November 2006 Archives

Concern at nutrition in hospitals

hospital foodHospital food needs to be more nutritious, according to a watchdog.

The Audit Scotland report said patients were not routinely screened for poor nutrition, and claimed this should be a priority for the NHS.

The research also suggested catering services had improved over the past three years and patients were now being offered a greater choice of food.

Health Minister Andy Kerr said he accepted that things needed to improve across Scotland.

nestleVEVEY, Switzerland -- Nestle SA, the world's largest food maker, may buy baby-food company Gerber Products along with a medical nutrition business from Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG for as much as $5 billion, according to a published report.

Novartis is already in negotiations to sell Nestle the medical-nutrition business, and Nestle executives are interested in trying to make the acquisition of Gerber Products Co. part of the deal, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter.

Novartis spokesman John Gilardi said the company has no comment about the "market speculation." In the Journal interview, Novartis chief executive Daniel Vasella said his company wants to focus on its medicines business and Gerber is not part of this core business.

Weight loss clinic named best in Britain

weightloss exerciseA Scottish obesity clinic has been named the best in Britain by a charity.

Glasgow Royal Infirmary's Weight Management Service (GWMS) was described as a gold standard service by a panel of members of the National Obesity Forum.

Funded by NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, the service was set up two years ago, and treats more than 1000 patients each year.

The clinic takes a holistic approach to health, with a team of experts including dietitians, psychologists, and physiotherapists. It takes referrals from GPs and hospital doctors. Patients, aged in their 20s to their 70s, are encouraged to examine their attitudes to food, what they eat and how to exercise.

numico AMSTERDAM (AFX) - Royal Numico NV today said that it is not interested in a potential buy of the Clinical Nutrition unit of Novartis.

'We have no interest in that Novartis operation,' said a Numico spokesman. 'We are always on the lookout for means to grow our business, but Novartis Clinical Nutrition makes half of its turnover in the US, and half of that turnover in retail, in which we are not interested.'

The spokesman added that Numico is focusing on high-growth clinical nutrition operations in the European market.

Fidgeting: The Natural Weight Loss Diet

fat bellyIt's now official. The simple act of fidgeting can mean the difference between lean and obese. It’s the natural weight loss diet.

My friend likes to relate a story from time to time about when he was just a lad. His grandfather called him "Worm", because he fidgeted so much. And between you and me, it can get rather annoying.

But he had the right idea, even if it wasn't intentional. He's 5'8" tall and weighs around 145 lbs.

Africa faces growing obesity problem

obese african woman (courtesy AP)CAPE TOWN, South Africa - Africa, a continent usually synonymous with hunger, is falling prey to obesity. It's a trend driven by new lifestyles and old beliefs that big is beautiful. Ask Nodo Njobo, a plump hairdressing assistant. She is coy about her weight, but like many African women, proud of her "big bum." She says she'd like to be slimmer, but worries how her friends would react.

"Here, if you lose a lot of weight, people automatically think you have TB or AIDS. It's not like in America and Europe where you go on a diet to lose weight," Njobo said.

More than one-third of African women and a quarter of African men are estimated to be overweight, and the World Health Organization predicts that will rise to 41 percent and 30 percent respectively in the next 10 years.

novartis LONDON, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Nutrition is not a core part of Novartis AG's (NOVN.VX) business and any sale depends on the emergence of keen buyers, the Swiss drugmaker's chief executive said on Tuesday.

"It depends on interested buyers popping up," Daniel Vasella told reporters in London before a research and development day for analysts.

Nestle (NESN.VX) was recently rumoured to be interested in acquiring the Novartis nutrition operations but Vasella declined to comment on specific potential buyers.

Eat To Live: Stock nutrition advice

nutritionWASHINGTON, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Hands up -- who doesn't agree the best part of the Thanksgiving feast is the leftovers?

It's the suggestion of mild delinquency, like eating cold pizza for breakfast, that comes with tugging off with the fingers those crunchy bits of turkey that lie along the exposed carcass and layering them between more succulent slices with dollops of cranberry sauce and chunks of stuffing to build the perfect sandwich. And you probably eat it standing up, lounging back against a kitchen counter, swapping anecdotes with friends and family you haven't seen in a while.

But the best leftover of the lot, in my view, is the totally stripped-down carcass. It becomes the foundation of the best soup stock of the year.

Schools: Eight Parts to Coordinated Health

school nutritionThe following are working descriptions of the eight components of a coordinated school health program.

Health Education: A planned, sequential, K-12 curriculum that addresses the physical, mental, emotional and social dimensions of health. The curriculum is designed to motivate and assist students to maintain and improve their health, prevent disease, and reduce health-related risk behaviors. It allows students to develop and demonstrate increasingly sophisticated health-related knowledge, attitudes, skills, and practices. The comprehensive health education curriculum includes a variety of topics such as personal health, family health, community health, consumer health, environmental health, sexuality education, mental and emotional health, injury prevention and safety, nutrition, prevention and control of disease, and substance use and abuse. Qualified, trained teachers provide health education.

Weight-loss surgery success varies widely

obesity surgeryNew York, Nov 26 - In-hospital outcomes of weight-loss surgery, also known as "bariatric" surgery, vary widely from one institution to another, and it appears that hospitals that perform the most procedures have the lowest complication rates, according to the First Annual HealthGrades Bariatric Surgery Trends in American Hospitals Study.

HealthGrades, located in Golden, Colorado, rates physicians, hospitals, and nursing homes, and makes this information available on their web site. The company's healthcare ratings are used by consumers, hospitals, employers and their health plans, liability insurers, and physicians.

In what they call "the first study of its kind," the company used hospital discharge data between 2002 through 2004 to assess in-hospital outcomes of bariatric surgeries. Most of the procedures were gastric bypass or key-hole (laparoscopic) procedures.

rimonabantDieting in the future will be "weight loss to go," with more people getting customized advice on their cell phones, personal digital assistants and computers and more companies delivering diet foods directly to homes.

So says Thomas Wadden, one of the nation's top obesity researchers and president of the Obesity Society.

Currently, 66 percent of U.S. adults are overweight or obese (30 or more pounds over a healthy weight), which increases the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and other medical issues.

Research suggests that dieters benefit from getting nutritionists' advice via e-mails, chat rooms and phone calls, says Wadden, 54, a psychologist and director of the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

Govt white paper: Eat greens, breakfast

japanese woman cookingJAPAN - The government approved at a Cabinet meeting Friday the country's first white paper on food education, which emphasizes the importance of proper nutrition and warns that healthy dietary habits, such as regular, well-balanced meals and families having sit-down meals together, are disappearing.

In a government survey conducted in 2004, just 25.9 percent of families said they ate dinner together every day, down from 36.5 percent in 1976, due to the growing tendency to eat out and the diversification of lifestyles, the white paper says.

A similar survey taken in 2000 found that almost one in five children in the fifth grade of primary school did not eat or rarely ate breakfast, while the figure for second-year middle students was 25.1 percent.

coffeeConsidering all the past concern about possible health risks from drinking coffee, newer reports of coffee’s possible protective effects may leave many people confused.

Overall, recent studies suggest that coffee (regular and decaffeinated) may offer a variety of health benefits against diseases such as cancer and diabetes. However, coffee may not deserve a place in the same category with other healthful foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

Ear stapling grows as weight-loss tactic

ear acupunctureMarie Fallaw says she lost 83 pounds in six months simply by "stapling" her ears.

