Category: Weight Loss & Obesity News
Better midlife fitness may slow brain aging

People with poor physical fitness in their 40s may have lower brain volumes by the time they hit 60, an indicator of accelerated brain aging, according to new research presented at the American Heart Association EPI/Lifestyle 2015 meeting.

“Many people don’t start worrying about their brain health until later in life, but this study provides more evidence that certain behaviors and risk factors in midlife may have consequences for brain aging later on,” said Nicole L. Spartano, Ph.D., lead author and a postdoctoral fellow at the Boston University School of Medicine.

A subset of 1,271 participants from the Framingham Offspring Study participated in exercise treadmill testing in the 1970s, when their average age was 41. Starting in 1999, when their average age was 60, they underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of their brains as well as cognitive tests. The participants did not have heart disease or cognitive problems at the beginning of the study, and none were taking medication that alters heart rate.

In individuals with low fitness levels, the blood pressure and heart rate responses to low levels of exercise are often much higher than in individuals with better fitness.

“Small blood vessels in the brain are vulnerable to changes in blood pressure and can be damaged by these fluctuations,” Spartano said. “Vascular damage in the brain can contribute to structural changes in the brain and cognitive losses. In our investigation we wanted to determine whether exaggerated blood pressure fluctuations during exercise were related to later structural changes in the brain.”

The researchers found:

  • People who had a lower fitness level or greater increase in diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) or heart rate a few minutes into the low-intensity treadmill test (2.5 miles an hour) had smaller brain tissue volume later in life.
  • People who had a larger increase in diastolic blood pressure during low-intensity exercise also performed more poorly on a cognitive test for decision-making function later in life.

Poor physical fitness could be associated with accelerated brain aging.

“For every 3.4 units lower exercise capacity, every 7.1 mm Hg higher exercise diastolic blood pressure, and for every 8.3 beats/minute higher exercise heart rate in midlife, these effects are approximately equivalent to an additional 0.5 years of brain aging,” Spartano said.

Apart from the exercise tests, a higher resting systolic blood pressure (top number) at age 40 was associated with a smaller frontal lobe volume and a greater volume of white matter hyperintensity (an indicator of loss of blood flow with aging) on the later brain MRIs.

Promotion of midlife physical fitness may be an important step towards ensuring healthy aging of the brain in the population, researchers said.

“It will be interesting to follow up with these participants in another 10 years to determine how many developed dementia, and if that may be related to their fitness or exercise blood pressure or exercise heart rate in midlife,” Spartano said.

Co-authors are: Jayandra J. Himali, Ph.D.; Alexa S. Beiser, Ph.D.; Charles DeCarli, M.D.; Ramachandran S. Vasan, M.D.; and Sudha Seshadri, M.D.

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New treadmill performance test ‘predicts long-term risk of death from all causes’

According to a new study by cardiologists at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, MD, analyzing the ability of patients to exercise on a treadmill at increasing speed and incline could help to predict their risk of dying over a decade.

Although some exercise-based risk scoring systems to predict short-term risk of death are already in use, they can only be applied to patients with diagnosed heart disease or other cardiovascular best-weight-loss-slimming-clinic-medicine-treatment-islamabad-lahore-karachi-pakistan-problems, and incorporate results from electrocardiograms (EKGs) with other variables.

Publishing the results of their work in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, the Johns Hopkins cardiologists claim to have developed an algorithm – called the FIT Treadmill Score – which can measure long-term risk of death in anyone and is based solely on treadmill performance.

“The notion that being in good physical shape portends lower death risk is by no means new, but we wanted to quantify that risk precisely by age, gender and fitness level, and do so with an elegantly simple equation that requires no additional fancy testing beyond the standard stress test,” says lead author Dr. Haitham Ahmed, a cardiology fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

As well as the patient’s age and gender, the FIT Treadmill Score takes into account the peak heart rate reached during intense exercise and their ability to tolerate physical exertion.

