Same genes linked to rapid infant growth, later weight gains

Oct. 21, 2014, HealthDay

By Steven Reinberg

Infants who quickly add weight and length may be showing a genetic propensity for obesity as toddlers, a new study suggests.

In adults, certain genes have been linked to increased body fat, but the same genes in infants promote proportionate gains in fat and lean muscle, the researchers said. Continue reading

Certain kids with diabetes are most at risk for excess weight

May 30, 2014, Reuters

By Allison Bond

Children and teens with type 1 diabetes are already at increased risk for becoming overweight or obese, but certain traits make the odds even higher, according to a new study.

Because obesity can compound some of the health problems that go along with diabetes, it’s important to help kids avoid weight gain, researchers say.

Elke Frohlich-Reiterer of Medical University Graz in Austria, and her colleagues analyzed data collected from 250 diabetes centers in Germany and Austria; altogether, there were 12,774 participants in the study.

Kids were considered age 20 or younger and had type 1 diabetes, which used to be known as juvenile diabetes because it typically appears during childhood. Continue reading

Gaining excess or too little weight during pregnancy tied to child obesity risk

April 14, 2014, Science World Report

According to researchers at Kaiser Permanente, gaining either excess weight or too little weight during pregnancy appears to elevate the risk of having an obese or overweight child. This study examined recommendations of the Institute of Medicine regarding pregnancy weight gain in relation to childhood obesity.

“Gaining either too little or too much weight in pregnancy may permanently affect mechanisms that manage energy balance and metabolism in the offspring, such as appetite control and energy expenditure,” study’s lead author Sneha Sridhar, MPH, Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, said in a statement. “This could potentially have long-term effects on the child’s subsequent growth and weight.”

For this study, the researchers looked at the health records of over 4,145 racially diverse women who completed the health survey taken from 2007-2009 and had a baby.  Apart from this, the researchers even looked at the medical records of children of ages 2 to 5 years. Continue reading

Rutgers study finds link between teen girls, depression, and obesity

March 20, 2014, The Star-Ledger

By Susan K. Livio

Adolescent girls diagnosed with major depression are likely to gain an unhealthy amount of weight as they mature, according to a study co-written by a Rutgers-Camden professor and released March 20.

Conversely, obese teenager girls are prone to develop depression as they reach adulthood, according to the study, which was published March 19 in the International Journal of Obesity.

The same correlation between depression and weight was not found among boys and young men, according to the article.

While obesity and depression have long thought to be linked, the study found that one diagnosis is likely to follow the other among girls ages 14 to 24. Continue reading

Study: Obesity’s link to type 2 diabetes not so clear-cut

Feb. 12, 2014, HealthDay

Although it’s a common belief that a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes often follows a large weight gain, a new study challenges that notion.

Researchers found that the majority of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes didn’t get the disease until they’d been overweight or obese for a number of years.

What’s more, participants who maintained stable levels of overweight and eventually developed type 2 diabetes didn’t have a significant rise in their level of insulin resistance — a traditional risk factor — before getting the disease.

“In general, the majority of individuals developing type 2 diabetes were rather weight stable during follow-up with a slightly higher average BMI [body mass index] than the diabetes-free population,” wrote study author Dorte Vistisen, at the Steno Diabetes Center in Denmark, and colleagues. Continue reading

Study: Most people don’t know how not how many calories are in soda

Jan. 3, 2014, Huffington Post

Even though it’s widely known that soda can contribute to weight gain, the majority of adults don’t actually know how many calories are in a bottle of soda, a new study reveals.

The research, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and based on data from 3,926 adults, shows that eight in 10 adults — 84.4 percent — know that sugar-sweetened beverages can promote weight gain. However, nearly the same percentage of adults — 81 percent — did not know (or inaccurately stated) the number of calories in 24 ounces of soda. (There are 251 to 350 calories in a 24-ounce soda).

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers found that knowledge about sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain, as well as the calorie information of sugar-sweetened beverages, differed by sex, household income, education level, and race. Continue reading

Are sugary drinks fattening? Depends who you ask

Jan. 3, 2014, The New York Times

By Nicholas Bakalar

Are there good scientific studies that show that drinking sugar-sweetened soda increases the risk for obesity? The answer may vary depending on who is paying for the study.

Researchers examined 17 large reviews of the subject (one review assessed results for adults and children separately, so there were 18 sets of study conclusions). Six of the studies reported receiving funds from industry groups, including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, the American Beverage Association and others. The other 12 reviews claimed no conflicts of interest. The analysis appears in the December issue of PLOS Medicine. Continue reading

Study finds parental stress linked to obesity in children

Dec. 6, 2013, Medical Xpress

Parental stress is linked to weight gain in children, according to a new study from St. Michael’s Hospital. The study found that children whose parents have high levels of stress have a body mass index (BMI) about 2 percent higher than those whose parents have low levels of stress. Children with higher parental stress also gained weight at a 7 percent higher rate during the study period than other children.

Those figures may sound low, said lead author Dr. Ketan Shankardass, but they’re significant because they are happening in children, whose bodies and eating and exercise habits are still developing. Plus, if that weight gain continues and is compounded over a lifetime, it could lead to serious obesity and health issues.

Dr. Shankardass, a social epidemiologist with the hospital’s Centre for Research on Inner City Health, studied data collected during the Children’s Health Study, one of the largest and most comprehensive investigations into the long-term effects of air pollution on the respiratory health of children. Continue reading

Childhood trauma may contribute to teen weight problems

Nov. 13, 2013, Reuters

By Shereen Jegtv

Children who have gone through trying times are more likely to be overweight by age 15, a new study suggests.

Stress in childhood has been associated with a greater risk of becoming overweight, although the link isn’t always consistent from study to study, researchers said.

“I felt like I was seeing a lot of children who had experienced stress early in their lives later gain weight pretty rapidly” Dr. Julie Lumeng at the University of Michigan Medical School told Reuters Health.

“There has been quite a bit of research looking at stress in the lives of adults leading to weight gain, but it has not been studied as much in children,” said Lumeng, who led the new study.

“We did this particular study because it looked at simply ‘events’ that had occurred in children’s lives and then asked mothers to rate the events in terms of how much of an impact they had,” Lumeng said. Continue reading

Diabetes risk tied to weight gain in youth

Oct. 29, 2013, MedPage Today

By Michael Smith

The risk of developing diabetes in adulthood is associated with weight in adolescence and weight gain during the teens and early 20s, researchers reported.

In a longitudinal cohort of teens and young adults, the timing of the weight gain also appeared to play a role in diabetes risk, according to Penny Gordon-Larsen, Ph.D., a professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

On the other hand, hypertension in adulthood was associated just with adult body mass index (BMI), while inflammation was linked only to increasing BMI, Gordon-Larsen and colleagues reported in the November issue of Obesity. Continue reading