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Obesity

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New research helps us better understand the causes and trends in the obesity epidemic – and what you can do within your own family to help manage weight. Approximately 42% of the adult population in the U.S. is obese, and obesity triples the risk of being hospitalized for COVID, so understanding the risk factors and treatments for obesity are important. Here are some of the latest studies on important, actionable themes in preventing and treating obesity. Probiotics may help manage childhood obesity. Over 340 million children are obese worldwide, and almost 20% (or one fifth!) of children in the United States are obese. Obesity in early life puts children at an increased risk for obesity in adulthood, as well as a whole host of diseases later in life. A recent study found that the probiotic strain Bifidobacterium breve (a beneficial gut bacteria strain that produces short chain fatty acids and…

Cancer rates are rising in young Americans and obesity could be to blame. The American Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute released a report showing that the rates of 6 different cancers (multiple myeloma, colorectal, endometrial, gallbladder, kidney, and pancreatic), associated with obesity, are on the rise among adults between the ages of 25 and 49. Pancreatic and kidney cancers rose 4.34% and 6.23% respectively between 1995 and 2014. The report linked excessive body weight to approximately 40% of U.S. cancer cases; based on the 2014 estimates, obesity accounts for 60% of endometrial cancers, 36% of gallbladder cancers, 33% of kidney cancers, 17% of pancreatic cancers and 11% of multiple myeloma in those 30+ years of age. Lancet Public Health →Takeaway: From increasing inflammation to altering hormone levels, obesity can fuel the growth and proliferation of cancer cells. While the cancer rate increases in young adults can’t be directly attributed to obesity, it’s…

The gut microbiome in the first 2 years of life strongly correlates with body mass index (BMI) at age 12. A Norwegian study analyzed the gut microbiota at days 4, 10, 30, 120, 365, and 730 and the association with BMI at age 12 in 165 study participants. The researchers also looked at how BMI related to maternal weight/obesity and excessive gestational weight gain. The study results found that the microbiota composition at days 10 and 730 were significantly associated with childhood BMI, and gut bacteria at age 2 explained over 50% of the variations in BMI. mBio →Takeaway: The health of the gut microbiome very early on (as little as 10 days old) has a significant impact on whether or not a child will become obese. This study is important for 2 reasons. One, it illustrates the vital need for microbial optimization in both mother (well before conception, since the mother’s microbiome…