Examining Food Addiction and Acculturation Among a Hispanic Bariatric Surgery-Seeking Participant Group
OBJECTIVE:This study examined food addiction (FA) and acculturation among a Hispanic bariatric surgery-seeking sample. SETTING/METHODS:University hospital. METHOD/METHODS:Four hundred forty-four (nâ€‰=â€‰215 English-speaking; nâ€‰=â€‰229 Spanish-speaking) Hispanic adults seeking bariatric surgery completed established self-report measures examining food addiction and acculturation. RESULTS:35.8% met criteria for FA, which was significantly associated with acculturation level to the USA. Participants who endorsed greater acculturation also endorsed a significantly higher level of FA symptoms compared with those who endorsed less acculturation. Acculturation level was significantly associated with FA and BMI. CONCLUSIONS:FA rate in this bariatric surgery-seeking Hispanic patient group is similar to rates reported among bariatric candidates of varying ethnic backgrounds. Our results suggest a relationship between FA symptom expression and acculturation to the USA. Improving understanding of the onset and progression of severity of FA symptoms may have clinical implications for Hispanic patients seeking bariatric surgery.
Obesity and addiction: can a complication of surgery help us understand the connection?
Obesity is a multifactorial, chronic disease that has proven difficult to treat. An increased understanding of aetiological mechanisms is critical to the development of more effective obesity prevention and treatment strategies. A growing body of empirical evidence has demonstrated parallels between obesity, overeating and substance abuse, including shared behavioural, psychological and neurophysiological factors implicated in the excessive intake of both food and substances of abuse. Several different lines of research have recently emerged that hold the potential to shed light on the connection between obesity, food reward and addiction, with studies examining changes in alcohol use/misuse after weight loss surgery providing a particularly interesting perspective on these interrelationships. However, these lines of investigation have proceeded in relative isolation, and relevant research findings have yet to be integrated in a synthesized, comprehensive manner. To provide an opportunity to achieve such a synthesis, a scientific symposium was convened at the Radcliffe Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Invited participants were researchers working in diverse domains related to the intersection between obesity and addiction. Extensive discussion was generated suggesting novel research directions. In this article, we summarize and synthesize the symposium participants' ongoing research in this area, incorporating additional relevant research holding potential clues regarding the connections between obesity, weight loss surgery and addiction.
Executive control circuitry differentiates degree of success in weight loss following gastric-bypass surgery
OBJECTIVE: While overall success rates of bariatric surgery are high, approximately 20% of patients either regain or never lose the expected amount of weight. The purpose of this study was to determine whether, after gastric-bypass surgery, the degree of weight loss can be differentiated based on the neural response to food cues. DESIGN AND METHODS: In this functional MRI study, 31 post-surgical patients viewed food and neutral images in two counterbalanced runs during which they were either instructed to "crave" or to "resist" craving. The neural response to food cues was assessed within and between runs for all participants, and further analyzed between more successful (n = 24) and less successful (n = 7) groups. More successful was defined by meeting 50% excess weight loss. RESULTS: Overall, instructions to "crave" elicited significant activity in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (PFC) whereas "resist" elicited significant activity in the dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC). Between groups there was no brain difference when instructed to "crave." The more successful participants however had significantly more activity in the DLPFC when instructed to "resist." CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that the ability to mobilize neural circuits involved in executive control post-gastric-bypass surgery may be a unique component of successful outcome post-surgery.
The food craving questionnaire-trait in a bariatric surgery seeking population and ability to predict post-surgery weight loss at six months
Food cravings have been understudied in bariatric surgery patients and the Food Craving Questionnaire-Trait has not been validated in this population. Reliability and validity of the FCQ-T were examined and a regression analysis was run to determine whether or not preoperative scores on individual subscales of the instrument could predict weight loss at 6months. The FCQ-T demonstrated excellent internal consistency in bariatric surgery-seeking patients, and individual subscales measuring emotion and mood were correlated with other measures of depression and anxiety. Endorsement of binge eating or emotional eating behaviors during a clinical interview was correlated with similar subscales on the FCQ-T. Higher scores on the subscale 'cues that may trigger food cravings' were associated with greater weight loss at 6months post-surgery and higher scores on the subscale 'guilt from cravings and/or giving into them' was associated with less weight loss. Management of external cues may predict successful outcomes while emotional impact of cravings may indicate the need for further intervention to help manage specific food craving traits.
More Than Black and White: Differences in Predictors of Obesity Among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders and European Americans
Although Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders exhibit the highest rates of obesity and associated chronic diseases of any racial/ethnic group, they remain vastly underrepresented in health research. In a cross-sectional survey of college students (N = 402) we examined BMI and health outcomes in an ethno-racially diverse rural sample of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders (25.1%), Asian Americans (39.8%), and European Americans (35.1%). Measures assessed BMI, health status, health behaviors, frequency of exercise, and symptoms of psychiatric disorders (i.e., depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress, and substance abuse and dependence). Regression analyses revealed that an overall model of five predictors (gender, race, regular exercise, difficulty sleeping, and anxiety) was significantly associated with obesity (P < 0.001) and correctly classified 84.2% of cases. A 30.7% of Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders were obese as compared with 9.2% of European Americans and 10.6% of Asian Americans. These findings suggest that Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islanders are at high risk for obesity and associated medical comorbidities, but that regular physical activity may ameliorate this risk. Further, these results support the consideration of Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders as a distinct racial/ethnic subgroup separate from other Asian populations.
