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Period: April 1, 2014 to April 15, 2014
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Smaller Cereal Flakes Increase Total Weight Of Cereal Serving – And Caloric Intake

U.S. researchers who tested the influence of food volume on calorie intake – they used a rolling pin to gradually reduce the size of cereal flakes and the volume by weight – found that smaller flake size led to increased caloric consumption. Even though people poured a smaller volume of the crushed cereal into their bowls, they ended up eating more cereal by weight – and more calories. As the volumes decreased, people thought they were eating less cereal and the same or fewer calories, “but instead they ended up significantly overeating”. The researchers recommended that, when eating cereals with small pieces, people should reduce the recommended serving size to account for the low volume.

"Variations in Cereal Volume Affect the Amount Selected and Eaten for Breakfast", Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, April 26, 2014

Diet Sodas Linked To Cardiovascular Problems In Postmenopausal Women

Researchers who analyzed data from nearly 60,000 women found a significant relationship between diet drink consumption, heart attacks and mortality in those who had reached menopause. The U.S. study compared cardiovascular outcomes among women who never or rarely drank diet beverages and those who consumed two or more a day. Heavy diet soda drinkers were 30 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack and 50 percent more likely to die from coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, coronary revascularization procedure, ischemic stroke, and peripheral arterial disease. The researchers acknowledged that they had only found an association, not a cause and effect relationship.

"Too many diet drinks may spell heart trouble for older women, study suggests", News release, study presented at the American College of Cardiology's scientific session, March 29, 2014

Evidence Of Health Benefits Of Mediterranean Diet Continues To Accumulate

Greek researchers who analyzed data pooled from 19 clinical studies and 162,000 participants found that adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with a 21 percent reduced risk of diabetes when compared to control dietary groups. The effect was especially notable among people at high risk for cardiovascular disease: they were 27 percent less likely to develop diabetes. A Mediterranean diet generally features fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, fish, olive oil and even small amounts of red wine.

"Mediterranean diet may lower risk of diabetes", News release, research presented at the American College of Cardiology's scientific session, March 27, 2014

Watermelon Nutrients Reduce Aortic Blood Pressure In Hypertensive People

More people die of heart attacks in cold weather because cold temperatures cause blood pressure to rise, forcing the heart to work harder to pump blood into the aorta. Researchers at Florida State University who conducted a 12-week study with 13 hypertensive middle-aged obese men and women found that consuming a watermelon extract daily reduced aortic blood pressure both at rest and while their hands were immersed in cold water. Participants took four grams of the amino acid L-citrulline and two grams of L-arginine per day, both from watermelon extract.

"Effects of Watermelon Supplementation on Aortic Hemodynamic Responses to the Cold Pressor Test in Obese Hypertensive Adults.", American Journal of Hypertension, March 25, 2014

Research, Studies, Advice  

Obesity Increases Occurrence Of Cancer In Animal Study

A U.S. study in mice suggests that obesity itself, not diet, makes the colon receptive to cancer and increases the risk. Two groups of mice were fed a high-fat diet. The group that carried a human gene that protects against colorectal cancer did not gain weight. Mice without the gene became obese. But, more importantly, the obese mice exhibited molecular signals in their intestines that led to the progression of cancer. The normal weight mice did not have those same indicators. Preexisting colon lesions in the animals tended to evolve rapidly into malignant tumors. "The same thing may happen in humans," one researcher said.

"Obesity, Rather Than Diet, Drives Epigenomic Alterations in Colonic Epithelium Resembling Cancer Progression. ", Cell Metabolism, April 09, 2014

Soda Taxes Don’t Reduce Obesity Rates – Study

Earlier studies on the impact of taxes on sugary drinks claimed that taxation would reduce obesity by 20 percent. But they were flawed because they relied on household data rather than individual consumption patterns: they assumed people didn’t replace soda calories with calories from another source. But new U.S. research that analyzed national survey data collected between 1989 and 2006 found that hiking soft drink taxes may cut soda drinking, but not total caloric intake because people replace the soda calories. "The impact of soft drink taxes on the body mass index is small in magnitude and not statistically significant," researchers concluded, noting that there should be “fundamental changes to policies” based on soda taxes as a strategy for reducing obesity rates.

"Non-Linear Effects Of Soda Taxes On Consumption And Weight Outcomes", Health Economics, April 04, 2014

Does Calorie Restriction In Primates Reduce Mortality? The Debate Continues

A 2012 National Institute on Aging report on monkeys and diet found no differences in survival or better overall health among animals that were calorie restricted. But University of Wisconsin researchers conducting a 25-year study on the impact of calorie restrictions on monkeys report just the opposite: a significant lengthening of lifespan and reduction in age-related diseases. The discrepancy may be due to differences in the way the animals were fed in the two studies. The Wisconsin study started with two groups of adults, one of which ate 30 percent fewer calories.  The NIA control monkeys, however, were fed according to a standardized food intake chart and may also have been calorie restricted.

"Caloric restriction reduces age-related and all-cause mortality in rhesus monkeys.", Nature Communications, April 01, 2014

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