Author Interviews, JAMA, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 20.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: James E. Mitchell, MD President and Scientific Director Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, Fargo Professor and Chairman Department of Neuroscience University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings Dr. Mitchell: The amount of weight loss following bariatric surgery is widely variable. Eating behaviors and weight control practices after surgery are important in determining weight loss outcomes. (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Inflammation, Prostate Cancer, Weight Research / 20.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Charnita Zeigler-Johnson, Ph.D., M.P.H. Assistant Professor Division of Population Sciences Department of Medical Oncology Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA 19107 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Zeigler-Johnson: Obesity has been associated with poor prostate cancer outcomes, included advanced disease at diagnosis, increased risk for cancer recurrence, and risk for mortality. One possible link in the relationship between obesity and prostate cancer progression is inflammation. Obesity produces a state of systemic chronic low-grade inflammation which may contribute to the underlying biology of the tumor microenvironment. The presence of immune cells (T-cells and macrophages) in the tumor microenvironment may indicate aggressive tumors that are likely to metastasize. The goal of this study was to examine prostate cancer tissue to characterize differences in immune cells within the tumor microenvironment by obesity status and cancer severity. We studied tumor samples from 63 non-obese and 36 obese prostate cancer patients. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Zeigler-Johnson: We found that T-cell and macrophage counts in the tumor did not differ by patient obesity status. However, macrophage (CD68) counts were higher among men diagnosed with higher tumor grade (Gleason Score 7-10). We also found that T-cell (CD8) counts were associated with quicker time to prostate cancer recurrence (indicated by detectable prostate specific antigen levels after treatment.) (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Genetic Research, MD Anderson, Weight Research / 20.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Xifeng Wu, MD PhD Department Chair, Department of Epidemiology, Division of OVP, Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences Director, Center for Translational and Public Health Genomics Professor, Department of Epidemiology Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Wu: Obesity is a well-established risk factor for renal cell carcinoma (RCC), the most common form of kidney cancer. It has been estimated that more than 40% of RCC incident cases in the US may be attributed to excessive body weight. Growing body of evidence suggests that obesity may also influence clinical outcome of RCC; however, the findings are sometimes conflicting. So far, the molecular mechanism linking obesity to RCC risk or prognosis is not well understood. In this study, we evaluated the promoter CpG site methylation of 20 candidate obesity-related genes and their association with RCC risk and recurrence in a two-phase study of 240 newly diagnosed, previously untreated RCC patients. Pyrosequencing was conducted on paired RCC tumor and normal adjacent tissues to measure promoter methylation. Among the 20 markers, we found NPY, LEP and LEPR showed significant differential methylation levels between tumors and normal adjacent tissues, and methylation was significantly higher in tumors in both discovery and validation groups. Consistent with our findings, we also found lower expression of LEPR in tumor tissues compared to normal adjacent tissues in data obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas. Additionally, high LEPR methylation in tumors was associated with more advanced tumor features, such as high pathologic stage, high grade and clear cell RCC histology, and increased risk of recurrence compared to the low methylation group. These results suggest that tissue changes in promoter methylation in obesity-related genes may provide some biological basis for the association between obesity and RCC outcome, and that LEPR may be an independent prognostic indicator of recurrence in RCC patients. Further research in larger study population and functional studies are warranted to validate our findings and to elucidate the underlying causal mechanisms. (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Weight Research / 20.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joao Incio MD Research Fellow in Radiation Oncology Harvard Medical School/MGH Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Incio: With  the  current  epidemic  of  obesity,  the  majority  of  pancreatic  cancer  patients  are  overweight  or  obese  at  diagnosis.  Importantly, obesity  worsens treatment  outcomes  in  pancreatic  cancer  patients.  Therefore,  understanding  the  mechanisms  that  underlie  the  poorer  prognosis  of  obese  cancer  patients  is  of  paramount importance.  Obesity  causes  inflammation  and  fibrosis  in  the  normal  pancreas  due  to  the  accumulation  of  dysfunctional  hypertrophic  adipocytes.  Importantly,  desmoplasia  -­  a fibroinflammatory  microenvironment  -­  is  a  hallmark  of  pancreatic  ductal  adenocarcinoma  (PDAC),  and  we  have  shown  that  activation  of  pancreatic  stellate  cells  (PSCs)  via angiotensin-­II  type  1  receptor  (AT1)  pathway  is  a  major  contribution  to  tumor  desmoplasia.  Whether  obesity  affects  desmoplasia  in  PDACs,  and  interferes  with  delivery  and response  of  chemotherapeutics,  was   the focus of our study. (more…)
