Weight Management

Big data in healthcare: New tool can extend prediction time for diabetic remission after bariatric surgery

11 Dec 2018 --- The standard bariatric surgery clinical scoring system (DiaRem) has been updated by researchers so that it can extend the prediction time for diabetic remission following surgery from one to five years. Led by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of Negev in Israel, the process is an example of how big data can be used for healthcare.

Study identifies blood protein molecule that may hold obesity-battling potential

29 Nov 2018 --- A new study published in Nature Communications suggests that a protein molecule found in blood, BMP8b, can help treat obesity. Increased levels of BMP8b may promote the functions of “brown” fat which is the kind of fat the body burns for energy. The study was carried out in mice but researchers are hopeful it could be applied in humans too, perhaps with a drug that increases the levels of BMP8b, in turn, treating obesity more effectively. 

Personalized keto: “Smart” keto breathalyzer company secures US$2.5m in seed round funding

29 Nov 2018 --- Keyto, a health and wellness company researching the science behind the ketogenic diet, has closed a US$2.5 million seed round. The funding will allow the company to expand the research and development of its proprietary gas nanosensor which detects users ketosis state, as well increase its manufacturing capabilities.

Gluten-free diet health benefits actually down to change in dietary fiber sources, study finds

19 Nov 2018 --- Following a gluten-free diet can lead to a reduction of intestinal discomfort, such as bloating, but this may be due to a change in dietary fiber composition, suggest Danish researchers. The University of Copenhagen study notes that the healthy, gluten-free diets in their study required a shift of fiber sources from wheat and rye to vegetables, brown rice, corn, oat and quinoa, and that certain health improvements were down to these sources – not the absence of gluten. 

Metabolic surgery: Transformational or quick-fix?

19 Nov 2018 --- More than one-third of US adults are obese and some of the lead causes of non-communicable disease’ deaths – such as stroke, diabetes and cancers – are obesity-related. Although a healthy diet and lifestyle are key to healthy weight management, more drastic measures, such as bariatric surgery, are becoming more commonplace as obesity levels rise. NutritionInsight takes a look into the discussion around bariatric surgery, following research presented during last week’s Obesity Week event based in Tennessee, US.

Burn more calories with a low-carb diet, study suggests

19 Nov 2018 --- A new trial from Boston Children’s Hospital has linked low-carb diets to burning more calories and, subsequently, to successful and long-lasting weight loss. Significantly, the findings show that dietary composition may affect energy expenditure independently of body weight. 

Go nuts: Nuts linked to weight control

06 Nov 2018 --- One serving of nuts a day may help keep weight gain at bay, according to two different studies commissioned by the American Heart Association. One study focuses on Brazil nuts and how they improve satiety and prevent insulin levels from spiking. The other deals with the consumption of nuts and peanuts and how they may help manage weight gain in both men and women. 

Females' “healthier fat” protects them from obesity-related health issues, mice study finds

24 Oct 2018 --- Female abdominal fat, in mice, has more blood vessels than males' which may explain why males and females differ in susceptibility to cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and diabetes, notes research from York University, Canada. Previously, it was noted that female fat tissue tends to be more protective against health issues, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, than male fat tissue but the underlying reasons were not understood. Understanding the underlying mechanisms behind sex differences in cellular processes are important as they may contribute to individual's susceptibility to develop serious health issues.

High-fat maternal diets may pass on obesity and addiction to grandkids, study suggests

16 Oct 2018 --- Obesity, insulin resistance and addictive life-style behaviors may be passed to future generations as a result of a high-fat maternal diet during, before and after pregnancy. A mice study, published in Translational Psychiatry, notes that the effects of the high-fat diet might even be passed on for three generations. This was the case although the original female mice never became obese and none of the following generations consumed a high-fat diet. The study highlights the strong potential for identifying underlying mechanisms that may be risk factors for people in developing obesity or addictions. 

US study uncovers "continued" use of harmful ingredients in OTC dietary supplements

15 Oct 2018 --- Potentially harmful active pharmaceuticals continue to be identified in US over-the-counter (OTC) dietary supplements commonly marketed for sexual enhancement, weight loss or muscle building, according to a study published in JAMA. The researchers analyzed US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warnings from 2007 through 2016 to show that unapproved pharmaceutical ingredients were identified in 776 dietary supplements. In response, US health bodies and trade associations are calling for consumer caution and reform to ensure supplements are free from pharmaceutical contamination.

