Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, PLoS, Weight Research / 16.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49782" align="alignleft" width="183"]Henry J. Nuss, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Public Health New Orleans, LA Dr. Nuss[/caption] Henry J. Nuss, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Public Health New Orleans, LA  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Childhood obesity rates in the U.S. have been increasing within the past 30 years. We can point to things like sedentary lifestyle, energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods and savvy marketing techniques of large food corporations that target kids and their parents to buy food items that aren’t healthy. That said, we do know that women who have an unhealthy weight status (as measured by BMI ≥ 25) tend to have offspring that eventually attain an unhealthy weight status themselves. Aside from environmental factors, could this be due to maternal programming or perhaps something in the breastmilk? Or both? We saw some interesting research that showed breastfed infants/toddlers born to asthmatic moms were more likely to develop asthma. Furthermore, this association became stronger the longer the infants/toddlers were breastfed. The conclusion here is that it must be something in the breastmilk. We knew that asthma and obesity are both inflammatory in nature and that there are specific pro- and anti-inflammatory and obesogenic bioactive compounds in human breastmilk. Some have been studied before but there were no studies at the time that tied all of the pieces together. If we could target specific compounds in the milk that were associated with unhealthy growth patterns in infants then we could perhaps be more specific in how we fight this problem.
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Lifestyle & Health, Weight Research / 16.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: sneakers-walkingFrancesco Zaccardi, MD, PhD Clinical Epidemiologist Assistant Director Leicester Real World Evidence Unit Leicester Diabetes Centre UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The role of excess body weight on mortality has been extensively investigated during the last decades. Studies from several countries have also shown, however, that the risk of death in persons who are overweight or obese is lower if their fitness, a parameter indicating cardio-pulmonary health, is higher. Most of these studies reported the beneficial effect of fitness in terms of relative risk reduction, for example 20% reduction of risk of death. Relative estimates, though, are difficult to interpret.
Alcohol, Author Interviews, JAMA, Weight Research / 12.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alice R Carter MSc Doctor of Philosophy Student MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit Population Health Science, Bristol Medical School University of Bristol MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Higher body mass index and alcohol intake have been shown to increase the risk of liver disease. Some studies have looked at their combined effect by comparing the risk of liver disease between individuals with both high BMI and high alcohol intake and individuals with low BMI and low alcohol intake. However, these studies have produced mixed results. Some possible reasons for that are errors in self-reported BMI and alcohol intake, other factors confounding the association of BMI & alcohol intake with liver disease risk and changes in lifestyle that individuals with ill health may have been advised to adopt. One way to overcome these limitations is to use a technique called Mendelian randomisation. This method uses genetic differences between individuals that influence their characteristics (e.g. their body mass and how much alcohol they drink) to help understand whether these characteristics are causally related to diseases. Our study used this method to explore the joint effects of BMI and alcohol consumption on liver disease and biomarkers of liver injury. 
Aging, Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Gender Differences / 22.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47073" align="alignleft" width="200"]Lloyd Brandts PhD Candidate Maastricht University Maastricht, the Netherlands Lloyd Brandts[/caption] Lloyd Brandts PhD Candidate Maastricht University Maastricht, the Netherlands MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Although the number of people who reached old age has increased over the past few decades, in some developing countries it has been observed that the increase in life expectancy started to plateau. One commonly used argument to explain this plateauing is the growing number of obese and physically inactive individuals. Therefore, we assessed whether there is an association between these factors and the chance of reaching the age of 90 years.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Weight Research / 28.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46733" align="alignleft" width="120"]Farhad Islami, MD PhD Scientific Director, Surveillance Research American Cancer Society, Inc. Atlanta, GA 30303 Dr. Islami[/caption] Farhad Islami, MD PhD Scientific Director, Surveillance Research American Cancer Society, Inc. Atlanta, GA 30303 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Despite variations in excess body weight (EBW) prevalence among states in the United States, there was little information on the proportion of incident cancers attributable to EBW (or population attributable fraction, PAF) by state. This information would be useful to help states set priorities for cancer control initiatives. In this paper, we estimated the PAF and number of incident cancer cases attributable to EBW by sex in all 50 states and the District of Columbia using representative exposure and cancer occurrence data. To provide more accurate estimates, we adjusted state-level data on body mass index (BMI) based on self-reported weight and height from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System by sex, age group, race/ethnicity, and education level (162 strata) using BMI values from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a nationally representative survey with objectively-measured height and weight.
