Five regular meals a day reduce obesity risk among adolescents

Oct. 3, 2013, Science News

A regular eating pattern may protect adolescents from obesity, according to a Finnish population based study with more than 4,000 participants. When eating five meals — breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks — a day, even those with a genetic predisposition to obesity had no higher body mass index (BMI) than their controls.

The collection of the data on the study population began prenatally, and the participants were followed up until the age 16. The aim was to identify early-life risk factors associated with obesity; to investigate the association between meal frequencies, obesity, and metabolic syndrome; and to examine whether meal frequency could modulate the effect of common genetic variants linked to obesity. The genetic data comprised eight single nucleotide polymorphisms at or near eight obesity-susceptibility loci. Continue reading

Maternal obesity increases risk of newborn death in sub-Saharan Africa

Nov. 23, 2012, Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health

New research published online in The Lancet indicates that babies born to mothers who are overweight or obese in sub-Saharan Africa, where rates of obesity are projected to increase at an alarming rate during the next two decades, are significantly more likely to die in the first two days after their birth. The study is the first to shed light on the role of maternal obesity in neonatal death (during the first 28 days of life) in developing countries. Continue reading