The Mississippi entrepreneur, owner of Staple Lean LLC, has scheduled a return trip to Florida for ear stapling sessions with dozens of weight loss hopefuls.

The problem: ear stapling for weight loss is illegal in Florida. The state Board of Acupuncture banned the practice because of the threat of infections and other health problems.

Despite the prohibition, ear stapling practitioners from across the country target Florida. They promise miracle weight loss by stapling an acupuncture point on the ear.

fitnessORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Need to lose weight, but don't know the best way to start? If you're in your 50s, cardiovascular exercise may be your best option.

Diet and exercise are both effective ways to lose weight. But if you're over 50, you may want to hit the treadmill to help maintain muscle mass when you're dropping pounds. A new study reveals caloric restriction promotes weight loss, but it may result in loss of muscle and aerobic capacity.

"The systems responsible for moving the body, the musculature and the cardiovascular systems, are being used in exercise-induced weight loss, therefore the body preserves them," study author Edward Weiss, Ph.D., of Saint Louis University in St. Louis, told Ivanhoe. "In the case of caloric restriction or diet-induced weight loss, there are fewer demands put on these systems, so the body degrades the tissues responsible for delivering oxygen and producing muscular force."

shooping and nutritionIrish shoppers regard health and nutrition as the most important factor affecting their food purchase decisions ahead of price, according to research published today.

The findings, reported at the Irish Food Agency (Bord Bia)'s Food & Drink Industry Day are in marked contrast to their Northern Ireland and British counterparts.

Price was found to be the most important factor influencing Northern Ireland consumers (41 per cent) while health and nutrition (37 per cent) was the most influential reason in the Republic.

Nutrition and the Immune System

nutritionOur immune system protects us against bacteria, viruses, and other disease-causing organisms. It is an efficient, complex defence system. Does the way we eat affect the immune system?

The immune system is our shield against disease. Due to the complexity of the immune system, it is extremely difficult to assess the effects of diet on our immune function.
However, research results have identified some die-tary factors that affect the human immune response.
handshakeUK and Dutch food agencies are set to put their heads together over how government and private sector can work together to address diet and nutritional issues.

The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Authority, with funding from the UK's Food Standards Agency, is organising a seminar in The Netherlands on November 30, which will draw comparisons between the two countries' approaches.

Collaboration over food and nutritional policy between European countries is particularly pertinent at the present time, with several key piece of EU legislation set to come into force in the near future – such as the nutrition and health claims and food fortification regulations.

Are Weight Loss Supplements Worth It?

weightlossby Valerie de Armas, Best Weight-loss

What do you think of the hundreds of weight loss supplements out there on the shelves today? Are they worth the money? Will they actually help you lose weight?

How do you know which ones are going to work for you? Is there any proof that these products work?

I've taken some time and researched some of the most popular product to try to find the answers for you. The truth is, most products won't help you lose anything but money.

There are a few, however, with some research behind them that prove that they actually work.

Dr ZakirNational Bioscience Corporation has received a weight loss patent for its phyto-ingredient Aralox, which opens up possibilities for exclusive marketing in the booming weight loss segment.

The company announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has awarded it a new patent entitled “Novel composition for the treatment of obesity and effective fat loss promotion”. Two of the main plant compounds in Aralox are derived from soft grape leaves and Siberian birch tree leaves.

The market for slimming products in the US is the world's largest by far, and while competition may be stiff, ingredient innovation brings new hope for formulators.

nestle LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AFX) - Nestle AG announced a five-year research agreement between the Nestle Research Center (NRC) and the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology EPFL, aiming to investigate the relationship between nutrition and the brain.

Under the agreement, Nestle will contribute 5 mln sfr per year to research at EPFL's Brain Mind Institute, where two Nestle Chairs will be established. The research will extend from studying the role nutrition plays in children's brain development to identifying ways of slowing down brain decline in older age and preventing diseases such as Alzheimer's, the food company said.

The agreement will also include research into taste perception and flavour enhancement, it added.

source AFX News 

New enriched bread sticks to the ribs

lupin breadNEW YORK - Bread enriched with seeds from the lupin plant can help people feel more full and eat less, Australian researchers report.

“These results suggest that protein and fiber enrichment of bread with lupin kernel flour has the potential to influence appetite and reduce energy intake, at least in the short term,” Dr. Ya P. Lee of the University of Western Australia in Perth and colleagues write.

Lupin is the name for a family of plants that includes the Texas bluebonnet. In the current study, Lee and others investigated bread enriched with lupin kernel flour (LKF), which contains up to 45 percent protein and 30 percent fiber, with little sugar and starch.

Onions and Garlic May Prevent Cancers

onions, garlicBetter load up on the breath mints; a new study suggests eating lots of garlic and onions may help prevent cancer.

Italian researchers found that people whose diets are rich in onions, garlic, and other alliums have a much lower risk of several types of cancer than those who avoid the pungent herbs.

Researcher Carlotta Galeone, of the Istituto di Ricerche Farmocologiche "Mario Negri" in Milan, and colleagues say the health benefits of onion and garlic have been touted for centuries, but few studies have been able to prove the benefits.

aspartame poisonSomehow I fail to believe this study. And you, do you believe CDC?  

CDC - A study of about half a million people, published in 2006, compared people who drank aspartame-containing beverages with those who did not. Results of the study showed that increasing levels of consumption were not associated with any risk of lymphomas, leukemias, or brain cancers in men or women. (Question 2)

Researchers examined the relationship between aspartame intake and 1,888 lymphomas or leukemias and 315 malignant brain cancers among the participants of the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study from 1995 until 2000. Development of these cancers was not associated with estimated aspartame consumption, refuting a recent animal study with positive findings for lymphomas and leukemias and also contradicting claims regarding brain cancer risk. (Questions 3 and 8)

cranberriesCranberries are among the top foods with proven health benefits, according to Amy Howell, a researcher at Rutgers University.

Cranberries are full of antioxidants, which protects cells from damage by unstable molecules called free radicals.

The National Institutes of Health is funding research on the cranberry’s effects on heart disease, yeast infections and other conditions, and other researchers are investigating its potential against cancer, stroke and viral infections.

obese childrenIs the food industry playing games with our children? You bet it is. A recent report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, "It's Child's Play: Advergaming and the Online Marketing of Food to Children,[1]" provides a comprehensive look at this increasingly popular type of advertising.

Advergaming is the use of online video games with embedded brand messages to engage a target audience. It is specifically designed to blur the boundary between advertising and entertainment.

The food industry uses advergaming that targets children and adolescents as a low-cost supplement to television advertising. Like the higher profile TV ads that have attracted so much attention from critics,[2] the advergaming onslaught is largely aimed at promoting energy-dense foods, such as sweet cereals, candies, and high-calorie snacks. These foods are the raw fuel for childhood obesity.

Few know origin of calorie

Julius Robert MayerATHENS, Ga., Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Many try to forget about calories on Thanksgiving; others are obsessed with counting them, but a U.S. expert says few know why food is measured in calories.

"We all teach this unit, (the calorie) and nobody knows where it came from, not even the historians of nutrition," said James L. Hargrove, associate professor of foods and nutrition in the University of Georgia's College of Family and Consumer Science.

Formally, a calorie is a measure of the amount of energy required to heat 1 kilogram of water 1 degree Celsius. It was first used in engineering and physics, but eventually found its niche in nutrition, where it is used to measure the amount of energy food contains, according to Hargrove.

obesity surgery (courtesy he Gazette/Tyrel Featherstone)One day in September a surgeon cut Andre Corbeil from hip to hip and removed seven kilograms of skin.

