tagged w/ Fat People
Addiction researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, have found that a risk for alcoholism also may put individuals at risk for obesity.
The researchers noted that the association between a family history of alcoholism and obesity risk has become more pronounced in recent years. Both men and women with such a family history were more likely to be obese in 2002 than members of that same high-risk group had been in 1992.
“In addiction research, we often look at what we call cross-heritability, which addresses the question of whether the predisposition to one condition also might contribute to other conditions,” says first author Richard A. Grucza, PhD.
“For example, alcoholism and drug abuse are cross-heritable. This new study demonstrates a cross-heritability between alcoholism and obesity, but it also says — and this is very important — that some of the risks must be a function of the environment. The environment is what changed between the 1990s and the 2000s. It wasn’t people’s genes.”
Obesity in the United States has doubled in recent decades from 15 percent of the population in the late 1970s to 33 percent in 2004. Obese people – those with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more – have an elevated risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers.
Reporting in the Archives of General Psychiatry, Grucza and his team say individuals with a family history of alcoholism, particularly women, have an elevated obesity risk. In addition, that risk seems to be growing. He speculates that may result from changes in the food we eat and the availability of more foods that interact with the same brain areas as addictive drugs.
“Much of what we eat nowadays contains more calories than the food we ate in the 1970s and 1980s, but it also contains the sorts of calories — particularly a combination of sugar, salt and fat — that appeal to what are commonly called the reward centers in the brain,” says Grucza, an assistant professor of psychiatry.
“Alcohol and drugs affect those same parts of the brain, and our thinking was that because the same brain structures are being stimulated, overconsumption of those foods might be greater in people with a predisposition to addiction.”
Grucza hypothesized that as Americans consumed more high-calorie, hyper-palatable foods, those with a genetic risk for addiction would face an elevated risk from because of the effects of those foods on the reward centers in the brain. His team analyzed data from two large alcoholism surveys from the last two decades.
The National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey was conducted in 1991 and 1992. The National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions was conducted in 2001 and 2002. Almost 80,000 people took part in the two surveys.
“We looked particularly at family history of alcoholism as a marker of risk,” Grucza explains. “And we found that in 2001 and 2002, women with that history were 49 percent more likely to be obese than those without a family history of alcoholism. We also noticed a relationship in men, but it was not as striking in men as in women.”
Grucza says a possible explanation for obesity in those with a family history of alcoholism is that some individuals may substitute one addiction for another. After seeing a close relative deal with alcohol problems, a person may shy away from drinking, but high-calorie, hyper-palatable foods also can stimulate the reward centers in their brains and give them effects similar to what they might experience from alcohol.
“Ironically, people with alcoholism tend not to be obese,” Grucza says. “They tend to be malnourished, or at least under-nourished because many replace their food intake with alcohol. One might think that the excess calories associated with alcohol consumption could, in theory, contribute to obesity, but that’s not what we saw in these individuals.”
Grucza says other variables, from smoking, to alcohol intake, to demographic factors like age and education levels don’t seem to explain the association between alcoholism risk and obesity.
“It really does appear to be a change in the environment,” he says. “I would speculate, although I can’t really prove this, that a change in the food environment brought this association about. There is a whole slew of literature out there suggesting these hyper-palatable foods appeal to people with addictive tendencies, and I would guess that’s what we’re seeing in our study.”
The results, he says, suggest there should be more cross-talk between alcohol and addiction researchers and those who study obesity. He says there may be some people for whom treating one of those disorders also might aid the other.
obesity and alcoholism
Grucza RA, Krueger RF, Racette SB, Norberg KE, Hipp PR, Bierut LJ. The emerging link between alcoholism risk and obesity in the United States, Archives of General Psychiatry, vol. 67(12), pp. 1301-1308. Dec. 2010
*****Addiction researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, have... more
It may termed as outrageous and insult to people who are obese or fat. But, a new study has advised people not to go out with fat friends if they want to lose weight.
