Friday, January 6, 2012

Obesity briefs - Brain Proteins, School Food and Metabolic Surgery

Here are some news briefs on the obesity front from the weekend covering everything from a study about brain proteins' effect on weight to using bariatric surgery to treat metabolic diseases.

KC-Area Benefits Company Argues in Support of Bariatric Surgery Benefits: Midwestern Benefits Company Lockton has released a report encouraging employers to offer weight loss surgery benefits in addition to wellness programs.

Obesity regulating gene found? London researchers have identified a gene they claim regulates obesity. The gene was previously known to be linked to cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. This study found that it also influenced other genes that regulate BMI (body mass index), cholesterol and glucose and insulin levels. The study, which was pubished in Nature Genetics offers hopes for new treatments for metabolic diseases.

Overweight? It's all in your head:A story from the Weizmann Institute of Science, published in the May issue of Cell Metabolism, followed mice that were engineered to lack the protein tyrosine phosphatase epsilon (PTPe) and found that without PTPe, mice were better able to regulate their weight. They found that PTPe dampens signals from the hormone leptin in the hypothalamus, leading to reduced appetite and increased physical activity. Researchers know that obese people tend to have an exess of leptin in their blood.

The results of the study suggest that another part of the obesity puzzle involves leptin insensitivity and if scientists could inhibit PTPe, it could improve leptin response to reduce appetite and increase physical activity. Think about that next time someone says that you simply need to eat less and exercise more.

Can video games contribute to obesity? Danish and Canadian researchers watched teenage boys who played video games and compared them to similar boys who were not playing video games. If they played for an hour, video gamers would burn an extra 21 calories compared to the others, but when offered a snack, they would eat 80 more calories than the kids who did not play video games. 

Parents in Oman Worried about Childhood Obesity, School Lunches: Parents of children in Oman are fighting problems familiar in America: the impact of school lunches on childhood obesity. Specifically, they are looking to remove low-quality meats, french fries and fizzy drinks from private schoole menus.

Bariatric Surgery recommended for Metabolic Diseases: with recent recommendations from the FDA and the American Heart Association, lowering the Body Mass Index specifications for people to get weight loss surgery if they suffer from diabetes, the mainstream media is starting to pay attention. 

From the Orlando Sentinel:

One review study of 3,188 obese, Type 2 diabetics who had bariatric surgery found that 78 percent of them no longer had diabetes afterward, according to a 2009 report published in the American Journal of Medicine. And the disease still had not returned by the two-year follow-up.

Another randomized study of obese Type 2 diabetics, published in 2008 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that 73 percent of those who had gastric-banding procedures achieved remission of their diabetes, compared with only 13 percent using lifestyle and medication to treat their diabetes.

It is, however, important to note that one can never be rid entirely of diabetes and that remission is always a possibility. It is also important to note that while the article speaks of various bariatric procedures, surgeons at Weight Loss Surgical Center perform only laparascopic adjustable gastric banding, which does not involve cutting, stapling or re-routing of your digestive tract.

Alcohol addiction risk with gastric bypass: A study of a Sweedish database of bariatric patients revealed that bypass patients were twice as likely to need treatment for alcohol addiction. The article explains that bypassing part of the digestive tract allows for faster alcohol absorption and increased risk of dependency.

If you're suffering from the dangerous combination of obesity and diabetes, weight loss surgery may be an option to help. Learn more about diabetes and LAP-BAND Surgery today.

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