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Program To Develop Innovative Approaches To Combat Obesity Launched By NIH

The National Institutes of Health is launching a $37 million program that will use findings from basic research on human behavior to develop more effective interventions to reduce obesity. The program, Translating Basic Behavioral and Social Science Discoveries into Interventions to Reduce Obesity, will fund interdisciplinary teams of researchers at seven research sites. Investigators will conduct experimental research, formative research to increase understanding of populations being studied, small studies known as proof of concept trials, and pilot and feasibility studies to identify promising new avenues for encouraging behaviors that prevent or treat obesity.

Working Overnights By Attending Physicians Not Associated With Significantly Increased Risk Of Procedure Complications The Next Day

Attending surgeons and obstetricians/gynecologists who worked nighttime hours did not have a significantly greater rate of complications for procedures performed the next day, but having less than six hours of opportunity for sleep between procedures was associated with an increased rate of surgical complications, according to a study in the October 14 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on surgical care. Jeffrey M. Rothschild, M.D., M.P.H., of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, presented the findings of the study at a JAMA media briefing in Chicago. There has been increasing public attention on the role of resident physicians' fatigue in the occurrence of medical errors.

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Sleep Apnea In Obese Patients Unlikely To Be Cured Solely By Improved Diet And Exercise

A study in the Oct. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that while a strict diet and exercise program may benefit obese patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), it is unlikely to eliminate the condition. Results show improvement in typical OSA symptoms including snoring, daytime sleepiness, impaired vigilance, poor quality of life and mood after the completion of a 16-week diet and exercise program. Weight loss was significant, with an average loss of 12.3 kg (about 27 pounds), representing 12.9 percent of baseline total body weight. Although weight loss reduced the average apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) by 25 percent from 24.

Restless Leg Syndrome Linked To Magnesium Deficiency

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a form of insomnia characterized by an overwhelming urge to move the legs when they are at rest, especially during sleep. RLS affects about 10% of the people in the U.S. It runs in families and may have a genetic component. Recent research has found that people with restless leg syndrome are deficient in the mineral magnesium. According to the National Sleep Foundation, almost six out of ten Americans report having insomnia and sleep problems at least a few nights a week. Other types of insomnia include sleep apnea, which involves interrupted breathing and snoring during the night; narcolepsy - which causes people to fall asleep throughout the daytime;

Physician Advice A Key Motivator In Baby's Sleep Position

The advice of a pediatrician to place infants on their backs to sleep appears to be the single most important motivator in getting parents to follow these recommendations and a key reason that the rate of sudden death syndrome (SIDS) has plummeted since the "Back to Sleep" campaign was launched in 1994, says a UT Southwestern researcher. Multiple studies have shown that placing infants on their backs to sleep limits the risk of SIDS, the leading cause of death among children in the U.S. under the age of 1. In a study available online and in the December issue of Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, researchers, including Dr. George Lister, chairman of pediatrics at UT Southwestern and an author of the study, identify three reasons a caregiver might or might not follow the recommendation: concerns for an infant's comfort;

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Research Highlights Brain's Vulnerability To Obesity

New research just released is affirming a long-held maxim: you are what you eat - and, more to the point, what you eat has a profound influence on the brain. The findings offer insight into the neurobiological factors behind the obesity epidemic in the United States and other developed countries. The findings exposed changes in brain chemistry due to diet and weight gain, and were reported at Neuroscience 2009, the Society for Neuroscience's annual meeting and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health. Obesity has been linked to rises in diabetes, stroke, and heart attacks, among other disorders. In the past decade alone, medical spending for obesity is estimated to have increased 87 percent in the United States - reaching $147 billion in 2008 - according to a study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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