This tolerance of physical exertion is assessed using a measure known as “metabolic equivalents” (METs). An activity such as slow walking equals two METS, the authors explain, compared with eight METs for running.

Data from 58,020 individuals aged 18-96 who underwent exercise stress tests between 1991 and 2009 were analyzed by the John Hopkins team when developing their algorithm.

Tracking how many participants died from any cause over the next decade, the researchers found that – among people of the same age and gender – fitness level measured by METs and peak heart rate during exercise were the most reliable predictors of death and survival, even when family history and factors like diabetes were taken into consideration.

The score ranged from negative 200 to positive 200. Participants who score above 0 have low mortality risk, while those with a negative score face the highest risk of death.

FIT is ‘cost-effective and simple to calculate’

The researchers say that because the score is easy to calculate and costs nothing beyond the cost of the treadmill test itself, it should be used for the millions of patients undergoing cardiac stress testing in the US each year.

Exercise stress tests are commonly used to inform treatment decisions and decide whether patients require invasive cardiac tests. In these tests, the patient walks on a treadmill that is increasing in speed and incline. The test is stopped once the person becomes exhausted or develops chest pain, dizziness or abnormalities in their heart rhythm.

EKG readings from the test are used to determine whether angiography – an invasive examination of the interior of the heart’s main blood veins – is required. If abnormalities in the EKG are detected, then the patient is referred for angiography. If there are no EKG abnormalities then no further testing is required.

“Stress test results are currently interpreted as ‘either/or’ but we know that heart disease is a spectrum disorder,” Dr. Ahmed considers. “We believe that our FIT score reflects the complex nature of cardiovascular health and can offer important insights to both clinicians and patients.”

“We hope the score will become a mainstay in cardiologists’ and primary clinicians’ offices as a meaningful way to illustrate risk among those who undergo cardiac stress testing and propel people with poor results to become more physically active,” says senior study author Dr. Michael Blaha, director of clinical research at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease.

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Study shows ‘feast and famine’ DOES help you live longer

Think of it as interval training for the dinner table. University of Florida Health researchers have found that putting people on a feast-or-famine diet may mimic some of the benefits of fasting, and that adding antioxidant supplements may counteract those benefits.

Fasting has been shown in mice to extend lifespan and to improve age-related diseases. But fasting every day, which could entail skipping meals or simply reducing overall caloric intake, can be best-weight-loss-slimming-clinic-medicine-treatment-islamabad-lahore-karachi-faisalabad-peshawar-pakistanhard to maintain.

“People don’t want to just under-eat for their whole lives,” said Martin Wegman, an M.D.-Ph.D. student at the UF College of Medicine and co-author of the paper recently published in the journal Rejuvenation Research. “We started thinking about the concept of intermittent fasting.”

Michael Guo, a UF M.D.-Ph.D. student who is pursuing the Ph.D. portion of the program in genetics at Harvard Medical School, said the group measured the participants’ changes in weight, blood pressure, heart rate, glucose levels,cholesterol, markers of inflammation and genes involved in protective cell responses over 10 weeks.

“We found that intermittent fasting caused a slight increase to SIRT 3, a well-known gene that promotes longevity and is involved in protective cell responses,” Guo said.

The SIRT3 gene encodes a protein also called SIRT3. The protein SIRT3 belongs to a class of proteins called sirtuins. Sirtuins, if increased in mice, can extend their lifespans, Guo said. Researchers think proteins such as SIRT3 are activated by oxidative stress, which is triggered when there are more free radicals produced in the body than the body can neutralize with antioxidants. However, small levels of free radicals can be beneficial: When the body undergoes stress – which happens during fasting – small levels of oxidative stress can trigger protective pathways, Guo said.

“The hypothesis is that if the body is intermittently exposed to low levels of oxidative stress, it can build a better response to it,” Wegman said, who recently completed a two-year pre-doctoral fellowship at UF supported by a National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Science Award.

The researchers found that the intermittent fasting decreased insulin levels in the participants, which means the diet could have an anti-diabetic effect as well.

