There were countless scientific papers published this week from all over the world and a range of topics around fitness, nutrition and exercise science. COVID-19 and obesity are still investigated from multiple angles, as well as other chronic diseases.
Here are the highlights:
Researchers observed association between standing and insulin sensitivity – standing more may help prevent chronic diseases
Insulin is a key hormone in energy metabolism and blood sugar regulation. Normal insulin function in the body may be disturbed by e.g. overweight, leading to decreased insulin sensitivity and increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Researchers have noticed that standing is associated with better insulin sensitivity. Increasing the daily standing time may therefore help prevent chronic diseases.
Source: University of Turku
Diet may affect risk and severity of COVID-19
Study links healthy plant-based foods with lower risks of getting of COVID-19 and of having severe disease after infection
A healthy plant-based diet was linked to a lower risk of getting COVID-19, and among people with COVID-19, a lower risk of experiencing severe symptoms.
Source: Massachusetts General Hospital
Scientists claim that overeating is not the primary cause of obesity
A perspective article challenges the 'energy balance model,' which says weight gain occurs because individuals consume more energy than they expend. According to the authors, 'conceptualizing obesity as a disorder of energy balance restates a principle of physics without considering the biological mechanisms underlying weight gain.' The authors argue for the 'carbohydrate insulin model,' which explains obesity as a metabolic disorder driven by what we eat, rather than how much. *Public health messaging exhorting people to eat less and exercise more has failed to stem rising rates of obesity and obesity-related diseases. *The energy balance model, which says weight gain is caused by consuming more energy than we expend, "restates a principle of physics without considering the biological mechanisms driving weight gain." *The carbohydrate-insulin model makes a bold claim: overeating doesn't cause obesity; the process of getting fat causes overeating. *The current obesity epidemic is due, in part, to hormonal responses to changes in food quality: in particular, high-glycemic load foods, which fundamentally change metabolism. *Focusing on what we eat rather than how much we eat is a better strategy for weight management.
Source: American Society for Nutrition
New findings on ambient UVB radiation, vitamin D, and protection against severe COVID-19
New research has examined the association between vitamin D and COVID-19, and found that ambient ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation (which is key for vitamin D production in the skin) at an individual's place of residence in the weeks before COVID-19 infection, was strongly protective against severe disease and death.
Source: Trinity College Dublin
Gut microbiota influences the ability to lose weight
Gut microbiota influences the ability to lose weight in humans, according to new research.
Source: American Society for Microbiology
Body clock off-schedule? Prebiotics may help
Dietary compounds shown to protect against jet lag-type symptoms
A new study suggests simple dietary compounds known as prebiotics, which serve as food for beneficial gut bacteria, could play an important role in helping us bounce back faster from jet lag, shift work or other sources of circadian rhythm disruption.
Source: University of Colorado at Boulder
Pilot study of diet/exercise in young adults with intellectual disabilities is promising
A program to educate and support healthy behaviors in specific young adult population has merit
A pilot study found that young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disabilities (ID) were able to lose or maintain their weight with a system of education and support in place.
Source: University of Cincinnati
Consuming fruit and vegetables and exercising can make you happier
New research led by the University of Kent and University of Reading has found that fruit and vegetable consumption and exercise can increase levels of happiness.
Source: University of Kent
Changes to workplace cafeteria menus nudge workers to consume fewer calories
A study carried out at 19 workplace cafeterias has shown that reducing portion sizes and replacing higher calorie food and drinks with lower calorie options led to workers buying food and drink with fewer calories. Researchers say that even simple interventions such as these could contribute towards tackling levels of obesity.
Source: University of Cambridge
Starting motions of competitive swimmers as they enter the water
Scientists studied the biomechanics of swimmer 'kickstarts' using force sensors and motion-capture cameras. They found that force exerted by the hands on the starting platform is significant, which may assist in training.
Source: University of Tsukuba
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