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You are here : 3-RX.com > Home > Aging and GerontologyWeight Loss


Weight Loss

Mixed results for weight loss drug on slowing progression of coronary disease

Drug Abuse • • Heart • • Obesity • • Weight LossApr 01 08

The anti-obesity medication rimonabant showed mixed results in slowing progression of coronary artery disease in patients with abdominal obesity and pre-existing coronary disease, according to a new study in the April 2 issue of JAMA. The study is being released early online April 1 to coincide with its presentation at the annual conference of the American College of Cardiology.

“Abdominal obesity, even in the absence of type 2 diabetes, is associated with a constellation of metabolic and physiological abnormalities that amplify the risk for atheroslcerotic cardiovascular disease,” the authors write in background information for the article. Atherosclerotic disease, often commonly known as “hardening” of the arteries, occurs when deposits of plaques accumulate in the inner lining of the arteries. The researchers write that there are few treatment options to address the underlying cause of the metabolic syndrome – abdominal obesity. One promising approach is the use of the selective cannabinoid type 1 receptor antagonist rimonabant. Rimonabant has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but is available in several other countries. Metabolic syndrome includes high triglyceride levels, a low HDL (good) cholesterol level, high blood pressure, and a high level of glucose (sugar) in the blood.

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The obese may fare better after stroke: study

Obesity • • Stroke • • Weight LossMar 17 08

Obese and overweight individuals are less likely to die in the 5 years after suffering a stroke than are their normal-weight peers, a new study shows.

In the study, researchers analyzed data from 21,884 stroke patients in Denmark who had their body mass index (BMI) determined. BMI is an accepted means of determining how fat or thin a person is.

The patients were placed into one of five BMI groups: underweight (BMI < 18.5), normal weight (18.5 to 24.9), overweight (25.0 to 29.9), obese (30.0 to 34.9), and severely obese (35 and greater) and were followed for up to 5 years after their stroke.

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Overweight women have worse breast cancer: study

Cancer • • Breast Cancer • • Obesity • • Weight LossMar 17 08

Breast cancer patients who are overweight have more aggressive disease and are likely to die sooner, U.S. researchers reported on Friday.

A dangerous type of breast cancer, known as inflammatory breast cancer, was seen in 45 percent of obese patients, compared with 30 percent of overweight patients and 15 percent of patients of healthy weight.

“The more obese a patient is, the more aggressive the disease,” said Dr. Massimo Cristofanilli of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, who led the study.

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Urban Planning a Factor in Rising Obesity Rates

Obesity • • Weight LossMar 14 08

You may want to buy healthy food for your family, but if the good grocery stores are far away and pricey and the fast-food outlets are cheap and plentiful, it may be harder to make the healthy choice. Research led by the University of Alberta and funded by the Canadian Institute for Health Information confirms there are links between our urban surroundings and how likely we are to struggle with obesity.

The startling rise in obesity rates in North America over the past two decades has led to calls for more effective approaches to help people achieve healthy weights. The State of the Evidence Review on Urban Health and Healthy Weights, released to the public this week, synthesizes the findings of hundreds of population health studies published over the years and shines a spotlight on aspects of our urban environments that can either inhibit or promote our ability to maintain a healthy weight.

“Two key areas we looked at were economic environments and built environments—meaning the ways in which the neighbourhoods and the cities in which we live are planned and developed,” said Kim Raine, director of the University of Alberta’s Centre for Health Promotion Studies and lead author of the report.

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Body Mass Index may serve as prognostic tool for advanced, aggressive breast cancers

Obesity • • Weight Loss • • Breast CancerMar 14 08

Body Mass Index (BMI), the measure of a person’s fat based on their height and weight, may be an effective prognostic tool for specific types of breast cancer, according to research from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

The study, published in the March 15 issue of Cancer Research, reports that women with locally advanced breast cancer (LABC) and inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) with high BMIs had worse prognosis than women with the disease whose BMIs were in the healthy range.

One’s BMI is scored based on height and weight. A score less than 18.5 indicates that a person is underweight and a score of 18.5 -24.9 indicates that one is in a normal or healthy range. A person is overweight if their score is 25-29.9 and any score above 30 classifies that a person as obese.

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Being underweight may raise diabetes risk

Diabetes • • Obesity • • Weight LossMar 12 08

Being underweight may place men and women over age 60 at increased risk for developing diabetes, Japanese researchers report.

“Older people who are underweight may need to take care of their poor nutrition status,” Dr. Toshimi Sairenchi noted in comments to Reuters Health.

To examine the association between underweight and diabetes risk, Sairenchi and colleagues collected information in 1993 from 39,201 men and 88,012 women who were between 40 and 79 years old and who did not have diabetes. They followed the men and women for an average of 5.3 years.

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Obesity chokes up the cellular power plant

Obesity • • Weight LossMar 12 08

The machinery responsible for energy production in fat cells is working poorly as a result of obesity. Finnish research done at the University of Helsinki and the National Public Health Institute shows that this may aggravate and work to maintain the obese state in humans.

