Top news stories from AMA Morning Rounds®: Week of Sept. 18, 2023


Read AMA Morning Rounds®’ most popular stories in medicine and public health from the week of Sept. 18, 2023–Sept. 22, 2023.

CNN (9/21, McPhillips) reports, “Obesity is becoming more common in a growing number of states, according to new data from the” CDC. The data revealed that last year, “22 states had at least 35% of adults with obesity, up from 19 states in 2021,” with obesity prevalence “highest in Louisiana, Oklahoma and West Virginia, where more than 40% of adults had obesity.”

CNN (9/20, LaMotte) reports, “Eating greater amounts of ultraprocessed food and drinks, especially if those items are artificially sweetened, may be linked to the development of depression,” investigators concluded in a study suggesting “an association between consumption of ultra-processed foods and depression, with an about 50% higher risk for those consuming 9 portions (per day) or more (the top 20%) compared to those consuming four portions or less.”

NBC News (9/20, Sullivan) reports, “The study” examined “the eating habits and mental health status of more than 31,000 women between the ages of 42 and 62,” all of whom were participants in the Nurses’ Health Study II study. The findings were published online Sept. 20 in JAMA Network Open.

NBC News (9/19, Sullivan) reports, “Research published” online in the journal Obesity reveals that “early morning activity—between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.—could help with weight loss.” After examining “two years of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national health and nutrition examination survey, which included the exercise, eating and lifestyle habits of more than 5,200 adults who were at least 20 years old,” investigators found that “people who did moderate to vigorous exercise in the morning had lower body mass indexes than people who exercised at midday or in the evening.”

The Washington Post (9/18, Searing) reports, “The number of U.S. adults who died of heart disease and whose death record cited obesity as a contributing factor was three times greater in 2020 than in 1999,” researchers concluded in findings published online in a preprint in the Journal of the American Heart Association. For the study, investigators analyzed “death certificates in a database maintained by the” CDC in which “there were 281,135 deaths from heart disease linked to obesity in that time range.” The study revealed that “the death rate tripled from 2.2 deaths per 100,000 people to 6.6 deaths per 100,000.”

Healio (9/15, Bascom) reported, “Added sugar, total sugar and fructose from some sources were all linked to a higher risk for coronary heart disease” (CHD), according to findings published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study “analyzed data from 28,878 men enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study from 1986 to 2016 and 76,815 women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study from 1980 to 2020, documenting 9,723 incident CHD cases over 40 years.”

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