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Period: May 1, 2014 to May 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

Study Shows That Obese Kids Eat Healthful Foods When They Live Closer To Supermarkets

Interventions to help obese children conquer their diet and weight problems work best when the families live near a supermarket, according to a Canadian study. The researchers analyzed data from a randomized, controlled clinical trial involving children aged  six to 12 in 14 pediatric practices in one state. The study compared the results of two different interventions that focused on the type of support provided to the families by the physicians. Though living closer to a supermarket did not affect consumption of sugary drinks, it did help increase the intake of fruits and vegetables. Kids who lived farther away also had larger body mass indexes.

"Proximity to Supermarkets Modifies Intervention Effects on Diet and Body Mass Index Changes in an Obesity Randomized Trial", Study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting, May 03, 2014

Seminal Study Of Inuits, Whale Blubber Diet And Heart Disease Called Into Question

Forty years ago two Danish scientists suggested that a whale and seal blubber diet protected the Inuit of Greenland from coronary artery disease. Nutritionists and physicians have relied on those findings in recommending oily fish to protect arteries. But a new Canadian study that looked at data from four decades of research shows that the Inuit actually did suffer from coronary artery disease (CAD), but it was underreported to medical authorities because of the difficulty of collecting health information from people in remote areas.  The new investigation shows that the Inuit not only are just as likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease as non-Inuits, but they have very high rates of mortality due to strokes.

"“Fishing” for the origins of the “Eskimos and heart disease” story. Facts or wishful thinking? A review", Canadian Journal of Cardiology, May 01, 2014

Whey Protein Offers Significant Health Benefits To Pre-Diabetic Obese People

Danish research shows that meals supplemented with whey protein could help improve metabolism for people who are obese but not yet diabetic. For the study, participants ate the same meal of soup and bread plus one kind of protein: whey, gluten, casein or cod. They found that the meal supplemented with whey, which is found in milk and cheese, caused stomachs to empty more slowly. They also had lower levels of fatty acids in their blood after meals and higher amounts of the types of amino acids that boost insulin, which keeps blood sugar levels where they’re supposed to be.

"Whey Protein Delays Gastric Emptying and Suppresses Plasma Fatty Acids and Their Metabolites Compared to Casein, Gluten, and Fish Protein. ", Journal of Proteome Research, April 30, 2014

Acetate Released From Fiber Digestion May Be Key To Controlling Appetite

Researchers in the U.K. have discovered a molecule that may explain why eating high-fiber fruits and vegetables curbs the appetite. Dietary fiber, found in most plants and vegetables, is digested by bacteria in the intestines, where it ferments and releases large amounts of acetate into the bloodstream. Researchers tracked the acetate as it made its way to the brain. On arrival in the hyothalamus, the acetate produces a signal that suppresses the appetite. The researchers said their findings could be helpful in treating obesity if they could figure out either how to deliver acetate to the brain in safe doses, or how to manipulate fiber so that smaller amounts would release larger amounts of acetate.

"The short-chain fatty acid acetate reduces appetite via a central homeostatic mechanism. ", Nature Communications, April 30, 2014

People Under Stress Metabolize Calories Differently, With Unhealthy Results

Highly stressed people who consume a high-fat, high-sugar diet tend to be more at risk for serious health problems than less stressed people who indulge in the same unhealthy diet, a new U.S. study finds. Researchers followed 61 healthy women, 33 of whom were chronically stressed from caring for a spouse or parent with dementia. The women reported their consumption of high sugar, high fat foods for a year. The researchers evaluated key biological markers associated with elevated metabolic risk. More frequent high-fat, high-sugar eating significantly predicted a larger waistline, more truncal fat, higher oxidative damage, and more insulin resistance among the stressed-out women. These women also had higher levels of a stress-related biomarker, peripheral Neuropeptide Y.

