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More Information and Recent Research on Obesity and Weight

(MedPage Today) In England, about three-quarters of men and two-thirds of women appear to be "resistant” to the trend of increasing body mass index, British researchers reported. The finding … suggests that targeted approaches to reducing obesity might be more effective than population-wide interventions, Andrew Renehan, MBBCh, PhD, and colleagues argued.
(Science Daily) Some overweight older adults don't need to lose weight to extend their lives, but they could risk an earlier death if they pack on more pounds… [S]aid Hui Zheng, lead author of the study,] "You can learn more about older people's mortality risk by looking at how their weight is changing than you can by just looking at how much they weigh at any one time."
(Science Daily) Researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine reported … that the cause of obesity and insulin resistance may be tied to the fructose your body makes in addition to the fructose you eat… Richard Johnson, MD…, senior author of the paper, said: … "Ironically, our study shows that much of the risk from ingesting high glycemic foods is actually due to the generation of fructose, which is a low glycemic sugar. These studies challenge the dogma that fructose is safe and that it is simply the high glycemic carbohydrates that need to be restricted."
(Scientific American) [In a study, researchers] found that both sugar and artificial sweetener activate the primary taste pathway in the brain…, but only real sugar was able to elicit a significant response from several brain regions of the taste-reward system… This suggests that the brain’s reward pathway is conditioned to prefer a sugar, or caloric-based, stimulus.
But what happens if you routinely drink diet soda?... [Another study] found that chronic diet soda drinkers had greater overall activation in several reward processing brain regions to both real sugar and artificial sweetener, … suggesting regular consumption of diet soda may render particular components of the brain’s reward system incapable of distinguishing between real sugar and artificial sweetener!
(Huffington Post) New research … suggests that carbonation in sugary drinks can affect the brain's perception of sugar, making it think sugar consumption is less than it actually is… The finding could potentially be good for people looking to lose weight by consuming diet drinks because "it facilitates the consumption of low-calorie drinks because their taste is perceived as pleasant as the sugary, calorie-laden drink," study researcher Rosario Cuomo … said in a statement.
(Judith J. Wurtman, Ph.D., Psychology Today) Weight gain is a well-established side effect of drugs used to improve clinical depression and stabilize mood in bipolar disorder. Yet many patients on such drugs are not told that they may gain a great deal of weight while on these medications. Indeed, the first sign that the drugs are affecting their weight may come only after they find themselves no longer able to control their food intake.
More . . .
Obesity Combined With Exposure to Cigarette Smoke May Pose New Health Concerns
(Science Daily) Millions of people who are obese and smoke tobacco may face additional health problems -- including their responses to common prescription medicines -- that extend beyond the well-known links with cancer, heart attacks and stroke, according to a new report. "Our research shows that smoking and obesity together may pose a triple health threat in addition to the increased risks for heart disease, cancer and diabetes," said Aaron Wright, Ph.D., who reported on the study.
(Reuters Health) Overweight and obese people are at higher-than-average risk of migraines, suggests a new study… However, the researchers couldn't be sure which came first - the extra weight or the headaches. And one migraine researcher not involved in the study said he would be cautious interpreting its findings.
(Science Daily) Binge eating is a problem affecting both men and women, however obese men who binge are more likely than their female counterparts to have elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure, finds a new study.
(Science Daily) The way the stomach detects and tells our brains how full we are becomes damaged in obese people but does not return to normal once they lose weight, according to new research… Researchers believe this could be a key reason why most people who lose weight on a diet eventually put that weight back on… "More research is needed to determine how long the effect lasts, and whether there is any way -- chemical or otherwise -- to trick the stomach into resetting itself to normal."
(MedPage Today) Treatment of overweight and obese individuals with orlistat (Xenical, Alli) was associated with decreased waist circumference to a greater extent than either placebo or standard care, a meta-analysis found.
(Reuters) Sanofi SA has reached a $40 million settlement of a U.S. lawsuit accusing the French drugmaker of misleading investors about the safety of a weight loss pill that a U.S. regulatory panel linked to suicidal thoughts… Plaintiffs led by the Hawaii Annuity Trust for Operating Engineers accused Sanofi of touting the drug as a possible "blockbuster" to treat obesity, with only mild side effects. But they said Sanofi concealed clinical tests that showed a statistically significant increase in "suicidality" among people taking the drug.
(Science Daily) Safety measures intended to improve bariatric surgery outcomes may impede obese minorities' access to care. This is according to a new research letter.

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