Could the Timing of When You Eat, Be Just as Important as What You Eat?
Gluttony in a detail from The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things by Hieronymus Bosch
Americans, today, would be extremely understanding and sympathetic to corpulent President William Howard Taft’s constant search for a diet that resulted in significant weight loss. In fact, compared to some early 21st Century fatties, he would actually be slimmer, by contrast. Taft might well have tried gastric by-pass surgery, or at least the easier lap-band surgery, frequently done with robotic assistance.
Most weight-loss plans center around a balance between 1) ___ intake and energy expenditure. However, new research has shed light on a new factor that is necessary to shed pounds: timing. Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), in collaboration with the University of Murcia and Tufts University, have found that it’s not simply what you eat, but also when you eat, that may help with weight-loss regulation.
The study was published on January 29, 2013 in the International Journal of Obesity.
“This is the first large-scale prospective study to demonstrate that the 2) ___ of meals predicts weight-loss effectiveness,” said Frank Scheer, PhD, MSc, director of the Medical Chronobiology Program and associate neuroscientist at BWH, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and senior author on this study. “Our results indicate that late eaters displayed a slower weight-loss rate and lost significantly less weight than early eaters, suggesting that the timing of large meals could be an important factor in a weight loss program.”
To evaluate the role of food timing in weight-loss effectiveness, the researchers studied 420 overweight study participants who followed a 20-week weight-loss treatment program in Spain. The participants were divided into two groups: early-eaters and late-eaters, according to the self-selected timing of the main meal, which in this Mediterranean population was lunch. During this meal, 40% of the total daily calories are consumed. Early-eaters ate lunch any time before 3 p.m. and late-eaters, after 3 p.m. They found that late-eaters lost significantly less weight than early-eaters, and displayed a much slower rate of weight-loss. Late-eaters also had a lower estimated insulin sensitivity, a risk factor for diabetes.
Researchers found that timing of the other (smaller) meals did not play a role in the success of weight loss. However, the late eaters — who lost less weight — also consumed fewer calories during breakfast and were more likely to skip breakfast altogether. These late-eaters also had a lower estimated insulin sensitivity, which is a risk factor for 3) ___. The researchers also examined other traditional factors that play a role in weight loss such as total calorie intake and expenditure, appetite hormones leptin and ghrelin, and sleep duration. Among these factors, researchers found no differences between both groups, suggesting that the timing of the meal was an important and independent factor in weight loss success.
“This study emphasizes that the timing of 4) ___ intake itself may play a significant role in weight regulation” explains Marta Garaulet, PhD, professor of Physiology at the University of Murcia Spain, and lead author of the study. “Novel therapeutic strategies should incorporate not only the caloric intake and macronutrient distribution, as it is classically done, but also the timing of food.”
National Survey Highlights Perceived Importance of Dietary Protein to Prevent Weight Gain
Atkins Diet, Zone Diet, South Beach Diet, etc., etc., etc. Chances are you have known someone who has tried a high protein diet. In fact, according to the International Food Information Council Foundation, 50% of consumers were interested in including more protein in their diets and 37% believed protein helps with weight loss. In a new study released in the June 2013 issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, researchers found a relatively high proportion of women who reported using the practice of ”eating more 5) ___” to prevent weight gain, which was associated with reported weight loss.
Among a national sample, researchers from the University of Minnesota surveyed 1,824 midlife women (40-60 years old) to (1) describe perceptions about protein sources and requirements, (2) identify the reported frequency of using the ”eating more protein” practice to prevent weight gain, and (3) compare reported protein intake to reported frequency of using the ”eating more protein” practice to prevent weight gain.
Most women correctly identified good protein sources, and the majority could indicate the daily percent of dietary energy recommended from protein. ”Eating more protein” to prevent weight gain was reported by 43% of women (and more than half of obese women) as a practice to prevent weight 6) ___. Reported use of this practice was related to self-reported weight loss over two years. Two factors associated with effective use of this practice included the level of protein intake and self-efficacy toward weight management.
