2016-06-11T23:00:39+00:00The old adage “you are what you eat,” may be better phrased as “your sleep relates to what you eat.” An individual’s body composition and caloric intake can influence time spent in specific sleep stages, according to results of a new study (abstract 0088) from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania that will be presented at SLEEP 2016, the 30th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC. In the study, 36 healthy adults experienced two consecutive nights of 10 hours in bed per night at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Polysomnography- which records physiological changes that occur during sleep - was recorded on the second night. Body composition and resting energy expenditure were assessed on the morning following the first night of sleep. Food/drink intake was measured each day. The Penn team found that body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage and resting energy expenditure were not significant predictors of sleep stage duration, but that overweight adults exhibited a higher percentage of time spent in the rapid-eye movement (REM) stage of sleep - when dreams typically occur and characterized by faster heart rate and breathing and less restorative sleep than in non-REM stages - than normal-weight adults.
2016-05-12T07:37:11+00:00The NHS should significantly increase rates of weight loss surgery to 50,000 a year, closer to the European average, to bring major health benefits for patients and help reduce healthcare costs in the long term, argue experts in The BMJ this week. Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, reduces the size of the stomach with a gastric band or through removal of a portion of the stomach. Studies have shown surgery to be clinically effective and cost effective in helping patients to reduce weight, by as much as 25-35% within the first year. In addition, surgery reduces obesity related conditions, such as type 2 diabetes.
2015-12-11T21:25:49+00:00Young children who are underweight experienced greater weight recovery the earlier an intervention was started, and the recovery was more significant in children with multiple household risk factors, according to a study published this week in The Journal of Pediatrics. Children who fail to gain sufficient weight before the age of two are more likely to develop long-term health and developmental problems. When referred to specialists, children with weight faltering often recover but until now, little was known about how their recovery relates to household risk factors such as crowding, single parenthood, and/or poverty. The study, led by Maureen Black, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM), Director of the Division of Growth and Nutrition in the Department of Pediatrics, and Director of the interdisciplinary Growth and Nutrition Practice at the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital, examined whether children with multiple household risk factors were differentially responsive to treatment. The authors found that children with multiple household risk factors recovered better than children with only a few household risk factors. “Household risk factors are often associated with mealtime stress and disrupted family routines as families struggle to help their child eat and grow,” said Dr. Black, who is also the John A. Scholl, MD, and Mary Louise Scholl, MD, Professorship in Pediatrics. “The more mealtime stress a family had the more assistance we could provide, which might explain why these children did better.”
2015-12-03T23:33:28+00:00The loss of 10% of body weight slowed degeneration of knee cartilage among overweight or obese patients, researchers reported here. In a retrospective imaging study, those who lost more weight had a greater reduction in the rate of cartilage layer damage as measured by T2 on MRI, Alexandra Gersing, MD, of the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), and colleagues reported at the Radiological Society of North America meeting. “Substantial weight loss not only slows knee joint degeneration, it also reduces the risk of developing osteoarthritis,” Gersing said. “The studies show there is a protective aspect of weight loss on knee cartilage. Weight loss may slow or prevent osteoarthritis.” Gersing and colleagues assessed 506 patients who were enrolled in the Osteoarthritis Initiative. The mean age was 62, 60% were women, and the average body mass index was 30.2 kg/m2.
2015-10-01T19:11:36+00:00A study evaluating the effects of bariatric surgery on obese women most at risk for cancer has found that the weight-loss surgery slashed participants’ weight by a third and eliminated precancerous uterine growths in those that had them. Other effects included improving patients’ physical quality of life, improving their insulin levels and ability to use glucose - which may reduce their risk for diabetes - and even altering the composition of their gut bacteria. The study speaks both to the benefits of bariatric surgery and to the tremendous toll obesity takes on health. “If you look at cancers in women, about a fifth of all cancer deaths would be prevented if we had women at normal body weight in the U.S.,” said Susan C. Modesitt, MD, of the University of Virginia Cancer Center. “When you’re looking at obesity-related cancers, the biggest one is endometrial cancer, but also colon cancer, breast cancer, renal cancer and gall bladder cancer. We think about 40 [percent] to 50 percent of all endometrial cancer, which is in the lining of the uterus, is caused by obesity.” Effects of Obesity and Morbid Obesity The study looked at 71 women with a mean age of 44.2 years and a mean body mass index (BMI) of 50.9. Women are considered obese at a BMI of 30 and morbidly obese at 40 (which is typically about 100 pounds over a woman’s ideal body weight), yet almost a third of women presenting for bariatric surgery did not identify themselves as obese.
