Author Interviews, Global Health, Nutrition, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 07.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_31779" align="alignleft" width="135"]Lara Dugas, PhD, MPH, FTOS Public Health Sciences Loyola University Chica Dr. Lara Dugas[/caption] Lara Dugas, PhD, MPH, FTOS Public Health Sciences Loyola University Chicago MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our NIH-funded study is led by Dr. Amy Luke, Public Health Sciences, Loyola University Chicago, and is titled “Modeling the Epidemiologic Transition study” or METS. It was initiated in 2010, and 2,500 young African-origin adults were recruited from 5 countries, spanning the Human Development Index (HDI), a WHO index used to rank countries according to 4 tiers of development. The 5 countries include the US, Seychelles, Jamaica, South Africa, and Ghana. Within each country 500 young adults, 25-45 yrs., and 50% male, were recruited and followed prospectively for 3 years. Each year, contactable participants completed a health screening, body composition, wore an activity monitor for 7 days, and told researchers everything they had eaten in the preceding 24hrs. Our main research questions we were trying to answer were to understand the impact of diet and physical activity on the development of obesity, and cardiovascular disease in young adults. It was important to have countries spanning the HDI, with differences in both country-level dietary intake and physical activity levels.
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 01.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_31548" align="alignleft" width="142"]Melissa N. Poulsen, PhD, MPH</strong> Postdoctoral Fellow Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Geisinger Center for Health Research Dr. Melissa N. Poulsen[/caption] Melissa N. Poulsen, PhD, MPH Postdoctoral Fellow Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Geisinger Center for Health Research MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Several past studies report positive associations between early childhood antibiotic use (particularly in the first year of life) and body mass index (BMI) later in childhood. Studies have also observed positive associations with prenatal antibiotic use and BMI, but without information on childhood antibiotics, such studies cannot rule out an underlying causal relationship between prenatal antibiotic exposure and early childhood antibiotic use. No study to date has concurrently evaluated prenatal and early childhood antibiotic exposure. We used mother-child linked electronic health record data to determine whether prenatal and childhood antibiotic use are independently associated with BMI at age 3 years.
Author Interviews, Coffee, Nutrition, Weight Research / 31.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_31650" align="alignleft" width="165"]Ruopeng An, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Kinesiology and Community Health College of Applied Health Sciences University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL 61820 Dr. Ruopeng An[/caption] Ruopeng An, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Kinesiology and Community Health College of Applied Health Sciences University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL 61820 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Coffee and tea are among the most widely consumed beverages in U.S. adults.1,2 Unlike other popular beverages including alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages that are typically consumed in isolation, many people prefer drinking coffee and tea with add-ins like sugar or cream. These add-in items are often dense in energy and fat but low in nutritional value. Drinking coffee and tea with add-ins on a regular basis might impact an individual’s daily energy/nutrient intake and diet quality.3 The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests that “coffee, tea, and flavored waters also can be selected, but calories from cream, added sugars, and other additions should be accounted for within the eating pattern.”4 To our knowledge, no study has been conducted to assess consumption of coffee and tea with add-ins in relation to daily energy and nutrient intake at the population level. Bouchard et al. examined the association between coffee and tea consumption with add-ins and body weight status rather than energy/nutrient intake, and consumption was measured by a few frequency-related questions instead of a 24-hour dietary recall.5 The purpose of this study was to examine consumption of coffee and tea with add-ins (e.g., sugar, cream) in relation to energy, sugar, and fat intake among U.S. adults 18 years of age and above. Data came from 2001-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), comprising a nationally-representative (biennially) repeated cross-sectional sample of 13,185 and 6,215 adults who reported coffee and tea consumption in in-person 24-hour dietary recalls, respectively.
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Endocrinology, Heart Disease, Lipids, Pharmacology, Weight Research / 30.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_31502" align="alignleft" width="130"]Gianluca Iacobellis MD PhD Professor of Clinical Medicine Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Department of Medicine University of Miami, FL Dr. Gianluca Iacobellis[/caption] Gianluca Iacobellis MD PhD Professor of Clinical Medicine Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Department of Medicine University of Miami, FL MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We know that epicardial fat, the visceral fat of the heart, is associated with coronary artery disease, diabetes and obesity. My studies have shown that epicardial fat can be easily measured with non invasive imaging procedures. Remarkably, epicardial fat has recently emerged as therapeutic target responding to medications targeting the fat. Liraglutide, a GLP-1 analog has shown to provide modest weight loss and beneficial cardiovascular effects beyond its glucose lowering action. So , we sought to evaluate the effects of liraglutide on epicardial fat.