The group recruited 24 study participants in the double-blinded, randomized clinical trial. During a three-week period, the participants alternated one day of eating 25 percent of their daily caloric intake with one day of eating 175 percent of their daily caloric intake. For the average man’s diet, a male participant would have eaten 650 calories on the fasting days and 4,550 calories on the feasting days. To test antioxidant supplements, the participants repeated the diet but also included vitamin C and vitamin E.

At the end of the three weeks, the researchers tested the same health parameters. They found that the beneficial sirtuin proteins such as SIRT 3 and another, SIRT1, tended to increase as a result of the diet. However, when antioxidants were supplemented on top of the diet, some of these increases disappeared. This is in line with some research that indicates flooding the system with supplemental antioxidants may counteract the effects of fasting or exercise, said Christiaan Leeuwenburgh, Ph.D., co-author of the paper and chief of the division of biology of aging in the department of aging and geriatric research.

“You need some pain, some inflammation, some oxidative stress for some regeneration or repair,” Leeuwenburgh said. “These young investigators were intrigued by the question of whether some antioxidants could blunt the healthy effects of normal fasting.”

On the study participants’ fasting days, they ate foods such as roast beef and gravy, mashed potatoes, Oreo cookies and orange sherbet – but they ate only one meal. On the feasting days, the participants ate bagels with cream cheese, oatmeal sweetened with honey and raisins, turkey sandwiches, apple sauce, spaghetti with chicken, yogurt and soda – and lemon pound cake, Snickers bars and vanilla ice cream.

“Most of the participants found that fasting was easier than the feasting day, which was a little bit surprising to me,” Guo said. “On the feasting days, we had some trouble giving them enough calories.”

Leeuwenburgh said future studies should examine a larger cohort of participants and should include studying a larger number of genes in the participants as well as examining muscle and fat tissue.

Guo, Wegman and their fellow authors developed the study with UF Institute on Aging faculty members Stephen Anton, Ph.D., and Leeuwenburgh, as well as UF Clinical and Translational Institute faculty and staff including study dietician Meena Shankar. The endeavor was as a part of a class in the UF M.D.-Ph.D. program that is designed to teach students to bridge the gap from clinical research to bedside medicine, during which students design a clinical trial based at the UF Clinical Research Center.

“As we go through the study design and work out the basic science and clinical aspects, we marry those together and have a final product of an Institutional Review Board-approved clinical trial,” said Mark L. Brantly, M.D., a professor in the department of medicine, senior author on the paper, and leader of the class project. “These students are remarkable in their motivation, maturity and intellectual capacity. I’m amazed at what they are able to accomplish, such as working in a team, sharing a workload and connecting with people.”

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More than 2 hours of TV a day increases high blood pressure risk in children by 30 percent

A study on European children concludes that spending more than two hours a day in front of a screen increases the probability of high blood pressure by 30%. The article also points out that doing no daily physical activity or doing less than an hour a day increases this risk by 50%.

TV and High Blood Pressure Risk
A study on European children concludes that spending more than two hours a day in front of a screen increases the probability of high blood pressure by 30%. The article also points out that doing no daily physical activity or doing less than an hour a day increases this risk by 50%.
Credit: SINC

For years now scientific literature has associated watching the television with a sedentary lifestyle and obesity in young people. Now research led by the Universities of Zaragoza (Unizar) and São Paulo (Brazil) reveal the relationship between this habit and a greater risk of developing high blood pressure.

“The study shows the number of new high blood pressure cases and the connection between physical activity and different sedentary behaviours with the risk of high blood pressure in European children,” explains Augusto César F. de Moraes, a Brazilian researcher who collaborates with the Unizar group and lead author of the article, to SINC.

The scientists based their conclusion on data from the study on ‘Identification and Prevention of Dietary- and Lifestyle-induced Health Effects in Children and Infants’ (IDEFICS), gathered over two years in 5,221 children from eight European countries (Spain, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Cyprus, Estonia, Sweden and Belgium), who were between 2 and 10 years old at the beginning of the study.

