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Obesity Newsletter

JULY 2012 

The July Obesity Newsletter features; the FIC obesity seminar series, supplemental BMJ articles on sport and energy drinks, grant opportunities, upcoming events, and obesity articles recently in the press.



FIC Seminar Series Announcement 

The Food Innovation Center would like to announce a seminar series addressing cutting edge topics in obesity science. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) serves as a platform to introduce multidisciplinary perspectives on the challenges of the obesity epidemic from farm to fork. The evidence based guidelines speak to the rising concern about the health of Americans who face overweight and obesity. Four key recommendations to help Americans make informed food and activity decisions are offered: Balance calories with physical activity to manage weight; increase consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains; decrease consumption of added fat, sugar, salt and refined grains; and focus on total calories and overall diet quality.


FIC has convened a group of experts to address these recommendations. 


This fall we anticipate hosing two other scientists  to address other emerging areas in obesity science.

  • Dr. Kyle Kent (Adjunct Professor, Department of Food Science, OSU)  will provide a captivating seminar on the beverage industry and how the DGA's spark beverage innovations.  
  • Dr. Megan McCrory (Assistant Professor, Departments of Nutrition Science and Psychological Sciences, Purdue University) will present an equally compelling seminar on total diet quality and human behavior.
Future announcements and further details about these seminars will be provided in future publications and emails. If you are interested in providing a seminar related to the topic of obesity science please feel free to contact Michelle Battista at  


Previous seminars in this obesity science series were presented by: 

  • Dr. Martha Belury (Carol S. Kennedy Professor of Nutrition, Department of Human Nutrition, OSU) on "The Unemployed Adipocyte: Metabolic Consequences of Losing Weight" who addressed the complex interactions between dietary compounds and adipocyte biology.     
  • Dr. Matthew Kleinhenz (Associate Professor, Department of Horticulture, OSU) introduced big picture concepts to drive collaborations to solve real world problems in a seminar titled "Frontiers in Food Security".




FIC has a new website with expanded member profile content and discoverability. Learn more in this


Click here to view past editions of our e-newsletter!


Member Spotlight

 Carolyn Gunther

 Carolyn Gunther has begun to direct the second year pilot test of her successful Simple Suppers at Ohio State University's Schoenbaum Family Center.

Learn more about Simple Suppers. 

Featured Articles 

The British Medical Journal and their  investigative partner BBC Panorama has recently released a series of 7 articles that are highly critical of sport and energy drinks.

1) A systematic assessment analyzes sport drink advertising and identifies a 431 performance enhancing claims for 104 different products. The authors found 146 references that underpinned these claims. More than half (52.8%) of the websites that made performance claims did not provide any references, and the authors were unable to perform critical appraisal for approximately half (72/146) of the identified references. None of the references referred to systematic reviews (level 1 evidence). Of the critically appraised studies, 84% were judged to be at high risk of bias. Only three of the 74 (2.7%) studies were judged to be of high quality and at low risk of bias. Ultimately the authors not surprisingly concluded that: "The current evidence is not of sufficient quality to inform the public about the benefits and harms of sports products".

2) In The Truth About Sports Drinks Deborah Cohen investigates the links between the sports drinks industry and academia that have helped market the science of hydration.

3) An article investigating the validity of the European Food Safety Authority's assessment of sports drinks drinks criticizes the two claims approved by the EFSA, that sport drinks, "improved water absorption during exercise" and help with "maintenance of endurance performance".

4) Tim Noakes's commentary about the role of hydration in health and exercise states that over-hydration is a much more common and dangerous risk to the athlete than dehydration.

5) An analysis of the science behind the GlaxoSmithKline sport drink Lucozade, which claims that it boosts performance concluded that "over prolonged periods carbohydrate ingestion can improve exercise performance, but consuming large amounts is not a good strategy particularly at low and moderate exercise intensities and in exercise lasting less than 90 minutes. There was no substantial evidence to suggest that liquid is any better than solid carbohydrate intake and there were no studies in children. Given the high sugar content and the propensity to dental erosions children should be discouraged from using sports drinks".

6) Authors explored marketing of sports drink through social media and user endorsements. They found that companies encourage user-generated content so that they can claim they did not write it themselves.

7) The article mythbusting sports and exercise products busted many myths including: the colour of urine accurately reflects hydration, you should drink before you feel thirsty, energy drinks with caffeine or other compounds improve sports performance, and carbohydrate and protein combinations improve post-workout performance and recovery.


Grant Opportunities

Exploratory/Developmental Clinical Research Grants in Obesity


Award Note: Direct costs are limited to $275,000 over an R21 two-year period, with no more than $200,000 in direct costs allowed in any single year.

Deadline: October 5, 2012

Summary: This FOA issued by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK); the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI); the National Cancer Institute (NCI); the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), encourages research grant applications from institutions/organizations that propose to conduct exploratory/developmental clinical studies that will accelerate the development of effective interventions for prevention or treatment of overweight or obesity in adults and/or children. Exploratory epidemiological research with a goal of informing translational/clinical research will also be supported within this program.





