November 5th, 2015
Certain food words can interact with stress and genetics to trigger unhealthy eating, two new studies suggest.
One study included 17 obese people and 12 normal-weight people whose brain activity was monitored while they looked at words describing high- and low-calorie foods.
"Our study found that individuals with obesity had a stronger response to words associated with high-calorie foods -- such as chocolate spread and chicken wings -- in a widespread neural circuit spanning multiple areas of the brain," study leader Susan Carnell said in Obesity Society news release.
November 9th, 2015
People who weigh a normal amount when they step on the scale may be at higher risk of dying in the medium term if their fat is concentrated in the abdomen, say doctors who want everyone to use a tape measure to measure themselves.
Researchers have long suspected the body mass index, or BMI, that tells you how appropriate your weight is to your height isn't a good measure of body fatness — particularly fat that accumulates in the belly and within abdominal organs and leads to inflammation, glucose intolerance and other complications that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes
"There are many different names for it," said study co-author Thais Coutinho, a cardiologist at the Ottawa Heart Institute. "There's the apple shape as opposed to the pear shape, there's a muffin top, there's a beer belly. A spare tire. But basically, it is exactly what it sounds like: if somebody has a disproportionately large abdomen compared to other parts of the body."
September 8th, 2015
People with a family history of obesity who believe their genes doom them to the same may "give up" and eat worse, a new study suggests.
The study found that when it comes to weight, feelings of powerlessness against one's DNA was tied to a higher body mass index -- a measurement that takes into account weight and height.
A person with such an outlook "may engage in more behaviors that are rewarding in the short term, such as eating unhealthful foods and avoiding exercise," wrote study co-authors Drs. Jessica Alquist and Mike Parent. People who believe that genes dictate body weight may also avoid "healthful behaviors with more long-term benefits for weight management," the researchers said.
A high salt intake may be linked to an increased chance of obesity, independent of how many calories are consumed, experts report.
A new analysis published in the journal Hypertension found that an extra 1g a day of salt is associated with a 28% extra risk of being overweight or obese among children and a 26% increase in adults. However, some experts say the interpretation of the findings are over simplistic.