Author Interviews, Metabolic Syndrome, Psychological Science, University of Pennsylvania, Weight Research / 27.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rebecca L. Pearl PhD Department of Psychiatry, Center for Weight and Eating Disorders Perelman School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: Weight bias is a pervasive form of prejudice that leads to weight-based discrimination, bullying, and the overall stigmatization of obesity. Some individuals with obesity may internalize weight bias by applying negative weight stereotypes to themselves and “self-stigmatizing.” Exposure to weight bias and stigma increases risk for poor obesity-related health (in part by increasing physiological stress), but little is known about the relationship between weight bias internalization and risk for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, PLoS, Weight Research / 27.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_31442" align="alignleft" width="150"]Dr Rebecca Richmond PhD Dr Rebecca Richmond[/caption] Dr Rebecca Richmond PhD Senior Research Associate in the CRUK Integrative Cancer Epidemiology Programme MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit School of Social and Community Medicine University of Bristol MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We have been involved in earlier work which applied the same methods used here (using genetic variants to provide causal evidence) and showed that higher maternal pregnancy body mass index (BMI) causes greater infant birth weight. The paper here aimed to build on that earlier research and asked whether maternal BMI in pregnancy has a lasting effect, so that offspring of women who were more overweight in pregnancy are themselves likely to be fatter in childhood and adolescence. Our aim was to address this because an effect of an exposure in pregnancy on later life outcomes in the offspring could have detrimental health consequences for themselves and future generations. However, we did not find strong evidence for this in the context of the impact of maternal BMI in pregnancy on offspring fatness.
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Exercise - Fitness, Lifestyle & Health, Weight Research / 27.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_31537" align="alignleft" width="139"]Arch G. Mainous III, PhD  HSRMP Department Chair Florida Blue Endowed Professor of Health Administration University of Florida Health Dr. Arch G. Mainous III[/caption] Arch G. Mainous III, PhD HSRMP Department Chair Florida Blue Endowed Professor of Health Administration University of Florida Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: As our post-industrial society becomes more and more sedentary, there is a concern that a lack of activity is associated with poor health outcomes like diabetes. At the same time, the medical community has a strong focus on determining whether patients are overweight or obese as a way to classify them as  being at higher risk for poor health outcomes. However, individuals at a “healthy weight” in general, are considered to be at low risk. Some recent studies have shown that many individuals at “healthy weight” are not metabolically healthy. How then might we predict who at “healthy weight” would be unhealthy? We hypothesized that individuals at “healthy weight” who had a sedentary lifestyle would be more likely to have prediabetes or undiagnosed diabetes.
Author Interviews, Eating Disorders, PLoS, Weight Research / 26.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_31517" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr Maria Kekic PhD Dr. Maria Kekic[/caption] Dr Maria Kekic PhD Research Worker | The TIARA study: Transcranial magnetic stimulation and imaging in anorexia nervosa Section of Eating Disorders | Department of Psychological Medicine Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience | King’s College London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterised by repeated episodes of binge-eating and inappropriate compensatory behaviours. It is associated with multiple medical complications and with an increased risk of mortality. Although existing treatments for bulimia are effective for many patients, a sizeable proportion remain symptomatic following therapy and some do not respond at all. Evidence shows that bulimia is underpinned by functional alterations in certain brain pathways, including those that underlie self-control processes. Neuroscience-based techniques with the ability to normalise these pathways may therefore hold promise as treatments for the disorder. One such technique is called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) – a form of non-invasive brain stimulation that delivers weak electrical currents to the brain through two electrodes placed on the head. It is safe and painless, and the most common side effect is a slight itching or tingling on the scalp.