According to Noel Aldrich, lead author, those participants’ who had reported weight loss with “eating more protein” had a protein intake that was consistent with the focus on protein suggested by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. He said, “Education regarding dietary protein requirements may enhance the use of this practice. Women may need more information regarding protein energy content and effective selection of protein sources to enhance protein intake as a weight management strategy. Given that the majority of Americans are 7) ___, identifying the most effective practices and related factors surrounding successful weight loss and prevention of weight gain are important.”
Epigenetic Biomarkers May Predict If a Specific Diet and Exercise Regimen Will Work
Would you be more likely to try a diet and exercise regimen if you knew in advance if it would actually help you lose weight? Thanks to a new report published in the June 2013 issue of The FASEB Journal, this could become a reality. In the report, scientists identify five epigenetic biomarkers in adolescents that were associated with a better weight loss at the beginning of a weight loss program. Not only could this could ultimately help predict an individual’s response to weight loss intervention, but it may offer therapeutic targets for enhancing a weight loss program’s effects.
“Successful obesity treatment during adolescence could reduce morbidity at later stages of life and lead to a better quality of 8) ___,” said Amelia Martí, Ph.D., Pharm. D., co-author of this study from the Department of Nutrition, Food Science, Physiology and Toxicology at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain. “It is crucial to find new markers for obesity treatment. Here, we describe five putative epigenetic biomarkers that could help to predict the response to a weight loss intervention in obese adolescents.”
To make this discovery, Martí and colleagues first performed a global methylation assay in 24 adolescents who had the best and worst response to the EVASYON weight loss program, and then expanded the sample to include 83 more adolescents. Researchers measured an epigenetic marker, DNA methylation levels, in 9) ___ adolescents from a blood sample at baseline and again at the end of the 10-week program. Participants were then divided into two groups (high and low responders) according to the weight loss achieved. The researchers found that the baseline DNA methylation levels of five epigenetic markers were associated with better weight loss response.
This EVASYON program is a lifestyle and nutritional educational weight loss program that includes a multidisciplinary team of nutritionists, physiotherapists, psychologists and pediatricians. EVASYON was conducted in five Spanish cities: Granada, Madrid, Pamplona, Santander and Zaragoza.
“If you’ve ever wondered why some people seem to do so well on a diet and exercise plan and others fail so miserably, then now we know that the way that genes express themselves (via epigenetics) plays an important role,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. “This report moves us a step closer when we will be able to prescribe a weight loss program tailored to more than just the lifestyle and conditioning level of the patient, but also to his or her particular genetic and epigenetic profile.”
Weight Loss Surgery Not Only Shrinks Waists but Also Affects Genes
Venus of Willendorf created 24,000–22,000 BCE
Gastric bypass 10) ___ can drastically reduce the body weight of obese individuals in a short timeframe. For reasons that are not entirely clear, the surgery also leads to early remission of type 2 diabetes in the vast majority of patients. Researchers report online in Cell Reports, published by Cell Press, the discovery of gene-expression alterations in individuals who underwent the surgery compared with obese individuals who did not.
“We provide evidence that in severely obese people, the levels of specific genes that control how fat is burned and stored in the body are changed to reflect poor metabolic health,” says senior author Professor Juleen Zierath, of the Karolinska Institutet, in Stockholm, Sweden. “After surgery, the levels of these genes are restored to a healthy state, which mirrors weight loss and coincides with overall improvement in 11) ___.” When the investigators probed deeper, they found that weight loss after surgery causes changes in DNA modifications that control gene expression in response to the environment. Specifically, changes in methylation, or chemical markings, on two genes that control glucose and fat metabolism (called PGC-1alpha and PDK4) correlate with obesity but are reversed after surgery-induced weight loss. The findings suggest that the environment — in this case food intake or weight loss — can affect gene expression through this mechanism.
“The novelty of our work originates with the finding that DNA methylation is altered by weight loss.” says first author Romain Barrès, of the University of Copenhagen, in Denmark. The findings may be useful for the design of new drugs that mimic this weight-loss-associated control of gene 12) ___.
ANSWERS: 1) caloric; 2) timing; 3) diabetes; 4) food; 5) protein; 6) gain; 7) overweight; 8) life; 9) obese; 10) surgery; 11) metabolism; 12) regulation
Sources: ScienceDaily.com, Wikipedia, WebMD.com, MedicineNet.com