Monthly Archives: May 2015
Balancing protein and carbs equal in benefit to cutting calories

While reducing the amount of calories consumed is known to delay the onset of aging and improve metabolic health, maintaining a high level of caloric reduction in the long-term can be dangerous. A new mouse study, however, suggests that a low protein, high carbohydrate diet could provide the same benefits.

“We’ve shown that when compared head-to-head, mice got the same benefits from a low protein, high carbohydrate diet as a 40% caloric restriction diet,” says Prof. Stephen Simpson, senior author of the study and Academic Director of the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre in Australia.

According to the study authors, reducing the amount of calories consumed by around 30-50% increases health span, delays the onset of age-associated diseases and improves metabolic health. Unfortunately, this level of caloric reduction is unsustainable for most humans.

“Except for the fanatical few, no one can maintain a 40% caloric reduction in the long term,” says Prof. Simpson, “and doing so can risk loss of bone mass, libido, and fertility.”

Additionally, other studies have indicated that when animals have unrestricted access to food, caloric reduction (through dietary dilution) did not improve lifespan. Conversely, in such situations, diets low in protein and high in carbohydrates were found to improve lifespan and metabolic health in later life.

These findings suggest that a low protein, high carbohydrate diet could be a more feasible dietary intervention for humans than caloric reduction although previous research has also found an associated risk of increased food intake with this diet.

To investigate which dietary intervention is most effective at improving metabolic health, the researchers compared three different diets with varying protein-to-carbohydrate ratios:

  • High protein, low carbohydrates
  • Medium protein, medium carbohydrates
  • Low protein, high carbohydrates.

The researchers tested each diet for 8 weeks twice; once under conditions where calories were restricted and once where food was freely available.

‘Modest protein intake with plenty of carbohydrates is beneficial’ according to authors

Mice that followed a low protein, high carbohydrate diet where food was always available derived the same benefits as mice following the same diet where the number of calories consumed was restricted. Improvements relating to blood sugar, cholesterol and insulin levels were recorded even with increased food consumption.

Despite increased consumption when food was freely available, mice following a low protein, high carbohydrate diet also had higher metabolism than mice on the calorie-restricted diet without gaining extra weight. No extra benefits were observed in the mice following the low protein, high carbohydrate diet with caloric restriction.

The study, published in Cell Reports, is an observational one and so further work will be required investigating the mechanisms behind these findings. Currently, the researchers do not know precisely how the type and quality of proteins and carbohydrates consumed affect metabolic health and long-term survival.

“An important next step will be to determine exactly how specific amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, contribute to overall health span and lifespan,” says lead author Dr. Samantha Solon-Biet, also of the University of Sydney.

The researchers also do not know whether these findings apply to humans as well as mice. If they do, it means that adjusting the quantities of carbohydrates and protein consumed could be a more realistic approach for improving metabolic health and reducing the risk of certain chronic diseases than cutting calories.

“According to these mouse data and emerging human research, it appears that including modest intakes of high-quality protein and plenty of healthy carbohydrates in the diet will be beneficial for health as we age,” Prof. Simpson concludes.

Join our weight loss program and lose upto 16-20 pounds in just 26 days. Call us at +923125100200 to speak to our weight loss expert or email us at wecare@vitatious.com.


Link observed between waist size and noise pollution

Traffic noise raises the risk of central obesity, suggests a Swedish study that surveyed over 5,000 men and women, collecting information on decibels of exposure and markers of obesity.

Living near a busy road, railroad or under aircraft noise was associated with bigger waist sizes and waist-to-hip ratios, and there was a cumulative risk found for being exposed to all three noise factors in the study published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, a journal from The BMJ.

The researchers assessed how much environmental noise pollution from road traffic, trains, and planes had been experienced by 5,075 people living in five suburban and rural areas around Stockholm – using official measures tied to where the respondents lived since 1999.

During assessments between 2002 and 2006, the respondents aged 43 to 66 answered questions on lifestyle, state of health, psychological distress, insomnia and strain in their jobs.

The participants also underwent a medical examination, which included measures of central body fat using waist circumference along with hip size. Overall levels of obesity were also measured by body mass index (BMI).

