News Release 

Obesity embargo alert for February 2020 issue

The Obesity Society

All print, broadcast and online journalists who receive the Obesity embargo alert agree to abide by the embargo and may not publish, post, broadcast or distribute embargoed news releases or details of the embargoed studies before the embargo date and time.

When writing about these studies, journalists are asked to attribute the source as the journal Obesity and to include the online link to the Obesity articles as provided below. Links become active when articles post at 3:00 a.m. (EST) on Jan. 23, 2020, unless indicated differently below.

About the journal - Obesity is the peer-reviewed, scientific journal of The Obesity Society.

Editors' Choice 1 - Appetite Responses to Overfeeding Linked to 5-Year Weight Gain, Tanya M. Halliday,, Corey A. Rynders, Elizabeth Thomas, Audrey Bergouignan, Zhaoxing Pan, Elizabeth H. Kealey, Marc-Andre Cornier, and Daniel H. Bessesen (

Editors' Choice 2 - Extended Breastfeeding Yields Healthier Growth Trajectories, Miaobing Zheng,, Adrian J. Cameron, Catherine S. Birken, Charles Keown-Stoneman, Rachel Laws, Li Ming Wen, and Karen J. Campbell (

Editors' Choice 3 - The Underappreciated Synergy of Strength, Aerobic Training, Jason A. Bennie,, Katrien De Cocker, Toby Pavey, Emmanuel Stamatakis, Stuart J. H. Biddle, and Ding Ding ( - already online

Also see accompanying commentary by Timothy S. Church (, posting online on Jan. 23, 2020

Editors' Choice 4 - Novel Strategies Differentiate Dieters Who Maintain Weight Loss, Suzanne Phelan,, Tate Halfman, Angela Marinilli Pinto, and Gary D. Foster (

Scroll down to find abstracts for each of the above papers. To request the full text of any of these studies and agree to the embargo policy, or to arrange an interview with a study's author or an obesity expert, please contact

Editors' Choice Abstracts

Editors' Choice 1 - Appetite-Related Responses to Overfeeding and Longitudinal Weight Change in Obesity-Prone and Obesity-Resistant Adults

Objective: Appetite responses to 3 days of overfeeding (OF) were examined as correlates of longitudinal weight change in adults classified as obesity prone (OP) or obesity resistant (OR).

Methods: OP (n = 22) and OR (n = 30) adults consumed a controlled eucaloric and OF diet (140% of energy needs) for 3 days, followed by 3 days of ad libitum feeding. Hunger and satiety were evaluated by visual analog scales. Ghrelin and peptide YY (PYY) levels were measured during a 24-hour inpatient visit on day 3. Body weight and composition were measured annually for 4.0 ± 1.3 years.

Results: Dietary restraint and disinhibition were greater in OP than OR (mean difference: 3.5 ± 1.2 and 3.3 ± 0.9, respectively; P < 0.01) participants, and disinhibition was associated with longitudinal weight change (n = 48; r = 0.35; P = 0.02). Compared with the eucaloric diet, energy intake fell significantly in OR participants following OF (P = 0.03) but not in OP (P = 0.33) participants. Twenty-four-hour PYY area under the curve values increased with OF in OR (P = 0.02) but not in OP (P = 0.17) participants. Furthermore, changes in PYY levels with OF correlated with measured energy intake (r = -0.36; P = 0.01).

Conclusions: Baseline disinhibition and PYY responses to OF differed between OP and OR adults. Dietary disinhibition was associated with 5-year longitudinal weight gain. Differences in appetite regulation may underlie differences in propensity for weight gain.

Editors' Choice 2 - Early Infant Feeding and BMI Trajectories in the First 5 Years of Life

Objective: This study examined the relative impact of breastfeeding duration and timing of solids introduction on BMI z score (BMIz) trajectory in early childhood.

Methods: This study conducted secondary analyses of data from the Melbourne Infant Feeding, Activity and Nutrition Trial (InFANT) Program (N = 542), a prospective cohort study with data collected at birth and 3, 9, 18, 42, and 60 months. Linear spline multilevel models were performed.

