Survey of American food trends and the growing obesity epidemic

Department of Mathematics, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio 43606, USA.
Nutrition research and practice (Impact Factor: 1.44). 06/2011; 5(3):253-9. DOI: 10.4162/nrp.2011.5.3.253
Source: PubMed


The rapid rise in the incidence of obesity has emerged as one of the most pressing global public health issues in recent years. The underlying etiological causes of obesity, whether behavioral, environmental, genetic, or a combination of several of them, have not been completely elucidated. The obesity epidemic has been attributed to the ready availability, abundance, and overconsumption of high-energy content food. We determined here by Pearson's correlation the relationship between food type consumption and rising obesity using the loss-adjusted food availability data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Services (ERS) as well as the obesity prevalence data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Our analysis showed that total calorie intake and consumption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) did not correlate with rising obesity trends. Intake of other major food types, including chicken, dairy fats, salad and cooking oils, and cheese also did not correlate with obesity trends. However, our results surprisingly revealed that consumption of corn products correlated with rising obesity and was independent of gender and race/ethnicity among population dynamics in the U.S. Therefore, we were able to demonstrate a novel link between the consumption of corn products and rising obesity trends that has not been previously attributed to the obesity epidemic. This correlation coincides with the introduction of bioengineered corns into the human food chain, thus raising a new hypothesis that should be tested in molecular and animal models of obesity.

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    • "On one hand, some authors have attributed deleterious effects to cheese due to its higher energy density, to its elevated content in saturated fat, and to its higher phosphorus content compared with other dairy products (Beydoun et al., 2008). On the other hand, cheese, as distinct from other dairy products, has been inversely associated with obesity (Bradlee et al., 2010), or not correlated with obesity tendencies (Shao & Chin, 2011). To try to elucidate this relationship, the present study assessed the association between consumption of cheese, in general, and between intake of different types of cheeses and overweight (Ov) and obesity (Ob), in a representative sample of the adult population of the Basque Country. "
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    ABSTRACT: Studies have reported a negative association between dairy product consumption and weight status. However, not as much research has focused on cheese; therefore, the aim of this study was to study the association between cheese intake and overweight and obesity in a representative Basque adult population. A food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) was obtained from a random sample of 1081 adults (530 males and 551 females, 17-96 years old). Cheese consumption data were expressed as g/1000 kcal/day. The prevalence of overweight/obesity was higher in men (55.1%) than in women (35.4%) (p < 0.001). Participants with low or moderate intake of fresh and processed cheese demonstrated a higher prevalence of excess weight, compared with those with higher consumption. The confounding variables selected in multivariate analysis were: occupational status and age in both genders; and place of residence in men. In conclusion, negative associations were found between consumption of some types of cheese and overweight and obesity in this population.
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    • "It is also interesting that salinomycin has recently been shown to be a specific inhibitor of cancer stem cells [2], and is undergoing clinical development for cancer therapy [3]. We recently analyzed the Food Availability data from the USDA Economic Research Service in relation to the rising obesity trends and observed that while the consumption of red meat (beef, veal, lamb, and pork) has declined within the same period, poultry consumption in the United States has close to doubled [4]. "
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