It wasn’t a tummy tuck. It was a post-bariatric panniculectomy, a procedure to remove folds of excess skin and flabby tissue Corbeil was left with after he lost half his weight following bariatric, or “stomach-stapling”, surgery.

Bariatric surgery may be life transforming, but it transforms people only halfway. Once the weight comes off, people are left with drooping, deflated bellies, chests, breasts, legs, thighs, arms, faces, necks and buttocks.

diabetes preventionType 1 diabetes is a growing health problem among European children. European data indicate that the disease incidence has increased five- to six-fold among children under the age of 15 years after World War II, and there are no signs that the increase in incidence is levelling off.

The most conspicuous increase has been seen among children under the age of 5 years. The EU-funded Diabetes Prevention study is generating a wealth of information on breast-feeding practices, infant nutrition and growth in young children in various countries. Newborn infants observed in Northern Europe (NE) had a higher birth weight but a shorter birth length than infants in Central and Southern Europe (CSE).

An open and shut case?

nutrition tableA must-read article. 

UK - After 50 years of conflicting evidence and advice, the fats in our food have been tried and sentenced. But have the real killers been identified — or are they still wrecking lives? Investigation by Richard Girling.

Food scares. Don’t they bring you out in sores? Proselytising zealots on the one hand try to tell us that “natural” is best, and on the other hand that, well, it’s only best if you skim off the fatty bits that actually make it taste of something. The penalty for noncompliance with dietary high command used to be rickets. Now it’s bad skin, obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, depression, diabetes and cancer.


by Dr Tee E Siong

MALAYSIA - Public health nutrition programmes probably started in our country in a big way in the 1960s, and in Europe and US more than six decades ago.  

It is thus probably a little surprising that the First World Congress on Public Health Nutrition was only held recently in Barcelona, Spain. Organised by the Spanish Society of Community Nutrition, the congress was supported by the International Union of Nutritional Sciences.  

I found the scientific programme interesting and most of the talks rather educational. As many of the issues discussed are of direct relevance to the nutrition scene in Malaysia, I would like to highlight some of these issues to the nutrition community here, both in the public and private sectors, as well as the public at large. 

Critics take aim at nutrition law

obese childrenSpurred by rising childhood obesity rates, state Senate President Pro Tempore Donald Williams, D-Brooklyn, pushed to get a stricter school nutrition laws on the books.

Williams succeeded, but the law is getting some unhappy reviews from educators.
Not all local education officials think state lawmakers should control what children eat. Some school officials are crafting more moderate policies for their schools.

"I don't think we should be regulating as hard how children eat," Norwich Board of Education Chairman Charles Jaskiewicz said. "If the government wants to attack the problem of physical obesity, it's got to start at home and not at school, because what's to stop kids from eating a pack of Yodels or drinking soda at home?"

healthy womanAvoiding health risk factors in midlife such as smoking, being overweight, excessive drinking and hypertension is associated with a longer and healthier life in men, according to a study in the November 15 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on men's health.

Bradley J. Willcox, M.D., of the Pacific Health Research Institute and Kuakini Medical Center in Honolulu, presented the findings of the study today at a JAMA media briefing on men's health in New York.

Persons alive at age 85 years or older are the fastest-growing age group in most industrialized countries and are among the largest consumers of health care resources. Identifying strategies for remaining healthy, vigorous, and disability-free at older ages has become a major priority, according to background information in the article. Studies with substantial numbers of long-lived participants and characteristics associated with longer survival are rare but essential to identify risk factors for health and survival at older ages.

Taco Bell to Ditch Trans Fats

taco bellsNov. 16, 2006 -- Taco Bell today announced that it will start using a new canola oil for frying that contains no trans fats.

Trans fats have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

Taco Bell restaurants will start frying with canola oil containing zero grams of trans fats -- instead of partially hydrogenated soybean oil -- in all of its U.S. restaurants by April 2007.

Why fast food makes you get fat

hamburgerExperts at the Medical Research Council found most fast food is very dense in calories - you only need a small amount to bump up your calorific intake.

They found that these "energy dense" foods can fool people into consuming more calories than the body needs. The research is published in the journal Obesity Reviews.

A typical fast food meal has a very high energy density. It is more than one and a half times higher than an average traditional British meal and two and a half times higher than a traditional African meal.

Lose Weight by Watching TV

hypnosisWarning, this is a pure press release. However, the trend is obvious. People tend to look less demanding ways to lose weight. It's too difficult to fight bad habits.  Go ahead, read the release below. However, don't take it as granted. Remember, to lose weight you need to lose a habit to eat like a pig and do exercises. Or else you will end up paying much more than just money.

Margate, FL (FV Newswire) - Andersonstown, Belfast UK's Personal development reviewer Michael McGrath says the new Neuro-VISION video weight loss hypnosis DVD is "powerful stuff". McGrath tests personal development products and posts the reviews on his website,

Recently three of McGrath's independent reviewers tried Neuro-VISION's video weight loss hypnosis program. They all reported that their view of food and their eating habits changed dramatically after watching the video:

Another Supermodel Dies After Weight Loss

Ana Carolina RestonA month after a controversy in the modeling world over body weight, a second model has died after becoming dangerously thin.

Ana Carolina Reston, a well-known Brazilian model who worked for Giorgio Armani, died this week at the age of 23.

Reston was 5 feet 8 inches tall and starved herself down to 88 pounds during her battle with anorexia. The model ate only tomatoes and apples at the end of her life.

Reston had to be hospitalized because of a generalized infection. She had been a model since 13 and worked world-wide.

The issue of ultra-thin models has been a big topic of debate.

Campaign promotes nutrition label smarts

nutrition labellingNEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration have announced the availability of two new tools designed to help consumers use the Nutrition Facts label on foods to make healthy and nutritious food choices.

The tools are "Make Your Calories Count," an interactive online learning program, and a new Nutrition Facts Label brochure. Both are available and downloadable at

"These tools will empower consumers to be better informed to make better and wiser food choices," Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach, Acting FDA Commissioner, said at a news briefing announcing the self-help aids.

junk foodLONDON (AFP) - The UK is to ban adverts for junk food on children's television in a bid to clamp down on the growing problem of child obesity.

Under the plans announced Friday by the Ofcom broadcasting regulator, no ads for food and drink products which are high in fat, salt and sugar will be able to be broadcast during programmes aimed at under-16s.

The measures will cost broadcasters up to 39 million pounds (74 million dollars, 58 million euros) in lost advertising revenues.
nutritionTime to let out the belt a notch and hide the bathroom scale. Eating season is in high gear.

With all the time and pleasure spent talking about, preparing and consuming food, you'd think we'd be experts on how it affects our health. But, when it comes to nutrition, most of us have a lot to learn.

"So many people believe nutrition myths, things we've heard from grandma or popularized in the media. And, it's completely understandable because everyone can relate to food.

Everyone eats.
obese manCHICAGO (Reuters) - Heavier patients with clogged heart arteries have lower death rates in the short term than their leaner counterparts because they get more aggressive treatment, a study said on Wednesday.

This so-called obesity paradox could occur because overweight patients were younger and doctors might be more willing to perform invasive treatments on them, said the study's author, Benjamin Steinberg, a visiting medical student at Johns Hopkins University.

The analysis of 130,139 patients found that heavier patients did better because doctors were more likely to follow standard treatment guidelines, including performing surgeries like angioplasty, which may improve their outcomes.

