obesity

For the extremely obese (i.e., those with a BMI over 40), the most effective means of losing weight and keeping it off is bariatric surgery — as we have discussed in the past. Although some research has indicated that the effects of such surgery can be long-lasting, much of these data are derived from studies in which various types of bariatric surgery are used. A recent study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, restricted its focus to people who had received the Roux-en-Y procedure (also referred to as  Roux-en Y gastric bypass or RYGB).

This type of bariatric...

Being tan has a slimming effect and makes people look and feel great.  Well, turning fat brown can actually make people thin.

We have long known that there are two types of fat – white and brown.  The white fat stores energy in the form of triglycerides whereas brown fat actually takes energy and turns it into heat.  It is present in abundance in infants (to keep them warm) and decreases in prevalence as we age.  Brown fat is richly supplied with capillaries and gets its color from the iron-laden mitochondria, providing oxygen and nutrients to surrounding tissues. 

Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center and University of North Carolina have developed a ...

It's pretty common knowledge that obesity increases the chance that a woman will develop breast cancer, and how her excess adiposity is distributed on her body can be a clue to her risk. A new study from China increases our understanding of one possible mechanism by which this can occur.

First, some words about body shapes. Most men tend to be "apples" in that they carry most of their weight above the waist. Most women, on the other hand, are "pears", carrying more of their weight in the hips and thighs, as shown in the figure above. However, some women are more like apples, and their weight is distributed more like that of men. And if apples and pears become obese, these differences are accentuated. An apple will have a higher ratio of waist to hip circumference than will a...

OK, sleep is important — we get that. None of us functions very well when seriously sleep-deprived. But other than that, what health implications might there be if we're not getting adequate zzzz's? Some studies have shown an association between sleep deprivation and consumption of snack foods, as we described here, the implication being that sleepiness is a risk factor for obesity. A recent study further investigated this supposed connection.

Writing in PLOS One, Dr. Gregory D. M. Potter and colleagues analyzed data from the British National Diet and Nutrition Survey to assess the...

Bariatric surgery, as we've noted before, is currently the most effective way to deal with extreme obesity. But just having the surgery doesn't  guarantee success — the subject must still exercise some degree of dietary discipline to obtain the most benefit from the procedure, as demonstrated by a report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Dr. Noora Kanerva from the University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden, and colleagues analyzed data from the Swedish Obesity Study (SOS), a more than 30-year investigation comparing bariatric surgery with conventional treatments for obesity. In...

Menopause often has some pretty negative effects on women. Their risks of heart disease, osteoporosis and obesity all increase, to say nothing of the hot flashes that can make life a misery. And while we do have drugs that can prevent or treat osteoporosis effectively, the same is far from true about obesity. A recent report in Nature provides preliminary evidence that a means of dealing with both obesity and bone loss might just be in the pipeline — an antibody that blocks receptors for the hormone FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone). The research was carried out by Dr. Peng Liu from the Mount Sinai Medical School in New York City and colleagues from a number of institutions.

When a...

Unfortunately, often news headlines and science just don't track. For example, a recent headline in The Telegraph proclaims: Household dust makes people fat.  But did the research that article discusses really show what the headline says? Not hardly.

Among all the factors that have been labeled as causing obesity, perhaps the most innovative is supposed "endocrine disrupting chemicals or EDCs." And the recent report purporting to show that the level of such chemicals found in house dust can effectively cause fat cells to proliferate and store lipid might at first glance give some credence to that idea. However, not only...

It’s not really news that Americans’ level of overweight and obesity is one of the highest, if not the highest in the world, but it is news how the rest of the world is ‘trying’ to catch up. That’s just one aspect of a new report by the GBD 2015 Obesity Collaborators just published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The Global Burden of Disease Study is a global observational epidemiological study that aims to quantify global risks to health from major diseases, injuries and risk factors. It’s run under the auspices of WHO and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Using BMI [1] as their metric, the collaborators assessed data from 195 countries — essentially the global population —...

As people age we tend to become less active, and are more likely to gain weight. Those two characteristics can lead to lower muscle mass, increasing frailty and associated health problems. Attacking just the weight issue by reducing food intake can certainly be helpful with weight gain, but since weight loss can also decrease muscle mass, it can also contribute to impaired physical fitness and sequelae such as poor balance and diminished strength. So an important question for the older group is what type of exercise — aerobic such as walking, swimming or bike riding, or resistance such as weight lifting — would help the older obese person endeavoring to lose weight? A combination of the two types has been found to be helpful in younger obese people and in non-obese older folks, but...

So reducing sugar-sweetened beverages and overall sugar consumption should decrease the obesity surge, right? Or at least that's what those who are advocating taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages are telling us. Probably soon they'll be promoting taxes on all things sugary — especially those containing the dreaded added sugars. But so far, there doesn't seem to be any real evidence that such taxes, indeed such a lowering of sugary foods and drinks will do anything about the obesity problem.

Well, don't look here for such support‚ especially since I just read a new study from Australia that found that when sugar consumption decreased, obesity increased. This surprising correlation supports the position we've taken...