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Weight Research / 25.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_31480" align="alignleft" width="128"]Alan Peaceman, MD Professor and Chief of Maternal Fetal Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicin Dr. Alan Peaceman[/caption] Alan Peaceman, MD Professor and Chief of Maternal Fetal Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Excess maternal weight gain during pregnancy is very common in the United States, and has been associated with a number of pregnancy complications, including gestational diabetes, maternal hypertension, excess fetal size, and cesarean delivery. Children born to mothers who gained excessively during pregnancy are at much higher risk of developing obesity themselves. We performed a randomized trial where half of the women received an intensive intervention of diet and exercise counseling in an effort to limit their weight gain. Compared to the control group, those in the intervention gained on average 4 pounds less and were more likely to gain within recommended guidelines. Despite this improvement, however, we did not see any improvement in any of the pregnancy complications.
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 23.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_31428" align="alignleft" width="136"]Robin Gelburd, JD President FAIR Health Robin Gelburd, JD[/caption] Robin Gelburd, JD President FAIR Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: For more than 20 years, an epidemic of obesity has been contributing to increasing rates of type 2 diabetes in the United States. During at least part of that period, both conditions have been found to be rising in young people as well as adults. Using our FAIR Health database of billions of privately billed healthcare claims, we sought to ascertain recent trends in obesity and obesity-related conditions (including type 2 diabetes) in the national, privately insured, pediatric population, which we defined as spanning the ages from 0 to 22 years. Our study period was the years 2011 to 2015. We found that claim lines with a diagnosis of obesity increased across the pediatric population during the study period. The largest increase among pediatric patients was 154 percent, in the age group 19 to 22 years. Claim lines with a type 2 diabetes diagnosis more than doubled in the pediatric population, increasing 109 percent. In most pediatric age groups, claim lines with an obesity diagnosis occurred more often in females than in males; by contrast, claim lines with a type 2 diabetes diagnosis were more common for males than females in most pediatric age groups. Other conditions associated with obesity also increased in claim lines among young people. The conditions included obstructive sleep apnea and hypertension, both of which were more common in claim lines for males than females. We also compared the percent of claim lines for pediatric type 2 diabetes diagnoses to the percent of claim lines for all pediatric medical claims by state. Using that standard, pediatric type 2 diabetes was most prevalent in Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Utah and South Dakota. It was least prevalent in New Hampshire, Vermont, Delaware, Hawaii and Rhode Island.
Author Interviews, Nutrition, Sugar, Weight Research / 23.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Marta Alegret Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutic Chemistry Pharmacology Section School of Pharmacy and Food Sciences University of Barcelona MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In humans, an excessive intake of sugars has been linked to the development of metabolic disturbances, and therefore to an increase in the risk for cardiovascular diseases. Specifically, increased consumption of simple sugars in liquid form, as beverages sweetened with high fructose corn syrup or sucrose, has been linked to obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. However, two questions remain unresolved: what is/are the underlying molecular mechanism(s) linking these metabolic alterations to cardiovascular diseases? Are the adverse cardiovascular and metabolic effects of sugar-sweetened beverages merely the consequence of the increase in caloric intake caused by their consumption? To answer to these questions, we performed a study in female rats, which were randomly assigned to three groups: a control group, without any supplementary sugar; a fructose-supplemented group, which received a supplement of 20% weight/volume fructose in drinking water; and a glucose-supplemented group, supplemented with 20% weight/volume glucose in drinking water.
Author Interviews, NIH, Nutrition, Weight Research / 20.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_31358" align="alignleft" width="144"]Janet M. de Jesus, M.S., R.D. Program Officer, Implementation Science Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science (CTRIS) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Janet de Jesus[/caption] Janet M. de Jesus, M.S., R.D. Program Officer, Implementation Science Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science (CTRIS) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for the DASH diet? What are the main components? Response: The DASH eating plan was created for a clinical trial funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The goal of the original DASH trial was to test the eating plan compared to a typical American diet (at the time in the 1990s) on the effect of blood pressure. The DASH eating plan is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It includes low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, legumes, vegetable oils, and nuts; and limits intake of sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages and high-fat meats. The eating plan is a good source of potassium, magnesium, and calcium. The DASH eating plan was shown to reduce blood pressure and improve lipid profiles. A second DASH trial, “DASH-sodium,” showed that adding sodium reduction to the DASH eating plan reduced blood pressure even more.
