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SUBJECT: AJCN Mar 2015

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Weight loss medications - Objective: The objective was to develop thresholds during the first 3 mo of intervention that include the influence of age, sex, baseline weight, percent weight loss, and deviations from expected weight to predict whether a participant is likely to lose 5% or more body weight by year 1. Although personalized medicine is now well established in fields such as oncology, most therapeutics, including obesity treatment, still rely on starting a treatment and then evaluating the individual’s response (e.g., weight loss or decrease in blood pressure or blood glucose) to make a decision about the benefit, risk, or cost-efficacy of continued intervention. In the case of weight-loss treatment, the biological response of a decrease in body mass shows marked variability and is usually slow or gradual. Thus, this requires prolonged exposure to establish therapeutic efficacy and to allow a decision to continue or switch to an alternative, potentially better, treatment. Conclusions: The newly derived models provide a personalized prediction of long-term success from early weight-loss variables. The newly approved antiobesity drugs phentermine/extended-release topiramate, lorcaserin, and naltrexone/bupropion have all been approved with explicit stopping rules based on responder analyses.

Dark chocolate for better cognition - Foods rich in flavonoids, an extensive family of plant-derived nutrients, have been under investigation over the past 2 decades for their antioxidant properties, cardiovascular benefits, and more recently, their potential capacity to support cognitive function. New evidence confirms that daily consumption of cocoa flavanols can improve cognitive function in healthy, cognitively intact elderly individuals. Short-term interventions with flavanol-rich cocoa in elderly volunteers reported improvements in cerebral blood flow and neurovascular coupling. This was a double-blind, controlled, parallel-arm study conducted in 90 elderly individuals without clinical evidence of cognitive dysfunction who were randomly assigned to consume daily for 8 wk a drink containing 993 mg [high flavanol (HF) or 48 mg [low flavanol (LF)] . The changes in MMSE score in response to the 3 different treatments were not different.

US obesity is plateauing - The prevalence of obesity, which is defined as BMI (in kg/m2) ≥30 in adults in the United States increased from ∼15–35% between 1960–1964 and 2011–2012. However, recent data indicated that this secular trend has either slowed or plateaued.

Excess salt is harmful for those with high blood pressure - Decreasing sodium intake to <2300 mg/d was associated with a reduced risk of all-cause mortality, whereas increasing the intake to >2300 mg/d was associated with a higher risk of CVD. 

Green tea helps with many neurodegenerative diseases - Drinking green tea is thought to have preventive and therapeutic effects on a number of neurodegenerative diseases. These effects are mainly attributed to the tea polyphenols/catechins such as (−)epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG, 50–80% of total green tea catechins)-Multiple sclerosis, etc. (Epigallocatechin-3-gallate: a useful, effective and safe clinical approach for targeted prevention and individualised treatment of neurological diseases? EPMA J2013;4:5.)

Eating protein increases 24hr energy expenditure 60%, fat only by 16% - Conclusions: Excess energy, as fat, does not acutely increase 24EE, which rises slowly as body weight increases. Excess energy as protein acutely stimulates 24EE and SleepEE. The strongest relation with change in 24EE was the change in energy expenditure in tissue other than muscle or fat-free mass.

Using nonfood rewards for infants reduces obesity - Our newly developed paradigm, which tested 2 different nonfood alternatives, demonstrated that lean infants find nonfood alternatives more reinforcing than do overweight/obese infants. This observation suggests that strengthening the alternative reinforcers may have a protective effect against childhood obesity.

25% less cancer in those who follow AmCancerSoc guidelines - A prospective cohort study of 566,401 non-smoking adults aged 50–71 y at recruitment in 1995–1996, was followed for a median of 10.5 y for cancer incidence, 12.6 y for cancer mortality, and 13.6 y for total mortality. We constructed a 5-level score measuring adherence to ACS guidelines, which included baseline body mass index, physical activity, alcohol intake, and several aspects of diet. In both men and women, adherence to the ACS guidelines was associated with reductions in all-cancer incidence and the incidence of cancer at specific sites, as well as with reductions in cancer mortality and total mortality. These data suggest that, after accounting for cigarette smoking, adherence to a set of healthy behaviors may have considerable health benefits.

Inadequate breastfeeding in Mexico costs up to $2.4 billion and up to 6,000 deaths.

23% lower mortality in those with a healthy diet among all US ethnicities.

Even modest activity deceases mortality up to 30% compared to those who are inactive - The greatest reductions in mortality risk were observed between the 2 lowest activity groups across levels of general and abdominal adiposity, which suggests that efforts to encourage even small increases in activity in inactive individuals may be beneficial to public health.

Getting too much folic acid is also hazardous - Like all nutrients, there is a lower and an upper limit to be healthy. We suggest that high folic acid consumption reduces MTHFR protein and activity levels, creating a pseudo-MTHFR deficiency. These preliminary findings may have clinical implications for individuals consuming high-dose folic acid supplements, particularly those who are MTHFR deficient.

8 to 30% of children get infections while in the hospital in developed countries - The incidence of nosocomial infections in children in developed countries is still high, ranging from 8% to 30% depending on the time of the year and type of hospital ward, and standard preventive measures, such as increased hygiene, are not sufficiently efficacious.  Nosocomial infections or hospital-acquired infections, by definition, develop during a hospital stay, meaning that they are not present or incubating at the time of admission; infections that occur >48 h after admission are considered nosocomial. Overall, gastrointestinal and respiratory tract infections account for the majority of hospital-acquired infections. Nosocomial infections have several negative effects: they prolong the hospital stay, worsen the treatment outcome, and significantly increase health care expenses.

- Roc, Nutrition Investigator
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Three characteristics to cultivate to become more of a genius – 1)Autonomy – Pursue an activity because you want to, not because you are compelled to; 2) Value – Stay true to your beliefs.  Assigning value to an activity can restore your sense of autonomy; 3) Competence – As you devote more time to an activity, notice your skills improve. The next time you struggle and want to give up, ask yourself what is missing- feeling forced, finding an activity pointless, or doubting your capabilities [to learn with time]. “So you want to be a genius, pg. 49 Scientific Am. Mind Nov/Dec 2012

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