I have written about the vulnerability to various maladies from obesity more times than I can remember. Now, it seems, obesity can result in negative implications attached to COVID-19.
Conditions related to obesity, including inflammation and leaky gut, leave the lungs of obese patients more susceptible to COVID-19 and may explain why they are more likely to die from the disease, UTSW scientists say in a new article published online in eLife. They suggest that drugs used to lower inflammation in the lungs could prove beneficial to obese patients with the disease.
COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, varies widely in clinical severity: Some patients are asymptomatic while others have devastating forms that have led to more than 905,000 deaths worldwide.
Several pre-existing conditions have been shown to increase the risk of COVID-19 severity, including obesity and Type 2 diabetes – two conditions that often go hand-in-hand, says Philipp Scherer, Ph.D., director of the Touchstone Center for Diabetes Research and a professor of internal medicine and cell biology at UT Southwestern.
A new study, which involved participants eating pizza well after feeling ‘full’ in order to test what immediate effects this had on the body, finds that our metabolism is surprisingly good at coping with over-indulgence.
Researchers with the Centre for Nutrition, Exercise and Metabolism at the University of Bath compared the effects of normal eating (i.e. ‘eat until you are comfortably full’) with maximal eating (i.e. ‘eat until you cannot manage another bite’).
They found that the young, healthy men (aged 22 – 37) who volunteered for the trial consumed almost twice as much pizza when pushing beyond their usual limits, doubling their calorie intake, yet, remarkably, managed to keep the amount of nutrients in the bloodstream within normal range.
With more than 30 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes, and another 87 million diagnosed with obesity, both conditions have become national epidemics.
The two diseases cause a number of complications, including neuropathy, which causes damage to the peripheral nerves. Neuropathy is characterized by numbness or tingling and can sometimes be accompanied by pain.
The body starts to respond to healthy dietary changes as soon as they are made. This can be advantageous, because a diet can then eventually reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, as well as improve a person’s overall sense of well being.
Control of blood glucose level
Eating carbohydrates increases the blood sugar level, but the extent of this rise depends on a food’s glycemic index. The glycemic index is a ranking system, based on a score of 1 to 100, that determines the effect of a food on blood sugar levels.
It may be that Eat less; move more; live longer which I have been writing about for nearly 10 years here, also has some relevance in the fight against COVID-19 .
In a Nature Reviews Endocrinology “Comment” authors from the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), the Boston Children’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health call for more research about the relationships of obesity, disproportionate fat distribution and impaired metabolic health with the severity of COVID-19.
The authors raise the point that most of the studies that have reported comorbidities in patients with COVID-19 did not provide data on body weight and height, which are used to estimate adipose tissue mass, by calculating the BMI. In their Comment they also briefly summarize novel research findings, deriving in part from articles which have not yet undergone peer-review, indicating that overweight and, particularly, obesity may associate with a substantial risk of a severe course of COVID-19. Importantly, these studies suggest that this risk is independent of cardiometabolic diseases and other comorbidities.
The authors then discuss possible mechanisms explaining this relationship. Among them respiratory dysfunction in obesity may result in hypoventilation-associated pneumonia and hypoxia-induced cardiac stress. Furthermore, they highlight that not only the calculation of the BMI, but also the measurement of the waist circumference and of glucose and insulin levels, which can be used to determine the presence of prediabetes and insulin resistance, may be important, as these parameters are independent determinants of cardiometabolic diseases, pneumonia and mortality.
Your Body Mass Index (BMI) can be useful in widely spread studies, but you need to be careful about relying too much on it personally. I posted on it previously and you can read Don’t get hung up on your BMI – Body Mass Index for more info.
Young Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan the Barbarian. Six foot two inches tall, 257 pounds, BMI 33. Not what most of us would call obese.
The following is from the Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter:
Having obesity increases risk for cardiovascular disease and other metabolic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, but a normal BMI also does not guarantee good heart health. Here are tips based on what we know to date about metabolic health and weight: Continue reading →
New University of California Riverside research shows soybean oil not only leads to obesity and diabetes, but could also affect neurological conditions like autism, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, and depression.
