Endocrine Disrupter PFAS Chemicals Linked To Weight Regain, Especially in Women

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Gang Liu, PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow Department of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Dr. Gang Liu

Gang Liu, PhD
Postdoctoral 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: Although many approaches can be used to achieve a short-term weight loss, maintenance of weight loss has become a key challenge for sustaining long-term benefits of weight loss. Accumulating evidence has suggested that certain environmental compounds may play an important role in weight gain and obesity development.

The potential endocrine-disrupting effects of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), which are extensively used in many industrial and consumer products including food packaging, paper and textile coatings, and non-stick cookware, have been demonstrated in animal studies, but whether PFASs may interfere with body weight regulation in humans is largely unknown.

In a 2-year POUNDS Lost randomized clinical trial that examined energy-restricted diets on weight changes, baseline plasma concentrations of major PFASs were measured among 621 overweight and obese participants aged 30-70 years. Body weight was measured at baseline, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. Resting metabolic rate (RMR) and other metabolic parameters, including glucose, lipids, thyroid hormones, and leptin, were measured at baseline, 6, and 24 months.

We found that higher baseline levels of PFASs were significantly associated with a greater weight regain, primarily in women. On average, women in the highest tertile of PFASs regained 1.7-2.2 kg more body weight than women in the lowest tertile. In addition, higher baseline plasma PFAS concentrations, especially perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), were significantly associated with greater decline in RMR during the first 6 months and less increase in RMR during weight regain period.  Continue reading

Fit Obese Patients Can Be Healthy

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Elliptical Stationary Bikes GVSU Winter Hall Exercise Center 2-4-15” by Steven Depolo is licensed under CC BY 2.0Jennifer L. Kuk, PhD

Associate Professor
York University
School of Kinesiology and Health Science
Sherman Health Science Research Centre
Toronto, Ontario  

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

– The benefits of fitness are well know, but it was unclear whether the benefits applied to those with severe obesity.  This is even more important give that the health risks associated with severe obesity are exponentially higher than in mild obesity.  Fitness in this study was defined as the top 80% of a normal population.This means that unfit is the bottom 20%.  In the past, research has shown that this threshold of fitness is associated with the biggest health benefits.

– We see that 40% of individuals with mild obesity are fit, while 11% of those with severe obesity are fit.  Individuals with high fitness had no differences in health risk, despite the large differences in obesity (~50-100 pounds).  Conversely, those within the unfit group did have significantly higher glucose, blood pressure and lipids with higher obesity levels.

In other words, fitness was able to protect individuals with severe obesity from many of the expected negative health consequences.  Continue reading

School Based Healthy Lifestyle Program Did Not Bend Childhood Obesity Curve

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Lt. Governor Brown Visits Hamilton Elem_Mid School to Highlight Summer Meals Program” by Maryland GovPics is licensed under CC BY 2.0Peymané Adab, MD

University of Birmingham in England

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

Response: Childhood obesity is an increasing problem worldwide. In the UK, the proportion of children who are very overweight doubles during the primary school years. Furthermore during this period inequalities emerge. At school entry there is little difference in the likelihood of being overweight between groups. However on leaving primary school, children from minority ethnic groups and those from more deprived, compared to more affluent backgrounds are more likely to be overweight. Excess weight in children is linked with multiple health, emotional and social problems.  As children spend a lot of time at school, it seems intuitive that they are an ideal setting for prevention interventions.

Although a number of studies have investigated the evidence for school obesity prevention programmes, the results have been mixed and methodological weaknesses have prevented recommendations being made. As a result we undertook a major high quality trial to evaluate an intervention that had been developed in consultation with parents, teachers and the relevant community. The 12 month programme  had four components. Teachers at participating schools were trained to provide opportunities for regular bursts of physical activity for children, building up to an additional 30 minutes each school day. There was also a workshop each term, where parents came in to cook a healthy meal (breakfast, lunch of dinner) with their children. In conjunction with a local football club, Aston Villa, children participated in a six-week healthy eating and physical activity programme. Finally, parents were provided with information about local family physical activity opportunities.

We involved around 1500 year 1 children (aged 5-6 years) from 54 state run primary schools in the West Midlands. At the start of the study, we measured their height and weight and other measures of body fat, asked the children to complete a questionnaire about their wellbeing, to note everything they ate for 24 hours, and to wear an activity monitor that recorded how active they were. After this, the schools were randomised to either receive the programme or not. We then repeated the measures 15 and 30 months later.

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Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Play Large Role In Worldwide Obesity Epidemic

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Soda” by Jannes Pockele is licensed under CC BY 2.0Maria Luger, MSc
SIPCAN
Special Institute for Preventive Cardiology And Nutrition
Spendenbegünstigte Einrichtung gem. FW 1914/19.3.2005
Vorstand: Univ.-Prof. Prim. Dr. Friedrich Hoppichler
Salzburg, Austria

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

Response: Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. Rising consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) has been a major contributor to the obesity epidemic and it increases the risk of diabetes or cardiovascular disease, as previous evidence has shown. Partly inconsistent findings from previous reviews have fueled discussions on the impact of SSBs on obesity development.

