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News Article | December 8, 2016

McGill University, in association with Lawrence and Frances Bloomberg and Manulife, is pleased to announce that Dr. Thomas Robinson, a Stanford University professor of Pediatric Medicine and pioneer in using novel motivational techniques to combat childhood obesity, is the winner of the 2016 Bloomberg Manulife Prize for the Promotion of Active Health. Dr. Robinson is being recognized for developing a unique research program that goes beyond looking at the root causes of obesity and other health-related conditions by developing creative and sometimes unconventional interventions - from dance classes to educational courses -- and measuring their impact on diet, weight loss and other barometers of health. The ultimate goal is to persuade children, adolescents and their families to adopt healthier lifestyles, often without them even knowing. Among his more notable projects is one in which he introduced after-school dance classes to at-risk communities where children have been historically inactive. Within weeks, involvement in the classes showed positive effects on participants' cholesterol and insulin levels, and showed signs of slowing obesity. In another project, focused on diet, university students who had taken classes that explored the environmental impact of certain unhealthy foods showed decreases in consumption of red meat and sugary snacks. "In your career, you only have a limited time in which to create change and to move research forward so that it has an impact on health," says Dr. Robinson. "Prizes such as this one give investigators like me the support we need to push the boundaries of our research. The increased attention that comes with this award makes it easier to share the implications of my research with opinion leaders and others beyond the realms of science and public health." Dr. Robinson, MD, MPH, is the Irving Schulman, M.D. Endowed Professor in Child Health and Professor of Medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center. He is also Director of Stanford's Center for Healthy Weight. In addition to his research and clinical practice, Dr. Robinson is a frequent appointee to expert and advisory panels for leading scientific and public health agencies, including the Scientific and Technical Advisory Network of the World Obesity Federation and the Clinical Obesity Research Panel of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The Bloomberg Manulife Prize, which includes a CAD $50,000 research award, was established in 2011 by McGill University alumnus and Toronto-based investment manager Lawrence S. Bloomberg, C.M., O. Ont. MBA'65, and corporate sponsor Manulife to recognize researchers whose work is enhancing our understanding of how physical activity, nutrition or psychosocial factors influence personal health and wellbeing. The prize is housed at McGill's Desautels Faculty of Management and administered by the McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics. A jury of distinguished academics judge applications for the Prize. "With the awarding of this year's Prize to Dr. Tom Robinson, McGill University continues to recognize researchers whose work is building awareness of the important links that exist between physical activity, healthy living and disease prevention," says Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou, Dean of the Desautels Faculty of Management. "Through his pioneering research program, Dr. Robinson is not only discovering novel ways to help stem the tide of life-threatening obesity among children and adults but is also ensuring that these discoveries are put into practice." Childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. In Canada, the prevalence of childhood obesity has increased at an alarming rate: more than doubling in children and quadrupling in adolescents over the past 30 years. Obesity in childhood is associated with a wide range of serious health complications, including the premature onset of such life-threatening illnesses as diabetes and heart disease. "The healthy choices we make today have a positive outcome on our long-term health and wellness. Learning how and why we should make those healthy choices is crucial at a young age for developing lifelong habits," says Marianne Harrison, President & CEO, Manulife Canada. "Manulife promotes the health and well-being of Canadians through corporate sponsorships and by providing products that encourage and reward healthy living, like Manulife Vitality." Since its inauguration, the Bloomberg Manulife Prize has gained the endorsement of prominent health organizations including The Canadian Cancer Society, The Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation, ParticipACTION Canada, The Canadian Diabetes Association, YMCA Canada and the Canadian Men's Health Foundation. Dr. Robinson will accept the Bloomberg Manulife Prize at a special ceremony in Toronto on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, where he will also speak about his research. This will be followed by a visit to McGill University in Montreal on Thursday, February 16. The Bloomberg Manulife Prize is administered by McGill's Desautels Faculty of Management. Sponsors include The Globe and Mail, Shaw Media, Cineplex Odeon, and the Cambridge Group of Clubs. For more information: http://www. Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group providing forward-thinking solutions to help people with their big financial decisions. We operate as John Hancock in the United States, and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. At the end of 2015, we had approximately 34,000 employees, 63,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving 20 million customers. At the end of September 2016, we had $966 billion (US$736 billion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made more than $24.4 billion in benefits, interest and other payments to our customers. Our principal operations are in Asia, Canada and the United States where we have served customers for more than 100 years. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we trade as 'MFC' on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under '945' in Hong Kong. Follow Manulife on Twitter @ManulifeNews or visit or

