The CDiabetes News Brief: October 27 to November 2, 2014

Compiled and edited by Elizabeth Klein, MPhil


Obese people might not be able to change white fat to beige

cold-showerResearchers have known for years that people with more beige fat in their bodies burn more calories and are leaner than those with more white fat. Beige fat is made in cold temperatures, to keep the body warm. Scientists recently looked at 55 people to see if cold could be used to help them lose weight, by telling their bodies to make more beige fat. They found that obese people had a hard time changing their white fat to beige, so cold did not spur weight loss. The scientists think this might be because obese people have more inflammation than people at lower weights.
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Unhealthy obesity more likely after puberty

metabolically-healthy-obeseNot all obese people have metabolic problems, like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood glucose levels. These people are called “metabolically healthy obese” (MHO). A recent study looked at over 2,000 MHO children and found that once they went through puberty, they were likely to become MUO (metabolically unhealthy obese). MUO people are at a high risk for serious conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. This means that weight loss should be very important for obese children, even if they have no other metabolic problems.
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Extra weight can hurt your liver

liverIf you are overweight or obese, you are at risk for liver conditions like insulin resistance and liver cancer. But researchers don’t know exactly why this is. A recent study from the UCLA School of Public Health may have found part of the answer. The scientists looked at samples of body tissues to see how fast they aged. The study showed that in obese people, the liver ages faster than for people at normal weights. This may be why liver function is reduced in obese people, and why it does not necessarily get better with weight loss.
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Negative family dynamics affect children’s weight

family-dynamicsHealthcare providers know that cooking meals at home can keep children at normal weights. But new research published in the journal Pediatrics has shown that negative emotions at the dinner table are connected to obesity in children. The study showed that parents of obese and overweight kids were more likely to be controlling, subject them to threats and guilt, and lecture them about homework or other stresses as they ate. The normal weight children, on the other hand, tended to have parents who provided a warm, loving dinner and encouraged them to eat to be strong.
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Black people with diabetes are more likely to need leg amputations

black-leg-painPeople with diabetes face a long list of problems that people without diabetes might not, and these are called “complications.” A common diabetes complication is peripheral arterial disease, in which plaque builds up in the arteries and makes it more difficult for blood to flow to and from the heart. A new study from the Dartmouth School of Medicine showed that black people with this complication were about three times more likely to need a leg amputation because of it than nonblack people. This may be because black Americans are less likely to see their healthcare providers regularly for preventive care.
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Men with diabetes and low testosterone may have higher heat disease risk

diabetic-manIf you have diabetes, you probably know that your risk for heart conditions is high. This risk may be even higher for men with diabetes who, as we know from past studies, tend to have low testosterone. New research from the Hospital Universitario Sanatorio Guemes in Argentina showed that men with both diabetes and low testosterone were six times more likely to have thickened  arteries, a warning sign for heart disease and stroke. The men studied had an average age of 56, and no history of heart disease.
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Potatoes may not cause weight gain

200422490-001If you are following a low-carb meal plan to control your weight or blood glucose levels, you might be in luck. A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that you might be able to eat potatoes and still lose weight. For a period of 12 weeks, study participants were told to eat 5-7 servings of potatoes each week, and they all lost weight. However, keep in mind that this was a very short study. It was also funded by the United States Potato Board, so it is not surprising that the results are positive.
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People may respond in different ways to fructose

high_fructose_corn_syrupFructose is a kind of sugar found in fruit, high-fructose corn syrup, table sugar, and other common foods that Americans eat. Past studies looking at how healthy (or unhealthy) fructose is have shown a mix of different results, and now researchers may know why. A study from Harvard Medical School showed that people might digest fructose differently. For some, it may damage the liver and lead to metabolic problems–like high blood glucose, high triglycerides and weight gain. For others, it may be harmless. But obese people tended to have problems with this sugar most of the time, which shows that they should eat and drink less of it.
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It may not matter if you lose weight quickly or slowly

guy-weight-lossIf you are trying to lose weight, you may have heard that, over the long term, it is better to lose pounds slowly. But new research from the University of Melbourne in Australia showed that, whether you lose weight slowly or quickly, you have about the same risk of gaining it back again. And, the participants who lost weight quickly were more likely to reach their goals. During the 3-year study, the participants in both groups regained about 70% of the weight they had lost. Obese people who lose a lot of weight are unlikely to keep most of it off, but it doesn’t seem to matter whether they lose it slowly or quickly.
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Eating breakfast may help you avoid food cravings

balanced-breakfastBreakfast has been in the news a lot lately. Right now, researchers are not sure exactly how eating or skipping breakfast affects your ability to lose weight. While skipping breakfast may not matter for your long-term weight loss goals, a new study published in Nutrition Journal suggests that it may make it harder to control food cravings. The scientists found that breakfasts that are high in protein (from eggs, yogurt or meat, for example) helped people avoid cravings for both sugary and fatty foods throughout the day. So, if you struggle with food cravings, eating a balanced breakfast may help you out.
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