While the study found no association for living near the sources of noise against BMI, it did find a link against abdominal obesity, in these ways:

  • There was an increase in waist size of 0.21 cm (0.08 in) for every 5 dB increase in noise exposure above 45 dB (noise was considered harmless below this threshold). This was a statistically significant trend for women but not men
  • A stronger association for the males was found with the waist-to-hip ratio, which went up overall by 0.16 for every 5 dB rise in road traffic noise exposure
  • Any of the three sources of noise correlated with a larger waist size, but the link was strongest for aircraft noise
  • Only road traffic and aircraft noise were associated with the waist-to-hip ratio measure of central obesity.

The ratio of the chances of finding people with a big waist size among those exposed to only one of the three sources of noise, over the chances among those without any noise pollution, was 1.25. This odds ratio increased for people exposed to all three sources of noise, to an odds ratio of 1.95.

Just over half of all the participants (2,726 or 54%) had been exposed to one source of traffic noise above 45 dB, 15% (740) to two sources, and 2% (90) to all three sources.

The findings were not influenced by socioeconomic factors, lifestyle or exposure to ambient air pollution from local road traffic. But age was an influential factor, with associations between central obesity and road traffic noise found only for those below the age of 60.

Noise stress may be linked to central fat deposits by hormone effects

The study was not designed to establish any cause-and-effect relationship between the factors and outcomes observed. Its measures of noise exposure were based on location and did not take account of any sound insulation measures that might have been taken, nor of the location of the participants’ bedrooms.

The authors do propose why noise exposure could be an important physiological stressor, however.

They suggest high levels of noise pollution could result in higher levels of the hormone cortisol, which are thought to have a role in fat deposition around the middle of the body.

“This may explain why the effects of noise were mainly seen for markers of central obesity, such as waist circumference and waist-hip ratio, rather than for generalised obesity, measured by BMI.”

Traffic noise may also affect metabolic as well as cardiovascular functions, through sleep disturbance, the researchers also suggest, altering appetite control and use of energy.

Join our weight loss program and lose upto 16-20 pounds in just 26 days. Call us at +923125100200 to speak to our weight loss expert or email us at wecare@vitatious.com.


Tackling obesity needs a number of magic bullets

No one health issue has the most impact on human health, or engenders more debate about how to tackle it, than obesity.

Tackling Obesity Needs a Combination of Magic Bullets
The diversity of expertise at an obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome conference in the UK could hold the key to tackling the issue of obesity.
Credit: Plymouth University

It has become the scourge of the health agenda, especially in the west, and it is a growing problem. According to the latest figures from the World Health Organisation, almost three-quarters of British men and two-thirds of women will be overweight or obese by 2030 – a staggering 39 million adults in total. We have one of the worst obesity records in Europe, with just six of the 52 countries in the WHO’s European region with worse obesity rates for women.

We know that obesity has a highly detrimental effect on health and well-being. As a result of its consequences obesity places an enormous burden on the NHS and other social services. Take diabetes as an example – not all cases of diabetes are caused directly by obesity or an unhealthy lifestyle, but the vast majority are. According to the Impact Diabetes report, the cost of treating diabetes will rise from £9.8 billion to £16.9 billion in 25 years’ time – which will equate to 17 per cent of the total NHS budget. Treatment for cardiovascular disease, another condition exacerbated by obesity, already costs the UK health system around £9 billion. These are staggering sums of money that the UK will probably not be able to afford.

The cost implications of obesity are not just confined to health care expenditure – there are ramifications for the wider economy too. In 2013, the Office for National Statistics estimates that 131 million days were lost to UK businesses through absences due to sickness and many of those illnesses can be linked to obesity. According to the CBI, absence from work through sickness is costing the UK £14 billion a year.

While there are many possible approaches to tackling obesity and its consequences in the population, it is clear that there is no single magic bullet. Rather, an arsenal of different approaches needs to be brought to bear on the complex challenge posed by obesity. For some people, there is a need to embrace treatments that clearly work. For certain types of treatments there is still a need to understand better how these treatments can work more effectively so that more people can benefit from them. However, many fundamental questions also remain about the causes of weight gain obesity, which clearly affect only a proportion of the population – although a growing proportion.