Addiction, Author Interviews, Nutrition, Weight Research / 13.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_31217" align="alignleft" width="176"]Nicholas V. DiPatrizio, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences University of California, Riverside School of Medicine Riverside, California, 92521 Dr. Nicholas DiPatrizio[/caption] Nicholas V. DiPatrizio, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences University of California, Riverside School of Medicine Riverside, California, 92521 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Endocannabinoids are a group of lipid signaling molecules that serve many physiological roles, including the control of food intake, energy balance, and reward. Previous research by my group found that tasting specific dietary fats drives production of the endocannabinoids in the upper small intestine of rats, and inhibiting this signaling event blocked feeding of fats (DiPatrizio et al., Endocannabinoid signaling in the gut controls dietary fat intake, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011). Thus, gut-brain endocannabinoid signaling is thought to generate positive feedback to the brain that promotes the intake of foods containing high levels of fats. We now asked the question of what role peripheral endocannabinoid signaling plays in promoting obesity caused by chronic consumption of a western diet (i.e., high levels of fats and sugar), as well as the role for endocannabinoids in overeating that is associated with western diet-induced obesity. When compared to mice fed a standard low-fat/sugar diet, mice fed a western diet for 60 days rapidly gained body weight and became obese, consumed significantly more calories, and consumed significantly larger meals at a much higher rate of intake (calories per minute). These hyperphagic responses to western diet were met with greatly elevated levels of endocannabinoids in the small intestine and circulation. Importantly, blocking elevated endocannabinoid signaling with pharmacological inhibitors of cannabinoid receptors in the periphery completely normalized food intake and meal patterns in western diet-induced obese mice to levels found in control lean mice fed standard chow. This work describes for the first time that overeating associated with chronic consumption of a Western Diet is driven by endocannabinoid signals generated in the periphery.
Author Interviews, Lancet, Pediatrics, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 10.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Thomas H. Inge MD University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine Aurora, CO 80045 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Gastric bypass surgery helps severely obese teenagers lose weight and keep it off, according to the first long term follow up studies of teenagers who had undergone the procedure 5-12 years earlier. However, the studies show some patients will need further surgery to deal with complications or may develop vitamin deficiencies later in life, according to two studies published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. Severe obesity is classified as having a BMI of 40 or over (around 100 pounds overweight) and affects around 4.6 million children and teenagers in the USA. It causes ill health, poor quality of life and cuts life expectancy. The studies are the first to look at long-term effects of gastric bypass surgery in teenagers. Until now, it has been unclear how successful the surgery is in the long-term and whether it can lead to complications. Thousands of teenagers are offered surgical treatment each year.
Author Interviews, Lancet, Pediatrics, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 07.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Torsten Olbers PhD Department of Gastrosurgical Research Institute of Clinical Sciences University of Gothenburg, Sahlgrenska University Hospital Gothenburg Sweden  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The background to study was the lack of effective treatments for adolescents with severe obesity and the observation that many adults undergoing gastric bypass regret that they didn't´t do it earlier. The medical indication is to hopefully prevent development of diseases and organ damage due to cardiovascular risk factors and to enable them to have normalised psychosocial development (education, relation etc). In fact most of the adolescents undergoing surgery had parents having undergone surgery.
Author Interviews, Nutrition, Weight Research / 06.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_30982" align="alignleft" width="82"]Dr Stacey Lockyer BSc(hons) MSc PhD RNutr Nutrition Scientist British Nutrition Foundation Imperial House 6th Floor London Dr Stacey Lockyer[/caption] Dr Stacey Lockyer BSc(hons) MSc PhD RNutr Nutrition Scientist British Nutrition Foundation Imperial House 6th Floor London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This in depth review examines the potential health benefits of resistant starch, a form of starch that is not digested in the small intestine and is therefore considered a type of dietary fibre. Some forms of resistant starch occur naturally in foods such as bananas, potatoes, grains, and pulses, and some are produced or modified commercially and incorporated into food products as a functional ingredient. There has been increasing research interest in resistant starch, with a large number of human studies published over the last 10 years looking at a variety of different health outcomes such as postprandial glycaemia, satiety and gut health. The review summarises reported effects and explores the potential mechanisms of action that underpin them. There is consistent evidence that consumption of resistant starch in place of digestible carbohydrates can aid blood glucose control and this has resulted in an approved health claim in the European Union. There is also some evidence that resistant starch can support gut health and enhance satiety, though much more research is needed in these areas.
