29 January 2023 In General Health

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Obesity is a chronic disease, a major public health problem due to its association with non-communicable diseases and all-cause mortality. Indeed, people with obesity are at increased risk for a variety of obesity-related disorders including hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, and several cancers. Many popular diets with very different macronutrient composition, including the Mediterranean diet (MD), have been used, proposed, and studied for prevention and management of obesity.

In particular, MD has been the subject of countless studies over the years and now boasts a large body of scientific literature. In this review, we aimed to update current knowledge by summarizing the most recent evidence on the effect of MD on obesity and obesity-related disorders. RECENT FINDINGS: The negative effects of obesity are partly reversed by substantial weight loss that can be achieved with MD, especially when low-calorie and in combination with adequate physical activity.

In addition, the composition of MD has been correlated with an excellent effect on reducing dyslipidemia. It also positively modulates the gut microbiota and immune system, significantly decreasing inflammatory mediators, a common ground for many obesity-related disorders. People with obesity are at increased risk for a variety of medical disorders including hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease.

Therefore, there is an inevitable need for measures to manage obesity and its related disorders. At this point, MD has been proposed as a valuable nutritional intervention.

It is characterized by a high consumption of vegetables, fruit, nuts, cereals, whole grains, and extra virgin olive oil, as well as a moderate consumption of fish and poultry, and a limited intake of sweets, red meat, and dairy products. MD proves to be the healthiest dietary pattern available to tackle obesity and prevent several non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

25 January 2023 In General Health

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Obesity is a chronic disease, a major public health problem due to its association with non-communicable diseases and all-cause mortality. Indeed, people with obesity are at increased risk for a variety of obesity-related disorders including hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, and several cancers. Many popular diets with very different macronutrient composition, including the Mediterranean diet (MD), have been used, proposed, and studied for prevention and management of obesity. In particular, MD has been the subject of countless studies over the years and now boasts a large body of scientific literature. In this review, we aimed to update current knowledge by summarizing the most recent evidence on the effect of MD on obesity and obesity-related disorders.

RECENT FINDINGS: The negative effects of obesity are partly reversed by substantial weight loss that can be achieved with MD, especially when low-calorie and in combination with adequate physical activity. In addition, the composition of MD has been correlated with an excellent effect on reducing dyslipidemia. It also positively modulates the gut microbiota and immune system, significantly decreasing inflammatory mediators, a common ground for many obesity-related disorders. People with obesity are at increased risk for a variety of medical disorders including hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease. Therefore, there is an inevitable need for measures to manage obesity and its related disorders. At this point, MD has been proposed as a valuable nutritional intervention. It is characterized by a high consumption of vegetables, fruit, nuts, cereals, whole grains, and extra virgin olive oil, as well as a moderate consumption of fish and poultry, and a limited intake of sweets, red meat, and dairy products. MD proves to be the healthiest dietary pattern available to tackle obesity and prevent several non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

23 November 2022 In General Health

Atherosclerosis is the underlying cause of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and is interrelated to stroke, heart attack, and heart failure. The Mediterranean Diet (MedDiet) has been closely associated with reduced CVD morbidity and mortality, but research is not well explored for this relationship in individuals with diabetes (who experience greater CVD morbidity and mortality than individuals without diabetes). The aim of this review was to explore the literature related to the MedDiet and atherosclerosis and associated risk factors in individuals with and without diabetes. In total, 570 articles were identified, and 36 articles were included. The articles were published between 2011 and 2021. Platforms used for the search were PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane Library, and ProQuest. Our literature search included clinical and observational studies. Clinical studies revealed the MedDiet was associated with improved biomarkers, plaque, and anthropometric measurements that are associated with atherosclerosis and CVD. Observational studies identified associations between the MedDiet and lower presence of atherosclerosis, improved vascular aging, and increased endothelial progenitor cells. However, most of the studies took place in Mediterranean countries. Further research is needed to better understand the long-term effects the MedDiet on atherosclerosis and its associated risk factors in diverse populations to include individuals with and without diabetes.

23 November 2022 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Alcohol is a discretionary, energy dense, dietary component. Compared to non-drinkers, people who consume alcohol report higher total energy intake and may be at increased risk of weight gain, overweight, and obesity, which are key preventable risk factors for illness. However, accurate consumer knowledge of the energy content in alcohol is low. To inform future behaviour change interventions among drinkers, this study investigated individual characteristics associated with changing alcohol consumption due to energy-related concerns.

METHODS: An online survey was undertaken with 801 Australian adult drinkers (18-59 years, 50.2% female), i.e. who consumed alcohol at least monthly. In addition to demographic and health-related characteristics, participants reported past-year alcohol consumption, past-year reductions in alcohol consumption, frequency of harm minimisation strategy use (when consuming alcohol), and frequency of changing alcohol consumption behaviours because of energy-related concerns.

RESULTS: When prompted, 62.5% of participants reported changing alcohol consumption for energy-related reasons at least 'sometimes'. Women, those aged 30-44 years, metropolitan residents, those with household income $80,001-120,000, and risky/more frequent drinkers had increased odds of changing consumption because of energy-related concerns, and unemployed respondents had reduced odds.

CONCLUSIONS: Results indicate that some sociodemographic groups are changing alcohol consumption for energy-related reasons, but others are not, representing an underutilised opportunity for health promotion communication. Further research should investigate whether messaging to increase awareness of alcohol energy content, including through systems-based policy actions such as nutritional/energy product labelling, would motivate reduced consumption across a broader range of drinkers.

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