:http://www.breakingnewsonline.net/health/5586-stop-going-out-with-obese-if-you-want-to-lose-weight.htmlIt may termed as outrageous and insult to people who are obese or fat. But, a new... more
A gene variant that helps us put on pounds may also shrink brain regions involved in problem-solving and perception
A gene variant that helps us gain weight may shrink our brains into the bargain.
Elderly obese people are more likely to develop dementia and their brains tend to be smaller than those of people of normal weight. This has been put down to clogged arteries slowing the blood flow to the brain, killing neurons.
But now Paul Thompson's team at the University of California, Los Angeles, has found that a gene variant linked to obesity may harm the brain directly.
Half of Europeans and West Africans have a variant of a gene called FTO that increases the risk of obesity by two-thirds. The variant is thought to affect metabolism and fat storage.
When Thompson's team looked at brain scans of 206 healthy people aged 70 to 80, they found that those with at least one copy of the FTO variant had 8 per cent less volume in their frontal lobes and 12 per cent less in the occipital lobes, compared with their counterparts lacking the variant. The brains of those with the variant "looked 16 years older", Thompson reckons.
The study's participants did not have cognitive problems. However, these brain areas are critical to problem-solving and perception, and brain atrophy there increases the risk of dementia and memory problems, Thompson says.
The FTO variant could be damaging the brain indirectly by helping to make people fatter, but Thompson reckons it plays a more direct role, too, as FTO is expressed at high levels in the brain.
Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0910878107)A gene variant that helps us put on pounds may also shrink brain regions involved in... more
infoMania again did a great job of being purely hilarious. It seems like the only way that cable news can describe the health bill is in terms of baseball. News simply does not know how to celebrate women in sports, unless maybe they are having threesomes.
Conor Knighton looks at Twilight New Moon Mania and Carrie Prejean Sex Tape.
Sarah Haskins fears every moment when she is not being protected by Broadview Security.
Have you ever noticed how news loves fat people, but only from the neck down?
Ben Hoffman's returns to his passion... with a Tech Report on iPhone apps!!!!! This time they are sexxxy
Watch infoMania every Thursday at 10pm on Current TV. Watch last night's episode.infoMania again did a great job of being purely hilarious. It seems like the only way... more
McDonald’s is marketing to your kids. They want to snag your juniors early and mold them into lifetime users. In America, McDonald’s ropes tikes in with Playlands, toys in meals and easy going clown/nightmare fodder Ronald McDonald. Japanese McDonald’s, however, know what your kids really want: sex.
http://www.babble.com/CS/blogs/strollerderby/archive/2008/02/22/mcdonalds-wants-to-sell-your-kids-hamburgers-and-sex.aspxMcDonald’s is marketing to your kids. They want to snag your juniors early and... more
The news loves fat people from the neck down.
infoMania is a half-hour satirical news show that airs on Current TV. The show puts a comedic spin on the 24-hour chaos and information overload brought about by the constant bombardment of the media. Hosted by Conor Knighton and co-starring Brett Erlich, Sarah Haskins, Ben Hoffman, Bryan Safi and Sergio Cilli, the show airs on Thursdays at 10 pm Eastern and Pacific Times and can be found online at http://current.com/infomania/ or on Current TV. And make sure to check out our facebook profile for special features at http://infomaniafacebook.com.The news loves fat people from the neck down. infoMania is a half-hour satirical... more
PETA's new billboard campaign in Florida is raising eyebrows and ire among women and health groups. A drawing on billboards in Jacksonville depicts an obese woman with the phrase, "Save The Whales, Lose The Blubber: Go Vegetarian."
In a press release, PETA stated:
A new PETA billboard campaign that was just launched in Jacksonville reminds people who are struggling to lose weight -- and who want to have enough energy to chase a beach ball -- that going vegetarian can be an effective way to shed those extra pounds that keep them from looking good in a bikini. [....]
Anyone wishing to achieve a hot "beach bod" is reminded that studies show that vegetarians are, on average, about 10 to 20 pounds lighter than meat-eaters. [...]
"Trying to hide your thunder thighs and balloon belly is no day at the beach," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "PETA has a free 'Vegetarian Starter Kit' for people who want to lose pounds while eating as much as they like.PETA's new billboard campaign in Florida is raising eyebrows and ire among women... more