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 06.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_30969" align="alignleft" width="133"]Edwina Yeung, Ph.D Investigator in the Division of Intramural Population Health Research Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Developm Dr. Edwina Yeung[/caption] Edwina Yeung, Ph.D Investigator, Division of Intramural Population Health Research Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: About 1 in 5 pregnant women in the United States is obese. Other studies have looked at mothers’ obesity in terms of children’s development, but no U.S. studies have looked at whether there might be a contribution from the father’s weight. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: One of the main findings of this study is that maternal obesity is associated with a delay in fine motor skill-- the ability to control movement of small muscles, such as those in the fingers and hands. Paternal obesity is associated with a delay in personal-social skills including the way the child interacts with others. Having both a mother and a father with severe obesity (BMI≥35) was associated with a delay in problem solving ability.
Author Interviews, Kaiser Permanente, Lancet, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 29.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_30846" align="alignleft" width="150"]De-Kun Li, MD, PhD Senior Research Scientist Division of Research Kaiser Foundation Research Institute Kaiser Permanente Oakland, CA 94612 Dr. De-Kun Li,[/caption] De-Kun Li, MD, PhD Senior Research Scientist Division of Research Kaiser Foundation Research Institute Kaiser Permanente Oakland, CA 94612 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The composition of gut microbia (microbiome) has emerged as a key contributor to human disease risk. The external influence on the composition of microbiome in early childhood, especially in infancy, has been linked to increased risk of childhood obesity. Several studies have examined use of antibiotics in infancy and reported an association between use of antibiotics and increased risk of childhood obesity. This has caused a great uncertainty among both pediatricians and parents regarding treatment of infant infections. However, the previous studies failed to separate the effect of underlying infections for which antibiotics were used from the effect of the antibiotics itself. The contribution of our study was to examine the effects of infections and antibiotic use separately.
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Nature, Weight Research / 21.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_30700" align="alignleft" width="100"]Prof. Jamal Tazi Institut de Génétique Moléculaire de Montpellier University of Montpellier Montpellier, Cedex, France Prof. Jamal Tazi[/caption] Prof. Jamal Tazi Institut de Génétique Moléculaire de Montpellier University of Montpellier Montpellier, Cedex, France MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Intense drug discovery efforts in the metabolic field highlight the need for novel strategies for the treatment of obesity. In this study we have used a novel approach to uncover novel drugs to treat obesity. Our approach is based on the finding that in humans the energy expenditure balance can be controlled by a single gene LMNA gene that can produce two different proteins with opposing effect on energy expenditure. We identified a molecule ABX300 that targets the expression of LMNA gene and favors energy expenditure leading to fat loss.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Weight Research / 20.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_30676" align="alignleft" width="200"]Igho Onakpoya MD MSc University of Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences Oxford UK Dr. Igho Onakpoya[/caption] Igho Onakpoya MD MSc University of Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences Oxford UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Several medicines used to treat obesity have been withdrawn from the market over the last few years. However, the reasons for, and time trends about their withdrawals have not been systematically researched. We identified 25 anti-obesity medicines withdrawn from the market over the last 50 years. 23 of these analogues of amphetamine or fenfluramine, i.e., neurotransmitters. The reasons for withdrawal in the overwhelming majority of instances were cardiovascular or psychiatric adverse reactions, and drug abuse and dependence.
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Johns Hopkins, Weight Research / 16.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ruchi Doshi, MPH MD Candidate 2017 | Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Current guidelines recommend that physicians collaborate with non-physician health professionals to deliver weight management care. While several studies have looked at barriers physicians face in providing these services, few studies have looked at the barriers that the non-physician health professionals face. Ultimately, we found that one quarter of these health professionals found insurance coverage to be a current challenge to providing weight management care, and that over half of them felt improved coverage would help facilitate weight loss. These findings were consistent regardless of the income level of the patient populations.
