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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If You Lose Weight, Your Spouse Might Too

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Amy Gorin, Ph.D. Professor, Psychological Sciences Associate Director Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy (InCHIP) University of Connecticut Storrs, CT   06269-1248

Dr. Gorin

Amy Gorin, Ph.D.
Professor, Psychological Sciences
Associate Director
Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy (InCHIP)
University of Connecticut
Storrs, CT   06269-1248

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

Response:  This study examined whether behavioral weight management programs have a ripple effect on untreated spouses.  That is, if one member of a couple participates in a weight loss program, does the other untreated spouse benefit?  Given that many spouses are of a similar weight status, if one spouse is overweight, the other spouse tends to be overweight as well — understanding how weight management programs impact both spouses has important public health implications.

To examine this question, 130 spouses were randomly assigned to Weight Watchers or a self-guided control group. Spouses assigned to Weight Watchers group had only one member enrolled in a structured 6-month weight loss program (Weight Watchers) that provided in-person counseling and online tools to assist with weight loss.

In the self-guided group, one member of the couple received a four-page handout with information on healthy eating, exercise, and weight control strategies (e.g., choosing a low-fat, low-calorie diet, portion control). The results indicate that nearly one-third (32%) of untreated spouses in both groups lost ≥3% of their initial body weight (weight loss based on obesity management guidelines) at the 6-month mark, and weight losses did not differ between untreated spouses of Weight Watchers and self-guided participants.

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Benefits of Gastric Bypass in Diabetes Control Significant But Diminish Over Time

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Charles Billington MD Chief, Section of Endocrinology and Metabolism Minneapolis VA Health Care System Professor of Medicine, University of Minnesota 

Dr. Billington

Charles Billington MD
Chief, Section of Endocrinology and Metabolism
Minneapolis VA Health Care System
Professor of Medicine, University of Minnesota 

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

Response: We wanted to know if adding gastric bypass to intense lifestyle and medical therapy would improve overall diabetes treatment as represented by the triple endpoint of blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol control. We found that adding gastric bypass did provide significant benefit at five years after surgery, but that the size of the benefit declined substantially from the first to the fifth year. We also found that gastric bypass did provide significantly better blood sugar control throughout the five years, but the rate of diabetes remission at five years was low. There were many more adverse events in the gastric bypass group. 

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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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Why Isn’t Your Diet Working? It’s In Your Genes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Scale model” by brett jordan is licensed under CC BY 2.0
William Barrington, PhD lead author on the study
Recently graduated PhD student from the Threadgill lab
David Threadgill, PhD
Texas A&M College of Medicine and
College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, senior author

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

Response: Obesity and diet-induced diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, have reached epidemic proportions. The United States has offered universal dietary recommendations for decades, but they have been largely unsuccessful in reducing diet-induced diseases. These recommendations are largely built upon population-level data, which examines a large number of individuals and determines the average response to a dietary intervention. However, if there is large variation in responses within a population, then population-level data may be inadequate to improve health across genetically diverse individuals.

Our study used four genetically diverse types of mice to examine how one’s genetics interact with diet to influence obesity and risk factors for cardiometabolic disease. The study compared four popular human diets (American, Mediterranean, Japanese, and Maasai/ketogenic). While all mice suffered detrimental effects from the American diet, the severity of disease varied widely across the types of mice. In comparison, no single diet improved health across all strains, but there was one or more diets that improved health in each strain.

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Mouse Study Shows Intermittent Fasting Limits Obesity and Improves Metabolism

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Hoon-Ki Sung MD PhD Scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and Assistant Professor in Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology University of TorontoDr. Hoon-Ki Sung MD PhD Scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and Assistant Professor in Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology University of Toronto

Dr. Sung

Dr. Hoon-Ki Sung MD PhD
Scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and
Assistant Professor in Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology
University of Toronto 

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

Response: Despite extensive research and medical interventions, the prevalence of obesity and associated metabolic disease is increasing. More and more studies show that obesity and its associated metabolic problems are often associated with unhealthy lifestyles and eating habits, including frequent eating (non-stop) throughout the day, resulting in a shorter period of physiological fasting. As such, various dietary approaches, such as calorie restriction and intermittent fasting have gained popularity as therapeutic strategies for obesity treatment. Intermittent-fasting is when one temporarily stops eating for a period of time, returns to normal food consumption, and then temporarily stops again.

In our study we examined the effect of an intermittent-fasting regimen, without restricting caloric intake, in mice. We found that an intermittent fasting regimen not only prevented obesity in mice, but also improved metabolism by changing the quality of fat in the body.

