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Archive - 08 - 2012
August 29, 2012 (University of Minnesota) New research from the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management suggests learning how to stop enjoying unhealthy food sooner may play a pivotal role in combating America's obesity problem. The research, published in the Journal of Consumer Research, explores how satiation, defined as the drop in liking during repeated consumption, can be a positive mechanism when it lowers the desire for unhealthy foods."When people talk about self-control, they really imply that self-control is willpower and that some people have it and others don't when facing a tempting treat," says Joseph Redden, an assistant professor of marketing at the Carlson School and lead author of the 'Healthy Satiation: The Role of Decreasing Desire in Effective Self-Control.' "In reality, nearly everyone likes these treats. Some people just stop enjoying them faster and for them it's easier to say no."Through a series of experiments, Redden and Texas A&M University assistant professor of marketing Kelly Haws discovered that when people with high self-control eat unhealthy foods they become satisfied with the experience faster than when they are eating healthy foods and thus eat less. In one study, the researchers asked participants to monitor themselves as they ate by counting how many times they swallowed. With this subtle clue to the amount eaten, those with low self-control became satisfied at a faster rate. Redden said they were surprised at how easy it was to recreate self-control - just using a baseball pitch counter made low self-control people act like they had high self-control."People can essentially use attention for how much they are consuming instead of relying on self-control," Redden says. "Really paying a lot more attention to the quantity will lead people to feel satiated faster and eat less."
August 29, 2012 (National Institute on Aging) Study of monkeys also suggests some health benefits.Scientists have found that calorie restrictiona diet comprised of approximately 30 percent fewer calories but with the same nutrients of a standard dietdoes not extend years of life or reduce age-related deaths in a 23-year study of rhesus monkeys. However, calorie restriction did extend certain aspects of health. The research, conducted by scientists at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health, is reported in the August 29, 2012 online issue of Nature.Calorie restriction research has a long history. The first finding came in the 1930s, when investigators observed laboratory rats and mice lived up to 40 percent longer when fed a calorie-restricted diet. Subsequent research has cited calorie restriction as extending lifespan of yeast, worms, flies and some strains of mice. But other studies have not shown a longevity benefit. For example, in studies of certain strains of mice, calorie restriction on average had no effect on lifespan. Some of these mice actually had a shorter lifespan when given a calorie-restricted diet. To date, research does not provide evidence that calorie restriction is an appropriate age regulator in humans, the NIA investigators point out. Currently, limited human studies are under way to test the effectiveness and safety of calorie restriction in people.The survival results in the study reported today by NIA researchers differ from those published in 2009 by NIA-supported investigators at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Wisconsin study followed two groups of rhesus monkeys for 20 years and found that monkeys on a calorie-restricted diet lived longer than those on a standard diet.Beyond longevity, the parallel NIA and Wisconsin studies have reported similar beneficial health effects of calorie-restriction. Both studies found that certain age-related diseasesincluding diabetes, arthritis, diverticulosis and cardiovascular problemsoccurred at an earlier age in monkeys on the standard diet compared to those on calorie restriction. However, this observation was not statistically significant in the NIA study. NIA researchers did find that monkeys started on calorie restriction at an early age had a statistically significant reduction in cancer incidence.NIA researchers also found that while calorie restriction had a beneficial effect on several measures of metabolic health and function in monkeys who were started on the special diet regimen during old age (at 16 to 23 years), it did not have the same positive outcome for monkeys started on calorie restriction at a young age (less than 14 years). In the Wisconsin study, all the monkeys were 7 to 14 years when started on calorie restriction.These results suggest the complexity of how calorie restriction may work in the body, said NIA Director Richard J. Hodes, M.D. Calorie restrictions effects likely depend on a variety of factors, including environment, nutritional components and genetics.Differences in the monkeys meal and other nutritional factors were cited as possible explanations for NIAs and Wisconsins different outcomes. Both studies used a similar percentage of calorie restriction with their intervention groups; however, the Wisconsin monkeys in both the calorie restricted and control groups were eating more and weighed more than the matched NIA monkeys.NIAs food had a natural ingredient base, while Wisconsin opted for a purified diet. Purified diets generally lack trace dietary chemicals and minerals that could affect an animals health. Each ingredient of a purified diet provides a specific nutrient and minerals or vitamins must be added separately. Natural-ingredient diets have risk of variation between batches, but are considered by some to be more complete than purified diets. NIA and Wisconsin also used different sources for proteins, fat and carbohydrates, as well as different approaches to vitamin and mineral supplementation.There is no right or wrong nutritional approach to calorie restriction, but the differences should be considered as we try to understand the dissimilar effects of calorie restriction between the two studies, said first author Julie A. Mattison, Ph.D., facility head of NIAs Nonhuman Primate Studies Unit, part of the Laboratory of Experimental Gerontology.NIA researchers cited genetics as another possible reason for their differing results. NIA monkeys had a greater genetic diversity, originating from China and India. Wisconsins monkeys came only from an Indian colony.Weve learned more by having two concurrent and independent studies of calorie restriction in monkeys than would have been possible by just the NIA or Wisconsin study alone. While the two studies share many of the same findings, the differences will be particularly important for helping us better understand this aging intervention, said Felipe Sierra, Ph.D., director of NIAs Division of Aging Biology.As scientists measure the possible outcomes of calorie restriction, research is also focusing on finding the mechanisms and pathways by which calorie restriction may influence longevity and the risk of age-associated disease. My laboratory and other researchers are looking at calorie restrictions effects on cell metabolism, gene expression, insulin signaling pathways and other basic biological processes to pinpoint how reducing calorie intake may attenuate the negative consequences of aging. We are looking at whether compounds can mimic the effects of calorie restriction via these mechanisms, said senior author, Rafael de Cabo, Ph.D., chief of the Mechanisms and Interventions of Aging section of NIAs Laboratory of Experimental Gerontology.The NIA leads the federal government effort conducting and supporting research on aging and the health and well-being of older people. The Institutes broad scientific program seeks to understand the nature of aging and to extend the healthy, active years of life. For more information on research, aging, and health, go to www.nia.nih.gov.About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nations medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases.
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