Results: Differential growth rates were observed from birth to 3 months and from 9 to 18 months by breastfeeding duration (≥ 6 vs. < 6 months) and timing of solids introduction (before vs. after 6 months). Children who were breastfed for ≥ 6 versus < 6 months had lower BMI's at all ages from 3 to 60 months. The difference remained after adjusting for child and maternal factors, and the adjusted mean differences in BMI's at 3, 9, 18, 42, and 60 months were -0.34, -0.44, -0.13, -0.19, and -0.23, respectively. Children who received solids before versus after 6 months of age had higher BMI's at 18 and 42 months, but adjustment for child and maternal factors attenuated these differences.

Conclusions: Longer breastfeeding duration was associated with lower BMI's to 5 years of age, providing further support for infant feeding guidelines to prolong breastfeeding duration for healthy growth.

Editors' Choice 3 - Muscle Strengthening, Aerobic Exercise, and Obesity: A Pooled Analysis of 1.7 Million US Adults

Objective: Both aerobic physical activity and muscle-strengthening exercise are recommended for obesity prevention. However, at the population level, the independent and/or combined associations of these physical activity modalities with obesity are unknown. The aim of this study was to examine the associations between aerobic physical activity and muscle-strengthening exercise with obesity among a representative sample of adults.

Methods: Data were pooled from four US public health surveillance surveys from 2011 to 2017. Cross-sectional associations between adherence to the aerobic physical activity (≥ 150 min/wk) and muscle-strengthening exercise (≥ 2 times/wk) guidelines with different classes of BMI-defined obesity were examined using Poisson regression. Prevalence ratios are reported as both unadjusted and adjusted for sociodemographic and lifestyle characteristics.

Results: Data were available for 1,677,108 adults (≥ 18 years old). Compared with meeting neither guideline (reference category), meeting both guidelines was associated with the lowest adjusted prevalence ratios (APRs) for the following: Class I obesity and above (BMI ≥ 30.0 kg/m2), APR = 0.54 (95% CI: 0.53-0.54); Class II obesity and above (BMI ≥ 35.0 kg/m2), APR = 0.32 (95% CI: 0.31-0.33); and Class III obesity and above (BMI ≥ 40.0 kg/m2), APR = 0.21 (95% CI: 0.20-0.21).

Conclusions: Among nearly 1.7 million US adults, meeting both aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise guidelines was associated with a lower obesity prevalence, and associations were more pronounced for higher obesity classes.

Editors' Choice 4 - Behavioral and Psychological Strategies of Long-Term Weight Loss Maintainers in a Widely Available Weight Management Program

Objective: The study's purpose was to use validated questionnaires to identify novel behavioral and psychological strategies among weight loss maintainers (WLMs) in a commercial weight management program.

Methods: Participants were 4,786 WLMs in WW (formerly Weight Watchers, New York, New York) who had maintained weight loss ≥ 9.1 kg (24.7 kg/23.8% weight loss on average) for 3.3 years and had a current mean BMI of 27.6 kg/m2. A control group of 528 weight-stable individuals with obesity had a mean BMI of 38.9 kg/m2 and weight change < 2.3 kg over the previous 5 years.

Results: WLMs versus Controls practiced more frequent healthy dietary choices (3.3 vs. 1.9; ɳp2 = 0.37), self-monitoring (2.6 vs. 0.7; ɳp2 = 0.30), and psychological coping (2.5 vs. 1.1; ɳp2 = 0.25) strategies. WLMs also reported more willingness to ignore food cravings (4.4 vs. 3.5; ɳp2 = 0.16) and had greater habit strength for healthy eating (5.3 vs. 3.2; ɳp2 = 0.21). Standard canonical coefficients indicated that dietary (0.52), self-monitoring (0.40), and psychological (0.14) strategies as well as habit strength for healthy eating (0.15) contributed independently and most (49.5% of variance) to discriminating groups.

Conclusions: In a widely available weight management program, more frequent practice of healthy dietary, self-monitoring, and psychological coping strategies as well as development of greater habit strength for healthy eating differentiated long-term WLMs from weight-stable individuals with obesity.


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