Prefrontal cortex transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) temporarily reduces food cravings and increases the self-reported ability to resist food in adults with frequent food craving
This study examined whether a 20-min session of prefrontal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) (anode over the right prefrontal cortex and cathode over the left prefrontal cortex) would reduce food cravings and increase the self-reported ability to resist foods in 19 healthy individuals who reported frequent food cravings. Participants viewed computerized images of food and used computerized visual analogue scales to rate food cravings and inability to resist foods before, during, and after receiving either real or sham tDCS. This study employed a randomized within-subject crossover design; participants received both real and sham tDCS and were blind to the condition. Food cravings ratings were reduced in both conditions, however, the percent change in cravings ratings from pre- to post-stimulation was significantly greater for real stimulation than for sham. The percent change in inability to resist food from pre- to post-stimulation also showed a greater decrease in the real condition than for sham. Post hoc analyses suggest that active prefrontal tDCS acutely and significantly decreased food cravings ratings for sweet foods and carbohydrates more so than sham tDCS. No significant differences were seen in the amount of food ingested between real and sham tDCS. These findings in healthy subjects indicate that tDCS is able to temporarily reduce food cravings and improve the self-reported ability to resist foods.
Aripiprazole in children and adolescents with Tourette's disorder: an open-label safety and tolerability study
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to conduct a prospective safety and tolerability study of aripiprazole for the treatment of tics in children and adolescents with Tourette's disorder (TD). METHOD: Eleven subjects (10 males) with TD (age 9-19 years, mean 13.36, standard deviation [SD] 3.33) who did not respond or were unable to tolerate previous tic medication were treated with aripiprazole in an open-label, flexible-dosing study over 10 weeks. Tic severity was rated using the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (YGTSS) and the Clinical Global Impressions Scale for tics (CGI-Tics) at baseline and at follow-up. RESULTS: The mean (+/-SD) daily dose for aripiprazole was 4.5 +/- 3.0 mg. Mean (+/-SD) YGTSS Global Severity scores reduced from 61.82 +/- 13.49 at baseline to 33.73 +/- 15.18 at end point; mean YGTSS total tic scores reduced from 28.18 +/- 7.74 at baseline to 16.73 +/- 7.54 at end point. Mean (+/-SD) CGI-Tic severity scores reduced from 4.45 +/- 0.52 (moderate-marked) at baseline to 3.18 +/- 0.60 (mild) at end point. On the CGI-Tic improvement scale, 10 (91%) subjects achieved 1 ('very much improved') or 2 ('much improved') at end point. Most common adverse effects included appetite increase and weight gain in 5 subjects, mild extrapyramidal effects in 7 subjects, and headaches and tiredness/fatigue in 7 subjects; 1 subject experienced akathisia and muscle cramps. CONCLUSION: Aripiprazole appears to be a safe and tolerable treatment in children and adolescents with TD that appears to reduce tics; it should be further investigated as a treatment option in controlled trials
Food cues in children's television programs
We examined the nutritional content of and characters' attitudes toward foods depicted in Public Broadcasting System (PBS) television programs aimed at children under age 5. Two-hundred and forty-five episodes from 10 programs were rated, totaling 136 h. There was almost twice the total airtime for depictions of unhealthy (321.03 min) versus healthy (184.72 min) foods, and significantly higher ratings for excessive consumption and valuing (characters' expressions of endorsement) of unhealthy versus healthy foods. Unhealthy foods were shown being valued significantly more than they were shown resulting in negative consequences. Our findings suggest concern for how foods are presented on children's television programs.
Posttraurnatic stress disorder and major depression in veterans with spinal cord injury
Objective: To explore the relationship between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) in veterans with spinal cord injury and to compare those results with results found in veterans who had sustained other traumatic injuries. Method. To investigate the relationship between PTSD and MDD in persons with spinal cord injury, the authors examined whether individuals endorsed overlapping items on measures of both disorders, evaluated the contribution of overlapping items to comorbid diagnosis, and conducted an exploratory factor analysis. Results: The overlapping symptoms between the 2 disorders did not fully explain the high rate of comorbidity, although participants who endorsed a symptom common to MDD and PTSD on I measure were likely to endorse the corresponding item on another measure. In both samples, items loaded on separate PTSD and MDD factors. Conclusion: MDD and PTSD appear to represent independent reactions to trauma in those individuals who had experienced either a nonspinal cord injury or a spinal cord injury. This research also provides an initial investigation of some of the possible ways that MDD and PTSD are related by addressing psychometric issues inherent in their measurement.