Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 08.11.2016 Interview with: Lisa Bailey-Davis, DEd, RD Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Health Services Research Associate Director, Obesity Institute Geisinger Health Systems Danville, PA 17822 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: National data from CDC suggest that 3.1% of 12-17 year olds self-reported using an antidepressant in 2005-2010, however we examined electronic health record orders at a large health system and found that antidepressants are ordered more frequently. Antidepressants were ordered for 7.2% of 13 year olds and 16.6% of 18 year olds in our population-representative data. Five or more cumulative months of antidepressant use was strongly associated with increased body mass index, particularly among older youths. At age 18 years, youth treated with 12 or more months of antidepressants were likely to be 2.1 kg heavier than youth without antidepressants. Depression diagnosis, independent, of antidepressants was also associated with higher body mass index. At age 12 years, youth with at least 1 depression diagnosis had a higher average BMI than youth without such diagnosis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Geriatrics, Medical Imaging, MRI, Weight Research / 08.11.2016 Interview with: Fatemeh Mokhtari Medical Imaging PhD Student VT-WFU SBES What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The objective of this study was to use baseline anatomical brain MRI scans to prospectively predict weight loss success following an intensive lifestyle intervention. In the study, 52 participants, age 60 to 79, were recruited from the Cooperative Lifestyle Interventions Programs II (CLIP-II) project. The participants were overweight or obese (BMI greater than 28 and less than 42) and had a history of either cardiovascular disease or metabolic syndrome. All participants had a baseline MRI scan, and then were randomized to one of three groups – diet only, diet plus aerobic exercise training or diet plus resistance exercise training. The goal of the 18-month diet and exercise program was a weight loss of 7 to 10 percent of body mass. Basic brain structure information garnered from the MRIs was classified using a support vector machine, a type of computerized predictive algorithm. Specifically, we trained a computational predictive model which mapped each subject’s brain scan to weight loss performance. Predictions were based on baseline brain gray and white matter volume from the participants’ MRIs and compared to the study participants’ actual weight loss after the 18 months. The accuracy of the model was then tested, and our prediction algorithms were 78% accurate in predicting successful weight loss. Brain gray matter volume provided higher prediction accuracy compared with white matter and the combination of the two outperformed either one alone. (more…)
Author Interviews, Weight Research / 07.11.2016 with: Lee Kaplan, MD, PhD, Director of the Obesity, Metabolism and Nutrition Institute Massachusetts General Hospital Weight Center and ACTION study steering committee member What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Today, nearly 100 million people in the U.S. have obesity. Despite the fact that many healthcare providers and others recognize obesity as a disease that can have a significant impact on health, many people with obesity do not have access to effective care for this disorder. As a result, obesity remains substantially under-diagnosed, under-addressed and under-treated. Since multiple parties could have a role in overcoming this barrier to effective obesity care, we sought to determine and compare the perspectives and experience of three important groups – health care providers, employers, and people with obesity themselves – about obesity and its care. As the first national study looking simultaneously at these complementary perspectives, ACTION sought to help answer several important questions:
  • Given that obesity is occurring at epidemic rates, why is it not being treated? What are the barriers to effective care?
  • How could public and professional attitudes contribute?
  • To what degree do limitations of resources or knowledge about the disease contribute?