Cartoon Seeks To Educate On Food Nutrition

food labelsLabelman has joined the pantheon of cartoon characters the government is using to promote healthier eating habits.

The red cartoon figure with a nutrition label body was unveiled Tuesday by health officials as part of their latest effort at solving obesity in the United States.

Labelman guides consumers through a new Web-based program, “Make Your Calories Count,” which the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration announced along with a brochure on how to use nutrition labels.
mc donalds fritesCHICAGO - McDonald’s Corp. Chief Executive Jim Skinner said Wednesday the fast-food chain is making “very good progress” toward developing a healthier oil for french fries cooked in its U.S. restaurants but still would not give a timetable for when a switch will be made.

Four years after the company first pledged to significantly reduce the trans fats levels in its signature fries, Skinner told an investor conference that the company continues to work hard on a new oil.

He said that if New York passes a proposed ordinance making it the first U.S. city to ban eateries from serving food containing trans fat, McDonald’s will be ready to comply.

fast foodMOUNT LAUREL, N.J. - Ten major food and drink makers, including McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Campbell Soup, announced Tuesday that their child-oriented advertising will do more to promote health foods and exercise.

The companies, which account for two-thirds of child-targeted food and drink commercials on TV, agreed to reduce the use of outside characters — think Shrek and the Little Mermaid — to pitch unhealthy foods. They also said they would not advertise in elementary schools and would ensure their online “advergames” either promote good health or healthy products, among other measures. Half their ads will focus on foods that qualify as healthy or on nutrition and exercise issues.

The companies said they had no plans to stop selling or promoting sugary cereals or fatty French fries, and critics were quick to say the voluntary restrictions will have little effect.

Greeks suffer higher rates of obesity

obesityATHENS, Greece - Greeks are ignoring their traditionally healthy diet and suffering higher rates of obesity and related illnesses such as diabetes, medical groups warned Wednesday.

Greece has among the highest rates of childhood obesity in Europe, at more than 30 percent, while the level for adults is also near the top of Europe's list — a problem considered to have emerged since the early 1990s.

A University of Athens study of 312 fifth-graders in Greece's northern Ioannina region found 29.4 and 11.8 percent of boys were overweight and obese, while the figure for girls was 39.0 and 7.5 percent.

AMA rejects proposal to tax soft drinks

soft drinksLAS VEGAS - The American Medical Association on Tuesday decided against a proposal to call for taxes on soft drinks as a way to curb consumption of the sugar-laden beverages blamed for contributing to obesity.

"We don't want sugared soft drinks in schools. But a federal tax made a lot of people uncomfortable," said Dr. William Hamilton, a Salt Lake City anesthesiologist who attended the group's meeting at a Las Vegas Strip hotel.

The AMA instead approved a proposal for a broader effort to fight obesity.

obesity surgery CHICAGO, Nov 13 (Reuters) - The risk of complications such as bleeding and infection in patients undergoing an increasingly popular weight-loss surgery varies drastically based on which hospital performs it, a large study released on Monday found.

The study of 86,520 procedures found that patients undergoing so-called bariatric surgery at a highly-rated hospital are 66 percent less likely to suffer from a complication, including bleeding, pneumonia, and heart problems, than at a poorly-rated hospital.

The poll comes as obese Americans - about one-third of the population -- are increasingly turning to bariatric surgery to shed weight. The number of surgeries has quadrupled since 2000, reaching 171,000 in 2005, according to the American Society of Bariatric Surgery.

ValioFinland's Valio and Raisio have announced the start of a new nutrition research co-operation, supporting the Finland ‘nutrition cluster’ and making the country a “forerunner in the development of healthy nutrition.”

The announcement will see Finland's largest dairy company and the country's leading producer of grain based and vegetable oil based foods join forces with the common goal of combining Valio's knowledge of the nutrients and other components of milk with Raisio's expertise in grains and fats.

"Raisio and Valio have a history of positive co-operation in areas such as the extension of the cholesterol-lowering Benecol product family in the Finnish market. Deeper research co-operation will enable the creation and commercialisation of new Finnish food innovations on the international stage, too,” said Raisio CEO, Rabbe Klemets.

junk foodNEW YORK (Reuters) - British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver wants the United States to take up his campaign against fatty snacks and school lunches to combat the country's burgeoning child obesity problem.

Oliver, 31, has spent the past several years crusading for healthier food in British schools with a television series that aired last year and a government-backed overhaul of school catering. Now he wants the United States to address the issue.

"England's the most unhealthy country in Europe and America is the most unhealthy country in the world," Oliver, known for his frank opinions, told Reuters in New York while promoting his latest book and television series on Italy.

fitnessBy Kelly Huggins

Just around the corner the New Year is upon us. Typical is the New Year’s resolution (which typically isn’t resolved) in which you may say, “I’m going to lose weight.” This is really no surprise considering that the holiday season is the time of gluttony and weight gain.

Now, it has been said that the typical person gains 5, 10 pounds or something like that during the holidays. From what I understand, this is an actual myth too. However, weight gain can still occur with many, it’s just not as much as what many have said.

Real point I want to get at is this…

Do weight-loss supplements work?

weight-loss supplementsCan weight-loss supplements help you shed pounds while you sleep? Let eat your favorite foods without gaining an ounce? Or turn your body into a fat-burning machine? And can a lip gloss make shedding those extra pounds more appealing? We’ve all seen ads for diet products that make these outrageous claims. Many Americans who are struggling to lose weight buy these non-prescription diet products. According to government reports, this is a billion dollar business.

The lifestyle modifications are the foundation of any successful long-term weight-loss plan (eating less and moving more), but for many dieters that can be difficult, since it requires daily focus and discipline. So it’s not surprising that many Americans want some help. My patients are always asking me about these weight-loss products, so I wanted to provide a reality check on this ever-expanding business. While the answers are not black and white, it all comes down to two questions: “Are they safe?” and “Do they work?” Here’s the skinny on products with unsubstantiated weight-loss claims.

Wellspring UKCUMBRIA, England -- 24 Children Achieve Weight Loss of Up to 19 kg in Eight Weeks or Less

Wellspring UK, Europe's first scientifically based weight loss camp for children and adolescents ages 12-17, announced record weight loss for its programme participants over the 2006 two-month summer session.

On average, students lost 2 kg per week, with some students losing as much as 16 and 19 kg. Most students who had enrolled in the programme were atleast 9 kg overweight before enrollment and had been struggling to controltheir weight for a year.

Wellspring UK incorporates a summer camp environment with a focus onweight loss through diet and activity management. It also utilizes a unique cognitive behavioural therapy to address the psychological and emotional issues that often prevent successful long-term weight control. Throughout theprogramme students self-monitor their dietary intake and exercise levels andrecord their thoughts and feelings to help them in their goal of becoming long-term weight controllers.

Lori ShontzQuestion: I've been reading more and more diet advice that recommends eating five or six small meals a day vs. the traditional three meals a day to maintain higher metabolism levels. I find it difficult to manage this type of eating. Is there any credence to this as part of an exercise plan to lose weight? And what constitutes a small meal? — B.S., St. Louis

Answer: The mini-meal philosophy does get plenty of publicity, but Justa Davis, a clinical dietitian at Missouri Baptist Medical Center, says there's not enough evidence to prove that it's a better way to lose weight.

"We need to focus more on the big picture of daily calorie intake," she writes via e-mail. "Nutrition experts agree that to lose weight, we must burn more calories than we take in on a daily basis."

High Blood Sugar a Global Killer

blood sugarHigh blood sugar is among the world's top five killers, a Harvard study shows.

