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JAMA Spotlights the Health Risks of Obesity

Embargoed for Release:
October 26, 1999, 1:00 PM EDT

The October 27, 1999, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) spotlights the health risks of obesity, a major risk factor for heart disease. About 97 million American adults?55 percent of the population?are now overweight or obese. The JAMA issue includes three articles on research supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI):


  • "Dietary Fiber, Weight Gain, and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Young Adults." This report examines the association of fiber consumption to insulin levels and the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The researchers reviewed data from the multicenter NHLBI Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study. The attached statement describes the study of nearly 3,000 black and white young adults in more detail. The authors conclude that high-fiber diets may protect against obesity and CVD by lowering insulin levels. Catherine Loria, Ph.D., Epidemiologist, NHLBI, is available for comment on this study.


  • "Effects of Intermittent Exercise and Use of Home Exercise Equipment on Adherence, Weight Loss, and Fitness in Overweight Women." The researchers from Brown University and the University of Pittsburgh conducted an 18-month trial with overweight women. They found that, contrary to expectation, advice to exercise in short bouts rather than long bouts did not increase sustained adherence or long-term weight loss. However, the provision of home exercise equipment improved weight loss for those advised to exercise in short bouts compared with those advised to exercise in short bouts but were not provided equipment. Eva Obarzanek, Ph.D., Research Nutritionist, NHLBI, is available for comment on this study.


  • "Reducing Children's Television Viewing to Prevent Obesity." Dr. Thomas N. Robinson of Stanford University gives results of a trial that involved about 190 elementary school children. Children who received an 18-lesson, 6-month curriculum reduced their body mass index and their TV, videotape, and video game use. They also ate fewer meals in front of the TV. Elaine Stone, Ph.D., Health Scientist Administrator, NHLBI, is available for comment on this study.

To arrange an interview with any of the NHLBI spokespersons listed, contact the NHLBI Communications Office at (301) 496-4236.

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