OBESITY-IN THE NEWSBy
Obesity and health risks associated with it is at an epidemic level in the US. The risks of hearth disease and diabetes, as well as joint disease are frequently discussed in medical society meetings as well as medical offices through out the country. Most people who are obese would dearly love not to be, and in my medical experience, obese people are often the most sophisticated of dieters. So why is our country getting fatter and more unhealthy with each passing year? Much research is currently being done to look at the issues which cause obesity and the issues which seem to prevent so many people from loosing weight.
Research at the Center for Integrated Systems and Biology of Aging and Nutrition at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom has published a study on how a low calorie diet can extend a persons’ lifespan. This study is purported to provide new insight into why this can occur even if adopted later in life. The research looks at how a restricted diet affects the senescence (point at which a cell can no longer replicate) if cells in mice. Demonstrated were reduced accumulation of senescent cells in liver and intestines, both organs which can demonstrate aging in this fashion. Also noted were protection on the ends of chromosomes, thereby having increased protection from errors of replication. Theoretically then, not overeating can protect the healthy maintenance of our bodies tissues.
Next of interest, a study recently published in the Journal of American Geriatric Society evaluated data from the Women’s Health Initiative regarding the association of weight and cognitive decline. 8,745 women between ages 65-79 were included in this evaluation. They found there was a 1 point drop in memory score as measured by the Modified Mini-Mental Status Exam, with each point increase in BMI. The pattern of fat deposition also had an impact, with pear shaped deposition (hip) having more of an impact on memory. It is speculated that different types of fat produce different cytokines, which cause inflammation. This inflammation may very well affect cognitive decline, more so than fat deposited around the waist.
Studies continue to evaluate the deleterious effects of obesity on health and longevity.
While “getting thin” may be a goal for many women, it is often not a reasonable goal. Medical studies have shown that, in certain situations, a mere 10% loss of weight can extend life for up to a decade. Anything you can do to improve health and life style habits are well worth the effort.