News Article | February 27, 2017

BOSTON (Feb. 27, 2017)--Heart disease is the leading cause of death for Black/African American women in the US and more Black/African American women die every year from heart disease compared to their white and Hispanic counterparts, according to the Centers for Disease Control. A pilot study, led by researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, aimed to address this disparity by investigating the impact of engaging Black/African American women in "Change Clubs" on measures of heart health. The results of the pilot study were published in BMC Public Health on Jan. 24. Using the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network (AACORN) model focused on engaging community members in the planning and implementation of interventions, the researchers collaborated with four local churches in predominately Black/African American Boston neighborhoods, and worked with participants to identify and address health concerns in their respective communities. Working with the researchers from Tufts, a group of 28 self-identified Black/African American women aged 30 to 70 who were clinically overweight and led a mostly sedentary life formed Change Clubs in the four churches. The Change Clubs met weekly for six months. During the first three months, each Change Club identified a nutrition or physical activity concern in their community and planned a group project to address the concern. For example, one club wanted to increase access to heart-healthy food, while another club decided to educate the community about healthy eating and fitness choices. The final three months were dedicated to implementing the action steps and benchmarks established by the Change Clubs during the first half of the intervention. During the weekly meetings, a nutrition or physical activity topic was covered. The researchers anticipated that this curriculum would provoke individual behavior changes surrounding nutrition and exercise and that the women would reinforce these behavior changes among each other. By empowering one another, the group was able to effect change in their communities. Surveys at the end of the intervention indicated that participants believed they had been effective in positively motivating their communities. The Change Clubs met their self-identified action steps and outcomes. For example, one Club decided upon heart-healthy recipes and conducted monthly cooking demonstrations for the community, while another Club engaged children and parents at a local school to develop a heart-healthy cookbook for families. Additionally, in individual outcomes, the intervention had an effect on specific physical measures of the women's heart health. Overall, the women were able to finish a walk test of cardiorespiratory fitness more quickly and their systolic blood pressure had decreased slightly from pre-intervention measures. Considering the prevalence of heart disease among Black/African American women, this clinically significant decrease in systolic blood pressure is promising and a possible result of the exercise curriculum in the Clubs. "The nutrition and exercise curriculum during each meeting was adapted to the individual communities from the Strong-Women - Healthy Hearts program developed by Tufts researchers. By interweaving this curriculum into the Change Clubs, we hoped that the individual members would make behavioral changes in regards to nutrition and exercise and reinforce those changes within the group, resulting in improved measures of heart health among the women. Overall, civic engagement and empowerment had a positive effect on the communities as well as the women individually," said senior author Sara Folta, Ph.D., associate professor at the Friedman School who also holds a secondary faculty appointment at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life. "The Change Clubs place the focus on the collective health of the community and champion the strengths of the Black/African American community. Through this pilot, we hoped to determine how feasible and effective the Change Clubs would be in changing the heart health-related behaviors among Black/African American women in order to expand this type of work in the future," said lead author Alison G. M. Brown, M.S., doctoral candidate at the Friedman School. "Overall, the study results indicate that this civic engagement approach is a promising intervention tool to stimulate positive behavior change among Black/African American women." The researchers note that this was a pilot study and suggest a larger, randomized, control trial to explore Change Clubs and civic engagement as a way to improve the heart health of Black/African American women. Additional authors are Linda B. Hudson, Sc.D., and Kenneth Chui, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.S., both assistant professors in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, Nesly Metayer, Ph.D., senior fellow at the Moakley Center for Public Management at Suffolk University, Namibia Lebron-Torres, M.S., research coordinator at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, and Rebecca A. Seguin, Ph.D., M.S., assistant professor at Cornell University College of Human Ecology. This study was supported the Boston Nutrition Obesity Research Center, Tisch College of Civic Life and Tufts, and Aviva Must, Ph.D., Morton A. Madoff Professor and Chair of Public Health and Community Medicine and dean of Public Health and Professional Degree Programs at Tufts University School of Medicine. The Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University is the only independent school of nutrition in the United States. The school's eight degree programs - which focus on questions relating to nutrition and chronic diseases, molecular nutrition, agriculture and sustainability, food security, humanitarian assistance, public health nutrition, and food policy and economics - are renowned for the application of scientific research to national and international policy.