The results, published recently in the International Journal of Cardiology, show that the cumulative incidence of high blood pressure in this population during the two years analysed is high: 110 in 1,000. “High blood pressure can cause cardiovascular problems later in life,” adds F. de Moraes. “For example, it increases the risk of ischemic heart disease“.

The authors state that children who are sedentary for more than two hours a day, in front of the television, computers or videoconsoles, run a 30% greater risk of developing high blood pressure. “The figures are worrying, given that sedentary behaviours are common in infancy and subsequently, later in life”.

Among the non-communicable diseases, high blood pressure has a high incidence in adults. Different studies have demonstrated that the levels of arterial pressure in infancy and adolescence have an enormous impact on developing high blood pressure as an adult.

More than one hour a day of exercise

To beat this condition, experts recommend that young people carry out physical activity for more than 60 minutes a day, and advise that sedentary activities last no longer than two hours a day.

Similarly, the researchers have observed that not doing an hour of physical activity a day increases the risk of high blood pressure by 50%. “Scientific evidence indicates that physical activity is a powerful vasodilator. Therefore, the rate of oxygenation of the heart increases, and at the same time, decreases arterial pressure,” concludes F. de Moraes.

Older people and eating disorders: not ‘just a teenager’s problem’

Eating disorders are often portrayed as a disease that only affects the young and privileged, yet this is not the case. Eating disorders can affect anyone at any time, regardless of age, gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexuality or cultural background.

While eating disorders are often considered to be a “teenager’s problem,” older people can also be affected by these diseases.

Not only are they susceptible to eating disorders, but there are a number of unique problems that are experienced by this social group.

“We have heard of cases where physicians have told patients that they should have ‘grown out of’ eating disorders,” Prof. Cynthia M. Bulik told Medical News Today. “Or that they are ‘too old’ to immigration-consultant-lawyer-canadian-australian-newzealand-student-visas-karachi-lahore-islamabad-peshawar-faisalabad-pakistan-be suffering fromanorexia, bulimia or binge-eating disorder.”

In this Spotlight feature, we investigate precisely how older people can be affected by eating disorders, what unique problems they face and what is currently being done to raise awareness of this issue.

What are eating disorders?

Eating disorders are serious conditions that can have a significant impact on an individual’s physical and emotional health, as well as affecting their productivity and their relationships.

These diseases have the potential to be life-threatening, and anyone that develops an eating disorder should seek professional help. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) state that people with anorexia nervosa are 18 times more likely to die early, compared with people of similar ages in the general population.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), around 20 million women and 10 million men in the US experience a clinically significant eating disorder at some point in their lives.

Common forms of eating disorder include:

  • Anorexia nervosa: a disorder characterized by a distorted perception of body weight and a significant fear of gaining weight. People with anorexia nervosa often go to extreme measures to lose weight or prevent weight gain
  • Bulimia nervosa: a disorder characterized by people eating a lot of food (bingeing) and then attempting to get rid of the extra calories in unhealthy ways. This can take the form of “purging,” through self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, for example
  • Binge-eating disorder: a condition whereby unusually large amounts of food are frequently consumed, accompanied by a compulsion to do so.

Each of these conditions is associated with food and weight to varying degrees. However, such is the complexity of these disorders that they usually arise from a combination of factors – biological, interpersonal, psychological and social.

These factors can be directly related to food and weight, such as cultural pressures that place great value on obtaining “the perfect body,” and feelings of low self-esteem that may or may not tie into these. Equally, eating disorders can be associated with seemingly unrelated factors such as depression, anxiety, loneliness, introversion and a history of abuse.

Food can be seen as a way in which painful emotions and experiences that might otherwise feel overwhelming can be controlled and dealt with – a coping mechanism. Despite potentially providing a feeling of control, however, eating disorders can severely damage a person’s physical and emotional health.

