by Paul Boisvert, PhD in collaboration with the Canadian Obesity Network  (CON)  and The Research Chair in Obesity from Université Laval
Follow Obesity News and more news on Twitter


Archive: Obesity Research and Prevention Newsletter Review: Vol
9 no 25: 24 Oct 2011

International Congress on Abdominal Obesity Quebec City 9 to 12 July (Abstracts submission open)
Post doctoral Fellowship in Obesity in Université
Laval or University of Alberta: deadline 14 November

– Evaluation
Physical Activity Attenuates the Influence of FTO
Variants on Obesity Risk: A Meta-Analysis
31 oct
Carrying a copy of the FTO gene increases the risk of
becoming obese. However, the effect of the gene on obesity was 27 percent less
pronounced in individuals who were physically active compared with those who
were inactive.

Etiology – Determinants   
Hormones linked to weight regain by making you more
hungry than before losing weight
– NEJM 27
The dieters also rated themselves as feeling hungrier
after meals at the one-year mark, compared to what they reported before the
diet program began. The key finding came from comparing the hormone levels from
before the weight-loss program to one year after it was over. Six hormones were
still out of whack in a direction that would boost hunger.
This review summarizes the evidence and mechanistic insights on the
associations between RAS, obesity and insulin resistance, with special emphasis
on the role of adipose tissue RAS in the pathogenesis of metabolic derangements
in obesity.
Blood Glucose Levels Modulate Neural Control of
 1 Nov Arya Sharma
Anyone, who has ever experienced even a mild drop in
blood glucose levels, understands the notion of hunger – preferentially
activating limbic-striatal brain regions.  In contrast, high-normal blood
glucose levels preferentially activated the medial prefrontal cortex, an area
of the brain involved in regulating impulse control and reducing motivation for
rewarding stimuli such as food and drugs. Interestingly, however, higher
circulating glucose levels predicted greater medial prefrontal cortex
activation only in lean but not in obese subjects.

Slide kit: Impact of obesity on cardiometabolic
risk: Will we lose the battle?
High-Dose Vitamin D
Supplements Benefit Obese Adolescents
 3 Nov
Obese adolescents are only about half as efficient at
using vitamin D as their lean counterparts. For example, in lean adolescents it
only takes about 100 IUs to increase their serum 25OHD levels by 1 ng/ml. In
obese adolescents, it takes about 200 IUs to achieve the same increase ; If
obese adolescents only consumed the recommended 600 IUs, they would be in trouble;
physicians need to carefully evaluate the vitamin D status in their overweight
and obese patients
Obesity Pill Could Fool Brain To Eat Less  27 Oct
if we were to take a pill based on two simple gut
hormones (PYY and GLP-1) we would eat less because it would fool the brain by
signalling we’re full even if we’re not. In studies, volunteers who took one or
other of the hormones experienced reduced appetite and ate less.

Management – Prevention                                       
Intervention studies on food and built environments in four communities in
5 Oct
Interview with Kim Raine

Commercial weight loss programs of 12 weeks’ duration
more effective than NHS-based services
, UK study finds  3 Nov
Commercial weight loss programmes are more effective
and cheaper than primary care based services led by specially trained staff,
finds a study published on The programmes included in the analyses
were Weight Watchers; Slimming World; Rosemary Conley; a group-based dietetics
programme; general practice one to one counselling, pharmacy one to one
counselling. All programmes achieved significant weight loss after 12 weeks,
with the average weight loss ranging from 4.4 kg (Weight Watchers) to 1.4 kg
(general practice provision). The primary care programmes were no better than
the control group at 12 weeks.

 Policy – Regulations                                           
Everything you need to know about the front of package
label regulation
Marion Nestle 6 Nov
front-of-package labels regulation is a test of the
FDA’s authority to regulate and set limits on any kind of food industry
behavior. If the FDA cannot insist that food labels help the public choose
healthier foods, it means the public has little recourse against any kind of
corporate power.

 Children – Pediatrics                       
Childhood Diet Lower In Fat And Higher In Fiber May
Lower Risk For Chronic Disease In Adulthood
 31 Oct
A recent study has found that a childhood behavioral
intervention to lower dietary intake of total fat and saturated fat and
increase consumption of foods that are good sources of dietary fiber resulted
in significantly lower fasting plasma glucose levels and lower systolic blood
pressure when study participants were re-evaluated in young adulthood.

Overweight Teens Want To Lose Weight, Go About It The
Wrong Way
1 Nov
While most of the obese teens reported trying to lose
weight (about 75 percent), this group was also more likely to report smoking.
In addition, females trying to lose weight were more likely to report
participating in 60 minutes or more of physical activity per day; however,
these females were also prone to consume soda on a daily basis – regular, not
diet. Males who were trying to lose weight were more likely to report having no
days of physical activity, and also reported playing more than three hours of
video games per day.

Obesity Among Preschool Children: How Can Child-care Settings Promote Healthy
Eating and Physical Activity?
Research Synthesis Report

 Nutrition – Diet                                 
A handful of nuts a day can keep hunger at bay and
beat belly fat
 3 Nov
This is the first time a link between eating nuts and
higher levels of serotonin – a substance that decreases appetite, boosts
happiness and improves heart health – has been detected. 90 per cent of the
body’s serotonin is located in the gut while he remainder is found in the
central nervous system where it regulates mood and appetite. Most prescribed
drugs used to treat conditions such as depression,  anxiety disorder and
social phobia treat are designed to alter serotonin levels.

 Physical Activity – Sedentarity                              
5 interviews on obesity, exercise and sedentary
Obesity Panacea 22 Oct #csep11
Exercise May Reduce
Risk of Depression in Seniors
 3 Nov
Elderly people who are physically active are less
depressed, but higher levels of depression can also lead to less exercise. What
motivates elderly people to be physically active? Modern behavioral theories
suggest individuals who feel they are competent, make decisions for themselves,
have freedom of choice, and feel social relatedness linked to physical activity
experience a more internal and a less controlled form of motivation for

Addicted to Exercise?  29 Oct
Professor Linden explains how drugs such as cocaine
that light up these pleasure centers (there are several interconnected areas)
actually rewire the brain to increase cravings. Brain scans suggest that
everything from sugar to sex lights up the brain’s pleasure circuitry. Exercise
addicts display all of the hallmarks of substance addicts: tolerance, craving,
withdrawal and the need to exercise ‘just to feel normal

– Consumption
Slow eating may help weight control by suppressing the appetite more
  BBC-news 27 Oct

People Pay Less Attention To Nutrition Labels Fact
Than They Think They Do
 26 Oct

These results differed from the
self-reported survey responses describing typical grocery shopping and health
behaviors submitted by the participants. 33% of participants self-reported that
they nearly always look at calorie content.

 Industry –
Self regulation by industry of food marketing is
having little impact during children’s preferred television

The CAI (Canadian Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative)
was responsible for significantly more food/beverage promotions, and used media
characters and repetition more frequently in their food/beverage promotions
than the non-CAI group. Nutritionally, the CAI food/beverage promotions were
higher in fats, sugar, sodium and energy per 100 grams. A significantly greater
proportion of the CAI food/beverage promotions were considered ‘less healthy’
compared to the non-CAI promotions. The commitments that have been made in the
CAI are not having a significant impact on the food and beverage marketing
environment on television which is viewed by 10–12-year-olds.
The consumption of sugary sodas
has grown so much over the last three decades that they are now the number 1
source of calories in the diets of American teenagers. They found that the
sugary drinks industry specifically targets young Americans, especially
Hispanics and African-Americans. « Sugary Drinks FACTS »
« Summary of the Report » (PDF – 6 pages long)
« The Whole Report » (PDF, 232 pages long)