Our Children, Our Future and the Disease That Threatens Both

For the first time in history, children may have shorter lifespans than their parents due to the many medical complications of obesity 

Is obesity casting a shadow over your home and family? We know that six in ten Americans are overweight or have obesity;  it is an epidemic.  So many of our children are now suffering from weight-related health problems which paints a bleak health picture for them and their future —  more than fifty percent of today’s children are predicted to have obesity by age 35.

Scientists at LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center, one of the world’s top obesity research centers, are attacking the disease on a number of fronts.

Our scientists are testing and searching for every possible treatment and cure.  From new medical treatments such as bariatric surgery, to potential medications to lifestyle coaching.   Even the effects of exercise on preventing obesity and another medical complication of the disease – cancer – are being studied in clinical trials at the center.

Recent research has shown that bariatric surgery doesn’t only cure obesity; it can also put type 2 diabetes into remission.  Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common medical complications and is directly linked to obesity.

“There are so many facets to obesity.  Science has proven that there are physiological, psychological and environmental triggers,” said Pennington Biomedical Executive Director John Kirwan, PhD,  “so simply placing blame on a person for having the disease is clearly incorrect and not supported by the facts.”

The health care costs of obesity have been estimated at more than $3 billion a year in Louisiana alone, and $200 billion per year in the U.S.  The medical complications of this disease include diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, high blood pressure, bone and joint pain, and more than a dozen deadly cancers.

Kirwan is confident that Pennington Biomedical, a hub for obesity research, can solve the obesity epidemic.

“Our scientists are the best in the world and our research labs are exceptional,” Kirwan said.  “We are in the fight of our lives for your life; it’s a war we intend to win.”

Obesity-related research and discoveries by scientists at Pennington Biomedical include:

  • Developing the DASH diet; one the healthiest and most often recommended diets worldwide.
  • Discovering that bariatric surgery can reverse type 2 diabetes even before weight loss has occurred.
  • Creating an internet-based program to improve the lifestyle habits, nutrition and pregnancy weight gain of low-income mothers in the Women, Infants and Children program.
  • Comparing two of the most widely used guidelines-based treatments for children with obesity to determine which is most effective.
  • Cutting calories by only 12 percent or 300 calories per day, for two years can significantly reduce multiple risk factors for heart disease and stroke, even for healthy young and middle-aged men and women.
  • Data that highlights when you eat is as important in controlling your weight as what you eat.
  • Pregnant women with obesity should not add any calories to their diet. Adding the recommended 200-300 calories per day resulted in gaining an unhealthy amount of weight.
  • Finding a way to replicate the health benefits of exercise in pill form.

You can join the fight against the obesity epidemic by visiting Pennington Biomedical’s  website or signing up for previews of the latest research discoveries in our monthly newsletter.   Let’s get healthier, Louisiana!

2019-12-17T13:58:44+00:00 September 13th, 2019|