Intermittent Fasting for Obesity and more: What’s the Evidence for or against? Episode 86 of my Causes or Cures Podcast!
Should we try intermittent fasting for obesity? Will it work in the short-term and the long-term? What are some of its other evidence-based health benefits? Those are some questions I have about intermittent fasting or IF.
I’ve been interested in the health benefits from intermittent fasting for a while. I practice it, though I fell into it accidentally and don’t necessarily follow one of the IF designated types. I’d say IF and learning how to uncouple my eating habits from my emotions together make up my diet. Anecdotally, I like the way IF makes me feel. I also feel like it’s made me more productive, and I think it’s because it enhanced my self-discipline and ability to focus on tasks that don’t involve food. When I do eat, I try to eat healthy, whole foods, but I don’t cut out any food groups and eat what I want. But I’m an anecdote…, and while many other people practice IF, it’s always good to check in with good science and see if there is actual evidence to support IF. And, while more research is needed, there IS evidence published in top medical journals to support IF as a dietary practice.
In a recent episode of Causes or Cures (Episode 86 to be exact), I chatted with Dr. Nathorn Chaiyaknapruk about his recent study on intermittent fasting published in JAMA Network. On the podcast we talk about his study and interest in IF, what he and his study partners concluded about the health benefits of IF, how you can tell the difference between health benefits from IF vs health benefits from calorie restriction, what the evidence says about IF being beneficial for specific diseases, and if intermittent fasting for obesity is something we should try. In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic and the opioid epidemic, we are battling an obesity epidemic too. In fact, our obesity epidemic has made our COVID-19 epidemic worse since COVID-19 patients with obesity are more likely to be hospitalized, have serious complications and die. During these last two years of battling COVID, a lot of people have complained that public health professionals don’t talk enough about our “obesity problem” even though it’s clearly linked to worsening COVID-19 symptoms. While we can’t change obesity overnight, especially when up against a fast-moving, airborne virus, I wanted to use my podcast to bring on experts who are actively studying ways to address our obesity problem. So in addition to Dr. Chaiyaknapruk, expect more episodes having to deal with tackling obesity or being overweight and unhealthy in general.
Dr. Chaiyakunapruk is a researcher and professor in the Department of Pharmacotherapy at the University of Utah College of Pharmacy in Salt Lake City. He earned his Doctorate of Pharmacy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his PhD in Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research and Policy Program from the University of Washington. You can read his full bio and research publications here.
You can listen to the episode on Intermittent Fasting for Obesity and more here.
By the way, in a previous Causes or Cures episode, I had on Dr. Mark Mattson, a Johns Hopkins neuroscientists, to discuss health benefits of IF. He’s considered by many to be the “Father of Intermittent Fasting.” Being a neuroscientist, he had some really interesting things to say about IF and brain health. You can learn more about that episode and link to the podcast episode here.
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See you soon!- Eeks