It is fairly common understanding that obesity is a dangerous state for your general health. You can put the multi-billion dollar a year total that is used each year for diet-related merchandise.
So there appears to be a war that is being waged for our good health. What is additionally perfectly known are the many unhealthy foods and beverages a lot of people consume.
Many folks are aware of the prevalence of high-calorie fats and all kinds of sugar present in many varieties of junk food and drinks. We will talk about some of the negative effects to health resulting from being obese.
Type 2 diabetes as a result of obesity has been increasing at an alarming rate in recent times. What has become even scarier is the rising chance of this condition in younger people who are also seriously overweight.
Obesity may cause insulin resistance which is substantial and a precursor to higher levels of glucose levels. A person who has already been considerably overweight or really obese is at a higher threat with a sugar-rich diet.
One really unhealthy ingredient applied to countless carbonated drinks is high fructose corn syrup. This substance is a lot like extremely strong sugar and can send blood sugar levels soaring.
Other severe disorders that are often seen involve problems for certain joints in the body. Clearly the bottom extremities endure the most burden, and so it is sensible that obese people have hip and knee joint difficulties.
Osteoarthritis is often seen in these situations as well because of joint damage. However, the answer is not always so straightforward as merely replacing a destroyed joint. While huge numbers of people get joint replacements, there exists a greater chance for good results with usual weight conditions.
Certainly only a doctor can make the final determination for those with substantial weight problems. There are particular risks inherent if surgery occurs due to the mechanics of the overall situation. The danger here is the large load on the artificial joint could cause it to be unstable.
Problems are common concerning the heart and specifically high blood pressure. The dilemma of having so much weight is it severely strains the entire body. All of the body fat that is present is living tissue, and for that reason it needs vital oxygen and other nutritional needs.
It all leads back to the heart obviously since that is what moves the blood. Not remarkably, the heart must produce a great deal of pressure to keep all that tissue oxygenated. There can also be a rise in the heart rate as it functions in reaction to all that requirement.
The problem of morbid obesity is an all round highly adverse impact on all the body’s organs. These are simply several of the secondary effects taken from a long list of health conditions resulting from severe weight gain.
Fattening gene discovered by researchers
‘Take me out to the ballgame’ doesn’t exactly conjure up images of apple slices and kale chips. The more likely culprits include French fries, soda and the occasional box of Crackerjacks.
Unfortunately for children who play youth baseball, eating unhealthy food during practices and games may be contributing to weight problems, according to researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
The study, published in the current online edition of Childhood Obesity, found that high-calorie snacks and sugar-sweetened drinks dominate the youth baseball scene.
“Though youth sports are an excellent way to promote physical activity, social interaction and positive health behaviors, the food environments are often characterized by less healthy food options with high-calorie contents and lower nutrient density,” said Joseph Skelton, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics at Wake Forest Baptist and senior author of the study.
In this observational study, the research team conducted an environmental scan of foods consumed by players and family members during 12 games at a youth baseball field in northwest North Carolina. The players were boys 8 to 11 years old on six teams.
The researchers found that most snacks were high-calorie food items, including French fries, candy and cookies and most beverages were sugar-sweetened. Nearly 90 percent of food and beverage items purchased were from the concession stand.
“Team sports like baseball are still very important for children’s activity and development,” said Megan Irby, M.S, co-author and research program manager of Brenner FIT, a multidisciplinary pediatric obesity program at Wake Forest Baptist.
“But as seen in this study, games and practices can be upwards of two to three nights a week, and many children participate on multiple sports teams each year. Parents should plan ahead for these busy times and even advocate in their local sports leagues for policies that address snacks and drinks.”
This research was the first step in exploring the question of whether children and families attending youth sporting events may be increasing their risk of being overweight or obese as a result of chronic unhealthy food behaviors associated with sports participation, Skelton said.
Contrary to the intent of youth sports, these findings indicate that children may be leaving the ball field having consumed more calories than they expended.
“Despite the benefits of participating in sports, the increased exposure to unhealthy foods and disruption of meal times may increase children’s risk for poor nutritional habits that can contribute to weight management issues,” Skelton said.
A limitation of the study was the ability to document all foods consumed at the ballpark without being intrusive accurately.
Dialysis patients with more muscle mass had better scores on a 6-minute walking test as well as better scores on physical and mental health questionnaires in a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).
The findings suggest that physical activity that builds muscle mass may help improve the health and quality of life of dialysis patients.
Physical functional ability is often significantly impaired in patients on maintenance hemodialysis. Srinivasan Beddhu, MD (University of Utah), Macy Martinson, MD (University of Utah), T. Alp Ikizler (Vanderbilt University), and their colleagues wondered whether modifiable factors such as body size and body composition could influence dialysis patients’ physical function and quality of life.