Author Interviews, Weight Research / 15.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Keigo Saeki, MD, PhD Nara Medical University School of Medicine Nara, Japan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Cold exposure causes higher blood pressure and higher coagulation status, and it may be a trigger of higher mortality from cardiovascular diseases in winter. In contrast, cold exposure may have preventive effect on obesity. Recent study found that most of human have brown adipose tissue (BAT) which play an important role in thermogenesis and in the regulation of body weight. Cold exposure activates thermogenesis in BAT, and increase energy expenditure. However, in real life situation, the association between the amount of cold exposure and obesity stays unclear. The HEIJO-KYO study is a community based study to investigate association between housing environment and health. We found that people living in colder housing environment showed lower abdominal circumference in simple correlation and even after adjustment for physical activity, total energy intake, and socioeconomic status. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Weight Research / 12.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Laura Mullaney School of Biological Sciences Dublin Institute of Technology Dublin Ireland. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  There are gaps in our knowledge regarding postpartum changes in weight. There continues to be a dramatic increase in adult obesity and the postpartum period is a vulnerable life-stage for weight gain in women. Maternal obesity matters because it is associated with an increase in both fetal and maternal complications, it is technically challenging, it is economically costly and it carries potential lifelong health consequences for the woman and her offspring. Thus, our aim was to compare trajectories in maternal weight and BMI between early pregnancy and four months postpartum and nine months postpartum, and to analyse these trajectories by BMI category. Of the 328 women who attended all appointments, mean weight at the first antenatal visit was 69.3 ±14.3 kg, mean Body Mass Index (BMI) was 25.3 ±5.0 kg/m2 and 14.4% were obese. At four months postpartum, the mean change in weight from the first antenatal visit was +1.6 ±4.2 kg, the mean change in BMI was +0.6 ±1.5 kg/m2 and 19.2% were obese. At nine months postpartum, the mean change in weight was +0.2 ±4.7 kg, the mean BMI change was -0.06 ±1.8 kg/m2 and 16.8% were obese. Of women who had an ideal BMI in early pregnancy, 16.6% and 11.1% were overweight at four and nine months postpartum respectively. Of women who were overweight in early pregnancy, 20.3%and 14.3% had become obese at four and nine months postpartum respectively. Ninety percent of women who were obese in early pregnancy remained obese at four and nine months postpartum. Women who had gained weight between early pregnancy and four months postpartum had a lower early pregnancy BMI and were less likely to be obese in early pregnancy. However women who gained weight between four and nine months postpartum were more likely to be obese in early pregnancy. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pain Research, Surgical Research, University of Pittsburgh, Weight Research / 06.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Wendy King, PhD Associate Professor of Epidemiology Epidemiology Data Center, Room 105 University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA 15213 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. King: Severe obesity is associated with significant joint pain and impaired physical function, such as difficulty bending, lifting carrying and walking. Excess weight can lead to joint damage and accompanying pain, resulting in activity restriction and walking limitations. Obesity can also contribute to pain and physical limitations through factors such as impaired cardiorespiratory function, systematic inflammation, reduced flexibility, low strength per body mass, and depression.  Previous studies have reported significant improvements in mean values of bodily and joint specific pain, physical function, and walking capacity in the first 3-12 months following RYGB or LAGB. However, very few studies have examined the variability in response to surgery or reported on longer-term follow-up of these procedures. My colleagues and I followed 2,221 patients participating in the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery-2, a large NIH-funded prospective study of adults with severe obesity undergoing weight-loss surgery at one of 10 hospitals across the U.S. Through three years of follow-up, approximately 50 to 70 % of patients who underwent bariatric surgery reported clinically important improvements in bodily pain, physical function and usual walking speed. About three-quarters of the participants with symptoms indicative of osteoarthritis before surgery experienced improvements in knee and hip pain and function. In addition, over half of participants who had a mobility deficit prior to surgery did not post-surgery. Several baseline characteristics such as younger age, male sex, higher household income, lower body mass index, fewer depressive symptoms and no history of diabetes or venous edema with ulcerations, were associated with a higher chance of improvement in pain and physical function following surgery. In addition, pre- to post-surgery reductions in weight and depressive symptoms, and remission of diabetes and venous edema with ulcerations were associated with pre- to post-surgery improvements. Thus, our findings reinforce results from shorter-term studies by addressing the durability or response and expand our understanding of the variability in response, and what factors are related to chance of improvement. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Endocrinology, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 04.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ana Priscila Soggia Sirio Libanes Hospital, São Paulo, Brazil MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: For many years, bariatric surgery is performed to treat class II and III obesity with diabetes remission in 80-90% of cases, related to weight loss and change in the secretion of intestinal factors that control blood glucose, like GLP-1 and GIP. In 2010, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), proposed that diabetic patients with BMI between 30-35kg/m2 could be eligible, for bariatric surgery, in the case of no glycemic control with drug treatment. In this context, once glycemic control after bariatric surgery, was not related only to weight loss and also due to intestinal factors with physiological actions, the protocol was proposed. The objectives were to compare the clinical and surgical treatment in diabetics patients with class I obesity; and to compare the efficacy and security between two different surgical techniques. This study was developed and conducted by a research team from Sirio-Libanês Hospital in partnership with Ministry of Health through its philanthropic program PROADI. It is a clinical trial, with 42 class I obese diabetic type 2 patients with inadequate glycemic control that were randomized to tree arms: clinical treatment, gastric bypass surgery or sleeve with ileal transposition (sleeve-IT) surgery. The results showed that the sleeve-IT procedure is more effective for the treatment of diabetes in these patients compared with treatment with medication and with bypass surgery, currently considered the first choice of treatment. Among patients who underwent sleeve-IT, 100% achieved glycemic control after 1 year (HbA1c<6,5%) compared to 46% for bypass and 8% in the case of medication therapy. In addition, diabetes remission, that was defined as adequate glycemic control without any anti-diabetic medication, occured in 75% of sleeve-IT patients had versus 30% in bypass group. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Endocrinology, Weight Research / 03.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Olivia Farr, Ph.D. Instructor in Medicine Division of Endocrinology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center 330 Brookline Ave, Stoneman 820B Boston, MA 02215 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Farr: There are two main studies. In the first, we used immunohistochemistry to analyze 22 human brain tissue samples for the presence of GLP-1 receptors, which are protein molecules that respond to the GLP hormone’s signal. We found—for the first time—that GLP-1 receptors are expressed in the human brain, including the cortex, the part of the brain responsible for higher thought. Our second study was performed in 18 adults with type 2 diabetes. Participants received 17 days of either liraglutide, up to 1.8 milligrams, or a placebo (dummy drug) in a random order. Then after a three-week “washout” of no medication, the same participants received 17 days of the opposite treatment. Participants and investigators were unaware which treatment they received. On day 17 of each treatment, participants underwent brain scanning with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). During fMRI, participants viewed images of different foods. In response to highly desirable foods such as cake, pastries and fried foods, liraglutide decreased reward- and salience-related brain activations in the cortex compared with images of less desirable foods, such as fruits, vegetables and other low-calorie, low-fat foods.​ (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Diabetes, JAMA, Weight Research / 18.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Debbie Lawlor PhD School of Social and Community Medicine University of Bristol, Oakfield House, Oakfield Grove Medical Research Council Integrative Epidemiology Unit University of Bristol, UK and Rachel Freathy PhD, University of Exeter, Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Science, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital,  Exeter  UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: A healthy birth weight is important for babies’ health and wellbeing in the first year of their life. It reflects how well the baby has grown and developed in the womb. The experience of fetuses in the womb and how well they grow and develop might also determine their future health, even into adulthood. Both being too light or too heavy at birth is not good for the