" Chronic Stress Increases Vulnerability to Diet-Related Abdominal Fat, Oxidative Stress, and Metabolic Risk. ", Psychoneuroendocrinology, April 29, 2014

Smartphone Technology Can Be An Effective Way To Make Weight Loss Strategies Work

Starting – and failing at – dieting is a familiar experience for the seven of ten Americans who are overweight or obese. Now a U.S. researcher reports that information technology generally, and smartphones and their treasure trove of apps in particular, are helping to improve that situation. The weight loss strategies embraced by the apps have been around a long time. But the apps repackage the good advice and put helpful tools like exercise logs and nutritional databases at dieters’ fingertips. Self-monitoring is the key to  weight loss, according to Cheryl Shigaki, and that is much easier to do with hand-held information technology. Feedback on weight loss progress is an effective motivator that also permits better evaluation of health behaviors.

"Successful weight loss: how information technology is used to lose", Telemedicine and e-Health, April 29, 2014

Tart Cherry Juice Shown To Improve Sleep In Seniors

A U.S. study presented at a recent scientific meeting makes the case that a regular dietary regimen of tart cherry juice effectively combats insomnia, a disorder that has been linked to higher levels of chronic pain, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and dementia in older people. In a small clinical trial, seven insomniacs whose average age was 68 drank eight ounces of tart cherry juice twice daily for two weeks. A two-week washout period followed, then two weeks when they drank another beverage. The people were monitored and completed questionnaires. Those who drank the Montmorency tart cherry juice in the morning and at night slept an hour longer each night (averaging 84 minutes) and their sleep was more efficient.

"Study: Tart Cherry Juice Increases Sleep Time In Adults With Insomnia", News release, Cherry Marketing Institute, April 28, 2014

Statin Users Are Eating More Fat, Undermining The Effect Of The Drug

A U.S. study comparing statin drug users in 2000 and 2010 found the recent group eating more calories and fat, thereby undermining  therapeutic effect of the drugs. The data suggested to researchers that taking statins to lower cholesterol gave patients a “false sense of security” that led to greater body mass index levels and a greater risk of heart disease and other obesity-related health problems. Analyzing data from national health surveys conducted ten years apart, the researchers found that caloric intake among statin users rose 9.6 percent over the decade, and fat consumption rose 14.4 percent. Eating more fat, especially saturated fat, leads to higher cholesterol levels that undermine the purpose of taking statins.

"Different Time Trends of Caloric and Fat Intake Between Statin Users and Nonusers Among US Adults. ", JAMA Internal Medicine, April 28, 2014

Evidence Mounts That Eating Fatty Fish Helps Prevent Cognitive Decline

A group of 895 seniors who were given cognitive tests (i.e., memory, attention, organization and planning, etc.) were also asked how much omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) they ate in the form of seafood. The intake, mostly from canned tuna, was low. Dietary guidelines recommend eight or more ounces of seafood a week, but only 27 percent met or exceeded that level. Comparing omega-3 intake and test results after a two-year follow-up, U.S. researchers said those who ate the smallest amounts were the most likely to experience cognitive decline during the study period. The researchers concluded that intake of fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and trout certainly has health benefits, and may help prevent cognitive decline.

"Diet can predict cognitive decline, researchers say", News release, study presented at the Experimental Biology 2014 meeting, April 27, 2014

Writer Finds It Curious That A Study On Obesity Fails To Mention Sugar Or Soda

A recent article on exercise and obesity published in a scientific journal prompted Forbes writer Larry Husten to question the involvement of food and beverage companies in health-related studies. Three of the five authors of the study that downplayed the role of calories and diet in the obesity epidemic have financial ties to the Coca-Cola company. The article, which did not mention “sugar”, “soda”, or “beverage”, concluded that lack of exercise is the cause of obesity. The skeptical Husten interviewed the lead author of the article, who denied that his connections to Coca-Cola influenced the study’s conclusions: it was just good science. Husten noted, however, that “the vast majority of experts agree that diet, and sugar in particular, plays some sort of significant role in the problem [of obesity]”.

"What Role Should Coca-Cola Play In Obesity Research?", Forbes.com, April 27, 2014

Protein Supplement Blended From Soy And Dairy More Effectively Builds Lean Muscle

A new U.S. study finds that the source of supplemental protein is as important as the quantity and other factors in building lean muscle mass. The randomized clinical trial with 16 healthy adults aged 19 to 30 tested the impact of a soy-dairy protein drink compared to a single (whey isolate) protein drink. Muscle biopsies were taken at the start and after five hours of resistance exercise. The soy-dairy blend (soy, caseinate and whey) increased amino acid delivery for an hour longer than whey alone. The blend also sustained a greater positive amino acid balance, suggesting that there was less muscle protein breakdown right after the drink was consumed.

