In this presentation made at a recent presentation 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 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 epidemiologic studies. According to Dr. Hu, systems epidemiology is at the very intersction of human observational studies and the concept of systems biology. In this presentation, he reviews the genetic effects of various common food items 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 presented supports the need for a healthy diet and lifestyle in order to attenuate the obesity loci on our genes and we need multiple prospective cohort studies in order to replicate results.

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