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April 29, 2010, 6:34 AM CT

Could organic labels lead you to overeat?

Could organic labels lead you to overeat?
Could organic labels lead you to overeat? These labels certainly appear to make people think their organic snack has a lot fewer calories than it really does.

These findings were presented at this week's Experimental Biology conference in Anaheim, Calif. They showed that people who ate organic cookies labeled as "organic" believed that their snack contained 40% fewer calories than the same cookies that had no label, as per Jenny Wan-Chen Lee, a graduate student with the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.

"An organic label gives a food a 'health halo,' said coauthor, Brian Wansink, Cornell professor and author of the book, Marketing Nutrition. It's the same basic reason people tend to overeat any snack food that's labeled as healthy or low fat. They underestimate the calories and over-reward themselves by eating more."

The study even identified two personality types most likely to make these low estimates people who claim to "commonly buy organic foods," and those who typically read labels for nutritional information.

What if you don't want to overeat an organic food?.

"Take your best guess at its calorie count. Then double it. You'll end up being more accurate, and you'll probably eat a lot less," explained Wansink.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


April 12, 2010, 10:35 PM CT

Women who eat foods with high glycemic index

Women who eat foods with high glycemic index
Consuming carbohydrates with high glycemic indexan indicator of how quickly a food affects blood glucose levelsmay be linked to the risk of coronary heart disease in women but not men, as per a report in the April 12 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

High-carbohydrate diets increase the levels of blood glucose and of harmful blood fats known as triglycerides while reducing levels of protective HDL or "good" cholesterol, thereby increasing heart disease risk, as per background information in the article. However, not all carbohydrates have the same effect on blood glucose levels. The glycemic index is a measure of how much a food raises blood glucose levels compared with the same amount of glucose or white bread. A related measure, the glycemic load, is calculated based on the glycemic index of a given food and also on the total amount of carbohydrates it contains.

Sabina Sieri, Ph.D., of Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy, and his colleagues studied 47,749 Italian adults15,171 men and 32,578 womenwho completed dietary questionnaires. Based on their responses, the scientists calculated their overall carbohydrate intakes as well as the average glycemic index of the foods they consumed and the glycemic loads of their diets. During a median (midpoint) of 7.9 years of follow-up, 463 participants (158 women and 305 men) developed coronary heart disease.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


April 1, 2010, 6:39 AM CT

Small soda taxes may not curb consumption among children

Small soda taxes may not curb consumption among children
Small sales taxes on soft drinks in the range currently in force in some states are insufficient to reduce consumption of soda or curb obesity among children, as per a new RAND Corporation study.

Such small taxes may reduce consumption in some subgroups such as children at greater risk for obesity, but reducing consumption for all children would require larger taxes, as per the study published by the journal Health Affairs

"If the goal is to noticeably reduce soda consumption among children, then it would have to be a very substantial tax" said Roland Sturm, the study's main author and a senior economist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. "A small sales tax on soda does not appear to lead to a noticeable drop in consumption, led alone reduction in obesity".

Taxes on soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages have been proposed as part of a number of anti-obesity efforts, with the goal being to discourage consumption of the high-calorie drinks in order to curb excess weight gain.

Scientists estimated the potential effect of soft drink taxes on children's consumption and weight by examining differences in existing sales taxes on soft drinks between states. Details about state soda taxes were in comparison to information about weight and soda consumption among 7,300 children enrolled in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, which has been gathering information about a national group of children for a number of years.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


April 1, 2010, 6:38 AM CT

Short-term program for binge eaters

Short-term program for binge eaters
A newly released study finds that a self-guided, 12-week program helps binge eaters stop binging for up to a year and the program can also save money for those who participate. Recurrent binge eating is the most common eating disorder in the country, affecting more than three percent of the population, or nine million people, yet few therapy options are available.

But a first-of-a-kind study conducted by scientists at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Wesleyan University and Rutgers University observed that more than 63 percent of participants had stopped binging at the end of the program - in comparison to just over 28 percent of those who did not participate. The program lasted only 12 weeks, but most of the participants were still binge free a year later. A second study, also reported in the recent issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, observed that program participants saved money because they spent less on things like dietary supplements and weight loss programs.

