Project Description Narrative:
Obesity is a major cause of type 2 diabetes and hypertension, risk factors for cardiovascular disease, which is Wisconsin's leading cause of death. On average, 41% of adults in Wisconsin suffer from obesity, with prevalence reaching 70% in some counties. Costs associated with treating these obesity-related diseases amount to billions of dollars each year.
Both diabetes and hypertension can be mitigated by modest (5-10%) weight loss.
While weight loss is possible through several lifestyle-based methods, many individuals regain weight over time. However, the extent of weight regain is not uniform, and some individuals appear more susceptible to weight regain than others. Even minimal weight regain appears to reverse the benefits of weight loss on diabetes and hypertension.
One factor thought to contribute to variability in the extent of weight regain is a greater-than-expected slowing of resting metabolic rate caused by weight loss, also called metabolic adaptation.
This pilot study aims to gather preliminary data to test the overall hypothesis that circulating levels of Agouti-related protein, a protein made by nerve cells in the brain that stimulate hunger and decrease an individual's resting metabolic rate, are associated with metabolic adaptation.
Understanding the mechanisms driving weight regain and developing new tools to identify those at greater risk will help create more rigorous and individualized strategies to prevent weight regain in those individuals.