High blood sugar is one sign that a person is on the road to diabetes. But it kills many people long before they ever get diabetes, note Goodarz Danaei, MD, of Harvard School of Public Health, and colleagues.

Moreover, blood sugar levels start causing problems once they pass the higher-than-normal level. It's not a matter of getting disease at a certain point. It's a matter of ever-increasing disease risk.

Healthy Citizens Boost National Wealth

healthy lifestyleThe best economic investment a nation can make is to invest in the health of its citizens, a European Commission report concludes.

Most studies of the link between health and wealth look at poor countries, note World Health Organization economist Marc Suhrcke and colleagues. Yet rich nations owe much of their wealth to previous health gains.

"For example, about 30% of economic growth in the United Kingdom between 1790 and 1980 has been estimated to be attributed to better health and dietary intake," Suhrcke and colleagues write in the journal BMJ. "Better health meant that British workers increased their ability to convert energy into productive work by over 50% during this period."

EU warns of obesity crisis

EUBRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission on Thursday hailed several food and beverage multinationals — often seen as culprits in obesity — for pledging to help fight the flab in Europe.

EU Public Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou praised, among others, Unilever NV, PepsiCo, The Coca Cola Company, McDonald's Corp. and Kraft Foods Inc. for committing to voluntary steps to reverse Europe's widening girth and promote physical fitness at a time when the number of overweight children in the EU is rising by 400,000 a year.

At a press conference with top executives of these companies, he said it was crucial food and drink companies cooperate in the fight against flab because the EU cannot legislate against products that are not dangerous.
obesityAlmost four in every 10 Europeans (38 percent) feel they are overweight, according to results of a health survey published Thursday.

According to the survey, only 55 percent of European Union (EU)citizens think that their weight is about right. Ninety-five percent agree that obesity is harmful for health.

"This survey provides us with valuable insights into the concerns of EU citizens on health and nutrition. EU citizens are aware there is a problem with overweight and obesity in Europe, and that much depends on their willingness to address it and change their lifestyle," said EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou.

Facts and figures about prenatal nutrition

prenatal nutritionA healthy woman carrying a single child should gain between 25 and 35 pounds over the entire nine months of pregnancy

Eating well and gaining the proper amount of weight are two of the best things that a woman can do during her pregnancy to safeguard her health and that of her baby.

The responsibility of bearing new life is a powerful impetus to maintain a well-balanced diet and to eat the right nutrients in proper measure. Gaining a healthy amount of weight is important, as well. Too little makes it hard for the fetus to grow and could create developmental problems; too much makes it more likely that the labor will be longer and the delivery more difficult. There could be additional complications such as diabetes, high blood pressure and backaches.

When it comes to weight and pregnancy, it's good to remember a variation on the Goldilocks formula: not too little, not too much just right is best for both mother and child.

What are the real benefits of green tea?

green teaHeadlines announcing a recent Journal of the American Medical Association study linked consumption of green tea with protection from stroke, but not cancer, caught many people by surprise. Tea provides a good example of why we need to consider both laboratory and population studies in choosing steps to lower cancer risk and promote overall health.

Green tea contains relatively high amounts of a type of phytochemical called EGCG, proven in laboratory studies to be a powerful antioxidant. A variety of antioxidants from plant foods seem to stabilize “free radicals,” protecting DNA from damage that could allow cancer to develop, and protecting blood vessels from damage that could promote blockages. Studies show EGCG can also increase production of enzymes that protect us from cancer-causing substances, decrease levels of a substance key to promoting cancer development, and increase cancer cell self-destruction.

Hypnosis helped to lose weight

hypnotic spiral One North Texas teen said something almost like "magic" helped her lose 70 pounds.

Isabela DeSousa, 13, said hypnosis not only changed her figure, but also transformed her closet.

"I like the style," she said as she went through her closet, which holds trendy new clothes she bought after her new weight loss. "I think they are really cute."

Eight months ago, none of the size eight clothes that now hang inside her closet would have fit since she weighed over 200 pounds.

Kristie Alley cheers her weight-loss

Kristie Alley's weight-lossDid you see the electrifying appearance of former "Cheers" star Kirstie Alley on The Oprah Winfrey Show on Monday?

Seeing her flash that sexy body in a bikini in front of the millions of people who were watching was a breakthrough moment for Alley who has made a second career of sorts for herself around her personal struggles with her fluctuating weight on her hit autobiographical reality television series "Fat Actress."

After losing 75 pounds as the spokesperson for the weight loss support system Jenny Craig, Alley is putting the issue of the lifechanging impact of weight loss out there prominently for all to see.

Schools Work to Make Nutrition Fun

nutrition in schools DALLAS  --  The Dallas Independent School District is calling on "Mister Tone" to cut down on student obesity. It's a program meant to make good nutrition and exercise fun.

The district is working with a private company to implement Operation Tone-Up next semester for 1,600 fourth graders at 20 elementary schools.

Associate Superintendent Celso Martinez said the program will give students an opportunity to learn good health habits.

Martinez said the issue is especially important for Hispanic students, who make up 65 percent of the district's population.

original nestle logo (c) nestleAnother article about pharmaceutical industry and nutrition supplements (check also Supplements preferred over drugs for weight loss). Now Nestle is tipped as a potential buyer of Novartis’ nutritional supplements unit, rumoured to be up for sale, as the Swiss food group is aiming to strengthen its position in the health and nutrition sector. While I fail to believe that Nestle actually cares about health of our children and ours, it is clear pharma and food corporations are actively plowing this field.

The unit, which makes nutritional supplements – both oral and tube delivery – for use in hospitals and nursing homes, forms part of the Novatis' consumer division. There has also been speculation since last month that Nestlé will snap up another of Novatis' consumer units, Gerber baby-foods.

Nestlé has stated that health, wellness and nutrition are presently an acquisition priority. Recent moves in this area include the acquisition of weight loss consultation company Jenny Craig for US$600m in July, and Uncle Toby's cereals and nutritional snacks business in Australia.


Nutrition ed program continuing

nutrition programARIZONA - A grant from the Arizona Department of Health Services, Arizona Nutrition Network is for $6,810, to which the city contributes what amounts to $13,620 through staff salaries and other costs.

According to the staff report, "the grant will positively impact Evergreen After School Program, Len Collage Youth Recreation Center and Dorothy Powell Senior Adult Center, plus community recreation programs.

"The emphasis for each program will be to introduce nutrition education, exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle to its participants.

"In addition, we intend to continue to offer food demonstrations at the Len Colla Center two times a week. This fiscal year we hope to offer food demonstrations and/or recipe tasting at several citywide special events and expand our nutrition education for library participants."
weight lossU.S. firm Scientific Intake said it has finished enrolling patients in a study of its non-invasive weight-loss device.

The company said it has recruited 190 patients in a multi-center study and would seek approval of the device for use in people with a body mass index from 27 to 35.

The device simulates a physical condition linked with thinness called Torus Palatinus. The device contains a wireless microsensor linking patients and providers for remote monitoring of compliance, behavior change and progress.

Scientific Intake said the device increases savoring, reduces bolus size, slows intake and allows the body's built in defense mechanism, the satiety response, to trigger.

home workoutFear of fitness and weight loss failure are major contributors to the worldwide obesity epidemic. Simple home workouts can be instrumental in fighting fat and poor fitness levels.

