Dr. Scott Harding - March 12

Modifiable Risk Factors and Cardiometabolic Diseases – Nutrition and Lifestyle: What Should You Modify?

This seminar will explore current diet and lifestyle factors that affect an individual’s cardiometabolic risk profile, in particular, dietary sugar intake and habitual sleep patterns. Research and debate surrounding the links between diet, lifestyles and chronic disease is currently very topical in nutritional and health sciences research and in the popular media. However, the loudest voices on the popular press side of this issue may not be as objective as those in the scientific community, yet those in the press (researcher and reporter alike) have the greater effect on public opinion and behavior. Thus, tackling the current unknowns in these areas in order to inform the scientific community and general population is very important. Therefore, this seminar will firstly look at the ethnic-specific metabolic responses to high fructose and glucose feeding and address several reasons why consensus on the metabolic impact of dietary sugar intake is so difficult to establish. This will be followed by a discussion of our next steps in fructose metabolism research as it relates to lifestyle, dietary patterns and disease risk. Lastly, with regards to lifestyle factors as drivers of both cardiometabolic risk and dietary behaviours, the seminar will present our recent data showing the impact of sleep patterns on energy balance and cardiometabolic risk factors. This work addresses a critical gap in the research as there is a growing body of data pointing toward shortened or interrupted sleep as an independent factor relating to cardiometabolic risk development but little to no data showing that longer sleep duration or reduced sleep interruption is either healthier or reverses these risks. Overall, this work provides evidence for a better understanding of how lifestyle factors link with dietary factors in contributing to cardiometabolic disease risk and supports the need for more metabolic research, in both humans and animal models, to investigate these relationships.

Dr. Harding is a candidate for the position of Assistant Professor in Nutritional Biochemistry



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