In terms of physical health, obesity caused by binge-eating disorder can increase the risk of diabetes, hypertension,heart disease and some forms of cancer. Likewise, anorexia can lead to anemia, kidney problems, bone loss and heart problems, such as arrhythmias or heart failure.

Why are eating disorders less recognized in older adults?

While the dangers of eating disorders are well documented, their effect on older adults is not. But why is it that this is the case? MNT asked a number of experts, and one of the overriding responses was a general misconception that eating disorders are disorders of youth.

Empty fridge.
Older people may have difficulty buying or obtaining groceries, but missing food could also be a sign of an eating disorder.

“People fail to recognize that eating disorders can strike people of any age,” said Prof. Bulik, the founding director of the University of North Carolina Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders. “They think that people magically grow out of eating disorders when they leave adolescence. Nothing could be farther from the truth.”

Although the majority of literature and research on eating disorders focuses on younger people – females in particular – and while many eating disorder cases may feature young people, there is plenty of evidence to demonstrate that these diseases are not exclusive to those under 30.

Rather than growing out of eating disorders, many people with these diseases continue to live with their condition from adolescence all the way into late adulthood.

Laurie Cooper, site director at the Renfrew Center in Nashville, TN, told MNT that an erroneous assumption that older adults are not affected by eating disorders has an adverse effect on diagnosis:

“Rather, many family members or helping professionals may attribute weight loss, malnutrition or unexplained symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea to a ‘normal’ aging process or some other medical condition, rather than amental health disorder.”

In addition, Cooper explained that many individuals who have recovered from eating disorders can experience relapses. Due to their age and status of being in “recovery,” any signs of relapse can be interpreted differently to how they may have been interpreted when the individual was younger.

Unfortunately, some of the symptoms of eating disorders are similar to those associated with the aging process. Older adults may require medication that causes nausea, or they may have functional problems that impair their ability to obtain groceries or plan an adequate diet.

However, even when older adults are living with assistance, eating disorders can still manifest and remain undiagnosed. Prof. Bulik explained:

“We have seen cases of laxative abuse in assisted care facilities, where they often hand laxatives out like candy, but the patients clearly had eating disorders and were using laxatives to purge. We have seen cases of anorexia motivated by beliefs that caloric restriction will extend life.”

The erroneous assumption of eating disorders being exclusive to the young represents one of several unique problems that older adults have to cope with in their fight with these diseases. Help is nearly always required for treating eating disorders, and the first step toward treatment is diagnosis.

A series of unique problems

Age plays an important role in how people cope with disease, both physically and mentally, and this is precisely the case when it comes to eating disorders. As specified earlier, eating disorders can lead to various other serious health problems, and as age increases so do the risks these entail.

“One of the main concerns is that eating disorders take a tremendous toll on just about every bodily system,” explained Prof. Bulik. “In old age, these body systems are less resilient to begin with, just because of the aging process, so eating disorders can erode them more quickly and more seriously.”

Conditions that are more common among older people, such as cardiac problems, gastrointestinal problems,osteoporosis and obesity, can all be exacerbated and complicated further by the presence of an eating disorder.

The combination of older bodies becoming more vulnerable and the underdiagnosis of eating disorders can also make older adults less likely to seek help for these conditions. Even if an individual knows they have a problem, this combination could be enough to put people off seeking help.

Sad unhappy older person.
Many unique and often irreversible life changes occur among the elderly, such as the death of a spouse.

Prof. Bulik told MNT that dismissive comments from physicians – telling patients that they should have “grown out of” eating disorders or that they are “too old” for them – can be a real disincentive to pursue treatment. “Those sorts of comments just lead people to go back into the shadows and not reach out for the treatment they deserve.”

Cooper also suggested that older people could have less support and motivation provided by others to go and seek treatment. “Some individuals may have fewer future goal-related motives for recovery as they see themselves in an end-of-life phase, already anticipating poor health or death.”

Whereas young people may look forward and see a bright future to be had after overcoming an eating disorder, older people may accept these diseases as just another symptom of getting older.