Obesity Policy Research: Evaluation and Measures


Award Note: Because the nature and scope of the proposed research will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary. Although the financial plans of the IC(s) provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this funding opportunity are contingent upon the availability of funds. 

Deadline: October 5, 2012

Summary: This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), issued by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI),

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD),
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), NIH, and the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC, encourages Research Project Grant (R01) applications that propose to: (1) conduct evaluation research on obesity-related "natural experiments" (defined here as community and other population-level public policy interventions that may affect diet and physical activity behavior), and/or (2) develop and/or validate relevant community-level measures (instruments and methodologies to assess the food and physical activity environments at the community level). The overarching goal of this FOA is to inform public policy and research relevant to (1) diet and physical activity behavior, and (2) weight and health outcomes of Americans.





Maternal Nutrition and Pre-pregnancy Obesity: Effects on Mothers, Infants and Children


Award NoteThe number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations, and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Deadlines: October 5, 2012

Summary: This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) issued by the National Institute of Nursing Research encourages R01 applications to improve health outcomes for women, infants and children, by stimulating interdisciplinary research focused on maternal nutrition and pre-pregnancy obesity. Maternal health significantly impacts not only the mother but also the intrauterine environment, and subsequently fetal development and the health of the newborn.




Upcoming Events: Webinars and Conferences

2nd Global Diabetes Summit


Date: November 14th, 2012- November 17th, 2012

Location: The Ohio Union, 1739 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43210

Description: Healthcare providers from around the world will share their latest scientific data on treatments and research for diabetes and its interaction with other morbid diseases at the 2012 Global Diabetes Summit.

Registration: Register here.



First Annual Food Safety Midwest Workshop


Date: September 13, 2012; 8:00am-4:00pm

Location: Walb Student Union Ballroom IPFW, Fort Wayne Indiana 

Description: Food Safety Midwest is a collaborative effort of three states (MI, OH, IN) and three universities (Michigan State University, the Ohio State University, Purdue University) that focuses on developing better research and outreach efforts in an effort to maximize resources, expertise, and service to food safety stakeholder groups. Each of the three universities is offering complimentary registrations for the first 25 faculty, staff, and/or students (from each university) that register.
Registration: Register here.



Obesity Webinars Offered through Obesity Action Coalition


Date and Time: July, 19th 2012; 8:00pm-9:00pm

Description:There are 3 webinars that are archived and 10 additional webinars scheduled to last into 2013. The next topic in the series (July 19th) is Obesity, Hormones & Metabolism: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know but were Afraid to Ask. This webinar will focus on the critical relationship between obesity, hormones, and metabolism. It will include laying the groundwork about how the hormone insulin influences fat storage at a cellular level; how sex hormones, thyroid hormones, gut hormones, and stress hormones all impact obesity; and patient empowerment.

Registration: Free registration for the series found here.



Annual Obesity Society Meeting 


Date and Place: September 20th-24th; San Antonio, Texas

Description: The Obesity Society's Annual Scientific Meeting has grown to be one of the world's largest gatherings of obesity professionals at all stages of their careers, including leading obesity scientists presenting cutting-edge research. The meeting brings together the leading players in the field of obesity from world-renowned speakers, researchers and clinicians to educators, advocates, policymakers and practitioners. The meeting provides essential educational and networking opportunities and is a forum for increasing knowledge, stimulating research, and promoting better treatment for those affected by this disease.

RegistrationRegister, join, and book housing here.



Biomarker Europe Summit 


Date and Location: September 5th - 7th; Zurich, Switzerland

Description: Global Technology Community announced their 2nd Biomarker Europe Summit taking place in Zurich, Switzerland on the dates of September 5th - 7th. The summit consists of 3 tracks, with a focus in different biomarker areas, as well as a plenary session on September 6th. 

The tracks are:

5th Oncology Biomarkers

 (Sept. 5th - 6th)

Inflammatory Biomarkers

 (Sept. 6th - 7th)
- Cardiovascular, CRP, Renal Disease, Diabetes, COPD, Metabolic Disease, etc.

Neurological Biomarkers

 (Sept. 6th - 7th)

- Alzheimer's, CSF, CNS, NeuroImaging, Parkinson's, Depression, etc. 

Registration: Register for the conference here.



FIC Annual Meeting 


Date: September 6th; 12:00pm-5:30pm 
Location:  Ohio Union

Description: Third Annual Meeting of the Food Innovation Center, more details to come.


Obesity in the Press

Recent Research Articles



Epidemiology of Obesity: OSU Graduate Course 
Autumn 2012 Course Description:
Obesity has become a significant public health problem in the United States and in many
other countries. In this 3-credit course, through critical reading and discussion of
epidemiologic research, students will gain perspective on prevalence, trends, risk factors,
measurement, outcomes, and issues related to obesity throughout the life course. The
course will provide students with practice in the interpretation and evaluation of research
related to the study of obesity, and will facilitate students' ability to synthesize evidence
and identify gaps in knowledge. 


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