February 2007 Archives

pregnancyBy NICHOLAS BAKALAR, The New york Times

The Food and Drug Administration advises pregnant women to avoid eating certain fish entirely, because they may contain unsafe levels of methylmercury, and to limit seafood to 12 ounces, or about two servings, a week. But a British report, published in The Lancet on Feb. 17, suggests that this may not be the best advice.

In an observational study of more than 8,000 pregnant women and their children, the researchers found that the children whose mothers ate less than 12 ounces of seafood a week were about 45 percent more likely to fall into the lowest 25 percent in I.Q.

Regulator halts ads for weight loss drug

xenicalPHARMACEUTICAL company Roche's plans to make its controversial weight loss drug Xenical a household name have been dealt a severe blow.

The National Drugs and Poisons Schedule Committee has decided to stop it advertising directly to the consumer.

Roche Products said it would not appeal against the decision to revoke its licence to advertise. The regulator found Xenical's marketing generated increased demand among consumers who might not need the drug.

envigaBy Dr. John Briffa

Some of you may remember that the Coca-Cola Corporation announced the forthcoming launch of its "weight loss" drink Enviga. Naturally, I felt compelled to blog about this on my own website, and included a calculation which revealed that (if what the Coca-Cola Corporation says is taken at face value) each kilogram of weight lost through the imbibing of the beverage would cost about $650 [1].

Well, finally the Coca-Cola Corporation have got Enviga onto shelves in America, and have done this by teaming up with the food company giant Nestlé. The behemoth formed by the unholy union of these two food companies goes by the name of Beverage Partners Worldwide (BPW). No doubt, with its promise of weight loss, BPW see Enviga as a ticket to further its quest for fat profits.

green teaObesity is one of the number one health concerns in today’s society. The US Centers for Disease Control estimates that over 60 million Americans, or 30% of the adult population, are obese. The term obese refers to people who weigh over 30 pounds more than their ideal weight, or who have a Body Mass Index of 30 or more.

One of the national health objectives in the US is to reduce the incidence of obesity to less than 15% of the adult population by 2010; however, current statistics indicate that the problem is still on the rise. In addition, the percentage of young people in America who are overweight has more than tripled since 1980.

Over 9 million children and teens between the ages of 6 and 19 are considered overweight. This equates to 16 % of the population.

Lowdown on OTC Weight-Loss Drug

xenicalBy Sally Squires, Washington Post Staff Writer

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the first nonprescription drug for weight loss. Alli (pronounced AL-eye) is slated to hit shelves this year, according to its maker, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). That move has been denounced by some who say it should not be made so readily available because of limited efficacy and safety concerns.

Before you even consider this drug, there are some facts you need to know and some questions to ponder:

Gosh, how much weight can I lose with this new drug? First, the drug isn't new. It contains orlistat, a weight-loss medication that has been sold by prescription as Xenical for nine years worldwide and since 1999 in the United States. There have been about 100 studies of the drug involving some 30,000 people. The results suggest that users can shed as much as 50 percent more weight than they would by diet alone.

pregnancyA new study from the US National Institutes of Health and Bristol University that questioned 11,875 pregnant women on their dietary habits found that eating more fish during pregnancy resulted in significant, measurable benefits to the communication skills and social standing of their children seven years later.

cholesterol(CP) - Cholesterol may not just be bad for your heart.

A study suggests problems with cholesterol regulation in the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas may be responsible for the development of Type 2 (formerly known as late onset) diabetes.

The work, by scientists at Vancouver's Child and Family Research Institute, was done in mice. And the researchers would have to show that the same mechanism is seen in people.

FDA gives diet-pill makers new tips

FDAWASHINGTON - As more Americans struggle with growing waistlines, U.S. health officials Wednesday set out their own tips for drugmakers seeking to develop products for people trying to shed pounds.

The Food and Drug Administration’s draft guidelines — more than 10 years in the making — aim to help companies develop and test new drugs and devices for treating obesity.

About a third of U.S. adults, or more than 60 million people, are obese and another third are overweight, government statistics show. Nearly a fifth of U.S. children weigh too much.

nutrition in schoolsWhat's in the mystery meat shouldn't be the only thing school kids worry about when going to the cafeteria: a recent study showed that some cafeterias barely make the grade.

The study looked at high school cafeterias in 20 different jurisdictions across the nation. In some, researchers found roaches, rats and outdated safety codes.

The study was conducted by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington-based non-profit.

Researchers evaluated the cafeterias on four criteria: how optimal are the food safety codes, how often the facilities are inspected, how easy is to get public information about the cafeteria from the internet and how safe are the cafeterias themselves?

nutrition facts label The Ministry of Health is to defend the consumer’s right to receive “truthful” information about the foods they buy, both in advertising and on the packets themselves, to avoid firms providing “confusing, exaggerated or misleading” data about a product’s nutritional content or benefits for health.

The Minister, Elena Salgado, announced the move last week in the company of the president of the Spanish Agency for Food and Nutrition Safety (AESAN), Félix Lobo, who added that the new European guidelines on the issue would come into force on July 1st 2007.

Salgado explained that the EU regulations stated that descriptions such as “rich in vitamins”, “low calorie”, “no added sugar” or “fat free”, which are becoming more and more common in the promotion of products, must be based on “proved scientific evidence”. She added that the measures would prevent the use of confusing messages to attract consumer attention and at the same time protect consumer health.

weightlossDIETS and exercise may not be the future for weight loss.