Author Interviews, Leukemia, Nature, Pediatrics, UT Southwestern, Weight Research / 13.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_30486" align="alignleft" width="148"]Chengcheng (Alec) Zhang, Ph.D. Associate Professor Hortense L. and Morton H. Sanger Professorship in Oncology Michael L. Rosenberg Scholar for Medical Research Department of Physiology  UT Southwestern Medical Center Dr. Alec Zhang[/caption] Chengcheng (Alec) Zhang, Ph.D. Associate Professor Hortense L. and Morton H. Sanger Professorship in Oncology Michael L. Rosenberg Scholar for Medical Research Department of Physiology UT Southwestern Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: New therapeutic targets and approaches are needed to effectively treat leukemia. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the most common form of adult acute leukemia whereas acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common form of cancer in children; ALL also occurs in adults. Although treatment of pediatric ALL is highly effective, a sizeable number of patients are non-responders who succumb to this disease. The outcome of ALL in adults is significantly worse than for pediatric ALL. Additionally, some types of ALL have a much poorer prognosis than others. Dietary restriction, including fasting, delays aging and has prolonged effects in a wide range of organisms and has been considered for cancer prevention. In certain types of solid tumor,_ENREF_1 dietary restriction regimens are able to promote T cell-mediated tumor cytotoxicity and enhance anticancer immunosurveillance, and coordinate with chemotherapy to promote the anti-cancer effects. However, the responsiveness of hematopoietic malignancies to dietary restriction, including fasting, remains unknown. Furthermore, whether dietary restriction alone can inhibit cancer development is not clear.
Author Interviews, Lipids, Nutrition, Weight Research / 13.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Koji Ishiguro National Agriculture and Food Research Organization Japan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: -Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) roots are not only used for human consumption, they are used to make starch materials, processed foods, and distilled spirits in Japan. Starch use accounts for about 15% (131,500 tons) of total sweet potato production. Starch residues are discharged during starch production and are mainly used in animal feed and compost. Large amounts of the wastewater, which can cause serious environmental problems, are discarded after clarification. Investigation into the uses of the by-products of the sweet potato starch industry would benefit both the environment and industry.
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Nature, NIH, Weight Research / 09.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_30390" align="alignleft" width="200"]Audrey Chu, Ph.D. Division of Intramural Research of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institutes of Health Dr. Audrey Chu[/caption] Audrey Chu, Ph.D. Division of Intramural Research National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institutes of Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Body shape reflects the underlying adipose tissue distributed throughout different compartments of the body (ectopic fat). Variation in ectopic fat is associated with diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. This is mostly independent of overall adiposity. Ectopic fat can be measured using special x-rays procedures such as CT (“CAT scans”) or MRI and can give more information about fat distribution. Fat distribution characteristics can run in families, suggesting that a person’s genes can help determine the amount of fat that can accumulate in different parts of the body. Identifying genes that are associated with ectopic fat can provide insight into the biological mechanisms leading to differences in cardiometabolic disease risk. In order to understand which genes might be involved, we examined genetic variants across the genome and their association with ectopic fat in the largest study of its kind including over 18,000 individuals of four different ancestral backgrounds. Several new genetic regions were identified in association with ectopic fat in addition to confirming previously known regions. The association of the new regions was specific to ectopic fat, since the majority of the regions were not associated with overall or central adiposity. Furthermore, most of these regions were not associated with type 2 diabetes, lipids, heart disease or blood pressure. The major exception was the region surrounding the UBE2E2 gene, which was associated with diabetes.
Author Interviews, Microbiome, Nature, Weight Research / 03.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Eran Elinav. Principal investigator Immunology Department Weizmann Institute of Science Rehovot, Israel MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Recurrent obesity is a very common yet poorly studied and under researched phenomenon. It is well known that many people diet, but then regain the weight they lost and even add more weight. We found that the gut microbiome is a major driver of this enhanced weight regain phenomenon. We found that in the obese state, the microbiome is altered, and these alterations are not reversed upon weight loss. And these alterations are sufficient to drive weight regain, since transferring them to germ-free mice also transferred the enhanced weight regain phenotype. Moreover, we provide three different treatments for this condition: (1) Antibiotics; (2) transfer of bacteria from lean mice; and (3) addition of specific molecules that we found to be lacking in the altered microbiome. All of these treatments cured the mice we tested from enhanced weight regain.