Obesity could overtake smoking as biggest preventable cause of cancer in women, says UK charity

24 Sep 2018 --- A new report by Cancer Research UK has put forward that obesity will overtake smoking as the biggest preventable cause of cancer among UK women in 25 years’ time. According to the report, by 2035, 10 percent of cancers in women (around 25,000 cases) could be caused by smoking and 9 percent (around 23,000 cases) by excess weight. If trends continue as projected, excess weight could cause even more cases of cancer than smoking in women by 2043.

1 in 4 adults physically inactive and at risk of disease, says WHO

05 Sep 2018 --- More than one in four adults globally – amounting to 1.4 billion people – are physically not active enough, with inactivity levels reaching one in three adults in some countries, new data published in The Lancet Global Health show. Policies to increase the physical activity levels of populations need to be prioritized and scaled up urgently to stave off the risk of poor health, note the involved World Health Organization experts. Regular physical activity is proven to help prevent and treat noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and different types of cancer. It has also been linked to improved mental health, quality of life and well-being. Moreover, it helps prevent hypertension and obesity.

Restricting food intake to 10 hours a day can lead to better health, research suggests

04 Sep 2018 --- Mice lacking the biological clocks thought to be necessary for a healthy metabolism can still be protected against obesity and metabolic diseases by having their daily access to food restricted to a 10-hour window, scientists at the Salk Institute have found. The research, which appeared in the journal Cell Metabolism, suggests that the health problems associated with disruptions to animals' 24-hour rhythms of activity and rest – which in humans is linked to eating for most of the day or doing shift work – can be corrected by eating all calories within a 10-hour window.

Chinese plant-substance holds potential for weight loss treatments, study finds

03 Sep 2018 --- A plant-derived substance – celastrol – widely used in traditional Chinese medicine has demonstrated promising weight loss effects in a study published in Diabetes. If celastrol also proves effective in clinical trials, it could offer a new option for the treatment of obesity, the researchers say.

Gut bacteria and caloric restriction hold potential for obesity-fighting drug, mouse study says

31 Aug 2018 --- Mice with a lower calorie intake live longer and are both healthier and leaner, research has generally determined, and now, a study may have found the reason for this positive effect. The researchers identified that much of it is down to gut microbial communities and how they affect the immune system. The researchers hope that their work, published in Cell Metabolism, may one day make it possible to treat obese people with a drug that simulates caloric restriction, following the team uncovering compounds that can mimic caloric restriction.

Obesity closely linked to cognitive and neurological traits, research finds

29 Aug 2018 --- Clinicians should consider how the way we think can make us vulnerable to obesity, and how obesity is genetically intertwined with brain structure and mental performance, according to researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital. Their comments came after research found that people with higher a body mass index (BMI) showed reduced cognitive flexibility, ability to delay gratification, visuospatial ability and verbal memory.

“Demonization” of sugar hinders the fight against obesity, warns US nutritionist 

29 Aug 2018 --- “It’s not what one eats that causes obesity, but what one’s body does with what is eaten,” says Edward Archers, Ph.D., Physiologist and Nutrition Scientist. Over the past 50 years researchers, clinicians, health organizations and lobby groups have waged war on sugar, along with other dietary factors, but Archer coins this over emphasis on diet for health as “diet-centrism.” Diet is a trivial factor in metabolic health, positions Archer. Instead, a lack of physical activity is the most important factor for metabolic health.

Cedars-Sinai researchers develop “more accurate” measure of body fat

28 Aug 2018 --- Researchers at Cedars-Sinai have developed what they say is a more straightforward and more accurate method of estimating body fat than the widely used body mass index (BMI), with the goal of better understanding obesity. Coined the relative fat mass index (RFM), the new method uses only height and waist circumference measurements.

Low carbohydrate diets are unsafe, researchers warn

28 Aug 2018 --- Low carbohydrate diets are unsafe and should be avoided, according to a large study presented today at the ESC Congress 2018, the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology.

Lorcaserin tipped as weight-loss “holy grail” in fight against obesity

27 Aug 2018 --- Investigators are reporting that for the first time, a weight loss drug has done its job without increasing the incidence of heart attacks, strokes and death from heart disease in a population of people who are especially at risk for cardiovascular events. Subsequently, some health experts are now hailing it a potential “holy grail” in the battle with obesity, due to it not increasing the risk of serious heart problems.