Author Interviews, BMJ, Genetic Research, Weight Research / 19.09.2016 Interview with: Prof. John C. Mathers Director, Human Nutrition Research Centre Institute of Cellular Medicine and Newcastle University Institute for Ageing Newcastle University Biomedical Research Building Campus for Ageing and Vitality Newcastle on Tyne What is the background for this study? Response: More than 90 different genetics variants are associated with body fatness and, of these, the FTO gene has the biggest effect. People who are homozygous for the unusual variant of FTO i.e. carry two copies of the risk allele, are on average 3kg heavier than those not carrying the risk allele. In addition, they have 70% greater risk of being obese. Since the FTO gene is associated with being heavier, we wondered whether it made it more difficult for people to lose weight. (more…)
Author Interviews, Mayo Clinic, Nutrition, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 17.09.2016 Interview with: David R. Jacobs, Jr., PhD Mayo Professor of Public Health Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health University of Minnesota Minneapolis MN 55454-1075 What is the background for this study? Response: Project EAT (Eating and Activity in Teens and Young Adults) is on ongoing longitudinal study which began by screening middle and secondary school students in the Minneapolis and St Paul Metropolitan are. Students were the 11-18 years old (average age 15), then followed up at average ages 20 and 25. We had devised an eating pattern in about 2006, which a) predicts a lot of things in several different studies (including total mortality in the Iowa Women's Health Study) and b) looks a great deal like the recently released 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). We call our diet pattern A Priori Diet Quality Score (APDQS) and think of it as close to or in the style of a Mediterranean/prudent/healthy diet. We hypothesized that this pattern would be associated with lower weight (in general with better long term health, but the focus in Project EAT was weight and BMI), probably least so at age 15. The minimal hypothesized effect in adolescence relates to the very large energy expenditure in adolescent growth years; we thought that diet composition would be less important for body weight at that time than energy intake (and APDQS is about diet composition). (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Social Issues, Weight Research / 16.09.2016 Interview with: Professor Timothy Frayling PhD Professor of Human Genetics University of Exeter Medical School Exeter, UK What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We know that genes and environmental factors influence our Body mass index. We know less about if and how they interact. We wanted to answer the question of whether or not aspects of the environment and our lifestyles accentuate any genetic predisposition to obesity. The question is important as it may highlight aspects of the environment that cause some people to be particularly susceptible to gaining weight. Previous, separate, studies have suggested that specific aspects of the environment are to blame. These included sugary drinks, fried food and TV watching. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Weight Research / 13.09.2016 Interview with: Maria Korre, ScD Post-Doctoral Research Fellow Environmental & Occupational Medicine & Epidemiology Program Department of Environmental Health Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health What is the background for this study? Response: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of on-duty death among firefighters (45% of on-duty fatalities) and a major cause of morbidity. It is crucial to note though, that the risk of on-duty CVD events is not evenly distributed among all firefighters, but is highly concentrated among the most susceptible individuals. Given that firefighting is an inherently dangerous occupation and many of its hazards cannot be engineered out of the job, we have concentrated our efforts on understanding what can make an individual firefighter susceptible. As in the general population, these cardiovascular events are largely due to coronary heart disease (CHD), however, there is an increasing recognition of the role of left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy/cardiomegaly in the risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD) independent of the presence of CHD. Evidence suggests an improved prognostic value, when LV hypertrophy is based on the accurate assessment of LV mass. LV mass is a strong predictor of CVD events and despite it’s critical prognostic significance, it’s measurement and role in clinical practice has yet to be established. In this paper we aimed to identify the most important predictors of LV mass after indexing for height among career male firefighters as assessed by both echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance. (more…)
Asthma, Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 06.09.2016 Interview with: Professor Charlotte Suppli Ulrik MD DMSc et al. Dept. of Respiratory Medicine Hvidovre Hospital Copenhagen, Denmark What is the background for this study? Response: Obesity is a risk factor for new-onset asthma, but the association is incompletely understood. Our aim was, therefore, to investigate the association between body mass index (BMI) BMI in childhood and asthma admissions in early adulthood (until age 45 years). We used data on BMI measured annually (age 7-13 years) in 321,830 children enrolled in the Copenhagen School Health Records Registry. During the 36-years of follow-up, a total of 2,059 first-time ever hospital admissions for asthma were observed. (more…)
