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January 23, 2013
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Research transforming the study of diabetes and obesity

  Top Story 
  • NYC, L.A. show improvements in childhood obesity rates
    A study in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found childhood obesity rates in New York City and Los Angeles are already declining, with earlier interventions giving New York City an edge in the obesity battle. "These findings suggest that ongoing education, support and approaches that target specific cultural and socioeconomic groups can have positive effects in reducing childhood obesity," said Samantha Heller, clinical nutrition coordinator at Griffin Hospital's Center for Cancer Care in Derby, Conn. HealthDay News (1/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Science & Research 
  • Gluteal fat may increase diabetes risk
    "Pear-shaped" participants with metabolic syndrome had higher levels of chimerin and lower levels of omentin-1 -- proteins associated with insulin resistance and blood glucose, respectively -- indicating that patients with gluteal fat may show similar diabetes and heart disease risk as those who are "apple-shaped" with abdominal fat, a study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism showed. However, exercise can help curb fat levels and reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome. (1/11) , (Australia)/News Limited Network (1/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study ties family behaviors to weight control in children
    A study in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology found children and their families who either followed the Positively Fit program or a brief family intervention program with a dietitian lost weight from pre-intervention to post-intervention and at one year. Family engagement is key to encouraging healthier eating and exercise behaviors in children, a researcher said. The Wichita Eagle (Kan.) (1/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Gut taste receptors may hold anti-obesity potential
    The human digestive system appears to perceive the taste of foods we consume in a similar way that the tongue does, a study found. Researchers said targeting malfunctioning taste receptors in the gut may lead to the development of obesity treatments. The findings appear in Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism. FoodNavigator (1/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Increasing specific protein may help prevent type 2 diabetes
    A protein called Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor may be key to preventing people with obesity from developing type 2 diabetes, according to scientists in Toronto. Diabetic patients have low levels of the protein, so researchers hope that increasing VEGF can help increase oxygen and blood levels, thereby preventing or even reversing the development of diabetes. The study was published in the journal Cell Metabolism. (Canada) (1/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Alterations in cell metabolism lead to type 2 diabetes
    Environmental and cell metabolism changes, not genetic predisposition, trigger type 2 diabetes onset, according to researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who used computer modeling to study cell changes. The findings were published in PLoS ONE. (1/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Products & Innovation 
  • Cell therapy/device combo for diabetes treatment is in the works
    Sernova is working on a polymer "cell pouch" system infused with therapeutic islet cells that can administer insulin based on a diabetes patient's blood glucose levels. The device, implanted below the skin in the abdomen using a 15-minute procedure, also will contain the Sertolin local immune protection cell system to prevent transplant rejection. (1/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Trends & Technology 
  • Cuts to medical research funding will stall progress and waste money
    Congress postponed until March deep budget cuts that had been due to take effect at the start of this year. If these cuts to the NIH, FDA, CDC and other agencies are allowed to happen, promising projects will stall, people will needlessly suffer and jobs will be lost, three medical school deans write. "A strong America requires investments that protect our economy and our health," they write. The Washington Post (1/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  TRI News 
  • TRI's Dr. Steven R. Smith comments on the benefits of modest weight loss
    Those who are overweight and obese are increasingly finding the benefit of losing weight in small increments rather than taking drastic steps to lose large quantities of weight. Steven R. Smith, M.D., TRI's scientific director, shared his insights into this growing trend, commenting on the need for people to focus on losing weight for health reasons instead of vanity reasons, and referencing the statistic that those in danger of developing diabetes who lose five to 10 pounds experience a 54% reduction in their chances of becoming diabetic. Read more here. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • As we embark on a new year that looks to be promising for developing treatments for metabolic diseases, what was the most interesting development in scientific research in the metabolic disease space in 2012?
    Look for the results of this poll in next month's TRI SmartBrief.
The gut microbiome and obesity
Epigenetics and nutritional/maternal-fetal programming
Links between inflammation and diabetes and obesity
Metabolomics were seen as starting to pay off
The emergence of brown fat as a therapeutic strategy for obesity and diabetes

  • Poll: What will be the biggest obesity-related trend in 2013?
    Major U.S. cities will follow New York City's example to ban the sale of large sodas and sugary drinks  21.74%
    Social media tools will be widely adopted to help fight obesity  17.39%
    Obesity will be more widely considered a national security threat  17.39%
    Companies will increasingly provide incentives for employees to lose weight  17.39%
    New studies will continue to show declines in obesity rates in U.S. cities  13.04%
    Obesity surgery rates will hit a new high  13.04%
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Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat."
--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
American poet and educator

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