When a calorie is not just a calorie

first_imgA new study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) challenges the notion that “a calorie is a calorie.”The study, led by Harvard Medical School (HMS) Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Cara Ebbeling and Professor of Pediatrics David Ludwig, finds diets that reduce the surge in blood sugar after a meal — either low-glycemic index or very-low carbohydrate — may be preferable to a low-fat diet for those trying to achieve lasting weight loss. Furthermore, the study finds that the low-glycemic index diet had similar metabolic benefits to the very low-carb diet without negative effects of stress and inflammation as seen by participants consuming the very low-carb diet.The research was conducted at the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Harvard-affiliated Boston Children’s Hospital, where Ludwig is director and Ebbeling is associate director.Weight re-gain is often attributed to a decline in motivation or adherence to diet and exercise, but biology also plays an important role. After weight loss, the rate at which people burn calories (known as energy expenditure) decreases, reflecting slower metabolism. Lower energy expenditure adds to the difficulty of weight maintenance and helps explain why people tend to re-gain lost weight.Prior research by Ebbeling and Ludwig has shown the advantages of a low-glycemic load diet for weight loss and diabetes prevention, but the effects of these diets during weight loss maintenance has not been well studied. Research shows that only one in six overweight people will maintain even 10 percent of their weight loss over the long term.The study suggests that a low-glycemic load diet is more effective than conventional approaches at burning calories (and keeping energy expenditure) at a higher rate after weight loss. “We’ve found that, contrary to nutritional dogma, all calories are not created equal,” says Ludwig, who is also director of the Optimal Weight for Life Clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital. “Total calories burned plummeted by 300 calories on the low-fat diet compared to the low-carbohydrate diet, which would equal the number of calories typically burned in an hour of moderate-intensity physical activity,” he says.Each of the study’s 21 adult participants (ages 18-40) first had to lose 10 to 15 percent of their body weight, and after weight stabilization, completed all three of the following diets in random order, each for four weeks at a time. The randomized crossover design allowed for rigorous observation of how each diet affected all participants, regardless of the order in which they were consumed:The low-fat diet, which reduces dietary fat and emphasizes whole grain products and a variety of fruits and vegetables, was based on 60 percent of daily calories from carbohydrates, 20 percent from fat, and 20 percent from protein.The low-glycemic index diet, made up of minimally processed grains, vegetables, healthy fats, legumes and fruits, gathered 40 percent of daily calories from carbohydrates, 40 percent from fat, and 20 percent from protein. Low-glycemic index carbohydrates digest slowly, helping to keep blood sugar and hormones stable after the meal.The low-carbohydrate diet, modeled after the Atkins diet, was based on 10 percent of daily calories from carbohydrates, 60 percent from fat, and 30 percent from protein.The study used state-of-the-art methods, such as stable isotopes to measure participants’ total energy expenditure, as they followed each diet.Each of the three diets fell within the normal healthy range of 10 to 35 percent of daily calories from protein. The very-low-carbohydrate diet produced the greatest improvements in metabolism, but with an important caveat: This diet increased participants’ cortisol levels, which can lead to insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease. The very-low-carbohydrate diet also raised C-reactive protein levels, which may also increase risk of cardiovascular disease.Though a low-fat diet is traditionally recommended by the U.S. government and American Heart Association, it caused the greatest decrease in energy expenditure, an unhealthy lipid pattern, and insulin resistance.“In addition to the benefits noted in this study, we believe that low-glycemic-index diets are easier to stick to on a day-to-day basis, compared to low-carb and low-fat diets, which many people find limiting,” says Ebbeling. “Unlike low-fat and very-low-carbohydrate diets, a low-glycemic-index diet doesn’t eliminate entire classes of food, likely making it easier to follow and more sustainable.”Other co-authors of the study include Henry Feldman and Erica Garcia-Lago from Boston Children’s Hospital, Janis Swain from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, William Wong from Baylor College of Medicine, and David Hachey from Vanderbilt University. The study was funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the National Center for Research Resources, the National Institutes of Health, and the New Balance Foundation.Tomatoes and a variety of vegetables make up the greatest selection on the low-glycemic shopping list. Photo by Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographerlast_img read more


