Scientists from the University of Aberdeen and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have undertaken the largest study of its kind looking at what components of diet – fat, carbohydrates or protein – caused mice to gain weight.
Since food consists of fat, protein and carbs, it has proven difficult to pinpoint exactly what aspect of the typical diet leads to weight gain.
Part of the problem is that it is very difficult to do studies on humans where what they eat is controlled for long enough periods to work out what are the most important factors, however studies on animals that are similar to us can help point in the right direction.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a first-of-its-kind weight loss device the uses surgically implanted electrodes to block nerve activity between the stomach and brain.
Called the Maestro Rechargeable System , the new device uses a rechargeable electronic pulse generator that sends intermittent pulses to the trunks of the nerves responsible for signaling whether the stomach feels empty or full. According to an FDA news release, although it’s clear that the impulses block nerve activity, “the specific mechanisms for weight loss due to use of the device are unknown.”
The system was evaluated in a clinical trial of 233 patients with a BMI of 35 or more that recorded weight loss of 8.5% more than a control group after 12 months. According to the FDA, just over half of the participants in the experimental group lost at least 20% of their excess weight.
For many children in the United States, the battle against childhood obesity may be in part a battle of perception: according to a new report, nearly a third of children don’t have an accurate view of their own weight status, with 81% of overweight boys and 71% of overweight girls describing themselves as “about the right weight.”
The report issued this week from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), says that from 2005 to 2012, 30.2% of children and adolescents aged 8–15 misperceived their weight status. Out of an estimated 9.1 million children and adolescents, 78% characterized themselves as “about the right weight” when they were in fact over or underweight. The remaining 22%, about 2 million of the 9.1 million, were of healthy weight but perceived themselves as too fat or too thin. The findings were based on an analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
It’s no news that Americans have become more obese during the past 15 years, but a new study adds an interesting perspective—the dramatic gains may be almost entirely due to lack of physical activity, and not an increase in caloric intake.
In an article e-published ahead of print in the American Journal of Medicine, researchers examined data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) administered between 1988 and 2010. Much of what they discovered about rates of obesity, overweight, and abdominal obesity have been well-substantiated, but some twists to the story were uncovered when researchers looked at these data in terms of caloric intake and levels of physical activity.