A final unique and inescapable problem comes from the fact that eating disorders are often related to an individual having to cope with stressful life events and needing a way to take control back at a time when they may feel as though they have none at all.

As people age, the chances of them experiencing such an event – the death of a loved one, retirement, increasing loss of independence – increase. “Coping with these mood changing, stressful life events may leave the elderly finding that their current coping skills are not adequate for their present life circumstances,” said Cooper.

Each of these factors represents a challenge posed by eating disorders that are far less likely to be experienced by the young and otherwise healthy individuals who are traditionally associated with these serious diseases.

What is being done?

This week marks National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. One thing that is apparent is how great the need is for awareness to be raised about eating disorders – particularly among smaller sociodemographic groups who are not traditionally associated with eating disorders.

To this end, the NEDA are collaborating with the feminist activist and editor of Everyday Feminism, Melissa A. Fabello, on the Marginalized Voices Project.

“Our goal is to create a collection of stories that tells the whole truth – by spanning the entire spectrum, highlighting stories from people of marginalized identities and that challenge misconceptions – so that we can present the world with what the reality of most eating disorders look like,” the NEDA state.

Stories have been collected specifically focusing on underrepresented experiences and communities with the aim of creating a platform for people to share what it is like having and recovering from an eating disorder.

The project will be launched in the near future, and it is projects like this that are likely to have the biggest impact on the treatment of eating disorders. Raising awareness will hopefully lead to more people seeking treatment and improved rates of diagnosis.

This year’s awareness week theme is “I had no idea,” specifically addressing the need to acknowledge the diverse experiences of people who are affected by eating disorders. “Too often,” say the NEDA, “signs and symptoms are overlooked as insignificant behaviors when in fact many of these are early warning signs of eating disorders.”

Anyone can get involved with these efforts. NEDA suggest that educating yourself and others about eating disorders, debunking myths and spreading the facts are great ways to raise awareness of these diseases in older people. There are also a number of charities that focus on providing information, research and treatment for these diseases.

“The triggers may differ in late life,” said Prof. Bulik, “but the disorders can still take hold.” In order to improve the lives of thousands of people, this message needs to be heard loud and clear.


Nurture, not nature, could be a larger issue when dealing with the obesity epidemic

Some scientists say that when mothers eat poorly during pregnancy, they pass along traits to their children that make them more likely to have poor diets and have related health problems.

But a new study in mice by researchers in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine has shown that the environment in which a child lives may be an equal if not stronger force in determining obesity than their mother’s diet.

In other words, nurture, not nature, could be a larger issue when dealing with the obesity epidemic.

The researchers found that having too many food choices increases the obesity problem. In fact, researchers found that having a choice of a high-fat and low-fat diet does not help — offspring in this situation tended to eat even more. Their findings were recently released in the journal Endocrinology.

“We like variety,” said Deborah Good, an author of the paper and an associate professor of human nutrition, foods, and exercise at Virginia Tech. “But when there is a choice, we eat more than when there is not any variety.”

Though the study was done using mice, it can help inform researchers of how human’s natural environment can affect food choices and ultimately a person’s weight. In a country where one-third of adults and 17 percent of children are obese, understanding the root causes of the problem is imperative.

It is the first study of its kind to look at the issue in terms of mimicking a real world environment in which people have the choice between eating fattening foods or healthy low-fat ones. Previous mice studies investigating the role of a mother’s diet in offspring obesity have limited the offspring’s food choice to only high-fat or low-fat diets, but anyone who has walked past the candy aisle to get to the produce section can tell you that is not an accurate representation of life in America. We are constantly faced with making choices and that’s not necessarily a good thing when it comes to obesity.

“We have found that environmental factors are just as important if not more so than a mother’s diet when it comes obesity,” said George Davis, professor in both the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise and the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at Virginia Tech.

Renee Prater, the associate dean for curriculum, assessment and medical education at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, was also an author.

In this study, the team had two sets of mothers – those given a high-fat diet, and those given a low-fat diet. The offspring were then given a diet that was high fat, low fat, or one in which they had a choice of foods.

