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WIN Notes

Spring 2012

View WIN Notes Spring 2012 edition in PDF format [2,257 Kb]

In This Issue:

Cover Story

Research Notes

HHS News

NIH News

Cyber Notes

Resource Notes

Program Notes

Partner News

Sisters Together Corner

Editor’s Notes

NIH Scientists Create Research Tool That May Help Predict Weight Changes

NIH researchers have created a research tool that may help predict how much weight a person will lose over time. At present, the tool and the mathematical model on which it is based are useful mainly for research rather than practice.

Before the release of the mathematical model and tool, many believed that people could lose one pound per week by eating 500 fewer calories per day. The new model does not support this belief. Studies with the model suggest that achieving lasting weight loss may take a long time and that weight-loss programs may be more effective if conducted in two phases. The first phase would include major, temporary changes in behavior. The second phase would involve more relaxed but permanent changes to prevent weight regain.

Developed by a research team led by Dr. Kevin Hall of the NIDDK, the new model and tool use sex, age, height, and weight to project changes over time in weight and metabolism (how the body uses energy). With the tool, called the Body Weight Simulator, researchers can more precisely estimate how long it will take for someone to achieve his or her weight-loss goals. Researchers hope to refine the tool so that health care providers may use it in the future to tailor weight-loss programs for individuals.

Article Information

Hall KD, Sacks G, Chandramohan D, Chow, CC, Wang YC, Gortmaker SL, Swinburn BA. Quantification of the effect of energy imbalance on bodyweight. The Lancet. 2011; 378(9793):826–837.


Learn More Online

Take a look at the Body Weight Simulator at


Drug Producing Weight Loss in Monkeys Holds Promise for Humans

Recent research shows that a promising drug helps obese monkeys lose weight by shrinking the white fat cells around their bellies. As white fat is linked with weight gain and related health problems, the findings may lead to new approaches for combatting obesity in humans. Supported through funding from the NIH and several foundations, the study was published online in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Researchers at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston conducted an experiment with 15 monkeys that became obese in much the same way that humans do—by overeating and getting too little physical activity. For 28 days, the researchers gave 10 of the monkeys daily injections of a drug called adipotide, which kills the specific blood vessels that feed white fat cells. White fat cells are linked not only to weight gain, but also type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and the growth of prostate tumors.

Unlike the five monkeys on the placebo (inactive drug), the monkeys taking the adipotide had these results:

  • Ate less and lost an average of 11 percent of their body weight.
  • Had big losses in waist size and body mass index (BMI), a measure of body weight relative to height.
  • Improved their ability to process insulin, a hormone that helps the body use blood sugar for energy.

The results support two earlier studies with similar findings in mice. While monkeys treated with the drug had mild kidney side effects, these changes went away quickly when the treatment ended. At that point, the monkeys also returned to their previous eating habits and began to regain the weight. These factors may somewhat limit the drug’s use in humans.

Even so, as the biology of monkeys is close to that of humans, the new study offers hope that the drug may help some people in the future. To that end, the researchers are now conducting a clinical trial with people who have obesity and advanced prostate tumors to study the drug's ability to promote weight loss in these patients.

Article Information

Barnhart KF, Christianson DR, Hanley PW, et al. A peptidomimetic targeting white fat causes weight loss and improved insulin resistance in obese monkeys. Science Translational Medicine. 2011;3(108):108ra112.

Kim DH, Woods SC, Seeley RJ. Peptide designed to elicit apoptosis in adipose tissue endothelium reduces food intake and body weight. Diabetes. 2010;59(4):907–915.

Kolonin MG, Saha PK, Chan L, Pasqualini R, Arap W. Reversal of obesity by targeted ablation of adipose tissue. Natural Medicine. 2004;10:625–632.


CDC Releases Guidelines to Create Healthier Schools

Nine guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may help schools boost the health of their students. The School Health Guidelines to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity are based on research, as well as input from other federal organizations.

The Guidelines report that in the United States about one-fifth of children ages 6 to 19 are obese. To address the high rate of obesity and concerns about related health conditions, the CDC suggests ways that schools can teach and promote healthy habits to students:

  • Provide a quality school meal program and ensure that other food and drink choices are appealing and healthy.
  • Offer a physical activity program based on quality physical education that integrates time for physical movement beyond the gym.
  • Provide health education that prepares students for lifelong healthy eating and regular physical activity.

Other guidelines suggest involving parents and community members in health efforts, providing wellness programs for school employees, and creating supportive school settings. The full report includes all nine guidelines, as well as tips to help schools put the guidelines into practice.

Article Information

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. School health guidelines to promote healthy eating and physical activity. MMWR Recommendations and Reports. 2011;60(RR-5):1–76.


Learn More Online

Read the full report at [PDF format - 40.5 Kb].

For health tips for teens, see WIN’s Take Charge of Your Health! in English and in Spanish.


NIH Funds Weight-control Interventions for Pregnant Women

A new research effort supported by NIH seeks to help overweight or obese pregnant women control weight gain during pregnancy. These women and their children have a higher risk of developing health problems, such as gestational diabetes mellitus for the mother and type 2 diabetes for the child. The research effort aims to pinpoint what approaches work best to help the women and children participating in the study attain healthy weights.