This is why this year’s Plymouth Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome Symposium, our fifteenth, has brought together some of the UK’s leading experts and opinion leaders to discuss their work in this field. Entitled “New Ideas and Controversies in Obesity”, we are showing the latest thinking in a number of areas related to obesity including:

  • the potential appropriateness, for some people, of bariatric surgical solutions as a primary approach to treating diabetes.
  • the latest ideas and developments in important clinical trials.
  • whether obesity is a psychological disorder
  • new insights into the role of the gut in regulating blood glucose levels and influencing the risk of developing diabetes,
  • using groups in delivering group therapy as an approach to the treatment of obesity
  • new ideas on the importance of adipose (fat) tissue in health and disease.
  • new insights into the causes of diabetes in women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
  • challenges ahead for the implementation of the latest NICE guidance on obesity.
  • latest findings and developments from the Plymouth EarlyBird study, which is now following up Plymouth children as adults

Our experts include: Professor Francesco Rubino, Chair of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Kings College London; Dr. Jennifer Logue, Clinical Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, Glasgow; Professor Jason Halford from Psychology Sciences at the University of Liverpool; Dr. Royce Vincent, Consultant Chemical Pathologist at King’s College Hospital; Dr. Mark Tarrant, Senior Lecturer in Psychology Applied to Health and Dr. Katarina Kos, both at the University of Exeter; Dr. Joanne Hosking, PhD Statistician at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry; and Professor Jonathan Pinkney, Consultant Endocrinologist from Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust.

By bringing together such a spectrum of experts we are capturing the series of challenges faced by everyone in the field of obesity care and study: from environmental and personal factors to biology, behaviour, cutting edge science, politics and public health.

It is fair to say that it is unlikely that all these august and knowledgeable individuals will be in one place at one time any time soon, so the discussions we have here in Plymouth will have ramifications for tackling obesity worldwide.

What will be the answer? There is some work to do yet before that is clear, but our conference shows that we must accept that the problem of obesity is multi-facetted, and as a consequence requires a multi-disciplinary approach.

That is why we need expert opinion and input from across the full ‘life story’ of obesity – from science in the laboratory to an investigation of social influences, surgical options, psychological factors and ultimately health policy.

As world leaders in diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome and endocrinology, we in Plymouth are well-placed to contribute to a round of debate and action which in time and with appropriate resource could tackle the problem of obesity once and for all.

Professor Jonathan Pinkney is Professor of Endocrinology and Diabetes at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and a Consultant Physician in Endocrinology and Diabetes at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust.

Join our weight loss program and lose upto 16-20 pounds in just 26 days. Call us at +923125100200 to speak to our weight loss expert or email us at wecare@vitatious.com.


Maternal obesity linked to reduced immunity in newborns that may last a lifetime

Maternal obesity raises the risk of a number of health conditions for offspring that can persist well into adulthood, including heart disease and asthma. Now, a new study reveals why this may be; maternal obesity weakens an infant’s immune system at the time of birth, increasing their susceptibility to illness.

obese-mother-best-weight-loss-slimming-clinic-medicine-treatment-islamabad-lahore-karachi-pakistan-eating chocolate
Infants born to obese mothers were found to have reduced immune cell response compared with infants whose mothers were lean.

Study leader Ilhem Messaoudi, of the University of California-Riverside, and colleagues publish their findings in the journal Pediatric Allergy and Immunology.

Around 60% of women of childbearing age in the US are overweight or obese – a risk factor for poor health during pregnancy.

Maternal obesity has been linked to increased risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and preterm birth. Studies have also suggested a greater risk of birth defects, type 2 diabetes, asthma and heart disease among children born to obese mothers.

While previous research has indicated that maternal obesity dysregulates an infant’s immune system to make them more prone to illness, Messaoudi and colleagues say the mechanisms behind this are poorly understood.

For their study, the team set out to investigate what effect maternal body weight has on the immune system of newborns.

