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Artist: Michael Vincent, courtesy of the University of Illinois

A University of Illinois-led study found women who added an avocado a day to meals showed a healthier distribution of visceral fat vs. subcutaneous fat around the abdomen after three months. The research was published this summer in the Journal of Nutrition.

  • Local scientist angle: The study was led by Naiman Khan, an Illinois professor of kinesiology and community health.

Why it matters: Subcutaneous fat, found right beneath the skin, is relatively harmless when it comes to disease. But visceral fat (which lies behind the abdominal wall and around organs) is associated with higher risk of Type 2 diabetes — one of the biggest drivers of illness and health care costs in the nation.

Details: The study followed 105 men and women over 12 weeks. The random sample of subjects was divided into two groups. Each group ate mostly the same controlled diet. But one of those diets included a Hass avocado each day (the study was funded by Hass Avocado Board).

While the women saw changes in fat distribution, the men didn't.

  • "Learning that the benefits were only evident in females tells us a little bit about the potential for sex playing a role in dietary intervention responses," Khan said in a statement.

What they're saying: Northwestern Medicine nutrition researcher Bethany Doerfler, who was not involved in the study, applauded it and called it "well designed."

  • But she wanted to know if the avocado eaters had changed their lifestyles in any other ways that might affect the outcome. The study only provided dietary data.

Go deeper

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
Oct 9, 2021 - Health

A generational shift on women's health

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

When it comes to women's health, Americans — and the advertisers that market to them — are getting blunter.

What's happening: Women's health is undergoing a generational cultural change. Younger women talk more openly about their periods and sexual health concerns — and more companies are marketing to them with messages that women only whispered about a few years ago.

Oct 10, 2021 - Health

Pfizer to vaccinate entire Brazilian city as part of study

A health care worker administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to a teenager on Paqueta Island, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil. Photo: Maria Magdalena Arrellaga/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Pfizer will vaccinate all residents over the age of 12 in the Brazilian city of Toledo as part of a study measuring the effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine, the company said in a statement.

Why it matters: Researchers in the study hope to monitor viral transmission in a real-life scenario after the population has been inoculated.

CNN suspends Chris Cuomo indefinitely

Chris Cuomo in 2019. Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for THR

CNN announced Tuesday evening that it has suspended anchor Chris Cuomo indefinitely following new revelations about his involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Driving the news: New documents released Monday showed that Cuomo used his contacts to garner information about the women accusing his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, of sexual harassment, as well as of emerging media coverage relating to the scandal.

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