Author Interviews, Duke, JAMA, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 02.09.2016 Interview with: Matthew Leonard Maciejewski, PhD Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine Department of Medicine Duke University School of Medicine Research Career Scientist and Director of the Health Economics and Policy Unit in the Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care Durham VA Medical Center What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: No study based on a US cohort undergoing current procedures has examined weight change comparing surgical patients and nonsurgical patients for as long as we have. This is the first study to report 10-year outcomes on gastric bypass patients and compare them to matched patients who did not get surgery. At 1 year, gastric bypass patients lost 31% of their baseline weight compared controls who only lost 1.1% of their baseline weight. At 10 years, gastric bypass had lost 28% of their baseline weight. We also compared weight loss at 4 years for Veterans who received the 3 most common procedures (gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and adjustable gastric banding). At 4 years, patients undergoing gastric bypass lost more weight than patients undergoing sleeve gastrectomy or gastric banding. Given that few high quality studies have examined sleeve gastrectomy to 4 years, the 4-year sleeve outcomes contribute to filling this important evidence gap as the sleeve gastrectomy is now the most commonly performed bariatric procedure worldwide. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Weight Research / 02.09.2016 Interview with: John A. Batsis, MD, FACP, AGSF Associate Professor of Medicine and The Dartmouth Institute Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth Section of General Internal Medicine - 3M Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center Lebanon, NH What is the background for this study? Response: In 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid implemented a regulatory coverage benefit to cover 22 brief, targeted 15-minute counseling visits by clinicians over the course of a 12-month period for Medicare beneficiaries with a body mass index exceeding 30kg/m2. This was an important policy determination in tackling the obesity epidemic in the United States. An emphasis on the importance of counseling, or intensive behavioral therapy, in a primary care setting set the foundation for this benefit. Yet, it was unclear how and if this benefit (which would be free of charge without a copay or deductible for beneficiaries) was being implemented in clinical care. We therefore identified fee-for-service Medicare claims for the years 2012 and 2013 to determine whether the G0477 code (Medicare Obesity benefit code) was billed. We additionally explored the rate of uptake of the Medicare benefit in relation to the prevalence of obesity using the 2012 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System data. (more…)
Author Interviews, Nutrition, Pediatrics, Social Issues, Weight Research / 31.08.2016 Interview with: Kai Ling Kong, PhD, MS Assistant Professor Division of Behavioral Medicine Department of Pediatrics School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences State University of New York at Buffalo What is the background for this study? Response: Infant temperament, or individual behavior styles, can be reliably measured and is related to weight status. However, we know very little about the association of infants’ temperament and their motivation to eat versus engage in other activities (relative food reinforcement). Examining such associations is an important step given the need to use behavioral strategies in obesity prevention in early life. The purpose of our study was to determine if infant temperament, specifically the factors that have been linked with obesity risk, are associated with infant relative food reinforcement. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Weight Research / 25.08.2016 Interview with: Beatrice Lauby-Secretan, PhD IARC – Section IMO (International Agency for Research on Cancer) Lyon, France What is the background for this study? Response: The IARC Handbook of Cancer Prevention Series perform systematic reviews and evaluations of the cancer-preventive effects of interventions and strategies. The summary article published today presents the conclusions of a Working Group of experts who examined and assessed the currently available literature on the link between overweight/obesity and cancer. Thus this is not a single study, but the report on more than 1000 individual studies. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetologia, Nutrition, Weight Research / 25.08.2016 Interview with: Jaime Uribarri, MD Professor, Nephrology Icahn School of Medicine Mt. Sinai Medical Center What is the background for this study? Response: We have been doing research in the area of dietary advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) for many years. AGEs are chemical compounds that form normally in the body in small amounts and also in food when cooking under high heat and dry conditions; a percent of AGEs in food is absorbed and part of it is retained in the body leading to increased smoldering inflammation and oxidative stress that eventually produce most of modern chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia, etc. We have previously demonstrated that a diet low in AGEs, which essentially means changing the cooking methods to include less application of heat, plenty of water,etc, decreases inflammation of oxidative stress in people with diabetes, chronic kidney disease and in healthy subjects. In the current study we applied the same low dietary AGE intervention to a group of obese patients with the so-called Metabolic syndrome, a risk factor for Diabetes Mellitus. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetologia, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 19.08.2016 Interview with: Dr. Gang Hu, Associate Professor LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center & Director Chronic Disease Epidemiology Lab What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Some studies have found that maternal gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) places offspring at increased risk of long-term adverse outcomes, including obesity. However, most of studies are from high income countries, with limited data from low to middle income countries. The present study, conducted at urban and suburban sites in 12 countries, found that the increased risk for children of GDM mothers compared with non-gestational diabetes mellitus mothers was 53% for obesity, 73% for central obesity, and 42% for high body fat. (more…)