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Weight Research / 04.11.2016 Interview with: Patrick M. O'Neil, Ph.D. Director, Weight Management Center Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Medical University of South Carolina Charleston, SC 29425 What is already known about the subject? • Even modest weight loss (2-5%) from clinical interventions improves glycemic control in type 2 diabetes. • Commercial weight loss programs, comparatively more affordable and accessible than clinic-based modalities, can produce weight losses in this range, although they typically do not offer diabetes-specific counseling. • Data are sparse on such programs’ effects on glycemic control for adults with T2DM. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pharmacology, Weight Research / 03.11.2016 Interview with: Dr Todd Hobbs MD Chief medical officer (CMO) Novo Nordisk in North America What is the background for this study? Response: There is little data that describes weight loss and other outcomes separately in early weight loss responders and early weight loss non-responders. Early weight loss, whether through lifestyle or pharmacotherapy, can be a good predictor of long-term weight loss. Consequently, all recently-approved weight loss medication labels include ‘stopping rules’ for discontinuing medication if a threshold weight loss is not achieved by a specified milestone. Bottom line, it’s important patients don’t continue on a therapy that isn’t working for them. This makes this form of research important from a clinical standpoint but also in the larger obesity treatment paradigm - including payers and how pharmaceutical treatments are labeled. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lancet, Primary Care, Weight Research / 26.10.2016 Interview with: Paul Aveyard PhD MRCP FRCGP FFPH Professor of Behavioural Medicine Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences University of Oxford Radcliffe Primary Care Building Radcliffe Observatory Quarter Oxford What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We know that opportunistic brief interventions by physicians can be effective, but there is no evidence that they are so for obesity. Physicians worry that broaching this topic will be offensive, time-consuming, and ineffective. We needed a randomised trial to assess whether physicians’ fears were justified, or in fact brief interventions could be as effective for patients who are overweight as they are for smoking or problem drinking and that’s what we did. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Lipids, Nutrition, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Weight Research / 26.10.2016 Interview with: Artemis P. Simopoulos, M.D. FACN President, The Center for Genetics Nutrition and Health Washington, DC 20016 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: I have written extensively on the evolutionary aspects of diet, the diet of Crete prior to 1960 in which I pointed to the misinterpretation of the data of the Seven Countries Study by Keys et al. A major characteristic of these diets is a balanced omega-6/omega-3 ratio. The recommendation to substitute saturated fats with omega-6 rich oils (sunflower, corn, soybean) increases inflammation and coronary heart disease. It has been shown in a number of studies that a high omega-6/omega-3 (20/1 instead of a balanced ratio) leads to an increase in white adipose tissue and prevents the formation of brown adipose tissue leading to obesity. The changes in the diet-high in omega-6 oils depletion of omega-3 and high fructose along with highly refined carbohydrates in processed foods and a sedentary lifestyle lead to obesity, diabetes, coronary heart disease and cancer. The scientific evidence from the FAT-1 mouse and recent cohort studies clearly show that the current dietary guidelines as the previous ones are not based on science that takes into consideration genetics, metabolism, the concept that a calorie is not a calorie. It is important to consider that nutrients influence the expression of genes, the omega-6 fatty acids are the most pro-inflammatory nutrients, and inflammation is at the base of all chronic non-communicable diseases. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Genetic Research, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, Weight Research / 15.10.2016 Interview with: Annette Schürmann PhD Department of Experimental Diabetology German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke (DIfE) Nuthetal Germany German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD München-Neuherberg Germany What is the background for this study? Response: The aim of our study was to clarify why genetically identical mice respond very different to a high fat diet. Some of the mice react with an elevated body weight, others not. We analyzed the expression pattern of liver at two time points, at the age of 6 weeks, (the earlierst time point to distiguish between those that respond to the diet (responder mice) and those that did not (non-responders)), and at the age of 20 weeks. One transcript that was significantly reduced in the liver of responder mice at both time points was Igfbp2. The reason for the reduced expression was an elevated DNA-methylation at a position that is conserved in the mouse and human sequence. The elevated DNA-methylation of this specifc site in human was recently described to associate with elevated fat storage (hepatosteatosis) and NASH. However, as 6 weeks old mice did not show differences in liver fat content between responder and non-responder mice we conclude that the alteration of Igfbp2 expression and DNA metyhlation occurs before the development of fatty liver. Our data furthermore showed that the epigenetic inhibition of Igfbp2 expression was associated with elevated blood glucose and insulin resistance but not with fatty liver. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Memory, University Texas, Weight Research / 27.09.2016 Interview with: Ursala. H. Winzer-Serhan Ph.D. Associate Professor Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics Texas A&M Health Science Center What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Nicotine is a plant alkaloid that is naturally occurring in the tobacco plant. Smoking delivers nicotine to the brain where it acts as a stimulant. Tobacco and electronic cigarette smoking delivers many other chemicals to the body, which are harmful and can cause cancer. However, the drug nicotine by itself is relatively benign and poses few health risks for most people. Nicotine acts in the brain on nicotinic receptors, which are ion channels that are widely expressed in the brain. They play an important role in cognitive functions. Research with rodents and in humans has shown that nicotine can enhance learning and memory, and furthermore, can protect neurons during injuries and in the aging brain. With the increasingly older population, it becomes more and more important to delay cognitive decline in the elderly. Right now, there is no drug available that could delay aging of the brain. (more…)
Author Interviews, JCEM, Microbiome, Pediatrics, Weight Research, Yale / 21.09.2016 Interview with: Nicola Santoro, MD, PhD Associate Research Scientist in Pediatrics (Endocrinology) Yale University What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The study start from previous observations showing an association between the gut microbiota and obesity. Similarly to what previously described in adults and in children, we found an association between the gut microbiota and obesity. We took a step further and also observed that the gut flora is associated to body fat partitioning (amount of fat in the abdomen). Moreover, we observed that the effect of microbiota could be mediated by the short chain fatty acids a product of gut flora. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Genetic Research, Weight Research / 19.09.2016 Interview with: Prof. John C. Mathers Director, Human Nutrition Research Centre Institute of Cellular Medicine and Newcastle University Institute for Ageing Newcastle University Biomedical Research Building Campus for Ageing and Vitality Newcastle on Tyne What is the background for this study? Response: More than 90 different genetics variants are associated with body fatness and, of these, the FTO gene has the biggest effect. People who are homozygous for the unusual variant of FTO i.e. carry two copies of the risk allele, are on average 3kg heavier than those not carrying the risk allele. In addition, they have 70% greater risk of being obese. Since the FTO gene is associated with being heavier, we wondered whether it made it more difficult for people to lose weight. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Social Issues, Weight Research / 16.09.2016 Interview with: Professor Timothy Frayling PhD Professor of Human Genetics University of Exeter Medical School Exeter, UK What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We know that genes and environmental factors influence our Body mass index. We know less about if and how they interact. We wanted to answer the question of whether or not aspects of the environment and our lifestyles accentuate any genetic predisposition to obesity. The question is important as it may highlight aspects of the environment that cause some people to be particularly susceptible to gaining weight. Previous, separate, studies have suggested that specific aspects of the environment are to blame. These included sugary drinks, fried food and TV watching. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Weight Research / 13.09.2016 Interview with: Maria Korre, ScD Post-Doctoral Research Fellow Environmental & Occupational Medicine & Epidemiology Program Department of Environmental Health Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health What is the background for this study? Response: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of on-duty death among firefighters (45% of on-duty fatalities) and a major cause of morbidity. It is crucial to note though, that the risk of on-duty CVD events is not evenly distributed among all firefighters, but is highly concentrated among the most susceptible individuals. Given that firefighting is an inherently dangerous occupation and many of its hazards cannot be engineered out of the job, we have concentrated our efforts on understanding what can make an individual firefighter susceptible. As in the general population, these cardiovascular events are largely due to coronary heart disease (CHD), however, there is an increasing recognition of the role of left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy/cardiomegaly in the risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD) independent of the presence of CHD. Evidence suggests an improved prognostic value, when LV hypertrophy is based on the accurate assessment of LV mass. LV mass is a strong predictor of CVD events and despite it’s critical prognostic significance, it’s measurement and role in clinical practice has yet to be established. In this paper we aimed to identify the most important predictors of LV mass after indexing for height among career male firefighters as assessed by both echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance. (more…)