A Gentleman’s Guide’s Jefferson Mays & Bryce Pinkham Are Taking Your Questions!

first_imgYou’ve seen A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder headliners Jefferson Mays and Bryce Pinkham sing a duet while wearing giant dog collars in their awesome backstage tour video—now see them take a seat on the big gray couch at HQ to answer your questions! The newly minted Tony nominees are teaming up for their very own Ask a Star feature, but first, we want to know what you want to ask this hilarious duo. In the Tony-nominated musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, Pinkham plays Monty Navarro, a British commoner who discovers he’s in line to inherit the Earldom of Highhurst—but first, he must knock off all nine living members of the D’Ysquith family (all played by Jefferson Mays). Ask the stars a question below, then check back to see them take a stab (haha, get it?!) at your questions! <a data-cke-saved-href="" href="">Fill out my Wufoo form!</a> A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 17, 2016 View Comments Bryce Pinkhamcenter_img Star Files Jefferson Mays Related Showslast_img read more


Dornsife dean to step down after this year

first_imgHoward Gillman, dean of the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, has declined the offer to serve another term as dean, it was announced Monday.Leaving · Dean Howard Gillman played an integral role in securing the $200-million naming donation from Dana and David Dornsife. – Daily Trojan file photoGillman served as the 20th dean of the school since 2007. Gillman will serve out the remainder of his current term, which ends at the end of this academic year.Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Elizabeth Garrett said Gillman resigned to focus on new challenges.“He has told me that while he considers himself fortunate to have been able to lead his colleagues during these exciting times, he believes that after having spent eight years in important leadership roles at USC — as department chair, associate vice provost and dean — the time is right for him to explore new challenges and opportunities,” Garrett said in a memorandum sent to all USC Dornsife students.Gillman joined the USC faculty in 1990 and has served as associate vice provost for research advancement and chair of the department of political science, in addition to being dean of USC Dornsife.As dean, Gillman’s responsibilities have included overseeing USC Dornsife’s 33 academic departments and 31 research centers and institutes. Gillman has worked on recruiting new faculty, promoting innovation, expanding undergraduate opportunities to conduct research and increasing fundraising.Under his leadership, USC Dornsife saw the creation of several interdisciplinary majors and minors, an increase in the graduation rate from 85 percent to 90 percent, the appointment of the first vice dean for Diversity and Strategic Initiatives and the creation of a number of new programs. Gillman worked to create a new block grant system for funding graduate programs, the Maymester and New Block Semester programs and the Student Opportunities for Academic Research and Summer Undergraduate Research Fund, respectively known as SOAR and SURF.During his time as dean, USC Dornsife renewed the Center for Excellence in Genomic Sciences and the Southern California Earthquake Center. In 2010, the National Science Foundation funded the establishment of a $25 million Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations. External funding for research reached $76 million in 2010.“Perhaps most notably, under his leadership, the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences received a transformative naming gift from Dana and David Dornsife,” Garrett said in a memorandum sent to all USC Dornsife students. “This gift of $200 million for unrestricted endowment is the largest single gift in the history of USC and the largest in the history of American higher education to name a college of arts and sciences.”Garrett said Gillman will have overseen the recruitment of almost 100 new tenure-track faculty members across the humanities, social sciences and sciences by the end of this year.Many students said Gillman has made a definite impact on USC.“I think in those eight years he’s made a dramatic difference in the reputation of the college,” said Olivia Manayan, a junior majoring in neuroscience. “As a neuroscience major, I’ve been here three years and I’ve seen a dramatic change in my department. I would hope for the next dean to continue improving.”Many hope Gillman will continue to create new programs that serve the undergraduate community during the rest of his term.“Dean Gillman worked well with alumni in creating interest in the new programs and initiatives like the SOAR and SURF research programs,” said Casey Penk, a sophomore majoring in business administration and East Asian languages and cultures. “I’m impressed by the new programs he’s introduced and the way he’s used the funds to provide a richer undergraduate experience. If they could offer more opportunities for intellectual discussion, it would be great.”last_img read more