Author Interviews, Microbiome, Nutrition, Weight Research / 28.04.2017 Interview with: Krzysztof Czaja VBDI, D.V.M Associate professor of veterinary biosciences and diagnostic imaging College of Veterinary Medicine University of Georgia What is the background for this study? Response: The neural regulation of food intake and satiety in rodents and human are similar. Therefore, rodent model is well established in studying neural regulation in obesity in humans. What are the main findings? Response: We determined that diets rich in sugar, and many “diet products” contain high amount of sugar (sometimes under different names), increase efficiency of accumulation of body and liver fat. We also found that sugar-rich diets change the gut microflora toward overpopulation of enterotoxic bacteria, damaging neural gut-brain communication and disrupting neural regulation of food intake. The implications of our results on human health are very significant because they show that diets rich in sugar changes the brain circuits responsible for food intake and satiety, induces chronic inflammation and symptoms of non-alcoholic liver disease (NALD). (more…)
Author Interviews, Nutrition, Weight Research / 06.04.2017 Interview with: Corrine I. Voils, PhD Research Career Scientist, William S Middleton Veterans Memorial Hospital Professor of Surgery, University of Wisconsin-Madison What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Keeping weight off is hard due to physical and behavioral factors. When people lose weight, their metabolism slows down a bit, making it difficult to keep off the weight. It is also difficult to keep off the weight because people don’t continually engage in behavioral skills such weighing yourself regularly. Our study focused on the behavioral component of weight loss maintenance. After losing an average of 16 pounds initially, the maintenance group regained less than 2 pounds (net weight loss around 14 pounds), whereas the usual care group regained more than 5 pounds (net weight loss less than 11 pounds). (more…)
Author Interviews, Epilepsy, JAMA, Karolinski Institute, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 06.04.2017 Interview with: Neda Razaz-Vandyke, PhD, MPH Postdoctoral Fellow Reproductive Epidemiology Unit Karolinska Institutet What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:   There is a growing concern about long-term neurological effects of prenatal exposure to maternal overweight and obesity. The etiology of epilepsy is poorly understood and in more than 60% of cases no definitive cause can be determined. We found that maternal overweight and obesity increased the risks of childhood epilepsy in a dose-response pattern. (more…)
Author Interviews, Fertility, OBGYNE, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Weight Research / 04.04.2017 Interview with: Alex J. Polotsky, MD Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology University of Colorado Denver Practice homepage What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: It has been well established that profound dietary changes occurred over the past 100 years. The type and amount of fat consumed has changed quite a bit over the course of 20th century. Intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), previously consumed in large quantities by humans from vegetable and fish sources, has dropped significantly. The typical Western diet (sometimes also called the typical American diet) provides an omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio of as high as 25:1, which is quite different from what it used to up until about the 19th century (believed to be about 1:1 ratio). In animal studies, diets enriched with omega-3 PUFA enhance early embryonic development and boost progesterone secretion. Obesity is well known to be associated with decreased progesterone production in women (even if a obese woman ovulates). The reasons for this are not clear. Obesity is also a state of low-grade chronic inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids are well known to have anti-inflammatory properties. We sought to test whether dietary supplementation with omega-3 PUFA favorably affects reproductive hormones in women and whether this effect includes normalization of progesterone production in obesity. All women in the study tolerated supplementation well, and had significantly decreased their omega-6 to omega-3 ratios (they were normalized much closer to a 1:1 ratio). Omega-3 supplementation resulted in a trend for increased progesterone in obese women, thus enhancing ovulatory function. A 16 to 22 percent increase was observed. Additionally, the supplementation resulted in reduced systemic inflammation. (more…)
Author Interviews, Rheumatology, Weight Research / 27.03.2017 Interview with: Elizabeth Badley PhD Professor Emeritus Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto Director: The Arthritis Community Research and Evaluation Unit and Head, Division of Health Care and Outcomes Research Krembil Research Institute Toronto Western Hospital Toronto, Ontario What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The aging of the baby boomer population is focusing attention on the health experience of this sector of the population.  Arthritis is one of the most frequent chronic health problems in the population.  Our research question was to investigate whether the prevalence of arthritis differs between generations (also called birth cohorts) and what might be associated with any differences. Using data collected in a longitudinal Canadian population health survey between 1994 and 2011, we looked at 4 generations: the World War II generation born 1935-1944, older baby boomers born 1945-1954, younger baby boomers born 1955-64, and Generation X born 1965-1974. (more…)
Author Interviews, Nutrition, Pediatrics, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 24.03.2017 Interview with: Brandon Auerbach, MD, MPH Acting Instructor Division of General Internal Medicine University of Washington What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The question of whether 100% fruit juice causes poor health outcomes in children, such as weight gain, has been a subject of controversy. On one hand, 100% fruit juice contains vitamins and nutrients that many children lack, is often cheaper than whole fruit, and may help kids with limited access to healthy food meet their daily fruit requirements. On the other hand, leading nutrition experts have expressed concern that fruit juice contains amounts of sugar equal to or greater than those of sugary drinks like regular soda. Guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics warn that 100% juice can be a significant source of calories and contribute to obesity if consumed excessively. Our main finding was that consuming 1 serving/day of 100% fruit juice was not associated with weight gain in children. Children ages 1 to 6 years gained a small amount of weight, but not enough to negatively impact health. Children ages 7 and older gained no weight. We did not study amounts of 100% fruit juice higher than 1 serving/day. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lifestyle & Health, Weight Research / 23.03.2017 Interview with: Jill Gonzalez WalletHub Analyst What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We based our research on recent findings that suggest that 70 percent of the adult U.S. population is overweight or obese. With that in mind, we wanted to find which metro areas offer the best environments for a healthy and active lifestyle. Based on the report's methodology, we concluded that areas in the south tend to have higher overweight and obese rates, as some fail to offer residents healthy environments and amenities that would facilitate a more active lifestyle. Please find the report's main findings here: (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, UT Southwestern, Weight Research / 13.03.2017 Interview with: Arjun Gupta, MD and Ian J. Neeland MD, Assistant Professor Dedman Family Scholar in Clinical Care Division of Cardiology UT Southwestern Medical Center What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Adiposity is traditionally measured using the body mass index, which refers to a persons weight in kilograms divided by their height (in meters) squared. Persons with higher body mas index have been shown to have increased risk of certain cancers, however body mass index by itself is not a completely representative measure of body fat risk, because distinct fat depots such as visceral adipose tissue, abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue, liver fat and lower body fat have differing metabolic impact. We aimed to study the relationship between specific fat depots and the risk of incident cancer among relatively young, multiethnic participants in the Dallas Heart Study. Individuals without prevalent cancer underwent quantification of adipose depots using MRI and DEXA scans from 2000-2002, and were followed for the development of cancer for up to 12 years. In multivariable models adjusted for age, sex, race, smoking, alcohol use, family history of malignancy and body mass index, visceral adipose tissue, subcutaneous adipose tissue or liver fat were not associated with risk of cancer but each 1-standard deviation increase in lower body fat was associated with a 31% reduced incidence of cancer. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Social Issues, Weight Research / 08.03.2017 Interview with: Professor Don Haider-Markel Chair, Department of Political Science University of Kansas Lawrence, KS 66045 What is the background for this study? Response: We have studied causal attributions for conditions and problems in society for some time. We noticed that public debate over obesity had increased and new policy proposals were being proposed to address what was deemed as a growing public health problem. As the salience of the issue increased so too did partisan views on the topic. Based on these observations, we wanted to explore individual beliefs about the causes, or attributions for, obesity. Existing research and theory suggested that Republicans following a conservative philosophy would be more likely to attribute obesity to personal choices, such as eating habits and lack of exercise—in short, putting the locus of control on individuals. Meanwhile liberal leaning Democrats, with a known predisposition to suggest conditions or problems are outside of the control of the individual, would be more likely to attribute obesity to either genetic or other biological factors, or the broader context of widely available low-cost high-fat food sources. Additionally, we know that individuals tend to make attributions that are self-serving. In other words, people tend to make attributions that put themselves in a positive light. Thus, personal weight should factor into obesity attributions. Here we expected that overweight people would be more likely to make attributions that removed personal blame, such as pointing to a genetic cause. People closer to an ideal weight would, on the other hand, be more likely to attribute weight-level to personal choices. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Cancer Research, Imperial College, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 01.03.2017 Interview with: Dr Maria Kyrgiou MSc, PhD, MRCOG Clinical Senior Lecturer & Consultant in Gynaecologic Oncology IRDB - Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London West London Gynaecological Cancer Centre, Queen Charlotte's & Chelsea-Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Obesity has become a major public health challenge and it's prevalence worldwide has more than doubled amongst women n the last four decadesExcess body weight has been associated with an increased risk of developing and dying from numerous cancers. Although the reported associations may be potentially causal, some of the associations may be flawed due to inherent study biases such as residual confounding and selective reporting of positive results. We included 204 meta-analyses investigating associations between adiposity and the development or death from 36 primary cancers and their sub-types. Adiposity was associated with a higher risk of developing esophageal adenocarcinoma, gastric cardia, colon and rectal cancer in men, biliary tract system, pancreatic, postmenopausal breast among HRT non-users, endometrial, ovarian, and kidney cancer and multiple myeloma. (more…)
Author Interviews, Circadian Rhythm, Nutrition, Sleep Disorders, Weight Research / 01.03.2017 Interview with: Mirkka Maukonen MSc (nutrition), PhD Candidate the National Institute for Health and Welfare, Department of Public Health Solutions Helsinki, Finland What is the background for this study? Response: Recent literature has highlighted the importance of sleep and circadian rhythms in development of obesity and metabolic dysfunctions. Furthermore, it has been suggested that in addition to quality of the diet also meal timing may play role in development of obesity. For example, skipping breakfast and eating at later times in the evening have been associated with higher BMI. However, little is known about how the timing of circadian rhythms (chronotype) affects timing of energy intake and its association with metabolic health. (more…)