Reduced immune cell response among babies born to obese mothers

To reach their findings, the researchers enrolled 39 mothers and their infants to the study. Each mother’s body mass index (BMI) was recorded – calculated by their height and weight – before they were allocated to one of three groups: lean, overweight or obese. Overweight was defined as a BMI of 25-29.9, while obese was defined as a BMI of 30 or higher.

Eleven of the mothers were lean, 14 were overweight and 14 were obese. All women were nonsmokers and had no complications during pregnancy.

The team collected umbilical cord blood samples from the mothers’ infants, assessing the samples for immune cell population and circulation.

Compared with infants born to lean mothers, the researchers found that specific immune cells – monocytes and dendritic cells – among infants born to obese mothers showed much lower responses to bacterial antigens.

“Such babies also showed a reduction in CD4 T cells,” adds Messaoudi. “Both of these changes could result in compromised responses to infection and vaccination.”

The umbilical cord blood samples also showed lower levels of eosinophils (cells involved in allergic response and asthma development) among infants born to obese mothers. The researchers say these cells may have already traveled into the infants’ lungs, which may explain why children born to obese mothers are at greater risk of asthma later in life.

The team says their study shows that maternal obesity can influence changes in an infant’s immune system that are detectable at birth and may persist throughout their lifetime.

Messaoudi adds that the findings raise a number of questions about how children should be vaccinated:

“This could change how we respond to vaccination and how we respond to asthma-inducing environmental antigens. As we know, in the first 2 years of life, children typically receive plenty of vaccines.

“The questions that arise are: Are the responses to vaccines in infants born to obese moms also impaired in the first 2 years of life? Should we change how often we vaccinate children born to obese moms? Should we change practices of how much and how often we vaccinate?”

While further studies are warranted to assess the link between maternal obesity and the neonatal immune system, Messaoudi believes their findings indicate that more focus is needed on combating weight gain before and during pregnancy.

“When moms come in for prenatal visits, doctors tell them about smoking, recreational drug use, and alcohol. But they should be talking also about weight and weight management,” says Messaoudi.

“Obesity has serious repercussions for maternal health. It is associated with low fertility and success with pregnancy,” she adds. “Rates of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, placental abruption – all of these risks increase dramatically with weight gain and obesity. So it is important to talk to your doctor about ideal weight entering into pregnancy and throughout pregnancy.”

Join our weight loss program and lose upto 16-20 pounds in just 26 days. Call us at +923125100200 to speak to our weight loss expert or email us at wecare@vitatious.com.


Is diet or exercise the best way to reduce diabetes risk?

In a paper recently published in Diabetes Care, Saint Louis University associate professor of nutrition and dietetics Edward Weiss, Ph.D, and colleagues found that, though people often think of the benefits from exercise, calorie restriction and weight loss as interchangeable, it appears that they may all offer distinct and cumulative benefits when it comes to managing Type 2 diabetes risk.

The SLU study enrolled sedentary, overweight, middle-aged men and women who were assigned to one of three groups designed to reduce weight by 6-8 percent through calorie restriction, exercise or a combination of both.

Researchers recorded the participants’ insulin sensitivity levels, a marker for diabetes risk that measures how effectively the body is able to use insulin.

“Your blood sugar may be perfectly normal, but if your insulin sensitivity is low, you are on the way to blood sugar issues and, potentially, Type 2 diabetes,” Weiss said.

The investigators found that both exercise and calorie restriction had positive effects on insulin sensitivity. Most interestingly, the group that did both saw two times the improvement in insulin sensitivity than either of the single-approach groups.

The study suggests that both exercise and calorie restriction have additive beneficial effects on glucoregulation (the steady maintenance of glucose, or sugar, in the body).

“The exercise group was, in a way, our control group. It was already known that exercise can improve glucoregulation, both through weight loss and through mechanisms that are independent of weight loss,” Weiss said. “This means that even if you don’t lose weight, exercise helps.

“On the other hand, it often has been assumed that calorie restriction improves glucoregulation simply because it leads to weight loss.”

For this reason, it was somewhat surprising to researchers when they found that exercise-induced weight loss did not lead to greater improvements in glucoregulation than calorie restriction alone.