To investigate, the researchers assessed 105 maintenance dialysis patients’ body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and measurements of mid-thigh muscle area and intra-abdominal fat area.
They also tested how far patients could walk in 6 minutes, and they examined other measures of physical and mental health through questionnaires. Assessments were made at the start of the study, after 6 months, and after 12 months.
The investigators found that higher BMI levels at the beginning of the study were linked with shorter 6-minute walking distances measured at both at the start of the study and at later time points.
Results were similar for waist circumference and intra-abdominal fat. On the other hand, higher levels of mid-thigh muscle — which indicates greater muscle mass — were linked with longer 6-minute walking distances.
After adjusting for BMI, increases in mid-thigh muscle were also strongly linked with higher physical and mental health scores at the start of the study, but only weakly so at later time points.
“Because this study shows that higher muscle mass is associated with better physical function and quality of life in dialysis patients, interventions such as increased physical activity that decrease fat mass and increase muscle mass are likely to improve physical function, quality of life, and survival in dialysis patients,” said Dr. Beddhu. “Such interventions need to be tested in clinical trials.”
The findings may help explain the “obesity paradox” associated with dialysis patients, which relates to the prolonged survival sometimes seen in obese patients compared with normal-weight patients.
“The obesity paradox has been interpreted in earlier studies as fat is good. Some have even argued that weight loss should be discouraged in dialysis patients,” said Dr. Beddhu. “But the situation is more nuanced. This study provides a better understanding of the role of body composition in dialysis patients.”
People who take statin drugs to lower their cholesterol appear to have developed a false sense of security that could lead to heart disease and other obesity-related illnesses.
A new UCLA-led study suggests that people who took statins in the 2009-10 year were consuming more calories and fat than those who used statins 10 years earlier. There was no similar increase in caloric and fat intake among non-stain users during that decade, researchers said.
In 1999-2000, statin users were consuming fewer calories and less fat than individuals who didn’t take these medications, but that is no longer the case. Increases in body mass index — a measure of obesity that considers body weight and height — were greater for statin-users than for non-users.
“We believe that this is the first major study to show that people on statins eat more calories and fat than people on those medications did a decade earlier,” said the study’s primary investigator, Takehiro Sugiyama, who led the research while a visiting scholar in the division of general internal medicine and health services research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
“Statins are used by about one-sixth of adults. We may need to reemphasize the importance of dietary modification for those who are taking these medications, now that obesity and diabetes are important problems in society.”
The study, subtitled “Gluttony in the Time of Statins?” is published online in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA Internal Medicine. The findings were also presented April 24 at the annual meeting of the Society of General Internal Medicine.
For the study, the researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to compare fat and caloric intake among statin users and non-users in 1999-2000 and 2009-10.
They found that caloric intake among statin users had risen by 9.6 percent over that decade and that fat consumption had jumped by 14.4 percent. In contrast, caloric and fat intake by non-statin users did not change significantly during the 10-year period.
Statin-users ate roughly 180-kilogram calories less each day and 9 grams of fat less each day than non-users in 1999-2000. But as a result of increases over the decade, the researchers observed no difference in caloric and fat intake between statin users and non-users in 2009-10.
The differences may be explained by the fact that statin users don’t feel the urgency to reduce their caloric and fat consumption or to lose weight the way statin users 10 years ago did, said Sugiyama, who is now a clinical fellow at the National Center for Global Health and Medicine in Japan. Also, doctors today may be more likely to prescribe statins for patients who eat and weigh more.
Because of the design of this study, the researchers were not able to disentangle the mechanism of the different dietary intake trends. Longitudinal study will be required to answer this question.
“Regardless of the mechanism, there are problems, because eating more fat, especially saturated fat, will lead to higher cholesterol levels, which will undermine the effect of statins and may lead to unnecessary cost of medications,” Sugiyama said. “Being overweight also increases the risk of diabetes and hypertension, which also are risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
“Ethical considerations should be included in the discussion. We believe that when physicians prescribe statins, the goal is to decrease patients’ cardiovascular risks that cannot be achieved without medications, not to empower them to put butter on steaks.”
As the number of people with type 2 diabetes continues to rise and its toll increases, scientists are scrambling to unravel the complex genetic and lifestyle factors behind the disease.
A new study finds that African-American children with a genetic predisposition to diabetes may be able to reduce their risk by getting the USDA-recommended dose of calcium.
“Even though life expectancy for people with diabetes has gone up, the disease has a significant impact on quality of life, so finding ways to prevent people from developing diabetes is critical,” said Laura Tosi, M.D., director of the bone health program at Children’s National Medical Center and one of the study’s lead investigators.