A pacemaker-like device, which blocks hunger nerves, has been successfully trialled at Adelaide's Flinders Medical Centre, with stunning results.

The first person to be implanted with the device lost 20 kilograms in a year without changing her dietary habits or exercise regime.

The Adelaide medical centre was one of three in the world to trial the new device, developed by EnteroMedics Inc.

Flinders' Professor of Digestive Surgery James Toouli (Toouli) said the instrument was placed under the abdominal skin and powered by parts worn outside the body.

Vitamin B6: immunity star, or not?

vitamin b6Nutrition research can often be tantalising.

In the early stages, when researchers discover new functions for well-known nutrients, but there is not yet an overwhelming body of evidence available, we know that a nutrient may have new and important roles to play.

However, we can't as yet recommend exactly how much of the nutrient would be required to achieve its protective or curative function. At present, this applies to vitamin B6.

Acute exercise helps prevent diabetes

diabetes COLUMBIA, Mo., Feb. 7 A University of Missouri-Columbia study says as little as 15 minutes a day of acute exercise can help prevent and fight diabetes.

Acute exercise is a bout of activity in which people actively participate, as opposed to activity resulting from everyday activities, according to study leader John Thyfault.

Many people can fight type 2 diabetes through diet and exercise alone, said Thyfault. It is important to ward off diabetes early. Exercise has proven to be effective at all levels. At any stage of type 2 diabetes, from an obese child to a person dependent for 20 years on insulin injections, exercise could have a dramatic effect on improving insulin sensitivity.Thyfault's study found that relatively short periods of acute muscle exercise in diabetic Zucker rats significantly increased insulin sensitivity in the previously insulin-resistant skeletal muscles.

pill approvalThe first non-prescription drug to treat obesity in American adults was approved Wednesday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The drug, called alli (orlistat), is designed to be used only in tandem with a reduced-calorie, low-fat diet by overweight adults 18 and older. According to manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline, the drug helps people lose 50 percent more weight than dieting alone, should cost consumers $12 to $25 a week and is expected to be available by this summer.

"This is the only FDA-approved, over-the-counter weight loss drug product," Dr. Charles J. Ganley, the FDA's director of the Division of Over-The-Counter Drug Products, said during a teleconference. "There are some products, primarily dietary supplements, that make weight-loss claims and those are not FDA-approved, although they are permitted to make these claims."

anna nicole smithAnna Nicole Smith is being sued by a woman who insists the diet product the actress/model endorses is bogus.

Angry Janet Luna claims she used Trimspa X32 and expected the "rapid and substantial weight loss" the product promises - but it didn't work for her.

And yesterday, Luna filed suit in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleging the advertising is "false or misleading."

Website TMZ.com, which obtained the lawsuit against Smith and Trimspa, points out that the plaintiff is possibly a minor, as the suit was filed by her mother, Myra Luna.

source Starpulse 

Carbs a summary on nutrition label

nutrition label Q:What should I know about regarding carbohydrates listed on the Nutrition Facts label?

A:We have divided the Nutrition Facts label into pieces of a puzzle over the past few weeks.

We started our discussion with portion sizes. Then we uncovered the role calories and percent daily value play in meal planning. Learning how to read labels for fat, cholesterol and sodium followed.

Now the relevance of using the Nutrition Facts label for carbohydrates is revealed.

Puzzle Piece 7 - Total Carbohydrate: Carbohydrates play an important role in overall health. They are the preferred energy source for our cells, are found in an abundance of foods and can directly affect an individual's blood sugar control.

childhood obesityNEW YORK (AP) -- As the popularity of stomach surgery has skyrocketed among obese adults, a growing number of doctors are asking, "Why not children, too?"

For decades, the number of kids trying weight-loss surgery has been tiny. The operations themselves were risky, with a death rate of about 1 in 50. Children rarely got that fat, and when they did, pediatricians hesitated to put the developing bodies under the knife. Only 350 U.S. kids had such an operation in 2004, according to federal statistics.

But improvements in surgical technique and huge increases in the number of dangerously obese children have begun fueling a change of heart.

One in eight adults in NYC has diabetes

diabetesNEW YORK, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- One in eight adults in New York City have diabetes, and nearly twice as many appear to be developing it, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.

Over all, 12.5 percent of adult New Yorkers, or more than 700,000 people have diabetes, according to a study released Tuesday by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

That is significantly higher than the 10.3 percent national rate in the United States. And in New York, about 30 percent of diabetics are unaware they have the disease -- they are not working to control the ailment and fend off devastating consequences.

omega3 acidsA lack of healthy fats can actually cause children to become overweight, according to a study published online by the Swedish Research Council.

Researchers based at the Sahlgrenska Academy at Goteborg University studied the lifestyle, dietary habits and insulin levels of a group of four-year-old children, and correlated these factors with measurements of Body Mass Index (BMI).

According to the BMI measurements, 23 percent of the children were overweight and another 2 percent were obese. Surprisingly, however, the children with the healthier BMIs actually had higher fat intake than the overweight children. The difference was that the less overweight children were consuming more unsaturated fats, omega-3s in particular.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

January 2007 is the previous archive.

March 2007 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.