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JAMA, Weight Research / 06.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46432" align="alignleft" width="200"]Neil M. Iyengar, MD Breast Medicine Service Department of Medicine Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Evelyn H. Lauder Breast And Imaging Center New York, NY Dr. Neil Iyengar[/caption] Neil M. Iyengar, MD Breast Medicine Service Department of Medicine Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Evelyn H. Lauder Breast And Imaging Center New York, NY  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Obesity is one of the leading modifiable risk factors for the development of hormone receptor positive breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Traditionally, physicians use a person's body mass index (weight in kilograms divided by height in squared meters, kg/m2) to estimate body fat levels. A BMI of 30 or greater is considered to be obese, and this level of BMI increases the risk of at least 13 different cancers. However, BMI is a crude measure of body fat and can be inaccurate. For example, some normal weight individuals (BMI less than 25) have obesity-related problems like diabetes and high blood pressure. Before our study, it was unknown whether high body fat levels in normal weight women contributes to obesity-related cancers such as breast cancer.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Colon Cancer, JAMA, Weight Research / 15.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45267" align="alignleft" width="180"]Stuart Po-Hong Liu, MD, MPH Dr. Po-Hong Liu[/caption] Stuart Po-Hong Liu, MD, MPH Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School Boston MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Although there were global decreases in overall colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence, CRC rates have increased dramatically in those aged 20 to 49 years in the United States, parts of Europe, and Asia. The etiology and early detection of young-onset becomes an emerging research and clinical priority. Another important fact that is that this emerging public health concern has resulted in updated guidelines from the American Cancer Society advising average-risk screening begin at age 45, rather than 50. However, up to this point, the etiology of young onset CRC remains largely unknown. Elucidating the role of traditional CRC risk factors in the etiopathogenesis of young-onset CRC is one of the first research agenda.
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 08.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_43767" align="alignleft" width="101"]Shari Barkin, MD, MSHS William K. Warren Foundation Endowed Chair Professor of Pediatrics Division Chief of Academic General Pediatrics Director of Pediatric Obesity Research Vanderbilt University Medical Center Dr. Barkin[/caption] Shari Barkin, MD, MSHS William K. Warren Foundation Endowed Chair Professor of Pediatrics Division Chief of Academic General Pediatrics Director of Pediatric Obesity Research Vanderbilt University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Obesity often begins in childhood and disproportionately affects some populations, including underserved children. Given the challenges associated with achieving effective obesity treatment, the focus needs to be on prevention and needs to start early. Barkin et al conducted the longest behavioral intervention obesity prevention trial with 610 underserved parent-preschool child pairs, testing a three-year pragmatic approach that focused on families based in the communities in which they lived, and partnering with both Metro Parks and Recreation and the Nashville Public Library Foundation. Eligible children were high normal weight or overweight but not obese and lived in neighborhoods with access to neighborhood built environments that included parks and recreation and library branches. 
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Gender Differences, Medical Imaging, Weight Research / 22.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_38089" align="alignleft" width="161"]Miriam Bredella, MD Associate Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School Department of Radiology Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, MA 02114 Dr. Bredella[/caption] Miriam Bredella, MD Associate Professor of Radiology Harvard Medical School Department of Radiology Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, MA 02114 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: It is well known that body composition differs between men and women, with women having proportionally more fat and men more muscle mass. But not the amount of fat but its distribution is an important determinant of cardiometabolic risk, with certain ectopic fat depots, such as visceral adipose tissue, fat within muscle cells - intramyocellular (IMCL), and liver fat, being more detrimental than others, such as femorogluteal subcutaneous adipose tissue. We therefore wanted to study sex differences in body composition and cardiometabolic risk in men and women with obesity. We found that at the same BMI, men had relatively higher visceral adipose tissue, IMCL, liver fat, muscle and lean mass, while women higher percent fat mass and higher subcutaneous adipose tissue. This female anthropometric phenotype was associated with a better cardiometabolic risk profile at similar BMI compared to men. However, ectopic fat depots were more strongly associated with adverse cardiometabolic risk factors in women compared to men
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Weight Research / 15.09.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_28464" align="alignleft" width="125"]Dr Nita Forouhi, MRCP, PhD, FFPHM Programme Leader MRC Epidemiology Unit University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine Institute of Metabolic Science Cambridge Biomedical Campus Dr Nita Forouhi[/caption] Dr Nita Forouhi, MRCP, PhD, FFPHM Programme Lead & Consultant Public Health Physician MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine Institute of Metabolic Science Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Past research has shown a beneficial link between some dairy products and risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but the mechanisms are not well understood. Body composition (total fat and lean mass) has been suggested as one pathway for the link, but the distribution of body fat and lean mass in relation to dairy consumption is not well studied. Based on this research gap, we aimed to investigate associations between types of dairy consumption and markers of body fat and lean mass distribution including: peripheral fat, the ratio of visceral (fat that surrounds the body organs) to abdominal subcutaneous fat (fat that accumulates under the skin) and appendicular lean mass (i.e., in the limbs).
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, Weight Research / 12.05.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Margaret Ashwell OBE, FAfN, RNutr (Public Health) Ashwell Associates Ashwell, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom. Visiting Research Fellow, Oxford Brookes University