baby. Lots of studies have shown that mothers who are fatter at the start of their pregnancy have babies who are more likely to be heavier. But is it not clear whether the mother being fatter causes their baby to be bigger at birth. If mothers’ fatness does cause their baby to be heavier at birth, why this happens is not clear. We used genes to find out whether being fatter in pregnancy causes babies to be born heavier. We also tested whether risk factors in the mother that are affected by her fatness, such as her blood pressure, and the level of glucose (sugar) and lipids (fats) in her blood stream affect how heavy her baby is. Our results showed that being fatter during pregnancy did cause a mothers’ baby to be born heavier. We also showed that having higher blood levels of glucose in pregnancy also caused a mothers’ baby to be heavier. But we did not find any effect of mothers’ blood levels of lipids in pregnancy on their baby’s weight. Whilst mothers who are heavier in pregnancy will tend to have higher blood pressure in pregnancy we found that higher blood pressure caused the women’s babies to be lighter. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lifestyle & Health, Weight Research / 17.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Ellen Flint Lecturer in Population Health MRC Strategic Skills Fellow Department of Social & Environmental Health Research London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Flint: Globally, physical inactivity is a major cause of obesity, chronic disease and premature mortality. Improving population levels of physical activity is therefore a key public health policy aim, in high and middle income countries. In the past, functional active travel was a key source of physical activity for many people. However, since the mass adoption of private motorised travel in the 20th century, the vast majority (63%) of working adults in the UK commute to by car. Using UK Biobank data from more than 150,000 middle-aged adults, we found that those who commuted to work via cycling or walking had significantly lower body fat percentage and lower body mass index (BMI) compared to adults who commuted by car. The strongest associations were seen for adults who commuted via bicycle. For the average man in the sample (age 53 years; height 176.7cm; weight 85.9kg), cycling to work rather than driving was associated with a weight difference of 5kg or 11lbs (1.71 BMI points). For the average woman in the sample (age 52 years; height 163.6cm; weight 70.6kg), the weight difference was 4.4kg or 9.7lbs (1.65 BMI points). Even people who commuted via public transport also showed significant reductions in BMI and percentage body fat compared with those who commuted only by car. This suggests that even the incidental physical activity involved in public transport journeys may be important. The link between active commuting and obesity reduction was independent of other factors such as income, area deprivation, urban or rural residence, education, alcohol intake, smoking, general physical activity, dietary energy intake and overall health and disability. If you're often using public transport, particularly around the New York Area, check out this babylon schedule. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, NYU, Pediatrics, PNAS, Weight Research / 15.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michele Leardo Assistant Director Institute for Education & Social Policy New York University New York, NY 10012 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: US school districts increasingly distribute annual fitness and body mass index (BMI) “report cards” to students and parents. Such personalized informational interventions have appeal in economics because they can inform parents about their children's obesity status at relatively low costs. Awareness of the weight status can lead to behavioral responses that can improve health. New York City public schools adopted Fitnessgram in 2007-2008, reporting each student’s BMI alongside categorical BMI designations. We examined how being classified as “overweight” for the previous academic year affected the students’ subsequent BMI and weight. Specifically, we compared female students whose BMI was close to their age-specific cutoff for being considered overweight with those whose BMI narrowly put them in the “healthy” category. We find that being labeled overweight had no beneficial effects on students’ subsequent BMI and weight. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Nutrition, Sugar, Weight Research / 10.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Euridice Martinez Steele  University of São Paulo, São Paulo MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Several leading health bodies, including the World Health Organization, the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation, the American Heart Association, and the US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee have concluded that excess added sugar intake increases the risk not only of weight gain, but also of obesity and diabetes, which are associated with a heightened risk of cardiovascular disease, and tooth decay. All reports recommended limiting intake of added sugars. In the US, the USDGAC recommended limiting added sugars to no more than 10% of total calories. To design and implement effective measures to reduce added sugars, their dietary sources must be clearly