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Tag Archive | "National Institutes of Health"

Lose weight with tools from the USDA and NIH


 

Science-based technology provides users greater customizing to help reach and sustain a healthy weight

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) have partnered to add the NIH Body Weight Planner to USDA’s SuperTracker online tool (https://www.supertracker.usda.gov) as a goal-setting resource to help people achieve and stay at a healthy weight.

Created in 2011, the SuperTracker tool empowers people to build a healthier diet, manage weight, and reduce risk of chronic disease. Users can determine what and how much to eat; track foods, physical activities, and weight; and personalize with goal setting, virtual coaching, and journaling. With science-based technology drawing on years of research, the Body Weight Planner will enable SuperTracker’s more than 5.5 million registered users to tailor their plans to reach a goal weight during a specific timeframe, and maintain that weight afterward.

The math model behind the Body Weight Planner, an online tool published by NIH in 2011, was created to accurately forecast how body weight changes when people alter their diet and exercise habits. This capability was validated using data from multiple controlled studies in people.

“We originally intended the Body Weight Planner as a research tool, but so many people wanted to use it for their own weight management that we knew we needed to adapt it with more information about how to achieve a healthy lifestyle,” said Kevin Hall, Ph.D., who led creation of the Planner and is a senior investigator at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the NIH. “The Planner is a natural fit within the SuperTracker as it lets people accurately determine how many calories and how much exercise is needed to meet their personal weight-management goals.”

The Planner’s calculations reflect the discovery that the widely accepted paradigm that reducing 3,500 calories will shed one pound of weight does not account for slowing of metabolism as people change their diet and physical activities. More recently, the math model was further validated using data from a two-year calorie restriction study of 140 people. With those data, Hall and colleagues showed the model can also provide accurate measurements of calorie intake changes by tracking people’s weight. Researchers are examining how to apply this method for public use.

“We are pleased to offer a variety of interactive tools to support Americans in making healthy lifestyle changes,” said Angie Tagtow, executive director of USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, which created and manages SuperTracker. “The NIH Body Weight Planner helps consumers make a plan to reach their goals on their timeline, and SuperTracker helps them achieve it.”

More than two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese. Maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent complications related to overweight and obesity such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.

“NIH’s collaboration with USDA allows the public to quickly reap the benefits of the latest medical research results,” said NIDDK Director Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D. “Sharing resources and expertise lets us get out important information as efficiently as possible, empowering people to take charge of their weight and their health.”

The NIDDK, a component of the NIH, conducts and supports research on diabetes and other endocrine and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases, nutrition and obesity; and kidney, urologic and hematologic diseases. Spanning the full spectrum of medicine and afflicting people of all ages and ethnic groups, these diseases encompass some of the most common, severe and disabling conditions affecting Americans. For more information about the NIDDK and its programs, see www.niddk.nih.gov.

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New hope for kids battling kidney disease


 

Researchers are optimistic that new study pinpointing some of the reasons kidney disease progresses to kidney failure in children could eventually keep many kids off dialysis and transplant lists. Photo credit: Irvin Calicut/Wikimedia Commons.

Researchers are optimistic that new study pinpointing some of the reasons kidney disease progresses to kidney failure in children could eventually keep many kids off dialysis and transplant lists. Photo credit: Irvin Calicut/Wikimedia Commons.

By Mona Shand, Michigan News Connection

New hope is on the horizon for children suffering from chronic kidney disease, thanks to the results of a study that, for the first time, identifies some of the factors that can lead to kidney failure.

Dr. Bradley Warady was the co-principal investigator on the study, which looked at nearly 500 children with chronic kidney disease over 10 years.

Warady says many people don’t realize that kidney disease can have a profound effect on a child’s growth and development.

“Not only can you develop an inability to remove waste products and fluids, but you may be very short, you may have poor nutrition, you may have poor growth,” he explains. “So it impacts the global development of the child.”

Warady adds the risk factors investigators uncovered, including high blood pressure anemia, and protein loss, are treatable, and the hope is that addressing those issues will keep kidney disease from progressing so that children can avoid having to go through dialysis or even transplants.

Warady points out chronic kidney disease is not as common in children as it is in adults, but it can be much more challenging to treat.

He says the good news is that many of the underlying issues investigators uncovered can be successfully managed.

“If we can do that, maybe, I can’t say for sure yet, but maybe we have a chance of altering the progression or the worsening of chronic kidney disease,” he says.

The study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, is published in National Kidney Foundation’s American Journal of Kidney Diseases.

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