Not All Calories Affect Health Equally

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Soda” by Jannes Pockele is licensed under CC BY 2.0Kimber L. Stanhope, Ph.D., M.S., R.D.
Research Nutritional Biologist
Department of Molecular Biosciences: SVM
University of California, Davis 

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

Response: Sugar-sweetened beverages increase risk factors for cardiometabolic disease compared with calorically-equal amounts of starch.

We are not the first group of experts to reach this conclusion. The Nutrition and Chronic Diseases Expert Group reached a similar conclusion last year (Micha, 2017). Yet very different conclusions/opinions are being still being published by other researchers. (Latest example: Archer E., In Defense of Sugar: A Critique of Diet-Centrism. Progress in Cardiovascular Disease, May 1, 2018).

These conflicting conclusions confuse the public and undermine the implementation of public health policies, such as soda taxes and warning labels, that could help to slow the epidemics of obesity and cardiometabolic disease. We hope that the careful review of the evidence and the discussion of issues that can lead to conflicting opinions in nutrition research in this paper will help to clarify this issue.

Consumption of polyunsaturated (n-6) fats, such as those found in some vegetable oils, seeds, and nuts, lowers disease risk when compared with equal amounts of saturated fats.

It is important to note however, that the effects of saturated fat can vary depending on the type of food. Dairy foods such as cheese and yogurts, which can be high in saturated fats, have been associated with reduced cardiometabolic risk.

The non-caloric sweetener aspartame does not promote weight gain in adults.

Aspartame is the most extensively studied of the non-caloric sweeteners. None of the dietary intervention studies that have investigated the effects of aspartame consumption have shown it promotes body weight gain.

This includes studies in which the adult research participants consumed aspartame for 6 months, 1 year or 3 years.

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Do Metabolically Healthy Obese Stay Healthy?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Morgana Mongraw-Chaffin, PhD MPH Wake Forest School of Medicine North Carolina

Dr. Mongraw-Chaffin

Morgana Mongraw-Chaffin, PhD MPH
Wake Forest School of Medicine
North Carolina

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

Response: While some large studies and meta-analyses of this topic suggest that metabolically healthy obesity (MHO) is not a benign condition, discrepancies persist in the results of individual studies. Lack of a clear explanation for these differences drives the continuing controversy over whether MHO is a useful tool for risk stratification or an intermediate condition on the pathway to cardiometabolic risk.

In the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), we found that 48% of those with metabolically healthy obesity transitioned to unhealthy obesity by the end of follow-up. Those who transitioned had higher odds of developing cardiovascular disease compared to those who maintained normal weight. We further found that earlier transition from MHO to unhealthy obesity was associated with higher odds.

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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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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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Resistant Starches in Diet May Help Reduce Body Weight

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr Stacey Lockyer BSc(hons) MSc PhD RNutr Nutrition Scientist British Nutrition Foundation Imperial House 6th Floor London

Dr Stacey Lockyer

Dr Stacey Lockyer BSc(hons) MSc PhD RNutr
Nutrition Scientist
British Nutrition Foundation
Imperial House 6th Floor
London

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

Response: This in depth review examines the potential health benefits of resistant starch, a form of starch that is not digested in the small intestine and is therefore considered a type of dietary fibre. Some forms of resistant starch occur naturally in foods such as bananas, potatoes, grains, and pulses, and some are produced or modified commercially and incorporated into food products as a functional ingredient.

There has been increasing research interest in resistant starch, with a large number of human studies published over the last 10 years looking at a variety of different health outcomes such as postprandial glycaemia, satiety and gut health. The review summarises reported effects and explores the potential mechanisms of action that underpin them.

There is consistent evidence that consumption of resistant starch in place of digestible carbohydrates can aid blood glucose control and this has resulted in an approved health claim in the European Union. There is also some evidence that resistant starch can support gut health and enhance satiety, though much more research is needed in these areas.

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Many Women Exceeding Gestational Weight Gain Recommendations

Jonetta L. Johnson, PhD, MPH Epidemiologist Division of Reproductive Health, CDC. MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jonetta L. Johnson, PhD, MPH

Epidemiologist
Division of Reproductive Health, CDC.


Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Johnson: Achieving adequate gestational weight gain (GWG) is important for optimal health of the infant and mother. Women who gain below or above Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommendations are more likely to experience maternal complications and negative infant birth outcomes. Realizing the importance of  gestational weight gain to maternal and infant health, the IOM established recommendations for  gestational weight gain based on a woman’s prepregnancy body mass index (BMI) in 1990 and updated them in 2009. Trends in GWG are particularly of interest since prepregnancy BMI has increased over time in the U.S and little data was available on how  gestational weight gain has changed over time.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?

Dr. Johnson: Our findings show that from 2000-2009, the majority of women did not gain weight within IOM GWG recommendations and that women were more likely to gain outside recommendations in more recent years. In fact, from 2000–2009, there was a gradual decrease (1.0 percentage point every 2 years) in women gaining within IOM  gestational weight gain recommendations  and a gradual increase (0.8 percentage points every 2 years) in women gaining above IOM recommendations while the percentage of women gaining weight below IOM recommendations remained relatively constant.  Although there were slight differences in mean gestational weight gain by BMI group,  gestational weight gain was about 31 pounds on average. The decreasing percentage of women gaining within IOM recommendations during our study period may be influenced by increases in prepregnancy BMI during the same time period because women in higher BMI groups are recommended to gain less weight during pregnancy compared to women in lower BMI groups.  Thus, even with no change in gestational weight gain over time, an increase in the proportion of women who are obese could result in a decrease in the proportion of women gaining within gestational weight gain recommendations. Continue reading