WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10 -- Some people may be genetically driven to seek out more calorie-dense foods, a new study suggests.
In the Dec. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, British researchers report that children with a particular gene variant tend to eat more energy-dense foods, which means food with more calories per weight. However, the researchers didn't find any difference in metabolism between kids with the gene change and those without it.
"What [this study] effectively shows is that people with the relevant variants on the gene have a trait which may lead them to eat more unhealthy, fattening foods," study senior author Colin Palmer, chairman of pharmacogenomics in the Biomedical Research Institute at the University of Dundee, said in a news release. "I would stress that this is a trait, and not an absolute occurrence."
Dr. Goutham Rao, clinical director of the weight management and wellness center at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh at the University of Pitt ...
THURSDAY, Dec. 11 -- A too-fast heartbeat in early adulthood is a warning sign for increased risk of cardiovascular problems decades later on, a Japanese study suggests.
The study of 614 residents of a rural farming community in southwestern Japan found that a heart rate greater than 80 beats a minute during a first examination in 1979 predicted the development of obesity and diabetes, which contribute to heart problems.
The findings, from Kurume University School of Medicine, were published online Dec. 11 in the American Journal of Hypertension.
A fast heart rate is a signal from the sympathetic nervous system, a part of the autonomic nervous system, which is the body's automatic pilot that governs instinctive responses, explained Mercedes Carnethon, assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. She found the same rapid heartbeat association in a group of Americans she studied.
"If someone has a consistently fast heart ...