Edible fats and oil consumed in the U.S. Source: USDA
Used for fast food frying, added to packaged foods, and fed to livestock, soybean oil is by far the most widely produced and consumed edible oil in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In all likelihood, it is not healthy for humans.
It certainly is not good for mice. The new study, published this month in the journal Endocrinology, compared mice fed three different diets high in fat: soybean oil, soybean oil modified to be low in linoleic acid, and coconut oil. Continue reading →
Life expectancy — the average number of years a newborn can expect to live — increased in the U.S. by almost 10 years between 1959 and 2016, from 69.9 years to 78.9 years. However, it declined for three consecutive years after 2014, driven largely by a higher mortality rate in middle-aged people of all racial groups.
In the NIA-supported study, researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University analyzed data from the National Center for Health Statistics, the U.S. Mortality Database, and CDC Wonder. They found that from 1999 to 2010, the number of deaths per 100,000 people decreased for all age groups. This decline is attributable to reduced death rates from several specific causes, including heart attacks, motor vehicle injuries, HIV infection and cancer.
We are fast approaching the end of 2019, and as we close the book on a turbulent decade, nothing summarizes the state of our culture and our unhealthy relationship with contrived outrage quite like the Peloton ad controversy and the wave of hysteria that has followed in its wake.
Those claiming a Peloton ad is sexist are actually doing their cause more harm than good. Pictured: A Peloton stationary bike is displayed Dec. 4 at one of the fitness company’s studios in New York City. (Photo: Scott Heins/ Stringer/Getty Images)
Imagine if we could channel that outrage instead into addressing our nation’s obesity crisis.
If you are not familiar with the ad or simply cannot believe that America—land of the free, home of the brave—is full of adults who are distressed over an exercise bike, a quick Google search will fill you in on the situation.
I’m not a doctor, just a guy who writes a blog on trying to live healthy by getting enough exercise and eating intelligently. So, I find the conclusion of this study to be almost karmic.
Toxic man-made chemicals—such as polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides—that are absorbed into the body and stored in fat may be released into the bloodstream during the rapid fat loss that follows bariatric surgery, according to a study from researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The finding points to the need for further research to understand the health effects of this potential toxicant exposure.
For the study, published online November 5 in Obesity, the researchers examined 26 people undergoing bariatric weight-loss surgery, and found evidence of post-surgery rises in the bloodstream levels of environmental toxicants that are known to be stored long term in fat, including PCBs, organochlorine pesticides, and PCB-like polybrominated diphenyl ethers. The study also revealed that participants born before 1976—when most of these chemical compounds were still widely used—tended to have much higher bloodstream levels of the chemicals, compared to younger participants.
“The fact that this increasingly popular type of surgery may be causing these compounds to be released into the bloodstream really challenges us to understand the potential health consequences,” says study senior author John Groopman, PhD, the Edyth H. Schoenrich Professor in Preventive Medicine at the Bloomberg School.
About 16 million people in the U.S. are morbidly obese, defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 35 kg/m2. Their extreme overweight condition confers a relatively high risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and many cancers. For almost three decades, the U.S. National Institutes of Health has recommended weight-loss surgeries called bariatric surgeries—including stomach stapling and gastric bypass procedures—for people who are morbidly obese and have serious obesity-related conditions such as diabetes, as well as for anyone with a BMI over 40. More than 200,000 bariatric surgeries are now performed in the country every year. Continue reading →
Current obesity rates in adults in the United States could be the result of dietary changes that took place decades ago, according to a new study published by researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
“While most public health studies focus on current behaviors and diets, we took a novel approach and looked at how the diets we consumed in our childhood affect obesity levels now that we are adults,” said Alex Bentley, head of UT’s Department of Anthropology and lead researcher of the study, which was published in Economics and Human Biology.