Artificial Sweeteners, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Metabolic Syndrome, Weight Research / 28.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_29998" align="alignleft" width="135"]Richard Hodin, MD Gastrointestinal and Endocrine Surgery Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School Chief of Academic Affairs, Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, Mass 02114 Dr. Richard Hodin[/caption] Richard Hodin, MD Gastrointestinal and Endocrine Surgery Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School Chief of Academic Affairs, Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, Mass 02114 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Sugar substitutes like Aspartame are widely used and supposed to make people lose weight and have less diabetes, heart disease, etc. However, a number of studies indicate that theses substitutes don’t work very well. The reasons for them not working have not been clear. Our study found that the most common sugar substitute (aspartame) blocks an enzyme in our gut called Intestinal Alkaline Phosphatase (IAP). By blocking IAP, Aspartame prevents the beneficial effects of IAP which normally works to prevent obesity, diabetes, and other aspects of the metabolic syndrome. So, we now have an explanation for why Aspartame may make obesity and the metabolic syndrome worse, rather than better.
Author Interviews, CDC, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 21.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Liping Pan, MD MPH Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, GA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This CDC report is the first to use the WIC Participant Characteristic (WIC PC) data from the USDA to monitor trends in obesity among young children aged 2 to 4 years in the WIC program. The main findings of the study are: • 34 of 56 (61%) WIC state agencies reported modest decreases in obesity among young children from 2010 to 2014. • From 2000 to 2010, the prevalence of obesity among 2-4 year olds increased from 14.0% to 15.9%, then dropped to 14.5% from 2010 to 2014. • Obesity prevalence varied by state, ranging from 8.2 percent in Utah to 20.0 percent in Virginia. • From 2010 to 2014, obesity prevalence decreased among all major racial/ethnic groups, including non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, American Indians/Alaska Natives, and Asians/Pacific Islanders. • From 2000 to 2014, obesity prevalence decreased significantly among Asian/Pacific Islanders, from 13.9 percent to 11.1 percent.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Menopause, Weight Research, Women's Heart Health / 20.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_29651" align="alignleft" width="195"]Somwail Rasla, MD Internal Medicine Resident Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island Brown University Dr. Somwail Rasla[/caption] Somwail Rasla, MD Internal Medicine Resident Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island Brown University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Weight cycling has been studied as a possible risk factors for all-cause mortality and was found to be insignificant in some studies and significant in other studies when adjusted to age and timing of when the weight cycling occurred. It was proposed that weight cycling may increase risk of chronic inflammation by which weight cycling was considered to be a risk factor for increased morbidity and all cause mortalities. Other studies have reported that frequent weight cycling was associated with shorter telomere length, which is a risk factor for several comorbidities including CHD. Earlier studies showed that weight cycling has an association with increase in size of adipocytes as well as fluctuation of serum cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, insulin, and glucagon which may contribute to the increased incidence of diabetes. Alternatively, in the nurses’ health study , weight cycling was not predictive of cardiovascular or total mortality.
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Nature, UT Southwestern, Weight Research / 19.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_29787" align="alignleft" width="300"](l-r) Dr. Zhenhua Shao and Dr. Daniel Rosenbaum (l-r) Dr. Zhenhua Shao and Dr. Daniel Rosenbaum UT Southwestern[/caption] Dan Rosenbaum, Ph.D. Principal Investigator Department of Biophysics The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Dallas, Texas MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study focuses on the structure of the human CB1 cannabinoid receptor. The CB1 protein is a membrane-embedded G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) in the brain and peripheral tissues that responds to a variety of different compounds, including endogenous lipid messengers (‘endocannabinoids’), plant natural products (such as THC from the Cannabis sativa plant i.e. marijuana), and synthetic antagonists (such as the taranabant ligand used for this study). The CB1 receptor is involved in regulating neurotransmission in vertebrates, and is a potential therapeutic target for numerous conditions including obesity, pain, and epilepsy. The main findings of this study entailed the solution of the high-resolution crystal structure of human CB1 receptor bound to the inhibitor taranabant. This structure revealed the precise shape of the inhibitor binding pocket, which is also responsible for binding THC and endocannabinoids. In addition to helping explain the mechanism of inhibitor and THC binding, our structure provides a framework for computational studies of binding to a large diversity of cannabinoid modulators of therapeutic importance.