Research Roundup: What We Learned at ObesityWeek 2015 – Part 4

ObesityWeek is an event that brings the leading experts in the field of obesity together to share their innovations and breakthroughs in their work. This educational experience provides an opportunity to ignite numerous conversations and ideas about the disease of obesity, and many discoveries are shared throughout the week-long conference.

We learned quite a bit during our time at the event, and we’ve rounded up some of our most interesting finds from ObesityWeek 2015 to share with you. Here’s what we discovered:

The disease of obesity can be attributed to many factors in our lives, such as our environment, genetics, physiological make-up — and even psychological causes as well. Therefore, it’s important to look at the connection between obesity and the science of our bodies, and the following studies get a closer look at this:

Electrical Stimulation to the Brain could be Beneficial to One’s Weight-loss Journey.

One study found that by stimulating the brain’s prefrontal cortex, researchers may have actually found a way to reduce the eating habits of individuals affected by excess weight and obesity. A National Institutes of Health study found that non-invasive brain stimulation decreased calorie consumption and increased weight-loss in adults with obesity. Researchers studied nine men and women with obesity in a metabolic ward, and after receiving either active or inactive current stimulation to the brain, they were able to make unlimited food and drink choices from a vending machine. The findings of the study suggest that the electrical stimulation can be a possible intervention for obesity, when combined with healthy eating and exercise.

CLICK HERE to read the press release about the study.

Getting a Bad Night’s Sleep May Play a Bigger Role in Preventing Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes Than We Thought

One night of poor sleep could equal six months on a high-fat diet, according to research conducted by Josiane Broussard, PhD, and colleagues from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA. Both of these activities impair insulin sensitivity in a similar way – and insulin plays a crucial role in the prevention of type 2 diabetes, a disease related to excess weight and obesity.

“It is critical for health practitioners to emphasize the importance of sleep to their patients,” said Caroline M. Apovian, MD, FACP, FACN, a Fellow and spokesperson for The Obesity Society. “Many patients understand the importance of a balanced diet, but they might not have a clear idea of how critical sleep is to maintaining equilibrium in the body.”

CLICK HERE to read the press release about the study.

Stressed Parents’ Children May be Twice as Likely to be Affected by Obesity

A unique research study looked at not how stress affects the chance of obesity in adults, but instead in their children. A research team from Albert Einstein College of Medicine found that Latino parents who feel higher levels of stress are twice as likely to have children who are affected by the disease of obesity. This study is among the first of its kind to show that parental stress is a risk factor for childhood obesity among Latinos, and adds to the idea that family influences can influence the weight of children.

“This research should encourage clinicians and healthcare practitioners to consider high stress levels as a warning sign for developing obesity not only in the adult patient, but also in the patient’s entire family,” said Margarita Teran-Garcia, MD, PhD, FTOS, the At-Large Mexico Council member for The Obesity Society. “Although the study is cross-sectional, it suggests that special attention should be paid to adult patients who report experiencing high stress levels in this population and providers are encouraged to consider behavioral counseling as one measure for obesity prevention and treatments.”

CLICK HERE to read the press release about the study.

Missed the rest of our research roundup? Visit the links below to read more about what we learned during ObesityWeek 2015:

Part 1: Weight Bias, Stigma and Access to Care

Part 2: Bariatric Surgery

Part 3: Healthy Habits & Behaviors

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