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…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pharmacology, UCSD, Weight Research / 15.06.2016 Interview with: Siddharth Singh, MD, MS Postdoctoral Fellow, NLM/NIH Clinical Informatics Fellowship Division of Biomedical Informatics Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Singh: Over the last 4 years, four new medications have been approved for long-term use for weight loss by the FDA. We sought to evaluate the comparative effectiveness and tolerability of these medications through a systematic review and network meta-analysis. Based on 28 trials in over 29,000 overweight or obese patients, we observed that magnitude of weight loss achieved with these agents is variable, ranging from 2.6kg with orlistat to 8.8kg with phentermine-topiramate. Over 44-75% of patients are estimated to lose at least 5% body weight, and 20-54% may lose more than 10% of body weight; phentermine-topiramate was the most efficacious, whereas lorcaserin was the best tolerated. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Microbiome, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 13.06.2016 Interview with: Dr. Katri Korpela, PhD University of Helsinki Helsinki What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Korpela: Previous studies have shown that breastfeeding reduces the frequency of infections in the child and is associated with lower risk of childhood overweight. Conversely, antibiotic use in early life is associated with increased BMI. Both antibiotic use and breastfeeding are known to influence the infant's microbiota. However, these two factors have not been studied together and it was not known whether antibiotic use could modify the beneficial effects of breastfeeding. We collected data on lifetime antibiotic use, breastfeeding duration, and BMI in a group of daycare-attending children aged 2-6 years. We found that the beneficial effects on long breastfeeding, particularly as regards BMI development, were evident only in the children who did not get antibiotics in early life. Antibiotic use before or soon after weaning seemed to eliminate the protection against elevated BMI in preschool age and weaken the protection against infections after weaning. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, JAMA, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 08.06.2016 Interview with: Cynthia L Ogden PhD, MRP Public Health, Nutrition and Dietetics CDC Atlanta What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Ogden: Monitoring trends in obesity prevalence is important because of the health risks associated with obesity and because obesity often tracks from childhood to adulthood. The most recent data before this point showed no increases overall in youth, men or women over the previous decade. We used the most recent nationally representative data with measured weights and heights from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to look at trends in obesity prevalence. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Lancet, Mediterranean Diet, Weight Research / 07.06.2016 Interview with: Dr Ramon Estruch, MD PhD Senior Consultant in the Internal Medicine Department of the Hospital Clinic Barcelona What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Estruch: Although weight stability requires a balance between calories consumed and calories expended, it seems that calories from vegetable fats have different effects that calories from animals on adiposity. Thus, an increase of dietary fat intake (mainly extra virgin olive oil or nuts) achieved naturally in the setting of Mediterranean diet does not promote weight gain or increase in adiposity parameters such as waist circumference. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 04.06.2016 Interview with: Jimmy Celind Postgraduate student The Sahlgrenska Academy University of Gothenburg What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The background is that there is a widespread belief that birth weights are increasing, and that this at least partly is a product of the obesity epidemic (together with decreased smoking prevalence and higher maternal age). Several studies from countries such as Sweden, Norway, Denmark, USA, Scotland, Israel and Australia have shown a slight increase during the last decades of the 20th century. Our aim was to see when the increase started and how much it had increased. Our main findings are that the trends of birth weight are stable during the study period of 65 years (1946-2011), regarding mean, distribution, and odds ratios for being born with a high birth weight (>4,5 kg) per birth year increment. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Weight Research / 02.06.2016 Interview with: Dr. Yann C. Klimentidis PhD Assistant Professor Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department The University of Arizona Tucson, AZ 85724 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Klimentidis: There is a large gender disparity in obesity rates among African-Americans. African-American women have much higher rates of overweight and obesity as compared to African-American men. We hypothesized that genetic factors may partly explain this difference. So we tested whether the influence of West-African genetic ancestry on obesity differed among men and women. We found that greater West-African genetic ancestry was associated with protection against central obesity in men, but no such effect was observed in women. (more…)
Author Interviews, Prostate Cancer, Weight Research / 01.06.2016 Interview with: Aurora Perez-Cornago, PhD Cancer Epidemiology Unit Nuffield Department of Population Health University of Oxford What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Excessive body size and adiposity have been proposed to influence several metabolic and hormonal mechanisms that can promote cancer development. We found that men who have greater adiposity have an elevated risk of high grade prostate cancer, an aggressive form of the disease, and prostate cancer death. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Infections, Pediatrics, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 01.06.2016 Interview with: Markus Juonala, MD, PhD Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Parkville Victoria, Australia What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Juonala: This is an epidemiological follow-up study investigating whether childhood infections and socieconomic status are associated with cardiovasular risk factor and early chances in vasculature. The main finding was that childhood infections were associated with obesity and impaired vascular function in adulthood among those individuals with low socioeconomic status. (more…)
Artificial Sweeteners, Author Interviews, Diabetes, Weight Research / 26.05.2016 Interview with: Jennifer L. Kuk, PhD Associate Professor York University School of Kinesiology and Health Science Toronto, Ontario What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Kuk: Artificial sweeteners are used to help individuals manage their weight, however, individuals who consume aspartame (a type of artificial sweeteners) have worse glucose metabolism than individuals with the same body weight but do not consume aspartame. This observation was only true for adults with obesity. Further, saccharin and natural sugars were not associated with differences in health after considering differences in obesity. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Nutrition, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 25.05.2016 Interview with: Dr. Brian Stansfield MD Neonatologist Children's Hospital of Georgia and the Medical College of Georgia Augusta University What is the background for this study? Dr. Stansfield: Since the mid-20th century, we have experimental evidence in animal models and human data demonstrating the influence of maternal nutrition on the offspring - both in the short term and long term. Low birth weight has been connected with higher incidence of cardiometabolic diseases including insulin resistance, coronary artery disease, and hypertension. Interestingly, low birth weight infants grow up to be relatively thin adults compared to their normal or high birth weight counterparts. Conversely, high birth weight infants tend to become heavier adults and obesity is directly linked with the same adult outcomes. So the association of cardiac and metabolic diseases with low birth weight is not linked to adult obesity in general. Thus, speculation as to why extremes of birth weight lead to adult onset cardiometabolic disease suggests different mechanisms and modifying factors. What are the main findings? Dr. Stansfield: The findings of our study shed considerable light on the relationship between birth weight and risk factors for insulin resistance and visceral adiposity. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to achieve precise measurements of visceral adipose content and biomarkers for insulin resistance, we show that both low and high birth weight are associated with increased visceral adiposity and insulin resistance in a healthy population of adolescents aged 13-17 years. This association persists when we account for several recognized confounders including age, sex, race, activity level, and socioeconomic status. The most interesting finding of our study is that when you account for each adolescent’s current body mass index, a measure of obesity, the relationship between increased visceral fat and insulin resistance and low birth weight is strengthened suggesting that these adolescents had relatively high visceral adipose content despite obesity rates that were similar to their normal birth weight counterparts. On the other hand, correction for adolescent BMI (obesity) reduced the relationship between these metabolic markers and high birth weight infants. Thus, low birth weight infants may develop insulin resistance and increased visceral fat, both significant risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic disease, despite having a relatively normal body shape in adolescents. (more…)