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December 17, 2008, 10:34 PM CT

Fast Food Meals Are Smaller, Have Fewer Calories

Fast Food Meals Are Smaller, Have Fewer Calories
A new study in the Review of Agricultural Economics compares fast food and table service meals at restaurants. Results show that both are larger and have more calories than meals prepared at home, with the typical fast food meal being smaller and having fewer calories than the average meal from a table service restaurant.

James K. Binkley of Purdue University used data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals, which is the most recently available large sample of information regarding nutritional intake, to analyze fast food, table service restaurant meals, and meals prepared at home.

Fast food was found to be more energy dense than food from a table service restaurant. However, Binkley observed that fast food meals tend to be smaller. Consequently, the typical fast food meal had fewer calories than the average meal from a table service restaurant, whether the diner is an adult, teenager, or child.

But, the study observed that table service diners are more likely to reduce their food consumption during the rest of the day than are those eating at fast food restaurants, most likely because of the difference in energy density. As a result, fast food may ultimately result in more calories.

Perhaps the most surprising result of the study was the finding that fast food had the largest effects for adults, and that children's caloric intakes were greatest when they ate at table service restaurants.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 17, 2008, 10:31 PM CT

Women Prefer Prestige Over Dominance in Mates

Women Prefer Prestige Over Dominance in Mates
A new study in the journal Personal Relationships reveals that women prefer mates who are recognized by their peers for their skills, abilities, and achievements, while not preferring men who use coercive tactics to subordinate their rivals. Indeed, women found dominance strategies of the latter type to be attractive primarily when men used them in the context of male-male athletic competitions.

Jeffrey K. Snyder, Lee A. Kirkpatrick, and H. Clark Barrett conducted three studies with college women at two U.S. universities. Participants reviewed hypothetical potential mates described in written vignettes. The studies were designed to examine the respective effects of men's dominance and prestige on women's assessments of men.

Women are sensitive to the context in which men display domineering behaviors when they evaluate men as potential mates. For example, the traits and behaviors that women found attractive in athletic competitions were unattractive to women when men displayed the same traits and behaviors in interpersonal contexts. Notably, when considering prospective partners for long-term relationships, women's preferences for dominance decrease, and their preferences for prestige increase.

"These findings directly contradict the dating advice of some pop psychology experts who advise men to be aggressive in their social interactions. Women most likely avoid dominant men as long-term romantic partners because a dominant man may also be domineering in the household." the authors conclude.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 16, 2008, 9:45 PM CT

Unpasteurized milk poses health risks

Unpasteurized milk poses health risks
With disease outbreaks linked to unpasteurized milk rising in the United States, a review published in the January 1, 2009 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases examines the dangers of drinking raw milk.

Milk and dairy products are cornerstones of a healthy diet. However, if those products are consumed unpasteurized, they can present a serious health hazard because of possible contamination with pathogenic bacteria. An average of 5.2 outbreaks per year linked to raw milk have occurred in the United States between 1993 and 2006more than double the rate in the previous 19 years, according to co-authors Jeffrey T. LeJeune and Pivi J. Rajala-Schultz of the College of Veterinary Medicine in Columbus, Ohio.

Contamination can occur at the time of collection, processing, distribution, or storage of milk, the authors write. Many pathogens can be found in the dairy farm environment, which can contaminate the teat skin of dairy cows and consequently the milk at the time when cows are milked. For example, Salmonella and E. coli have been reported in pooled milk collected from farms., Outbreaks of salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis, and E. coli related to raw milk consumption have been reported since 2005.

Although the sale of raw milk was illegal in 26 states as of 2006, the authors note that those who are opposed to pasteurization have found ways to circumvent the law and obtain raw milk. For example, participants in "cow-share" programs pay for the upkeep of the cow and receive raw milk in exchange, rather than buying raw milk outright.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 16, 2008, 8:27 PM CT

New study 'pardons' the misunderstood egg

New study 'pardons' the misunderstood egg
A study recently published online in the journal Risk Analysis(1) estimates that eating one egg per day is responsible for less than 1 percent of the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in healthy adults. Alternatively, lifestyle factors including poor diet, smoking, obesity and physical inactivity contribute 30 to 40 percent of heart disease risk, depending on gender. This study adds to more than thirty years of research showing that healthy adults can eat eggs without significantly affecting their risk of heart disease.