Asthma, Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 06.09.2016 Interview with: Professor Charlotte Suppli Ulrik MD DMSc et al. Dept. of Respiratory Medicine Hvidovre Hospital Copenhagen, Denmark What is the background for this study? Response: Obesity is a risk factor for new-onset asthma, but the association is incompletely understood. Our aim was, therefore, to investigate the association between body mass index (BMI) BMI in childhood and asthma admissions in early adulthood (until age 45 years). We used data on BMI measured annually (age 7-13 years) in 321,830 children enrolled in the Copenhagen School Health Records Registry. During the 36-years of follow-up, a total of 2,059 first-time ever hospital admissions for asthma were observed. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Weight Research / 02.09.2016 Interview with: John A. Batsis, MD, FACP, AGSF Associate Professor of Medicine and The Dartmouth Institute Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth Section of General Internal Medicine - 3M Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center Lebanon, NH What is the background for this study? Response: In 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid implemented a regulatory coverage benefit to cover 22 brief, targeted 15-minute counseling visits by clinicians over the course of a 12-month period for Medicare beneficiaries with a body mass index exceeding 30kg/m2. This was an important policy determination in tackling the obesity epidemic in the United States. An emphasis on the importance of counseling, or intensive behavioral therapy, in a primary care setting set the foundation for this benefit. Yet, it was unclear how and if this benefit (which would be free of charge without a copay or deductible for beneficiaries) was being implemented in clinical care. We therefore identified fee-for-service Medicare claims for the years 2012 and 2013 to determine whether the G0477 code (Medicare Obesity benefit code) was billed. We additionally explored the rate of uptake of the Medicare benefit in relation to the prevalence of obesity using the 2012 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System data. (more…)
Author Interviews, Nutrition, Pediatrics, Social Issues, Weight Research / 31.08.2016 Interview with: Kai Ling Kong, PhD, MS Assistant Professor Division of Behavioral Medicine Department of Pediatrics School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences State University of New York at Buffalo What is the background for this study? Response: Infant temperament, or individual behavior styles, can be reliably measured and is related to weight status. However, we know very little about the association of infants’ temperament and their motivation to eat versus engage in other activities (relative food reinforcement). Examining such associations is an important step given the need to use behavioral strategies in obesity prevention in early life. The purpose of our study was to determine if infant temperament, specifically the factors that have been linked with obesity risk, are associated with infant relative food reinforcement. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Weight Research / 25.08.2016 Interview with: Beatrice Lauby-Secretan, PhD IARC – Section IMO (International Agency for Research on Cancer) Lyon, France What is the background for this study? Response: The IARC Handbook of Cancer Prevention Series perform systematic reviews and evaluations of the cancer-preventive effects of interventions and strategies. The summary article published today presents the conclusions of a Working Group of experts who examined and assessed the currently available literature on the link between overweight/obesity and cancer. Thus this is not a single study, but the report on more than 1000 individual studies. (more…)