Ponte Vedra Beach, FL -- According to official figures from a 2006 report compiled by The Trust for America's Health, the adult obesity rate rose from 15 percent in 1980 to 32 percent in 2004. Combine that with the number of Americans who are overweight but not obese, and the figure stands at 64 percent. And the childhood obesity rate more than tripled between 1980 and 2004, from 5 percent to 17 percent.

 "I don't have enough time for exercise." "I'm too out of shape to workout." "I don't know what to do." "I'm too afraid to ask the fitness instructors." "The gym is too crowded." "The health club members are rude." "I don't have the willpower." These are some of the top excuses revealed by a 2004 survey conducted by the American Council on Exercise of San Diego.

NYC planningby Tom Angotti, Gottam Gazette

In the news recently we have seen the controversial proposal by the City’s Health Department to address the epidemic of obesity by limiting the use of transfats by restaurants and fast food outlets. The city’s health professionals are also working in neighborhoods with high rates of obesity and diabetes to promote the sale of healthy foods. At the same time, city officials are moving to improve the quality of food in school cafeterias. Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the city, with 43 percent of elementary school children found to be obese or overweight. Health specialists acknowledge that diet and exercise are two key factors related to this epidemic, and they are working seriously on diet.

But what about exercise? Can the city do anything more to increase physical activity? This is a more difficult issue, and not as simple to address. Physical activity is also related to another serious epidemic in the city –- asthma.

diet, exercise, diabetesDiabetes increases your risk of Alzheimer's. Reduce this risk by controlling your blood sugar. Diet and exercise can help.

Public health officials were already concerned about the projected increase in the number of Alzheimer's cases that will occur simply because the aging baby boom generation is so large. Now they worry there may be even more Alzheimer's cases than expected.

That's because diabetes — a strong risk factor for dementias like Alzheimer's — also becomes more common with age. Type 2 diabetes, which is by far the most common form of the disease, often occurs in people who weigh too much and exercise too little — a group that includes a large proportion of baby boomers.

children in NigeriaNIGERIA - The mainstreaming of nutrition intervention into programmes in the health, agriculture and other sectors of the economy has been recommended as a key operational   change to scaling up towards establishing nutrition as an integral part of the first Millennium Development Goal, which aims to reduce poverty and hunger.

President of the International Paediatric Association, Prof. Adenike Grange, who gave the recommendation last week in Lagos, observed that one of the gaps in the  effort to reduce income poverty, was the non-improvement in the area of non-income poverty, that is, malnutrition and hunger.

Grange, who spoke during  2nd Nutrition Seminar organised by the Olu Akinkugbe Child Nutrition Center under the auspices of Friesland Foods WAMCO Nigeria  Plc., tagged “Good Toddler Nutrition - Key to a Bright Future”  called for special focus to the issue of addressing the non-income aspect of poverty reduction in the  future.

nutrition supplementsIn a survey of 3,500 people, a University of Connecticut team discerned that 34 percent of Americans trying to lose weight are using supplements – an encouraging indicator for the dietary supplement industry.

The survey, funded by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, was conducted nationwide from November 2005 to January 2006. Nearly half of the respondents, or 1,444 people, said they had made a serious attempt to lose weight at some point in time for at least three days. Of these, approximately one third said they used supplements while only 15 percent used prescription drugs.

The results are encouraging for nutraceutical manufacturers: use of dietary supplements and herbal products came in third place, behind self-directed exercise and dieting, with 90 percent and 72 percent respectively.

newhope bariatricsCHARLOTTE, N.C. – NewHope Bariatrics, a startup focused on tackling the exploding problem of obesity in the United States, has $18.5 million in new financing to serve as a war chest.

NewHope has plenty of opportunity for growth, too. The latest statistics from the federal government estimate that more than 60 percent of all adults are overweight, and of those more than 30 percent are obese.

The company, which was founded by two former top officials at MedCath in 2005, plans to use the funds to open surgery centers that will offer treatment for obesity.

NewHope Bariatrics will focus on a type of surgery known as LapBand. The procedure involves the use of gatric bands.

60 million obese children in China?

chinese obese child (c) AFP BEIJING - Rising affluence has made about 60 million Chinese — equal to the population of France — obese, state media said on Monday.

Xinhua News Agency quoted Pan Beilei, a deputy director with the government-affiliated State Food and Nutrition Consultant Committee, as saying that worsening diets had led to health problems, including obesity.

"An increasing number of Chinese are eating more fat and junk food but less grains and vegetables, leading to a high number of cases of high blood pressure and diabetes," Pan was quoted as telling a conference on food consumption and health in Beijing.

Kids' Belly Fat Growing Fast

obese childPotbellies are becoming all too common among children, according to a new study that shows abdominal obesity in kids has increased by more than 65% in recent years.

Researchers say the findings are especially troubling because belly fat is now considered a better predictor of heart diseaseheart disease and diabetesdiabetes risk than the more commonly used body mass index (BMI, a ratio of weight in relationship to height).

It's the first national study to document the increase in children's waistlines; it shows abdominal obesity increased by 65% among boys and nearly 70% among girls from 1988 to 2004.

Researchers say the findings paint a bleak picture for these children, who have a higher risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other health problems. But they say the good news is that it's not too late for children with extra belly fat to do something to lower their health risk.

tomatoes WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Tomatoes eaten in restaurants were probably the source of an outbreak of Salmonella food poisoning that sickened 183 people in 21 states and Canada, federal health officials said on Friday.

The outbreak is over and is no longer a threat, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. But 22 people were sick enough to be admitted to hospitals, the CDC's Dr. Christopher Braden, Chief of Outbreak Response and Surveillance, told reporters.

"We identified tomatoes eaten in restaurants as the cause of this outbreak," Braden told a telephone briefing.

Braden said there was no evidence pointing to any single restaurant or type of restaurant.

Health experts sound alarm over diabetes

diabetesWith some 2.9 million people suffering from diabetes without enough care nationwide, medical experts have sounded a call of awareness to the public on how to prevent the disease they dubbed as "the silent killer."

"We should be alarmed about the worsening problem of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes. It is a silent epidemic that unjustly affects the poor," Health Secretary Francisco Duque said at the Diabetes Expo 2006 held at the Megatrade Hall 1 of SM Megamall on Saturday.

Diabetes (medically known as diabetes mellitus) is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by hyperglycemia or high blood glucose concentration.

weigh in(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Mothers often get a bad rap for putting too much pressure on their young daughters about their weight.

That might be unjustified. According to a new study out of Columbus Children's Hospital in Ohio, moms are more likely to see their daughters as slimmer than they really are, rather than heavier. Girls, on the other hand, are pretty good at correctly assessing their own weight.

Researchers questioned mother/daughter pairs about the daughters' bodies. The girls in the study, who were ages 9 and 10, provided realistic responses. Those with low and normal body mass indexes (BMIs) were generally satisfied with their size, while those with higher BMIs knew they were overweight.

pre-diabetes Fifty-four million Americans - that's one in six of us -- have pre-diabetes and most don't even realize it. Mark Schutta, MD, medical director of the Penn Rodebaugh Diabetes Center, is urging at-risk patients to be proactive and ask your doctor to give you a simple blood test for pre-diabetes - to arm yourself with information before the damage is done. It means you have blood glucose levels that are higher than normal and you could one day reach a high enough level that you would be diagnosed with having diabetes.

Diabetes is a disease that affects the body's ability to produce or respond properly to insulin and must be managed on a daily basis once diagnosed. If not, it can lead to several health complications including death. November is designated annually as American Diabetes Month.

