Early-life obesity impacts children’s learning and memory

A new study by Brown University epidemiologists found that children on the threshold of obesity or overweight in the first two years of life had lower perceptual reasoning and working memory scores than lean children when tested at ages five and eight. The study also indicated that IQ scores may be lower for higher-weight children.

“Excess early-life adiposity was associated with lower IQ, perceptual reasoning and working memory scores at school-age,” Li said.

The authors pointed out that the sample size of their study was limited and that further studies should be conducted to confirm their findings. Future work could also investigate the impact of early-life weight status on school performance, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder diagnoses and special education use.

If these study results hold up in future studies then I’ll know just what the hell happened to me.

 

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To Weigh or Not to Weigh

The National Weight Control Registry has published several studies on the habits of those who have successfully achieved and maintained significant weight loss over 10 years (4, 5, 6, 7). Their findings are based on the tracking of over 10,000 individuals through detailed questionnaires and annual follow-up surveys designed to identify behavioral and psychological characteristics and strategies used to maintain weight loss. 75% weigh themselves at least once a week.

Here’s a short literature review on weighing habits in the processes of losing weight and maintaining weight loss.  Read the source article here.

I completed my annual National Weight Control Registry survey this morning.

For the first time in a very long time I reported a weight loss since the last follow up.

When I tell people I’ve lost 200 pounds they are always surprised and ask how I did it.

Well, you’ll just have to buy the book when I finish writing it.

Binge-eating mice reveal obesity clues

For example, when offered chocolate for just one hour per day, the animals will compulsively ‘binge’, consuming as much chocolate in one hour as they would over a whole day if it was continually available. They also showed inflexible behaviours, similar to those seen in addiction, choosing to wait for chocolate while ignoring freely available standard chow. Yet, at the same time, the chocolate did not seem to satiate hunger as well as regular food.

The team found that animals on the high fat or chocolate diet also changed their daily routines. They were more likely to eat during the daytime — mice are usually nocturnal and feed at night — and they ate shorter more frequent ‘snacks’ rather than larger, longer-spaced meals.

We had friends over for dinner on Saturday.  While at the store shopping for provisions I saw some gelato on sale for 99 cents.

$0.99!  The only flavor on sale was chocolate.  I bought some.

The next night I had to have some chocolate gelato.  Because it was there!

The mice have proven what I already know.

Read the source article here.

Fat and Getting Fatter

Trends in Obesity and Severe Obesity Prevalence in US Youth and Adults by Sex and Age, 2007-2008 to 2015-2016

JAMA. Published online March 23, 2018. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.3060

Age-standardized prevalence of obesity among adults increased from 33.7% (95% CI, 31.5%-36.1%) in 2007-2008 to 39.6% (95% CI, 36.1%-43.1%) in 2015-2016 (P?=?.001) (Table 2). Prevalence increased among women, and in adults aged 40 to 59 years and 60 years or older. The observed increases in men and adults aged 20 to 39 years did not reach statistical significance. There were no significant quadratic trends. The adjusted model also showed a significant overall linear trend for obesity among adults (P?<?.001; data not shown).

Age-standardized prevalence of severe obesity in adults increased from 5.7% (95% CI, 4.9%-6.7%) in 2007-2008 to 7.7% (95% CI, 6.6%-8.9%) in 2015-2016 (P?=?.001). Prevalence increased in men, women, adults aged 20 to 39 years and 40 to 59 years. There was no significant linear trend among adults 60 years and older. There were no significant quadratic trends. The adjusted model also showed a significant overall linear trend for severe obesity (P?<?.001; data not shown).

OK…I know I’m obsessive about this obesity trend.  But that’s what happens when your peak BMI used to be 53+.  Many people have told me I should write a book.  Let’s just say I’m working on it.  A book is not a collection of blog posts.  I am not going to publish a book until I am satisfied I’ve done the best writing job I possibly can.
I just returned from a week away.  I didn’t step on the scale.  I weighed myself today for the first time in a week.  BMI holding steady around 26.
Read the source study here.

Scientists identify weight loss ripple effect

That’s the finding of a new University of Connecticut study that tracked the weight loss progress of 130 couples over six months. The researchers found that when one member of a couple commits to losing weight, the chances were good the other partner would lose some weight too, even if they were not actively participating in a weight loss intervention.

The study’s lead investigator, UConn Professor Amy Gorin, calls it a “ripple effect.”

“When one person changes their behavior, the people around them change,” says Gorin, a behavioral psychologist. “Whether the patient works with their healthcare provider, joins a community-based, lifestyle approach like Weight Watchers, or tries to lose weight on their own, their new healthy behaviors can benefit others in their lives.”

The study, published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Obesity, also found that the rate at which couples lose weight is interlinked. In other words, if one member lost weight at a steady pace, their partner did too. Likewise, if one person struggled to lose weight, their partner also struggled.

Read the entire source article here.

I wonder if there is a multiplier effect if you only associate with others trying to lose weight?  My 200 pound weight loss was done on the buddy system with my girlfriend.  It was a long time ago but between the two of us the total combined weight loss was over 250 pounds.

The weight loss was a good thing but it didn’t help our relationship.

 

Lose Weight on a Veg Diet

If you’re trying to lose weight, there are tons of diets to choose from—and new research points to vegetarian diets as a promising option. For the study, which was published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 74 participants cut their normal daily calories by 500 for six months. Some went on a vegetarian diet, and some went on a diabetes-friendly diet (one that focuses on reducing sugars, refined carbs, cholesterol, and saturated fat). People on the vegetarian diet lost more subcutaneous fat (that’s the noticeable fat under your skin). They also lost more subfascial fat (the type that lines your muscles) and intramuscular fat (the type stored inside your muscles). That’s important, since the fat that’s stored inside your muscles and organs can mess with your metabolism, potentially leading to insulin resistance and even type 2 diabetes, says study author Hana Kahleova, M.D.

Source article here.

I found the research quoted to be more interesting than the recipes.