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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging

2012 Annual Report

1. LAB: Energy Metabolism: The accuracy of calories listed in restaurants. There is little information on the accuracy of information on the calorie contents of commercial foods as provided by the vendors. ARS –funded researchers in the Energy Metabolism Laboratory at the JMUSDA Nutrition Center at Tufts University have conducted a series of studies on the accuracy of published food composition values. Food samples from a variety of restaurant and packaged foods at 3 locations across America (MA, IN, AR) were collected and the samples were analyzed for energy content so that values could be compared to stated values. There was no significant difference between measured and stated values; however, the accuracy of individual stated food energy contents varied widely and foods with low stated energy values contained significantly more energy than stated. In a separate analysis of measured energy data from the national nutrient database (SR-24) a similar finding was reported. These studies highlight the need for more accurate and precise information on the energy contents of different foods, because without such information consumers cannot self-monitor calorie intake to prevent obesity.

2. LAB: Energy Metabolism: Heritability of Body Fatness and Eating Behaviors. There is great uncertainty over the extent to which body weight, body fatness and eating behaviors are heritable. However, such information is important because it helps define the extent to which weight management interventions can be successful, and identifies targets to focus on for behavior changes that can help prevent obesity. ARS–funded researchers in the Energy Metabolism Laboratory at the JM USDA Nutrition Center at Tufts University showed for the first time that the methodology by which body composition is measured has a significant impact on estimates of heritability of body fatness, and that the methods with least bias show that heritability is relatively low. Thus, shared and unique environmental factors are important determinants of an individual’s body fatness. The studies also showed that the eating behavior construct ‘disinhibition’ is not very heritable, suggesting that this variable, which is known to have a significant impact on body fatness, may be susceptible to modification in behavior change programs.

3. LAB: Obesity and metabolism: Immune cells in human fat predict increased fat in liver, abdomen, and altered blood glucose regulation. At the present time we do not understand why some obese people, but not others, have increased abdominal and liver fat and lose the ability to regulate blood glucose. ARS-funded researchers at JMUSDA-HNRCA at Tufts University, Boston, MA, in collaboration with University of Southern California Medical School performed fat biopsies on African-American and Hispanic obese young adults and correlated this to other measurements. We found that in both Hispanic and African-American males and females, the presence of specialized cells in fat tissue was associated with accumulation of fat in the liver as well as increased fat tissue within the abdomen. Additionally, we observed that the increase in immune cells in fat tissue correlated with decreased ability to regulate blood glucose. These outcomes provide us with a goal for future nutritional studies to identify food and diets that protect against the increase in immune cells in fat tissue protecting against the development of diabetes and increased fat accumulation in liver and fat.

4. LAB: Body composition: A method to measure energy intake based on stable isotopes and breath samples. Energy intake evaluation is important for the management of obesity. Today, the only available tools for this purpose are based on self-reported food questionnaires which are known to be biased and difficult to apply. ARS researchers at Tufts University in Boston, MA developed an alternative method to measure energy intake, one that is simple enough for field use. After the oral administration of a small amount of fatty acid labeled with a stable carbon isotope (C-13), the appearance of this isotope in breath CO2 is monitored for several days. The rate of clearance depends on the amount of food consumed. Scientists completed a controlled clinical study where volunteers.

Review Publications
Pieper, C., Redman, L., Racette, S., Roberts, S., Bhapkar, M., Rochon, J., Martin, C., Kraus, W., Das, S., Williamson, D., Ravussin, E. 2011. Development of adherence metrics for caloric restriction interventions. Clinical Trials. 8(2):155-164.

Das, S., Roberts, S.B. 2012. Chapter 05: energy metabolism in fasting, fed, exercise and re-feeding states. In: Erdman Jr., J.W., MacDonald, I.A., Zeisel, S.H., editors. Present Knowledge in Nutrition Book Chapter. 10th edition. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. p. 58-68.

