If Maternal Grandmother is Obese, So is Grandchild?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Great Grandmother” by David Amsler is licensed under CC BY 2.0Rebecca Somerville MB BCh BAO, BMedSci, MRCPI, MPH, PhD
School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science
University College Dublin
Dublin, Ireland 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Rates of obesity in the Western world have increased dramatically over recent decades. The negative health consequences of obesity are well known and significant amounts of research have been conducted into the causes and possible solutions. While it is clear that there have been massive changes in diet and physical activity at a societal level that are primarily responsible for this ‘obesity epidemic’, it is less clear the extent to which obesity, once established, or risk factors for same, can be perpetuated down generations. Family studies lend opportunity to explore these questions, however there are few world wide which incorporate 3 generations.

We therefore sought to examine patterns of central adiposity, as measured by waist circumference, between grandparents and their grandchildren, separately in maternal and paternal lines. We were able to utilize prospectively collected data from the Lifeways Cross-Generation Cohort Study. This is a longitudinal birth cohort, established in Ireland in 2001, involving up to 7 members of the same family (mother, father, child and 4 grandparents). In the 589 families where a child had a waist circumference measurement we found that, at the age of both 5 and 9, there was a direct relationship between the waist circumference of the maternal grandmother and her grandchild (both male and female). This remained after adjustment for a wide range of confounding variables including mother’s waist circumference. There was no relationship seen with any of the other grandparents.

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Obese Children Who Lose Weight Before Adulthood Can Reduce Risk of Diabetes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Lise Geisler Bjerregaard PhD

Dr. Geisler Bjerregaard

Lise Geisler Bjerregaard PhD
Postdoc, PhD, M.Sc. Public Health
Center for Klinisk Forskning og Sygdomsforebyggelse/ Center for Clinical Research and Disease Prevention
Sektion for Klinisk Epidemiologi
Frederiksberg Hospital, Frederiksberg

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Being overweight in childhood and early adulthood is associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in adulthood. We wanted to know whether or not remission of overweight before early adulthood can reduce the risks of type 2 diabetes later in life.

We studied the associations between different combinations of weight status in childhood, adolescence and early adulthood, and later development of type 2 diabetes.

We found that men who had been overweight at 7 years of age but normalised weight by age 13 years and were normal weight as young men had similar risks of type 2 diabetes as men who were never overweight. Men who normalised weight between age 13 years and early adulthood had increased risks of type 2 diabetes, but lower risks than men who were overweight at all ages.  Continue reading

Frequent Take-Out Food Linked To Increased Cholesterol and Obesity in Children

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Angela S Donin Population Health Research Institute, St George’s University of London, London, UK

Dr. Donin

Dr. Angela S Donin
Population Health Research InstituteSt George’s
University of London
London, UK 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: There are increasing numbers of takeaway outlets, particularly in deprived neighbourhoods. This is driving an increase in consumption of takeaway meals, which previous evidence has shown is linked to higher risks of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. Little is known about the dietary and health impact of high consumption of takeaway foods in children.

This research found children who regularly ate takeaway meals had higher body fat and cholesterol compared to children who rarely ate take away meals, they also had overall poorer diet quality.

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Parents Encouraged To Keep Screen Devices Out Of Kids’ Bedrooms At Night

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Video Game Addicts” by Michael Bentley is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr. Marsha Novick, MD

Associate professor of pediatrics and family and community medicine,
Penn State College of Medicine 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The results of this study solidify some well-established data concerning childhood obesity – namely that children who watch more television and have a more sedentary lifestyle are more likely to have an overweight or obese BMI compared with those who are more active. The survey results highlight some associations between increased technology use and difficulty with sleep quantity in children and adolescents.

The data suggest:

  • ​​Increased technology use at bedtime, namely television, cell phones, video games and computers, is associated with a decrease in the amount of sleep children are getting. These children were more likely to be tired in the morning and less likely to eat breakfast.
  • Specifically, children who reported watching TV or playing video games before bed got an average of 30 minutes less sleep than those who did not, while kids who used their phone or a computer before bed averaged an hour less of sleep than those who did not.
  • The data also suggests that children with overweight or obesity were more likely to have trouble falling asleep and trouble staying asleep than their normal BMI counterparts
  • When children were reported by their parents to use one form of technology at bedtime, they were more likely to use another form of technology as well.

