Bariatric Surgery Cuts Hormone-Related Cancer Risk…Childhood Obesity is a National Security Issue…Liver Cancers on the Rise Amid Obesity Epidemic…Self-Regulation Expressed Differently in Boys and Girls…Belviq Demonstrates Heart Safety…Food Environment, Not Poverty, Greater Cause of Obesity
Bariatric Surgery in the News
Weight loss surgery may decrease hormone-related cancer risk, study says (UPI, Oncology Nurse Advisor)
Bariatric surgery may reduce a person’s risk of developing hormone-related cancers, according to a new study published in the British Journal of Surgery. Researchers analyzed the medical records of 8,794 patients with obesity who had gastric bypass, gastric banding, or sleeve gastrectomy, and compared them to a similar number of patients with obesity who did not have surgery. People who had bariatric surgery had a 77 percent decreased risk of developing hormone-related cancer — breast, endometrial or prostate cancer — compared with patients that did not have the surgery. The people who had gastric bypass had the largest risk reduction — 84 percent — for hormone-related cancer, but also had an increased risk of colorectal cancer that was not found in patients who had gastric banding or sleeve gastrectomy.
Here’s Why Fighting Youth Obesity is a Matter of National Security (Military Times)
A retired major general and executive director of the Reserve Officers Associations comments on the increasing difficulty the U.S. military faces finding enough quality recruits to meet its already “slimmed-down goals,” and obesity is making it even tougher. According to the Pentagon, 71 percent of Americans age 17 to 24 are ineligible to join the military, primarily because they are too overweight or too poorly educated, or they have a record of serious crime or drug abuse. “The obesity issue is the most troubling because the trend is going in the wrong direction,” said then-Maj. Gen. Allen Batschelet, the commanding general of Army Recruiting Command, in 2015. “We think by 2020 it could be as high as 50 percent, which means only 2 in 10 would qualify to join the Army.” The military spends more than $1.5 billion annually treating obesity-related health conditions and replacing those discharged because they’re unfit. He says this is why he other retired admirals and generals who are members of the nonprofit Mission: Readiness support efforts to get more opportunities for physical activity back into schools. Daily physical education has been shown to decrease the odds of a child becoming an overweight adult by as much as 28 percent. He concludes that “the health and vitality of our nation’s most precious asset — our young Americans — is a goal worth the combined efforts of us all.”
Obesity in the News
Amid Obesity Epidemic, Liver Cancer Deaths Surge (MedPage Today)
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has revealed the death rate for liver cancer increased 43 percent since 2000, and says the obesity epidemic is the main root cause., Ghassan Abou-Alfa, MD, a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, cited non-alcoholic associated steatohepatitis due to obesity and diabetes as the most important risk factor for liver cancer in the U.S. today when commenting on the report. “Unfortunately, the obesity epidemic is ongoing and is increasing, with a forecasted rate between 40% and 50% by 2030,” he said.
Self-Regulation’s Link to Obesity Expressed Differently in Boys & Girls (MedPage Today, News-Medical)
A toddler’s ability to change behavior in different social situations, or self-regulation, may predict whether he or she will have obesity by the time they reach kindergarten, according to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics. However, the association was found to affect boys and girls differently. In a large cohort of 6,400 children, obesity prevalence was lowest among boys with the highest quartile of self-regulation as toddlers. The girls exhibited a U-shaped association between self-regulation and obesity prevalence, with the girls in the lowest and highest quartiles in self-regulation scores reporting higher rates of obesity. At 24 months of age, the toddlers underwent an in-home self-regulation assessment and scored between 4 and 20, with 4 representing the lowest self-regulation score. When the children were 5.5 years old, obesity prevalence was assessed; the boys had an obesity rate of 19.2 percent, compared with 16.5 percent for girls.
Eisai obesity drug Belviq may have an edge with new heart-safety data—but to what end? (FiercePharma)
The obesity drug Belviq has demonstrated heart safety in an 12,00-patient outcomes study, making it the first and only approved drug for chronic weight management to do so. The study showed that Belviq did not increase the combined incidence of heart attack, stroke, or cardiovascular death in patients with obesity. Belviq’s owner Eisai says it is the largest study to date on an obesity drug. The article states that obesity drugs have failed to gain traction over the last five years. The FDA requires obesity drugmakers to conduct outcomes trials as part of its post-marketing requirements.
The True Connection Between Poverty and Obesity Isn’t What You Probably Think (Washington Post)
Food columnist dispels common belief that “we have to fight obesity by fighting poverty.” She says the evidence doesn’t support it, and in fact, in the U.S., the most overweight are middle-income people. There is a class element, but it’s not the poor vs. the rest. It’s the poor and the middle vs. the top. She argues that humans are “simply ill-equipped to deal with a landscape of cheap, convenient, calorie-dense foods that have been specifically engineered to be irresistible. The inability to navigate our food environment is as near-universal as inabilities get.” She concludes the food environment, not poverty, is the true “culprit.”