Therefore, the aim of our review was to systematically review the recent evidence in children and adults.

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Bariatric Surgery Linked To Long Term Mortality Reduction

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Oma Reges, PhD
Clalit Research Institute, Clalit Health Services, Tel Aviv, Israel
Department of Health Systems Management, Ariel University, Ariel, Israel

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

Response: Israel, based on the most recently published data (2015), performs more per-capita bariatric surgery than the U.S.A (about 9,000 to 9,500 procedures annually, which is 1.8 times higher rate per capita than the U.S.A, where there are about 200,000 procedures a year).

It is important to evaluate the impact of these procedures on health status, as there is a lack of data of the effectiveness of these procedures over time. We were able to document lower mortality rates, of up to 50%, in the obese patient undergoing surgery as opposed to matched obese patients who continue with usual care.  Continue reading

Long-term Medical Complications with Bariatric Surgery vs Medical Obesity Treatment

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jøran Hjelmesæth MD, PhD Professor, Head Morbid Obesity Centre and Section of Endocrinology Department of Medicine Vestfold Hospital Trust Tønsberg, Norway Department of Endocrinology, Morbid Obesity and Preventive Medicine Institute of Clinical Medicine University of Oslo, Norway

Prof. Hjelmesæth

Jøran Hjelmesæth MD, PhD
Professor, Head
Morbid Obesity Centre and Section of Endocrinology
Department of Medicine
Vestfold Hospital Trust
Tønsberg, Norway
Department of Endocrinology, Morbid Obesity and Preventive Medicine
Institute of Clinical Medicine
University of Oslo, Norway

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What is known?  Some previous studies have shown beneficial long-term effects of bariatric surgery on the remission and incidence of diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia, whilst high quality data on the long-term incidence of adverse effects, mental health conditions and complications after bariatric surgery are sparse or lacking. In addition, the control groups in previous studies of the effect of bariatric surgery seldom or never received any specific specialist based non-surgical treatment alternative.

The present pragmatic real world study was performed at a publicly funded single tertiary care obesity center in Norway where patients could choose between bariatric surgery and specialized medical treatment (voluntarily and free of charge). Nearly complete short- and long-term (≤ 10 years) data on beneficial and detrimental outcomes were retrieved from national registries (Norwegian Prescription Database and Norwegian Patient Registry).  The results confirm the beneficial long-term effects of bariatric surgery (gastric bypass) on the remission and incidence of diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia, as demonstrated in some previous studies.

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Prevalence of Severe Obesity Drops for First Time Among All Age, Sex and Race/Ethnic Groups

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Liping Pan, MD, MPH
Epidemiologist,
Epidemiology & Surveillance Team
Obesity Prevention and Control Branch
Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion
CDC 

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

Response: Children with severe obesity face significant health and social challenges. Children with obesity and severe obesity are at higher risk for having other chronic health conditions and diseases, such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, and type 2 diabetes. They also have more risk factors for heart disease like high blood pressure, impaired glucose tolerance, and high cholesterol than their normal weight peers.

These lifelong health risks associated with severe obesity during early childhood indicate the importance of preventing and identifying severe obesity. Childhood obesity disproportionately affects children living in low-income families. However, no recent trends on severe obesity in this population have been reported.
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Increased Diabetes Risk in African Americans Explained by Greater Obesity Rates

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Michael P. Bancks, PhD Northwestern University Chicago, Illinois 

Dr. Bancks

Michael P. Bancks, PhD
Northwestern University
Chicago, Illinois 

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

Response: We know that the disparity in diabetes between black and white youth and young adults is growing, but the reasons why are unclear. We also know that traditional risk factors for diabetes, such as obesity and low socioeconomic status, are more common among blacks as compared with whites.

Our study describes how the unequal rates of these traditional diabetes risk factors explain or account for the higher rates of diabetes among blacks.

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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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Snowball Obesity Genes Lead To Constant Weight Gain Throughout Life

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

David Meyre PhD Associate Professor, McMaster University, Dept. of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact Hamilton, Ontario Canada Visiting Professor, University of Lorraine, Inserm Nutrition-Genetics-Environmental Risks

Dr. Meyre

David Meyre PhD
Associate Professor, McMaster University,
Dept. of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact
Hamilton, Ontario Canada
Visiting Professor, University of Lorraine,
Inserm Nutrition-Genetics-Environmental Risks

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

Response: While the average body mass index has reached a plateau in Western countries such as the United States, extreme forms of obesity are still on the rise. The origins of super obesity are still poorly understood. We studied the effects of 37 well-established obesity genes on body-mass index in 75,230 adults with European ancestry using innovative statistical methods (conditional quantile regression and meta-regression models).

We found that nine of the 37 genes (24%) make individuals gain more weight if they already have a high body mass index. The effect of these genes is amplified by four times, if we compare the 10% of the population at the low end of the body mass index, compared to the 10% at the high end. The plausible explanation is that there are interactions between these snowball obesity genes and risk environmental factors.
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