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Up To Certain Number of Hours, Maternal Employment Is Beneficial For Children’s Body Weight

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Jianghong Li, Senior Research Fellow WZB Berlin Social Science Center Berlin, Germany Telethon KIDS Institute, The University of Western Australia West Perth, Western Australia

Dr. Li

Dr. Jianghong Li, Senior Research Fellow
WZB Berlin Social Science Center
Berlin, Germany
Telethon KIDS Institute, The University of Western Australia
West Perth, Western Australia

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Over the last three to four decades, the prevalence of child overweight/obesity and maternal employment has both increased worldwide. This co-occurrence has drawn much attention to the connection between these two trends. Previous studies, predominantly based on US samples and cross-sectional data, has linked longer working hours to children’s higher body mass index (BMI), suggesting that any maternal employment was a risk for child health.

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Father’s Involvement In Childrearing Important In Reducing Pediatric Obesity

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Michelle S. Wong PhD Department of Health Policy and Management Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Baltimore, Maryland

Dr. Wong

Michelle S. Wong PhD
Department of Health Policy and Management
Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
Baltimore, Maryland
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: As background, there haven’t been many studies on how fathers might influence overweight or obesity in their children.

Unsurprisingly most of the research has focused on
the mothers’ influence. Existing studies on fathers have focused on the relationship between their parenting practices (e.g., discipline), as well as feeding and physical activity behaviors, with child overweight or obesity. A few studies found that some father feeding practices were related to higher child BMI, but we don’t know whether fathers’ general caregiving matters.

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Active Video Games: Mixed Benefit In Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Aidan Gribbon M.Sc., CSEP-CEP
From the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group
Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Response: The background for the study is that sedentary pursuits, such as video games, are omni-present in the daily lives of adolescents. Manufacturers of active video games (AVG) have been marketing them as a ‘healthy’ alternative to seated video games, with the possibility of preventing/treating obesity in this age group. Although, active video games have been shown to acutely increase energy expenditure over their seated counterparts, no study has examined their compensatory adjustments in energy expenditure or energy intake.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?

Response: The main finding of this paper was that although active video games are not associated with an increased food intake, they are compensated for by a decrease in physical activity such that their benefit of a reduction in the energy gap underlying weight gain is offset within 24 hours.

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Childhood Obesity Presents Opportunities and Challenges

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Rebecca Jones, MSPH
Nutrition and Health Sciences Program
Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Emory University

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Obesity in children is associated with a wide range of conditions later in life including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Even prior to adulthood, children can be affected by a host of non-communicable diseases which are affected by weight status of the child. With an increase in children who are overweight or obese globally, Dr. Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization, announced a new initiative to combat childhood obesity at the 2014 World Health Assembly. Within childhood obesity the pre-school (under age 5) years are a critical period for prevention due the association of adiposity rebound and obesity in later years as well as the early establishment of taste preferences and attitudes around healthy eating habits. Recent evaluation of incident obesity in the United States has demonstrated a component of the course to obesity is already established by the age of five years.

Our main finding is the necessity for better surveillance and comparability of weight status, particularly overweight and obesity, in children under five across countries in the European region. 60% of countries within the region have some form of published data on this particular population however they vary based on level of national representation, cut-off criteria, age and gender. All these different factors can significantly change the prevalence estimates making it very difficult to ascertain the full nature of the problem. Based on the data which was available the European Region has reason for concern about overweight and obesity in young children.

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Childhood Obesity Common In Both New York and Shanghai

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
May May Leung Ph.D.

Hunter College School of Urban Public Health,
City University of New York School of Public Health
New York, NY

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Leung: Shanghai and New York City are two urban centers that play a key role in the global economy. However, both cities are facing elevated rates and inequitable distributions of childhood obesity. Given the role that obesity plays in the etiology of chronic diseases, this epidemic calls for interurban learning to better understand some of its diet-related determinants. In turn, this paper attempts to explore how culture, history and politics have influenced the rates and distributions of childhood obesity in Shanghai and New York City, to inform public health officials as to what approaches could be taken to address the epidemic in ‘world cities’.