identified. Added sugars can be consumed either as ingredients of dishes or drinks prepared from scratch by consumers or cook, or as ingredients of food products manufactured by the food industry. According to market disappearance data from 2014, more than three quarters of the sugar and high fructose corn syrup available for human consumption in the US were used by the food industry. This suggests food products manufactured by the industry could have an important role in the excess added sugars consumption in the US. However, to assess this role, it is essential to consider the contribution of manufactured food products to both total energy intake and the energy intake from added sugars, and, more relevantly, to quantify the relationship between their consumption and the total dietary content of added sugars. To address these questions, we performed an investigation utilizing 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). (more…)
Author Interviews, Lifestyle & Health, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 08.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Chance York PhD School of Journalism and Mass Communication Kent State University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Dr. York: A number of studies have examined the effects of heavy television viewing during childhood on childhood levels of Body Mass Index (BMI), but my study added a new element to this literature: it explores the long-term effects of TV viewing on adult-era BMI. The major takeaway is that heavy television viewing during childhood results in an individual propensity to watch TV much later in life, and this propensity to watch television results in increased BMI. In other words, kids who watch a lot of television tend to remain heavy TV users as adults, and the fact that they're heavy TV viewers as adults has a separate, unique effect on their adult BMI. (more…)
Author Interviews, Weight Research / 02.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Samuel Klein, M.D. William H. Danforth Professor of Medicine and Nutritional Science Director, Center for Human Nutrition Washington University School of Medicine St Louis, MO 63110 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Klein: Most obesity treatment guidelines, including those recently proposed by several major medical and scientific societies, recommend moderate weight loss of 5%-10% to achieve improvements in metabolic function and health outcomes. However, it is much easier to achieve a 5% weight loss than it is to achieve a 10% weight loss, so it is important to understand the benefits that occur with a 5% weight loss and what additional benefits, if any, can be expected with more weight loss in people with obesity. (more…)
Author Interviews, Emergency Care, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 19.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Junaid A. Bhatti, MBBS, MSc, PhD Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Research Institute Toronto, Canada  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Bhatti: Weight loss surgeries are consistently increasing in the US. While the positive impact of surgery on patient’s health are undebatable, limited information is available about long-term healthcare utilization, especially, emergency care utilization in bariatric surgery patients. This study compared emergency care utilization in bariatric patients three years following surgery to that of three years prior to surgery. Overall, we found that emergency care utilization increased by about 17% following surgery compared to the before surgery period. While complaints related to cardiovascular, ear, respiratory, and dermatology decreased, the complaints related to gastrointestinal, genitourinary, mental health, and substance misuse increased following surgery.  (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Weight Research / 18.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Mark A Green PhD Department of Geography & Planning University of Liverpool Liverpool UK Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Green: Previous research on trends in body mass index (BMI) have focused on changes in the middle value (average BMI). We extended this investigation by exploring trends both in the middle (using the median – the mid-point of BMI values), the 5th centile (the BMI value at which bottom 5% of the population with the lowest BMIs fall below) and the 95th centile (the BMI value at which the top 5% of the population with the highest BMIs fall above) to examine how trends have changed both in the middle, and at the top and bottom of the distribution. We found that median BMI increased in England in the 1990s, before beginning to slow its rate of change. This is contrary to the 95th centile which has continued to increase at a higher rate throughout the period, with little change in the 5th centile. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, OBGYNE, Weight Research / 16.