Nutrition

2016/10/10MEDICAL UPDATE

No relationship between so-called “obesity gene” and ability to lose weight

By Bruce Sylvester There is no relationship between the so-called ‘obesity gene’ (FTO genotype/rs9939609) and the ability to lose weight, researchers reported on Sept. 21, 2016 in the BMJ/British Medical Journal. Weight loss strategies, “should focus on improving lifestyle behaviours, principally eating patterns and physical activity, since these will be effective in achieving sustained weight loss irrespective of FTO genotype,” the authors concluded. As background, the authors noted that some experts believe that genes play a significant role in the development of obesity, and others believe that environmental changes are responsible for increasing obesity rates. The investigators included in the new meta-analysis 8 randomized controlled trials enrolling 9,563 overweight or obese adults, and in which researchers evaluated reduction in body mass index, body weight, or waist circumference by FTO genotype after dietary, physical activity, or drug based interventions. In the meta-analysis, they found that, “Overall, differential changes in body mass index, body weight, and waist circumference in response to weight loss intervention were not significantly different between FTO genotypes. Sensitivity analyses indicated that differential changes in body mass index, body weight, and waist circumference by FTO genotype did not differ by intervention type, intervention length, ethnicity, sample size, sex, and baseline body mass index and age category.” In a linked editorial, Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said that the causes of the obesity epidemic are complex, but current evidence does not support an emphasis on gene profiles. She said that, “a rebalancing of research towards whole systems approaches including environmental drivers may be of greater benefit to the population in the long term.”

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2016/09/01MEDICAL UPDATE

World Health Matters: Canada: Childhood obesity in decline?

by Gary Finnegan: After years of increases, the rates of children who are overweight or obese are declining in Canada, according to new research in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

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2016/08/09MEDICAL UPDATE

Diabetes risk lowered by eating healthy fats instead of carbs or saturated fats

by Bruce Sylvester: Results from a meta-analysis of relevant studies suggest that consumption of unsaturated fats instead of either saturated fats or carbohydrates could help  prevent and manage  type 2 diabetes.

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2016/06/20MEDICAL UPDATE

Psoriasis associated with diabetes, BMI and obesity

by Bruce Sylvester: Psoriasis appears to be associated with type 2 diabetes, body mass index and obesity, researchers from a twin study reported on April 27, 2016 in JAMA Dermatology.

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2016/05/25MEDICAL UPDATE

World Health Matters: China – Salt and sodium intake remains high in China

by Gary Finnegan: The Chinese population continues to have a high rate of salt intake, fuelling concerns about rising risks of high blood pressure and stroke. The main culprit, according to a new study, appears to be the growing popularity of processed foods.

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2015/07/23MEDICAL UPDATE

A person’s diet, acidity of urine may affect susceptibility to UTIs

The acidity of urine -- as well as the presence of small molecules related to diet -- may influence how well bacteria can grow in the urinary tract, a new study shows. The research, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, may have implications for treating urinary tract infections, which are among the most common bacterial infections worldwide.

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2015/07/02MEDICAL UPDATE

World Health Matters: The Netherlands: Nuts may protect against major causes of death

by Gary Finnegan: Peanut and nut intake appear to lower mortality rates from major diseases, according to a new study, but peanut butter has no shown any protective effect.

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2015/05/08MEDICAL UPDATE

Mobile tracking application may help users meet vitamin D requirements

New study in Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior validates use of the Vitamin D Calculator app for tracking intake.  Vitamin D is essential for the maintenance of bone health and may be implicated in other chronic diseases, as well as immunity, but adults in Canada are consistently deficient in dietary vitamin D, by nearly 400 international units per day (IU/d) on average.

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2015/04/29MEDICAL UPDATE

World Health Matters: Finland: Eating eggs reduces risk of type 2 diabetes

by Gary Finnegan: Egg consumption may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to new research from the University of Eastern Finland which draws on a long-term study of dietary habits.

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2015/04/07MEDICAL UPDATE

From soda bans to bike lanes: Which ‘natural experiments’ really reduce obesity?

Banning sodas from school vending machines, building walking paths and playgrounds, adding supermarkets to food deserts and requiring nutritional labels on restaurant menus: Such changes to the environments where people live and work are among the growing number of solutions that have been proposed and attempted in efforts to stem the rising obesity epidemic with viable, population-based solutions. But which of these changes actually make an impact?

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