Nutrition: 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 

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)

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?"

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."
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.

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.

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.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Nutrition category from November 2006.

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