In this presentation made at The New York Academy of Sciences, Frank Hu, MD, PhD, Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School, provides an edifying overview of the relationship between nutrition and metabolic diseases.
Dr. Hu delves deep into systems epidemiology, which integrates a wide range of information from genetic predisposition, epigenetics, genetic expression and other factors into population-based epidemiological studies. According to Dr. Hu, systems epidemiology exists at the intersection of human observational studies and the concept of systems biology. In the presentation, he reviews the genetic impact of common food ingredients or categories, including caffeine, sugar sweetened beverages and branched chain amino acids to name a few, and their effect on type 2 diabetes. The evidence Dr. Hu presents supports the importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle in order to attenuate the obesity loci on our genes. Additional research, including multiple prospective cohort studies, will add value to the understanding of nutrition, obesity and diabetes.