“What we found is that calorie restriction, like exercise, may be providing benefits beyond those associated with weight loss alone,” Weiss said.

If this is true, researchers would expect that the combination of exercise and calorie restriction (with participants still losing between 6 and 8 percent of their weight, like the other groups) would lead to even more improved glucoregulation than either of the other groups alone.

This is, in fact, what the results of the third, exercise and calorie restriction combination group confirmed.

“On the surface it may seem obvious, and yet there are a lot of people who believe that if they maintain a healthy weight, it doesn’t matter what they eat,” Weiss said. “And others have an appropriate food intake but don’t exercise.

“This study says you can be healthier if you exercise and eat the right amount of food. There is more to be gained by including both approaches in your life.”

Join our weight loss program and lose upto 16-20 pounds in just 26 days. Call us at +923125100200 to speak to our weight loss expert or email us at wecare@vitatious.com. 


Almost all parents of overweight children believe their children are ‘the right weight’

A new study, published in the journal Childhood Obesity, finds that nearly all parents of overweight children misperceive their kids as being “the right weight.”

overweight childThe children in the 2007-12 study group were more overweight than the children in the 1988-94 group, yet parental perceptions of weight “remained relatively unchanged.”

The study was conducted by researchers from New York University School of Medicine’s NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, Georgia Southern University in Statesboro and Fudan University in Shanghai, China.

The authors claim their study is the first to investigate parents’ perception of their preschool children’s weight status over time.

Data from physical examinations and interviews were drawn from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The researchers studied two groups of children aged 2-5 years old in the US over the time periods 1988-94 and 2007-12. Each group totaled more than 3,000 children.

Parents of these children had been asked whether they thought their children were overweight, underweight or just about the right weight.

The study found that, respectively across the two study groups, 97% and 95% of parents of overweight boys considered their child to be about the right weight. For overweight girls, 88% and 93% of parents thought their child was the right weight.

“The results are consistent with past studies in which a considerably high number of parents incorrectly perceived their overweight/obese preschool child as being ‘just about the right weight,'” says Dr. Dustin Duncan, lead author of the study and an assistant professor in the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone and Affiliated Faculty Member at NYU’s Global Institute of Public Health.

Of particular concern to the authors was that the children in the 2007-12 study group were significantly more overweight than the children in the 1988-94 group, yet the parental perceptions of children’s weight “remained relatively unchanged.”

Low-income and African-American parents most likely to misperceive weight

The misperception of weight was found to vary across demographics, with more African-American families perceiving their overweight children to be the right weight than parents from other groups. Weight misperception was also found to be stronger among low-income families, with the association becoming less pronounced as family income increased.

“This was especially concerning because African-American and low-income children in the US have the highest rates of obesity,” comments Dr. Duncan.

Instead of using growth charts as the standard to assess the weight of their child, the researchers found that parents typically use a less science-based metric – they compare the weight of their child to other children.

“Research examining social comparison theory suggests that individuals evaluate themselves in relation to others, rather than against an absolute scale,” Dr. Duncan confirms, who believes that few parents are able to understand either the growth charts or the implications of the data.

As such, the authors believe that ineffective communication between the medical community and parents accounts for “a substantial part” of the ongoing problems with weight misperception.

Parents with more accurate perceptions of their children’s weight are more likely to take action to keep their child at a healthy weight, the authors say, so parental recognition of weight problems in their children is an important component of obesity prevention efforts.

“We need effective strategies to encourage clinician discussions with parents about appropriate weight for their child,” says Dr. Jian Zhang, senior author of the study and an associate professor of epidemiology at Georgia Southern University. “This will be critical for childhood weight management and obesity prevention.”

Join our weight loss program and lose upto 16-20 pounds in just 26 days. Call us at +923125100200 to speak to our weight loss expert or email us at wecare@vitatious.com. 