The NIH effort involves funding of seven different lifestyle intervention programs, which will begin recruiting in late 2012. Together called Lifestyle Interventions for Expectant Moms, the programs will recruit participants as early as possible in their first trimester. The studies will follow each mother and her baby for at least 1 year after the birth of her child to assess the impact of lifestyle changes on several outcomes in both mother and child.

Although researchers will conduct the studies at separate sites across the country and in Puerto Rico, they will track some of the same factors so that a core data set across the programs can be compared. This will help scientists identify results important to future interventions.

Several NIH components are providing support for this project. In addition to NIDDK, these components include the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine; the Office of Research on Women's Health; and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research.

The seven clinical centers and the researchers are listed below, along with researchers at George Washington University's Research Coordinating Unit.

Clinical Centers

  • California Polytechnic Institute/Brown University—Suzanne Phelan, Ph.D.; Rena Wing, Ph.D.
  • NIDDK Phoenix Medical Center—William Knowler, M.D., Dr.PH.
  • Northwestern University—Linda Van Horn, Ph.D.; Alan Peaceman, M.D.
  • Pennington Biomedical Research Center—Corby Martin, Ph.D.; Leanne Redman, Ph.D.
  • St. Luke’s Hospital/Columbia University—Xavier Pi-Sunyer, M.D.; Dympna Gallagher, Ed.D.
  • University of Puerto Rico/Harvard University—Kaumudi Joshipura, Sc.D.; Frank Hu, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Washington University in St. Louis—Samuel Klein, M.D.; Kelly Moley, M.D.; Debra Haire-Joshu, Ph.D.

Research Coordinating Unit

  • George Washington University—Elizabeth Thom, Ph.D.; Rebecca Clifton, Ph.D.

Learn More Online

Read the grant announcement at

For ideas to help women stay healthy before, during, and after pregnancy, read WIN’s Fit for Two: Tips for Pregnancy. Also check out the Spanish version of this publication.


NIA Assists Older Adults in Getting and Staying Active

The Go4Life campaign, led by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), helps people who are 50 and older make physical activity part of their daily lives. The campaign involves a team of federal and nonfederal organizations, including the NIDDK. The NIA works with this team to set up and promote public events and share research-based materials that may help older adults get moving.

The campaign responds to concerns that older adults are not as active as they could be. Research shows that physical activity helps adults remain healthy, happy, and independent longer. The campaign website has picture-based steps for many physical activities, tips for getting started, online virtual coaches, success stories, videos, and free materials (including some in Spanish). The NIA invites other organizations to join the Go4Life team, share materials, and link to the campaign website.


Learn More Online

Learn more about Go4Life at Exit Disclaimer.

WIN’s Young at Heart brochure also provides health tips for older adults. Read it online in English and in Spanish.


Online USDA Database Supports Healthy Eating on a Budget

Do you need easy, healthy, low-cost recipes? Look no further than the SNAP-Ed Connection Recipe Finder Database. This resource is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which helps low-income people eat healthy foods.

The recipes will please people who have a variety of tastes and backgrounds. All recipes comply with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. The wide range of recipes includes meatloaf, crispy oven-fried chicken, New Orleans red beans, African and Hawaiian dishes, burritos, and gazpacho. Some recipes include rankings, and each has yield and cost information.


Learn More Online

The database is available in English at and Spanish at


Let’s Move Outside Gets Kids Active Outdoors

Part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign, Let’s Move Outside ( promotes children's health through outdoor physical activity. In the "What to do" section of the website, you can find fun, free ways to get children active outside. The "Where to go" section links you to sites where you can locate parks, biking and hiking paths, playgrounds, gardens, and other outdoor areas close to your home.


Take the President’s Challenge and Track Your Progress Online

The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition invites you or your health group to use an online tool to track progress toward health goals. The Council hosts a free, ongoing challenge to get people of all ages to be physically active and eat healthy foods.

People who take the challenge work toward the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA+). Each week, participants log their physical activity and set goals for healthy eating. To track your progress and earn your award, you can either create an online account for the PALA+ tracking tool or print a paper version of the lifestyle log.


Learn More Online

Visit the PALA+ website at challenge/active/
 Exit Disclaimer.

Create an online account at Exit Disclaimer.


Share New WIN Materials with Teens

Based on the ever-popular brochure Take Charge of Your Health! A Guide for Teenagers!, two colorful new tip sheets for teens promote healthy eating and physical activity. Whether you have teens in your family or serve teens in the community, you can support their health by posting these back-to-back guides on bulletin boards and refrigerators for quick reference.

Charge Up! Healthy Meals and Snacks for Teens offers teens ideas for healthy eating around the clock.

Get Moving! suggests ways teens can move more and stay active, both indoors and outdoors.

You can also order print copies of these tip sheets or Take Charge by calling this toll-free number: 1–877–946–4627.


