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Tag: Obesity

Obesity In Mothers Alters Babies’ Weight Through Brain Rewiring

Obese mothers are more likely to have children with metabolic disorders such as diabetes compared with thin mothers, but the underlying molecular and cellular reasons for this effect have been unclear. A study published by Cell Press on January 23rd in the journal Cellreveals that the offspring of mouse mothers on a high-fat diet are predisposed to obesity and diabetes because of abnormal neuronal circuits in the hypothalamus — a key brain region that regulates metabolism. The findings suggest that mothers who consume a large amount of fat during the third trimester may be putting their children at risk for lifelong obesity and related metabolic disorders.

“Our study suggests that expecting mothers can have major impact on the long-term metabolic health of their children by properly controlling nutrition during this critical developmental period of the offspring,” says study author Tamas Horvath of the Yale University School of Medicine.

More than one-third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese and thus are at risk for long-term health problems such as type 2 diabetes. Studies in humans have shown that mothers who are obese or have diabetes put their children at risk for metabolic problems, but researchers have not previously identified the exact brain circuits mediating this effect, known as metabolic programming. Moreover, past studies failed to pinpoint the most critical stage of pregnancy during which maternal nutrition has the greatest impact on offspring health.

To address these questions, Horvath teamed up with Jens Brüning of the Max Planck Institute for Neurological Research and the University of Cologne to develop a mouse model of metabolic programming. They found that mouse mothers fed a high-fat diet during lactation had offspring with abnormal neuronal connections in the hypothalamus, as well as altered insulin signaling in this brain circuit. As a result, the offspring remained overweight and had abnormalities in glucose metabolism throughout their adult life.

Because of developmental differences between species — neural circuits in the hypothalamus continue to develop after birth in mice but are fully developed before birth in humans — the findings suggest that the third trimester of pregnancy in humans is the most critical time window for a mother’s nutrition to have long-lasting effects on her offspring’s health.

“Given that gestational diabetes frequently manifests during the third trimester, our results point toward the necessity of more intensified screening of mothers for altered glucose metabolism, as well as tightly controlled antidiabetic therapy if any alterations are detected during this critical period,” Brüning says.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell PressNote: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Vogt et al. Neonatal insulin action impairs hypothalamic neurocircuit formation in response to maternal high fat feedingCell, January 2014

The Secret to Avoiding Obesity in Overweight Children Is…

For children who are overweight and at risk for obesity, eating even a small amount of nutritious green and orange vegetables can make a world of a difference in their health, a new study shows.

Researchers at The University of Texas found that incorporating nutrient-rich vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and carrots into a child’s diet can help reduce the amount of bad fats in the body. And all it takes is a large salad a day, even if it is not the full serving of vegetables. In other words, something is better than nothing.

The study also showed that incorporating these vegetables into their daily nutrition helped improve insulin levels in a group of overweight children who were monitored by the research team.

Of the 175 overweight or obese children participating in the study, those who ate nutritious veggies daily saw significant improvements in metabolic health, as well as reduced visceral fat surrounding the organs.

Overweight Children Eat Less Vegetables On Average

Less than 6 percent of children eat the recommended serving of vegetables per day. But for those who regularly eat one or two serving of non-starchy vegetables, they reduce their risk for liver problems, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other health complications that may occur because of obesity.

Just by incorporating some nutritious vegetables in the diet is a great way to start a life style change to be healthy and could possibly be the pathway to living a healthy life. Of course, getting your kids to eat their veggies is not always easy. Check out this video featuring a clever tip from celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito.

Samir Becic Encourages Patriotism in Fight Against Obesity on FOX

On Tuesday, Jan. 6, Health Fitness Revolution founder Samir Becic appeared on Houston’s FOX 26 news to educate listeners on healthy lifestyle and to encourage fitness and well being in 2015. He also addressed the fight against obesity that he is aiming to tackle.