2015-09-22T15:37:02+00:00Overweight firefighters are twice as likely to attempt to lose weight if their health care provider gives them weight loss advice, according to new research from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health. The results were published in this month’s print edition of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. More than 75 percent of firefighters are overweight or obese and more than half do not consider themselves to be overweight, according to previous research. In a study published last year, UTHealth researchers found that health care professionals provide weight advice to only 48 percent of obese and 12 percent of overweight firefighters. In the new study, firefighters who received weight loss advice from a health care provider were 4.8 times more likely to have accurate weight perceptions and twice as likely to attempt weight loss. Study participants who were older, had higher body fat and more than one chronic disease were more likely to receive weight loss advice.
2015-09-02T18:17:23+00:00What’s the “safe” amount of fat to remove in patients undergoing liposuction? Rather than a hard-and-fast rule, the answer depends on the patient’s body mass index (BMI), according to a report in the September issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). “Our study shows that liposuction is associated with a very low complication rate, with major complications occurring in less than 1 in 1,000 patients,” comments ASPS Member Surgeon John Y.S. Kim of Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago. “It also calls into question the concept of simple absolute thresholds for lipoaspirate volume - the amount of liposuction that can be performed safely seems to depend in part on how much fat content a person begins with.” Study Proposes ‘Relative Liposuction Volume Threshold’ Based on BMI There’s a long history of debate over the safe volume of fat tissue that can be removed by liposuction. Current ASPS guidelines define 5,000 milliliters (five liters) as “large-volume liposuction” potentially associated with a higher risk of complications. But the guidelines acknowledge there is no scientific data to support an absolute cutoff point.
2015-08-06T01:34:59+00:00Women who have gastric bypass surgery to lose weight should keep a close eye on their alcohol consumption, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. A small study indicates that changes in how alcohol is metabolized after surgery can speed its delivery into the bloodstream, resulting in earlier and higher peaks in blood-alcohol levels. Studying women who had undergone gastric bypass surgery, the researchers found that those who had consumed the equivalent of two drinks in a short period of time had blood-alcohol contents similar to women who had consumed four drinks but had not had the operation. The research is published Aug. 5 in the journal JAMA Surgery.
2015-07-14T17:42:46+00:00Admitting that you have a weight problem may be the first step in taking action, but a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that an increasing number of overweight adolescents do not consider themselves as such. “Adolescents with accurate self-perceptions of their body weight have greater readiness to make weight-related behavioral changes and are more effective in making the changes,” explained lead investigator Jian Zhang, MD, DrPH, from the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro GA. “By contrast, overweight adolescents who do not perceive their weight status properly are less likely to desire weight loss, and are more likely to have a poor diet.” When dealing with self-perception, many factors may come into play. For example, as obesity prevalence has more than doubled in adolescents during the past 20 years, socially accepted normal weight may also be shifting accordingly. “In the wake of the obesity pandemic, the media, weight loss industries, and medical communities have encouraged adolescents to maintain slender frames. Facing harsher messages, more and more overweight and obese adolescents may be increasingly reluctant to admit that they are overweight,” noted Dr. Zhang.
2015-06-29T16:32:07+00:00It is generally assumed that marriage has a positive influence on health and life expectancy. But does this “marriage bonus” also apply to the health indicator of body weight? Researchers at the University of Basel and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development have investigated this question in cooperation with the market research institute GfK. Specifically, they compared the body mass index of married couples with that of singles in nine European countries. The results of their study have now been published in the journal Social Science & Medicine. Numerous studies have shown that marriage is good for your health. As a team of researchers from Basel, Nuremberg, and Berlin have now found, however, that does not apply to all health indicators. Their findings show that married couples on average eat better than singles, but that they also weigh significantly more and do less sport. The researchers compared the relationship between marital status and body mass index, which relates body weight to height. A high body mass index can be a risk factor for chronic illnesses such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease. The researchers drew on representative cross-sectional data from 10,226 respondents in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Their study is the first to compare the relationship between marital status and body mass index in nine European countries. Beyond their focus on married couples, the researchers conducted additional analyses with cohabiting couples. They also examined possible reasons for weight gain by asking respondents about their eating and exercise behaviors.