“We were excited to find that higher calcium intake appears to mitigate the impact of some of the risk genes for type 2 diabetes, and we’re eager to see if these results hold true in other populations.”
An estimated 25 million people in the United States have diabetes, or about 1 in 12 people. African Americans are at especially high risk, and the trajectory for the disease is often set in childhood.
The researchers analyzed DNA samples, detailed nutrition information, body mass index and other health indicators in 142 African American children age 5-9. None of the study participants were diabetic, although 40 percent were overweight and 20 percent were obese.
Among children who tested positive for gene variants known to be associated with type 2 diabetes, those who consumed higher amounts of calcium had a significantly lower body mass index and percent body fat than those with lower calcium intake. Body mass index and percent body fat are strong indicators of a child’s risk of developing diabetes later in life.
The USDA recommends children age 4-8 get 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day, the equivalent of about 3.5 8-ounce glasses of milk or 4.5 ounces of cheese. Children age 9-13 years should get about 1,300 milligrams. In addition to dairy products, other calcium-rich foods include tofu, sardines, salmon and some green vegetables.
The study underscores the work of previous researchers, who have shown that many African American children do not get the recommended levels of calcium in their diet.
“Twenty percent of participating children consumed no milk in their diet whatsoever and 55 percent consumed less than one serving of milk per day. Only one-quarter of the children met the USDA standard,” said Tosi.
Co-investigator Joseph Devaney, Ph.D., said the study could help lead to a more personalized approach to diabetes prevention. “The ultimate goal would be to be able to predict, from a child’s genotype, his or her specific risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes, and then develop a targeted preventative approach to mitigate those risk factors with specific lifestyle interventions such as increasing calcium intake or physical activity, for example,” said Devaney, director of DNA technologies at Children’s National Medical Center.
Although the researchers do not know the exact reason for the association, they speculate that calcium or related dietary factors may cause epigenetic changes that affect how the diabetes-linked genes are expressed.
“What got us interested in this is the whole question of how the environment — including a person’s diet — influences gene expression,” said Tosi. Although scientists have intensely studied the impact of environmental factors during prenatal development and early infancy, few researchers have examined the effects of such factors later in childhood.
Understanding the interactions of genes and environmental factors in children is particularly useful for a disease as complex as diabetes, said Devaney.
By the time an adult is diagnosed with diabetes, there are usually numerous risk factors that need to be addressed. “The earlier you can identify a person’s risk factors, the better the opportunity to prevent, or at least delay, full-blown disease,” said Devaney.
“When someone says to an obese person, ‘They should just eat less and exercise more,’ I say if it were that simple, obesity wouldn’t be the worldwide epidemic that it is.” That’s according to Dr. Claude Bouchard, a faculty fellow of the Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study (TIAS), a program that attracts eminent scholars from around the world for extended stays to study, teach and conduct research alongside Texas A&M students and faculty.
Bouchard, director of the Human Genomics Lab at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., studies the genetics of obesity and says there are dozens of factors involved in determining whether or not a person becomes overweight or obese.
“It’s a complex problem because there are so many drivers,” says Bouchard, author or coauthor of several books and more than 1,000 scientific papers, and a former president of the International Association for the Study of Obesity.
“Approaches focus on only a few and forget that while we control them there is compensation taking place elsewhere; there are other drivers that come into play.”
He divides those drivers into four categories: social, environmental, behavioral and biological.
Social factors include less access to nutritious foods, more recreational eating, powerful and constant advertising, large food portions, poor school meals, eating on the run, food pricing and fewer meals cooked at home.
Our physical environment affects eating habits as well, says Bouchard, such as the absence of sidewalks, reliance on automobiles, building design and environmental pollutants.
Behavioral factors such as spending less time in strenuous activity, taking medications known to increase body weight, the absence of breastfeeding, eating corn fructose syrup, an increase in sedentary jobs and high-fat diets.
And biological factors such as genetics, viruses, gut microbiota (microorganisms living in the intestine), adipose tissue (body fat) biology, and metabolic rates can all affect weight and many are not within a person’s control.
“The biology is very complex,” Bouchard notes. “The response to environmental, social and behavioral factors is conditional on the genotype of an individual. Your adaptation to a diet or a given amount of exercise is determined by your genes.”
More research is needed, he says, but there is a high probability that diet and exercise programs for weight control or disease prevention will one day be tailored to an individual’s genetic makeup.
He asks, “Can we meet the challenge of identifying genomic predictors of the ability of a given person to respond favorably to a particular combination of food and exercise? I believe that we can.”
Bouchard and his colleague, Dr. George Bray, have edited the latest version of the “Handbook of Obesity,” the definitive guide on the subject, which thoroughly discusses the many contributing factors, treatment and prevention of this chronic disease.