The offspring that had a choice of high- or low-fat foods had an increase in body weight, body fat, and glucose levels. Those on a low fat diet showed no such negative impacts. They did, however, have a higher energy expenditure compared to those on low- or high-fat diets. Essentially, the mice burned more energy as they wandered around and evaluated which food they were going to eat.

But having a choice of either a high-fat or low-fat diet can lead to overeating, the experiment found. It is not unlike if someone had the choice of healthy and fatty foods in a grocery store – they may pick both, which leads to a higher daily fat intake.

Though the study was done on mice, the researchers believe the results are telling and could apply to humans. The authors hint that if low-fat foods are more readily available, or priced competitively with high-fat and unhealthy foods, even babies born to overweight mothers could counter their prenatal environment and avoid being overweight themselves.

Prater said that this study is central to the philosophies of osteopathic medicine, which promote wellness and preventive care in medicine.

“This helps to show that if you make good choices, you can overcome some of your natural tendencies and be healthier in the long-run,” she said.



Chart: How childhood obesity has swept the world in less than a generation


A new comprehensive study published in The Lancet looks at the state of obesity around the world, and shares several grim observations, including that no country has managed to curb its obesity epidemic. It also looks specifically at the prevalence of child and adolescent obesity, which has risen significantly around the globe in a matter of “less than one generation.” That troubling ascent can be seen in the chart above, which shows the rising percentage of children who are overweight or obese in 9 distinct countries around the world.

The United States, as is often the case when addressing obesity, is the country that stands out. There is good news in America: Children in the United States, after all, are less likely to be overweight today than they were in the mid 2000s. But there is also bad news: American kids are still far more likely to be overweight than kids in most other countries. Much of that damage has been done over the past thirty years, during which the average weight of an American child has risen by more than 11 pounds, according to the researchers.



Medication, lifestyle changes slow diabetes progression in at-risk population

Women with a history of gestational diabetes face a heightened risk of developing Type 2 diabetes for years after giving birth, but intensive lifestyle intervention or a medication regimen can have a protective effect in this population, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy, typically in the second trimester. The condition causes glucose levels in the bloodstream to rise above normal levels. Gestational diabetes occurs during as many as 9.2 percent of pregnant women, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Our long-term follow-up study found the elevated risk of developing Type 2 diabetes persisted for years in women who had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, and this long-term risk can best-weight-loss-slimming-clinic-medicine-treatment-islamabad-lahore-karachibe reduced with either intensive lifestyle intervention or the medication metformin,” said one of the study’s authors, Vanita Aroda, MD, of the MedStar Health Research Institute in Hyattsville, MD.

The Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study (DPPOS) analyzed long-term metabolic health in 288 women who had a previous diagnosis of gestational diabetes and 1,226 mothers who did not have a history of the condition. The women all participated in the initial Diabetes Prevention Program study, a randomized clinical trial where they were assigned to intensive lifestyle intervention, the diabetes medication metformin or a placebo. The intensive lifestyle intervention was aimed at reducing body weight by 7 percent and participating in moderate cardio exercise for 150 minutes a week.

During the DPPOS, the women continued to have their blood glucose levels measured twice a year for six years. The study looked at long-term health outcomes in Diabetes Prevention Program participants for about a decade after the women first enrolled in the study.

Women with a history of gestational diabetes who were assigned to take the medication metformin or undergo the intensive lifestyle intervention were less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than women who received the placebo. When they were assigned the placebo, women who had a history of gestational diabetes had a 48 percent higher risk of developing diabetes compared to women who were never diagnosed with the condition.

Women who had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes and underwent intensive lifestyle intervention had a 35.2 percent reduction in their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The risk was reduced by 40.4 percent among women with a history of the condition who were assigned to take metformin.

“Medical and lifestyle interventions were remarkably effective at slowing the progression of Type 2 diabetes in this at-risk population in both the short and long term,” Aroda said. – The slimming clinic in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi