent manner. We hypothesized that Oxytocin would reduce the functional connectivity of the VTA with food motivation brain areas in response to high-calorie foods.  Continue reading

Chemicals in Household Dust May Promote Fat-Cell Development

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Christopher D. Kassotis, Ph.D.NRSA Postdoctoral Research ScholarStapleton LabDuke UniversityNicholas School of the EnvironmentDurham, NC 27708 

Dr. Kassotis

Christopher D. Kassotis, Ph.D.
NRSA Postdoctoral Research Scholar
Stapleton Lab
Duke University
Nicholas School of the Environment
Durham, NC 27708 

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

  • So this was something that Heather Stapleton had been curious about for years, as she’s been one of several researchers characterizing the hundreds of chemicals that have been measured in indoor house dust. Before I came to Duke, one of her PhD students had measured the ability of many common indoor contaminants to activate the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPARg). The majority of these chemicals did, often quite well, which led to them testing indoor house dust extracts, also finding that the majority of dust extracts were also able to do so at very low levels. As PPARg is often considered the master regulator of fat cell development, the next obvious question was whether these common contaminants (and house dust) could promote fat cell development in cell models. My first work at Duke evaluated a suite of common indoor contaminants, finding that many of these chemicals could promote fat cell development, and that low levels of house dust extracts did as well.
  • We next explored this more systematically in a group of adults involved in a thyroid cancer cohort (this was just recently published in Science of the Total Environment:
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969719307715?dgcid=author
  • In this study we evaluated the extent to which house dust extracts could promote fat cell development in a common cell model, and associated this with the metabolic health of adults living in these homes. We found that the greater extent of fat cell development was associated with significantly greater thyroid stimulating hormone concentrations (control residents only, with no evidence of thyroid dysfunction) and lower free triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). We further found a significant and positive association between extent of fat cell development and the body mass index (BMI) of all adults in the study. So this suggested that the indoor environment might play a role in the BMI and metabolic health of residents, and we next wondered if this would be more pronounced in children, who may be exposed to these contaminants during a critical window of development.
  • The next step, for our current work, was to substantiate these effects in a larger group of households, each with children.
  • Our major conclusions thus far have been that ~80% of house dust extracts promote significant fat cell development in a cell model – either via development from precursor cells into mature fat cells, measured via accumulation of lipids into the cells, or via the proliferation of those precursor fat cells. We also reported positive correlations of fat cell development with the concentrations of 70 different contaminants in the dust from these homes, suggesting that mixtures of contaminants are likely all acting weakly to produce these effects in combination. We’ve also begun to assess the other chemicals present in dust – chemistry can be either targeted (measuring concentrations of specific known chemicals in a sample), or non-targeted, where you try and determine the identity of the other chemicals in a sample. This has greater utility for identifying many more chemicals, though you will often not get chemical concentrations from this, nor absolute confirmed identification – just varying degrees of certainty based on evidence.

    Thus far we report approximately 35,000 chemicals in house dust samples across this study, and differential analyses have begun to pick out the few (less than 10 in each case) chemicals most differentially expressed between samples that exhibit high degrees of fat cell development in the lab vs inactive samples, for example, or which are differentially present in the homes of children categorized as obese or overweight. We are now working to confirm identity of these select contaminants that are more likely to be causative factors in the results we have observed.

Continue reading

Combination of Alcohol and High BMI Linked to Liver Injury Biomarkers

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Alice R Carter MSc
Doctor of Philosophy Student
MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit
Population Health Science, Bristol Medical School
University of Bristol

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

Response: Higher body mass index and alcohol intake have been shown to increase the risk of liver disease. Some studies have looked at their combined effect by comparing the risk of liver disease between individuals with both high BMI and high alcohol intake and individuals with low BMI and low alcohol intake. However, these studies have produced mixed results. Some possible reasons for that are errors in self-reported BMI and alcohol intake, other factors confounding the association of BMI & alcohol intake with liver disease risk and changes in lifestyle that individuals with ill health may have been advised to adopt.

One way to overcome these limitations is to use a technique called Mendelian randomisation. This method uses genetic differences between individuals that influence their characteristics (e.g. their body mass and how much alcohol they drink) to help understand whether these characteristics are causally related to diseases.

Our study used this method to explore the joint effects of BMI and alcohol consumption on liver disease and biomarkers of liver injury.  Continue reading

BELVIQ®: FDA accepts sNDA To Include Long Term Safety/Efficacy Data

WeightControl.com Interview with:

Dr. Lynn Kramer, MD FAANVP and Chief Clinical Officer & Chief Medical OfficeEisai Co., Ltd

Dr. Kramer

Dr. Lynn Kramer, MD FAAN
VP and Chief Clinical Officer & Chief Medical Office
Eisai Co., Ltd

WeightControl.com: What is the background for this announcement?

Response: On February 25th, Eisai announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted its supplemental New Drug Application to potentially update the label for BELVIQ® (lorcaserin HCI) CIV 10 mg twice-daily/BELVIQ XR (lorcaserin HCI) CIV once daily to include long-term efficacy and safety data from CAMELLIA-TIMI 61, a clinical trial of BELVIQ in 12,000 overweight and obese patients with cardiovascular (CV) disease and/or multiple CV risk factors such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

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.

Continue reading

Obesity and Depression Can Be Treated With Collaborative Care

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jun Ma, MD, PhD, FAHA, FABMRProfessor and Associate Head of Research, Department of MedicineDirector, Center for Health Behavior ResearchThe University of Illinois at Chicago

Dr. Jun Ma

Jun Ma, MD, PhD, FAHA, FABMR
Professor and Associate Head of Research
Department of Medicine
Director, Center for Health Behavior Research
The University of Illinois at Chicago

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

Response: Obesity and depression are major public health problems. Obesity affects 40% of United States (US) adults. About 20% in US women and 13% in men experience major depressive disorder at some point in their lifetime and, additionally, many adults have elevated depressive symptoms that do not meet clinical diagnostic criteria but can nevertheless negatively affect their health and quality of life. Obesity and depression share common risk factors, such as poor diet and lack of exercise, and cause other health problems, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. People with obesity are at increased risk of being depressed and, likewise, people with depression are at increased risk of being obese. Consequently, obesity and depression often co-occur. To date, there has been no integrated therapy to effectively treat patients affected by both conditions at the same time.

The RAINBOW randomized clinical trial addressed this gap.

The main finding from the trial is that, among adult patients with obesity and depression, a collaborative care intervention integrating behavioral weight loss treatment, problem-solving therapy, and as-needed antidepressant medications significantly improve weight loss and depressive symptoms over one year compared with usual care, which patients received through their primary care physicians. 

Continue reading

Is Behavioral Change Among Overweight Diabetics Feasible and Sustainable?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Giuseppe Pugliese, MD, PhD
for the Italian Diabetes and Exercise Study 2 (IDES_2) Investigators
Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine
‘‘La Sapienza’’ University
Diabetes Unit, Sant’Andrea University Hospital
Rome, Italy

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

Response: There is a growing epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes worldwide,
which are causally related to the increasing prevalence of “physical
inactivity”, i.e., an insufficient amount of moderate-to-vigorous
physical activity according to current guidelines, and
“sedentariness”, i.e., too many hours, especially if uninterrupted,
spent in a sitting or reclined position.  These two unhealthy
behaviors exert their detrimental effects independently of each other
and are very common among people suffering from type 2 diabetes, who
would therefore benefit from increasing physical activity and reducing
sedentary time, as recommended by current guidelines.

However, such a behavior change is generally difficult for a number of
internal and external barriers and requires behavioral interventions
targeting both physical activity and sedentary habits.  Unfortunately,
there is no definitive evidence that this is indeed feasible and,
particularly, that, if adopted, change in behavior can be maintained
in the long term.  Continue reading

Interval Training: Time-Efficient Body Fat Management

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

"Colnago M10 Campagnolo Record Custom Bike 067" by Glory Cycles is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0

Dr Paul Gentil
Faculty of Physical Education and Dance
Federal University of Goias
Goiania, Brazil 

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

Response: Although being overweight and/or obese are associated with numerous health risks, the prevalence of both are continuing to increase worldwide. The treatment would include anything that results in an increase in energy expenditure (exercise) or a decrease in energy intake (diet). However, our metabolism seems to adapt to variations in physical activity to maintain total energy expenditure. Although lower-than-expected weight loss is often attributed to incomplete adherence to prescribed  interventions, there are other factors that might influence the results, such as, metabolic downregulation.

So, instead of making people spend more calories, maybe we have to think on how to promote metabolic changes in order to overcome these physiological adaptations above-mentioned. In this regard, high intensity training might be particularly interesting as a strategy to promote fat loss. Irrespective the amount of calories spent during training, higher intensity exercise seems to promote many physiological changes that might favor long-term weight loss. For example, previous studies have shown that interval training is able to promote upregulation of important enzymes associated with glycolysis and beta oxidation pathways, which occurs in a greater extent than with moderate intensity continuous exercise.

Our findings suggest that interval training might be an important tool to promote weigh loss. However, I t might be performed adequately and under direct supervision in order to get better results.

Continue reading

Bariatric Surgery Could be a Cost-Effective Intervention in Patients with NASH Cirrhosis who are Overweight or Obese.

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jagpreet Chhatwal PhDAssistant Professor, Harvard Medical SchoolSenior Scientist, Institute for Technology AssessmentMassachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Jagpreet Chhatwal

Jagpreet Chhatwal PhD
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
Senior Scientist, Institute for Technology Assessment
Massachusetts General Hospital

Chin Hur, MDAssociate Professor of MedicineHarvard Medical School

Dr. Chin Hur

Chin Hur, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School

 

 

 

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

Response: Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a severe form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, is one of the leading causes of liver transplantation. Because of increasing prevalence of obesity in the United States, NASH-related cirrhosis cases are expected to increase in the near future. Unfortunately, there are few pharmacological treatments for NASH, and none with proven long-term benefit. Weight loss can be effective in managing NASH but not many patients can lose the sufficient weight necessary to impact NASH and/or maintain long-term weight loss. In contrast, bariatric surgery can provide long-term weight loss and thus potentially reverse liver damage in cirrhosis. However, bariatric surgery is associated with mortality and morbidity associated with the procedure.

Continue reading

Genes Help Determine Whether You Are Shaped Like an Apple or Pear

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ruth Loos, PhD The Charles Bronfman Professor in Personalized Medicine Director, Genetics of Obesity and Related Traits Program Co-Director, Charles Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai New York, NY

Dr. Loos


Ruth Loos, PhD
The Charles Bronfman Professor in Personalized Medicine
Director, Genetics of Obesity and Related Traits Program
Co-Director, Charles Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
New York, NY

 

 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Which type of body fat distribution carries greater risk of diabetes or other obesity-related health disorders?

Response: Obesity broadly consists of two component; [1] there is overall body size (assessed using BMI) and [2] there is fat distribution (assessed using WHR). Both are “heritable”, which mean that they are in part determined by our genome (and the other part is determined by our lifestyle).

Over the past 15 years, geneticists have used an approach to screen the whole genome of thousands of people to identify genetic variations that differ between e.g. obese people vs non-obese people.

We have applied this approach to both components of obesity and have found so far that genes for “overall body size” seem to act in the brain, likely controlling hunger, satiety, reward, etc., whereas the genes that determine where in the body the excess fat will be stored when you gain weight (i.e. fat distribution) seem to act more “locally” at the fat cell level itself, determining the storage and release of fat.  Continue reading

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