Consumption of excess sugar, particularly in sugar-sweetened beverages, is a known contributor to both childhood and adult obesity. Many population health studies have identified sugar as a major factor in the obesity epidemic. One problem with this theory, however, has been that sugar consumption in the US began to decline in the late 1990s while obesity rates continued to rise well into the 2010s.
That increase shows in the numbers: By 2016, nearly 40 percent of all adults in the US–a little over 93 million people–were affected by obesity. In Tennessee alone, the adult obesity rate more than tripled, from about 11 percent in 1990 to almost 35 percent in 2016. By 2017, however, obesity in Tennessee had fallen 2 percent from the previous year.
If high-sugar diets in childhood have long-lasting effects, the changes we see now in adult obesity rates may have started with diets decades ago, when those adults were children.
Eat less; move more; live longer wins the day. Eating less and moving more also help to fight against type 2 diabetes it seems.
Obesity is linked to a nearly 6-fold increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D), with high genetic risk and unfavorable lifestyle also increasing risk but to a much lesser extent. These are the conclusions of new research presented at this year’s Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Barcelona, Spain (16-20 Sept), by Hermina Jakupovi?, University of Copenhagen, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues.
Genetic predisposition, obesity, and unfavorable lifestyle have an important role in the development of type 2 diabetes, an increasingly common disorder that contributes majorly to the global burden of disease. According to the International Diabetes Federation, approximately 425 million adults (20-79 years) were living with diabetes in 2017; by 2045 this is expected rise above 600 million.
The current strategy to prevent T2D is underlined by the maintenance of normal body weight and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. Lifestyle interventions designed for weight loss have been shown to delay the onset of T2D among high-risk subjects. However, the effects of lifestyle factors and obesity on T2D risk may vary between individuals depending on genetic variation. Thus, it is important to understand the interplay between genetic predisposition, obesity, and unfavorable lifestyle in the development of T2D. In this new research, the authors aimed to study whether the genetic risk for T2D is accentuated by obesity and unfavorable lifestyle.
It appears from this chart in The Economist that we here in America are spending more on healthcare than any place else in the world, but not getting our money’s worth. Life expectancy in the other countries dwarfs that in the U.S.
Americans smoke less than people in other wealthy countries do, but we have higher rates of obesity and infant mortality.
As you can see, majority of the risk factors that can hurt your heart health can be prevented – the answer lies in your hands.
These are risk factors along with the preventive options:
High blood cholesterol – Eat right by having a balanced and healthy diet. Your fasting blood glucose should preferably be less than 100 mg/dL.
High blood pressure – Manage blood pressure through exercise and medications. Keep the numbers below 120/80 mm Hg.
Physical inactivity – Get moving and stand more. Spend 150 minutes of moderate intensive activity per week, like brisk walking. And opt for 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity. Eat less; move more; live longer. A sedentary lifestyle is a killer. Check out my Page – Do you know the dangers of too much sitting?
Obesity and overweight – Lose weight to find your healthy weight. Target a Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 25. Check out my Page – How dangerous is a big belly?
Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushed against the the wall of the arteries …
Over 500 new gene regions that influence people’s blood pressure have been discovered in the largest global genetic study of blood pressure to date, led by Queen Mary University of London and Imperial College London.
Involving more than one million participants, the results more than triple the number of blood pressure gene regions to over 1,000 and means that almost a third of the estimated heritability for blood pressure is now explained.
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke and heart disease and was responsible for an estimated 7.8 million deaths worldwide in 2015. While lifestyle risk factors are relatively well-known and include obesity, smoking, alcohol and high salt-intake, high blood pressure is also highly heritable through genetics. Prior to this study however, the genetic architecture of blood pressure had not been well understood.Continue reading →
– Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. – In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 650 million were obese. – 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2016, and 13% were obese. – Most of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight. – 41 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2016. – Over 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 were overweight or obese in 2016. – Obesity is preventable.