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Katherine Bowers, PhD, MPH Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology Cincinnati Children's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Dr. Bowers: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects approximately 1 in 68 children and the prevalence continues to rise. Past studies have suggested that conditions experienced by women during pregnancy (for example, obesity and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)) may be associated with having a child with ASD. We collected medical record data from patients who resided in the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center’s primary catchment area and linked those data to data from birth certificates to identify metabolic risk factors. Two comparison groups were analyzed; one with developmental disabilities; and the other, controls without a reported ASD or other developmental disability. Descriptive statistics and regression analyses evaluated differences. We found that maternal obesity and  gestational diabetes mellitus were associated with an increased risk of Autism spectrum disorder in the offspring; however, no difference in risk of Autism spectrum disorder according to BMI and GDM was seen when comparing to the group with other developmental disabilities. The strongest observed association was the joint effect of obesity and GDM (compared to neither obesity nor GDM) :OR=2.53 (95% CI: 1.72, 3.73). (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Nutrition, Weight Research / 13.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Francis Tayie, PhD, MPhil, MS. BSc(HONS) Food, Nutrition and Dietetics Department of Human Environmental Studies Southeast Missouri State University Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Tayie: This article which is the first report to show a positive link between alcoholic beverage consumption and increased moisture intake, also reports increases in calorie intake above what is supplied by alcohol, as well as increased body weight status. The general view is that alcoholic beverages do not contribute to moisture intake. This view is generally due to the diuretic effect of the ethanol in alcoholic beverages, specifically depression of vasopressin resulting in increased loss of moisture via the kidneys. Nevertheless, much of the water in alcoholic beverages, especially in light drinks such as beer and wine may be retained, as indicated in this study. Alcoholic calories count!! The view that alcoholic beverages do not contribute calories to the intake of drinkers is largely debatable. Most of the confusion results from the complex metabolism of the ethanol in alcoholic beverages. Metabolism of ethanol utilizes specific metabolic pathways different from the metabolism of macronutrients. Notably, the
  • 1) alcohol dehydrogenase system,
  • 2) MEOS (microsomal ethanol oxidizing system),
  • and 3) the catalase system.These metabolic systems variably yield some calories but some calories are lost as body heat. It is likely that all of these pathways are not activated simultaneously, and their activities depends on drinking experience. Some calories become available via the alcohol dehydrogenase system, and to a lesser extent via the MEOS. In addition, alcoholic beverage consumption associates with decreased self-restraint, one consequence of which is increased food intake. The promoting effects of alcohol on food intake is multipronged, from social components, to alterations in the effects of appetite regulating neuropeptides.
(more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Pancreatic, Weight Research / 13.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joao Incio, MD Edwin L. Steele Laboratory for Tumor Biology Massachusetts General Hospital | Harvard Medical School | Boston, MA, U.S.A Department of Internal Medicine | Hospital S. Joao | Porto, Portugal  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Incio:  The study focused on the effects of obesity on pancreatic and breast cancer, since more than half of those diagnosed with such tumors are overweight or obese. In addition, a number of large-scale studies have found that obesity leads to an increased risk of death in pancreatic, breast and other types of cancer. But prior to the current study the mechanism of obesity-induced pancreatic and breast cancer progression was unclear. We have uncovered a novel mechanism behind the ability of obesity to promote cancer progression.  We found an association between obesity and an overabundance of a factor called PlGF (placental growth factor) and that PlGF’s binding to its receptor VEGFR-1, which is expressed on immune cells within tumors, promotes tumor progression. We found that obesity increased infiltration of tumor-promoting immune cells and the growth and metastasis of pancreatic cancers. Blocking VEGFR-1 signaling shifted the immune environment towards prevention of tumor progression in obese but not in lean mice in both pancreatic and breast cancer models. We also found that PlGF was present in excess in obesity and that reduction of PlGF produced similar results to VEGFR-1 inhibition in the tumors of obese mice. We also discovered that targeting the PlGF/VEGFR-1 interaction prevents weight gain in a genetically obese mouse model but worsens a diabetes-like condition, a worsening that was alleviated by use of the common diabetes drug metformin, which also had beneficial anti-tumor effects. Our findings in cellular and animal models, as well as in patient tumor samples, indicate that targeting the PlGF/ VEGFR-1 pathway may be particularly effective in obese patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Microbiome, Nutrition, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 12.