"If you have pre-diabetes, there's a 75% probability that you will develop diabetes within 30 years," comments Schutta. "Our country is in the middle of a type 2 diabetes epidemic. Right now, if you're born in the U.S., your risk of developing diabetes is one in three."

Dr. Amir Farid IsahakThe Art of Qi - By Dr Amir Farid Isahak

In the previous article, Nutritional Healing For Cancer, I wrote about the foods and nutrients that should form part of a daily diet that may help fight cancer when taken in higher amounts, especially through supplements. 

This article discusses nutritional elements which are specifically meant for cancer treatment, although they are also beneficial for treating other chronic diseases, and for general health. 

I must stress that these nutritional therapies do not replace medical treatment. Those who opt for chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy can safely take these as they are extracts of food, and thousands of cancer patients on conventional therapy have consumed them without adverse effects.

Dr. Amir Faird IsahakThe Art of Qi - By Dr Amir Farid Isahak

NUTRITION is the mainstay of good health, and therefore of disease prevention, and healing. I have already discussed at length what the anti-cancer diet should be, and the importance of antioxidants that scavenge the free radicals that cause ageing, disease and cancer. There are many other nutrient groups that are essential for good health, and for fighting cancer. 


Vitamins C and E have been described under antioxidants. Vitamin A is another anti-oxidant vitamin, but since it can be toxic at high doses, it is preferable to take its precursor, beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A), which is water-soluble, and much safer. It is especially beneficial against breast and lung cancer. Other than having potent antioxidant power that fights cancer, all of them have other health benefits. 

The vitamin B group is essential for cell metabolism, which is indispensable for good health. In a recent study, women who consumed the most vitamin B6 had a 34% lower risk of colon cancer than women who consumed the least B6. The benefits appeared greatest for women who drank two or more alcoholic drinks per week.

N.Y. needs council for food policy

food policyWhat do obesity, hunger and food insecurity, the declining number of farms, water and air pollution from factory farms, the prevalence of unhealthy food choices and the lack of quality, affordable foods have in common?
First, each represents a complex issue of public concern linked to our food system.

Second, achieving meaningful solutions will require coordinated effort among the agriculture industry, health professionals, nutritionists, anti-hunger advocates, environmental groups and government.

osteoporosisIOF survey shows good general knowledge of nutrition and bone health but confusion about vitamin D; half unaware that osteoporosis is more common amongst women than breast cancer

An on-line survey carried out in May and June 2006 among 1200 worldwide employees of the Interpublic Group and their friends and families showed a generally high level of osteoporosis awareness. The survey looked specifically at the respondents’ knowledge about the condition, its prevalence and causes, risk factors, extent of personal risk and how diet can help to prevent the condition.

The vast majority of respondents knew that calcium is important for building bones, that osteoporosis is characterized by brittle bones (95%), that poor diet is a contributing factor (85%) and that women are most at risk (81%). Respondents had a reasonable sense of their own personal risk: Half think they are at least somewhat at risk from osteoporosis. Two in five know somebody personally with the condition and one in four know a family member with it. Almost one fourth know that it affects one in three women.

Is organic better for you too?

organic foodThe demand for organic foods — from fruits, pizza, breakfast cereals and cookies to pasta, ketchup, sirloin steaks and baby food — is growing stronger:

  • Sales of organic food have grown about 20 percent during the last five years, with this year's tally expected to top $15 billion, the Organic Trade Association reports.
  • More than one-fourth of Americans are eating more organic products than a year ago, according to a 2004 survey by Whole Foods Market. At the same time, more than half of Americans have tried organic products.

The food industry has responded at breakneck speed. Mainstream retailers led by Safeway, with more than 150 products under its line of organic foods, now carry respectable inventories of organic food. Most grocery stores in the mid-Hudson Valley, as well as specialty stores, carry organic produce, meat and other foods.

Organic grocers have multiplied. Meantime, the biggest food manufacturers have bought up some of the best-known organic brands and started their own lines: Coca-Cola owns Odwalla. General Mills owns Muir Glen and Cascadian Farm. Smuckers bought Knudsen and Santa Cruz Organic.

symlinAmylin has soared on sales of one diabetes drug. Now it's looking to extend its franchise into weight loss. Will it pay?

NEW YORK ( -- The biotech Amylin is testing what could be the next blockbuster in the $40 billion market for weight loss products, or the treatment could just be a big fat flop.

The only thing for sure is that it's too early to say, meaning the biotech's bet on the weight loss drug makes the San Diego-based company a risky, long-range investment.

Amylin is experimenting with its injectable drug Symlin, which is already on the market to control blood sugar levels for diabetics, for an additional use as a weight loss drug. The biotech recently reported that Symlin reduced weight by 7 percent to 8 percent over 52 weeks in diabetics, compared to a 1 percent weight loss with a placebo. 

foot careHealthDay News -- The estimated 20 million Americans with diabetes need to remember that simple foot care can reduce their risk of toe, foot or leg amputations, say experts at the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS).

People with diabetes are 10 times more likely to have a lower limb amputated than people who don't have the illness, which can cause poor blood circulation and nerve damage in the feet. This makes feet more vulnerable to ulcers, infections, deformities and brittle bones. 

food shoppingThe United States' obesity rates won't fall until Americans stop placing their faith in unproven and possibly fraudulent weight-loss products and treatments.

That's the message from some of the nation's top obesity experts, commenting on new data about Americans' continued, naive hope for the quick fix.

Part of the problem, they say, is consumers' misconceptions about safety laws. A national survey released last week at the annual meeting of the Obesity Society, a scientific group dedicated to the study of obesity, found that 60 percent of Americans believe incorrectly that over-the-counter dietary supplements for weight loss are required to have been tested and proven to be safe and effective.

Eat more, weigh less

green saladIn this land of growing girth where 66 percent of adults are now overweight or obese, some people have managed to stay at a healthy weight. Are they depriving themselves by eating tiny portions and giving up their favorite foods? You’ll be pleased to hear that the answer is no.

How do they do it? One trick is to learn which foods will fill you up without a lot of calories.

We study this in my lab at Penn State. In one type of study, we bring people into our laboratory, offer them various types of foods and see which ones fill them up the most. We conduct long-term trials to find out whether different types of dietary advice can actually help people lose weight and maintain that loss. We also analyze information from large surveys of what Americans eat.

exercise to lose weightThe opening bell of the 2006-07 school year signaled a new era in the ongoing fight against childhood obesity. Under the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act signed in 2004, a majority of public school districts in the United States are implementing Local Wellness Policies this fall. While a laudable first step, these policies are analogous to an architect's rendering of a new house: No matter how good the plan looks on paper, translating the vision into reality requires lots of hard work.

The federal wellness policy mandate places responsibility on each school district participating in the national school lunch and breakfast programs to adopt guidelines for all foods sold during the school day. They also must set goals for improving nutrition education and physical activity as each district deems appropriate. In California, nearly 3.1 million primary and secondary students are enrolled in free or reduced-price meal programs.

food labelThere appears to be widespread consumer interest for nutrition information on food packages but the industry still knows next to nothing about how such labelling is actually used on a day-to-day basis.

European Food Information Council (EUFIC) director general Josephine Wills presented delegates at last week's CIAA conference with a thought-provoking review of research on consumer response to nutrition information on food labels in Europe from 2003 to 2006.

Although nutrition labelling has been a major instrument for providing consumers with information to help them make healthy, nutritionally appropriate choices, she said that there were indications that this information is often misunderstood.