TRADITION, Miss., Aug. 04, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Diabetes & Obesity Research Institute (NDORI) today announced an affiliation with the Cleveland Clinic Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute designed to enhance diabetes- and obesity-related research, discover better treatment protocols, and, ultimately, cultivate a healthier Mississippi and nation. The affiliation combines the academic, clinical and research components of the Cleveland Clinic Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute with the newly formed diabetes and research institute. The Ohio-based Cleveland Clinic Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute is ranked No. 3 in the nation for diabetes care by U.S. News & World Report. “I am delighted to announce this groundbreaking affiliation with the Cleveland Clinic Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute. Their extensive expertise in diabetes, obesity, and endocrinology research is an essential element in establishing NDORI as the preeminent diabetes and obesity research center in the United States,” said Phil Bryant, Governor of the State of Mississippi. “Diabetes and prediabetes affects over one million people in the state of Mississippi, almost a third of our population, so there is no greater place to conduct this groundbreaking research.” “The hope is that the National Diabetes & Obesity Research Institute will help find a cure and enhance healthcare, not only in Mississippi but across the United States,” said Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves. “Improving the health and well-being of our citizens afflicted by diabetes also makes good fiscal policy for the state as healthcare programs are hit by related costs. With this new research, better protocols and treatments, we can reduce this number and improve our overall healthcare system.” The National Diabetes & Obesity Research Institute (NDORI) is the vision of Joseph C. Canizaro, real estate developer and philanthropist. Mr. Canizaro’s passion for diabetes research and drive to find a cure comes from his personal experience with type 2 diabetes. NDORI will be part of a 150-acre learning medical city located in the Tradition community on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and will be modeled after successful research centers at the heart of communities that are anchored by healthcare and educational organizations. NDORI will work closely with a core team of Cleveland Clinic Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute experts, led by Richard Shewbridge, M.D., an endocrinologist and the executive medical director for this affiliation. “Thanks to this affiliation, NDORI and the Cleveland Clinic Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute will join forces to advance diabetes research and fight diabetes,” said Dr. Shewbridge. “We will focus on four strategic areas: diabetes and obesity research, diabetes and obesity clinical care, patient and provider education, and an outcomes and research database.” James Young, M.D., a cardiologist and chairman of the Cleveland Clinic Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute said, “With this affiliation, NDORI and the Cleveland Clinic Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute will compare different approaches in various locations, including Mississippi, the Gulf Coast, and Ohio. This is an exciting opportunity to further our mission of finding better approaches to managing the scourge of diabetes and obesity in America.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 30 million Americans have diabetes – that’s about 1 out of every 11 people nationwide. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimates that 15.4 percent of the population in Mississippi has diabetes. And, about 13.5 percent of the population in Ohio has diabetes. Once the affiliation with the Cleveland Clinic Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute is fully implemented, the patients of NDORI will enjoy greater access to best practices related to diabetes and obesity treatment. Leading Mississippi healthcare systems, such as Memorial Hospital and Coastal Family Health Centers, William Carey University’s nursing and medical related programs, as well as the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College will have an opportunity to access NDORI’s resources via an affiliate program. In the future, NDORI would like to expand its scope of work beyond the Mississippi Gulf Coast to the rest of the state and the nation, including rural areas where multiple underserved or uninsured individuals are affected by diabetes. About NDORI The National Diabetes & Obesity Research Institute was founded in 2015 by a group of key healthcare, education and business leaders in Mississippi, along with state and local government officials. This research facility is affiliated with the Cleveland Clinic Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute, and is dedicated to finding a cure for diabetes, conducting and sharing ground-breaking clinical trials and research, reducing diabetes instances nationally, and using technology and other healthcare channels to address the disparities in underserved and at risk populations. The Institute will be located in Mississippi, center of the diabetes epidemic in the United States, and is a central element of the 150-acre Learning Medical City located in the Tradition community on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Nationally renowned experts in the fields of diabetes and obesity from the Cleveland Clinic Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute will work side by side with other renowned researchers to develop treatment protocols that will be implemented nationally. To learn more, visit Follow us on Facebook at About Cleveland Clinic Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 49,000 employees are more than 3,400 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 14,000 nurses, representing 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. The Cleveland Clinic health system includes a 165-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, nine community hospitals, more than 150 northern Ohio outpatient locations – including 18 full-service family health centers and three health and wellness centers – and locations in Weston, Fla.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2015, there were 6.6 million outpatient visits, 164,700 hospital admissions and 208,807 surgical cases throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 180 countries. Visit us at  Follow us at Editor’s Note: Cleveland Clinic News Service is available to provide broadcast-quality interviews and B-roll upon request.

