Lab Mouse - ©

Load Of Obesity Papers Appear Pre-, Post- Holidays

I’m wondering if it’s just a coincidence, or if there’s come kind of conspiracy among scientists studying nutrition and diets that a mega-load of Obesity-related study reports has appeared in and around the year-end Holidays. I know this time of year is traditionally marked by sanctioned gluttony, but really…

1950 Christmas dinner - © retro annon. - via PintrestEven the most wholesome and traditional of homemade foods
can make you gain weight when you over-indulge…

Do any of us really need reminding that the Holidays will probably result in the gaining of a few pounds / Kg if we fail to religiously observe the best practices science and common sense prescribe for the annual festivities? Even with the strictures and privations of the recently-reinstated COVID-19 lock down regimen, folks will find a way to properly honour Aunt Dorry’s Fruit Cake, Grandma’s Rum-Laced Plum Pudding, and their own Moms’ favourite Shortbread Cookies by ‘overdoing it’.

Blame all the publicity that folks like me have given the official position that the pandemic is highly unlikely to be spread through contact with food. And all the ideas for non-contact exchange of foods that the various restaurant chains have publicised in their attempts to get you to keep on ordering for take-out and delivery as the tenacious COVID-19 crisis rages on. While you’re at it, give some guilty credit to the reports that we’re all apparently eating more junk food and drinking more Alcohol to assuage the lock-down blues (as evidenced by recent retail sales figures).

The damage is already done

So… If the damage is inevitable and already dome, for the most part, I guess there’s some public service angle to publishing so many research studies highlighting all the horrible things that Obesity can do your body. But would you believe that no fewer than nine high-profile Obesity-related studies appeared during the last 3 weeks of 2020?

I present as proof that, having admitted that common sense and moralsuasion have not worked, Science is now resorting to fear and guilt to try to guilt us into cutting back…

Three pillars of mental health: Good sleep, exercise, raw fruits and veggies
December 16, 2020
University of Otago (NZ)
Summary: Getting good quality sleep, exercising, and eating more raw fruits and vegetables predicts better mental health and well-being in young adults, a study has found.

Blood vessel cells implicated in chronic inflammation of obesity
December 31, 2020
Source: UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary: When fat cells in the body are stuffed with excess fat, the surrounding tissue becomes inflamed. That chronic, low-level inflammation is one of the driving factors behind many of the diseases associated with obesity.

New drug combination could improve glucose and weight control in diabetes
December 22, 2020
Source: e-Life
Summary: The results pave the way for clinical studies of a new drug combination as a more effective long-term treatment for millions of people with diabetes and obesity.

Talking to kids about weight: What the internet says and why researchers are wary
December 17, 2020
Source: Drexel University
Summary: Parents, caregivers and health care professionals are increasingly concerned about childhood obesity. Compounding their concern are fears of inadvertently provoking disordered eating, such as unhelpful dieting, when discussing a child’s weight status (i.e. normal weight, overweight or obese). [Researchers] recommend future guidelines unify their messages and be better supported by scholarly data.

Different forms of sugar impact hunger-suppressing hormones in young adults
December 10, 2020
Source: The Endocrine Society
Summary: Drinks with sucrose compared to glucose may cause young adults to produce lower levels of appetite-regulating hormones, according to a new study. Too much sugar consumption is a contributing factor for obesity.

Kids gain weight when new convenience stores open nearby
December 10, 2020
Summary: A new study found that changes in the food environment around low-income and high-ethnic/racial minority populations over time impact childhood obesity. […] Increased availability of convenience stores selling predominantly unhealthy foods is likely to be detrimental.

Obesity impairs immune cell function, accelerates tumor growth
December 9, 2020
Source: Harvard Medical School
Summary: A new study in mice finds that a high-fat diet allows cancer cells to outcompete immune cells for fuel, impairing immune function and accelerating tumor growth.

More years of obesity means higher risk of disease, study finds
December 8, 2020
Source: PLOS
Summary: People with obesity do not all share the same risk for the development of cardiometabolic disease risk factors. The duration a person has spent with obesity over their lifetime has been hypothesized to affect this variation. In the new study, researchers [found] more years of obesity was associated with worse values for all measured cardiometabolic risk factors.

Warning labels reduce sugary drink consumption in university setting
December 7, 2020
Source: University of California – Davis
Summary: As municipalities have taxed sugar-sweetened beverages and schools and worksites have banned their sales, university researchers have found that simple warning labels on such beverages in a college cafeteria helped students reduce their reported consumption of drinks by 14.5 percent. The results signal that such labels could reduce sugar consumption in larger settings.

Shaming pretty much equal

As you can see, the ‘shaming’ takes place more or less evenly across all age groups and social demograhics. A convenient coincidence, or another indication that the scientists were coordinating their efforts? Alas, for the perpetrators, none of the reports summarized above received any mainstream media coverage…

Okay, I’m just joshing, now.

My real take…

But I can reliably report that, far from influencing me to moderate my Holiday excesses, I probably consumed even more Junk Food and rich meal-time food than I would normally partake of over the Holidays. Also, there has not been a lot of exercise; less, actually, than more than previously. Mom needs pretty much full-time assistance, now, so I can’t even get out for 45 minutes to take what for me used to be a ‘short’ walk. The only counterbalance to all my personal bad news is, I am climbing the 15 stairs from the lower level to the upper level of my house more times a day than ever before. But I have no idea how much that’s helping my general health. Or not.

I really need to make a plan to work more exercise into my days and formulate more nutritious meals. It’s just to easy to slack off, even if you’re me, who so assiduously preaches to you out there to ‘do the right thing’. If only I didn’t feel so exhausted by supper time every day…

~ Maggie J.