Well… I said not to count on a regular weekly Obesity Research News Feature. But here’s another, just a week later. And the emphasis in these new findings remains focused solidly on eating habits. Once again, studies are discovering that how we eat is as important as what we eat…
Will new medicines soon be available to help the morbidly obese?
Unraveling the mystery of why we overeat
In 2019, University of Washington researchers researchers discovered that certain cells light up in obese mice and prevent signals that indicate satiety, or feeling full. Now, in a follow-up study, they’ve discovered how these glutamatergic neurons function in mice. These cells are located in the lateral hypothalamic area of the brain, a hub that regulates motivated behaviors, including feeding. If a means can be found to control these cells without affecting any other parts of the brain, researchers say it could lead to the development of a ‘silver bullet’ against obesity.
Intermittent fasting works for weight loss
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago say Intermittent fasting can produce clinically significant weight loss as well as improve metabolic health in individuals with obesity. A review of 25 studies revealed that alternate day fasting resulted in weight loss of 3 – 8 percent of body weight over three to eight weeks, with results peaking at 12 weeks. Individuals on alternate day fasting typically do not overeat or binge on feast days, which results in mild to moderate weight loss.
Whole milk no worse for kids than low-fat
A new study by researchers at Edith Cowan University (Australia) have discovered that low fat milk is no better for kids than whole milk, when it comes to preventing obesity. Over a three-month period, 49 healthy children aged four to six were randomly allocated to receive either whole fat or low-fat dairy products in place of their normal dairy intake. Researchers comprehensively measured the children’s obesity, body composition, blood pressure, and blood biomarkers to monitor the effects of their dairy consumption.
Regardless of whether they were consuming whole fat or low-fat dairy, both groups of children took in similar amounts of calories. Although children consuming low-fat dairy took in less calories and fat from dairy, they naturally turned to other foods and drinks to make up this difference.
Rye a better choice than wheat for weight loss
Researchers at the Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden) recently published a study showing that people who ate high-fiber products made from whole grain rye lost more body fat and overall weight than those who ate corresponding products made from refined wheat.
“The results were clear – the participants who received rye products lost more weight overall, and their levels of body fat decreased compared to those who received wheat products,” says Kia Nøhr Iversen, lead author of the study.
Nicotine withdrawal increases junk food consumption
New data collected by researchers at University of Minnesota Medical School demonstrate a clear connection between nicotine withdrawal and poor eating habits. Their findings point to the opioid system, the brain functions responsible for addiction and appetite regulation, as a possible cause for smoker preference of energy-dense, high-calorie food during nicotine withdrawal. Smokers undergoing nicotine withdrawal consumed more calories than non-smokers. Naltrexone (a treatment for opiod overdose) normalized calorie intake to levels seen in non-smokers, suggesting that the opioid system may be a mechanism of withdrawal-induced intake of calories.
“These findings extend earlier studies that indicate the impact of tobacco use on appetite and help identify the influence of an important biological link, the brain opioid system, on craving during nicotine withdrawal,” study senior author Mustafa al’Absi said. “The fear of weight gain is a major concern among smokers who think about quitting. The key to removing these barriers is to better understand the factors that increase the urge for high-caloric foods.”
Supplement may help brain function in obese people
People with obesity are known to be at a higher risk of developing cognitive impairment and neurodegenerative diseases. A new study published in the Journal of Physiology found that giving a ketone supplement three times a day for 14 days enhanced blood flow to the brain and improved aspects of cognitive function, like working memory and processing speed, in adults with obesity. It has previously been shown that ketone supplements are beneficial for older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia.
And that’s the absolute latest on obesity!
Is a safe, effective ‘cure for obesity on the horizon? Could be!
We’ll keep you posted…
~ Maggie J.