Study Background


The study reviewed the risk of heart disease linked to egg consumption in comparison to modifiable lifestyle risk factors (smoking, poor diet, being overweight or obese, physical inactivity). The study authors used data from the 1999-2000 and 2001-2001 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) to categorize the U.S. adult population into various groups based on modifiable lifestyle risks. These populations account for 85 percent of all U.S. males ages 25 and older and 86 percent of U.S. females ages 25 and older.



Study Findings


The study observed that the consumption of one egg per day contributes less than 1 percent of heart disease risk. Modifiable lifestyle risk factors smoking, poor diet, being overweight or obese and physical inactivity accounted for 30 to 40 percent of heart disease risk, while unavoidable risk factors, such as genetics, and potentially treatable risk factors, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, accounted for 60 to 70 percent.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 16, 2008, 8:22 PM CT

GPs 'could do more' to help obese avoid surgery

GPs 'could do more' to help obese avoid surgery
Surgery to treat obesity could be avoided if GPs and healthcare trusts put more time and money into early stage weight management programmes, a senior clinical researcher will say today (Wednesday, 17 December, 2008).

And he will say that patients suffering from obesity face a "post code lottery" when seeking access to specialist care.

Speaking at the British Pharmacological Society's Winter Meeting in Brighton today, Dr Nick Finer, Clinical Director, Wellcome Clinical Research Facility at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, will call for anti-obesity drugs to be more widely used.

Dr Finer will say that these drugs are cost-effective interventions and do work if correctly used.

But he will add that in some patients early potential for drug therapy to prevent the later need for surgery is being missed - due to the reluctance of primary care doctors to treat obesity.

In his presentation, entitled 'Clinical challenges: can current drugs compete with surgery?', Dr Finer will be discussing the place of drug therapy in the management of obesity.

Dr Finer said: "About one third of people taking the two drugs currently licensed for obesity management, in conjunction with a diet and lifestyle programme, will achieve a 10 per cent weight loss and around half a five per cent loss. Weight loss is well maintained if drug therapy is continued.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 16, 2008, 8:17 PM CT

Girls have superior sense of taste to boys

Girls have superior sense of taste to boys
How many taste buds have you got? As part of the large-scale experiment, pupils from all over Denmark had to colour their tongue bright blue with fruit dye and count the number of taste buds in a certain section of the tongue. Pupils from Amager Fælled School in Copenhagen. Photo: Peter Willersted
Girls have a better sense of taste than boys. Every third child of school age prefers soft drinks which are not sweet. Children and young people love fish and do not think of themselves as being fussy eaters. Boys have a sweeter tooth than girls. Teenagers taste differently. And finally, schoolchildren in northern Denmark have the best taste buds.

The findings of the world's largest study so far on the ability of children and young people to taste and what they like have now been published. The study was conducted jointly by Danish Science Communication, food researchers from The Faculty of Life Sciences (LIFE) at University of Copenhagen and 8,900 Danish schoolchildren.

In September, 8,900 schoolchildren from all over Denmark took part in a large-scale experiment conducted by Danish Science Communication and The Faculty of Life Sciences (LIFE) at University of Copenhagen. It is the first time that such a large-scale study has been done on the sense of taste of children and young people and what they like to eat.

Danish schoolchildren help scientists

One of the reasons why it was possible to include so a number of children and young people in the study was that the experiment itself was conducted in quite an unorthodox way: It was planned as a 'mass experiment' in conjunction with this year' s natural science festival at Danish primary and secondary schools.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 16, 2008, 8:11 PM CT

Abused Women Seek More Infant Health Care

Abused Women Seek More Infant Health Care
Pregnant women who experience intimate partner violence (IPV) before, during or after pregnancy often suffer adverse health effects, including depression, post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and chronic mental illness. Now, University of Missouri scientists have observed that women who experience intimate partner violence are more likely to seek health care for their infants than non-abused women. Awareness of mothers with frequent infant health concerns can help health care providers identify and provide aid to women in abusive relationships.

"Health care providers should view frequent calls or visits for common infant health concerns as red flags," said Linda Bullock, professor in the MU Sinclair School of Nursing. "Eventhough it can be difficult for providers to see beyond immediate concerns, the findings suggest that considering only voiced concerns may represent lost opportunities to intervene on more critical health matters that impact mothers and children. Providers have a chance to help mothers who may not voice concerns about intimate partner violence".