Three secrets to healthier eating

The CAN approach

Use the CAN Approach to become Slim by Design
“A healthy diet can be as easy as making the healthiest choice the most convenient, attractive, and normal.” – Brian Wansink, Ph.D.  Credit: Daniel Miller

If you want to know the secrets of healthier eating, think of the kitchen fruit bowl. A fruit bowl makes fruit more convenient, attractive, and normal to eat than if the same fruit were in the bottom of the refrigerator.

A new Cornell study analyzed 112 studies that collected information about healthy eating behaviors and found that most healthy eaters did so because a restaurant, grocery store, school cafeteria, or spouse made foods like fruits and vegetables visible and easy to reach (convenient), enticingly displayed (attractive), and appear like an obvious choice (normal). “A healthy diet can be as easy as making the healthiest choice the most convenient, attractive, and normal,” said Brian Wansink, Ph.D. author of Slim by Design and Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.

The study, published in Psychology and Marketing, shows that when fruit is put in a nice bowl next to your car keys — or when a cafeteria puts it next to a well-lit cash register — it becomes more convenient, attractive, and normal to grab a banana than the chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in the far back of the freezer. When restaurants give the high-profit shrimp salad appetizer an enticing name, highlight it on the menu, and have the waitress point it out as a special, it becomes more convenient, attractive, and normal to order that than the deep-fried onion rings on the back of the menu.

“With these three principles, there are endless changes that can be made to lead people — including ourselves — to eat healthier,” said Wansink. For instance, if a school wants children to drink more white milk than chocolate milk, they can make white milk more convenient (put it in the front of the cooler), more attractive (sell it in a shapely bottle), or more normal (give it half of the cooler space instead of a small corner of the cooler). In previous studies conducted by Dr. Wansink each of these changes increased white milk consumption by 30-60% in schools.

Join our weight loss program and lose upto 16-20 pounds in just 26 days. Call us at +923125100200 to speak to our weight loss expert or email us at wecare@vitatious.com. 


Keeping food visible throughout the house is linked to obesity

Low self-esteem also identified as a risk factor Researchers have identified two seemingly unrelated but strong predictors of obesity: having low self-esteem related to one’s weight and keeping food visibly available around the house, outside the kitchen. The Ohio State University study focused primarily on determining whether the home environment – architectural features and food storage and availability – was associated with obesity, but also measured a number of psychological factors. While architectural features had no relationship to obesity status, several food-related findings did. People in the study who were obese kept more food visible throughout the house and generally ate less-healthy foods, such as sweets, than nonobese research participants. The two groups spent about the same amount of money on food and reported eating similar amounts of total calories, but nonobese participants spent less on fast food than did obese individuals. “The amount of food in the homes was similar, but in the homes of obese individuals, food was distributed in more locations outside the kitchen,” said Charles Emery, professor of psychology at Ohio State and lead author of the study. “That speaks to the environment being arranged in a way that may make it harder to avoid eating food. That has not been clearly documented before.” In addition, obese participants reported significantly lower self-esteem related to their body weight than did nonobese people. Obese participants also reported more symptoms of depression. “Effects of the home environment and psychosocial factors haven’t been examined together in previous studies,” Emery said. “Most weight-loss interventions for children and people with eating disorders include a focus on self-esteem, but it’s not standard for adult weight-loss programs. Self-esteem is important because when adults don’t feel good about themselves, there may be less incentive for implementing behavioral changes in the home environment.” Though the statistical modeling identified predictors of obesity status, the predictors shouldn’t be considered causes of weight problems, Emery said. “We’re painting a detailed picture of the home environment that two different groups of people have created. Whether that environment contributed to obesity or obesity led to the environment, we don’t know.” The study is published in the International Journal of Obesity. Emery and colleagues recruited 100 participants between the ages of 20 and 78. Fifty were not obese, and the 50 obese participants had an average body mass index of 36.80 (a BMI of 30 indicates obesity). Researchers conducted a two-hour home visit with participants, interviewing them about food consumption, assessing the layout and food storage in the homes, and having participants complete self-report psychological questionnaires. They followed up two weeks later to evaluate participants’ food purchases and physical activity. The architectural assessment documented such details as the distance between favored spots in the house and food storage as well as stairs and doors that might be obstacles to food access. Emery, also a professor of internal medicine and an investigator in Ohio State’s Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, noted that multiple metabolic and genetic factors contribute to obesity, but the home is a logical place to consider in efforts to improve health. “I do think the home environment is a really important place to focus on since that’s where most people spend a majority of their time,” he said. “For interventions, we should be thinking about the home as a place to start helping people establish what we know to be healthier habits and behaviors.” Food is not the only issue affecting weight, either, Emery said. But changing eating habits is unlike many other behavior changes, such as quitting smoking or abstaining from alcohol. Emery pointed out that in the study, obese participants reported greater concerns than non obese participants about having access to enough food, but not for financial reasons. Obese participants also reported they were less able to avoid eating – whether they were hungry or not – when they were distressed or in settings where eating is socially acceptable. “This may reflect a greater preoccupation with food, and that is also important. If food is something you’re thinking about a lot, it potentially becomes a source of stress. And yet it’s something hard not to think about,” Emery said. “You can’t just stop eating, but ideally you can change the way you eat and, to some degree, change the way you’re thinking about eating.

