Metabolic communication in development and control of obesity 1

Published on January 31, 2016   43 min

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Hello, my name is Elaine Holmes. I'm Professor of Biological Chemistry at Imperial College, London. And today, I'm going to talk about the metabolic communication in the development and control of obesity.
If we look at the CDC statistics for obesity in America, what you can see is that back in 2010, already a lot of the southern half of the United States were in the situation where over 30 percent of the population had a BMI of 30 or greater, meaning that they were clinically obese. And if you look at this spread over successive years, it seems to develop a little like an infection. Now, diet obviously plays a big role and also genetics. And obesity is linked, we know, to a lot of diseases, a lot of comorbidities. So, for example, in the lower panel, if you look at the prediction, by 2023 in the States for various diseases, if we look at type 2 diabetes, you can see that we're expecting 54 percent of the population to have developed type 2 diabetes by 2023. So this is a big health problem, a big socioeconomic problem. We know that obesity is also linked to the developmental or risk of cancer, and these are not just cancers you'd expect to be linked to obesity such as liver cancer, but we're also seeing cancers like prostate cancer and leukemia, there are also rising in association with obesity.
So as I said, the obesity maps closely to various comorbidities including cardiovascular disease and stroke, diabetes and breast cancer. So here's the map for obesity in 2010. If we superimpose the map of heart disease-related deaths, this is taken from 2000-2006, but you can that it's roughly the same states, the same distribution of disease. Again, if we look at stroke, what we can see is that also mirrors this pattern, although there's an extra stroke belt over in the west. Now, we know that there are inequalities in obesity, so non-Hispanic Blacks are highest with 47.8 percent of the population in the US, having risk of obesity or developed obesity, whereas non-Hispanic Asians are at the lower end with 11 percent. Now, somebody has actually calculated the annual medical cost of obesity in the US, which amounts 190 billion in 2013. And somebody else had the time on their hands to count how many millions of gallons of fuel per year it cost to fly overweight passengers around America, which was 350 million gallons of fuel back in 2013, amounting to $1 billion, so huge socioeconomic problem.

Metabolic communication in development and control of obesity 1

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