#1: How Our Food Environment Drives Weight Gain

This is our first episode on weight gain and weight loss. In this episode, we describe how, as an industrialized nation, our food supply and environment have changed in a way that, in many cases, is mismatched with our biology as humans. We explore how these changes can lead to disease and metabolic dysfunction. We discuss how the replacement of whole foods with processed foods, as well as the addition of caloric sweeteners to most of the food items within grocery stores across the nation has preceded a rapid rise in obesity and metabolic dysfunction. In this episode, we begin to discuss some of the pathophysiology related to the consumption of ultra-processed and hyper-palatable foods as well as concerns surrounding the consumption of fructose- and glucose- containing sugary drinks. We also discussed the timelines of weight gain and loss as they typically occur over the lifespan and vary according to season. This episode sets the stage for the next episodes, which will focus on the normal fat metabolism and how it may become dysregulated in metabolic dysfunction.

Chapters:

00:00 – Introduction
01:21 – Metabolic health as a continuum
03:57 – Obesity as an epidemic
05:12 – Heritability and genetics of obesity
06:45 – Where obesity starts in the body
07:26 – History of weight gain in the U.S.
11:32 – High fructose corn syrup vs. table sugar
13:40 – Glycemic index and load
14:45 – What happens to your liver with sugary drinks
16:24 – Sugary drinks may be associated with cancerous changes
17:35 – The calories from sugary drinks are not automatically offset
20:24 – Obesity as a disease
23:10 – Obesity and kids
24:24 – How obesity develops across the lifespan
26:55 – The impacts of weight loss attempts
30:12 – Summary and upcoming content

References

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  2. Finkelstein, Eric A., Justin G. Trogdon, Joel W. Cohen, and William Dietz. 2009. “Annual Medical Spending Attributable to Obesity: Payer-and Service-Specific Estimates.” Health Affairs 28 (5): w822–31.
  3. Komlos, John and Brabec, Marek. 2010. The Trend Of Bmi Values Of Us Adults By Centiles, Birth Cohorts. National Bureau Of Economic Research
  4. Fryar, Cheryl et al. 2018. Mean Body Weight, Height, Waist Circumference, and Body Mass Index Among Adults: United States, 1999–2000 Through 2015–2016. National Health Statistics Reports. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics.
  5. Banting, William. Letter on Corpulence, addressed to the public… with addenda. Harrison; 1869.
  6. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) (2020). OurWorldInData.org, 2022..
  7. Popkin BM, Hawkes C. Sweetening of the global diet, particularly beverages: patterns, trends, and policy responses. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2016 Feb;4(2):174-86. doi: 10.1016/S2213-8587(15)00419-2. Epub 2015 Dec 2. PMID: 26654575; PMCID: PMC4733620.
  8. Malik, Vasanti S., and Frank B. Hu. 2022. “The Role of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages in the Global Epidemics of Obesity and Chronic Diseases.” Nature Reviews. Endocrinology 18 (4): 205–18.
  9. Brandkvist, Maria, Johan Håkon Bjørngaard, Rønnaug Astri Ødegård, Bjørn Olav Åsvold, Erik R. Sund, and Gunnhild Åberge Vie. 2019. “Quantifying the Impact of Genes on Body Mass Index during the Obesity Epidemic: Longitudinal Findings from the HUNT Study.” BMJ 366 (July): l4067.
  10. Martin, Crescent B. 2018. Attempts to Lose Weight among Adults in the United States, 2013-2016. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics.
  11. Rosen, Howard. 2014. Is Obesity A Disease or A Behavior Abnormality? Did the AMA Get It Right? Missouri Medicine.
  12. Fryar, Cheryl D., M. S. P. H., Margaret D. Carroll, M. S. P. H., and Joseph Afful. 2021. Prevalence of Overweight, Obesity, and Severe Obesity Among Children and Adolescents Aged 2–19 Years: United States, 1963–1965 Through 2017–2018. Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics.
  13. Muckelbauer, Rebecca, Lars Libuda, Kerstin Clausen, André Michael Toschke, Thomas Reinehr, and Mathilde Kersting. 2009. “Promotion and Provision of Drinking Water in Schools for Overweight Prevention: Randomized, Controlled Cluster Trial.” Pediatrics 123 (4): e661–67.
  14. Fryar, Cheryl D., Margaret D. Carroll, Qiuping Gu, Joseph Afful, and Cynthia L. Ogden. 2021. “Anthropometric Reference Data for Children and Adults: United States, 2015-2018.” Vital & Health Statistics. Series 3, Analytical and Epidemiological Studies / [U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Center for Health Statistics], no. 36 (January): 1–44.
  15. Anthropometric Reference Data for Children and Adults: United States, 2007–2010. Data From the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
  16. Díaz-Zavala, R. G., Castro-Cantú, M. F., Valencia, M. E., Álvarez-Hernández, G., Haby, M. M., & Esparza-Romero, J. (2017). Effect of the Holiday Season on Weight Gain: A Narrative Review. Journal of obesity, 2017, 2085136. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/2085136
  17. Willis, Erik A., Wen-Yi Huang, Pedro F. Saint-Maurice, Michael F. Leitzmann, Elizabeth A. Salerno, Charles E. Matthews, and Sonja I. Berndt. 2020. “Increased Frequency of Intentional Weight Loss Associated with Reduced Mortality: A Prospective Cohort Analysis.” BMC Medicine 18 (1): 248.
  18. Wing, Rena R., and Suzanne Phelan. 2005. “Long-Term Weight Loss Maintenance.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 82 (1 Suppl): 222S – 225S.

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