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with Tine Rask Licht, Professor Head of Research Group on Gut Microbiology and Immunology Technical University of Denmark National Food Institute Søborg Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  During childhood, the intestinal microbiota is under establishment. This period thus represents a ’window’, where the microbiota is likely to be more susceptible to be affected by external factors such as diet. Currently, it is well known that breast feeding has a major impact on the microbiota of young infants, but only very few studies have addressed the effect of the ‘next step’ in diet exposure, represented by complementary feeding. We studied two cohorts of children, born to normal-weight and obese mothers, respectively, and mapped the composition of bacteria in their fecal microbiota at age 9 months and 18 months.  We found that at 9 months, the microbiota was clearly affected by the composition of the complementary diet, but not by maternal obesity. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 11.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lance Davidson, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Exercise Sciences Brigham Young University Provo, UT  84602  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Davidson: A growing body of literature indicates that bariatric surgery imparts a mortality benefit in severely obese individuals.  Whether age at surgery affects this relationship is not well established.  One might suppose that a person who has been severely obese for several decades may already have sustained enough metabolic damage that weight loss surgery would have less influence on subsequent mortality.  We conducted an age-specific analysis of a previously-published mortality cohort in gastric bypass patients and severely obese controls, following them for up to 18 years (mean 7.2 years), and examined mortality rates in four age categories: under 35, 35-44, 45-54, and 55-74. The primary finding of this retrospective cohort study was that gastric bypass surgery attenuated the age-related increase in mortality, demonstrating a widening gap in mortality risk when compared to age-matched severely obese controls as age-at-surgery increased, with a 66% reduction in mortality in the oldest group.  Another interesting result, highlighted in our previous publication on this cohort (Adams et al. NEJM 2007), was a higher mortality rate from external causes (accidents, poisonings, suicides, homicides) in surgery patients.  We explored this phenomenon further by age at surgery and found that externally-caused deaths were only increased in women (not men) who had surgery before age 35. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Kidney Disease, Weight Research / 09.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yoosoo Chang MD PhD Kangbuk Samsung Hospital Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine Seoul, Korea Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There is substantial controversy and a lot of interest on the health implications of metabolically healthy obesity, that is, subjects who are obese but do not have metabolic abnormalities in spite of their high body mass index. The risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD) among obese patients without metabolic abnormalities is unknown. In this cohort study of South Korean men and women, metabolically healthy overweight and obese participants had increased incidence of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) compared with normal-weight participants. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, JAMA, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 02.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Profa. Patrícia Pelufo Silveira, MD, PhD Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul Brazil Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous studies have shown that women who carry a certain gene variant (namely the 7-repeat allele of the dopamine type 4 receptor) have increased risk for obesity, especially if they also suffer from eating disorders. We have also demonstrated that girls who have this gene variant prefer to eat more fat when allowed to choose. However, for some neuropsychiatric conditions, this gene was shown to function as a “plasticity gene”. That is to say that being a carrier makes the individual more or less vulnerable to the disease, depending if the environment in which the person lives is bad (more risk) or good (less risk for the disease). This is called the “differential susceptibility” model. Therefore, in this paper, we wondered if the above described higher fat intake already reported in 7-repeat girls could be modified by the social environment in which they are raised. We saw that if a girl has the gene variant and is raised in a poorer environment, she is more likely to prefer to eat fat in her diet as we knew. However, if she has the gene variant but is raised in a better socioeconomic environment, she actually eats less fat in her regular diet compared to her counterparts who do not carry the gene variant. This is important because we change the focus from the gene (previously "blamed" for increasing fat preference and obesity as the years pass by) to the environment, as the genetic association will increase or decrease the risk according to the conditions in which the child is raised. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, JAMA, Mayo Clinic, Weight Research / 01.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rosebud O. Roberts, M.B., Ch.B. Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minn.  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Roberts: Decline in weight has been observed 10-20 years prior to onset of dementia. We wanted to study whether this decline also occurs for mild cognitive impairment (an intermediate stage in the progression from normal cognition to dementia). Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Roberts: The main finding was that there was indeed a decline in weight (from the maximum weight in midlife to weight assessed in late life) was associated with a increased risk of mild cognitive impairment. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Nutrition, Protein, Weight Research / 29.01.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Stuart M. Phillips Ph.D., FACSM, FACN Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Canada Exercise Metabolism Research Group – Protein Metabolism Research Lab Director, Physical Activity Centre for Excellence Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Prof. Phillips: During weight loss with diet only people lose both muscle and fat and muscle. The long-term health consequences of losing metabolically active muscle versus fat are not likely to be beneficial. In the context of this study we thought perhaps the preservation of muscle would also be important in very active young men. We wanted to see whether when men were in a very large energy deficit (40% less energy than they required) higher protein (2.4 g/kg/d) could preserve muscle mass and still result in increased function (strength) and fitness. Our results show that during a marked energy deficit that consumption of 2.4 g protein/kg/d was more effective than consumption of a diet containing 1.2 g protein/kg/d in promoting increases in LBM (1.2 vs 0.1kg increase) and losses of fat mass (-4.8kg vs. -3.5kg) when combined with a high volume of resistance and anaerobic exercise. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Nutrition, Weight Research / 29.01.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Monica L. Bertoia, MPH, PhD Instructor in Medicine, Channing Division of Network Medicine Brigham and Women’s Hospital & Harvard Medical School Research Associate, Department of Nutrition Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, MA 02115 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Most weight loss studies have focused on one type of flavonoid, the flavan-3-ols found in green tea, and are limited to small numbers of overweight and obese study participants. We examined 7 subclasses of flavonoids and weight change in 124,086 healthy adults who reported their diet and weight repeatedly over up to 24 years. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 27.01.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lauren Fiechtner MD MPH Director of Nutrition Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Massachusetts General Hospital for Children MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Fiechtner: In previous studies, we investigated if distance to a supermarket was associated with a child’s BMI or weight status. These were cross-sectional studies measuring only one point in time. We wondered if distance to a supermarket modified how much children in a behavioral intervention improved their weight or dietary intake. In particular we examined 498 children participating in the Study of Technology to Accelerate Research, which was a randomized controlled trial to treat childhood obesity in Eastern Massachusetts. The intervention included computerized clinician decision support plus a family self-guided behavior change intervention or a health coach intervention, which included text messages to the family to promote behavior change. We found that children living closer to supermarkets were able to increase their fruit and vegetable intake and decrease their BMI z-score more during the intervention period than children living farther from supermarkets. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, NYU, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 20.01.2016

More on Obesity from MedicalResearch.com MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brian Elbel, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, Department of Population Health, NYU Langone Medical Center Amy Schwartz, PhD, Director, New York University Institute for Education and Social Policy, and the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Chair in Public Affairs, Syracuse University Michele Leardo, MA, Assistant Director New York University Institute for Education and Social Policy Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: New York City, as well as other school districts, is making tap water available to students during lunch by placing water dispensers, called water jets, in schools. Surprisingly, drinking water was not always readily available in the lunchroom. Water jets are part of a larger effort to combat child obesity. We find small, but statistically significant, decreases in weight for students in schools with water jets compared to students in schools without water jets. We see a .025 reduction in standardized body mass index for boys and .022 for girls. We also see a .9 percentage point reduction in the likelihood of being overweight for boys and a .6 percentage point reduction for girls. In other words, the intervention is working. (more…)