RobardUser Robard Corporation | Treating Obesity

Sweeteners: The Inside Scoop



In an effort to better our diets, we often look for healthier choices — especially when it comes to sugar alternatives. Instead of sugar, a large number of shoppers reach for low calorie artificial sweeteners, believing that doing so will offer a similar taste without the guilt and adverse health effects. According to preliminary research, however, artificial sweeteners can do more harm than good. Study results recently presented at ENDO 2017, the Endocrine Society’s 99th Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, showed that low calorie, artificial sweeteners could be detrimental to the body’s metabolism.

Results showed that “large consumption of these sugar substitutes could promote fat accumulation, especially in people who are already obese.” Researchers found that there was an increase in glucose transport into cell and overexpression of fat-producing genes, as well as an overexpression of sweet taste receptors in fat tissue.

“We believe that low calorie sweeteners promote additional fat formation by allowing more glucose to enter the cells, and promotes inflammation, which may be more detrimental in obese individuals,” says Sabyasachi Sen, MD, an Associate Professor of Medicine and Endocrinology at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and the study’s principal investigator.

Researchers believe that the findings signify metabolic dysregulation causing cellular mechanisms to make more fat. The effects were most apparent in “obese individuals who consumed low-calorie sweeteners, rather than individuals of normal weight.”

So how do we educate ourselves more about these sweeteners and how it affects obese and overweight patients? For starters, join us on Wednesday, June 14 at 3:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) for a complementary webcast featuring Registered Dietitian Laurie Shank entitled, How Sweet it is:  Navigating the World of Natural and Artificial Sweeteners. During the webcast, Laurie will discuss commonly used types of natural, caloric sweeteners in the U.S. food supply, as well as the types of artificial, non-nutritive sweeteners approved by the FDA for use in the U.S. while identifying the health risks and benefits of caloric and non-caloric sweetening agents as they relate to health and weight management.

If you want to learn more about artificial sweeteners and the effects on the body this is a presentation you don’t want to miss! To register and find out more, click here.

Source: Endocrine Society


Blog written by Marcus Miller/Robard Corporation

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3 Facts About Food Addiction




As the obesity epidemic continues to grow, more and more physicians are considering treatment. Obesity is recognized as a chronic disease by the American Medical Association, and even binge eating, which can lead to obesity, has been officially classified as an eating disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V).

As doctors work to find more effective ways to treat obesity, the underlying causes of weight gain are also being considered. While societal factors and lack of education on exercise and dieting certainly play a role, physicians should also consider even deeper causes of excessive weight in the individual, including food addiction.

Recent studies have begun to show that the pattern of weight loss and regain, combined with the inability to control eating habits, clinically presents like an addiction. The clinical presentation and symptom profile between substance abuse and food addiction is
well documented.

To learn a little more about food addiction, take a look at this infographic and download our free white paper on food addiction by clicking here.


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation

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Your Biggest Enemy When It Comes to Cravings Could Be… Your Brain



Obesity stigma may lead many of us to believe that giving in to cravings is just a problem with overweight people and that it is solely the result of a lack of willpower and self-control. But the truth is we all experience food cravings that range from mildly annoying to completely distracting. But what makes us crave foods, particularly foods with the most fat and sugar and the least nutrition? Many studies suggest the answer lies in our brain.

Most of us have food cravings. In fact, 97 percent of women and 68 percent of men who participated in a study published in the journal Appetite reported experiencing them. Cravings are motivational states that give us the urge to seek out and consume a particular food.

Some theories suggest that cravings signal areas that are nutritionally deficient in our diets; for instance, if you are deficient in sodium, you may crave salty foods. However, that is not always the full picture. Other theories suggest that cravings for high-fat, high-calorie foods are linked to hard-wired survival mechanisms in our brains because our instinctual hunter-gatherer origins connect this type of energy dense food with our ability to sustain our bodies till the next meal.

Another reason we may crave fatty foods? Opioids. Fatty, sugary foods release chemicals called opioids into our bloodstream. Opioids bind to receptors in our brains and give us feelings of pleasure and even mild euphoria. Similarly, in a 2004 study, participants were asked to think about a favorite food. This triggered various areas in the brain and ultimately the dopamine reward system. Dopamine is a feel-good hormone also produced during sex, compulsive gambling and drug activity. That’s right… you can get high on chocolate.

Psychological factors can also influence the intensity and timing of cravings. Studies on mood have found that our emotional state normally has a greater impact on cravings than hunger. Diet influences our levels of the hormone serotonin, which regulates our disposition. Read more about whether or not you are an emotional eater here.

So what can you do about cravings? Well, first off, be gentle with yourself. Acknowledging that there is a physiological and mental component to why you crave unhealthy foods can be the first step in letting go of the shame that can contribute to overeating and giving in to cravings. Then, you can start to use various tools and tricks to control them, such as our 5 Tips to Control Your Worst Food Cravings.

Interested in learning more about how the brain and hormones influence appetite? Join us for a free webcast, “Brain Systems Underlying the Munchies,” at 3:00 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. Dr. Alfonso Abizaid will discuss the problems associated with dieting, as well as identify hormonal mechanisms associated with the generation of appetite, and how the motivation to eat may change under normal and during stressful situations. Register now!

Sources: Lifehacker, How Stuff Works: Science, Tufts University


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation

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