Author Interviews, Eating Disorders, Mental Health Research, Weight Research / 24.02.2017 Interview with: Andres M Lozano OC, MD PhD FRCSC FRSC University Professor, University of Toronto Dan Family Professor and Chairman of Neurosurgery RR Tasker Chair in Functional Neurosurgery Canada Research Chair in Neuroscience Toronto Western Hospital Toronto What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We discovered an area of the brain that is overactive in patients with depression and anxiety the subcallosal cingulate area (SCC). As these problems feature prominently in patients with Anorexia, we hypothesized that adjusting thie activity of this brain area with Deep brain stimulation (DBS) could be helpful. Our findings suggest that DBS in anorexia patients is relatively safe, can normalize abnormal brain activity and may help some with severe and resistant symptoms. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, Weight Research / 21.02.2017 Interview with: Prof. Dr. Michael Roden Director, German Diabetes Center (DDZ) Leibniz Center for Diabetes Research at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf Chair/Professor, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf Director, Department of Endocrinology and Diabetology University Hospital Düsseldorf Düsseldorf, Germany What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The prevalence of obesity, type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) continue to increase at an alarming rate. Their occurrence has been associated with intake of saturated fats, for example that of palm oil. This study aimed to shed light on how dietary fat initiates metabolic changes which lead to the aforementioned diseases. To this end we provided 14 young healthy volunteers an oral dose of palm oil or placebo randomly, in a crossover manner, with an 8-week washout period between each intervention. One acute dose of palm oil leads to insulin resistance in the main insulin sensitive tissues of the body: the liver, skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. In the liver, it also results in increased accumulation of triglycerides, increased production of glucose from lipid and amino acid precursors (rather than from glycogen), and increased energy metabolism, as denoted by increased hepatic adenosine triphosphate (ATP) content. Moreover, a similar experiment in mice revealed that one dose of palm oil differentially regulates genes and pathways which are known or suspected regulators of NAFLD, such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS), members of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) family and nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B-cells. (more…)
Author Interviews, Weight Research / 16.02.2017 Interview with: Corrine I. Voils, PhD Research Career Scientist, William S Middleton Veterans Memorial Hospital Visiting Professor of Surgery, University of Wisconsin-Madison What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Weight loss interventions can help people lose weight, but most people tend to regain weight after a weight loss period. There is a need to identify effective strategies to help people maintain weight loss. We found that an intervention focused on maintenance behavioral skills that was delivered primarily by telephone reduced weight regain compared to usual care over 56 weeks. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, JCEM, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 08.02.2017 Interview with: Alfonso Abizaid PhD Department of Neuroscience Carleton University What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Bisphenol A (BPA) is a compound considered to be a potential environmental hazard and an endocrine disruptor. We have found an association between exposure to BPA at levels that are considered safe by Health Canada and the EPA early in life, and the development of obesity. In addition, we found that this propensity to develop obesity is due to under development of the hypothalamic projection field of POMC neurons, a set of neurons that regulate satiety and stimulate metabolic rate. In this paper we replicate those findings and also show that this abnormal development is due to BPA altering the secretion of the hormone leptin at critical times where this hormone is important for the post-natal development of these POMC neurons. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Nutrition, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 07.02.2017 Interview with: Lara Dugas, PhD, MPH, FTOS Public Health Sciences Loyola University Chicago 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 01.02.2017 Interview with: Melissa N. Poulsen, PhD, MPH Postdoctoral Fellow Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Geisinger Center for Health Research 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Coffee, Nutrition, Weight Research / 31.01.2017 Interview with: 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 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Endocrinology, Heart Disease, Lipids, Pharmacology, Weight Research / 30.01.2017 Interview with: Gianluca Iacobellis MD PhD Professor of Clinical Medicine Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Department of Medicine University of Miami, FL 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Metabolic Syndrome, Psychological Science, University of Pennsylvania, Weight Research / 27.01.2017 Interview with: Rebecca L. Pearl PhD Department of Psychiatry, Center for Weight and Eating Disorders Perelman School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, PLoS, Weight Research / 27.01.2017 Interview with: 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 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Exercise - Fitness, Lifestyle & Health, Weight Research / 27.01.2017 Interview with: Arch G. Mainous III, PhD HSRMP Department Chair Florida Blue Endowed Professor of Health Administration University of Florida Health 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Eating Disorders, PLoS, Weight Research / 26.01.2017 Interview with: 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 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Weight Research / 25.01.2017 Interview with: Alan Peaceman, MD Professor and Chief of Maternal Fetal Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 23.01.2017 Interview with: Robin Gelburd, JD President FAIR Health 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Nutrition, Sugar, Weight Research / 23.01.2017 Interview with: Dr. Marta Alegret Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutic Chemistry Pharmacology Section School of Pharmacy and Food Sciences University of Barcelona 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, NIH, Nutrition, Weight Research / 20.01.2017 Interview with: 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 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. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Nutrition, Weight Research / 13.01.2017 Interview with: Nicholas V. DiPatrizio, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences University of California, Riverside School of Medicine Riverside, California, 92521 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lancet, Pediatrics, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 10.01.2017 Interview with: Dr Thomas H. Inge MD University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine Aurora, CO 80045 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. (more…)