In the study, more than 60 percent of women who experienced intimate partner violence sought health consultations for their infants. Abused women were more likely to seek infant care, reported more stress, were more depressed, and had less support than non-abused women. Less than 54 percent of non-abused women sought infant health consultations. Bullock said significant maternal stress may be a contributing factor to increased infant care. Additionally, women may use their children's health care problems as a way to seek help for themselves.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 15, 2008, 5:20 AM CT

Later school start times may improve sleep in adolescents

Later school start times may improve sleep in adolescents
A study in the Dec. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine shows that after a one-hour delay of school start times, teens increased their average nightly hours of sleep and decreased their "catch-up sleep" on the weekends, and they were involved in fewer auto accidents.

When school started one hour later students averaged from 12 minutes (grade nine) to 30 minutes (grade 12) more self-reported nightly sleep. The percentage of students who got at least eight hours of sleep per weeknight increased significantly from 35.7 percent to 50 percent; students who got at least nine hours of sleep also increased from 6.3 percent to 10.8 percent. The average amount of additional weekend sleep, or "catch-up sleep," decreased from 1.9 hours to 1.1 hours. Daytime sleepiness decreased, as reported by students using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Average crash rates for teen drivers in the study county in the two years after the change in school start time dropped 16.5 percent in comparison to the two years previous to the change, while teen crash rates for the rest of the state increased 7.8 percent over the same time period.

"It is surprising that high schools continue to set their start times early, which impairs learning, attendance and driving safety of the students," said senior author Barbara Phillips, MD, director of the UK Healthcare Good Samaritan Sleep Center in Lexington, Ky.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 15, 2008, 5:19 AM CT

High blood pressure may make it difficult for the elderly to think clearly

High blood pressure may make it difficult for the elderly to think clearly
Adding another reason for people to watch their blood pressure, a new study from North Carolina State University shows that increased blood pressure in elderly adults is directly correlation to decreased cognitive functioning, especially among seniors with already high blood pressure. This means that stressful situations may make it more difficult for some seniors to think clearly.

Dr. Jason Allaire, an assistant professor of psychology at NC State who co-authored the study, explains that study subjects whose average systolic blood pressure was 130 or higher saw a significant decrease in cognitive function when their blood pressure spiked. However, Allaire notes, study subjects whose average blood pressure was low or normal saw no change in their cognitive functioning even when their blood pressure shot up.

Specifically, Allaire says, the study shows a link between blood pressure spikes in seniors with hypertension and a decrease in their inductive reasoning. "Inductive reasoning is important," Allaire says, "because it is essentially the ability to work flexibly with unfamiliar information and find solutions".

Allaire says the findings may indicate that mental stress is partially responsible for the increase in blood pressure and the corresponding breakdown in cognitive functioning. However, Allaire notes that normal fluctuations in blood pressure likely play a role as well.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 11, 2008, 5:16 AM CT

Sugar can be addictive, Princeton scientist says

Sugar can be addictive, Princeton scientist says
A Princeton University scientist will present new evidence today demonstrating that sugar can be an addictive substance, wielding its power over the brains of lab animals in a manner similar to a number of drugs of abuse.

Professor Bart Hoebel and his team in the Department of Psychology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute have been studying signs of sugar addiction in rats for years. Until now, the rats under study have met two of the three elements of addiction. They have demonstrated a behavioral pattern of increased intake and then showed signs of withdrawal. His current experiments captured craving and relapse to complete the picture.

"If bingeing on sugar is really a form of addiction, there should be long-lasting effects in the brains of sugar addicts," Hoebel said. "Craving and relapse are critical components of addiction, and we have been able to demonstrate these behaviors in sugar-bingeing rats in many ways".

At the annual meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology in Scottsdale, Ariz., Hoebel will report on profound behavioral changes in rats that, through experimental conditions, have been trained to become dependent on high doses of sugar.

"We have the first set of comprehensive studies showing the strong suggestion of sugar addiction in rats and a mechanism that might underlie it," Hoebel said. The findings eventually could have implications for the therapy of humans with eating disorders, he said.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Adolescents who suffer physical injuries are vulnerable to emotional distress in the months following their hospitalization, yet almost 40 percent of hospitalized adolescents interviewed for a new study had no source for the follow-up medical care that could diagnose and treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress. These young trauma survivors are at risk for high levels of post-traumatic stress and depressive symptoms, as well as high levels of alcohol use, according to research by researchers at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center.

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