News Article | February 20, 2017

A long-term study by Monash University researchers - the first of its kind - has found that gastric band surgery has significant benefits for moderately overweight people with type 2 diabetes. Previous studies have focused on obese people. The five-year study by Monash's Centre for Obesity Research and Education (CORE), found that gastric or Lap-band surgery improved the patients' chances of diabetes remission, reduced the need for diabetes medication and dramatically enhanced their quality of life. Diabetes, along with obesity, is occurring in epidemic proportions. According to Diabetes Australia, an estimated 1.7 million Australians currently have the disease. Nearly 90 per cent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. The study, led by clinician researcher Dr John Wentworth and weight loss surgeon Professor Paul O'Brien, compared 45 participants: 22 randomised to receive gastric banding combined with medical care, and 23 who received medical care alone. Both groups received help with lifestyle factors such as exercise and healthy eating. It found an average weight loss of 12.2 per cent of body weight in the gastric band group compared with 1.8 per cent in the medical care-only group. Almost a quarter of the gastric band group showed diabetes remission at five years, compared to nine per cent of the medical care-only group. "We had people who were feeling better, moving better and who were happier because of the surgery," Dr Wentworth said. "Their diabetes was better controlled and they needed fewer diabetic medications to control their blood sugar levels," he said. Dr Wentworth said the study provided "reasonably strong evidence" that gastric banding, as a safe and effective weight loss operation, was an acceptable alternative for people who wanted it. "It's an important point because Lap banding is criticised by some people saying it is far too drastic to be used as a diabetes treatment and that it doesn't work in the longer term," he said. "I think it's a matter of just looking at the best ways of managing diabetes and preventing diabetes complications. We're interested in making life easier for these people and reducing the risk of the main complications, mainly heart attack, kidney failure, blindness and amputation. "Although we'd be delighted if people could lose over 10 per cent of their weight through lifestyle modification, the reality is that the vast majority of people can't manage that." The study, conducted in Melbourne between November 2009 and June 2016, found few adverse events associated with the gastric banding - three patients had transient difficulty with swallowing while two had gastric band revision surgery. The gastric band surgery and after-care cost an average AUD$13,910, countered partly by a saving of AUD$4,257 on drug therapy. Dr Wentworth said that long-term improvements in quality of life further offset the cost of surgery: the wellbeing gained after surgery was similar in magnitude to that gained from knee replacement surgery. He said the latest findings suggest that the minimum Body Mass Index (BMI) limit for gastric band surgery be revised. Currently guidelines suggest the surgery be reserved for people with a BMI of over 35, whereas those in the study had a BMI of 25-30. The study, Trial of Gastric Band Surgery in Overweight but Not Obese People With Type 2 Diabetes, was published in Diabetes Care 2017;40:e1-e2

Diabetes is a risky disease which if not kept in check leads to many health problems and eventually death. Doctors and researchers have found that there has been a significant rise in the number of patients suffering from obesity along with diabetes. A study has finally come up with a solution to the growing problem. Researchers at Monash University, after a long-term study have found that lap band or gastric band surgery on fairly overweight people suffering from type 2 diabetes has noteworthy results. The research was conducted over a span of five years under the name Trial of Gastric Band Surgery in Overweight but Not Obese People With Type 2 Diabetes. The study was piloted by weight loss surgeon Professor Paul O'Brien and clinician researcher Dr John Wentworth. The research, a first of its kind, went on to compare 45 participants out of which 22 randomly chosen patients got gastric banding along with medicinal care. The remaining 23 received only medical care. Both the groups were given help regarding lifestyle management, which included healthy eating and exercise. Monash's Center of Obesity Research and Education (CORE) under whom the study was conducted, found that lap band surgery or gastric surgery reduced the need of medication for diabetes, improved a patient's chances of diabetes remission and also enhanced the quality of life significantly. The researchers also noted that 12.2 percent of an average weight loss occurred in the gastric band group, when compared to the mere 1.8 percent in the medical care group. "We had people who were feeling better, moving better and who were happier because of the surgery. Their diabetes was better controlled and they needed fewer diabetic medications to control their blood sugar levels," said Dr. Wentworth referring to the gastric band group. He also added that this study is backed by strong data showing that gastric band surgery is safe and can be used as an alternative weight loss option by people who want to opt for it. However, the researcher also said that he would have been pleased if people lost even 10 percent of their weight by changing their lifestyle, although the reality is that many people can't cope with it. In lap band or gastric band surgery, a doctor puts an elastic band around a part of the patient's stomach to limit the amount of food intake and to make them feel full quickly. The surgery costs around $10,681.45 along with the aftercare price. The study has been published in the Diabetes Care journal. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Czyzyk T.A.,Obesity Research | Nogueiras R.,University of Cincinnati | Nogueiras R.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Lockwood J.F.,Obesity Research | And 6 more authors.
FASEB Journal | Year: 2010