Join our weight loss program and lose upto 16-20 pounds in just 26 days. Call us at +923125100200 to speak to our weight loss expert or email us at wecare@vitatious.com. 


Markers predicting obesity ‘can be detected in urine’

Chemical markers have been identified in urine that are associated with body mass, according to a new study published in Science Translational Medicine. The researchers behind the study, from Imperial College London in the UK, explain that the discovery provides new insights into how obesity leads to disease.

doctor holding urine sample
From over 2,000 urine samples, levels of 29 metabolic products were found by the researchers to correlate with the body mass index of the individual.

Because the prevalence of obesity and being overweight is rising worldwide, researchers are keen to better understand the relationship obesity has to increased risk of death from heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. It is estimated that obesity-driven disease results in 3.4 million deaths per year worldwide.

Scientists do not fully understand the relationship of these diseases to obesity, but they believe that by studying metabolic pathways some light may be shed on the mechanisms involved.

“Obesity has become a huge problem all over the world, threatening to overwhelm health services and drive life expectancy gains into reverse,” says Prof. Jeremy Nicholson, director of the MRC-NIHR National Phenome Centre at Imperial College London and a senior author of the study.

“Tackling it is an urgent priority and it requires us to have a much better understanding of how body fat and other aspects of biology are related. These findings provide possible starting points for new approaches to preventing and treating obesity and its associated diseases,” Prof. Nicholson adds.

Study identified 29 metabolites associated with obesity

Urine samples from over 2,000 volunteers in the US and UK were analyzed by the Imperial College team. From these samples, levels of 29 metabolic products were found by the researchers to correlate with the body mass index (BMI) of the individual.

As well as energy-related metabolites produced in the muscles, metabolites produced by bacteria in the gut were also linked by the study to obesity.

The researchers believe that non-obese people who have similar patterns of these metabolites in their urine may be at risk of developing obesity and metabolic diseases, and so may benefit from personalized preventative interventions.

Medical News Today asked Prof. Nicholson what was the main insight from the study in terms of understanding how obesity leads to disease. He answered:

“An important discovery is how diverse the metabolic consequences of obesity are in the body – many of the pathways we report have not been identified before and open up new lines of research. Also, the involvement of skeletal muscle metabolism and gut microbial metabolism and how they connect together has become clarified, giving us deeper biological insight into obesity. We know that the underlying microbial activity modifies gut cancer risks and so we now have some biomarkers of obesity relating to microbial metabolism that could also be cancer risk markers, but this needs to be tested.”

In 2013, a study by researchers from the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, CA, and published in the journal PLOS ONE identified another obesity risk factor in urine.

The Kaiser Permanente researchers found that girls in the beginning and middle of puberty who had above average levels of bisphenol-A (BPA) in their urine were at twice the risk of becoming obese compared with their peers who had low levels of BPA.

BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins since the 1960s. These plastics and resins are commonly used in food and drink containers.

Join our weight loss program and lose upto 16-20 pounds in just 26 days. Call us at +923125100200 to speak to our weight loss expert or email us at wecare@vitatious.com.