"Soy-Dairy Protein Blend and Whey Protein Ingestion After Resistance Exercise Increases Amino Acid Transport and Transporter Expression in Human Skeletal Muscle. ", Journal of Applied Physiology, April 25, 2014

In The Game Of Healthy Nutrition, Snacks Provided At Youth Sports Events Strike Out

Children who participate in organized youth sports like baseball usually benefit from the increased physical activity, social interaction and other positive health behaviors. But they are also increasing their risk for being overweight or obese because of the constant exposure to junk food, U.S. researchers report. The observational study tracked foods consumed by players (boys ages 8 to 12) and family members during 12 games at a youth baseball field in North Carolina. Most of the snacks provided at concession stands were high-calorie food items like French fries, candy and cookies. Most beverages were sugar-sweetened. The findings suggest that Little Leaguers may be leaving the ball park having consumed more calories than they expended.

"The Food Environment of Youth Baseball. Childhood Obesity", Childhood Obesity, April 24, 2014

Reducing Diabetes Risk Can Be As Simple As Increasing Coffee Consumption

U.S. researchers who wanted to see how changes in consumption of coffee and tea over time affect the risk of type 2 diabetes found some interesting connections in their analysis of three studies involving more than 100,000 people. Increasing coffee consumption by an average of 1.5 cups a day over four years reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 11 percent. Those who drank the most coffee (three or more cups a day) had a 37 percent lower risk than those who drank only one cup or less a day. The researchers could not find any link between changes in tea consumption and type 2 diabetes risk.

"Changes in coffee intake and subsequent risk of type 2 diabetes: three large cohorts of US men and women. ", Diabetologia, April 24, 2014

Community-Based, Structured Weight Loss Programs Work Better For Diabetics

People who participate in community-based structured weight loss programs lose more weight on average than those who go it alone, a University of California, San Diego, study has determined. The clinical trial enrolled 227 overweight men and women with type 2 diabetes, half of whom received diabetes self-management education, weight counseling, portioned-controlled food (Jenny Craig), a planned menu and one-on-one counseling. The control group received counseling on diabetes care and weight loss. After six months, 72 percent on the weight loss program that included portion-controlled foods and personalized counseling were able to change their insulin use compared to eight percent of the control group. They also experienced 8.2 percent weight loss, compared to 2.5 percent.

"Weight Loss, Glycemic Control, and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Response to Differential Diet Composition in a Weight Loss Program in Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized Controlled Trial. ", Diabetes Care, April 23, 2014

Research, Studies, Advice  

Excessive Intake Of Phosphate-Rich Foods May Be Contributing To Hypertension

Austrian researchers have found that phosphate, found naturally in foods and used extensively in food processing, may be contributing to high blood pressure. The researchers showed that the hormone FGF23 is produced when large amounts of phosphates are consumed. The hormone, which controls renal secretion and reabsorption of sodium, has a negative effect on the cardiovascular system by increasing stress on the heart. The researchers concluded that inhibition of FGF23 or its pathway could help bring cardiovascular disease and vascular calcification under control.

"FGF23 Regulates Renal Sodium Handling and Blood Pressure. ", EMBO Molecular Medicine, May 05, 2014

Cost Is The Main Barrier To Healthful Diet In The U.S.

The main reason poorer Americans tend not to eat a healthful diet is money, or more precisely, the lack of it, according to a recent study. The vast majority of low-income families – 85 percent – in the U.S. know that eating nutritious foods is important to health and are interested in learning more about buying and preparing healthful meals. But 70 percent said that cost is keeping them from buying such foods. The hungriest Americans are the unemployed, according to the study, and single men under the age of 65. Federal nutrition assistance programs such as WIC and SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) help, but they don’t cover the whole cost of feeding a family.

"Cost Impacting Healthy-eating Desire", Prepared Foods Network, April 27, 2014

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