Midlife Weight Gain Raises Risks of Chronic Disease and Premature Death

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Yan Zheng Research Fellow, Department of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthYan Zheng
Research Fellow, Department of Nutrition
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

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

Response: Most people gain weight cumulatively during young and middle adulthood. Because the amount of weight gain per year may be relatively small, it may go unnoticed by individuals and their doctors—but the cumulative weight gain during adulthood may eventually lead to obesity over time. Compared to studies of attained body weight or BMI, the investigation of weight change may better capture the effect of excess body fat because it factors in individual differences in frame size and lean mass.

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Obesity Paradox: Overweight and Mildly Obese Stroke Patients Have Better Prognosis

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Hugo J. Aparicio, MD, MPH Assistant Professor Vascular Neurology, Department of Neurology Investigator, The Framingham Heart Study www.framinghamheartstudy.org Boston University School of Medicine Boston, MA 02118-2526

Dr. Aparicio

Hugo J. Aparicio, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor
Vascular Neurology, Department of Neurology
Investigator, The Framingham Heart Study
www.framinghamheartstudy.org
Boston University School of Medicine
Boston, MA 02118-2526

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

Response: The association of body weight with survival after stroke has been studied before and is a controversial topic. Results have varied between studies and have often been contradictory. The observational findings that carrying extra weight can be protective after having a disease, like stroke or heart attack, has been called an obesity paradox, since obesity in itself is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and mortality in the general population. Stroke research has focused on hospitalized stroke patients with weight measured at the time of the stroke. BMI is often missing in this group of patients, especially when a stroke is severe or the patients cannot report their weight. In the FHS we have data regarding weight prior to stroke, obtained during regularly scheduled research exams, with multiple data points on body weight and vascular risk factors over time. All before the stroke occurs. And have also compared survival outcomes with a group of control participants, those without stroke, to see if the so-called ‘obesity paradox’ is a non-specific finding seen in older adults or seen specifically in stroke patients.

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Artificial Sweeteners May Be Bad For Your Waistline and Your Heart

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Azad

Dr. Azad

Meghan Azad PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics & Child Health and Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba; Associate Investigator, Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study
Research Scientist, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba; co-Lead, Population Health Pillar, Developmental Origins of Chronic Diseases in Children Network

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

Response: Consumption of artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, sucralose and stevia, is widespread and increasing.  Emerging data indicate that artificial, or non-nutritive, sweeteners may have negative effects on metabolism, gut bacteria and appetite, although the evidence is conflicting.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: We conducted a systematic review of 37 studies that collectively followed over 400,000 people for an average of 10 years.

Only 7 of these studies were randomized clinical trials (the gold standard in clinical research), involving 1003 people followed for 6 months on average. The trials did not show a consistent effect of artificial sweeteners on weight loss, and the longer observational studies showed a link between consumption of artificial sweeteners and relatively higher risks of weight gain and obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and other health issues.

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Your Dusty House May Be Making You Fat

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Heather M. Stapleton PhD Dan and Bunny Gabel Associate Professor of Environmental Ethics and Sustainable Environmental Management EEH Program Chair Nicholas School of the Environment Duke University Durham, North Carolina 27708

Dr. Stapleton

Heather M. Stapleton PhD
Dan and Bunny Gabel Associate Professor of Environmental Ethics and Sustainable Environmental Management
EEH Program Chair
Nicholas School of the Environment
Duke University
Durham, North Carolina 27708

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

Response: Building materials and products common to most homes (e.g. furniture, TVs, carpets, etc) are often treated with synthetic chemicals, which migrate out of the products over time and accumulate in house dust, where residents can be exposed to these chemicals on a daily basis.

This study assessed approximately forty chemicals commonly detected and measured in house dust samples for their ability to stimulate the development of fat cells, using a mouse precursor fat cell model. Approximately two thirds of these chemicals were able to promote lipid accumulation by these cells and/or stimulate the proliferation of the precursor fat cells. We then assessed eleven extracts of indoor house dust samples (containing mixtures of these chemicals) and exposed our cells to these extracts, finding that even low levels of these extracts were sufficient to promote the accumulation of lipids and/or the proliferation of the fat precursor cells.

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USPSTF Recommends Children and Adolescents Be Screened For Obesity

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

David C. Grossman, M.D., M.P.H. US Preventive Services Task Force Chair Senior Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute Senior Associate Medical Director, Market Strategy & Public Policy Kaiser Permanente Washington Physician, Washington Permanente Medical Group, Pediatrics

Dr. Grossman

David C. Grossman, M.D., M.P.H.
US Preventive Services Task Force Chair
Senior Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute
Senior Associate Medical Director, Market Strategy & Public Policy
Kaiser Permanente Washington
Physician, Washington Permanente Medical Group, Pediatrics

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

Response: Recognizing that obesity is a nation-wide health problem, affecting approximately 17% of 2-to 19-year-old children and adolescents in the U.S., the Task Force finalized its recommendation on screening for obesity in children and adolescents and the benefits and harms of weight management interventions. The Task Force found sufficient evidence to recommend screening for obesity in children and adolescents age 6 years and older and then offering or referring those who are found to be obese comprehensive, intensive behavioral interventions to manage their weight and improve overall health.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the potential benefits and harms of early screening and intervention for obesity in children?