General opioid receptor antagonists reduce food intake and body weight in rodents, but the contributions of specific receptor subtypes are unknown. We examined whether genetic deletion of the κ-opioid receptor (KOR) in mice alters metabolic physiology. KOR-knockout (KO) and wild-type (WT) mice were fed a high-energy diet (HED) for 16 wk. KO mice had 28% lower body weight and 45% lower fat mass when compared to WT mice fed an HED. No differences in caloric intake were found. An HED reduced energy expenditure in WT mice, but not in KO mice. KOR deficiency led to an attenuation of triglyceride synthesis in the liver. Malonyl CoA levels were also reduced in response to an HED, thereby promoting hepatic β-oxidation. Glycemic control was also found to be improved in KO mice. These data suggest a key role for KORs in the central nervous system regulation of the metabolic adaptation to an HED, as we were unable to detect expression of KOR in liver, white adipose tissue, or skeletal muscle in WT mice. This study provides the first evidence that KORs play an essential physiological role in the control of hepatic lipid metabolism, and KOR activation is a permissive signal toward fat storage. © FASEB.

Czyzyk T.A.,Obesity Research | Romero-Pico A.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Pintar J.,Johnson University | McKinzie J.H.,Obesity Research | And 3 more authors.
FASEB Journal | Year: 2012

Pharmacological manipulation of opioid receptors alters feeding behavior. However, the individual contributions of each opioid receptor subtype on energy balance remain largely unknown. Herein, we investigated whether genetic disruption of the δ-opioid receptor (DOR) also controls energy homeostasis. Mice lacking DOR and wild-type mice were fed with standard diet and high-energy diet (HED). Mice were analyzed in vivo with the indirect calorimetry system, and tissues were analyzed by real-time PCR and Western blot analysis. DOR-knockout (KO) mice gained less weight (P<0.01) and had lower fat mass (P<0.01) when compared to WT mice fed an HED. Although DOR-KO mice were hyperphagic, they showed higher energy expenditure (P<0.05), which was the result of an increased activation of the thermogenic program in brown adipose tissue. The increased nonshivering thermogenesis involved the stimulation of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1; P<0.01), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator (PGC1α; P<0.05), and fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21; P<0.01). DOR deficiency also led to an attenuation of triglyceride content in the liver (P<0.05) in response to an HED. These findings reveal a novel role of DOR in the control of thermogenic markers and energy expenditure, and they provide a potential new therapeutic approach for the treatment of obesity. © FASEB.

Czyzyk T.A.,Obesity Research | Sahr A.E.,Obesity Research | Statnick M.A.,Obesity Research
Obesity | Year: 2010

Binge eating disorder (BED) is characterized by excessive food intake during a short period of time and is often associated with obesity. Mouse models of binge-like eating behavior are lacking making it difficult to employ genetic models in the identification of mechanisms regulating excessive eating. We report a rapid and simple model to induce binge-like eating behavior in mice that does not require food deprivation or exogenous stressors. Weekly 24h access to a nutritionally complete high energy diet (HED), along with continuous access to standard chow, resulted in a significant increase in HED intake following its presentation compared to mice that had continuous access to both diets. Mice exhibiting binge-like eating consumed one-third of their normal total daily caloric intake within 2.5h of HED presentation. Moreover, total 24-h caloric intakes were increased by 50% in mice exhibiting binge-like eating. Following repeated cycles, binge-like eating of the HED was maintained over several weeks with no evidence of habituation or significant alterations in body weight and adiposity. Pharmacological evaluation of binge-like eating behavior was performed using clinically employed compounds. Interestingly, binge-like eating was dose-dependently decreased by fluoxetine, but not baclofen or topiramate. These data support clinical validation of this mouse model of binge-like eating behavior, as fluoxetine has been shown to reduce binge frequency in human subjects with BED. The availability of transgenic and knockout mice will allow for the determination of genes that are involved in the initiation and maintenance of binge-like eating behavior. © 2009 The Obesity Society.

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