MedicalResearch: What are the main findings from this study?

Dr. Ashwell: In this study, the authors explore the differences in CVD risk factors between overweight and non-overweight people (by BMI) according to their shape (waist-to-height ratio -WHtR) Data for their analysis was taken from the Health Survey for England 2009 (HSE). They found significant differences in levels of total cholesterol (TC) and glycat­ed haemoglobin (HbA1c—a measure of blood sugar control used to diagnose diabetes). Out of 2917 people aged 16 years and over, 346 classified as ‘normal’ by BMI, have WHtR exceeding 0.5 (12% of the total,sample, or 34% of normal weight people). These could be called non-overweight ‘apples’, who have a lot of fat around the waist but not a high BMI. The researchers classified the HSE population into four groups (2×2) using standard boundary values of BMI (above or below 25kg/m2) and WHtR (above or below 0.5). The group with ‘low/normal BMI but high WHtR (non-overweight ‘ap­ples’) had significantly higher mean TC than the group with high BMI but low WHtR (overweight ‘pears’—people with a higher than normal BMI but less fat around the waist): 5.73mmol/L vs. 4.98mmol/L. Similarly, HbA1c levels were higher among non-over­weight ‘apples’ than among overweight ‘pears’ (5.62% vs. 5.33%). These differences were similar and also significant in both sexes.

MedicalResearch: Why do you say that piece so string can be used for primary screening?

Dr. Ashwell: Since a good boundary value for waist-to-height ratio is 0.5, you don't even need a tape measure to screen those at risk. It can be done with a piece of string. Measure the height of child with string, fold it in half and see if it fits around his/her waist.   If it doesn't, that child should proceed to the next stage of screening.
Author Interviews, PLoS, Smoking, Weight Research / 05.12.2014

Marcus Munafò PhD Professor of Biological Psychology MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies School of Experimental Psychology University of Bristol United KingdomMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marcus Munafò PhD Professor of Biological Psychology MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies School of Experimental Psychology University of Bristol United Kingdom Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Munafo: We were conducting an analysis of data on smoking behaviour and body mass index (BMI), in order to better understand the potential causal effects of smoking on different measures of adiposity. Mendelian randomisation uses genetic variants associated with the exposure of interest (in this case smoking) as proxies for the exposure, in order to reduce the risk of spurious associations arising from confounding or reverse causality. As expected, we found that, among current smokers, a genetic variant associated with heavier smoking was associated with lower BMI, providing good evidence that smoking reduces BMI. However, we also unexpectedly found that the same variant was associated with higher BMI in never smokers. This suggests that this variant might be influencing BMI via pathways other than smoking.
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome, Weight Research / 12.11.2014

Gang Hu, MD, MPH, PhD, FAHA Assistant professor & Director, Chronic Disease Epidemiology Lab Adjunct assistant professor, School of Public Health, LSU Health Sciences Center Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LouisianaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gang Hu, MD, MPH, PhD, FAHA Assistant professor & Director Chronic Disease Epidemiology Lab Adjunct assistant professor, School of Public Health LSU Health Sciences Center Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Hu: Many previous studies had small samples, and thus lacked adequate statistical power when the analysis was focused on those who are extremely obese (BMI ≥40 kg/m2). In addition, most epidemiological studies only use a single measurement of BMI at baseline to predict risk of all-cause mortality, which may produce potential bias. The current study indicated a U-shaped association of BMI with all-cause mortality risk among African American and white patients with type 2 diabetes. A significantly increased risk of all-cause mortality was observed among African Americans with BMI<30 kg/m2 and BMI ≥35 kg/m2, and among whites with BMI<25 kg/m2 and BMI ≥40 kg/m2 compared with patients with BMI 30-34.9 kg/m2.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Weight Research / 16.06.2014