Rickman, A.D., Williamson, D.A., Martin, C.K., Gilhooly, C.H., Stein, R.I., Bales, C.W., Roberts, S.B., Das, S. 2011. The CALERIE Study: design and methods of an innovative 25% caloric restriction intervention. Contemporary Clinical Trials. 32(6):874-881.

Pieper, C., Redman, L., Racette, S., Roberts, S., Bhapkar, M., Rochon, J., Martin, C., Kraus, W., Das, S., Williamson, D., Ravussin, E. 2011. Development of adherence metrics for caloric restriction interventions. Clinical Trials. 8(2):155-164.

Elder, S., Roberts, S., Mccrory, M., Das, S., Fuss, P., Pittas, A., Greenberg, A., Heymsfield, S., Dawson-Hughes, B., Bouchard, T., Saltzman, E., Neale, M. 2012. Effect of body composition methodology on heritability estimation of body fatness. Open Nutrition Journal. 6:48-58.

Kelley, G.A., Kelley, K.S., Roberts, S., Haskell, W. 2012. Combined effects of aerobic exercise and diet on lipids and lipoproteins in overweight and obese adults: a meta-analysis. Journal of Obesity. DOI: 10.1155/2012/985902.

Kelley, G., Kelley, K., Roberts, S., Haskell, W. 2012. Comparison of aerobic exercise, diet or both on lipids and lipoproteins in adults: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Clinical Nutrition. 31(2):156-167.

Racette, S., Das, S., Bhapkar, M., Hadley, E., Roberts, S.B., Ravussin, E., Pieper, C., Delany, J., Kraus, W., Rochon, J., Redman, L. 2012. Approaches for quantifying energy intake and % calorie restriction (CR) during CR interventions in humans: the multicenter CALERIE study. American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism. 302(4):E441-448.

Das, S., Saltzman, E., Gilhooly, C., Delany, J., Golden, J., Pittas, A., Dallal, G., Bhapkar, M., Fuss, P., Dutta, C., Mccrory, M., Roberts, S. 2009. Low or moderate dietary energy restriction for long-term weight loss: what works best?. Obesity. 17(11):2019-2024.

Beechy, L., Galpern, J., Petrone, A., Das, S. 2012. Assessment tools in obesity- psychological measures, diet, activity, and body composition. Physiology and Behavior. 107(1):154-171.

Shen, W., Patel, S., Miyoshi, H., Greenberg, A.S., Kraemer, F.B. 2009. Functional interaction of hormone-sensitive lipase and perilipin in lipolysis. Journal of Lipid Research. 50(11):2306-2313.

Greenberg, A., Kraemer, F., Soni, K., Jedrychowski, M., Yan, Q., Graham, C., Bowman, T., Mansur, A. 2011. Lipid droplet meets a mitochondrial protein to regulate adipocyte lipolysis. EMBO Journal. 30(21):4337-4339.

Le, K., Mahurkar, S., Alderete, T., Hasson, R., Adam, T., Kim, J., Beale, E., Xie, C., Greenberg, A., Allayee, H., Goran, M. 2011. Subcutaneous adipose tissue macropage infiltration is associated with hepatic and visceral fat deposition, hyperinsulinemia, and stimulation of NF-kB stress pathway. Diabetes. 60(11):2802-2809.

Fried, S., Greenberg, A. 2012. Lipocalin 2: a "sexy" adipokine that regulates 17Beta-estradiol and obesity. Endocrinology. 153(4):1582-1584.

De Melo, C.M., Kehayias, J.J., Miyamoto, M.V., Ribeiro, S.M. 2011. Bioelectrical impedance vectorial analysis and nutritional status of older women according to body mass index. Brazilian Journal of Kinanthropometry and Human Performance. 13(6):415-421.

Kehayias, J., Ribeiro, S., Skahan, A., Itzkowitz, L., Dallal, G., Rogers, G., Khodeir, M. 2012. Water homeostasis, frailty and congnitive function in the nursing home. Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging. 16(1):35-39.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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