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Seasonal Changes in Mood and Behavior Are Linked to Obesity

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Obesity is a public health problem worldwide, officials even using the term of an obesity epidemic. Meanwhile, it is increasingly accepted that obesity is a consequence of combined genetic and environmental factors. A new finnish study could pove that a defective circadian clockwork is associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome.

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8028 individuals attended a nationwide health examination survey in Finland. Participants were assessed  for metabolic syndrome and for their seasonal changes in mood and behavior. Seasonal changes in weight in particular were a risk factor of metabolic syndrome, after controlling for a number of known risk and potential confounding factors.

“Abnormalities in the circadian clockwork which links seasonal fluctuations to metabolic cycles may predispose to seasonal changes in weight and to metabolic syndrome”, the researchers explain.

Rintamäki R, Grimaldi S, Englund A, Haukka J, Partonen T, et al. (2008)

Seasonal Changes in Mood and Behavior Are Linked to Metabolic Syndrome.

PLoS ONE 3(1): e1482. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001482

Background

Obesity is a major public health problem worldwide. Metabolic syndrome is a risk factor to the cardiovascular diseases. It has been reported that disruptions of the circadian clockwork are associated with and may predispose to metabolic syndrome.

Methodology and Principal Findings

8028 individuals attended a nationwide health examination survey in Finland. Data were collected with a face-to-face interview at home and during an individual health status examination. The waist circumference, height, weight and blood pressure were measured and samples were taken for laboratory tests. Participants were assessed using the ATP-III criteria for metabolic syndrome and with the Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire for their seasonal changes in mood and behavior. Seasonal changes in weight in particular were a risk factor of metabolic syndrome, after controlling for a number of known risk and potential confounding factors.

Conclusions and Significance

Metabolic syndrome is associated with high global scores on the seasonal changes in mood and behavior, and with those in weight in particular. Assessment of these changes may serve as a useful indicator of metabolic syndrome, because of easy assessment. Abnormalities in the circadian clockwork which links seasonal fluctuations to metabolic cycles may predispose to seasonal changes in weight and to metabolic syndrome.

Written by huehueteotl

February 7, 2008 at 12:50 pm

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