Author Interviews, Technology, Weight Research / 18.08.2016 Interview with: Katherine Tweden Ph.D. Vice President, Clinical and Regulatory EnteroMedics® Inc St. Paul, Minnesota 55113 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This report summarizes 2 year outcomes of the pivotal study that evaluated the safety and efficacy of EnteroMedics’ vagal blockade (vBloc Therapy) delivered by our Maestro Rechargeable System neuromodulation device for the treatment of obesity. The study demonstrates that the device continues to have a promising safety profile and that the weight loss achieved through 2 years is clinically meaningful as shown by the positive impact of vBloc Therapy on participant’s co-morbid conditions, quality of life, and eating behaviors. Specifically, the study showed 21% excess weight loss and approximately 50% reduction in pre-diabetes and metabolic syndrome for those participants who presented with the syndrome at baseline. In addition, cardiovascular parameters improved in those at risk with approximately 10 mmHg drop in systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared to baseline in participants with elevated blood pressure and 16 and 46 mg/dL drop in LDL and triglycerides, respectively, in participants with elevated lipids compared to baseline. In addition, metabolic parameters improved with a reduction in hemoglobin A1c of 0.3 percentage points. Participants’ quality of life improved by 20 units compared to baseline and their control over their eating behavior, such as hunger and the ability to control the amount they eat, was significantly improved by approximately 50% compared to baseline. (more…)
Author Interviews, Baylor University Medical Center Dallas, Nutrition, Weight Research / 16.08.2016 Interview with: Meredith E. David Marketing Department Hankamer School of Business Baylor University Waco, TX 76798 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In the midst of the ongoing “obesity epidemic” in the United States and many other developed nations, programs and advice abound for encouraging individuals to manage their health and well-being through changes in food consumption. One common approach resurfaces time and time again: suggesting to the would-be dieter what foods they should avoid eating (e.g., “The following 10 foods should never be eaten . . . ,”) and/or what foods they should eat (e.g., “10 foods everyone should include in a healthy diet,”). Our research investigates the commonly heralded advice given to consumers to either focus on avoiding unhealthy foods, such as cake, or approaching and consuming healthy foods, such as kale. We demonstrate important differences in the implementation of and outcomes of these approach versus avoidance strategies for meeting one’s health-related goals. Individuals who have high self-control are generally better at reaching their goals. We investigate how individuals with varying levels of general self-control differ in the way that they apply approach and avoidance dieting strategies. Our findings, as detailed below, reveal a novel explanation of the better outcomes observed by individuals who are generally more successful in their goal pursuit. The key findings are as follows: (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 12.08.2016 Interview with: Dr. Michelle R. Lent, PhD Geisinger Obesity Institute Geisinger Clinic Danville, Pennsylvania What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: More than one-third of adults in the United States live with obesity. Currently, the most effective treatment for obesity is bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgery patients are expected to lose 30 to 40 percent of their body weight, but not all patients are able to lose this amount of weight and others experience weight regain. Why some patients succeed in weight loss over time, while others are less successful, remains unclear. In this study, we evaluated over 200 patient characteristics in relation to long-term weight loss after bariatric surgery (7 years or longer), including gender, age and weight at the time of surgery, lab tests, medical conditions and medications, among others. We found that patients who used insulin, had a history of smoking, or used 12 or more medications before surgery lost the most weight, while patients with high cholesterol, older patients and patients with higher body mass indexes at the time of surgery lost the least amount of weight after surgery. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Neurological Disorders, Weight Research / 06.08.2016 Interview with: Dr. Lisa Ronan, PhD Department of Psychiatry University of Cambridge Neuroscience What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: A growing body of literature relates common markers of aging to those observed in obesity and supports the hypothesis that obesity may accelerate or advance the onset of brain aging. To investigate this relationship at a population level we analysed the white matter volume of the brain in 473 adult subjects ages 20 - 87 years and contrasted these volumes between subjects who were lean (BMI between 18.5 - 25) and those who were overweight / obese (BMI > 25). Our results suggest that the latter group had significantly smaller white matter volumes when compared to their lean age-matched counterparts. We found that this difference in volume equated to a brain-age increase of 10 years in the overweight / obese group. We found no evidence that obesity impacted on cognitive ability. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease, JAMA, Weight Research / 04.08.2016 Interview with: Prof. Peter Nordström PhD Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation Geriatrics, Umeå University Umeå, Sweden What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Numerous studies has shown an association between BMI, CVD and death. However, it is not known to what extent genetic factors influence this relationship. We used over 4000 monozygous twin pairs that had different BMI. This mean that the difference in BMI must be due to environmental factors since the genetic setup is similar in monozygous twins. Since the fatter twin did not have a higher risk of myocardial infarction (MI) or death, environmental factors that increase BMI is very unlikely to increase the risk of myocardial infarction or death. By inference the strong association between BMI, MI and death must be explained by the fact that the same genes control both obesity, MI and death. By contrast, the fatter twin had a higher risk of diabetes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Nutrition, Weight Research / 03.08.2016 Interview with: Yanni Papanikolaou PhD Candidate, Masters in Public Health Nutrition Nutritional Strategies Inc. Paris, ON, Canada What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005–2010, which consisted of information from more than 14,000 U.S. adults 19 years old and older. We looked at dietary eating patterns and compared those individuals that consumed grain and grain-based foods (both in whole and enriched forms) and compared to those who omit main grain foods from their diet. We examined nutrient intakes, diet quality and various health measures, including body weight and waist circumference, within each grain group and compared to adults not eating grain foods. We found that people consuming certain grain foods had better overall diet quality, lower average body weight and a smaller waist circumference. Specifically, adults consuming pasta, cooked cereals and rice weighed 7.2 pounds less and had waist circumferences that were 1.2 inches smaller compared to adults who didn’t eat grains. Although the public is quick to demonize enriched grains, our findings show that enriched grains provide vital nutrients many Americans fall short on, such as fiber, folate, calcium, iron, and magnesium.  Eliminating grain-based foods can have negative effects on diet quality and intake of essential nutrients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Genetic Research, NEJM, Weight Research / 21.07.2016 Interview with: Dr. Peter Kühnen MD Institute for Experimental Pediatric Endocrinology Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin Berlin, Germany What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Kühnen: The patients, which were included in this study, are suffering from a genetic defect in a gene called POMC. This gene is cleaved into different hormones as e.g. MSH (melanocyte stimulating hormone). MSH is very important for the regulation of satiety by activation of the MC-4 receptor. For this reason these patients are persistent hyperphagic due to the lack of MSH and they gain weight very fast in the first months of their life. Setmelanotide activates the MC-4 receptor, which is important for the activation of satiety. By restoring the lost function Setmelanotide leads to a reduction of hyperphagia and to a reduction of body weight in this POMC deficient patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Weight Research / 15.07.2016 Interview with: Xiang Gao, PhD State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and MOE Key Laboratory of Model Animal for Disease Study Model Animal Research Center Nanjing Biomedical Research Institute and the Collaborative Innovation Center of Genetics and Development Nanjing University What is the background for this study? Response: Duodenum-jejunum gastric bypass (DJB) surgery has been used to treat morbid diabetic patients. However, neither the suitability among patients nor the mechanisms of this surgical treatment is well understood. Our research is based on a new mouse strain named Timo as type 2 diabetes model caused by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) deficiency. We hope to figure out whether DJB surgery can reverse the metabolic defects in this type of diabetes. If yes, what is the possible mechanisms. What are the main findings? Response: Our research showed that duodenum-jejunum gastric bypass surgery could cure diabetes of genetic (mutation) origin. We also showed that the alteration of gut microflora abundance and improved metabolism preceded the inflammation alleviation and BDNF protein levels increase after DJB surgery. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Diabetes, Nutrition, PLoS, Weight Research / 15.07.2016 Interview with: Dr. Qi Sun Sc.D, M.D., M.M.S. Dr. Geng Zong, Ph.D., a research fellow Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Heath Boston What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There is growing trend of eating meal prepared out of home in many countries. For example, energy intake from out-of-home meals has increased from less than 10% in mid 60s to over 30% in 2005-2008 among Americans, and average time spent on cooking has decreased by one third. In the meantime, the prevalence of diabetes and obesity of this country keep on growing. In the current study, we followed nearly 100 thousands middle-aged men and women for 26 years. In 1986, we asked people how often their lunch and dinner were prepared at home per week, which will be 14 meals in maximum, and updated this information during follow-up. We found men and women with 11-14 meals prepared at home per week had 14% lower risk of diabetes compared to those had 6 or less meals prepared at home. If we look at lunch and dinner separately, people with 5 or more lunch prepared at home per week had 9% lower risk of diabetes, and those with 5 or more dinner prepared at home had 15% lower risk of diabetes compared to the group who had 2 or less than lunch or dinner at home per week. We further investigated whether people with more meals prepared at home had lower risk of obesity or weight gain in our study. In the first eight years of follow-up, participants with 11-14 meals prepared at home had 14% lower risk of developing obesity compared to people had 0-6 meals prepared at home. For men, these people had 1.2kg less weight gain, and for women they had 0.3 kg less weight gain. Furthermore, we found potential impact of having meals at home and risk of diabetes became weaker. This suggest that weight gain could be one gearwheel that links eating meals prepared at home and diabetes risk. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Lancet, Weight Research / 15.07.2016 Interview with: Dr. Shilpa Bhupathiraju, PhD Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We wanted to investigate the association between body mass index (BMI) and mortality across major global regions. In doing so, we wanted to take into account important methodological limitations which plagued prior reports of BMI and mortality. One such limitation is reverse causality where a low body weight is the result of an underlying illness rather than the cause. Another major problem is confounding due to smoking where smokers have lower body weights than non-smokers but have much higher mortality rates. Therefore, to obtain an unbiased association between BMI and mortality, our primary pre-specified analysis was restricted to never smokers and those who had no existing chronic diseases at the start of the study. In this group, we found that those with a BMI of 22.5-<25 kg/m2 (considered a healthy weight range) had the lowest mortality risk during the time they were followed. The risk of mortality increased significantly with excess body weight. A BMI of 25-<27.5 kg/m2 (in the overweight range) was associated with a 7% higher risk of premature death; BMI of 27.5-<30 kg/m2 (also in the overweight range) was associated with a 20% higher risk; a BMI of 30.0-<35.0 kg/m2 was associated with a 45% higher risk; a BMI of 35.0-<40.0 kg/m2 was associated with a 94% higher risk; and a BMI of 40.0-<60.0 kg/m2 was associated with a nearly 3-fold risk. In general, we found that the association of excess body weight with mortality was greater in younger than older people and in men than women. Most importantly, the associations were broadly consistent in the major global regions we examined, including Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, East Asia, and South Asia. (more…)
Author Interviews, MRI, Weight Research / 12.07.2016 Interview with: Guido Camps, MSc PhD candidate Wageningen University and Research Centre The Netherlands Editor's note:  The researcher would like readers to be aware that this work is preliminary and has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal. What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The background was that we wanted to study gastric distension with actual food. Because using different foods would also change the caloric content, we added water. We wanted to see if we could measure both the stomach and the brain, and what the added distension would feel like to the subjects and what brain effects we could see. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Pancreatic, Weight Research / 10.07.2016 Interview with; Dr. Rakesh K. Jain, PhD A.W.Cook Professor of Radiation Oncology (Tumor Biology) Director, E.L. Steele Laboratory Department of Radiation Oncology Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, MA 02114 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the fourth leading cause of cancer death worldwide, and more than half of patients diagnosed with PDAC are overweight or obese. Among patients with PDAC, obesity more than doubles the already high risk of death, and our work aims to reveal the underlying mechanisms. Specifically, we identified that obesity increases desmoplasia – an accumulation of connective tissue and inflammation – hallmark of Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and discovered underlying mechanisms. In our report published online in Cancer Discovery, we describe how interactions among fat cells, immune cells and connective tissue cells in obese individuals create a microenvironment that promotes tumor progression while diminishing the response to chemotherapy. We demonstrated the negative impact of obesity on numerous aspects of tumor growth, progression and treatment response in several animal models of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and confirmed some of our findings in samples from cancer patients. Along with finding that tumors from obese mice or patients exhibited elevated levels of adipocytes or fat cells and of desmoplasia, both of which fuel tumor progression and interfere with treatment response, we identified the underlying causes. The elevated desmoplasia in obese mouse models of PDAC was caused by the activation of pancreatic stellate cells through the angiotensin II type-1 receptor (AT1) signaling pathway. This activation was induced by interleukin-1 beta (IL-1ß) produced by fat cells as well as the immune cells called neutrophils within tumors. Inhibiting AT1 signaling with losartan, which is used clinically to treat hypertension, or the blockade of IL-1ß reduced obesity-associated desmoplasia and tumor growth and increased the response to chemotherapy in the obese mouse model but not in normal weight animals. Analysis of tumors from human PDAC patients revealed increased desmoplasia and fat deposits in samples from obese patients, and data from more than 300 patients showed that excess weight was associated with a reduction in patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, NYU, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Sleep Disorders, Stroke, Weight Research / 09.07.2016 Interview with: Azizi Seixas, Ph.D. Post-Doc Fellow Department of Population Health Center for Healthful Behavior Change NYU School of Medicine What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Compared with whites, blacks are disproportionately affected by strokes. The overwhelming prevalence of obesity among blacks compared to whites has been suggested as a possible explanation for the disproportionate rates of strokes among blacks compared to whites. Recent findings linking insufficient sleep and stroke as well as the disproportionate burden of insufficient sleep among blacks compared to whites might provide a unique mechanism explaining why blacks have higher rates of stroke. However, it is unclear whether insufficient sleep and obesity contributes to the higher rates of stroke among blacks compared to whites. To test our hypothesis, we utilized data from the National Health Interview Survey from 2004-2013 with a sample size of 288,888 individuals from the United States. Using Bayesian Belief Network (BBN) analysis, a form of machine learning analysis, we assessed the mediating effects of BMI on the relationship between short sleep duration (≤6 hrs. total sleep duration), long sleep duration (≥9 hrs. total sleep duration), and stroke, and whether race/ethnicity differences in obesity moderated these relationships. (more…)
Author Interviews, Weight Research / 24.06.2016 Interview with: Dr. Ir. Gerda Pot PhD Universitair Docent Gezondheid en Leven| Assistant Professor Health and Life Faculteit Aard- en Levenswetenschappen | Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences What is the background for this study? Response: I was inspired to start this work by my grandmother. She was a stickler for timekeeping of her meals and I wondered whether this was her secret for healthy aging. It seems common wisdom but surprisingly very little scientific evidence exist. Therefore we conducted this review to see all the studies out there before setting out doing our own research. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 22.06.2016 Interview with: Annika Rosengren MD Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Institute of Medicine Sahlgrenska Academy University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In an earlier study we found that while hospitalizations for heart failure decreased among people aged 55 and older in Sweden 1987-2006, there was a clear increase among those younger than 45 years, particularly in young men. We thought that increasing body weight in the population might be a factor behind this. We used anonymized data from more than 1.6 million Swedish men from the Swedish conscript registry aged on average 18 and followed them from adolescence onwards. Those who were overweight as teenagers were markedly more likely to develop heart failure in early middle age. The increased risk of heart failure was found already in men who were within the normal body weight range (a body mass index of 18.5 to 25) in adolescence, with an increased risk starting in those with a BMI of 20 and rising steeply to a nearly ten-fold increased risk in those who were very obese, with a BMI of 35 or over. Among men with a BMI of 20 and over, the risk of heart failure increased by 16% with every BMI unit, after adjustments for factors that could affect the findings, such as age, year of enlistment into the Swedish armed forces, other diseases, parental education, blood pressure, IQ, muscle strength and fitness. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Nature, University Texas, Weight Research / 21.06.2016 Interview with: Mikhail Kolonin, PhD, Associate Professor Director, Center for Metabolic and Degenerative Diseases Harry E. Bovay, Jr. Distinguished University Chair in Metabolic Disease Research The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Houston, TX 77030 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Epidemiology studies have indicated that in obese patients progression of prostate, breast, colorectal, and other cancers is more aggressive. Adipose (fat) tissue, expanding and undergoing inflammation in obesity, directly fuels tumor growth. Adipose tissue is composed by adipocytes and stromal/vascular cells, which secrete tumor-trophic factors. Previous studies by our group have demonstrated that adipose stromal cells, which support blood vessels and serve as adipocyte progenitors, are recruited by tumors and contribute to cancer progression. Mechanisms underlying stromal cell trafficking from fat tissue to tumors have remained obscure. We discovered that in obesity a chemokine CXCL1, expressed by cancer cells, attracts adipose stromal cells to tumors. (more…)
Author Interviews, Circadian Rhythm, Sleep Disorders, Weight Research / 15.06.2016 Interview with: Kelly Glazer Baron, PhD, MPH, C. B.S.M. Diplomate, Academy of Cognitive Therapy Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Chicago, IL 60611 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In contrast to several previous studies, being a late sleeper was not associated with higher BMI (good news for late sleepers!!) but it was associated with less healthy behaviors, more fast food, fewer vegetables, lower dairy. It may be possible that these late sleepers who are able to get enough sleep can compensate for their poor diet by controlling overall calories or it could possibly lead to weight gain over time if their habits continue over time. (more…)