Study: Obesity Alone does not Increase Risk of Death

Researchers at York University’s Faculty of Health have found that patients who have metabolic healthy obesity, but no other metabolic risk factors, do not have an increased rate of mortality.

The results of this study could impact how we think about obesity and health, says Jennifer Kuk, associate professor at the School of Kinesiology and Health Science, who led the research team at York University.

“This is in contrast with most of the literature and we think this is because most studies have defined metabolic healthy obesity as having up to one metabolic risk factor,” says Kuk.

“This is clearly problematic, as hypertension alone increases your mortality risk and past literature would have called these patients with obesity and hypertension, ‘healthy’. This is likely why most studies have reported that ‘healthy’ obesity is still related with higher mortality risk.”

Kuk’s study showed that unlike dyslipidemia, hypertension or diabetes alone, which are related with a high mortality risk, this isn’t the case for obesity alone.

The study followed 54,089 men and women from five cohort studies who were categorized as having obesity alone or clustered with a metabolic factor, or elevated glucose, blood pressure or lipids alone or clustered with obesity or another metabolic factor. Researchers looked at how many people within each group died as compared to those within the normal weight population with no metabolic risk factors.

Current weight management guidelines suggest that anyone with a BMI over 30 kg/m2 should lose weight. This implies that if you have obesity, even without any other risk factors, it makes you unhealthy. Researchers found that 1 out of 20 individuals with obesity had no other metabolic abnormalities.

“We’re showing that individuals with metabolically healthy obesity are actually not at an elevated mortality rate. We found that a person of normal weight with no other metabolic risk factors is just as likely to die as the person with obesity and no other risk factors,” says Kuk. “This means that hundreds of thousands of people in North America alone with metabolically healthy obesity will be told to lose weight when it’s questionable how much benefit they’ll actually receive.”

The study was published in Clinical Obesity.

Source: York University


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Burger with Bison and Umami Sauce

Ingredients

2-1/4 pounds ground bison
2 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup roasted mushrooms
1 cup caramelized onions
6 flax seed buns
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Umami Sauce

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons tamari
1/4 cup water
1 cup nutritional yeast flakes
8 garlic cloves, mashed
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt (optional)

Method

  1. To make the sauce, put the vinegar, tamari, water, yeast flakes, and garlic in a blender or food processor and blend until well combined. Remove the feed tube and, with the machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Blend well until the mixture becomes thick and emulsified, like mayonnaise. Adjust the seasoning with salt as needed.
  2. Using your hands, mix the bison, yeast flakes, salt, and pepper in a bowl to combine. Divide the meat into 6 patties. Wash your hands.
  3. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  4. Put roasted mushrooms and caramelized onions in a baking dish and place in a 400°F pre-heated oven to warm while the burgers are cooking.
  5. Grill the burgers for 5 to 7 minutes per side, depending on the desired degree of doneness. Toast the buns.
  6. Place the burgers on the buns. Top with the mushrooms and onions and drizzle each one with a bit of the Umami Sauce. Sprinkle on the cheese and serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: True Food

Video: Best Before Dates – How Supermarkets Tamper with Your Food

Supermarket insiders tell all and share common tricks some grocery stores use to give your favourite foods a second life.

Watch video at You Tube (22:20 minutes) . . . .

Use of ‘Smart Drugs’ on the Rise

Arran Frood wrote . . . . . . . . .

Increased concentration while studying is one of the main motivations for taking cognition-enhancing drugs.Credit: Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty

The use of drugs by people hoping to boost mental performance is rising worldwide, finds the largest ever study of the trend. In a survey of tens of thousands of people, 14% reported using stimulants at least once in the preceding 12 months in 2017, up from 5% in 2015.

The non-medical use of substances — often dubbed smart drugs — to increase memory or concentration is known as pharmacological cognitive enhancement (PCE), and it rose in all 15 nations included in the survey. The study looked at prescription medications such as Adderall and Ritalin — prescribed medically to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) — as well as the sleep-disorder medication modafinil and illegal stimulants such as cocaine.

The smart-pill oversell

The work, published in the International Journal of Drug Policy1 in June, is based on the Global Drug Survey — an annual, anonymous online questionnaire about drug use worldwide. The survey had 79,640 respondents in 2015 and 29,758 in 2017.

US respondents reported the highest rate of use: in 2017, nearly 30% said they had used drugs for PCE at least once in the preceding 12 months, up from 20% in 2015.

But the largest increases were in Europe: use in France rose from 3% in 2015 to 16% in 2017; and from 5% to 23% in the United Kingdom (see ‘Quest for cognitive enhancement’). An informal reader survey by Nature in 2008 found that one in five respondents had used drugs to boost concentration or memory.

The latest analysis is impressive in its size, says Barbara Sahakian, a neuroscientist at the University of Cambridge, UK, who was not involved in the work. There is an increasing ‘lifestyle use’ of cognitive-enhancing drugs by healthy people, which raises ethical concerns, she says.

Cultural factors, the prevalence of ADHD diagnoses and availability all influence which drugs are used for PCE and the rate of use, says Larissa Maier, a psychologist at the University of California, San Francisco, who led the study.

In the United States, where ADHD diagnoses are high and medication is a common treatment, 22% of respondents said they had used amphetamine-combination drugs such as Adderall for PCE. Those drugs are not approved in the European Union, where methylphenidate — sold under various trade names, including Ritalin — is more commonly used.

The study suggests that the spread of US-style practices in ADHD treatment is driving the trend and making drugs more available: countries with higher rates of ADHD diagnoses, such as the United States, Canada and Australia, have higher rates of non-medical prescription-drug use for cognitive enhancement.

“The increased diagnoses of ADHD and their prescription drug use is creating a substantial population of young pharmacologically medicated persons whose underlying problems may very likely be located in their social world,” says Steven Rose, a neuroscientist at the Open University in Milton Keynes, UK.

The wilder shores of brain boosting

Nearly half (48%) of people said they obtained the drugs through friends; 10% bought them from a dealer or over the Internet; 6% obtained them from a family member; and 4% said that they had their own prescriptions.

Debate continues over whether the non-medical use of prescription drugs boosts brain performance. Data suggest that some people benefit from certain drugs in specific situations3,2 — for example, surgeons using modafinil4 — but larger population-wide studies report lesser gains, and conflicting results6.

Maier notes that respondents to the Global Drug Survey are more likely than the general population to be interested in drug use, which could bias results. But she says that similar rates of non-medical use of smart drugs are seen in studies of the general population7, suggesting that the findings are robust.

Source: Nature