Study highlights foods, beverages that prompt weight gain
BOSTON — A new study that combined three separate cohorts conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that such lifestyle factors as diet may influence long-term weight gain.
The study pooled data from 120,877 U.S. women and men who were free of chronic diseases and not obese at the beginning of the study, with follow-up periods from 1986 to 2006, 1991 to 2003, and 1986 to 2006. Patients were followed up at four-year intervals, researchers said.
At the conclusion of the study, participants gained an average of 3.35 lbs. during each four-year period, which corresponded to a weight gain of 16.8 lbs. over the 20-year period. The biggest food culprits that were strongly associated with weight gain were:
Potato chips (1.69 lbs.);
Potatoes (1.28 lbs.);
Sugar-sweetened beverages (1 lb.);
Unprocessed red meats (0.95 lbs.); and
Processed meats (0.93 lb.).
These weight gains were inversely associated with the intake of:
Vegetables (−0.22 lbs.);
Whole grains (−0.37 lbs.);
Fruits (−0.49 lbs.);
Nuts (−0.57 lbs.); and
Yogurt (−0.82 lbs.).
The study noted that other factors, including alcohol intake, watching television and sleeping for less than six or more than eight hours also contributed to long-term weight gain. Physical activity, however, attributed to a loss in weight.
“These findings underscore the importance of making wise food choices in preventing weight gain and obesity,” said Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at HSPH and senior author of the paper. “The idea that there are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ foods is a myth that needs to be debunked.”
The study was published in the June 23 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Lilly discusses R&D pipeline with investors
NEW YORK — Innovation took center stage Thursday as Eli Lilly laid out its future growth strategies at a meeting with investors.
At its “Bridging to the Future” meeting, Lilly said it had 70 drugs in its research and development pipeline, including 33 in phases 2 and 3. The company said it expects at least 10 new drugs to enter phase 3 this year, including drugs in such areas as cancer, diabetes and neuroscience, as well as new therapeutic areas, such as autoimmune disorders.
“At Lilly, our future relies upon our ability to successfully discover and develop innovative medicines that address unmet patient needs,” Lilly president, chairman and CEO John Lechleiter said. “We’re pursuing an R&D-based strategy in full knowledge that the bar for innovative medicines has never been higher and that our industry faces many challenges.”
Physicians urge FDA not to approve Truvada
LOS ANGELES — A group of physicians is urging the Food and Drug Administration not to approve a drug made by Gilead Sciences for the prevention of HIV infection.
Fifty-five physicians signed a letter spearheaded by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation citing concerns about the use of Gilead’s Truvada (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and emtricitabine) for “pre-exposure prophylaxis,” or PrEP. Concerns included the risk of a decrease in condom use and a lack of information showing proper use in “real world” situations.
“As medical care providers, we strongly support continued research on the prevention of HIV, but oppose approval of a pre-exposure prophylaxis that runs the risk of contributing to the spread of HIV and drug-resistant viruses,” the physicians wrote. “Our first obligation is to do no harm to individuals and to the public health.”