"It is unusual to find a program like this that works well, and also saves the patient money. It's a win-win for everyone," said study author Frances Lynch, PhD, MSPH, a health economist at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research. "This type of program is something that all health care systems should consider implementing".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 31, 2010, 7:53 PM CT

Flavonoids in Orange Juice

Flavonoids in Orange Juice
Eating foods containing flavonoids -- orange juice, in this case -- along with a high-fat, high-carbohydrate fast-food meal neutralizes the oxidative and inflammatory stress generated by the unhealthy food and helps prevent blood vessel damage, a newly released study by University at Buffalo endocrinologists shows.

Free radicals, or reactive oxygen species, are known to induce inflammation in blood vessel linings and contribute to the risk of heart attack and stroke. Study scientists say the potent preventative effect of orange juice likely is associated with its heavy load of the flavonoids naringenin and hesperidin, which are major antioxidants.

"Our data show, for the first time to our knowledge, that drinking orange juice with a meal high in fat and carbohydrates prevented the marked increases in reactive oxygen species and other inflammatory agents," says UB's Husam Ghanim, PhD, first author on the study.

"This did not happen when participants drank water or a sugary drink with the meal," he says. "These issues of inflammation following a meal are important because the resultant high glucose and high triglycerides are known to be correlation to the development of cardiovascular events".

Ghanim is a research assistant professor in UB's Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. The study appears in the recent issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and appeared online ahead of print.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 31, 2010, 7:50 PM CT

Bacon or Bagels For Your Breakfast?

Bacon or Bagels For Your Breakfast?
The age-old maxim "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper" may in fact be the best advice to follow to prevent metabolic syndrome, as per a new University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) study.

Typically metabolic syndrome is characterized by abdominal obesity, high triglycerides, insulin resistance and other cardiovascular disease-risk factors.

The study, published online March 30 in the International Journal of Obesity, examined the influence exerted by the type of foods and specific timing of intake on the development of metabolic syndrome characteristics in mice. The UAB research revealed that mice fed a meal higher in fat after waking had normal metabolic profiles. In contrast, mice that ate a more carbohydrate-rich diet in the morning and consumed a high-fat meal at the end of the day saw increased weight gain, adiposity, glucose intolerance and other markers of the metabolic syndrome.

"Studies have looked at the type and quantity of food intake, but nobody has undertaken the question of whether the timing of what you eat and when you eat it influences body weight, even though we know sleep and altered circadian rhythms influence body weight," said the study's main author Molly Bray, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology in the UAB School of Public Health.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 22, 2010, 7:50 PM CT

Seaweed against obesity

Seaweed against obesity
Seaweed could hold the key to tackling obesity after it was found it reduces fat uptake by more than 75 per cent, new research has shown.

Now the team at Newcastle University are adding seaweed fibre to bread to see if they can develop foods that help you lose weight while you eat them.

A team of researchers led by Dr Iain Brownlee and Prof Jeff Pearson have observed that dietary fibre in one of the world's largest commercially-used seaweed could reduce the amount of fat absorbed by the body by around 75 per cent.

The Newcastle University team observed that Alginate a natural fibre found in sea kelp stops the body from absorbing fat better than most anti-obesity therapys currently available over the counter.

Using an artificial gut, they tested the effectiveness of more than 60 different natural fibres by measuring the amount of fat that was digested and absorbed with each therapy.

Presenting their findings today at the American Chemical Society Spring meeting in San Francisco, Dr Brownlee said the next step was to recruit volunteers and study whether the effects they have modelled in the lab can be reproduced in real people, and whether such foods are truly acceptable in a normal diet.

"The aim of this study was to put these products to the test and our initial findings are that alginates significantly reduce fat digestion," explains Dr Brownlee.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 15, 2010, 8:04 PM CT

How cancer and obesity are linked

How cancer and obesity are linked
The link between obesity and disease has been well documented. There's evidence now that obesity and cancer have a strong link, as they've shown in the United States at least 90,000 cancer deaths a year can be attributed to obesity. University of Alberta researcher Richard Lamb is on his way to understanding the correlation and it's a good example of how the scientific process works.