And given the link between diet and health, she said that EUFIC wanted to accurately determine the role that nutrition labelling currently plays in influencing consumers purchasing behaviour.

got flab adThe nation's soaring obesity rates won't fall until Americans stop placing their faith in unproven and possibly fraudulent weight-loss products and treatments. That's the message from some of the nation's top obesity experts, commenting on new data about Americans' continued, naive hope for the quick fix.

Part of the problem, they say, is consumers' misconceptions about safety laws. A national survey released last month at the annual meeting of the Obesity Society found that 60 percent of Americans believe incorrectly that over-the-counter dietary supplements for weight loss must be tested and proven to be safe and effective.

More than half mistakenly believe that these products are reviewed and approved by the Food and Drug Administration.


FDA gives tips for handling produce

produceWASHINGTON - After the latest outbreak of illness possibly linked to contaminated produce, the Food and Drug Administration reminded consumers Thursday of steps to keep fresh foods safe.

The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to investigate the latest outbreak, which is thought to be linked to produce contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.

Reports of illness peaked in late September; health officials believe the outbreak is now over.

golden grahams bar Popular cereal bars have been found to have more sugar and fat than several sweet snacks, according to a new study.

While each of these f 20 well-known bars, mostly marketed to children, would be classified as "high in sugar" under the Food Standards Agency's traffic light labeling scheme, a nutritious-looking Kellogg's Fruit 'n Fibre Bar contained more sugar (10g) than a chocolate Penguin bar (9.7g). according to Which? researchers.

Cereals bars like Nesquik Cereal and Milk Bar and Nestle Golden Grahams Cereal and Milk Bar were found to have the highest content of saturated fat of 2.1g of saturate per bar which is more than popular snack Mr Kipling Almond slice contains.

Reducing salt has numerous benefits

salty foodHELSINKI, Finland, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- A 30-percent decrease in salt intake over 30 years in Finland was associated with a decrease in both stroke and coronary heart disease mortality.

During the same period the life expectancy of both male and female Finns increased by 6 to 7 years, according to researchers Dr. Heikki Karppanen of the University of Helsinki and Dr. Eero Mervaala of the University of Kuopio.

The most powerful explaining factor for the favorable changes was the more than 10 mmHg "point" decrease in the average blood pressure of the population, says Karppanen. A marked decrease in the average cholesterol levels of the population also remarkably contributed to the decrease of heart diseases. The extensive use of drugs contributed less than 10 percent of the observed decreases in blood pressure, cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases, the researchers say.

Exercise more effective than gym class

exerciseCOLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Researchers at Ohio State and Denison universities say traditional gym classes don't work for many students, but an exercise program does.

The researchers developed and tested the new program in which students at a rural Ohio high school learned how to create a personalized exercise program. The students spent one gym class each week learning the skills necessary for planning a lifelong exercise program.

Nearly half of the students said that they spent no time exercising outside of school prior to beginning the program, but the number dropped to less than one in 10 students once the program ended.

menuNEW YORK - Would you like that burger with a side of guilt?

As part of its assault on obesity, New York City’s health department has a plan to require some restaurants to list the calorie content of their food on their menus.

If the rule is approved, the brightly lit menu boards that hang over the counter at McDonald’s might read something like this: Double cheeseburger, $1 ... 460 calories.

The rule would apply only to eateries that serve standardized portions and already disclose calorie information voluntarily — criteria that fit most fast-food chains, which frequently post nutritional charts on their Web sites or print them on fliers.

obesityLONDON (Reuters) - Europe is facing an obesity epidemic by the end of the decade which will increase health costs and hamper economic development, health experts said on Thursday.

Up to 23 percent of men and as many as 36 percent of women in Europe are obese and one third of children are overweight.

"If we do not act now, we expect to have 150 million adults and 15 million obese children by 2010. That means between 2002 and 2010 we will have 20 percent more obese people compared to about 10 years ago," Dr Francesco Branca, of the World Health Organization (WHO), told a news conference.

Is cholesterol in turkey?

thanksgiving turkeyWorried about the amount of cholesterol in turkey? Here are ways to enjoy the holidays and your low-cholesterol diet.

Sticking to a special diet is especially challenging during holidays and special occasions. Tables laden with food prove tempting, and you may feel like disregarding your diet for the day (or for several days).

But your health depends on you sticking to your low-cholesterol diet. This doesn't mean that you can't enjoy your meal or eat delicious foods. It simply means that you make healthy choices and enjoy those foods in moderation.

Syringe display to highlight diabetes

diabetesAUSTRALIA - Families affected by diabetes have put 15,000 syringes on the lawns opposite the entrance to Parliament House in Canberra to draw MPs' attention to the disease.

The syringes represent the number of insulin injections a young diabetes sufferer is likely to have in the first 10 years of their life.

One hundred children with type one diabetes gathered with their families today to talk to parliamentarians to ask for their support for research into a cure for the condition.

Milk Thistle May Help Treat Diabetes

milk thistleAn extract made from milk thistle seeds may help control blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes, Iranian researchers say.

But the scientists -- who included H. Fallah Huseini, PhD, of the Institute of Medicinal Plants in Tehran, Iran -- aren't recommending the extract to patients just yet.

Instead, they call for further studies to probe milk thistle's effects.

Their report appears online in Phytotherapy Research.

"The results are very encouraging, and now we need to do further large multi-centre studies," Huseini says in a news release from the journal's publisher.

Sanofi AventisBloomberg - Sanofi-Aventis SA's new diet pill, Acomplia, may get limited sales in Germany because the treatment is being targeted by a national plan to trim health-care spending.

A German panel of doctors and insurers earlier this month recommended the government classify Acomplia as a ``lifestyle'' drug, not one that is necessary for treating a disease. The proposal, if carried out, means the medicine's 100-euro ($127.40) a month cost won't be reimbursed covered by state health insurance plans, and will probably inhibit sales.

The recommendation is part of Germany's strategy to reduce medical expenses, echoing a new round of health-spending cutbacks in several European countries. Rejecting coverage for new and expensive medicines would threaten several drugmakers, such as New York-based Pfizer Inc. and Sanofi, France's largest pharmaceutical company. Some doctors say that taking aim at Acomplia is short-sighted because obesity is becoming a pandemic.

Nicole Richie speaks of her weight loss

(c) Fernando AllendeSawf News - In an interview with Us Weekly magazine, due to hit stands this Friday, Nicole Richie spoke for the first time about her weightloss and dispelled any rumors of having an eating disorder or even checking in a rehab.

"I'm not in rehab and I don't have an eating disorder," Nicole told Us Weekly. "I'm getting the help I need and taking care of my health."

Nicole did reveal that after appearing at a family gathering, her father Lionel Richie intervened into the matter of her shocking weight loss over the past recent months. The father and daughter discussed it as a family and decided that she needs treatment.

According to ET, that got the early scoop on the Us Weekly article, Ms. Richie's publicist said, "She is working with a team of doctors and specialists whose focus is nutrition."


Cod Liver Oil Reduces Diabetes Risk

codISLAMABAD - Taking cod liver oil early in life appears to reduce the chances that children will develop insulin-dependent ("type 1") diabetes, researchers report. The protection may possibly come from the anti-inflammatory effects of long-chain n-3 fatty acids found in cod liver oil.

"In Norway, cod liver oil is an important source of dietary vitamin D and the long-chain n-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)," according to Dr. Lars C. Stene, of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, in Oslo, and colleagues.

All these nutrients "have biological properties of potential relevance for the prevention of type 1 diabetes," they explain in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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