Studying rare cases of young (25 year old) identical twins with large differences in bodyweight a Finnish research group has shown that already in the very early stages of obesity, clear changes in the function of the cellular mitochondria can be observed. Mitochondria are responsible for the energy production in cells and their dysfunction may work to maintain and worsen obesity. Surprisingly, the genes most drastically affected by obesity were ones involved in the breakdown of a class of amino acids known as branched-chain amino acids. These changes in the obese twins were clearly associated with pre-diabetic changes in sugar metabolism and the action of the hormone insulin.

The research is published in the latest edition of the science journal PLoS-Medicine (published and freely available online 11th of March).

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Study shows long-term weight control is achievable

Obesity • • Weight LossMar 12 08

People who shed weight and want to keep it off might benefit from monthly personal contact interventions, researchers reported at the American Heart Association’s Conference on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism.

Results of the study will also be simultaneously published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In a test of three ways that might help people maintain weight loss, those who received monthly personal counseling were best at keeping off unwanted pounds. Overall, 42 percent of the study members maintained at least a 4-kilogram (9-pound) weight loss for 30 months.

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Gene Hunters Fine-Tune Marker for Common Obesity Gene

Genetics • • Obesity • • Weight LossMar 12 08

Genomics researchers, seeking to replicate another group’s discovery of an important gene associated with obesity, have further refined the signal to a particular variant in DNA that may be more helpful in identifying this gene’s role in obesity in various human populations worldwide. The finding suggests that the gene variant, identified in DNA from African American children, may be a tag of an ancient mutation that first arose in Africa, where humans originated.

The research team, led by Struan Grant, Ph.D., and Hakon Hakonarson, M.D., Ph.D., both of the Center for Applied Genomics of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, was studying the FTO gene, identified by a British group in 2007 as raising the risk of adult and childhood obesity. Although environmental influences are certainly important, family studies have indicated that obesity has a genetic component as well.

The research team, from Children’s Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, reported its findings in the March 12 issue of the journal Public Library of Science ONE.

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Revise guidelines for weight gain during pregnancy, says Saint Louis U. obstetrician

Obesity • • Pregnancy • • Weight LossMar 11 08

Current recommendations for weight gain during pregnancy – developed by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 1990 – should be revised, according to an internationally recognized obesity expert and chairman of the department of obstetrics, gynecology and women’s health at Saint Louis University.

The editorial by Raul Artal, M.D., who has conducted extensive research on obesity during pregnancy, appears in the March issue of Expert Review of Obstetrics and Gynecology, an international medical journal.

Recommendations by the IOM, which are followed worldwide by obstetricians, encourage obese women to gain at least 15 pounds during pregnancy and specify no upper limit for weight gain. The IOM is a panel of national experts who provide advice on medical and health issues.

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Weight loss common in stroke survivors

Stroke • • Weight LossMar 06 08

Many people lose weight after suffering a stroke, a finding that highlights the need for closer observation of nutritional status in stroke patients, the researchers say.

Loss of weight in stroke patients may be related to a variety of factors, including difficulty swallowing, depression, decreased food intake, and other neurologic deficits that contribute to eating difficulties, Dr. Ann-Cathrin Jonsson and colleagues from Lund University, Sweden, note in a report in the journal Stroke.

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Breakfast keeps teens lean

Children's Health • • Dieting To Lose Weight • • Weight LossMar 04 08

Teenagers who regularly eat breakfast tend to weigh less, exercise more and eat a more healthful diet than their breakfast-skipping peers, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

The study involved 2,216 adolescents in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area of Minnesota whose eating patterns, weight and other lifestyle issues were tracked for five years. They were just under 15 years old when they entered the study, which was published in the journal Pediatrics.

The more regularly the teens ate breakfast, the lower their body mass index was, according to the study. BMI is a measure of body weight relative to height. Those who always skipped breakfast on average weighed about 5 pounds (2.3 kg) more than their peers who ate the meal every day.

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Anesthesia Study Targets Risk Factors in Obese Children

Children's Health • • Obesity • • Weight LossFeb 22 08

In the first large-scale study of its kind, investigators from the University of Michigan have discovered that obese children, when compared to normal weight children, have a significantly higher prevalence of pre-existing medical conditions and subsequently experience more problems during and after surgery.

The study, authored by Alan R. Tait, Ph.D., and colleagues, evaluated 2,025 children, ages 2 to 18 years, and offers important insight into the effects of obesity on respiratory problems in children undergoing non-cardiac surgery.

Dr. Tait and his research group found that obese children came to surgery with much higher rates of asthma, hypertension, sleep apnea and diabetes.

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Nintendo rolls out fitness product: report

Children's Health • • Weight LossFeb 20 08

Games maker Nintendo Co is planning to launch a new physical fitness product called Wii Fit for U.S. shipping in May, according to the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

The Wii Fit will come with a weight-and-motion sensing device called the Wii Balance Board, according to the report.

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Lack of sleep unlikely to impact weight over time

Sleep Aid • • Weight LossFeb 14 08

Regularly getting 5 hours or less of shut eye a night does not appear to have a considerable influence body weight or waist size over time, according to findings from a long-term study of British workers.

While some past research has identified a relationship between obesity and a lack of sleep, this research could not affirm which came first—the lack of sleep or the weight problem.

To clarify whether lack of sleep over time might be related to obesity, Francesco P. Cappuccio and colleagues analyzed information from more than 10,000 white-collar British civil servants participating in a long term forward-looking study called the Whitehall II study.

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