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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 183-184

News and Views

Kasturba Health Society,Medical Research Centre. Vile Parle (West), Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication6-Aug-2015

Correspondence Address:
Ankita Goyal
Medical Research Centre, Kasturba Health Society, 17, K Desai Road, Vile Parle (West), Mumbai 400 056, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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How to cite this article:
Goyal A. News and Views. J Obes Metab Res 2015;2:183-4

How to cite this URL:
Goyal A. News and Views. J Obes Metab Res [serial online] 2015 [cited 2020 Feb 22];2:183-4. Available from: http://www.jomrjournal.org/text.asp?2015/2/3/183/162371

  The Habit of 'Weighing yourself daily can tip the Scale in your favour'. Top

Carly R et al., from the Cornell University, have recently shown, in a two year study, that "stepping on a scale and tracking one's weight acts as reinforcement for some behaviour, such as eating less, and it strengthens others such as going for a walk in order to maintain body weight." 1 The study covered 162 subjects and these were randomized into a control group and an interventional group. They were advised to weigh themselves frequently and record the weight in the chart. It is interesting to note that the authors did not prescribe a regimen and each subject had one's own plan to lose weight. Levitsky, the senior author and the professor of nutrition and psychology at Cornell, said, "The method forces you to be aware of the connection between your eating and your weight. It used to be taught that you shouldn't weigh yourself daily, and this is just the reverse." The targets given for weight loss were modest and gradually incremental. The well-known facts are: (1) Within a year, the weight gain after any successful dietary effect is 40% of the weight lost and (2) in five years, one is back to square one. Men lost weight more than women in the programme. The insight to learn from this study, for all the stakeholders in the universe of obesity, is the path taken by the investigators to avoid any stereotype prescription for weight loss. They left it to the individual judgement of each subject to manage a reduction of around 150 calories per day and activities they chose personally. What was not lost sight of was a regular self-monitoring of body weight and a regular reinforcement of the targets to be achieved. How much can be achieved when self-care is central in any intervention? Weight maintenance is more a responsibility than a right.

1. Carly R. Pacanowski, David A. Levitsky. Frequent Self-Weighing and Visual Feedback for Weight Loss in Overweight Adults. Journal of Obesity, 2015;2015:1 DOI: 10.1155/2015/763680

  Hypothalamic Paraventricular BDNF Neurons and Energy Homeostasis Top

Juan Ji An et al., from The Scripps Research Institute, identified within a tiny hypothalamic area called paraventricular region some groups of neurons which express Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). 2 Previously, it was known that the BDNF knock-out animals develop severe obesity and markedly increased appetite (hyperphagia). The major finding of the study is the detection of distinct varieties of BDNF neurons: One group involved with the control of appetite or satiety and the other group is involved with thermogenesis by the brown adipose fat (B.A.T.). Juan Ji An states, " We don't yet know what the distinctive placement means to the control of body weight, nor do we know if these two clusters of neurons communicate with each other as yet," And even then, as it is customary these days, the senior author Xu suggests BDNF as a drug target for obesity. He covers the hope with a caution, "Because BDNF's functions are so widespread, a good drug candidate would need to closely target only BDNF-expressing neurons in the paraventricular hypothalamus, thus limiting potential side effects." BDNF is also involved in stress-induced changes in the hippocampus. Stress and obesity has a positive correlation, shown clinically as well as experimentally. So it would be worthwhile to correlate the effects of stress-induced obesity on the hippocampal and hypothalamic BDNF neurons. Would it be better to focus on stress management techniques for the prevention and management of obesity rather than search drugs to target BDNF? Yoga and meditation coupled with a proper diet can counteract stress and may modulate the BDNF neurons, leading to appropriate satiety and more activity of the B.A.T. to burn up the calories through thermogenesis.

2. Juan Ji An, Guey-Ying Liao, Clint E. Kinney, Niaz Sahibzada, Baoji Xu. Discrete BDNF Neurons in the Paraventricular Hypothalamus Control Feeding and Energy Expenditure. Cell Metabolism, 2015; DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet. 2015.05.008.

  Resveratrol converts white fat into beige fat Top

Professor Min Du and Songbo Wang, at the Washington State University, demonstrated, with resveratrol, the conversion of excess white fat into beige fat in female mice. The animals were on a high fat diet containing 0.1% resveratrol. The beige fat unlike the white fat is metabolically active and is involved with energy-burning. 3 The amount of resveratrol consumed was equivalent 12 ounces of fruits/day in humans. The weight gain in the high fat diet + resveratrol group of mice was 40% less than that in the control group, only on the high fat diet. Du stated, "Polyphenols in fruit, including resveratrol, increase gene expression that enhances the oxidation of dietary fats so the body won't be overloaded. They convert white fat into beige fat which burns lipids off as heat - helping to keep the body in energy balance and prevent obesity and metabolic dysfunction." The mechanistic explanation for the action of resveratrol is ascribed to an increase in the expression of mRNA and protein markers of B.A.T. These include PPARɤ co-activator, uncoupling protein-1, cytochrome c, pyruvate dehydrogenase etc., The changes were dependent on AMP α kinase as the cells without the enzyme showed no such effects. The effects suggest that resveratrol stimulated the formation of brown adipocytes, in vitro.

3. S Wang, X Liang, Q Yang 2 , X Fu, C J Rogers, M Zhu, B D Rodgers Q Jiang, M V Dodson and M Du 2 Resveratrol induces brown-like adipocyte formation in white fat through activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) α1. International Journal of Obesity (2015) 39, 967-976.

  The Chief of NHS England labelled Obesity 'The New Smoking' Top

Dr Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, said at the BBC's Andrew Marr show, "We've done very well in terms of cutting smoking and teenage pregnancy and drink driving. But the new smoking is obesity. A One in five cancer death is now caused by obesity." He wants the food industry, retailers, parents, teachers and teenagers to take sugar out, just like salt and smoking. He warned, "If that doesn't happen then, in effect, what we're doing is a slow-burner food poisoning through all of this sugar that goes on to cause cancer, diabetes, heart disease." 4

4. Jessica Elgot, Obesity is 'the new smoking' says NHS England's chief executive The Guardian, Sunday 31 May 2015.

  India: Number three in Obese Nations Top

A study in the Lancet carried out an analysis of data from multiple bodies on the prevalence of obesity over decades. 6 The list was topped by the US in 2013, with a 13% of the world prevalence. China is at the second number, followed by India. China has 46 million and India has30 million obese people. From 1980 to 2013, globally, the increase in overweight and obese people was from 857 million in 1980 to 2.1 billion. So one in three persons in the world is overweight or obese! Christopher Murray said, "In the last three decades, not one country has achieved success in reducing obesity rates, and we expect obesity to rise steadily as incomes rise in low- and middle income countries in particular." Dr. Pradeep Chowbey, at Max Healthcare Institute, ascribed the Indian epidemic of obesity to urbanisation, food availability and sedentary habits.

5. Ng M, Fleming T, Robinson M, Thomson B, Graetz N, et al. Global, regional, and national prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adults during 1980-2013: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. The Lancet, 2014; 384:766-781.

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