Children with higher BMI tend to have thinner cerebral cortex
The rising obesity epidemic in the U.S., as well as related chronic diseases, are correlated with a rise in ultra-processed food consumption. The foods most associated with weight gain include potato chips, sugar sweetened beverages, sweets and desserts, refined grains, red meats, and processed meats, while lower weight gain or even weight loss is associated with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Other food trends outlined in the report include insufficient dietary fiber intake, a dramatic increase in food additives like emulsifiers and gums, and a higher prevalence of obesity, particularly in women.
In mice and in vitro trials, emulsifiers, found in processed foods, have been found to alter microbiome compositions, elevate fasting blood glucose, cause hyperphagia, increase weight gain and adiposity, and induce hepatic steatosis. Recent human trials have linked ultra-processed foods to decreased satiety (fullness), increased meal eating rates (speed), worsening biochemical markers, including inflammation and cholesterol, and more weight gain. In contrast, populations with low meat, high fiber, and minimally processed foods -; the "blue zones" -; have far less chronic diseases, obesity rates, and live longer disease-free.
Rather than solely treating the symptoms of obesity and related diseases with medication, we need to include efforts to use food as medicine," said Frame. "Chronic disease in later years is not predestined, but heavily influenced by lifestyle and diet. Decreasing obesity and chronic disease in the U.S. will require limiting processed foods and increasing intake of whole vegetables, legumes, nuts, fruits, and water. Health care providers must also emphasize lifestyle medicine, moving beyond 'a pill for an ill.'" Leigh A. Frame, researcher, George Washington University Source:
George Washington University Journal reference:
Laster, J & Frame, L.A . (2019) Beyond the Calories—Is the Problem in the Processing?. Current Treatment Options in Gastroenterology . doi.org/10.1007/s11938-019-00246-1 .
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