Oct. 29, 2013,
Obese teens and young adults may be more receptive to TV fast food ads than those who aren’t obese, a new study says.
“Given the concerning rates of obesity in U.S. youth and associated health risks, a better understanding of influences leading to obesity in youth is critical in guiding prevention and public health strategies,” study author Dr. Auden McClure, of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., said in a center news release.
The study included 2,541 participants, aged 15 to 23, from across the United States who viewed a random set of frames from fast food ads with brand names removed.
Participants were then asked if they had seen the ad, if they liked it, and if they could name the brand. Based on their responses, the participants received a score that reflected their receptiveness to the food ads. Those with higher scores were more likely to be obese than those with lower scores, according to the study, published in the November issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Continue reading
Oct. 1, 2013,
A study of 41,133 mothers and their children in Arkansas has shown that high pregnancy weight gain increases the risk of obesity in those children through age 12. The findings, published Oct. 1 in PLOS Medicine, suggest pregnancy may be an especially important time to prevent obesity in the next generation.
“From the public health perspective, excessive weight gain during pregnancy may have a potentially significant influence on propagation of the obesity epidemic,” says the study’s senior author David S. Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D., and director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Programs to limit pregnancy weight gain could help prevent some cases of childhood obesity. “Pregnancy presents an attractive target for obesity prevention programs, because women tend to be particularly motivated to change behavior during this time,” says Ludwig. Continue reading
Sept. 6, 2013,
U.S. News & World Report
Genetic testing for obesity risk does not discourage people from trying to lose weight —instead, it may help reduce how much they blame themselves for their weight problems, according to a small new study.
Research has shown that genes influence a person’s risk of becoming overweight and one gene, called FTO, appears to have the greatest effect. The “A” variant of the gene is associated with a greater risk of weight gain, while the “T” variant of the gene is associated with a lower risk.
One in two people has at least one copy of the A variant. People with two A variants — one from their mother and one from their father — are 70 percent more likely to become obese than those with two T variants, according to the study authors at University College London (UCL). Continue reading
Nov. 29, 2012,
Can a child’s risk of becoming obese be predicted at birth?
British researchers report that a simple formula that uses the child’s birth weight, the body mass index of the parents, the number of people in the household, the mother’s professional status, and whether she smoked during pregnancy showed which babies were at most risk. Continue reading