Samir is traveling all over Texas to appear on all major TV, radio and print media in order to spread the message and encourage Texas to not only be the biggest but also the fittest and healthiest state in America. His focus in 2015 is that through a healthy Texas, we can create a healthy America, especially considering the fact that Houston and other Texas cities are on the list of the fattest cities in the United States. On Christmas day, he had Houston Mayor Annise Parker doing squats at her private holiday party in front of more than 100 people to show her support of healthy lifestyle. And she did it without hesitation!

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The Western World Could Be To Blame For Global Spread Of Obesity

The world’s diet has deteriorated substantially in the last two decades, and a recent study on international eating habits indicates the Western world could be the root of the problem.

Poor countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia are seeing the fastest increases in unhealthy food consumption, while the situation has improved slightly in Western Europe and North America, said Dariush Mozaffarian, Dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

Between 1990 and 2010, middle and low-income countries saw consumption of unhealthy foods increase dramatically. The “globalization” of western diets – where a small group of food and agriculture companies have disproportionate power to decide what is produced – is partially causing the shift to unhealthy eating, Mozaffarian said.

Processed foods high in sugar, fat and starch are driving the growth of unhealthy foods.

The study reviewed 325 dietary surveys, representing almost 90 percent of the world’s population, in what is thought to be the largest study yet of international eating habits.

China and India recorded some of the highest increases in unhealthy food consumption, the study said. Some countries in Latin America and Europe saw an increase in both healthy and unhealthy food consumption.

Between 1990 and 2014, roughly the same period as the study, the number of hungry people worldwide dropped by 209 million to 805 million, according to the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

“Most global nutrition efforts have focused on calories – getting starchy staples to people,” Mozaffarian told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “We need to focus on the quality of calories for poor countries, not just the quantity.”

Old people displayed better eating habits than the young in most of the 187 countries covered in the study.

This is a worrying development, Mozaffarian said, as rates of obesity and chronic diseases like diabetes are set to increase if young people continue eating unhealthy foods.

“Young people are growing up with much worse diets than their parents or grandparents,” he said.

Information gathered from the Ottawa Sun.

Obesity a Big Factor in Healthcare Costs

Healthcare and healthcare reform are big issues in politics. The magic solution to these issues, however, is not rooted in subsidies, single-payer systems or the actual affordability of healthcare unique to every American – it’s in the individual health of Americans themselves. Ideally, the healthier you are or aim to be, the less you have to worry about chronic illnesses and injury, and by extension, the less you have to worry about healthcare costs. 

Given the state of American health and the economy, obesity has taken more than a few dollars from Americans. Regarding health care costs, for every dollar spent on healthcare, $0.95 is spent on treatment; the other $0.05 is spent on preventative care.

Obesity Raises Healthcare Costs

While that may not sound like much, in total, obesity-related medical treatment can cost up to $210 billion a year. Researchers estimate that if obesity trends continue, obesity-related medical costs could rise by up to $66 billion each year.  

Comparatively, obese people spend 42 percent more on healthcare costs than those of healthy-weight. In fine numbers, per capita medical spending is about $2,741 higher for the obese than healthy-weight individuals. 

“We are one of the most obese countries in the world, and statistics are showing that by 2020 over 75 percent of Americans will be overweight or obese,” Health Fitness Revolution founder Samir Becic said.

Read: Top 10 Health Tips for Americans

Study Shows Lack of Green Space Is Linked to Childhood Obesity


When you think of garden, most people think of a special earthy and fertile spot to grow your own crops – from apples to zucchini, depending on your climate and how much time you’re willing to invest in your crops, you can easily have a home-grown meal from garden to grill in a matter of weeks. But for many, buying from the grocer’s may be far more convenient, ridding the necessity of garden and even a yard.

But a new study presented by Annemarie Schalkwijk of the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam found that even having a lack of green space can increase the risk of childhood obesity in young children.