Lamb is studying a cell pathway in the human body that regulates cell growth. In their most recent work, Lamb and his research group have observed that this pathway can be affected by sources not within the cell, specifically amino acid nutrients. Amino acids are the building blocks of tissues and muscle in the human body.

What makes this interesting is that these amino acids are found to be elevated in obese people. That means this signalling pathway, called mTOR, could be hyper-activated by these heightened amino acid nutrients and this could affect how human cells respond to stress and disease among many other things. Lamb and his team will now investigate if cancer cells are aided by this potential hyper-activity of the pathway.

Lamb's work is reported in the prestigious journal Molecular Cell, and as is normal scientific process, this will elicit calls from scientists around the world who could have other ideas on why this pathway is relevant to disease.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 12, 2010, 8:01 AM CT

Weight-Bearing Exercise Does Not Prevent Increased Bone Turnover

Weight-Bearing Exercise Does Not Prevent Increased Bone Turnover
In a new study, MU researchers found that weight-bearing exercise, in this case, fast walking or jogging, did not prevent the increased bone turnover caused by weight loss.
While there are a number of benefits of losing weight, weight reduction also might negatively affect bones in the body. During weight loss, bones are being remodeled - breaking down old bone and forming new bone - at an accelerated rate. As a result, bone density is reduced, causing increased fragility. In a newly released study, University of Missouri scientists observed that weight-bearing exercise, in this case, fast walking or jogging, did not prevent the increased bone turnover caused by weight loss.

"Accelerated bone turnover is not favorable, but the potential negative consequences of increased bone turnover do not outweigh the numerous other health benefits of weight loss," said Pam Hinton, associate professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology in the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences. "Adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D may minimize the reduction in bone density during weight loss".

In the study, Hinton examined bone turnover markers in the blood of overweight, premenopausal women. These bone markers, which are released by the bone cells that are involved in bone breakdown and formation, are used as indirect indicators of bone remodeling. After six weeks, women who lost 5 percent of their body weight by adhering to a calorie-restricted diet and participating in weight-bearing exercise experienced an increase in bone turnover markers.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


February 25, 2010, 1:42 AM CT

Obesity, physical inactivity and arthritis

Obesity, physical inactivity and arthritis
Scientists from the Toronto Western Research Institute noted a higher prevalence of arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitations (AAL) in the U.S. versus the Canadian population. The authors attribute the higher prevalence of arthritis and AAL to a greater level of obesity and physical inactivity in Americans, especially women. Full findings of this study are reported in the recent issue of Arthritis Care & Research, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology.

Arthritis is the leading cause of physical disability, and one of the most frequently reported chronic conditions in the U.S. and Canada. Those in mid to late life are especially vulnerable to this disabling condition, which is expected to increase in both countries due to the aging baby boomer population. As per a 2005 figure from the National Arthritis Data Workgroup more than 21% of American adults (46 million) have arthritis or another rheumatic condition and over 60% of arthritis patients are women. The 2008 Canadian Community Health Survey reported 15.3% (4.3 million) of Canadians have some form of arthritis, with more women then men affected.

This study is the first to provide a direct comparison of U.S. and Canadian data in search of between-country disparities linked to the prevalence of arthritis and AAL. The authors analyzed results from the Joint Canada/United States Survey of Health (JCUSH) conducted in cooperation by Statistics Canada and the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics during 2002-2003. Data were obtained for 3,505 Canadians and 5,183 Americans with an overall response rate of 65.5% and 50.2%, respectively.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Exercise can't stop the aging process, but experts at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston say that for the elderly, whether it's weight training, walking, swimming or biking, 30 minutes of exercise three to five times a week is a good prescription for aging."It's never too late to start exercising," said Dr. Robert Roush, an associate professor of medicine-geriatrics at BCM. "Being physically active and exercising regularly can help prevent or delay some diseases and disabilities as people age.".

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