The Latest Weight News from ObesityWeek 2016

Amy Hendel | Nov 10th 2016

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The fourth annual ObesityWeek Conference took place Fall 2016 in New Orleans. This international gathering of close to 5,000 surgeons, psychologists, nutritionists, nurses, and industry stakeholders focused on updating, investigating, and understanding obesity. The following are just some of the timely and cutting edge topics and findings.

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Summertime for kids = weight gain

You’d think summer months, when kids run around more, would be a time of weight stability or weight loss. Not so, says a new study that suggests that risk of obesity is higher when kids are out of school. Be aware of unsupervised snacking and unmonitored tech use. Parents may benefit from lessons in nutrition. Create structure and get kids moving!

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Which is better for weight loss — MUFA or PUFA oils?

If you’re overweight or have obesity, specifically “central or abdominal” obesity,  a study from November 2016 recommends monounsaturated fatty acid oils (canola oil) versus polyunsaturated fatty acid oils, to help reduce central obesity and limit and treat metabolic syndrome.  Also try olive, peanut, safflower and sesame oil.  Always measure portions carefully.

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Eat dinner early or skip it!

Early time restricted feeding (eTRF) may help to burn fat more effectively at night and reduce “hunger swings.” A study found these benefits when subjects ate their last meal by mid-afternoon and fasted until breakfast the next day. So you eat between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. and skip dinner. The study suggests this “fasting” can nudge fat loss.

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Sleep and bariatric surgery success: a delicate balance

One of the reasons why bariatric surgery may not produce “significant weight loss” is because your natural circadian rhythm may be “off.” New research suggests that night shift work or night-eating syndrome may interfere with optimal weight loss, post bariatric surgery.  Good sleep habits help to optimize and support weight loss.

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Avoiding weight re-gain

Maintaining weight loss is confounding. New research suggests that appetite doesn’t necessarily diminish when you lose excess weight. Weight loss may actually induce greater appetite, but since you weigh less, your body needs fewer calories.  Even 100 extra calories daily nudges weight gain. Closely monitor calorie need and intake and rev up exercise efforts.

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Diagnosis: Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes

What should I do now and what’s affordable? New research suggests that combining a commercial weight loss program that has community and online (support) elements, with formal diabetes education offers accessible, effective management of this difficult diagnosis.  Disease-specific education, a weight loss diet, and support may be a winning treatment option.

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Memory benefits to motivate weight loss

There are loads of reasons to lose weight — boosting health, reducing risk of serious conditions, and improving quality-of-life to name a few. New research also shows that if you have a higher BMI when you’re older, your memory may suffer. The new study showed a link between higher BMI in older adults and poorer response to memory training.

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Gut bug research: link to obesity still not clear

In 2005, researchers showed a link between specific gut microbiota and obesity in mice. Does the research translate to humans? Research presented during ObesityWeek 2016 suggests that the link to specific organisms and risk of obesity is just not that clear yet, so probiotic supplements may not limit obesity, though they provide other benefits.

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Your genes and calorie burn

Why do two people on the same diet have different rates of weight loss? Weight may not be tied directly to just behaviors and compliance, but also to specific genetic pathways in muscle tissue that (do or don’t) burn calories efficiently. Research aimed at manipulating these gene pathways is next. Personalized diets also may have merit.

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Stop the blame game in obesity

A survey presented at the ObesityWeek 2016 conference suggests that “lack of a formal diagnosis” is one of the major barriers to treatment of obesity. The second major roadblock is lack of insurance coverage for care associated with a diagnosis of obesity. Separate research suggests it’s also not “all about willpower.”