A team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have discovered a direct link between insulin - a hormone long associated with metabolism and metabolic disorders such as diabetes - and core body temperature. While much research has been conducted on insulin since its discovery in the 1920s, this is the first time the hormone has been connected to the fundamental process of temperature regulation. The paper was published recently in an advance, online issue of the journal Diabetes, a journal of the American Diabetes Association, and will appear in the January print edition of the publication. The scientists found that when insulin was injected directly into a specific area of the brain in rodents, core body temperature rose, metabolism increased, and brown adipose (fat) tissue was activated to release heat.
Medill News Service/McClatchy: "Spending to treat the health effects of obesity, $86 billion last year, will quadruple over the next decade, and almost half of U.S. adults will be obese by 2018, according to the annual America's Health Rankings study. Doctors who participated in the study warned that if the trends continue and obesity rates keep rising, spending on the health effects of obesity - defined as being 20 percent or more above an individual's recommended weight - will grow to $344 billion by 2018. ... If obesity rates held at current levels, on the other hand, the U.S. would save nearly $200 billion in health care costs, the data show" (Claytor, 11/19).
Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine (SOM) has received a Robert Wood Johnson grant to fund a Public Health Practice Based Research Network called The Ohio Research Association for Public Health Improvement (RAPHI). The grant, $90, 000 over two years, was one of 7 practice-based research networks awarded this year, making the School of Medicine one of only 12 networks in the country. "With increasing threats to public health and safety from emerging infections such as H1N1, climate change, and infections spread through the food chain, the need for public health is greater and more visible than ever, " said Scott Frank, MD, MS, Co-Principal Investigator, Director of the CWRU SOM Master of Public Health (MPH) Program, and Health Commissioner for Shaker Heights, Ohio.
Maja Mataric', the USC Viterbi School of Engineering professor and senior associate dean who directs the USC Center for Robotics and Embedded Systems (CRES), will lead an effort to evaluate robots as exercise coaches for adults of all ages, with a particular focus on the elderly.. The grant is one of nine, totaling $1.85 million, announced by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as part of the Foundation's Health Games Research national program, The Mataric'-led effort, entitled "Robot Motivator: Towards Adaptive Health Games for Productive Long-Term Interaction, " will examine "the influence of virtual social characters on people's motivation to exercise, " according to the foundation's announcement.
Active Wii sports™ video games and some Wii fit™ activities may increase adults' energy expenditure as much as moderately intense exercise, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2009. The study, funded by Nintendo™ , demonstrated that about one-third of the virtual physical activities require an energy expenditure of 3.0 METs or above, considered moderate-intensity exercise. METs are metabolic equivalent values, a standard method of estimating energy expenditure. The average intensities were distributed over a wide range from lotus focus, 1.3 METs, to single-arm stand, 5.
Some obese people misperceive that their body size is normal and think they don't need to lose weight, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2009. In the Dallas Heart Study of 5, 893 people, researchers found that 8 percent of the 2, 056 who were obese said they were satisfied with their body size or felt they could gain weight. "Almost one in 10 obese individuals are satisfied with their body size and didn't perceive that they need to lose weight, " said Tiffany Powell, M.D., lead author of the study and a cardiology fellow at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.