Response: The Task Force found that intensive behavioral interventions for children and adolescents who have obesity can result in benefits of improvement in weight status for up to 12 months’ post-intervention. Additionally, the evidence indicated very little harm from screening and comprehensive, intensive behavioral interventions. This is due to likely minimal harms of using BMI (body mass index), the absence of reported harms of behavioral interventions, and the noninvasive nature of the programs.

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Maternal Obesity Linked To Increased Risk of Congenital Malformations in Offspring

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Martina Persson

Clinical Epidemiology Unit
Department of Medicine Solna
Karolinska University Hospita

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

Response: It is well known that obesity increases risks of several maternal, fetal and neonatal complications including congenital malformations. However, it has not been clear if risks of malformations are increased also in offspring of normal weight mothers or if risks increase with degree of maternal obesity.

In this study, we found progressively increasing risks of major congenital malformations in the offspring with a mother’s overweight and obesity severity.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The most sensitive period of fetal organ development is the first eight weeks of gestation and it is during this time a mother´s BMI may influence risks of malformations. Thus, it is important to try to obtain a normal bodyweight before conception.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Our results should be confirmed in other populations and mechanisms behind the increased risks of malformations associated with maternal obesity should be further explored.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Obesity is a major health problem in many countries in the world. Preventive measures to halt the obesity epidemic should be implemented at all levels of society.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Prebiotics May Help Limit Obesity In Childhood

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Raylene Reimer, PhD, RD Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology University of Calgary Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Cumming School of Medicine Full Scientist Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute

Dr. Reimer

Raylene Reimer, PhD, RD
Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology
University of Calgary Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Cumming School of Medicine Full Scientist
Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute

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

Response: The human gut microbiota is a complex and dynamic population of microorganisms that benefit the human host through a variety of microbial activities (e.g. production of vitamins, immune regulation, utilization of dietary fiber). Despite these benefits however, it is now recognized that disruption of the microbiota (dysbiosis) can upset homeostasis and contribute to diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. Manipulation of the gut microbiota to prevent or treat chronic disease is now an area of intense scientific and clinical interest. Dietary prebiotics, such as inulin and oligofructose, are used selectively by host microorganisms to confer a health benefit. Prebiotics have previously been shown to reduce body fat, improve appetite control and reduce blood glucose in adults with overweight or obesity.

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Comparative Effectiveness of Childhood Obesity Interventions

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Elsie M. Taveras, MD, MPH Ofer and Shelly Nemirovsky MGH Research Scholar Chief, Division of General Academic Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics Mass General Hospital for Children Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, MA

Dr. Taveras

Elsie M. Taveras, MD, MPH
Ofer and Shelly Nemirovsky MGH Research Scholar
Chief, Division of General Academic Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics
Mass General Hospital for Children
Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, MA

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

Response: We designed this study to test the effectiveness of two interventions that linked clinical and community approaches in improving childhood body mass index (BMI) and obesity prevalence. Another important question we set out to understand was whether there were outcomes aside from BMI and obesity that mattered most to families of children with obesity.

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Unhealthy Weight Gain in Pregnancy Is Now the Norm

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

 

Professor Helena Teede MBBS, FRACP, PhD Executive Director Monash Partners Academic Health Research Translation Centre Director Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation Monash University

Prof. Teede

Professor Helena Teede MBBS, FRACP, PhD
Executive Director Monash Partners Academic Health Research Translation Centre
Director Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation
Monash University

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

Response: Reproductive aged women are gaining weight rapidly both before and during pregnancy. Here in 1.3 million pregnancies internationally we show that almost 3 in 4 have unhealthy weight gain (half with excess weight gain and one quarter with inadequate gain)

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: For women establish your healthy weight for your height and try to stay within this for better fertility, pregnancy and for your and your child’s health. Regardless of your starting weigh,  aim to gain within targets in pregnancy. Seek help to do so.

For health professionals: unhealthy weight gain in pregnancy is now the norm, we must monitor women in pregnancy wand support them to gain healthy weight for better health outcomes. Weighing is not enough with health professionals needing skills in healthy conversations and support strategies for women.

For governments and policy makers this life stage around pregnancy is an optimal time to tackle obesity prevention and is targeted by WHO.

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Brain Triggers For Eating Differ in Obese Men vs Women

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Arpana Gupta, Ph.D. Assistant Professor G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience Ingestive Behavior and Obesity Program Vatche and Tamar Manoukin Division of Digestive Diseases David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA

Dr. Gupta

Arpana Gupta, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience
Ingestive Behavior and Obesity Program
Vatche and Tamar Manoukin Division of Digestive Diseases
David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA

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

Response: Past studies have demonstrated how an imbalance in the processing of rewarding and salient stimuli results in maladaptive or excessive eating behaviors. However, stress and drug use are known to affect how sex and sex hormones modulate responses of the dopamine system involved in reward, and are thought to underlie sex differences in the pathophysiology of drug addiction and treatment response. These results suggest similar sex effects on the mesolimbic reward system may also be at play in obesity.

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