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Did You Know that Chemicals Can Cause Weight Gain? – they are called Obesogens.

Convincing evidence suggests that diet and activity level are not the only factors in weight gain.

Have you heard of Obesogens? These are chemicals, either natural or man-made, that take control of your metabolic systems, causing weight gain. They come from compounds found in certain plastics; in pesticides and fungicides; in soy and sweeteners; and in the hormones that are injected into our livestock. These obesogens increase appetite and disrupt normal development and lipid metabolism, all of which can lead to obesity.

Chemical “obesogens” may alter human metabolism and predispose some people to gain weight. Fetal and early-life exposures to certain obesogens may alter some individuals’ metabolism and fat-cell makeup for life. Other obesogenic effects are linked to adulthood exposures.

The idea that chemicals in the environment could be contributing to the obesity epidemic is often credited to an article by Paula Baillie-Hamilton, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2002.10 Her article presented evidence from earlier toxicologic studies published as far back as the 1970s in which low-dose chemical exposures were associated with weight gain in experimental animals. At the time, however, the original researchers did not focus on the implications of the observed weight gains.

The role of environmental chemicals in obesity has garnered increased attention in academic and policy spheres, and was recently acknowledged by the Presidential Task Force on Childhood Obesity11 and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Strategic Plan for Obesity Research.

Want to take action?

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Americans Are Saying No to Soda Pop

A study released in 2016 shows Americans are saying no to soda pop!

The study, published in the journal Obesity in 2016 relied on a representative sample of 18,000 children 2 to 19 years old, and 27,652 adults aged 20 and older. They were asked about their beverage consumption over the past 24 hours: juice, milk, sugar and diet soda, coffee and tea, sports drinks, water and alcohol.

The study was published online November 14, 2017 in Obesity. It is the first paper to present the most recent national data on beverage consumption from the Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) which is the gold standard for understanding consumption trends and patterns at a national level.

An analysis of the report reveals that

  1. Per capita consumption of all drinks declined.
  2. Children took in 312.6 drink calories a day in 2014, compared with 473.8 a day in 2003.
  3. Adults took in  341.1 calories in 2014, compared with 425.0 in 2003.
  4. 60.7 percent of children and 50 percent of adults drank a sugary beverage (including soda)  on any given day in 2014, down from 79.7 percent of children and 61.5 percent of adults in 2003.
  5. In every age group, water drinking increased. Sara N. Bleich, a professor of public health policy at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and lead author of the new study, said that this is probably because soda drinkers are switching to water.
  6. The consumption of 100 percent fruit juice also declined, most sharply among adolescents and those over age 40.

REFERENCE

“Trends in Beverage Consumption among Children and Adults, 2003-2014,” Sara N. Bleich, Kelsey A. Vercammen, Jonathan Wyatt Koma, and Zhonghe Li, Obesity, online November 14, 2017, doi: 10.1002/oby.22056

What Is Genomic Testing?

Genomic testing is becoming more and more popular. Let’s look at what it is.

You are born with your genes, many of which contain small errors called SNPs (pronounced “snips”) that can predispose you to certain health conditions or affect how your body processes medications.

Unlike single gene mutations that cause inherited genetic diseases, gene SNPs don’t act alone; they can interact with one another, the environment, and a person’s dietary and lifestyle choices to create health or disease. While we can’t change our genes, we can change the environment we put them in and make healthier lifestyle choices. Therein lies the power of genomics.

Genomic testing identifies gene SNPs and then enables personalized evidenced-based health interventions.

One example is pharmacogenomics–a new branch of medicine that identifies gene SNPs and how they affect a person’s ability to metabolize a prescribed drug or over-the-counter medication. For a clinician or healthcare professional, genomic testing can help determine what medication(s) are most effective and have minimal risk of adverse effects. Each person can then get the right drug, at the correct dose, delivered at the right time.

Genomic testing can also guide individualized dietary and lifestyle strategies in the prevention and treatment of many common chronic diseases. The results of these tests can help tailor specific nutritional and lifestyle choices to improve health outcomes for individuals with a wide range of chronic illnesses—including obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis and emotional disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety).

This branch of personalized medicine is nutritional genomics – also known as nutrigenomics – and focuses on how food and lifestyle can “talk” to a person’s genes. Genomic test results help a clinician recommend the right foods, the right amount of nutrients, and the right lifestyle choices to create a healthier food-gene conversation, and more efficiently manage, reduce, or even prevent disease.

These DNA-directed disease prevention and treatment strategies have created a revolution in healthcare– not only improving health outcomes but also saving healthcare resources for companies.

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