Author Interviews, Technology, Weight Research / 18.08.2016 Interview with: Katherine Tweden Ph.D. Vice President, Clinical and Regulatory EnteroMedics® Inc St. Paul, Minnesota 55113 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This report summarizes 2 year outcomes of the pivotal study that evaluated the safety and efficacy of EnteroMedics’ vagal blockade (vBloc Therapy) delivered by our Maestro Rechargeable System neuromodulation device for the treatment of obesity. The study demonstrates that the device continues to have a promising safety profile and that the weight loss achieved through 2 years is clinically meaningful as shown by the positive impact of vBloc Therapy on participant’s co-morbid conditions, quality of life, and eating behaviors. Specifically, the study showed 21% excess weight loss and approximately 50% reduction in pre-diabetes and metabolic syndrome for those participants who presented with the syndrome at baseline. In addition, cardiovascular parameters improved in those at risk with approximately 10 mmHg drop in systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared to baseline in participants with elevated blood pressure and 16 and 46 mg/dL drop in LDL and triglycerides, respectively, in participants with elevated lipids compared to baseline. In addition, metabolic parameters improved with a reduction in hemoglobin A1c of 0.3 percentage points. Participants’ quality of life improved by 20 units compared to baseline and their control over their eating behavior, such as hunger and the ability to control the amount they eat, was significantly improved by approximately 50% compared to baseline. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 12.08.2016 Interview with: Dr. Michelle R. Lent, PhD Geisinger Obesity Institute Geisinger Clinic Danville, Pennsylvania What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: More than one-third of adults in the United States live with obesity. Currently, the most effective treatment for obesity is bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgery patients are expected to lose 30 to 40 percent of their body weight, but not all patients are able to lose this amount of weight and others experience weight regain. Why some patients succeed in weight loss over time, while others are less successful, remains unclear. In this study, we evaluated over 200 patient characteristics in relation to long-term weight loss after bariatric surgery (7 years or longer), including gender, age and weight at the time of surgery, lab tests, medical conditions and medications, among others. We found that patients who used insulin, had a history of smoking, or used 12 or more medications before surgery lost the most weight, while patients with high cholesterol, older patients and patients with higher body mass indexes at the time of surgery lost the least amount of weight after surgery. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Neurological Disorders, Weight Research / 06.08.2016 Interview with: Dr. Lisa Ronan, PhD Department of Psychiatry University of Cambridge Neuroscience What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: A growing body of literature relates common markers of aging to those observed in obesity and supports the hypothesis that obesity may accelerate or advance the onset of brain aging. To investigate this relationship at a population level we analysed the white matter volume of the brain in 473 adult subjects ages 20 - 87 years and contrasted these volumes between subjects who were lean (BMI between 18.5 - 25) and those who were overweight / obese (BMI > 25). Our results suggest that the latter group had significantly smaller white matter volumes when compared to their lean age-matched counterparts. We found that this difference in volume equated to a brain-age increase of 10 years in the overweight / obese group. We found no evidence that obesity impacted on cognitive ability. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease, JAMA, Weight Research / 04.08.2016 Interview with: Prof. Peter Nordström PhD Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation Geriatrics, Umeå University Umeå, Sweden What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Numerous studies has shown an association between BMI, CVD and death. However, it is not known to what extent genetic factors influence this relationship. We used over 4000 monozygous twin pairs that had different BMI. This mean that the difference in BMI must be due to environmental factors since the genetic setup is similar in monozygous twins. Since the fatter twin did not have a higher risk of myocardial infarction (MI) or death, environmental factors that increase BMI is very unlikely to increase the risk of myocardial infarction or death. By inference the strong association between BMI, MI and death must be explained by the fact that the same genes control both obesity, MI and death. By contrast, the fatter twin had a higher risk of diabetes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Genetic Research, NEJM, Weight Research / 21.07.2016 Interview with: Dr. Peter Kühnen MD Institute for Experimental Pediatric Endocrinology Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin Berlin, Germany What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Kühnen: The patients, which were included in this study, are suffering from a genetic defect in a gene called POMC. This gene is cleaved into different hormones as e.g. MSH (melanocyte stimulating hormone). MSH is very important for the regulation of satiety by activation of the MC-4 receptor. For this reason these patients are persistent hyperphagic due to the lack of MSH and they gain weight very fast in the first months of their life. Setmelanotide activates the MC-4 receptor, which is important for the activation of satiety. By restoring the lost function Setmelanotide leads to a reduction of hyperphagia and to a reduction of body weight in this POMC deficient patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Weight Research / 15.07.2016 Interview with: Xiang Gao, PhD State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and MOE Key Laboratory of Model Animal for Disease Study Model Animal Research Center Nanjing Biomedical Research Institute and the Collaborative Innovation Center of Genetics and Development Nanjing University What is the background for this study? Response: Duodenum-jejunum gastric bypass (DJB) surgery has been used to treat morbid diabetic patients. However, neither the suitability among patients nor the mechanisms of this surgical treatment is well understood. Our research is based on a new mouse strain named Timo as type 2 diabetes model caused by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) deficiency. We hope to figure out whether DJB surgery can reverse the metabolic defects in this type of diabetes. If yes, what is the possible mechanisms. What are the main findings? Response: Our research showed that duodenum-jejunum gastric bypass surgery could cure diabetes of genetic (mutation) origin. We also showed that the alteration of gut microflora abundance and improved metabolism preceded the inflammation alleviation and BDNF protein levels increase after DJB surgery. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Diabetes, Nutrition, PLoS, Weight Research / 15.07.2016 Interview with: Dr. Qi Sun Sc.D, M.D., M.M.S. Dr. Geng Zong, Ph.D., a research fellow Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Heath Boston What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There is growing trend of eating meal prepared out of home in many countries. For example, energy intake from out-of-home meals has increased from less than 10% in mid 60s to over 30% in 2005-2008 among Americans, and average time spent on cooking has decreased by one third. In the meantime, the prevalence of diabetes and obesity of this country keep on growing. In the current study, we followed nearly 100 thousands middle-aged men and women for 26 years. In 1986, we asked people how often their lunch and dinner were prepared at home per week, which will be 14 meals in maximum, and updated this information during follow-up. We found men and women with 11-14 meals prepared at home per week had 14% lower risk of diabetes compared to those had 6 or less meals prepared at home. If we look at lunch and dinner separately, people with 5 or more lunch prepared at home per week had 9% lower risk of diabetes, and those with 5 or more dinner prepared at home had 15% lower risk of diabetes compared to the group who had 2 or less than lunch or dinner at home per week. We further investigated whether people with more meals prepared at home had lower risk of obesity or weight gain in our study. In the first eight years of follow-up, participants with 11-14 meals prepared at home had 14% lower risk of developing obesity compared to people had 0-6 meals prepared at home. For men, these people had 1.2kg less weight gain, and for women they had 0.3 kg less weight gain. Furthermore, we found potential impact of having meals at home and risk of diabetes became weaker. This suggest that weight gain could be one gearwheel that links eating meals prepared at home and diabetes risk. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Lancet, Weight Research / 15.07.2016 Interview with: Dr. Shilpa Bhupathiraju, PhD Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We wanted to investigate the association between body mass index (BMI) and mortality across major global regions. In doing so, we wanted to take into account important methodological limitations which plagued prior reports of BMI and mortality. One such limitation is reverse causality where a low body weight is the result of an underlying illness rather than the cause. Another major problem is confounding due to smoking where smokers have lower body weights than non-smokers but have much higher mortality rates. Therefore, to obtain an unbiased association between BMI and mortality, our primary pre-specified analysis was restricted to never smokers and those who had no existing chronic diseases at the start of the study. In this group, we found that those with a BMI of 22.5-<25 kg/m2 (considered a healthy weight range) had the lowest mortality risk during the time they were followed. The risk of mortality increased significantly with excess body weight. A BMI of 25-<27.5 kg/m2 (in the overweight range) was associated with a 7% higher risk of premature death; BMI of 27.5-<30 kg/m2 (also in the overweight range) was associated with a 20% higher risk; a BMI of 30.0-<35.0 kg/m2 was associated with a 45% higher risk; a BMI of 35.0-<40.0 kg/m2 was associated with a 94% higher risk; and a BMI of 40.0-<60.0 kg/m2 was associated with a nearly 3-fold risk. In general, we found that the association of excess body weight with mortality was greater in younger than older people and in men than women. Most importantly, the associations were broadly consistent in the major global regions we examined, including Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, East Asia, and South Asia. (more…)