WIN Coordinating Panel Discusses Community Outreach

The WIN Coordinating Panel Meeting in October 2011 brought together people who use WIN materials in many places: health clinics, YMCAs, places of worship, and aerobics classes, to name just a few. Though Coordinating Panel members work in many sites across the country, they all use WIN materials in their Sisters Together or other programs to help people eat healthy foods, get regular physical activity, and reach and stay at a healthy weight. The group shared ideas and talked about ways to work with each other and WIN in the future.


Learn More Online

For more information about the groups represented at the WIN Coordinating Panel Meeting, please visit their websites:

Center of Wellness for Urban Women, Inc. Exit Disclaimer

Jefferson County Department of Health Exit Disclaimer

La Clínica del Pueblo Exit Disclaimer

Lexington-Fayette County Health Department Exit Disclaimer

New Madrid County Health Department Exit Disclaimer

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Exit Disclaimer

YMCA of Metropolitan Washington Exit Disclaimer


Find WIN on Facebook

If you’re on Facebook, be sure to "like" WIN at Exit Disclaimer. Once you do, you’ll see our weekly updates. We post health tips, links to new and updated resources, and news of our activities, as well as relevant activities of other federal agencies. We also have a "WIN on the Road" area where you can see where we will exhibit in the coming months.


Partner Programs Boost Community Health across the Nation

Health leaders around the country team with WIN to bring WIN resources to people in their own communities. For example, Ms. Barbi Moore, a nutrition educator with the Jefferson County Department of Health in Birmingham, AL, hands out several WIN publications, including Use the World Around You to Stay Healthy and Fit [PDF format - 384 Kb]. Ms. Moore serves as a resource person for Jefferson County, coordinating talks and providing materials on healthy eating to people of all ages. She also promotes WIN’s Sisters Together program. She provides WIN materials during major events at Birmingham's Railroad Park, a 19-acre green space and outdoor activity center, and makes materials available in clinics around her county.

Another person using WIN resources in her work is Ms. Irmina Ulysse, who directs the Diabetes Prevention Program of the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington. This program helps people at high risk for type 2 diabetes reduce their chances of developing the disease. The program features 16 hour-long sessions in which a trained lifestyle coach teaches about healthy eating, physical activity, and behavior change. Ms. Ulysse uses WIN materials to support program participants and attract new people to the program. She featured tips from WIN’s publication Energize Yourself and Your Family in the winter issue of her program’s e-newsletter. WIN’s logo appeared below the tips so that readers would know where to find more information. WIN encourages people to extract tips from its publications, as well as to copy and distribute entire publications.


Learn More Online

Visit the website of the Jefferson County Department of Health at Exit Disclaimer.

Find out more about the Diabetes Prevention Program at the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington at Exit Disclaimer.

For tips and other suggestions about how you can take better care of yourself to be there for the people who depend on you, check out WIN’s Energize Yourself and Your Family.


Health Champion Mark Johnson Makes the News

Mark Johnson’s fourth Community Weight Loss Challenge was featured in the widely read Lexington Herald-Leader, bringing attention to his longtime Sisters and Brothers Together program. Mr. Johnson, health equity team leader at the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department in Kentucky, co-led the challenge. In the first 3 years of this annual program, more than 800 people lost a group total of over 970 pounds. Mr. Johnson provided Sisters Together and other WIN publications to program participants.


Learn More Online

Read more about Mr. Johnson’s program at
 Exit Disclaimer. You can see photos of the challenge at Exit Disclaimer.


Program and Health Tips

  • Program Tip
    Not sure what to eat at your Sisters Together meeting? Have a recipe swap and taste-testing session in which each participant makes a healthy dish and brings copies of the recipe. People can share dishes and swap recipe cards. It makes for a fun session.
  • Physical Activity Tip
    Too busy to exercise? You do not have to do your daily 30 minutes of exercise all at once to be healthy. Instead, you can take three 10-minute walks throughout the day.
  • Healthy Eating Tip
    Add color and variety to your meal with red, orange, and dark-green vegetables, whether fresh, frozen, or canned. Use tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli in main and side dishes for an extra helping of health.


American Dietetic Association Becomes Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

The American Dietetic Association has changed its name to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The new name was chosen to let people know about the group’s key role in the field’s history and its focus on education and food science to help everyone live more healthily.


Learn More Online

Visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website at Exit Disclaimer to find resources on healthy eating for the general public, registered dietitians, and other health care providers.

Stay Tuned to WIN Notes in Fall 2012

Watch for the next newsletter, where you will find tips to stay active as the temperature changes and to enjoy healthy eating in the harvest season.


Tell Us What You Think!

  • What articles did you enjoy or find most useful in this edition of WIN Notes?
  • What topics would you like to see addressed in WIN Notes?
  • Where do you use or distribute WIN Notes? (health clinic, research facility, school, at home for personal information)
  • Do you have any other comments or questions?

Please send your responses, questions, or other comments to the Editor at

WIN publications are not under copyright restrictions. Readers may make unlimited copies.

NIH Publication No.: 12–7410


WIN Notes has gone green.

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To contact WIN, call toll free 1–877–946–4627; fax: 202–828–1028; email:;
or write Weight-control Information Network, 1 WIN Way, Bethesda, MD 20892–3665.

Last Modified: November 16, 2012

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