Gerard Ngueta Population Health and Optimal Health Practices Research Unit, CHU de Québec Research Centre, Québec Québec, CanadaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gerard Ngueta Population Health and Optimal Health Practices Research Unit, CHU de Québec Research Centre, Québec Québec, Canada MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: The main findings of our study are as follows : 1- Contrary to body mass index (BMI), the waist circumference alone (which indicate central obesity or fat distribution) is not associated with cardiometabolic factors under study (i.e., insulin, triglycerides, systolic blood pressure and high-density lipoproteins levels). Thus, the apparent association –as found in previous studies- appears to be mediated through overall obesity (i.e., BMI). In the other words, the association observed in the previous studies between waist circumference and the cardiometabolic risk factors cited above could be mainly due to the strong correlation between waist circumference and BMI. 2- It is possible to estimate the independent contribution of overall fat and central fat on cardiometabolic risk factors by applying the residual model as previously suggested by Willet and Stampfer.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Genetic Research, Medical Research Centers, Nutrition, Weight Research / 19.03.2014

Prof. Lu Qi, Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition Harvard School of Public Health and Channing Division of Network Medicine Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MAMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Lu Qi, Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition Harvard School of Public Health and Channing Division of Network Medicine Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Lu Qi: In this study, we for the first time provide reproducible evidence from three large cohort studies to show that the association between regular consumption of fried foods and higher BMI was particularly pronounced among people with a greater genetic predisposition to obesity. On the other hand, the adverse genetic effects on BMI were also amplified by consuming more fried foods, the effects among those who ate fried foods more than four times a week was about twice as large compared with those who ate them less than once a week.
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Diabetes, Genetic Research, University of Pennsylvania / 05.03.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brendan Keating D.Phil Assistant Professor, Dept of Pediatrics and Surgery, University of Pennsylvania Lead Clinical Data Analyst, Center for Applied Genomics Children's Hospital of Philadelphia,Brendan Keating D.Phil Assistant Professor, Dept of Pediatrics and Surgery, University of Pennsylvania Lead Clinical Data Analyst, Center for Applied Genomics Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Michael V. Holmes, MD, PhD, MSc, BSc, MRCP Transplant Surgery Department of Surgery, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USAMichael V. Holmes, MD, PhD, MSc, BSc, MRCP Transplant Surgery Department of Surgery, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: We found that individuals with a genetically-elevated BMI had higher blood pressure, inflammatory markers, metabolic markers and a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, although there was little correlation with coronary heart disease in this study population of over 34,500 European-descent individuals of whom over 6,000 had coronary heart disease.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Hearing Loss, Medical Research Centers, Vitamin D, Weight Research / 22.10.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sharon Curhan, MD, ScM Channing Division of Network Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02115 MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Curhan: The main findings of our study are that higher body mass index and larger waist circumference are associated with an increased risk of acquired hearing loss, and higher level of physical activity is associated with a decreased risk of acquired hearing loss in women. Specifically, after adjusting for potential confounders, compared with women with BMI <25 kg/m2, the relative risk for hearing loss was 25% higher for women with BMI >40. Compared with women with waist circumference <71 cm, the relative risk for hearing loss was 27% higher for women with waist circumference >88 cm. Higher physical activity was inversely related to risk; compared with women in the lowest quintile of physical activity, women in the highest quintile of physical activity had a 17% lower risk of hearing loss. Walking, the most common form of physical activity among these women, was associated with a lower risk; women who walked 2 hours per week or more had a 15% lower risk of hearing loss than women who walked less than one hour per week. These findings provide evidence that maintaining healthy weight and staying physically active, potentially modifiable lifestyle factors, may help reduce the risk of hearing loss.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Weight Research / 03.09.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Søren Skøtt Andersen and Dr Michelle Schmiegelow Study done in collaboration between Roskilde University Hospital and Gentofte University Hospital in Denmark. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: The main finding of this study of young women was that a body mass index above or equal to 25 kg/m2 in metabolically healthy women was not associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events (myocardial infarction or ischemic stroke) within 5 years of follow-up. A BMI >= 25 kg/m2 in women with any metabolic disorder was associated with a 4-fold significant increased risk of the end-point. As increasing BMI is strongly associated with risk of developing metabolic disorders, the key message of this study is to stress the importance of preventing the development of metabolic disorders in overweight/obese women during this possible "window of opportunity".