Author Interviews, Metabolic Syndrome / 12.07.2016 Interview with: Ilaria Cavallari, MD Department of Cardiovascular Sciences University Campus Bio-Medico Roma, Italy What is the background for this study? Response: Obesity is a well-known risk factor for metabolic and cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, more than the amount of adipose tissue, its function plays important roles in the development of CVD. Distribution of adiposity, evaluated by measuring body circumferences, is related to adipose dysfunction. Wrist circumference has been recently associated with insulin-resistance and diabetes. Therefore, body circumferences, wrist circumference in particular, are candidate easy and fast markers of cardiovascular risk, beyond the classical body mass index (BMI). (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Pancreatic, Weight Research / 10.07.2016 Interview with; Dr. Rakesh K. Jain, PhD A.W.Cook Professor of Radiation Oncology (Tumor Biology) Director, E.L. Steele Laboratory Department of Radiation Oncology Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, MA 02114 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the fourth leading cause of cancer death worldwide, and more than half of patients diagnosed with PDAC are overweight or obese. Among patients with PDAC, obesity more than doubles the already high risk of death, and our work aims to reveal the underlying mechanisms. Specifically, we identified that obesity increases desmoplasia – an accumulation of connective tissue and inflammation – hallmark of Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and discovered underlying mechanisms. In our report published online in Cancer Discovery, we describe how interactions among fat cells, immune cells and connective tissue cells in obese individuals create a microenvironment that promotes tumor progression while diminishing the response to chemotherapy. We demonstrated the negative impact of obesity on numerous aspects of tumor growth, progression and treatment response in several animal models of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and confirmed some of our findings in samples from cancer patients. Along with finding that tumors from obese mice or patients exhibited elevated levels of adipocytes or fat cells and of desmoplasia, both of which fuel tumor progression and interfere with treatment response, we identified the underlying causes. The elevated desmoplasia in obese mouse models of PDAC was caused by the activation of pancreatic stellate cells through the angiotensin II type-1 receptor (AT1) signaling pathway. This activation was induced by interleukin-1 beta (IL-1ß) produced by fat cells as well as the immune cells called neutrophils within tumors. Inhibiting AT1 signaling with losartan, which is used clinically to treat hypertension, or the blockade of IL-1ß reduced obesity-associated desmoplasia and tumor growth and increased the response to chemotherapy in the obese mouse model but not in normal weight animals. Analysis of tumors from human PDAC patients revealed increased desmoplasia and fat deposits in samples from obese patients, and data from more than 300 patients showed that excess weight was associated with a reduction in patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Weight Research / 24.06.2016 Interview with: Dr. Ir. Gerda Pot PhD Universitair Docent Gezondheid en Leven| Assistant Professor Health and Life Faculteit Aard- en Levenswetenschappen | Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences What is the background for this study? Response: I was inspired to start this work by my grandmother. She was a stickler for timekeeping of her meals and I wondered whether this was her secret for healthy aging. It seems common wisdom but surprisingly very little scientific evidence exist. Therefore we conducted this review to see all the studies out there before setting out doing our own research. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 22.06.2016 Interview with: Annika Rosengren MD Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Institute of Medicine Sahlgrenska Academy University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In an earlier study we found that while hospitalizations for heart failure decreased among people aged 55 and older in Sweden 1987-2006, there was a clear increase among those younger than 45 years, particularly in young men. We thought that increasing body weight in the population might be a factor behind this. We used anonymized data from more than 1.6 million Swedish men from the Swedish conscript registry aged on average 18 and followed them from adolescence onwards. Those who were overweight as teenagers were markedly more likely to develop heart failure in early middle age. The increased risk of heart failure was found already in men who were within the normal body weight range (a body mass index of 18.5 to 25) in adolescence, with an increased risk starting in those with a BMI of 20 and rising steeply to a nearly ten-fold increased risk in those who were very obese, with a BMI of 35 or over. Among men with a BMI of 20 and over, the risk of heart failure increased by 16% with every BMI unit, after adjustments for factors that could affect the findings, such as age, year of enlistment into the Swedish armed forces, other diseases, parental education, blood pressure, IQ, muscle strength and fitness. (more…)