Our findings show that the health of the mice is significantly influenced by daily eating patterns. The addition of a ‘stop eating’ period converted inflammatory fat to brown-like (or beige) fat by anti-inflammatory immune cells, meaning it changed bad fat into good fat.

The results are exciting, because they show that weight loss is not the sole benefit of fasting. Fasting also restores the dual function of fat cells, which is to store energy and to release energy.

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Dieting and Physical Activity During Pregnancy Linked To Lower C-Section Rate

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Shakila Thangaratinam Professor of Maternal and Perinatal Health Joint Director of BARC (Barts Research Centre for Women's Health) Women's Health Research Unit | Multidisciplinary Evidence Synthesis Hub (MESH) Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry  R & D Director for Women's Health Queen Mary University of London 

Prof. Thangaratinam

Shakila Thangaratinam
Professor of Maternal and Perinatal Health
Joint Director of BARC
(Barts Research Centre for Women’s Health)
Women’s Health Research Unit | Multidisciplinary Evidence Synthesis Hub (MESH)
Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry
R & D Director for Women’s Health
Queen Mary University of London 

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

Response: Pregnant women who are overweight or obese, or who gain excess weight gain in pregnancy are at high risk of complications. We wanted to find

  1. If healthy diet and physical activity in pregnancy reduced weight gain, and improved outcomes for the mother and baby
  2. If the effects of the interventions differed according to the characteristics of the mother such as body mass index, parity, ethnicity, and underlying medical condition

We established a network (International Weight Management in Pregnancy i-WIP) of researchers from 16 countries, and 41 institutions to answer the above.

We found that women who followed a healthy diet and moderate physical activity gained less weight in pregnancy than other women; this beneficial effect was observed irrespective of mother’s body mass index, parity, ethnicity, and underlying medical condition.

Diet and physical activity in pregnancy has a beneficial effect on weight gain in pregnancy, and lowers the odds of caesarean section, and gestational diabetes.

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How Many Calories Do You Add To Your Coffee or Tea?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ruopeng An, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Kinesiology and Community Health College of Applied Health Sciences University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL 61820

Dr. Ruopeng An

Ruopeng An, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Kinesiology and Community Health
College of Applied Health Sciences
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Champaign, IL 61820

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

Response: Coffee and tea are among the most widely consumed beverages in U.S. adults.1,2 Unlike other popular beverages including alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages that are typically consumed in isolation, many people prefer drinking coffee and tea with add-ins like sugar or cream. These add-in items are often dense in energy and fat but low in nutritional value. Drinking coffee and tea with add-ins on a regular basis might impact an individual’s daily energy/nutrient intake and diet quality.3 The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests that “coffee, tea, and flavored waters also can be selected, but calories from cream, added sugars, and other additions should be accounted for within the eating pattern.”4

To our knowledge, no study has been conducted to assess consumption of coffee and tea with add-ins in relation to daily energy and nutrient intake at the population level. Bouchard et al. examined the association between coffee and tea consumption with add-ins and body weight status rather than energy/nutrient intake, and consumption was measured by a few frequency-related questions instead of a 24-hour dietary recall.5

The purpose of this study was to examine consumption of coffee and tea with add-ins (e.g., sugar, cream) in relation to energy, sugar, and fat intake among U.S. adults 18 years of age and above. Data came from 2001-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), comprising a nationally-representative (biennially) repeated cross-sectional sample of 13,185 and 6,215 adults who reported coffee and tea consumption in in-person 24-hour dietary recalls, respectively.

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Type of Sugar, Not Just Amount, Influences Metabolic Effects

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Marta Alegret

Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutic Chemistry
Pharmacology Section
School of Pharmacy and Food Sciences
University of Barcelona

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

Response: In humans, an excessive intake of sugars has been linked to the development of metabolic disturbances, and therefore to an increase in the risk for cardiovascular diseases. Specifically, increased consumption of simple sugars in liquid form, as beverages sweetened with high fructose corn syrup or sucrose, has been linked to obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. However, two questions remain unresolved: what is/are the underlying molecular mechanism(s) linking these metabolic alterations to cardiovascular diseases? Are the adverse cardiovascular and metabolic effects of sugar-sweetened beverages merely the consequence of the increase in caloric intake caused by their consumption?

To answer to these questions, we performed a study in female rats, which were randomly assigned to three groups: a control group, without any supplementary sugar; a fructose-supplemented group, which received a supplement of 20% weight/volume fructose in drinking water; and a glucose-supplemented group, supplemented with 20% weight/volume glucose in drinking water.

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