ThinkstockPhotos-480746877The study, presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Stockholm, analyzed data from 6,647 children from England and determined having no access or a lack of access to green spaces in their neighborhood between the ages of 3 and 5 increased the risk of overweightness or obesity in children by the age of 7.

Though many factors contribute to the onset of obesity in children such as socioeconomic influences and parental influences, the Schlkwijk and her team adjusted for these measures.

They found no garden access for lower educated households with children ages 3-5 increased the risk of overweightness and obesity 7 years by 38%. Additionally, higher educated households living in disadvantaged neighborhoods with the same aged children also have an increased risk of overweightness and obesity by 38%.

ThinkstockPhotos-450667629The importance of having not just a garden, but at least a yard can be a weighty determinant in the future of health of a child. Yards are not merely patches of grass with bushes and trees that need constant landscaping. Yards, gardens, parks and even empty lots are present to encourage outdoor play and activity. Having access to a yard or outdoor playspace invites children to participate in outdoor activity.

At the very least, moms and dads, you don’t have to scold your hyperactive kids from running through the house when they’ve got an outdoor place to play.

Morbid Obesity Statistics in America

Health Fitness Revolution’s utmost goal is to make America healthier and fitter. We also aim to educate the general population because we truly believe that knowledge about healthy lifestyle is the only way to truly combat the obesity epidemic that the world is facing. Which is why we did some research on morbid obesity statistics in America:

  • Obesity is a life-threatening disease affecting more than one-third of all adults in the U.S.
  • Weight classifications for adults: 
    • Super obese: A person with a BMI of 50 or more
      • 50,000 adults are super obese in the U.S.
    • Morbidly obese: A person with a BMI of 40 or more, or a BMI of 35 or more with an obesity related disease, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease or sleep apnea
      • 15 million adults are morbidly obese in the U.S.
    • Obese: A person with a BMI of 30 – 39.9
      • 64 million adults are obese in the U.S.

In recent years, studies have shown clinically severe or morbid obesity (body mass index (BMI) >40 or 50 kg m(-2)) entails far more serious health consequences than moderate obesity for patients, and creates additional challenges for providers.

Next we give the statistics on how the issue of morbid obesity is affecting our children:

“Preventing obesity during childhood is critical, because habits formed during youth frequently carry into adulthood; an obese 4-year-old has a 20% chance of becoming obese as an adult, and an obese teenager has up to an 80% chance of becoming an obese adult. If this epidemic is not reversed, we are in danger of raising the first generation of American children who will live sicker and die younger than the generations before them.”-Samir Becic

• Overweight and obesity are associated with a 52% and 60% increased risk, respectively, for new diagnoses of asthma among children and adolescents.

• Obese children are at a higher risk for psychosocial problems, fatty liver, orthopedic-related problems and sleep apnea.

• Although traditionally viewed as an “adult” illness, the rise in childhood overweight and obesity has corresponded to an increasing proportion of youths with type 2 diabetes, particularly among adolescent minority populations. The youngest child to be diagnosed with Diabetes Type 2, was a 3 year old girl, whose diagnosis was reversed once she adopted a healthy lifestyle and lost weight.

• Obese children and teens have been found to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD), including high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and abnormal glucose tolerance. 11 In a population-based sample of 5- to 17-year-olds, 7% of obese children had at least one CVD risk factor while 39% had two or more CVD risk factors.

“We need to fight morbid and super obesity with all the power we have! Families with morbid and super obese children should be put in special fitness programs in order to understand the negative impact of obesity on health. In the worse case scenarios, when children are in an environment where it is not possible for them to get healthy, I would take them away from their parents until circumstances change. These children should be placed in special wellness programs in order to save their lives” Samir Becic says.

Childhood obesity alone is estimated to cost $14 billion annually in direct health expenses, and children covered by Medicaid are nearly six times more likely to be treated for a diagnosis of obesity than children covered by private insurance.