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Pre-pregnancy BMI And Gestational Weight Gain Linked To Childhood Obesity

Elizabeth M. Widen, PhD, RD Postdoctoral Fellow in the Institute of Human Nutrition & Department of Epidemiology Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health New York, NY 10032MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Elizabeth M. Widen, PhD, RD
Postdoctoral Fellow in the Institute of Human Nutrition & Department of Epidemiology
Columbia University
Mailman School of Public Health
New York, NY 10032

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Widen: The Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health Mothers and Newborns Study was started in 1998 and is based in Northern Manhattan and the South Bronx. Pregnant African American and Dominican mothers were enrolled from 1998 to 2006, and mothers and their children have been followed since this time. Pregnancy weight gain and childhood size and body fat was measured, allowing us to examine the role of nutrition in pregnancy on long-term childhood health. We found that high pregnancy weight gain, above the Institute of Medicine 2009 guidelines, was associated with higher body fat and a 300% increased risk of childhood obesity at age seven. Prepregnancy body mass index (BMI) was also positively associated with childhood body fat and obesity. These findings suggest that prepregnancy BMI and pregnancy weight gain have long-term implications for weight-related health in children.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Widen: We encourage pregnant women and women planning pregnancy to talk to their health care provider about the recommended guidelines for pregnancy weight gain and strategies to gain within the guidelines. We encourage clinicians to talk to their patients about the recommended guidelines and how gaining too much weight in pregnancy can have long-term implications for childhood body weight and health.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Widen:: We found that high pregnancy weight gain was associated with childhood obesity and higher body fat. Given that women with the same amount of total weight gain may have a different pattern of weight gain across pregnancy, future studies should examine the role of the pattern of weight gain in childhood health. Future research is also needed to determine how to support women to gain within the guidelines, which is important for maternal and child health.

Citation:

Gestational weight gain and obesity, adiposity and body size in African–American and Dominican children in the Bronx and Northern Manhattan. Elizabeth M. Widen, Robin M. Whyatt, Lori A. Hoepner, Noel T. Mueller, Judyth Ramirez-Carvey, Sharon E. Oberfield, Abeer Hassoun, Frederica P. Perera, Dympna Gallagher and Andrew G. Rundle. Maternal & Child Nutrition 2015, published ahead of print March 5, 2015, doi: 10.1111/mcn.12174.

 

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elizabeth M. Widen, PhD, RD (2015). Pre-pregnancy BMI And Gestational Weight Gain Linked To Childhood Obesity 

Obese Adolescents May Have Heightened Vulnerability To Food Commercials

Dr. Sonja Yokum Ph.D. Oregon Research Institute Eugene Oregon, 97403MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Sonja Yokum Ph.D.
Oregon Research Institute
Eugene Oregon, 97403

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Yokum: We found that adolescents showing elevated responses in reward regions to food commercials gained more weight over 1-year follow-up compared to those with less activation in these brain regions. This suggests that there are individual differences in neural vulnerability to food commercials that appear to identify youth at risk for excess weight gain.
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Obesity in Early Childhood Linked to Weight Gain in Pregnancy

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Sneha Sridhar, MPH
Kaiser Permanente, Division of Research
2000 Broadway, 3rd Floor
Oakland, CA  94612

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?
 
Answer: We found that women whose weight gain during pregnancy exceeded the current Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommendations were 46% more likely to have an overweight or obese child at ages 2-5, compared to women who met the recommendations. The association was stronger among women who were of normal weight before pregnancy. These normal weight women were more likely to have an overweight or obese child if they gained either below or above the IOM recommendations.
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Infant Feeding: Racial and Ethnic Differences Require Culturally-Tailored Counseling

Dr. Eliana M. Perrin, MD, MPH Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, and Director, Office of Research Development University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill  and Associate Professor Department of Pediatrics, Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Medicine Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7225MedicalResearch.com Interview Invitation with:
Dr. Eliana M. Perrin, MD, MPH
Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, and Director, Office of Research Development
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill  and
Associate Professor
Department of Pediatrics, Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Medicine
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7225

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Perrin: The study included a large, diverse sample of 863 low-income parents of two-month-olds participating in Greenlight, an obesity prevention trial taking place at four medical centers: UNC, New York University, Vanderbilt University and the University of Miami.  Among all of the parents, behaviors that are thought to be related to later obesity were highly prevalent. Exclusive formula feeding was more than twice as common (45 percent) as exclusive breastfeeding (19 percent). Twelve percent had already introduced solid food, 43 percent put infants to bed with bottles, 23 percent propped bottles instead of holding the bottle by hand (which can result in overfeeding), 20 percent always fed when the infant cried, and 38 percent always tried to get their children to finish their milk.  In addition, 90 percent of the infants were exposed to television and 50 percent actively watched TV (meaning parents put their children in front of the television in order to watch).  There were differences in these behaviors by race and ethnicity, and study results show that culturally-tailored counseling should be offered to parents of different backgrounds who may feed and play with their children differently.

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